It’s no secret that a car starts to depreciate the second you drive it off the lot. It’s like the automotive equivalent of the idea that the second we are born we begin to die.
Drive a brand new Lexus lease off the lot and it’s already worth less than it was only moments before. Naturally, the depreciation continues with increased miles and wear. But, there are some immortal exceptions, a Lexus among them.
Supercars – the MVPs of the Automotive Industry
Supercars enjoy legendary status because of their performance and style, but also because they are just as coveted used as brand new. Often available only in limited release, or by invitation only, the exclusivity of the supercar established a club that everyone wants to be a part of as soon as a space opens up, if it ever does.
Technological innovations routinely redefine what qualifies as a supercar; however, those considered supercars years ago are still valued as such today because they successfully met or exceeded the performance demands and expectations associated with that time period.
Their creators, designers, and manufacturers achieved what they set out to accomplish in creating the ultimate car, the pinnacle of performance. This is why the Porsche 959, the Ferrari F40, and the Jaguar XJ220 retain their super-car statuses long after technology has raised the stakes and redefined performance expectations.
The supercar, in other words, is timeless and untouchable.
A quick glance at the DuPont Registry proves my point. The DuPont Registry, created in 1984, and headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a leading publisher catering to the rich and famous, advertising the most exotic luxury products, cars included.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward, LeBron James, located and bought his Bentley from the DuPont Registry.
Scoping out pre-owned supercar prices proves that they just don’t depreciate. In fact, in many cases, the asking price exceeds the original MSRP.
“The Pursuit of Perfection” – Lexus LFA
Take, for example, the 2012 Lexus LFA. No longer in production, only 500 were released. This lightweight, carbon bodied, 6-speed automated manual transmission,designed with racecar technology, achieves 553 horsepower from its 4.8L V10 engine.
The listed MSRP is $375,000. The “cheapest” asking price on the DuPont Registry comes from a Houston-based dealer, asking $339,995 for a two-door, pearl gray LFA with 1,730 miles under its tires. A private seller offers a red, automatic two-door, with 167 miles to its name for $381,300, approximately $6,300 more than the MSRP, three years after production.
Given that Lexus selects who is allowed to purchase the LFA, it’s surprising to locate it on the DuPont Registry at all. The Wall Street Journal reported that Paul Williamson, national manager at Lexus College said, “We want people who will drive the car, who will be seen in the car. We want it to be seen on the right roads, in front of the right restaurants and not just being enjoyed by one individual in their private garage.”
Paris Hilton is among the 500 owners, zipping around in a white model, exclaiming, “One of my favorite reasons to be back in L.A. Love driving this baby around! Such a fast, sexy, fun car!”
With no plans for a successor, the LFA is poised to reign supreme indefinitely.
“To Fly Without Leaving the Ground” – Ferrari LaFerrari
This was Enzo Ferrari’s ultimate engineering goal for his cars. This flight is first-class, and the pilots an elite few.
Consider the Ferrari LaFerrari, 789 horsepower V-12 with additional 161 horsepower boost from electric motor powered by a 2.3 kWh 480 V lithium-ion battery, capable of achieving top speeds over 217 MPH. A hybrid flying machine, with acceleration power to rival the Bugatti Veyron, this was arguably Ferrari’s most ambitious and stunning performance project to date.
Available in traditional but limited Maranello colors: Rosso Corsa (red), Giallo Modena (yellow), or Nero (black), the MSRP $1,420,112 reflected ultimate luxury, style, and personalization; the interior custom designed to suit the owner’s wishes and whims.
A quick perusal of the DuPont Registry turns up nothing. Plenty of Ferraris for sale, but not a single LaFerrari. Why? Because no matter how much money you have, whether or not you’ve won the biggest jackpot in Lottery-history, a LaFerrari purchase is predicated on an invitation.
Celebrity status isn’t enough either. Rumor has it, invitations are only doled out to those most devoted Ferrari enthusiasts, those individuals who own other Ferrari models.
Justin Bieber, the latest celebrity to purchase a LaFerrari, added to his $1.2 million car collection, which already includes a Ferrari 458 Italia and Ferrari F430. Between the exclusivity of the LaFerrari’s and Bieber Fever, this LaFerrari is in no danger of depreciating.
“There Is No Finish Line” – McLaren P1
Not for “The Widowmaker,” at least. The 2013 limited production McLaren P1 hybrid, plug-in sportscar, features a 3.8-L 727 horsepower, V8 engine paired with 177 hp electric motor, hydro-pneumatic suspension, electro-hydraulically assisted steering, and 12-inch rear wing extension.
Only 375 were made and with a MSRP of $1,150,000, all have been sold.
McLaren F1 owner, Jay Leno, was quick to fly across the pond, test drive, and ultimately purchase a bright yellow P1, allegedly the first customer car to reach the United States. The exclusivity of these supercars is certainly given an edge by their celebrity drivers, ensuring their lasting value.
Consider this: Leno, arguably as well known in some circles for his car collection as his work on The Tonight Show, was recently given permission by The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles to drive American actor, “The King of Cool,” Steve McQueen’s dark green Jaguar XKSS, one of the jewels of the McQueen collection.
Although McQueen died in 1980, his XKSS still pulses on the pavement, proof that some legends never die.
“There Is No Substitute” – Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0
Track-ready, but street-legal, Porsche released the 911 GT3 RS 4.0, equipped with a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter, 475 horsepower engine, seven-speed PDK transmission, able to reach 60 MPH in just 3 seconds at 9,000 rpm. The latest in the 911 line boasts the largest 911 engine ever offered, a specification supporting its supercar status.
Bigger is better, right? In this case, having the biggest engine of an already limited release supercar line safeguards this car from depreciation.
With only 600 made and the MSRP at $131,395, the 911 GT3 4.0 confirms that in fact, “there is no substitute.”
“Power In The Hands of a Few” – Saleen S7
The namesake of Steve Saleen, considered by many to be the world’s most successful Mustang Tuner, this limited-production, hand-built, performance pinnacle was the first Saleen not based on an existing chassis.
Equipped with a 7.0 L V8, 750 horsepower engine, weighing in at 2,950 lbs., the Saleen S7 is considered the first American production supercar.
Being first in anything has an elite ring to it, and also suggests historic resonance. This car will not depreciate because car owners, especially supercar enthusiasts and collectors, are eager to own a piece of history and claim their own personal stake as being a part of it.
The Saleen S7 was featured in the film Bruce Almighty, in which Jim Carrey is given omniscience, able to see and know all. Were the directors suggesting that, given the choice of any supercar, God would choose the S7?
Hmm…is there any other way to see it?