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Cars That Sold Out Before They Went On Sale

Car Culture / 7 Comments

Some before we even knew what they looked like.

There's only one thing that can ruin the thrill of watching a hot new machine being unveiled with mouthwatering specs, nearly a thousand horsepower, or a 0-60 mph time of fewer than three seconds, maybe even a top speed north of 250 mph. So many times, an amazing piece of machinery is unveiled, only for a manufacturer to announce, "we'll be building X amount, and they're all sold out." Here at CarBuzz, we hate that line – it's like giving a wrongly imprisoned captive hope of release, only to tell him he can't have his freedom. To prove what we're talking about, here are ten times amazing cars were unveiled, only for them to be sold out before they were even produced or officially went on sale.

Bugatti Divo

Named after French racing driver, Albert Divo, the Bugatti Divo is what happens when the Bugatti Chiron gets remodeled for pure track-driving ecstasy. With reworked aerodynamic bodywork and 1,479 imperial horsepower on offer from the 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16, the Divo is a fierce track machine that any gearhead would love to get their hands on. And yet, with just 40 units set for production, when the car was unveiled this year at Pebble Beach, every single one was already spoken for, sold by special invitation to previous Bugatti owners for $5.8 million.

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Porsche 911 R

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the stuff dreams are made of, widely lauded as one of the best driver's cars around. But the GT3 RS had one giant flaw for the mass of internet enthusiasts that pined over it – it was only available with Porsche's PDK dual-clutch transmission, no manual shifter at all. The limited edition Porsche 911 R changed all that, offering 500 horsepower of naturally aspirated 911 GT3 RS power, with reduced weight, subtler styling, and crucially, a gearbox that required the driver to do the shifting manually, with a clutch pedal! 991 of them were built – correlating with the 991 series code – and by the time the 911 R was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016, all units had already been sold to existing Porsche owners.

McLaren Speedtail

For those who grew up in the '90s, the McLaren F1 was likely one of the posters adorning your walls; the world's fastest car, with a gold-lined engine bay, a BMW engine, and 3 seats with the driver sitting centrally. So imagine our sheer joy when in 2016, 17 years after the F1 went out of production, McLaren announced a successor to the F1, set to be the fastest McLaren ever. Unveiled just last week, the McLaren Speedtail lives up to the hype the announcement created, with 3 seats, a 1,035 horsepower hybrid drivetrain, and a top speed of 250 mph. In keeping with the F1-heritage, only 106 Speedtails will be produced. And all units were immediately snapped up when McLaren first announced the Speedtail in 2016 – most of them to the same people who bought the original 106 F1s in the 1990s.

LaFerrari Aperta

The LaFerrari was the Italian marque's successor to the Enzo, and also the very first hybrid to emerge – though many more are in the cards. But when the Aperta, the convertible version of the LaFerrari was unveiled, it had already been sold to a batch of select clients, all of whom had received personal invitations to purchase a LaFerrari Aperta.

200 were built for sale to clients, though there was one additional model built to be auctioned for fundraising in support of the Save the Children charity foundation, which sold for $10,000,000. A hybridized V12 with 950 hp, rear-wheel drive, and an open top to enjoy the V12 noise – and us mere mortals have never even gifted the opportunity to try and buy one.

Lamborghini Centenario

To celebrate the 100th birthday of the company's founder, Lamborghini unveiled the Centenario at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. It made use of an uprated 759-hp V12 from the Aventador upon which it was based, and featured bespoke styling. Later that year, at Pebble Beach, the Centenario Roadster was unveiled. Just 20 of each body style were produced, making 40 in total, and yet at the time each was unveiled, every single one of them was spoken for, making it yet another piece of forbidden fruit from Lamborghini.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Previously known as the AM-RB001, the now-named Valkyrie is the hypercar collaboration between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, designed by Formula 1 genius, Adrian Newey. The road car is set to be one of the fastest ever, with Aston Martin claiming Formula 1 racecar-like performance – something to rival the Mercedes-AMG One. Powered by a 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 with a Rimac-built KERS hybrid system, combined outputs of the yet to be produced hypercar are 1,130hp. Aerodynamically optimized, the Valkyrie is said to be capable of generating 4,000 lbs of downforce. Only 150 road-going units will be produced, priced at $3.2-million apiece, but all of the build slots have been allocated.

Mercedes-AMG One

The Valkyrie's chief rival comes from Mercedes-AMG, using its own Formula 1 involvement to create the (Project) One. Making use of a hybrid drivetrain, including a road-legalized version of the 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 from the W07 Formula 1 car, power outputs are expected to reach a maximum of 1,231 hp channeled to all four corners. A planned production run of 275 units is expected between 2020 and 2021, but now, two years before production even begins, they're already sold out for a price of $2.72 million each. The demand was so high that Mercedes-AMG received orders for four times the production volume, but in an effort to maintain exclusivity, it refused to increase production volumes.

McLaren Senna

While it's nowhere near as bespoke as the Speedtail – the McLaren Senna is no less special, with a design epitomizing the 'form-follows-function' principle. It's designed to be the best of the best on any race track, while still remaining road legal. Based loosely around the 720S, the Senna is powered by a 789-hp version of the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, driving the rear wheels and aided by a trick suspension and huge amounts of downforce. Named after legendary Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, just 500 units are being produced, though at the time of unveiling all had already been pre-sold, with the last build-slot auctioned off at a private McLaren customer event. 500 special cars, all sold before we even knew it existed.

Ford GT

Ford announced the new Ford GT ahead of the 50th anniversary of its famous Le Mans victory, announcing that it would race once again – something it did rather successfully. But for the production models, you couldn't just buy one from the showroom. You had to apply to Ford and go through a vetting process, before being awarded a build slot in the original production run of 100 vehicles promised in 2015. Ford has since expanded the production run by another 350 units, though those orders are sure to be sealed long before you get the chance to even think of applying. With 647 hp from its mid-mounted twin-turbo V6, the all-American supercar's sold-out status deserves to be crowned a national disaster.

TVR Griffith Launch Edition

British supercar-brand, TVR, has flirted with death for the last two decades. But late last year, a new model was unveiled to spark the revival of the special brand. Using an iStream carbon fiber chassis and a Cosworth-tuned Ford Coyote V8, the rear-wheel-drive supercar generates 480 hp and claims the 0-60 mph victory in less than 4 seconds. The first allocation of the as of yet unproduced Griffith, the 500 unit Launch Edition, sold out within six weeks of its announcement, months before it was ever unveiled.