And they're not alone.
Anyone in the market for a new supercar is prepared to spend six figures, at least. A hypercar? Try seven figures. Despite those hefty price tags, supercar and hypercar brands like Lamborghini and Bugatti believe there’s additional room to earn even greater profits from these ultra-wealthy customers. One obvious way is to offer a seemingly endless number of bespoke options, such as McLaren’s MSO program.
But Bloomberg has learned of yet another method that’s gaining traction: high-cost one-offs. Last November, for example, Lamborghini announced its one-off SC18 Alston. Designed in collaboration with an unnamed customer, the price is estimated anywhere from $1 million and $13 million dollars, according to Lamborghini technical director Maurizio Reggiani. Lamborghini’s design chief Mitja Borkert personally worked hand-in-hand with this longtime client to create a 770-hp V12 supercar. This is the first time Lamborghini has done this but it certainly won’t be the last. There’s simply too much money to be made.
In fact, Lamborghini’s current customization program dates back to 2008 when the Reventon debuted. Although it wasn’t a one-off, the Reventon’s 21-unit production cap was enough to entice wealthy buyers to drop serious cash and helped pave the way for the likes of the Centenario.
"The Reventon prompted the big discussion about the dimensions of this segment,” Reggiani says. "As we scouted more and more during that time, we started to see how, this market, you can stretch in terms of price and in terms of demand. The Reventon coupe was $3 million; the "(Reventon) roadster was $3.2 million; the Centenario was $2 million. So in this segment, we know there is a marvelous market.”
Obviously, one-offs and personal design service like in the case of the SC18 Alston are nothing new (Ferrari, for example, has been doing one-offs for years), other brands like Aston Martin, Bugatti, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce have since followed suit.
Speaking of Bugatti, the $19 million La Voiture Noire is yet another perfect example of this practice. The way Bugatti now sees things, "the sky is the limit” on how it will customize existing models for clients, dramatically altering the design in order to suit the client’s every desire. There’s a growing global list of millionaires and billionaires, and carmakers such as these are anxious for their commissioning business.