No More Shed-Built Supercars!

The curse of the supercar industry is that while it takes heritage and prestige to sell a supercar, nothing is stopping the little man with a plan from turning a doodled sketch on the back of a napkin into something that demand the media’s attention. These days, just about anybody can buy a bucket of putty, some fiber glass and an old Ford engine, then come up with a wild shape in the back of his Bangladesh home, after which they say it’s India’s supecar contender that’s got more power than a Ferrari.
Yes, I know innovation and ambition are the reason why we have the Ford GT40 and the Lamborghini brand. But times have moved on since then. Let me elaborate on that a bit first. You see, before Lamborghini made the Miura, their first high-performance two-seater, they started out with the 350GT and 400 GT, which were front engined and designed on the basis of rivaling the Ferrari 250 GTO.

What did I just call the Miura? A performance two-seater, since it still built on the premises of a touring vehicle. Even the Urraco, which was the first clean-sheet car that Lambo designed since the 350GTV, had a 2+2 body designed for practicality and giving concessions for customers that might have children. But nowadays we live under the impression that these cars, that didn’t crash over bumps were built only to go fast and be ‘super’. What’s more, the Espada, which was the first really popular Lambo with 1,200 sold was big ol’ barge of a shooting brake. Yes, Lamborhini was all about luxury and hated motorsport.

But what do all the Mexican, Swiss, South American or Brazilian upstarts target above all else? The innocent childhood dream of the million horsepower rocket that does 400 km/h. And the end result is… well, they might get lucky and sell 7 to a billionaire from Dubai who wants a different body color for every day of the week, but they might not sell any at all.

But that’s not really the way of the modern supercar, at least not totally. If Porsche or Audi wants to sell you a car that goes past 250 km/h they make sure to create a luxury version for wafting about, a track focused GT3, a decent four-wheel drive system and the perfect set of LED lights. And none of these things have anything to do with reaching 400 km/h. Also, a car (any car) is made great by the availability of exclusive leathers, three different seats you can have, a navigation system that’s smarter than 10 high school teachers, heating. cooling, lighting, deodorizing and anything else that has to do with your mood.

A modern day supercar can’t also brake down any more, because you won’t look by the side of the road like a 1960s movie star. The sound system needs to sound good with the windows down or up, the brakes must not overheat, the electric need not spark, the leather should not fade, the exhaust mustn’t rust in a single year and the wheels can’t be made by Chip Foose.

Can you do all that for your shed-build rocketship mister Bangladeshi millionaire who wants to turn his textile factory into a supercar assembly line? Because if you can’t, people will keep buying German and Italian. And so you’re far better off making 5% interest a year or investing in the housing market. If the biggest automaker in the world took a decade to bring something like the Lexus LFA to market, which is wonderful but by no means perfect…

Still, every year a few businessmen coming from different backgrounds come along and create ‘suparcars’ with phallic names that pretend to be better than Ferrari or Porsche at a game they’ve been doing for ages.

These vehicles might look good in the heavily photoshoped pictures they send your way, but when it comes to build quality, they come up short when you get close to the supposed $300,000 or so bodies. Bumpers that look like they were finished by special needs people and interiors pulled from other cars are the usual suspects, and everyone can spot them.

But nobody ever says the true problem is the windows don’t have the perfect tint, it doesn’t come with a Bang & Olufsen sound system, the cup holders don’t work, the ESP doesn’t have 12 settings, the seats are too firm, it’s got the wrong tires on, the chrome fades and there’s no TV reception.

Basically said, it looks amazing in the edited pictures, but up close things just don’t seems right. It’s like the artificially beautiful women you see in magazines. They look great in the photos, but they are not athletic and healthy like they would lead you to think. If you are intrigued by the uniqueness and want to have either the car or the girl on the cover in your life, you’ll end be stuck without the excitement and luxury you thought you’d get. So don’t!
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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