After more than 50 years of V8- and V12-powered super- and hypercars that evolved incrementally, change is in the air. Increasingly, the best-performing European, Japanese, and American vehicles are battery powered. Penta went to the experts to find out where the high-end market is going.
is president of Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, Conn. The location has an interesting history, as it was once home to
pioneering U.S. Ferrari operation. Today, Miller handles the biggest names: Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa-Romeo,
“Will the super- and hypercar market go electric? All of the companies we work with have the capacity for electrification, but whether it actually goes in that direction I’m not sure,” Koppelman says. The hypercar market, Koppelman says, “took many years to mature, but now it is mature. And with Covid, some people are realizing that life can be short—they don’t want to wait for things they want. Meanwhile, the manufacturers haven’t been able to build enough cars to meet the demand.”
Koppelman says that some lightly used luxury cars, such as the Rolls-Royce
are actually selling for more than the new ones that are hard to find. There is a four-year waiting list for the multi-million-dollar Italian hypercars of
Pagani, he adds.
Miller has sold six US$5.8 million Bugatti Divos, and two US$2 million Pininfarina
“There is a lot of money around, and people are spending it on nice things,” Koppelman says.
can confirm that. Since 2007 (when he was 19) he has run Prestige Imports in North Miami, a dealership started by his father in 1977. Franchises include Lamborghini, Pagani, Lotus, and Karma.
“Full electrification is happening,” David says. “It’s a unique time in the sector.” He also cites such hybrid supercars as the Porsche 918 Spyder,
Ferrari La Ferrari,
McLaren P1 as paving the way for plugging in. And the merger of the storied Bugatti brand with the Croatia-based Rimac electric car company is a landmark deal.
The market for such cars appears to be expanding. Bugatti said early this month that 45%of North American orders for the new US$3.8 million, 1,600-horsepower Chiron Super Sports, to be delivered next year, are from customers new to the brand. Obviously, conventionally powered cars such as the
Roadster BC (with a bespoke V12 engine developed by Mercedes AMG for the company) are still selling very well indeed. “That one is such an important launch for Pagani,” David says. It’s exclusive; only 40 will be built.
David said that buyers are often responding to “the emotions behind the car, the sound of them—the music they make from those V12s when the RPMs go up. They won’t have a response like that if they just buy the cars as investments and move them around on trailers.” He says some of his Pagani customers put several thousand miles a year on their cars.
There’s not much music emanating from very quiet electric cars. Though as Koppelman points out they are often capable of “tremendous bursts of speed” that can eclipse that of internal-combustion supercars (though top speed is frequently lower). The “music” issue is sometimes addressed by manufacturers adding electronic sounds that rise from the car’s audio system as the speed increases.
son of founder Horacio, tells Penta that he doesn’t expect the company’s approach to making cars will change all that much, though the powertrain might. “We produce 40 to 50 cars per year,” he says. “If they’re powered by a V12, a V10, a hybrid drivetrain or electric, I don’t think it will matter all that much to our clients—as long as the car stays very exclusive.”
Pagani’s next car, code-named C10, will stay with V12 power and will have more than 800 horsepower, Pagani says. “We talked to our Mercedes-Benz partners, and we will have access to V12 engines through 2025.”
There isn’t a hue and cry from customers for an electric Pagani, but clearly the company sees the future will involve plugs. “We are developing a full-electric Pagani that will use some of the platform from the C10,” Pagani says. “We want to do something fun. Our hypercars are the lightest on the market, like a Ford Fiesta with a V12. With a full electric, we don’t want to lose the fun or agility that comes with a light car. With electrification it is early for us, but our eyes are open.”
Because of the long waiting list for new
some pre-owned models have been trading for truly premium prices. A 2017
Pagani Zonda Riviera
sold for US$5.885 million at a
Auction in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2019.
Some manufacturers are learning to support their classic models with organized drives, experience centers and restoration services. It’s a trend that will undoubtedly support higher values as the cars age.
But dealers are making it happen, too. Coming up, David says, are track days and a special event involving 30 Pagani owners, and another 10 interested parties who might want to become part of that world. “It’s good to be in the world of luxury right now.” Will dealers still be selling internal-combustion hypercars in 20 years? For at least another 10 years, David says. “After that, maybe we’ll only be able to drive them on racetracks.”