Sales of exotic cars in Europe have exploded in the first quarter of 2017, with a growth of 45% to over 2.100 units. And after years of domination by the Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari 458 Italia, we have a new segment leader, straight out of the box. With almost a quarter of total segment sales, the all-new Aston Martin DB11 has stormed to the top of the ranking, ahead of the Ferrari 488 which maintains its second place thanks to a sales growth of 35%, while the former segment leader Continental GT is kicked down to third place with stable sales. Never before has an Aston Martin topped the exotic car segment in Europe, but the DB11 is an obvious hit with affluent buyers. It has turned the two-horse race at the top of the ranking into a three-way, as the top-3 dominates the segment with 68,3% of total sales as the #3 sells more than triple the volume of its closest rival.
Sales of Large Sports Cars and Exotics fell by 5.5% in the first quarter of 2017, following a 10.4% decline in 2016. Total volume in this segment stood at 11,370 in Q1. And there’s not a lot of product news expected this year, so the decline is expected to last throughout the year. Then again, keep in mind the segment peaked at over 60,000 sales in 2015, when it almost doubled up in just 3 years time, so small declines after such an impressive growth curve are nothing to be ashamed of, especially on the lack of product news, as mentioned. We do welcome two newcomers to the segment compared to Q1 of last year, but both are still at the bottom of the ranking: the second generation Acura NSX and the all-new Ford GT.
There was a time when the choice of a german sports car was simple – you either got the Porsche 911 or, well, you looked elsewhere (probably Italy). The best Audi could offer you was a fast Quattro model or, later, a super-Golf called the TT; BMW dabbled with the M1 and Z8, but those cars really just made you run faster for the competition; even mighty Mercedes hadn’t really offered anything tasty since the gull-wing 300SL. But oh, my, how the times have changed – now we (or at least those with big money) are spoilt for choice with these great four options. So, which one is your poison?
After Krzysztof published his hits and misses for supercars at the Geneva Auto Show, I will now give you my own top-5.
#5 Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV
This is the essence of Lamborghini and how the Aventador should’ve been from the beginning, especially from the rear. I know the brand needs to compromise and become less extreme in order to sell cars and survive, but come on Lambo, let Ferrari make the polished, clean-looking Italian supercars and keep making things that look like they come from out of space and could eat you alive. The Super Veloce adds 50 hp to the standard Aventador to make it 750 hp, but top speed remains 350 km/h and the 0-100 sprint is just 0,1 second faster at 2,8 s, so the performance alone doesn’t justify the extra Audi TT this thing will probably cost compared to the regular Aventador (official pricing hasn’t yet been released), but damn, those looks certainly do. [Read more…]