When W motors announced that its first hypercar would cost $3.4m, more than a few eyebrows were raised as to who might spend that amount of money on a car brand that no-one had ever heard of. The next question is also pretty obvious. How can this unknown brand compete with well-established companies like Ferrari, for example, that has nearly a century of experience in branding and engineering?
W Motors CEO Richard Debbas is quick to answer. “My customers already have a Ferrari. Actually, they already have a Bentley and a Lamborghini as well. They want something more exclusive,” he says.
Debbas has received over a hundred requests for his company’s $3.4m Lykan Hypersport 2013. But he’s only planning to produce seven cars. It’s clear that this particular venture is not about revenues and customers — it’s more about collectors.
“We’d like the first few cars to go to Arabs even if we receive requests from Russia, China and the US,” says Debbas.
Once the customer (note, not the car) is selected, he or she gets the chance to personalise as much of their new toy as they like. Diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies are just some of the precious stones they can decide to add all over the car, like encrusting them in the headlights, for example. When dealing with the super-wealthy, the headlights have to match the outfit of the person behind the wheel — naturally.
If a female customer approached a car dealership and asked whether the vehicle could be made to match her python skin handbag, most dealers would see that as a problem. Debbas, however, sees it as an opportunity. The car business in Qatar is booming, and it’s all about exclusivity. Well, exclusivity, and the seven-figure cheque that goes with it.
“The exclusivity of the car makes a hypercar immortal. It never dies, supercars instead get updated,” says Debbas.
But what does the owner of a Lykan Hypersport actually get for their millions? The car produces 750 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. W Motors says its top speed is 394 kph.
Supercar manufacturers generally produce around 25 units of each car, making it a very rare product indeed. While it’s not unique, just few units more makes the price of the car drop drastically. Next up for W Motors is another new supercar, which will be launched in November. This time, the price is a relatively snip at $1.9m — about half the price of the Lykan Hypersport 2013.
There was yet another level of exclusivity at last month’s Qatar Motor Show, with Bertone launching its Nuccio, a prototype designed to celebrate the Turin-based manufacturer’s 100-year anniversary. As the car is a complete one-off, the competition to buy it is likely to be pretty stiff.
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