Lamborghini Centenario

A Quantum Leap

31 May 2018

THE simple law of supply and demand dictates that those in search of a rock-solid investment should opt for handcrafted design icons that are in strictly limited numbers.

Owning something that only the lucky few can ever aspire to have access to is the best recipe for sound financial success.

It applies to all manner of collectibles, from precious paintings, jewellery and even vintage wines to houses and cars.

Exclusivity is the key, with a property in Chelsea costing a thousand times more than an identical one in Whitley Bay, purely because most people would love to live in the most exclusive part of London but there are not enough properties to satisfy demand.

There is a premium to pay for uniqueness, which is why values rise in direct proportion to the dwindling numbers available, with increasing rarity often being the best incentive of all.

This is why the rise in the value of iconic cars can become stratospheric as their numbers are gradually depleted through age and dilapidation, which renders the remaining survivors ever more desirable.

Some canny car companies deliberately engineer this philosophy into very low volume creations, which has the effect of boosting the desirability of their mainstream counterparts too.

Latest to join the fray in the supercar class is Lamborghini, whose  forthcoming Centenario carries a remarkable price tag of a cool £1.3 million yet is already sold out.

Part of the reason for it being regarded as the ultimate must-have automobile – apart from the inherent automotive awesomeness of the vehicle itself – is its exclusivity.

Just a score of coupes and the same number of roadsters are to be built, with those who have bravely decided to sign up for one now knowing that they will be able to treble or quadruple their money in due course.

That’s right, a guaranteed profit of millions of pounds simply for signing a piece of paper, sitting back and watching the money roll in.

Welcome to the world of supercar investment, with the value of the most sought-after models now regularly reaching tens of millions, including £35 million for a Ferrari 250 GTO at a Paris auction earlier this year.

Just 39 of these iconic Italian roadsters were made, dating back to 1962, with exclusivity being the common theme in the pursuit of profit.

Among the world’s most expensive dozen new cars, half of them will have a ``production run’’ of 20 or less.

These include the £3m Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio of which there will be six, which also applies to the £2m Swedish Koenigsegg One:1.

Pagani is limiting the number of its £2.5m Hyara to 20, whilst just ten Ferrari F60s are being made.

Many limited edition models are produced to mark a motoring milestone, which in the case of the Centenario is in celebration of the company’s founder, the late Ferruccio Lamborghini who would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year.

The Centenario is a striking visual expression of the most extreme hallmarks of the brand in a bid to reinforce the design differences between a Lambo and the rest, like the outrageous creations of Vivienne Westwood in comparison to the more demure designs of Chanel.

The carbon fibre body, which is longer than even that of the Aventador, boasts air vents the size of escalator steps, rear diffusers resembling the rudders on an ocean cruiser, and glass covers to showcase the unfeasibly large engine.  

This is a 6.5-litre V12 affair that generates a whopping 760bhp of power and 690Nm of torque, or pulling power.

That endows the car with scorching acceleration to 60mph in an F1-style 2.8 seconds and a top speed nudging 220mph.

Power is transmitted to all four wheels via a seven-speed switchable auto/manual transmission system and there is an innovative four wheel steering system.

Unusually, this points the rear wheels in the opposite direction to those at the front at slow speeds, whilst they gradually become in-line as speed rises.

This creates the illusion of shortening the wheelbase for low speed manoeuvres whilst lengthening it by as much as 20 inches for greater high speed stability and cruising comfort.

Constructed from carbon fibre throughout, the car is lighter and faster than the Aventador and has double the downforce at speed, thanks in part to the huge rear deck fin and the massive diffusers that force exhaust gases into the vehicle’s slipstream.

Lamborghini says this car represents a quantum leap in terms of technological and electronic advancement, including a sophisticated touchscreen infotainment system and the sort of associated advanced connectivity features that will enable it to be used as everyday transport.

The mega price tag has enabled the company to fund the newcomer as a mobile test bed for a wide range of technologies that will gradually find their way into more mainstream models.

In the meantime the privileged forty are expected to acquiesce to the company’s unwritten directive not to sell the vehicles on at an unseemly profit for at least a respectable length of time.

The penalty for non-compliance is to be struck off the privileged buyers’ list, which will deny them the opportunity in future to cash in on one of the most lucrative long-term collectors’ investments currently available.