Supercars aren’t that all that great. No, I don’t mean to rustle your jimmies. I just don’t think present day Ferraris and Lamborghinis light a fire under the automotive industry’s ass like their predecessors used to. So before you light my ass on fire, hear me out for a moment.
From the time that I was a wee lad until I hit puberty, I was beyond enamoured with supercars. If I had seen a Ferrari in person back then, I would’ve acted like an extremist Christian getting to meet Jesus for Sunday brunch. That’s probably typical of every young automotive enthusiast, though.
Now that I’m well beyond the drinking age, I could care less about them. Hell, I’ll go a step further and say this straight out: Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other supercars keep me flaccid. That’s not to say that there aren’t supercars I like having around — I actually like the new Ford GT — but they’re expendable. If supercars went extinct tomorrow, I’d hardly feel sad, let alone shed a tear.
I know what you’re probably asking yourself and the answer is a big, two-lettered “no.” I don’t harbor apathy for supercars because they are and will remain “unobtainium” to an Average Joe like myself. In fact, I could buy my own if I really wanted to. A quick Auto Trader search reveals that there is a 1982 Ferrari Mondial close by that wouldn’t cost me much more than what I paid for my Dodge Dart. And sure, it is a Ferrari Mondial, which is old and literally the worst thing ever to wear a Ferrari badge. But it’s still red and still a Ferrari, so it’s exactly the same as Doug DeMuro’s 360 Modena that we’re all still sick of hearing about.
I don’t care about supercars because I’ve “just grown up,” either. I still buy gummy worms and candy cigarettes when I visit gas station convenience stores, so that means I’m still 12-years old and not double that. And it’s not because I “don’t like cars.” Far from it. If I didn’t like cars, what business would I have writing about them in the first place?
I could care less about supercars because I think they’re in a period of stasis, and becoming increasingly irrelevant. Allow me to explain.
When I was growing up, supercars were all about making you rethink everything you knew about cars. That was their whole purpose for existing. Supercars had to be daring, shatter beliefs and break boundaries. And when a supercar got replaced, all of carkind took a big step — sometimes a giant leap — forward.
“Supercars excited me as a kid because I knew even then they represented the future that I would get to drive around in one day.”
But more importantly, the engineering and technology that went into making one was supposed to eventually improve or “trickle down” to normal production cars. Supercars excited me as a kid because I knew even then they represented the future that I would get to drive around in one day. Even if I didn’t get to own a Ferrari 360, I knew much of what went in to making it would eventually find its way to a normal car I could own as an adult. And when I look at something like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat or the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, I know I was right about that all those years ago.
Supercars today are so damned lazy. Let’s take the new Audi R8, for example. Nothing about it screams, “I am the future, and I am awesome.” Everything about it says, “I’ve shown up, and that’s it.”
The new R8’s exterior looks like every other Audi made during the past several years. The interior features the same infotainment tech as the much cheaper Audi TT. The engine isn’t much of an upgrade from what you got in the old Audi R8. And so what if Audi is finally making an electric version of it? An electric supercar isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, sorry.
The same holds true for the new Ferrari 488 GTB versus the old Ferrari 458 Italia. Sure, the new 488 has a turbo V8 and more power, but it’s only marginally faster than the 458. It doesn’t look any better, nor does it look any worse. It’s banal and mediocre. It’s new without doing anything new.
The word “stasis” is defined in the dictionary as a condition where things do not change. I think the definition should also read “see: Audi R8, Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Aventador, et. al.” Or to put it another way, today’s supercars cars are all like AC/DC records. You get the same three chords, the same solo, and the same 4/4 rhythm every song. Nothing ever changes, and lowbrow disc jockeys won’t stop playing it.
And then we come to the new crop of hyper supercars, or hypercars: the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and the McLaren P1. These are all hybrids, correct? So these expensive exotic cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars — if not a solid million plus — all are more or less based around technology we first saw over 15 years ago on a $25,000 Toyota sedan. It’s been pointed out before yes, but if anything, that makes me get a chubby for the Toyota Prius, not for the LaFerrari.
That’s not how these cars are supposed to work. Supercars and hypercars are supposed to be a batshit crazy preview of the car of tomorrow, not a fizzy, farting reminder of what’s already here. But if this trend of “trickle up” technology continues, then I have to question what relevance supercars actually hold, especially in the future. I guess wealthy accountants and fat, lazy automotive journalists still have to have something to drool over.
Surely I’m not the only person who feels this way. Surely I’m not the only person who thinks that these current crop of supercars suck. But if I am, then so be it.
Hi! I’m Blake Noble and I think writing about myself in the third person is awkward. So instead, I’ll just depreciate myself in the first person. I am a writer that once spent half a year blogging confused nonsense. I also wrote an article once that pissed off the entire Chrysler 2.2 fanclub. I drive a Dodge Dart because I was told its really an Alfa Romeo. You can follow me on Twitter here.