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The High-Performance Supercar Is the Hot New Trend

Here’s a reality of the supercar world right now: every supercar has a “high performance” version. It used to be that just buying a supercar meant you got an ultra-special, limited-edition, high-performance vehicle, but that’s no longer really true. Now, you have to not just get a supercar, but get the rare, limited edition version of the supercar that’s even more super.

Allow me to explain. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, BMW started making high-performance “M” versions of its vehicles — and suddenly, that’s what everyone seemed to want: a BMW M car, which was more special and sporty than a regular BMW. Soon, Mercedes-Benz had “AMG” for the same purpose, and Audi was making “S” and “RS” cars that accomplished the same goal: to make people want to spend more for an even more special car.

Porsche was doing the same, though in much more limited numbers: there were special, ultra-rare, lightweight versions of the 911 that inspired more enthusiasm and excitement than the regular models. They cost more, they often had less equipment to save weight, and they brought lots of interest to the brand.

Ferrari seemingly watched this happen and joined the club in 2004 with the Challenge Stradale — a high-performance version of the Ferrari 360 Modena, which was already a high-performance car. The market hasn’t been the same since. Ever since then, basically every exotic car has offered a high-performance version — and it’s now to the point where you don’t have a “special” exotic car unless you have the high-performance version.

Consider, for instance, the following: Ferrari 430 Scuderia, Ferrari 488 Pista, Ferrari F12tdf, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, Lamborghini Huracan Performante, Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition, McLaren 600LT, McLaren 675LT, Porsche 911 GT3RS, Porsche 911 GT2RS, and dozens of others that have all cropped up in the last few years. Even the Bugatti Veyron now has a special, high-performance version in the Bugatti Divo. The Koenigsegg Agera wasn’t enough, so they made the RS. This goes on and on.

The simple reality is that, in today’s world, it seems that just having a supercar isn’t enough, and just making a supercar isn’t enough — they’ve become too common for many of the people who own supercars. You now must make a “special” supercar to distinguish “regular” supercar owners from the elite few — and people who have a lot of supercar history seemingly only want these “special” models, rather than be lumped in with the masses who have the standard Lamborghini Huracan, the Ferrari 488, the Porsche 911 GT3, and on and on.

It’s an interesting world we’re living in, where “super” supercars have become all the rage — but given their popularity, it doesn’t seem like this trend is going to slow down anytime soon.

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  1. It’s funny how BMW gets all the praise but Chevy did this for DECADES before anyone with the SS model trim.
    IMO Supercar manufacturers should bring more entry level cars to  the market NOT more high-performance cars, Just imagine if Lamborghini built a direct Corvette competitor for ~90-100k with Lambo styling and rear-engine, They could get away with a V8 or a turbocharged V6 and they would sell like hotcakes but since they are part of the VW group they never will since Porche fills this niche.
    So Ferrari, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON!? Also if they made inexpensive copies of the F40 and Testarossa of course with modern tech with perhaps a more pedestrian engine they would sell like crazy especially to the boomers, Gen-X and some early Millennials, They could differentiate them some so they do clearly show they are not the originals but styled like them, They could still make big bucks off of them.
    But that will never happen, They cater to people who want exclusive cars so they can make lower peons envious.

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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