Are Supercars Getting Too Vulgar?

I hate being Mr Negative-Pants, but some of the images I’m seeing at the start at the Geneva Motor Show are making me a little uneasy. I subscribe to the Richard Hammond theory that supercars are meant to be stupendous, they’re meant to be an event. But isn’t this going a little too far?

This is the new Ferrari, which is officially referred to simply as LaFerrari. True. I don’t mind the name at all, actually. What I’m having trouble with is the compartmentalised design:


What am I talking about, you say?

It looks like the car has been designed in bits and then those bits have been added together, or something. The design doesn’t flow. It doesn’t lead your eye from one place to another in a ordered way. It’s like there are 10 different design elements screaming “Look at me!” all at once.

The front wheel arches, which house but seem to be a different element from the healamps. The V shape on the hood. The deep vented doors. That crease before the rear vents. It’s like the Mr Potato Head of supercars – all stuck together.

Here’s how a Ferrari should look:


To me, the F12 Berlinetta flows. It’s got presence and power but it’s also got elegance. Maybe the LaFerrari needed a touch of madness in its design in order to command the crazy price they’ll as for what’s being talked of as their Enzo successor, their fastest car ever.


Another offender, in my books – and I’m really loathe to say this because I know a lot of people already love this car – is the Lamborghini Veneno.

The looks aren’t the only thing that are slightly offensive with this car, but let’s start there:

Lamborghini Veneno Top

This is even more disjointed than the LaFerrari! It’s as if it’s made from smoothed-over Lego. There are just way too many hard edges and holes in this design.

Here’s another view. Is this a car or a super-expensive, giant cheese grater?

Lamborghini Veneno

Here’s what else is vulgar about this car. Ferrari have been mocked from pillar to post about their brand building and merchandising but Lamborghini deserve to steal their position as the #1 over-hyped supercar maker – and it’s all because of the Veneno.

They’re only making four of them and they’re only selling three of the four. They’ll keep the first one for themselves. They’re asking 3 MILLION EUROS for the car. Three-freaking-million and yet it’s only got just over 70% of the power of a Veyron or Koenigsegg.

Let me say this plainly – I don’t think it can do what a three-million-Euro car should do in terms of actually being a car. It’s theatrical, but it’s not a patch on some cars that sell for a third of the price.

That Lamborghini have sold all three of these is a masterclass in marketing, or suckerteering (a word I just made up).

But back to the looks – can you really say that you love this automotive version of Predator? Does it fill you with automotive passion or simply juice you up because you might induce some fear into some lowly Porsche driver? There’s a massive difference there.

Lamborghini Veneno


I’m a little less sure about including this third car because I actually quite like it. However, this photo of the McLaren P1 in yellow has not done it any favours.

McLaren P1

Is it just me or does that look a little like a flouro basketball shoe from the mid-2000’s?

I’ll take mine in metallic grey, please.


A supercar’s allure should be in its sense of theatre, not in its costume. The costume should add to the sense of theatre but it shouldn’t be the whole show. It’s up to the engine, the handling and the interior to add to that external design and complete the package.

I’m quite sure that all of these supercars are extraordinary to drive, but there’s something that’s just a little too brash about the way they present themselves. The most alluring always manage to hold something back.


And yes, in a statement that people who know me will think is totally predictable, let me just say that Koenigsegg have got it just right with Agera. It’s a beautiful design that states its intent with purpose but also flows and is completely functional. The same goes for the Pagani Hayauararauyirara.

Here’s an example of Koenigsegg handing Lamborghini their own arse in terms of hyper/supercar vehicle design. The Koenigsegg Hundra has wheels made of carbonfibre – an industry first. The front wheels weigh just 4.5 kilos each (the rears weigh 6.5 kilos). The Hundra has been sold to an owner in Hong Kong. It’s a one-of-a-kind vehicle with over 1,100hp and it has been sold for less than half the price of the Veneno.

If you can sort out some logic amongst all that, please let me know.


How do you think a supercar should look? I know that people paying this sort of money want to stand out from the crowd, but aren’t some of these taking things just a little too far?