Nothing gets a car lover’s heart pumping more than speeding down a backroad in a high-powered supercar. From their sheer horsepower to their otherworldly growls, the most desirable supercars have more in common with track cars than family sedans. Supercars can be toys like none other, but they can also serve as valuable assets for serious collectors. If you know what to look for in a supercar, you’ll be able to buy the one best suited to your needs.
What Is a "Supercar?"
Every car lover has their own definition of “supercar,” but there are a few commonalities between them. Overall, a supercar will offer performance that far exceeds that of a sports car with higher top speeds, more advanced technologies, and superior handling compared to its peers. Supercars are also defined by their exclusivity with only a relative handful of cars using the produced in every model. While yesterday’s supercars might be outclassed by a typical sedan today, they still maintain their mystique among collectors.
How Do You Determine the Best Supercars for the Money?
Here are a few factors to consider when looking for the best supercar for your money.
Supercars are renowned for their speed, but there isn’t any set range which distinguishes them from other cars. In general, they will offer top speeds much higher than what you can find in sports or family cars. They can also accelerate rapidly, often going from 0-to-60 miles per hour in three seconds or less. Some of yesterday’s supercars may be slower than today’s sedans, but many of them retain their status because they gained it relative to their contemporaries.
Supercars offer superior handling to other types of cars, offering a nimbleness and agility rarely found off the racetrack. Supercars are much closer to the ground than other cars, which lowers their center of gravity and overall inertia. At high speeds, this can also reduce drag as less air will be able to flow under the car. A supercar’s low profile can make it much easier to turn corners at high speeds, but it also means the car can easily bottom-out, damaging the underside.
Ironically, the features that make supercars so desirable among collectors also make them generally unsuitable for everyday usability. They often have far more horsepower, greater acceleration, and superior handling than other cars. However, they are exclusively built around these features, sacrificing other useful features such as storage space or seating. In addition, they are extremely valuable, meaning you’ll want to limit their use in situations where they could get damaged. However, a highly usable supercar may add to its value.
With their flashy appearance, meticulous crafting, and roaring engines, supercars have a certain appeal lacking in civilian vehicles. Some of the most desirable look more like spaceships than any car you’d typically see on the road. This helps to create a mystique around the supercars that set them, and their owners, in a class apart. The most iconic designs are memorable across generations, which can maintain their value for years to come.
As an Investment...
Buying a supercar as a toy is different from buying one as an investment, so it’s important to know what you want before you start shopping. Having all the bells and whistles does not necessarily mean it will retain its value. On the other hand, investment cars are an asset, and light damage or wear-and-tear can erode its value over time. While it’s impossible to tell what supercars will appreciate in value years from now, the most famous brands are typically your safest bets. However, newer brands may yet prove to be popular with collectors as they mature.
15 Supercars That Appreciate in Value
Here are some of the best cars to pick if you’re buying with an eye toward your portfolio.
1. 2015 McLaren P1
McLaren is one of the premier supercar makers in the world, and its hybrid P1 represents the pinnacle of its engineering capabilities. According to Hagerty, the market value of a P1 in Concours condition increased from $2.3 million in 2016 to $2.4 million in 2018. In 2016, a car in Excellent condition could sell for $2.2 million but today may be priced at $2.15 million. A car in Good or Fair condition in 2016 sold for $2.1 and $2 million, respectively, but might sell for $2 and $1.8 million today.
2. 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO SII
Admired by collectors worldwide for its sleek, elegant design and racing history, the 1964 Ferrari GTO SII is one of the most valuable cars in the world. According to Hagerty, in 2013, a car may have sold for $39 million, with prices increasing to $49.5 million in 2018. An Excellent condition vehicle in 2013 could have sold for $39 million, while in 2018 the same vehicle may have sold for $45 million. Hagerty also reports that vehicles in Good or Fair condition might have sold for in $27.5 million and $24 million 2013, compared to prices of $40 million and $36 million, respectively, in 2018.
3. 1998 Lamborghini Diablo VT
The iconic Lamborghini Diablo was designed to be the company’s flagship supercar, and the VT model offers the highest horsepower out of all Diablo variants. Hagerty reports that cars in Concours condition that sold in 2013 for $135,000 might sell in 2018 for $215,000. Excellent-condition vehicles could expect to sell for around $111,000 in 2013, but today might fetch $184,000 on the market. Cars that were in Good or Fair condition in 2013 could have sold for $98,000 or $87,000, respectively, while in 2018 they might be able to sell for $152,000 and $126,000, respectively.
4. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach
Unveiled in 2015, the Porsche 918 Spyder was the successor to the Carrera GT, while the Weissach is a highly desirable variant that uses lighter, advanced materials in its construction. Hagerty reports that cars sold in 2016 in Concours condition could be priced at $2.2 million, while in 2018 the same vehicle might sell for $2.25 million. Cars in Excellent condition from 2016 might have sold for $2.1 million, while in 2018 their price on the market could be $2 million. Cars in either Good or Fair condition could have sold for $2 million and $1.9 million in 2016, while in 2018 they might be worth $1.8 million and $1.6 million.
5. 2009 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
Built by hand, the 2009 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo combines racing and luxury elements to produce a car collectors all over the world love. Hagerty reports that a car in Concours condition could have sold for $395,000 in 2013, while in 2018 its market value may have appreciated to $665,000. A car in Excellent condition in 2013 could have been purchased for $350,000, while today it may command a price of $603,000. Cars in Good or Fair condition in 2013 could have sold for $314,500 and $260,000, respectively, while in 2018 they might sell for $527,000 and $433,000.
6. 1965 Ferrari 250 LM
One of the original supercars, the Ferrari 250 LM was famous for its racing performance and sleek, modern body. Hagerty reports that a 2013 car in Concours condition could sell for $13.5 million, while in 2018 its market price may be $21 million. In 2013, a car in Excellent condition could sell for $12 million, while in 2018 its market price may be $19 million. Cars in Good or Fair condition could sell for $10 million and $8.9 million in 2013, while their prices may have appreciated to $18 million and $17 million, respectively.
7. 2006 Ford GT
Limited to only 4,000 vehicles, the Ford GT represented a unique mix of nostalgia combined with the high speed and advanced technology. According to Hagerty, Concours-condition vehicles that sold for $209,000 in 2013 might sell for $398,000 today. Excellent condition vehicles with a 2013 market value of $186,5000 might sell for $332,000 in 2018. Cars in either Good or Fair condition may have had a market value of $166,000 and $153,000 in 2013, but could potentially sell for $275,000 and $216,000 in 2018.
8. 1998 McLaren F1
Known for its magnificent butterfly doors and its pioneering carbon-fiber body, the McLaren F1 was also the fastest production car until 2005, with a top speed of 240.1 miles per hour. The F1 is immensely popular among collectors, as cars in Concours condition that sold $8.9 million in 2013 might sell for $15.7 million today. Cars in Excellent condition in 2013 may have sold for $8.1 million, while in 2018 they might have a market price of $14.2 million. Cars that were in Good or Fair condition in 2013 may have had a market value of $7.2 million or $6.5 million, respectively, while they may have a market value of $12 million and $10.7 million in 2018.
9. 2007 Porsche Carrera GT
Porsche’s flagship supercar from the early Aughts still tops “Best-Of” lists and remains one of the most popular supercars among collectors. Hagerty reports that one of these in Concours condition might have sold for $475,000 in 2013, with prices rising to $891,000 in 2018. A car in Excellent condition in 2013 could have sold for $425,000, while in 2018 it might be worth $725,000. Cars in Good or Fair condition in 2013 may have had a market value of around $375,000 and $315,000 each, while in 2018 they may have appreciated to around $600,000 and $474,000, respectively.
10. 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4
Famed for its top speed which breaks 250 miles per hour and its powerful, 1000+ horsepower engine, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is one of the world’s premier supercars. Hagerty reports that cars sold in 2013 in Concours condition could be worth $1.3 million, while in 2018 they could have sold for $1.85 million. Vehicles in Excellent condition could sell for $1.1 million in 2013, while in 2018 they might sell for $1.65 million. Cars in Good or Fair condition could sell for $929,000 and $880,000 in 2013, while in 2018 they could be worth $1.25 million and $1.05 million.
11. 1992 Ferrari F40
Famous for its sleek, sporty body, the F40 defined the look for supercars when it was first released in 1987. A vehicle in Concours condition could have sold for $975,000 in 2013, while in 2018 Hagerty report a possible market value of $1.45 million. Vehicles in Excellent condition could sell for $896,000 in 2013, while in 2018 they may have appreciated to $1.3 million. Cars in Good and Fair condition in 2013 could have sold for $837,000 and $785,000, while in 2018 they might be worth $1.2 million and $1.1 million.
12. 1999 Acura NSX 3.2L Zanardi Edition
The NSX was renowned for its rare combination of and driveability, but the Zanardi Edition was limited to only 49 vehicles. A car in Concours condition sold in 2013 could be worth $69,800, while in 2018 it could be worth $135,000. In 2013, a car in Excellent condition could sell for $57,200, but in 2018 it may have appreciated to $110,000. Cars in Good or Fair condition in 2013 could be worth $49,100 and $41,800, while those sold in 2018 may be worth $86,000 and $69,300.
While it’s tempting to buy for future value, it’s always hard to predict what tomorrow’s buyers will want. Buying for fun today could pay off tomorrow, but even cars that are well-maintained might not appreciate if they don’t excite buyers. There’s a supercar for every buyer, so it helps to learn about all of your options before making a decision. You might be surprised and could find that the car you buy today could be tomorrow’s legend.