Lamborghini is an Italian supercar brand which is widely known as a luxury sports car manufacturer in the world. Lamborghini cars have always been among the world’s most expensive sports cars for their aerodynamic design, performance and exclusivity. Depending on the model and variant, the starting price of Lamborghini cars ranges from 200 thousand to 500 thousand dollars. The base price of the Lamborghini Urus 2022 model, which is the only SUV model of Lamborghini, started from 230,000 dollars ($229,495). Besides, the brand’s flagship supercar Lamborghini Aventador has a starting price of more than 500 thousand dollars. Apart from the regular models, Lamborghini’s limited edition and concept cars are usually more expensive. The limited edition Lamborghini Egoista Concept car released on Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary in 2013 is priced at $117 million. In addition, the starting price of the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster car released in the same year was 4.5 million dollars, which eventually sold for 8.3 million dollars making it the most expensive car in the history of Lamborghini.
The journey of the italian supercar brand Lamborghini started in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini from the dispute with Enzo Ferrari, the founder of another famous Italian sports car brand Ferrari. That year, Lamborghini’s first model, the Lamborghini 350 GTV, was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show. The 350 GTV model was well received by all, but Ferruccio was not satisfied at all with the model. Accordingly, the next version of this model, the 350 GT model, was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1964. Like the previous model, the GT model was well received and that year Lamborghini manufactured 13 cars for customers. When the Lamborghini 400 GT was released in 1965 and the four-seater 400 GT 2+2 the following year, both models were well accepted among the customers as well. In the years that followed, Lamborghini released models such as the Miura, Islero GT, Espada, Countach, and Diablo.
Although Lamborghini changed ownership several times due to the financial crisis, however, in the late 20th century, Audi AG, a subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group, finally acquired the company for $110 million. After coming under Audi AG’s hood, Lamborghini production restarted with The Murcielago and Gallardo models. Meanwhile, in 2008, Lamborghini unveiled the Revention, a series of exclusive luxury limited edition cars. The Reventon series has only 21 cars of the Coupe model and only 15 cars of the Roadster model worldwide. In addition, while two prototypes of Lamborghini’s popular Venono series were unveiled in 2013, only nine Venono Roadsters were produced in 2014. Lamborghini’s current product line-up includes the Aventador, the Huracan, and the Urus SUV in three different variants. But these cars are among the most expensive cars in the current global automobile market. In addition, every few years Lamborghini produces a small number of limited edition cars that are sold at a higher price.
Released in 2006, One of the 20 Lamborghini Murcielago Versace Editions was sold for around $711,000 ($710,839). However, in Lamborghini’s history, the most expensive car sold is the limited edition Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which was released in 2014 with a price tag of $4.5 million. One of the nine cars of this model was sold at an auction in Switzerland for $8.3 million. But, what exactly makes these Lamborghini cars so expensive?
Why So Expensive?
Lamborghini cars are not usually mass-produced like regular commuter cars. Lamborghini mainly manufactures multiple variants of Huracán, Aventador, and Urus in three segments: entry-level supercar, flagship supercar, and SUV. In addition, the brand produces limited edition and concept cars that are made to order only. While the world’s top automobile manufacturers produce and deliver millions of vehicles annually, Lamborghini delivered a total of 9,233 vehicles in 2022, of which 5,367 were SUVs (Lamborghini Urus). That is, the company delivered only 3,866 (Huracán-3113, Aventador-753) supercars that year. Porsche, another luxury car manufacturer in the world, delivered about 310 thousand cars in the same year, of which more than 40 (40,410) thousand units was the brand’s most exclusive model, the Porsche 911.
Lamborghini’s rival Ferrari, also delivered more than 11 thousand (11,155) vehicles in 2021, each of which was a high-performance car or supercar. Lamborghini mainly produces different variants of each model in very limited volumes to maintain the exclusivity of their cars. And due to this limited volume of production, the cars are also very expensive. For example, where the price of a Lamborghini Urus starts from 230,000 dollars ($229,495), SUVs from other brands start from 25 to 35 thousand dollars. The price of the Lamborghini Urus is so high because Lamborghini does not mass manufacture their SUVs like other brands. Lamborghini can mass produce their SUVs at will, but to maintain the exclusivity of the brand, their utility vehicles are also produced in limited volumes. In addition, Lamborghini launches limited edition car models based on specific occasions, of which only a small number of units are produced. For example, only 1 unit of the Lamborghini SC20 model car was released in 2020.
In addition, the same year saw the release of three more limited editions of the Lamborghini Sián Coupe, Lamborghini Essenza SCV12, and Lamborghini Sián Roadster models with production units of 63, 40, and 19 respectively. And these cars are produced based on order after they are announced, so not just anyone can buy the cars. Due to Lamborghini cars’ status as luxury and status symbols, Lamborghini has been successful in creating brand value as an exclusive luxury sports supercar company.
R&D and Design
Another significant reason why Lamborghini cars are so expensive is their R&D expenditure. Lamborghini invests over $100 million annually in R&D for exotic materials, advanced technology, engines, chassis, and car design. The company has to hire expert designers for aerodynamic body design, and interior and exterior design of Lamborghini cars. Additionally, experts are hired to research on the types of materials and techniques to use in production, which can be quite expensive.
Apart from this, since the brand’s SUVs and flagship supercars use high-performance engines in every vehicle, Lamborghini also spends a large amount on research to build the chassis, body parts, and to make engines more powerful. In addition to the aerodynamic shape of the car body, the cars require a lot of careful engineering and design, to ensure optimum performance. Cars undergo a trial-and-error process to ensure performance while minimizing engineering flaws.
Moreover, compared to regular cars, Lamborghini cars use more rare and more exotic materials in various parts. According to a source from VehicleFreak, Lamborghini cars use materials like carbon fiber, genuine leather, aluminum, magnesium, and high-tech electronics. Lamborghini cars are made much lighter to enhance speed and performance. The Lamborghini chassis, starting from the body and all other components, and the engine are made as light as possible. Carbon fiber, which is much stronger and lighter than steel, is the most used material in the production of Lamborghini cars. The company also uses genuine leather to design the car’s interior, which is quite expensive. The use of such materials makes the exterior and interior of the cars more premium and sophisticated, thereby increasing the production cost of the car.
The manufacturing process of Lamborghini cars is quite time-consuming. According to a source from ABC News, a customer has to wait from six months to a year for a Lamborghini car. On the other hand, the Japanese multinational brand Toyota can produce about 24 thousand (23,814) brand-new cars per day. Lamborghini does all of its production in just two manufacturing plants, which takes a lot of time. Engine installation in every Lamborghini car is done entirely manually to ensure high assembly precision. Additionally, all leatherwork for the seats and interior design of Lamborghini cars is entirely hand-stitched by expert craftsmen. Furthermore, the components of Lamborghini cars, such as the chassis, suspension, braking system, and intricate cooling system, are quite complex, so manufacturing and assembling them are complex and time-consuming tasks.
Lamborghini offers its customers many customization options on the cars. Since Lamborghini manufactures only a limited number of cars from a particular model, the owners of those cars can customize their units according to their preferences to differentiate them from others. In view of this, Lamborghini allows the customization of their cars including interior design, unique color body paint and many other components. Moreover, because these customizations have to be done very carefully, the manufacturing cost of the car also increases a lot. Also, the more rare and expensive materials and components the customer chooses, the more expensive the cars become.
The brand value of Lamborghini is one of the reasons behind the cars being expensive. Lamborghini has created their unique brand value through their high-performance sports cars since its inception. As a result, when someone buys these cars, they have to pay extra for the brand value along with the car. Also, Lamborghini does not do television or media-based traditional promotion or branding.
Therefore, Lamborghini cars are only targeted at wealthy and high-status customers. According to Lamborghini, advertising on TV would mean that mass people would see this ad, but as their potential customer base of cars is less than 1 percent there, it’s not worth of conducting the traditional promotion. This car brand has only 1 percent of the customer base in the USA alone. Besides, affordable car manufacturers are already running a lot of TV advertisements. Therefore, Lamborghini doesn’t want to compromise its brand identity by advertising in a traditional system. However, the brand is promoted on various social media platforms, content media, magazines, dealer promotions, and on various car-based TV programs. Lamborghini unveils and launches their cars, especially at motor shows. Furthermore, Lamborghini features their cars in various high-budget and reputable Hollywood movies, which is more expensive than traditional promotions.