Some millionaires not worthy of supercar

TOBY HAGON
Last updated 13:13 11/03/2013
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup version at the Geneva Motor Show.
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup version at the Geneva Motor Show.
Hamann Range Rover Mystere at the Geneva motor show.
Hamann Range Rover Mystere at the Geneva motor show.
Ferrari's LaFerrari unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Ferrari's LaFerrari unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Lamborghini Veneno.
Lamborghini Veneno.

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Some of the world's wealthiest car buyers have been refused the privilege of buying the world's fastest car.

And more will be knocked back as the brand better known for Formula One success continues to vet almost 800 multi-millionaire would-be buyers for its radical P1.

The day McLaren revealed its P1 supercar to media at the 2013 Geneva motor show it admitted it had been vetting buyers on their suitability to own the carbon fibre-bodied two-seater that the maker claims will be the fastest road car around a race track.

The company is only producing 375 P1s, which is roughly half the number of people who have so far expressed an interest in owning one.

McLaren's head of communications and public relations, Wayne Bruce (or Man Bat, as some refer to him) says simply having a bulging bank account wasn't enough to own the P1.

"We showed it at Paris, we received almost 800 people saying 'yes, I want to buy it'," says Bruce. "We're now going to have to whittle that down because we've said we're only going to make 375 because to these customers they want exclusivity. They don't want to turn up outside the Dorchester Hotel ... and find another one parked there."

The P1 uses a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and electric motor to produce more power than the company's F1 cars.

"If you want one you have to apply and we assess you on your relationship currently with McLaren but also what you own already in terms of supercars," says Bruce.

"We're now going through all these applications and we've taken deposits for over half ... and we think it will be sold out within a few weeks."

The P1 is priced from £866,000, which translates to almost NZ$1.6 million.

Bruce refused to discuss details of how many would-be McLaren P1 buyers have been deprived the privilege, other than to suggest there were already some disappointed millionaires.

"Potentially we might have done, yes," he admitted when asked if any interested buyers had been informed they would not be getting a P1.

And anyone who tries to profiteer on the demand for the P1 may find themselves off the list for any future McLaren models.

"When you have twice as many people wanting to buy something ... we want to protect our customers who are good friends of McLaren and we want the cars to go to people who really want them, and will keep them and treasure them and not sell them the following day."

The P1 was one of a trio of supercars revealed at this year's Geneva motor show.

Ferrari showed its new LaFerrari flagship while Lamborghini revealed the limited edition Veneno that was designed to celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary.

While the Ferrari has an electric motor to assist its high revving V12 it cannot be recharged from a household powerpoint and driven purely on electricity, as the McLaren can.

Lamborghini's Veneno – of which only three will be sold – relies on more traditional brute force from a V12 engine.

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-Fairfax News Australia

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