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How to get $143,000 in options on your Ferrari

23 August 2013

Luxury supercar makers know their customers want a car like no one else has — an easy task to accomplish when building a few hundred vehicles a year, but a far harder one when building several thousand. Yet those same supercar makers also know that a shopper kicking tires on a $200,000 vehicle isn't going to haggle over options that the rest of us would find exorbitant — because it makes the car that much more uniqe. While Porsche has long stood as the master of upselling $2,000 painted wheels and $1,710 custom air vents, Ferrari may have finally surpassed its German rivals, based on this 458 Italia sporting $143,000 in options.

As described by British site FortyOneSix, this 458 dealer demonstration model is meant to show off what a typical British customer would add to his Italia to make it stand out from the rest of the Ferraris on the road. The numbers in the video above seem a little high to begin with; applying the current exchange rate of $1.55 to every British pound only increases their shock value. While some of the prices for add-ons like body parts and performance aids seem within reason, the extra costs for badging, detail painting and technology such as a built-in iPhone cord (a 4th generation version at that) for about $900 appear to come with a sizable Ferrari premium. (Even the Ferrari fire extinguisher costs triple what Porsche charges).

This little dash button may carry a higher cost-per-size than any other. The button engages the Ferrari front suspension lift system, a device that raises the car's body off the road by an extra 5 cm, so that it won't scrape those carbon-fiber diffusers and other expensive underbody parts on speed bumps and parking ramps. Retail price: $4,507, which if you're trying to protect your $225,000 car, probably seems like a worthwhile investment. (Why Ferrari couldn't have made the silhouette look like a 458 rather than a lifted Fiat 124 is a mystery).

Ferrari might be able to lower its prices if it wanted to, or was facing some kind of customer backlash, but there's a waiting list for the 7,000 cars it makes every year, and Ferrari's executives have made clear they will always keep production below demand. And this is only the options lists for the regular clientele; if you want to customize everything, Ferrari will gladly take you to its Corsa Cliente design studio in Maranello to select fabrics and colors for about a 50 percent premium on the base model's cost. If you want to go, book ahead, because at the moment the studio has all the business it can afford.

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