Most of us will never own an exotic car. Maybe if we work hard and get some good luck along the way, we save up we can snag a Corvette or even a Porsche. But what about those can in fact afford the supercar, or even better drive it every day. Is it really worth it?
The experience of saddling up in an exotic car is exhilarating. It’s something most people can probably enjoy, but the experience of parking one next to a pickup truck and casually walking into the grocery store — like you don’t care if you might come back to a five-figure door ding — is not for everyone. Cost of ownership is just one of several factors you’ll need to consider if you want to daily drive an exotic.
Doug Demuro’s Daily Driven Ferrari
Those who read the popular automotive blog Jalopnik (and now Autotrader) will know the name Doug Demuro. Part car enthusiast, part journalist, Doug has a knack for performing automotive experiments with his own life so you don’t have to. If you guessed that one such experiment was daily driving an exotic, you’re right.
Doug’s choice of luxury “whip” is a red Ferrari, which he insists can be a fine daily driver at first. One year later, however, Demuro is singing a different tune. Having done battle with such hardships as transporting multiple people, a five-hundred-plus dollar tire patch and throngs of all-too-friendly Ferraristas disguised as everyday citizens, Doug throws in the towel.
If You Must Drive a Supercar Every Day
Practicality, fuel cost, the pangs of fear that grip you while parked — these are all reasons to avoid ever attempting to daily drive an exotic.
If, however, there’s enough thirty-weight running through your veins to motivate an attempt at this he-manly feat, there are good and bad choices when it comes to cars.
First off, avoid anything vintage — the driving dynamics of exotic cars have advanced in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years. Anything made in the 90s or earlier is liable to want to kill you, and was probably built with no consideration for visibility.
If you don’t die from lack of visibility, there’s whiplash and impact damage to consider. If you’re in an accident, you and the car are both in for some crunching. Ouch. Some of these cars require such contortion, you’re asking for neck pain and back issues. If you’re tall, forget it — the pedals or the steering wheel, or both, are too close or not close enough for comfort. If you’re not driving comfortably, you’re not driving safely.
This is why modern technologically advanced exotics have earned so much praise. Porsche’s 911 Turbo can seat four in a pinch, has all-wheel-drive for use in harsh climes and has a track record of great reliability. The Nissan GT-R offers the same intriguing combination if you’re more attracted to the pacific rim school of styling, and it does so at a discount.
Even iconic Italian automakers have been praised for the accessibility of their latest offerings. Ferrari’s FF four-seater certainly fits the bill of everyday exotic in the right hands — ones with very deep pockets, that is.
For those who can afford to sport a supercar every day, it’s probably a little like buying a pair of limited-edition sneakers. You get one to wear, and one to stash.
Scott Huntington is a writer and car fanatic from Harrisburg, PA. Check out his site offthethrottle.com or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.