We’ve been here before, you know, but they’re at it again. It was another motor show (Frankfurt shut its doors last week) and yet another batch of limited-run production cars has been released.
For example, did you know you can now buy an Audi R8 that only drives its rear wheels? Hurrah. What a thing. Trouble is, there’ll only be 999 of them.
Thus Audi joins the ranks of those that build cars in very limited numbers, such as when Porsche said it was going to make the 911 R but only build 991 of them; or when Aston Martin unveiled a Zagato model but said there’ll only be 500; or when Ferrari or Lamborghini make… well, anything mildly outside their usual radar.
I’ll be honest: I don’t like it. I think it’s cynical, I think it’s unfair. If I’d been a loyal customer of a brand but they had told me they didn’t want my hard-earned money – that it wasn’t good enough for them – I’d be tempted not to give them any of it ever again.
I can understand that sometimes a car’s production run is limited because car makers have to sign deals with suppliers, or if they can only squeeze a certain number of models down the production line without disrupting regular model lines.
I can understand it when “we’d love to make more, but we simply can’t” because, say, production is finishing soon and they need to find ways to get rid of the old one. And I can even understand it when a car maker is restricting numbers but pushing the limits of how many cars it thinks it can sell. Porsche only made 918 918 Spyders, knowing it would have to work to find them all homes.