Market Watch: Ferrari Special
Last week Ferrari announced their brand-new replacement for the 488 GTB called the F8 Tributo and whilst it might be evolution rather than revolution, we thought it would be a good chance to delve deeper into the modern Ferrari market and weigh up some of the different buying decisions that are out there for Ferrari collectors and enthusiasts.
Enzo vs LaFerrari (Hypercars)
Whilst McLaren and Aston Martin seem intent on building as many hypercars as possible, Ferrari appear to be sticking to their tradition of releasing a new “halo” Ferrari once a decade, with a LaFerrari replacement probably not due until 2022, maybe later. This helps maintain that extra exclusivity of these halo Ferraris and this will ensure collectability and desirability remains very firm for the foreseeable future.
The LaFerrari remains the most sought after and by far the most valuable of the “Holy Trinity” hypercars and whilst values may have softened in the last 6 months as Brexit fears and global economic uncertainty have taken a toll, investors and collectors are still seeing the long term potential and importance of this model and we have seen quite a few sold in 2019 already.
No Ferrari collection is complete without the Ferrari Enzo though, and with only 399 cars built worldwide, an iconic design and named after the man himself, this is as good as it gets when it comes to collectability. Values have remained largely unaffected by recent widespread economic turmoil and with so few around finding a world class Enzo still remains the top of the tree for many collectors and investors.
The choice between a LaFerrari and an Enzo is a difficult one, with values now in close proximity of each other. The LaFerrari’s vastly improved performance, modern looks and technology is sure to appeal to those who like to drive and want the latest thing, but the Enzo is a rarer car and arguably more iconic. For those that want the full “halo” set then the F50, F40 and 288 GTO are all magnificent cars in their own right which have risen in value substantially over the last few years and should continue to do so over the long term. The F40 remains the holy grail for many as a driver’s car but much rarer production numbers and a removable roof mean the F50 might hold the aces when it comes to investment potential.
599 GTO vs F12 TDF (Limited Edition V12s)
The choice between an F12 TDF and a 599 GTO remains an interesting one. Buoyed by a strong market and the fact that they were originally so difficult to get hold of, some TDFs were fetching in excess of £1m when they first landed on the second-hand market. Whilst this has cooled off in the last year or so the TDF remains a hugely appealing proposition with examples now available for around the £800K mark. The TDF could be one of the last naturally aspirated V12 limited editions before Ferrari moves it’s production to concentrate on hybrid powertrains. Combine that with striking looks, astounding performance and only 799 worldwide the F12 TDF is assured of it’s place as one of Ferrari’s most important models of recent times.
In a similar way to how the Enzo compares to the LaFerrari, the 599 GTO shares a similar theme when compared to the F12 TDF. The GTO is both rarer and carries a name which instantly resonates with the upper echelons of Ferrari’s history due to those 3 letters – G.T.O. What can be considered the world’s most important and valuable car the 250 GTO is the Mona Lisa of the automotive world and there is only 3 models in Ferrari’s history to share that GTO abbreviation which includes the 288 GTO and the 599 GTO. Whilst both the F12 TDF and 599 GTO carry track orientated underpinnings the original basis for the car was as a grand tourer so these cars are more usable than the likes of the “halo” Ferraris and of course carry a more achievable price-tag. The 599 GTO having reached the heights of £800K a couple years back are now available for around £600K and close to £400K for an LHD example which in today’s world of £2m+ hypercars actually represents pretty good value.
The collector’s choice though will undoubtedly be the 599 SA Aperta, with only 80 cars worldwide, this convertible version of the 599 GTB but packed with the drivetrain, engine and gearbox of the GTO is one the rarest modern Ferrari’s ever created. Only 8 right-hand drive UK cars were built and it is those examples which are so extremely cherished with values for a delivery mileage example in excess of £1.5m. For a left-hand drive example with some miles on the clock expect to pay closer to £1m, but what we do know with Ferraris is that with rarity comes importance and with importance comes value so you can be confident that a 599 SA Aperta will a wise long-term investment.
458 Speciale vs 488 Pista (Limited Edition V8s)
There is an ongoing debate between the 458 Speciale and the 488 Pista as to which one is the better car and the better buy. Whilst we have no doubt that for overall performance the 488 Pista being the newer car is naturally going to be faster, more economic and is likely to have a superior drive with all the latest technology that Ferrari has to offer. There is a but though, the 458 Speciale has already gone down in history as an all-time great which finds that perfect sweet spot of performance and beauty. Then you weigh up the important factor of the Speciale being the very last naturally aspirated V8 that Ferrari will probably ever build. In the face of falling values for it’s rivals (GT3 RS, 675 LT, Aventador SV), the Speciale has shown immunity to overall market conditions and has more or less stayed very steady in the last 12-18 months with demand remaining strong into 2019.
What is very apparent though is that there is higher demand for the very latest models and especially for their limited-edition cars. In order to get a 488 Pista, unless you are a VIP Ferrari customer the likelihood is that your local Ferrari dealer might have persuaded you into buying one of their less desirable models such as the Portofino or the GTC4 Lusso which are pretty much guaranteed to lose money, in order to have the pleasure of buying a Pista which in today’s market is pretty guaranteed to make you money when you sell it. The chances are you would do very well to break even when factoring in both the depreciation on a Lusso and a premium on a Pista so it’s not an easy decision.
It’s early days in the Pista market but some owners are looking to achieve unrealistic prices. Whilst premiums for these types of cars will likely be at their highest during the first batch of deliveries, the hype will eventually begin to wear off and the premiums should start to come down as more cars come onto the market, before they find a more stable level later in the year. There will of course be a 488 Pista Spider, which if rumours are to be believed will not be a limited number car either and if anything this should help build the desirability of the 458 Speciale Aperta which was limited to 499 cars worldwide. The smart money at the moment is probably to buy a Speciale as Pista prices are likely to soften over the course of the year. That being said the Pista is an awe-inspiring car to look at and the appeal of having the latest and hottest car of the moment is incredibly tempting.
Current Production Models
Outside of the limited-edition cars there are still plenty of good options, especially when we’re talking about used cars which represent good savings off the list price.
The 812 Superfast seems to be the exception to the rule that Ferrari’s main production cars will lose money. Ferrari has mastered supply and demand for this model and it’s pretty impressive that almost a year into production that 812 Superfasts are still achieving over list even as a second-hand car. When compared with the price of a F12 TDF, the Superfast looks good value and if the Superfast is good value then the F12berlinetta is remarkable value as they can now be bought sub £200K. As a grand tourer the F12 remains one of the very best out there so is an enticing proposition for many but those waiting for the 812 Superfast to come down to those price levels could be waiting a long time.
If you need that added practicality of 4 seats then the GTC4Lusso is the current go-to model with both V8 and V12 versions available. The V12 carries a heftier price-tag and seems to depreciate more heavily from new but as a used car then the V12 makes a lot more sense as it has 4WD whereas the Lusso T is rear-wheel drive only so is perhaps not the all year round daily driver that you want from a “practical” Ferrari. What does represent very good value is the Ferrari FF which have been steadily coming down over the last few years with some early cars with high mileage available for not much more than £100K and we can’t see them going down much more. For a nice spec low mileage example you’ll probably have to pay closer to £150K and although they may appear a little dated when compared to the Lusso the FF is still a fantastic car which ticks a lot of boxes.
The mid-engine V8 Ferrari tends to be the most popular car in Ferrari’s range but whether it remains that way with a Ferrari SUV on the horizon we’ll have to wait and see! For those that want one of their more modern interpretations there is really 3 cars to choose from in this sector – the 488 GTB, the 458 Italia and of course now the F8 Tributo. The gap between 488 and 458 values seems to be edging ever closer and whilst we would say 488s are probably more in demand due to being the newer model, the 458 does tug on the heartstrings a little more and as mentioned before being the last naturally aspirated V8 the 458 might well turn out to be more valuable in the long run. The F8 Tributo has only just been announced and there is no doubt the order books will be filling up fast but being more of an evolution of the 488 GTB it is likely to follow a similar path to the 488 with early cars fetching premiums before an influx of them coming onto the market.
The Ferrari Portofino has recently replaced the California as the entry level Ferrari and will remain a fine alternative to the likes of the more expensive 488 Spider. With the 2+2 seating arrangement and a folding hard-top the Portofino will appeal to those that want the Ferrari lifestyle with that added level of comfort and convenience without the need for the hardcore performance. Whilst there are not many Portofinos on the open market yet and there is believed to be a long waiting list to order one, we wouldn’t think of the Portofino as a premium car but we would expect them to hold their value reasonably well over the course of the next 6 months but by the end of summer values should start to drop off as more become available. The California may be the old model now but is still a very worthy addition to any garage and represents good value for money, in particular a California T shares many similarities with the Portofino but with a huge £ saving.
What does the future hold?
Aside from the F8 Tributo which will debut shortly at the Geneva Motor Show with deliveries expected later in the year, the model on everyone’s lips is the Ferrari SUV, rumoured to be called the Purosangue but it’s unlikely to be revealed in full form any time soon.
We are likely to see a V6 Hybrid engine make it’s debut soon possibly in a new model range based on the Ferrari Dino, whilst we are starting to get excited by the potential of limited edition hardcore version of the 812 Superfast. The other model worth mentioning is the SP1 and SP2 Monza, which is a limited edition speedster variant and belongs in Ferrari’s new “Icona” series which will pay homage to it’s past but don’t expect to see many of these on the road with strictly limited numbers and with no windscreen these are probably better off sitting in a collection than they are getting flies in the eyes of Ferrari’s VIP customers!