Why is McLaren so cheap?

As a supercar fanatic and avid Forza player, I get this question a lot from fellow gamers when talking about our dream garage lineups. McLarens often punch above their weight class performance-wise, while carrying lower price tags than elite hypercar rivals.

Based on industry analysis and chatter among auto journalists, it largely comes down to reputation for poor reliability, overproduction suppressing exclusivity, and the extreme capabilities of McLaren‘s "entry-level" Sport Series models.

Reliability woes hurt resale value

McLaren‘s first road cars arrived in the 1990s and issues with faulty electronics, leaks, and glitchy gearboxes plagued those initial models. And reliability problems have persisted even into the 720S and Senna. Owners routinely complain about niggling quality control issues and lots of time spent in the service bay.

This reputation for unreliability tanks resale value. After 3 years, McLarens lost ~45% of value on average based on historical data. That‘s nearly 20% worse depreciation than comparable Ferraris!

YearAverage Resale Value
Year 1$320k
Year 2$270k
Year 3$175k

No one wants the headache of future repair bills factored into a used McLaren purchase. And word spreads quickly among collectors to steer clear.

This instills fear in buyers and next owners end up shouldering the rapid depreciation. But as I‘ll discuss later, the upside is cheaper entry pricing to enjoy McLaren‘s marvelous driving dynamics.

Flooding the market

In the 2010s, McLaren ambitiously ramped up production capacity across its model range with sights set on quadrupling sales. The volume wasn‘t there to match supply, which concentrates more pre-owned inventory into the secondary market.

Annual Production Stats20172021
Sport Series1,500 cars~4,000 cars
Super Series500 cars~1,000 cars
Ultimate Series106 cars399 cars

Flooding the market, rather than optimizing for exclusivity like Ferrari, puts downward pressure on retained value. And means buyers have more negotiating leverage for steeper purchase discounts.

Personally, I‘ll take the trade-off as it brings the McLaren experience into reach for more enthusiasts like myself!

Entry-models punch above their weight

The McLaren 540C and 570S models offer astonishing performance that can trade blows with pricier supercars costing twice as much or more. We‘re talking 0-60 in under 3 seconds quick and over 200 mph top speeds.

Some real-world performance stats:

Model0-60 TimeTop SpeedPrice
570S2.8s204 mph$192k
720S2.8s212 mph$299k

Considering that a base 720S crests $300k and a loaded one rockets over $400k, the sub-$200k Sport Series cars seem like incredible bargains to me.

The minor performance gaps almost feel negligible rather than proportional to the pricing differences. Not to mention cheaper running costs and insurance payments too for the 570S.

Still an outstanding value

Despite reputational dings dragging down used pricing, McLaren still overdelivers at each price bracket.

Lightweight chassis and construction, Formula 1 tech like the ingenious mid-engine layout, and accessible supercar potency make McLarens enticing options. Not many automakers can blend pedigree, driver engagement, and real-world usability like McLaren manages even today.

For me as an avid Forza fan, I‘d happily save up for an entry-level 570S as my realistic dream car. Maybe someday McLaren will even showcase their new rides in the Forza franchise!

Similar Posts