Short Comparison: 10 Exotic Car Makers

McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Pagani, Koenigsegg, Aston Martin, Maserati are some brands that many people cannot afford. However this cannot stop us from examining them from the technical aspect: since they represent the most state-of-the-art technologies in the current automotive industry.


It is hard to judge and rank these exotic car makers, due to the fact that building a car involves lots of different technical areas. In this article, I will try to provide you a high-level holistic view, showing you what is the “house special” for each of them.


They are good at car body and chassis design. Their experience comes from the F1 racing, and also the collaboration with Mercedes-Benz (they built the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren). However McLaren does not have the capability to design and build engines: Ricardo helps them with this.


Ferrari is good at every aspect of making a car: from car body to engine. This means Ferrari can design and build critical components without help from other OEM suppliers. Basically speaking, Ferrari supplies advanced technologies to the whole FIAT group.


Lower-end models are using Audi’s design; but high-end models are designed by itself. Lamborghini has similar technical strength as Ferrari (some experts consider Ferrari is a little bit “stronger” than Lamborghini)


This is an experimental brand created by Volkswagen, it has full technical support from the VW group, everything on it is the best of the best. But, look at the Bugatti Veyron’s MSRP!


All of its technologies come from BMW, so it is technically equivalent to BMW.


It is all Volkswagen technologies: for example the W12 engine is designed by VW; the 4.0L V8 is from Audi. One exception: the 6.75L V8 can be traced back to when Bentley was still owned by Rolls-Royce; after acquiring Bentley, VW hired Cosworth to update that engine.


They are good at building carbon fiber car chassis. However Pagani do not build engines – they source powertrain from Mercedes-AMG


They do some design, but implementation and manufacturing of many components are outsourced. The major reason why Koenigsegg can be successful is because: it positions its product pricing to be much higher than other “high volume” exotic car makers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, which means it does not compete within the same market. In other words: Koenigsegg does not has the capability to design and build cars with similar price as Ferrari/Lamborghini, and also has similar performance.

Aston Martin

The only advanced technology on their product is the full aluminum car body construction (VH platform). Other than that there is nothing to talk about. In recent years Aston Martin is focusing more on GT cars, not sports cars, so they are actually somewhat outdated in chassis and engine design. For example, Aston Martin does not have latest engine technologies such as: fuel direct-injection, dual-CVVT, VVL, forced induction etc. We have an article talks about this specifically.


Its chassis design skill is comparable to the 3 major German manufacturers. It gets its engine from Ferrari. However, due to the application purpose, engine used on Ferrari may not be suitable to use on daily driving luxury cars, see our technical review here.



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