How Easy Is Parking A Supercar?
There are a few things you very quickly learn when driving or owning your first supercar. How extremely hard parking a supercar can be is one of the very first!
When I picked up my first ever supercar, a 2010 Audi R8 V10 coupe I was super excited. It was the first supercar I’d ever had the luxury of owning, and better yet I was picking it up brand new from Audi themselves.
I’ve spent years driving supercars around country roads and different tracks around the world. However I’d never had a “real world” driving experience. I’d never driven through skinny village streets, nor had I ever tried parking in a small public car park when nipping to the shops.
How Wide Are Supercars?
Going back to my first supercar owner experience, picking up the R8 was a dream come true. It had three pedals, looked stunning, was amazing to drive fast or slow, the noise was something else and it was 1,930 mm wide… Yes, that is right, 1,930 mm meaning it was horribly hard to park almost anywhere.
To put that into perspective a regular Audi A3 is only 1,793 mm wide, and a good size sedan such as the BMW F30 3 Series is only 1,810 mm.
This shows that the R8 is a whopping 8% wider than an average car. When many car parks in the UK and Europe are tight enough already just trying to park a regular sedan car, that extra 8% makes the world of difference!
What Is The Widest Supercar?
The width of the Audi R8 is certainly an issue that I wish I truly contemplated when I purchased it. Not once during the buying process did I think, “How am I going to park in that multi storey car park in this.” However, the issues I faced when driving and parking the R8 pale in comparison when you look at the widths of other supercars.
As mentioned, the R8 V10 measures in at 1,930 mm. Generally this is a rather average width when you look at other supercars. Many supercars are around or just over this width, although there are two stand out winners (or losers depending on how you look at it) when it comes to the widest supercar.
The ground breaking Bugatti Veyron topped many lists, and became the first car to do many things, including becoming the fastest car in the world when it was launched.
The chaps in the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France must have thought they’d achieved another feat. Producing the widest supercar in the world. They managed to achieve a width of 1,998 mm with the Veyron. That is 4% wider than my already wide R8.
However Lamborghini, a company who never like being outdone, thought they’d go one better when they designed their Aventador. The Lamborghini Aventador measures in at a staggering 2,030 mm. Becoming the first road car to break the 2 meter wide barrier.
Below I’ve listed a selection of the widest supercars in the world.
Lamborghini Aventador – 2,030 mm
Bugatti Veyron – 1,998 mm
Ferrari 488 – 1,952 mm
BMW i8 – 1,942 mm
Aston Martin DB11 – 1,940 mm
Audi R8 V10 2016 – 1,940 mm
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT – 1,939 mm
Audi R8 V10 2010 – 1,930 mm
Jaguar F-Type – 1,923 mm
What Is The Skinniest Supercar?
Width can be a great asset when it comes to car handling. Simply put, the wider a car is the less weight transfer will happen when cornering. Lower amounts of weight transfer allow for the tyres to have a more equal amount of grip, leading to faster cornering.
On the flip side, the wider the car the less practical it’ll be and the less usable it would be on the road. At the end of the day, most people who purchase a supercar don’t do so with track racing in mind.
There are a few cars with supercar qualities, and supercar speed which are much skinnier. Some are even skinnier than a regular BMW F32 3 Series.
Here is a short list of the skinniest supercars you can buy.
Lotus Exige – 1,730 mm
Porsche Cayman – 1,801 mm
Honda NSX (First Gen) – 1,810 mm
McLaren F1 – 1,820 mm
Lotus Evora – 1,850 mm
Porsche 911 Carrera 2019 – 1,852 mm
Challenges With Public Car Parking
As I found out with my first supercar experience, there are a multitude of issues that can arise when coming face to face with a public car park.
I can recall with significant fear, the feeling that I felt when I had driven in to a multi storey car park and was presented with a ramp, not too dissimilar from this…
To combat this a lot of supercars implement a suspension lift facility. These systems work by the driver pushing a button which raises the front of the car up so you can tackle ramps and speed bumps head on. These can be absolute life savers!
I once drove a Lamborghini Gallardo through the streets of Chelsea in London with the owner in the passenger seat. And other than everyone taking photos every time we stopped at a traffic light everything was going swimmingly well.
We then came upon a temporary speed bump… To call this a speed bump is only telling half the story, this had more in common with a small mountain. It was in the road due to road maintenance, but that didn’t matter. We still had the issue of driving up and over the speed bump.
Coming from an Audi R8 with no suspension adjustments other than shock absorber stiffness, I thought this was going to be a long job. With the passenger / owner jumping out and guiding me slowly over. However he must have seen the panic in my face as he smiled and pressed a small button on the instrument cluster.
That button was the suspension lift button, which rose the front end of the car up by 40mm. In this situation it was a life saver.
Then There Is The Worry That Someone Will Ding Your Supercar
Sometimes getting in to a car parking space is only one half of the problem. My issue when parking in a public car park was the constant fear that someone will ding my pride and joy.
With modern supercars being so wide, not only is it difficult for the owner to park, it also makes getting in to and out of any cars parked in adjacent spots that much trickier.
During 9 years of supercar ownership there have been a few small incidents where I have returned to my supercar to find it with a small dent in the side panel. And those small dents were easily pulled out.
However nothing can stop that feeling of anticipation and nervousness as you’re walking back to your parked supercar.
It makes you want to wrap it in bubble wrap every time you leave it for more than 5 minutes!
Introducing the Secret Supercar Car Park in London
After all of the struggles documented above that many supercar owners fear, it is refreshing to find one of the securest car parks in the world hidden underneath London.
Under the streets of London are two “bat caves” which are home to hundreds of the most expensive cars in the city. Cars such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bugattis are parked in the facility where it costs £110 per week.
The facility itself is owned by ex Ferrari Formula 1 team member Tim Earnshawe. He started the facility called Windrush over 13 years ago.
When you check your car in to the Windrush facility you are given a full condition report detailing the exact condition of the car. Your car is valeted, air dried for 24 hours and photos are taken.
Once that procedure is complete, your car gets given a cover which Windrush call “pyjamas”. These pyjamas protect the car from damage and hide the identity of the owner for security.
The storage facilities themselves are air controlled and monitored around the clock. Staff will even check your vehicle’s fluids every 60 days to ensure your car is 100% healthy.
Of course, if you fancy taking your car for a spirited drive you have access to come and go as you please.
What Does Owner Tim Earnshawe Say
The owner Tim Earnshawe said: “We look after some of the world’s rarest motor cars, from Ferraris and Jaguars to Lamborghinis and Bugattis.
“It is a high security private area. Every car that comes in get a 360 degree check and is signed off by the owner. It is then valeted before being put to sleep under a cover, which we call pyjamas, in a temperature and air-controlled environment.
Tim added: “It generally tends to be cars which are appreciating in value. Some people choose to keep the car in storage over a long period as an investment.
If you want to keep your supercar investment in pristine condition, a facility such as Windrush would be ideal. Your car is safe and off the road and it is monitored in terms of both security and car health.
Storing or parking a supercar is just one of the hurdles you have to overcome when owning a supercar. Especially if it is likely to hold its value or even become a good investment. Find out what the other hurdles of owning a supercar as an investment are – We’ve written a detailed guide here.