What's a slumping economy when there's a multi-million-dollar limited edition sports car or two that you just must have? Amid the economic gloom, there is "very strong interest" in the Bugatti Chiron and Aston Martin AM-RB 001, according to dealer Wearnes Automotive.
Wearnes is launching them next week, ahead of the Formula One weekend, as F1 is seen as the ideal platform for these two mid-engined hypercars.
It will be the Chiron's debut in Asia, and the first time a Bugatti car will be launched in Singapore. The Chiron replaces the Veyron, of which less than a dozen can be found in South-east Asia. Like the Veyron, it is available only in left-hand-drive and cannot be registered in Singapore. Only 500 units of all Chiron variants will be built.
The Chiron starts at 2.4 million euros (S$3.67 million), before options and taxes, and those interested have to place a 200,000 euro deposit.
On the other hand, the price of the AM-RB 001 will be finalised only by year-end but it is not expected to be lower than £1.85 million (S$3.34 million). Interested parties are required to put down a £500,000 deposit, which is refundable should the specifications unveiled later are not to their satisfaction.
No more than 150 units of this Aston Martin will be produced, so exclusivity is the main attraction.
"Across the region, there has been strong demand for niche limited edition collectors' cars such as the Bugatti Chiron and Aston Martin AM-RB 001," says Wearnes managing director Pang Cheong Yan. "This segment has remained vibrant and unfazed."
He adds that the launch of the two models has been "highly anticipated, both in Singapore and within the region", and the preview in Singapore will be attended by local and regional media and guests.
In the case of the Bugatti, Mr Pang explains that it will be especially exciting since it is the first time an actual car will be shown. "Guests can expect to experience the roar of the car when it starts up."
The Chiron carries over the Veyron's 8.0-litre, 16-cylinder engine but with a major performance upgrade. The quad-turbo W16 now produces an astounding 1,500 hp and 1,600 Nm.
As for the AM-RB 001 with a naturally aspirated V12, it is the result of a unique partnership between Aston Martin and F1's Red Bull Racing. Wearnes calls it "an extraordinary collaboration that combines the vision and skills of two world-leading brands to create a road car the like of which has never been seen".
Hypercars such as these attract buyers because of their rarity, says a person familiar with this super high-end segment. The ultra wealthy prefer to buy a collectible than a "regular" sports car.
"So if there is something special and exclusive that piques their interest, they will snap it up," he says. "The regional economy may be weak but there are those whose financial foundations remain solid. To put it another way, the super rich are still super rich."