The latest cars from Porsche and Ferrari are so exclusive money can't buy them

Half a million dollars may still not be enough to park the latest supercars from Ferrari and Porsche in your driveway.

It's got to the point where Ferrari and Porsche carefully scrutinise would-be owners of some of their rarest, fastest and most desirable models.

Which means some wealthy owners will miss out, even though they're willing to pay for a car that gets better performance but fewer features and less luxury than the everyday models they're based on.

Money, money, money

It's not just the extra performance and sharper cornering of these track-focused specials that is appealing.

Because demand often outstrips supply some people are so desperate to own one they're prepared to pay above the odds, potentially making current owners a handsome earner on an item that usually goes backwards in value.

Ferrari and Porsche frown on buyers profiteering soon after they have brought such cars, sometimes blacklisting people from buying their next one.

However, the trend is not limited to a near-term gain.

GT3 versions of Porsche's 911, for example, have done well on the used market, sometimes fetching more than their original price two years after they were sold.

Ferraris can do even better; some versions of the 458 Speciale – the predecessor to the Pista – were selling for well over a million dollars, about double their original price.

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Track time

Why do poeple bother paying big money for what is effectively a race car for the road? Speed limits have never been more strictly enforced and traffic has never been thicker.

But Ferrari and Porsche are making it easier for owners to enjoy the performance of their cars in a safe environment.

Each organises days on race tracks, complete with driving instructors and technicians.

Porsche also arranges events that allow owners to take part in closed-road blasts associated with things such as the Targa Tasmania and Targa High Country rallies.

Ferrari 488 Pista

As soon as it was announced the 488 Pista – the track-honed version of the 488 coupe – was sold out.

Only available to those who've owned or currently own a 488, the Pista is the spiritual successor to the 458 Speciale, one of Ferrari's most popular models in the modern era.

To cull the list further Ferrari Australia would likely look at the ownership history of those who have put down a deposit; the more Ferraris you have owned (or own) is likely to increase your chances of being handed the keys to a supercar that'll roll out of dealerships for $645,000.

Off-road success

Ferrari Australia boss Herbert Appleroth said the car had been a huge success before it even hits the road, although he refused to say how many would come to Australia.

"We know it's not going to be enough," said Appleroth of the Pistas allotted to Australia. "Our entire life cycle allocation has been sold two times over."

With extensive development input from Ferrari's customer race division, Corse Clienti, the 488 Pista builds on the immense pull of the 3.9-litre twin turbo V8 in the 488.

Add in a 90kg weight saving and acceleration to 100km/h takes about 2.9 seconds.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Faster, bolder and greener: That summarises the latest version of the GT3 RS, which includes a new frog green hero colour to add to the race car wings and vents that already make it a head turner.

Slotting between the regular GT3 and the upcoming turbocharged GT2 RS, the GT3 RS builds on a successful formula designed to deliver the ultimate race track thrills.

Its high revving 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine has been further worked to develop 383kW, 15kW more than the GT3.

Manual power

While Porsche reintroduced a manual gearbox option for the GT3, the GT3 RS is exclusively fitted with a seven-speed PDK auto, for quicker shifts and faster acceleration.

Speaking of which, the 0-100km/h dash takes 3.2 seconds.

It promises to be plenty of fun for its $416,500 ask. If you want more pace you can splash out tens of thousands more for the Weissach pack, which employs more carbon fibre to get the weight down to 1430kg.

McLaren Senna

It starts life as the 720S, one of the fastest and most advanced supercars ever produced.

The addition of the Senna name – in honour of F1 legend and triple world champion Ayrton Senna – not only adds to the appeal but also the pace.

Engineers have eked more power from the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, which now delivers a potent 588kW whack.

Trim the fat

But it's the light weight carbon fibre that promises to boost performance almost as much. At about 1350kg the Senna is a featherweight among supercars, courtesy of an intensive weight-shaving program that saved about 85kg.

As for the price, it won't be cheap.

In the UK the McLaren Senna currently sells for £750,000

Throw in our hefty local taxes – including the 33 percent luxury car tax – and the Senna will be somewhere close to $2 million when it arrives late in 2018.

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