What’s the colour of class?

Supercars and luxury motors aren’t in bright colours – they’re more subdued and sophisticated.

Car colours – such a subjective matter, eh? One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that. But when it comes to the rarefied world of extreme luxury and high-performance cars, you might be tempted to think that lurid hues are the choice.

However, according to Bloomberg Business, that’s not the case. The most sophisticated shades are also, perhaps, the most obvious ones: whites, silvers and greys. Even black doesn’t get a look-in, with just 8.5 per cent of expensive vehicles sold last year finished in the colour (it’s popular on more affordable cars, though). That’s compared to a third of luxury vehicles clothed in some sort of silver paint, with another 30 per cent sporting a variant on white.

It’s apparently to do with light perception, you see, and also residual values. So bright, strong colours work well if you live in sunny climes, whereas more muted shades are the choice for the sort of climate we have here in Ireland. And picking what you think might be a signature colour, like yellow for a Ferrari Spider, won’t appeal to a wider audience come resale time – a crazy finish can knock as much as thousands of euros off the price of a second-hand car.

All obvious stuff, perhaps (come on, when was the last time you saw a Rolls-Royce in blood red, for example?), but it would seem that despite increasing individualisation in the 21st century, it’s only in the Middle East where you can get away with outrageous colour combinations.

So if you’ve always wanted that lime green Lamborghini, orange McLaren or some sort of crazy Bentley Continental with a bright blue body and a red interior with puce stitching – Stephen Ireland, we’re looking at you – then think on: you’d be far better off going for Smoky Solitude metallic with Nero leather. Restrained is the way forward.