Top 10 Most Ridiculously Priced Car Options

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

So, you’re in the market for a new car. Your ‘88 Toyota Tercel has served you faithfully for the past decade and a half since you purchased it following your second divorce. But now it’s high time for something with a few features, not to mention a body structure that’s doesn’t consist entirely of ferrous oxide. Savvy shoppers will visit for the latest news, freshest reviews and handiest buying tools.

You can start your car-purchasing journey by comparing vehicles side by side and looking at prices. But that’s not always the easiest way to do things. Features that may be standard on one particular model could cost extra on another. And then you have to factor in the asterisks (*) daggers (†) or other disclaimer marks. Certain options may cost a lot more than you bargained for because they have to be tied in with other features. Opting for aluminum trim accents instead of wood for instance could force you to get a sport package… and pay a lot more in the process.

Certain automakers are more adept at bilking buyers than others. Some of them have figured out how to charge exorbitant sums for items that should be free. Presented for your reading enjoyment (and as a stern warning), here’s a list of our Top 10 insanely Expensive Car Options.

The Shelby GT500 is a terrifyingly capable machine. Like keeping a wolf as a pet you just never know when it’s going to snap and tear your face off. This loud and proud ponycar is powered by a supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine that delivers a devastating 662 hp along with 631 lb-ft of bone-shattering torque; enough performance to ignite the very asphalt it rolls on or send earthbound demons back to hell.

On the bright side you can park all of this juicy supercar capability in your own driveway for just about 56 grand. Of course at that price you get a number of attractive features, things like a six-speed manual transmission, HID headlamps, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. But if you want an ashtray and cigarette lighter hold on to your butt because they ain’t cheap. Ford has the audacity to charge $60 for what amounts to a small plastic cup and a Bic lighter. No thank you; I’ll stick to my nicotine patch.

Clearly Ford is waging a war against smokers, and that’s fine. We understand that most people probably don’t need an ashtray and lighter so an up-charge for these items is not too unreasonable. But trumping the Mustang in nickel-and-diming is Audi.

The prestigious German marque builds some truly awe-inspiring machines from the sexy and highly functional Allroad wagon to the amazing RS 5 performance coupe to the elegantly understated A8 flagship sedan; the four-ring brand’s got it goin’ on.

But can you believe they have the cajones to charge buyers $100 for an iPod interface in the R8 V10 Plus supercar, a vehicle that can top $180,000? It’s true! At nearly 200 G’s this car ought to include an Apple-approved plug at no extra charge, hell, it ought to have an in-dash steamer that’s always brimming with crab legs and melted butter.

Ok, you can make the argument that an iPod connecter is not a life-or-death necessity, especially in an Audi R8, a thoroughbred performer you should be driving the shit out of, not listening to Katy Perry in the parking lot of a Curves. But a key is something every vehicle needs.

Be it a simple stamped piece of metal, a switchblade-style fob or a wireless pocket dongle that magically unlocks the doors and enables push-button start, every vehicle needs some sort of unlocking device. Clearly Porsche is aware of this truth and has turned it into a money-making opportunity.

The sportscar builder will happily charge you an additional $335 to paint both of the Cayenne Turbo S’s keys in the vehicle’s exterior color. What a deal! But if you really want to splurge you can shell out $2,055 for painted air-vent slats, or $405 for a ski bag. Curiously the available smoking package, which provides two cigarette lighters and a whopping THREE ashtrays is a zero-dollar option. Are you paying attention, Ford?

Ah yes, BMW’s not-so-mini MINI. The Countryman is this iconic brand’s crossover option. It can seat up to five passengers, offers available all-wheel drive and dynamite on-road dynamics. Since it’s a little larger than a standard model you could think of it as a four-thirds Cooper.

The S model is hauled around by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, though the John Cooper Works variant is appreciable more muscular.

Of course one thing that sets MINIs apart from other vehicles is the range of customization options available to buyers. You can tweak very minute details from the color of the bonnet stripes to how you want the interior trimmed. But they’re not all worth the extra cash. For instance opting for the JCW Exterior Package will set you back $3,250. It gives you a few minor appearance add-ons including new bumpers, side sills and stick-on stripes.

So, Porsche wants $335 for painted keys, but Mercedes will take 350 of your hard-earned dollars for its “Air Balance Package” in the new S-Class. What does that mean? Well, how do you like aromatherapy?

This technology infuses the car’s interior with perfume. A vial is housed in the glove-box and periodically it dispenses a small amount of fragrance that fills the interior. Supposedly it “neither lingers on the cabin surfaces nor stays on your clothes.” Hmmm, good to know. I think I’ll keep my $350 and buy some chili dogs instead, I like the way they smell better anyway.

Like the Audi R8, Mercedes’ SLS AMG GT Coupe is a road-going beast. This supercar is built around a lightweight aluminum space frame that weighs just 530 pounds. Delivering explosive acceleration the car is powered by a hand-built 6.3-liter V8 that pumps out 583 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough thrust to blast from zero to 60 mph in a claimed 3.6 seconds.

Base price for this lovely, low-slung automobile is right about $205,000, which is comparable to the median home price in the United States. Along with a litany of budget-busting options, there’s one that’s supremely frivolous and extremely pricey. For a mere $1,900 you can grace your SLS with carbon-fiber side-view mirror caps! In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

Of course if that’s not enough roughage in your motoring diet there’s always the “Extended Interior Carbon Fiber Package,” which is a mere $7,250. It dresses the car’s cabin up with the featherweight, woven material.

Another day, another performance machine; gosh, this is getting boring! Like the abovementioned R8, Audi’s RS 7 is an amazingly capable machine. Quattro all-wheel drive and a twin-turbocharged V8 provide plenty of on-road entertainment. But padding the car’s already prodigious bottom line (it starts around $105,000) is a very special option.

Daytona Gray Matte Paint smothers the car in delicious-looking, low-sheen, charcoal-hued perfection, and best of all it’s only $6,000.

The Chevy Camaro is fun and fast; it’s the perfect whip for a Fourth of July parade or general vehicular delinquency. Still, it’s not for everyone. The car’s cabin is on the chintzy side and it’s about as easy to see out of as a submarine on patrol under the Arctic ice cap. But smoky burnouts and V8 thunder can go a long way to assuaging those concerns.

But would you believe the car offers one outrageously priced option, something that made us furrow our unibrows and wretch in horror? It’s true, and we’re still trying to clean the sickness out of our keyboards. The letter “GGGGGGG” remains a bit sticky.

Anyway, when you configure a high-end 2SS model you have the option of getting some snazzy 21-inch painted-chrome, multi-spoke aluminum wheels. Sounds pretty groovy, eh? Well, the bloom rapidly falls off the rose when you look at the price tag: $6,480. That’s more than six grand for wheels… on a Camaro. We’re done here.

The BMW M6 is a high-performance two-door that gets more than its share of looks from bystanders. It’s got the go to match its show thanks to a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8. This force-fed engine delivers 560 hp.

But of course this machine offers more than its share of pricey options and one of the most obscene is the M Carbon Ceramic Brakes package. This setup is designed for serious drivers that track their cars and need as much stopping power as possible. These binders not only deliver superior performance but they reduce un-sprung mass by an unbelievable 42 pounds compared to the M6’s conventional brakes!

Naturally all of that awesomeness comes at a price, in this case $9,250. But that’s not all! You also have to spend an extra $1,300 for lightweight 20-inch wheels. Wowza!

Even if you know nothing about cars, the name Rolls-Royce just sounds expensive. If you’re a person of “normal” means the idea of ever driving one of these finely crafted machines seems about as likely as winning the lottery or being abducted by aliens… while you cash in your winning ticket.

The Phantom sedan is this brand’s flagship model and it shows; standing next to it the car is massive and accordingly it carries a suitably ample price tag – in the neighborhood of $400,000. Of course customers can consider a host of appropriately priced options.

One of the more expensive is Rolls-Royce’s frivolous-sounding-but-oh-so-cool Starlight Headliner. This feature mimics the twinkling glow of an evening sky. Hundreds upon hundreds of fiber-optic lights are hand-woven into the cabin’s ceiling material. With the Phantom this option stickers for $9,000, but in the Wraith it’s even more expensive, nearly 13 grand. But that’s not all.

Phantom owners can also shell out $19,450 for a special drinks cabinet or they can spring for divided, reclining rear seats, an option that costs $34,400.

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

More by Craig Cole

Join the conversation
2 of 17 comments
  • Nonobaddog Nonobaddog on Mar 25, 2014

    These multi-page articles are just too aggravating to even read. I never open them.

  • Tunseeker Tunseeker on Mar 26, 2014

    Look at the options list for a Porsche 918 options 911 Turbo S "Edition 918 Spyder. ($161,650 or $173,050) Weissach package ($84,000) Liquid Metallic Silver or Liquid Metallic Chrome Blue paint ($63,000), magnesium wheels ($32,500), authentic leather interior seating ($26,000), carbon fiber interior package ($7500), front axle lift system ($10,500) , comfort electric heating ($6000, to heat the cabin even when the car is in full electric mode) , seat belts with accent stripes ($1800), carbon floormat with piping ($1725), and a painted key with leather pouch ($1380).