It’s a very American thing to have cup holders in cars. Hey, vast stretches of arrow-straight interstate offer enough boring seat time that hydration while moving becomes important. However, it took a long time for all automakers to understand the desire for beverage receptacles, resulting in some surprisingly expensive options.
If you happen upon a used E63 or E64 BMW 6 Series on a whim, don’t, and especially don’t buy one if it’s missing the cup holder in the center console. The 6-Series was a fairly low-volume vehicle for BMW and used spares only come up here and there. If you need to buy a new cup holder, you might want to clench. A fresh replacement unit costs more than $1,000. No, that’s not a typo.
If you look online at retailers like FCP Euro and ECS Tuning, they all list this part for more than $1,000. A four-figure cup holder is especially hilarious on a BMW of this vintage because depending on how crap the example is, someone nicking the cup holder could total it. Imagine having your car totaled out over a cup holder.
Compared to this absurd BMW part, a cup holder for a Lamborghini Huracan that never came with one seems like a bargain. It’s still pricey at $300, but for a fairly complex design that slides out of the dashboard and is installed on a very limited-production car, that’s not bad. Still, $300 is pricey for a few pieces of plastic, but at least the mechanism is somewhat artful.
Mind you, at least a 6-Series cup holder is fairly sturdy. If you want a drinks holder in a Lamborghini Aventador, be prepared to fork out $660 list price for one of the flimsiest-looking pieces of plastic I’ve ever seen. It just wedges into a seam in the console like a $20 Walmart cup holder, but it’s a Lamborghini part so of course, it costs blue chip money.
Then again, $660 is nothing compared to what Ferrari has in store. If you want a really expensive cup holder, go back roughly a decade and spec out a Ferrari F12. While yes, this is an entirely different league of car than something like a Huracan, Ferrari loves its expensive carbon fiber options, so a carbon fiber cup holder was on offer. The price? An eye-watering $3,533. You could probably buy a Fiat for that. On the plus side, its location in the console and cup-hugging arms should prevent spillage, but that location blocks access to the window switches. That ought to make the drive-thru a little annoying, yeah?
Granted, aside from the 6 Series, none of these cars are meant to be everyday transportation, but that doesn’t mean owners should have to go without cup holders. If you had a V12 or a V10 at your disposal, why wouldn’t you want to hear that sweet, sweet music for long stretches at a time? Sure, the average supercar owner can likely afford five figures in cup holders, but it does seem hilariously insulting.
It’s also a fair warning that if you do pick a supercar up for cheap, parts are still supercar expensive.
(Photo credits: Lamborghini, Bring A Trailer, Chicago Motor Cars, Vegas Auto Gallery)
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I’m sure the 6-series price is entirely a reflection of the financial means of the average 6-series driver (see also Ferrari). The BMW 1-series auxiliary cupholder would probably run you about $50 (3rd-party), and that has more to do with the fact that the 1-series is a pretty niche car for BMW in general (at least outside of Europe) and the original BMW part would have been about $100.
I remember going to the dealer after the cupholder broke on my Lexus ls430 and the guy said “ahhh shit now we gotta order more of em…” then he said to me “aight bud that will be $250…”
It’s not just the 1% level of cars; the masses have their crosses to bear too. My 20yr old Subaru lost two hub dust caps; the plastic ‘style’. Parts counter guys (who have to be sociopaths to do the job and sleep at night, but universally nice people I don’t have a problem with) looked up from his screen and said “$32. each”. That was 3yrs ago. The U-pull it yard charged me nothing.
I had a couple of six series with the bizarre cupholder that looked like some kind of bizarre gynechological instrument. This seems to be a German thing..Porsches with those shivery little cupholders that pop out of the passenger side of the dash and eventually jam, old SLs with similar pop-out rings just below the nav system ( Sales rep warned me that an overflow under heavy braking would flood the nav screen and would not be covered, ) and many others.
I am convinced that each year there is a secret award for German cupholder designers for the most innovative cupholder to trap the unwary,, and they all gather at some Schloss in Bavaria to award the lucky designer of the latest driver’s nightmare with a glass of Schnapps and some accordion music.
I had to call my friends in parts at my local BMW dealership to confirm…The cupholder is $1,400-ish from the dealership and there are currently 14 in the warehouse. I’m flabbergasted.
I pity you poors and your built-in cup holders.I just call Uber-Eats and have a driver deliver my water. “Look for the Red 6-Series in the left lane of I-710 near downtown with the flashers on, going slow. Wave the bottle out your window and I’ll pull over.
It’s also a lot cheaper too.
Good for you.
I may be a “poor” but at least I know nobody pissed/spit/shat/boogered in MY water cup.
Props to you for correct conjugation of the word shit. Respect.
I gotta say, though—you DO want carbon fiber everything in a Ferrari because the @$#^$!%$^ soft-touch plastics turn to goo, seemingly every time, without fail. Got a 458 or older that someone hasn’t de-sticked the interior? You’re gonna have a finger with black, sticky gunk on it if you’re not careful.
Carbon fiber all the things. The cupholder, the dashboard, hell, carbon fiber my toilet, please. For SPEED POOPS.
“SPEED POOPS” I think I just found a new nickname for my wife.
Good luck with the divorce.
Carbs ‘n’ fiber, for help with the speed poops.
Some rubber Nikon grips and lens rings gunk up like this over time, and it’s infuriating to clean off. I can’t imagine having that stuff infect my entire car cabin.
Suspiciously, Giorgetto Giugiaro penned Nikon’s current design language in the 1980s and continued designing cameras for the company into the 2010s.
Coincidence? I think not — more like Giorgetto Goo-giaro if you ask me!
Why couldn’t they have done this story right after Ian? Think of the scavenging! A silver lining to such bleak devastation.
I love their extreme crappiness even more than the eye-watering price. Alright, you plebs, your cups will be held. But poorly, and you’ll pay the price for it!
The BMW one in particular looks like it’ll shatter into expensive, frustrating pieces on its first large double-double, which will then lead to a cascading failure of dirty seats. Plus ca change, plus cest la meme chose…
That 6-series cup holder looks pretty much identical to my 1-series cup holder. The whole kit to install that in a 1-series that didn’t come with it is <$50. They came on cars with iDrive, as the iDrive knob blocks one of the cupholders in the middle of the center console.
More like snifter holders.
I’ll stick to my fold down plastic dash drawer cup holders thanks.
They are perfect.
Somehow designed to not hold a 12 oz can securely yet anything larger won’t fit.
Folds out right above the radio so if you have a beverage you can’t reach any of its buttons.
Somehow always manages to spill said beverage on said buttons.
Very few vehicles get cup holders right.
Occasionally one surprises me though, Nissan Cube comes to mind, maligned as it may be.
I like the cup thong Lotus developed for the Elise – if they’re going to have to have drink holders, it’ll still be lightweight.
Also, looks like it runs you about $380 now.
+1 came here for this! I was just about to mention that Elise cupholder 😀
I think the price was $300 for the option when new, so that’s not too bad, actually.
This feels like a great opportunity for someone with a 3d scanner and a half-decent 3d printer.
In the Miata community (and I’m sure many others), you can find model-specific CAD designs for just about anything to 3d print at home, from chassis-stiffening door braces to entire CFD-optimimized ram air intakes.
Yup. Hell for $1000 you could pay a machine shop to 3d print it out of titanium.
$3,353!? FFS! 😀
Man i am going to some salvage yards and finding some of these cupholders. Hey i got your cupholder right here! $500 or forgetaboutit.
If they’re anything like e38 front cupholders every single one in the junkyard is already broken. I got lucky and found a rear cupholder that wasn’t already broken.