I doubt it adds that much to the cost, especially as a lot of the material design was made for previous generations of bodies such as the F5.
That's not entirely accurate, even if the D2X body was just a re-hashed version of the F5.
The electronics in the F5 and the D2X are different, and electronics must also be protected against shock, dust, humidity etc.
Even if they had to run up 30 copies to get the ergonomics right, the R&D costs would far outway the materials costs.
Yes, materials like these are actually cheap, but making the materials in a specific shape when you're requesting very small quantities is not.
While not entirely analogous, someone I know checked -- on behalf of his company, IIRC -- what it would cost to custom-build mock-ups of a self-designed gadget of a similar size, and the cost was prohibitive. One mock-up would have cost around USD 20,000, ten or twenty would bring the price per unit down a bit, I think it ended up lower than USD 15,000 each. This was around Y2K, so it's not ancient history yet, either. Whether this is representative of the cost of making D2X bodies in a prototype run, I don't know, but it gives an indication of just how expensive such small numbers can be.
Just making the moulds is a pretty expensive affair, depending on what you make, of course, so manufacturers tend to reuse moulds for standardized parts (e.g. battery compartment doors).
What I would love to do is work in the units they use for testing car safety. Imagine purposely totalling cars worth tens of thousands of dollars every day and then saying 'nah, we'll have to run that one again', now that would be real fun!
Yes, there were some remarks to the joy/sadness of crashing a brand new Aston Martin DB9 or a Koenigsegg CCR ... (They only crash one
of these each, unless there is a requirement to test two different crashes.)
But these cars aren't fully featured, so they are not only at factory cost for a regular vehicle, but also at a somewhat lower price point.
Still hideously expensive, though. And you'd not be happy paying for one of those crash test dummies out of your own pocket! ::