10 Most Expensive Cars

For the “1 percent” who can afford it, there are a surprising number of stratospherically expensive vehicles that make most of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche’s cars seem relatively affordable. It’s the definition of a First World problem, but for some people it’s irritating to buy a powder-blue Rolls-Royce Phantom, only to find someone at a neighboring horse farm bought a powder-blue Rolls-Royce Phantom, too.
Next year could be a good one for the exotic automobile industry. Wall Street bonuses could be 5% to 10% higher than last year when they are handed out in early 2014, according to Johnson Associates, and that’s a prime source of buyers for high-end automobiles. Exotic-car dealers keep close track of the stock markets, since that’s where many of their customers get their disposable income, whether those customers are shareholders or captains of industry.
The automotive upper-upper crust also includes traditional brands whose names ring a bell like Bugatti and Ferrari. British brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley are also traditional choices, although they are not in the business of hair-raising performance at all costs.
Relatively mainstream brands like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz also have their highest-end models. Mercedes-Benz has dropped its Maybach brand, but it is pushing into higher and higher price ranges with the Mercedes-Benz brand and its high-performance AMG division. But most people have never heard of some of the rarest brands, like Texas-based high-performance tuner Hennessey, or Koenigsegg of Sweden. If you see yourself coming and going in one of those, maybe it’s time to move, or else start looking at yachts, or airplanes.

Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Coupe

Country of Origin: Germany Engine: 621-hp, 6.0-liter, bi-turbo V-12 0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds Starting price: $215,500
The Mercedes-Benz AMG division used to be a separate company that souped up stock Mercedes-Benz models. Bigger, more powerful engines continue to be the heart and soul of the AMG treatment, even though the company became a wholly owned subsidiary years ago.
The engine in the Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Coupe is a handcrafted V-12. The AMG tradition is that the individual master craftsman who builds each engine puts his signature on it when he’s finished. That’s not to say the end product is some quaint relic. Top speed is 186 mph, not bad for a car that could be used as a family car, unlike a two-seat racecar.

Aston Martin Vanquish

Country of Origin: United Kingdom Engine: 565-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 0-62 mph (that is, 100 km per hour): 4.1 seconds Starting price: $279,995
The Aston Martin Vanquish is a two-door hardtop coupe, which also comes as a convertible, called the Volante. It’s the first Aston Martin with lightweight but strong carbon-fiber body panels. Top speed is 183 mph. Aston Martin also offers a long list of personalized options like matching a favorite color to paint the exterior, or custom leather. Aston Martin calls the customized collection of options “Q by Aston Martin.” Aston Martin’s brand image is caught up with classic James Bond movies.

Bentley Mulsanne

 Country of Origin: United Kingdom Engine: 505-hp, 6.75-liter, twin-turbo V-8 0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds Starting price: $298,900
Bentley calls the Bentley Mulsanne “the grandest of grand tourers.” The interior has features like wood veneers and leather upholstery made from “blemish-free” hides, from herds raised in cooler climates where there are fewer insects. Having said that, performance is pretty amazing, considering it weighs close to 6,000 pounds.

Ferrari F12berlinetta

Country of Origin: Italy Engine: 740-hp, 6.3-liter, V-12 0-62 mph: 3.1 seconds Starting price: $315,888
The Ferrari F12berlinetta (that’s how Ferrari writes it, all one word) has a top speed of “over 211 mph,” the company said. Not only that, it reaches 125 mph in only 8.5 seconds. Ferrari says it has the fastest acceleration of any road-going Ferrari – as opposed to Ferrari racecars, which are confined to the track.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase

Country of Origin: United Kingdom Engine: 453-hp, 6.75-liter V-12 0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds Starting price: $298,900
The Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase model is about nine inches longer than the standard-wheelbase. That extra room is most noticeable in the back seat, where the owner presumably will spend a lot of his or her time being driven around. The brand image is old-fashioned but Rolls-Royce’s current cars have high-tech features like cameras at five locations to watch out for obstacles when parking, and to project the predicted path on a screen when reversing.

 Porsche 918 Spyder

Country of Origin: Germany Engine: 887 hp (total output), 4.6-liter V-8 with two electric motors 0-62 mph: 2.5 seconds Starting price: $845,000
Besides the hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain, other innovations include rear-wheel steering, where the rear wheels adjust slightly in turns. It can go up to 19 miles on battery power alone. By itself, the V-8 gasoline engine produces 608 hp. Like many race cars, the Porsche 918 Spyder is largely built of lightweight but strong carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The lightweight, even more racing-oriented Weissach Package of options boosts the sticker price to $929,000.

Hennessey Venom GT

Country of Origin: United Kingdom Engine: 1,244 hp, 7.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 0-60mph: 2.7 seconds Starting Price: $1.2 million
Hennessey Perfomance, based in Sealy, Texas, says its Hennessey Venom GT set a Guinness World Book-record time of 13.63 seconds from zero to 300 kph, or 186 mph, in January 2013. The company said this month, December 2013, it had sold only 11 Venom GTs to clients around the world, including only five in the United States.
The company plans to build a total of only 29 all told. The Hennessey Venom GT design is based on the Lotus Elise roadster and Exige coupe model. The Venom GT is created from a base Lotus Elise/Exige and utilizes components including but not limited to the roof, doors, side glass, windscreen, dash, cockpit, floorpan, HVAC system, wiper and head lamps. Hennessey Performance and the Venom GT are not associated with Lotus Cars.

Koenigsegg Agera S

Country of Origin: Sweden Engine: 1,030 hp, twin-turbo, 5.0-liter V-8 0-62 mph (that is, 100 km per hour): 2.9 seconds Starting price: $1,520,000
Koenigsegg said it expects to ship its first Agera S to the United States this month, December 2013. The Agera S belongs to the exclusive 1,000-hp-plus club, with a twin-turbo V-8 that generates 1,030 hp. That flings the car from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, or zero to around 188 mph in 22.7 seconds – that is, if you’re on a racetrack or if you own your own highway. If that’s not enough Koenigsegg has a new model called the One:1 in the prototype stage. According to press reports, it’s said to produce 1,400 hp and weigh around 1,400 kg. The name refers to the “1-to-1” power-to-weight ratio. It’s expected to sell for around $2,850,000.

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse

Country of Origin: France Engine: 1,200 hp, 8-liter, 16-cylinder 0-62 mph: 2.6 seconds Starting price: $2.5 million
Bugatti says its current model is the “fastest production roadster in the world,” having been driven 255.5 mph in April 2013. Bugatti announced earlier this month, December 2013, it sold its 400th Veyron worldwide since its introduction in 2005. Only 50 are available out of a total planned production of 450.

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster

Country of Origin: Italy Engine: 750-hp, 6.5-liter, 12-cylinder 0-62 mph: 2.9 seconds Starting price: $4.5 million
Lamborghini says it plans to build only nine copies of the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster in 2014. Among many other innovations its lightweight body design makes extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. Top speed is 221 mph.

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