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Orange Bentley Batur convertible right front view

Just 16 people in the world will be able to buy a Bentley Batur convertible, the latest in a series of ultra-limited coachbuilt cars from the British automaker. The two-seat convertible follows last year’s Batur coupe, of which 18 were made. The coupe was not offered in the U.S., but the convertible reportedly will be. Both are based on the Bentley Continental GT, a model that starts at about $250,000. The Baturs are in a whole other league – indeed, a whole other ball game – with pricing believed to be a bit over $2 million before personalization options.

PREMIER’S TOP TEN LEASED CARS IN 2023

Closing in on the end of another year, Premier Financial Services looks back on its Top-10 exotic cars leased for 2023. This year, Ferrari pushed Porsche out of the #1 leased marque for the year in terms of volume of leases. Lamborghini, however, made a stronger showing on the list with three models in the Top-10. Porsche’s two top sports cars, the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo S, both made the cut, as well. With its new MC20, Maserati has returned to the mid-engine exotic category after a 45-year absence. The new Maserati grabbed the #10 spot on the list. What’s your favorite?

Silver 1961 Bentley S2 Continental right front view

With the added perk of super-rarity, the Bentley Continentals of the Sixties remain among the most sought-after of the marque’s classic cars. Gooding & Company’s 2023 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® auction is offering a rare left-hand-drive 1961 Bentley S2 two-door saloon with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner that exemplified this model’s divergence from the parent company. It has a pre-sale estimate of $400K-$500K.

Cream color Porsche 356 Speedster ride side profile view

The spark that launched Porsche’s road racing dynasty began with the “Fuhrman engine” in the landmark 550 Spyder racecar. Bringing that engine to the 356’s option list in 1956 and calling it “Carrera” boosted Porsche’s racing pedigree while also setting the foundation for special high-performance Porsche models to come. The expensive and complex Carrera engine was rarely ordered when new, and cars so-equipped demand a huge premium in the collector car market today. A 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster Carrera offered by Mecum Auctions in Monterey is expected to sell for up to $1.2M, or nearly 400% more than a Speedster without it.

Lamborghini Murciélago interior with manual transmission

You can’t get a manual transmission from Ferrari or Lamborghini today, but collectors are willing to pay hefty premiums for their last stick-shift models. This trend specifically applies to the cars that offered the choice between the real manual and the “robotized” manual, which Ferrari called F1 and Lamborghini called E-Gear. Today, a Ferrari F430 with the stick-shift can command a 100% premium over the F1 model. Some independent shops are even providing conversions back to full manual transmissions. Is that a wise purchase?

Green 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar, studio shot

Capitalizing on the 911’s rich rally-winning history, Porsche introduced its 2023 911 Dakar at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Porsche’s new overland 911 version – reflecting road testing of Dakar prototypes over 300,000 miles, including 6,000 off-road miles – is based on the Carrera 4 GTS, and equipped with a 473-hp twin-turbo flat-six, eight-speed PDK automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, capable of 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Porsche plans to build only 2,500 911 Dakars, with a starting price of $220,000 in the U.S. and plenty of options to take that higher.

Gold Rolls-Royce Spectre front left view

The new Rolls-Royce battery-powered “Spectre,” arriving in late 2023, provides a “magic carpet ride” of luxury. In fact, the Spectre’s suspension uses an array of cameras and sensors to “read” the road surface ahead and preemptively adjust the ride on the go. Pricing is expected to be over $400,000, and orders are already coming in.

Red Maserati GranTurismo right front view.

The Ferrari-Maserati divorce has put the Italian supercar universe back in order, with Maserati emerging with its strongest model line since the 1960s. The newest models include the MC-20 supercar, a high-performance Grecale SUV, and the GranTurismo. The gas-fueled Maserati GranTurismo arrives in spring, with an electric version coming in late 2023. Sources suggest a $170,000 starting price.

Yellow Mercedes-AMG SL63 top-down left view

The Mercedes SL has been that marque’s luxury-performance flagship for nearly 70 years, and the all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL is the model’s seventh generation. The new SL has 2+2 seating, with all-wheel drive and a return to a soft top after two decades of retractable hardtops. Pricing starts at $137,400 and can zoom toward $200,000. If you’ve not looked at an SL in a while, this one deserves close inspection.

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