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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The legendary Jaguar XK-120, first introduced in 1949, has played an important role in sports car lineage, both in terms of styling and performance. A very early alloy-body XK-120 (chassis number 670019), will be offered at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $250K-$300K.