Tag Archives: luxury car

Classic car collectors in 2017 favour modern Porsches and McLarens at Amelia Island

A 1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype surrounded by other Porsches | © Christopher Head

A 1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype surrounded by other Porsches at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017 sale at Place Vauban in February this year. | © Christopher Head

At Amelia Island, concours-condition collectible cars were paraded and auction prices for modern classic cars were further adjusted. Collectors showed that they could well be falling out of love with 1960s Ferraris in favour of modern Porsches and even McLarens.

RM Sotheby’s auction of 150 lots ranging from vintage Bugattis to modern Bentleys generated $70.9 million in sales.

“Not only was it our best ever Amelia Island performance, but the highest tally in Amelia Island auction history,” said Gord Duff, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s. “The calibre of entries our team secured for this year’s event was second-to-none.” The star of its show was a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet that went under the hammer for $7.7 million.

And, even though some 19 cars in total managed to attract winning bids in excess of $1 million, a host of vehicles that were expected to send the room into a frenzy failed to meet their estimate, including two Ferraris a 1961 250GT SWB ($9-$10million) and a 1950 166 MM Barchetta by Touring (pre-sale estimate of $8-$10 million).

All of which suggests that interest in the bluest of blue-chip Ferraris is on the wane, or at least that everyone with the interest and money to invest in such a machine already has one in his or her collection. As a result premium collectors are looking to other Italian marques mid-1960s Alfa Romeos, Lancias and Maseratis all performed well at all Amelia Island auctions this year — or they’re looking to ‘modern classics’ or essentially new cars with extremely limited production runs.

For example, a 1995 Ferrari F50 once owned by boxer Mike Tyson secured a $2.64 million winning bid making it the second most expensive car sold by RM Sotheby’s; and a 2012 Bugatti Veyron fetched $1.65 million and a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 went for $1.375 million.

At the Gooding & Co Ameila island auction, a 2012 McLaren P1 fetched a never-before achieved $2.392 million but the cars in the biggest demand were of the Porsche variety.

A row of Porsches at the RM Sotheby's Paris 2017 sale at Place Vauban in February this year. | © Christopher Head

A row of Porsches at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2017 sale at Place Vauban in February this year. | © Christopher Head

The star of its sale of more than $30 million was a 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion which went for a phenomenal $5.665 million.

“We achieved strong results for a number of exceptional cars, especially from the Porsche marque, exemplified by the world record price achieved for the GT1 Strassenversion,” said Gooding & Company president David Gooding. “In spite of the 13 world record prices set, we are definitely seeing a market shift, which is healthy for the marketplace as a whole.”

The sale also set new records for the 964-generation Porsche 911 with a Turbo S Leichtbau ($1.54 million),  the 2011 997 GT3 RS 4.0 ($748,000), and the 2011 Porsche 997 GT2 RS ($561,000).

And while the trend for Porsches seems to be getting into full swing, attention is also shifting to other marques with a track connection. There is a surge of interest in late 1940s to mid-1960s Aston Martins, the Jaguar E-Type is continuing to get strong prices and the Amelia Island auctions also set a record for Mazda. A 1989 Mazda 767B that raced at Le Mans fetched $1.75 million.

The next major classic car auction will be on the banks of Lake Como during the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on May 27 before the season reaches its zenith with Monterey motoring week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this August.

2017 Lotus Elise Sprint: Supercar maker Lotus goes even lighter for its latest roadster

Supercar manufacturer Lotus is back this spring to harvest their new Lotus Elise — the Lotus Elise Sprint. The new Sprint model is an upgrade from Lotus’s Elise-line-up, with a host of weight-saving upgrades that serve as a testament to Lotus’s efficient engineering. The Lotus brand is renowned for its feather-light vehicles and with this newest addition, the trademark is cemented in history.

The Sprint

The Sprint edition of Lotus Elise has seen an astonishing weight cut of 41kilograms from its previous model — no easy feat — to reach a dry weight of just 798kg. This is done through the employment of sleek engineering principles, as well as a distinctive new styling.

Featuring a Lithium-Ion battery that shaves off nine kilograms from its previous weight, the Sprint is made even sleeker with carbon race seats, forged alloy wheels, and carbon elements that save another 17 kilograms. This cuts up to 26 kilograms, a feat in today’s industry where the mantra seems to be ‘the more the better’. The lighter vehicle translates into a faster acceleration speed of 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds, harder cornering and a power to weight ratio of up to 168hp/ton for the Elise Sprint. The Sprint is available in both the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated and 1.8-litre supercharged versions and being so lightweight, emissions are extremely low with 149 and 173 grams per kilogram CO2 for the 1.6 engine and 1.8 engines respectively.

The Exterior

Design for the Sprint has also evolved, with a sexy matte black transom panels and black wheels alongside custom contrasting metal spun rims. The vehicle is detailed with distinct side stripes, as well as side and rear badging. They haven’t skimped on the interior either as the Sprint’s detailing continues inside with an array of optional Alcantara® trim panels on the doors, sills, seats and vents surrounds, all with contrasting stitching.

Speaking of the new car Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc. said, “Once again, the Elise continues to redefine what is possible in terms of adding lightness to a sports car. Whilst other manufacturers try to keep pace with Lotus’ weight reduction achievements, we’ve raised the bar beyond their reach. An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne. It should weigh substantially less and, it is a fantastic achievement from Lotus in ensuring that the fully type approved new Elise now dips below the 800 kg barrier.”

Jean-Marc Gales continued, “Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance. As we say at Hethel: less weight equals more Lotus.”

What’s more, every new Lotus Elise customer can personalise their vehicle through the bespoke Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it marries traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Customers will be allowed to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, the process offering a twist to the usual off-the-shelf sports car. The new Lotus Elise Sprint is available for orders today with deliveries starting from April 2017.

To find out more about Lotus Elise range visit Lotus Cars.

Luxury car auction in 2017: Ferrari F430 once owned by Donald Trump to be sold

A 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO. The car that Donald Trump will be auctioning is a Ferrari F430. | © Christopher Head

A 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO. The car that Donald Trump will be auctioning is a Ferrari F430. | © Christopher Head

A 196mph 2007 Ferrari F430 supercar would be a dream car for most enthusiasts but what if the first owner was the current president of the United States? Over the four-year period he owned the car, Donald Trump clocked up just 2,400 miles. Now it is to be sold by the current owner at auction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the end of March.

The supercar is expected to achieve a price higher than for an average F430 because President Trump’s name is on the title document. Had Trump not sold the car in 2011, he would not be allowed to drive it now anyway. The American secret service do not approve of their Commander-in-Chief taking the wheel for obvious security and safety reasons.

The same rule applies to the Vice-President. Former VP Joe Biden was also forbidden the car keys although he was permitted to drive his beloved 1967 Chevrolet Corvette on closed roads for a television show.

Over time, former businessman Donald Trump was able to amass a personal fleet of vehicles and included in the list of cars he can no longer pilot are his 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a jointly developed Grand Tourer; a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (one of the first cars Trump ever owned); a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car; and a 24-Karat Gold Orange County Chopper.

It will be interesting to see if the POTUS connection will enhance the vehicle’s value. The auction of this vehicle, estimated to fetch between $250,000 and $300,000, does present both car fans and presidential history enthusiasts with a unique opportunity to own a Ferrari F430 once driven by a president.

This is not the first time a car connected to President Trump has turned up for sale. An opportunity to purchase both a piece of history and a potential investment occurs on March 19 by Bonham’s at Goodwood in England.

The Cadillac limousine was built in 1988 by Cadillac in conjunction with Donald Trump and purchased by him for a family member. It arrived in the UK in 1991. There were plans to produce 50 of the ‘Cadillac Trump’, but only two were ever actually built.

Car collectors like some added value and celebrity vehicles are possibly the most sought after. To see a personal vehicle owned by one of the most powerful men in the world on sale is extremely rare. It is a larger-than-life opportunity to buy a car previously owned by a larger-than-life politician. The vehicle will be sold without reserve and the auction house estimate is between £10,000 – £12,000 (€11,000-15,000 / $12,250 – $14600). However, because of the presidential connection it is thought the final price could reach £50,000!

Meanwhile the Ferrari is being sold by Auctions America in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during its March 31 to April 2 sale.

There are 70 years between this Ferrari 125 S and the LaFerrari Aperta. | © Ferrari

Italian supercar brands: Ferrari celebrates 70 years with ‘first real’ model 125 S

There are 70 years between this Ferrari 125 S and the LaFerrari Aperta. | © Ferrari

There are 70 years between this Ferrari 125 S and the LaFerrari Aperta. | © Ferrari

On March 12, 1947, Italian motor racing team Scuderia Ferrari which previously raced Alfa Romeo cars presented its first in-house creation. The 125 S, was presented in the courtyard of its factory in Maranello, Italy. The 125 S was the first in a long line of sports cars, both for the road and for competition, which shaped the carmaker‘s legendary status.

The 125 S was directly inspired by the AAC 815, a car that Enzo Ferrari designed and built in 1940 under his brand of the time, Auto Avio Costruzioni. In fact, certain purists consider this to be the first real Ferrari. The mythical Maranello factory saw the light of day 1942 and five years later the first Ferrari-branded cars rolled off the production line. The Ferrari 125 S, with a 118Hp V12 engine, made its competition debut in 1947. Its first wins started a long list of prizes and achievements for the car maker. In 1947, Ferrari presented its first grand touring (GT) model, the 166, a sporty car with sleek lines. Around a hundred cars were built across the various 116 models (Sport, Inter and MM).

Like all Ferraris, the hoods of these early cars were adorned with a small black horse rearing up on its hind legs against a yellow background. The Italian brand‘s famous badge has been used on all the firm’s models, whether road cars or competition cars. It pays homage to the aviator Francesco Baracca, a First World War Italian Air Force ace, killed in 1918, to whom Enzo Ferrari was particularly close, and who used to paint a horse on the side of his planes. Scuderia Ferrari first started using the “prancing horse” logo in 1931 on Alfa Romeo cars that the team was racing at the time.

A Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta, pictured here in Daytona in 2016. | © Ferrari

A Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta, pictured here in Daytona in 2016. | © Ferrari

Ferrari’s glory was evidently built on the race course and is intrinsically linked with the history of Formula 1. Scuderia Ferrari is the only team to have participated in all editions of the Formula One World Championship since its creation in 1950, while also holding the most constructors’ championships and the highest number of winning drivers. Ferrari also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, from 1949 with the Ferrari 166 MM, and all other endurance classics until the 1970s.

Its racing success and the high-quality finish of its GT models soon gained international renown for Ferrari. In 70 years, the Italian carmaker has released some of the most stunning grand touring cars in history, from the Ferrari 250 series and the F40 to the Dino 246 in its various versions, the Testarossa and the more recent LaFerrari hybrid. These models today sell for eye-watering prices at auction. In 2016, a 1957 Ferrari 335 S fetched €32.1 million at a Paris auction a new world record.

Pininfarina debuts supercar Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo at Geneva Motor Show 2017

Bespoke luxury cars in 2017: Ferrari celebrates 7 decades with 70 customised models

Following the announcement that the striking 812 Superfast will debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari in its 70th year have revealed 70 exclusive one-off liveries for the current range. The inspiration comes from extraordinary models such as the 375 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta that Roberto Rossellini ordered for Ingrid Bergman. It really doesn’t get more glamorous than that.

Project Ferrari Tailor-Made allows clients to make their personalization choices on site in Maranello, Italy where they are flanked by a personal designer who will assist them in creating their bespoke Ferrari right down to the tiniest detail. This will encompass everything from livery colors to cabin trims, finishes and accessories of which there is an unprecedented selection of materials, treatments and hues.

Putting a modern twist on the stylistic features and elements that distinguished 70 of the most beautiful cars in history, clients can choose from 70 exclusive liveries that can be created just once for any car ordered from the current range. Blend the past with the future to create the Ferrari icons of tomorrow as the following 7 examples show.

The 212 Inter Vignale coupé was one of only 34 to have been built by designer Alfredo Vignale (1952). With its ivory exterior and taupe livery, it is a truly striking car. The 375 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta from 1954 was the one-off model originally commissioned by film director Roberto Rossellini for the illustrious actress Ingrid Bergman. This is the car that gave Ferrari’s iconic color Grigio Ingrid its name.

Legendary British racer Sir Stirling Moss drove his 250 GT Berlinetta SWB to victory three times, including in the 1961 Tourist Trophy. In striking blue with a horizontal racing stripe and classic white roundels on the doors, this model really stands out. Moving forward through the years, with iconic racing lines the 1964 250 LM is finished in classic red with a white central stripe. This Ferrari claimed overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965.

On through 1970, a 365 GTB4 ‘Daytona’ is seen in stunning blue with a red interior. This superb example represented an important milestone in the evolution of the Ferrari coupé, with its high-performance front-mounted engine.

Featured in the television show of the time, buyers can pretend to be Magnum P.I. with a 1980 308 GTS, or they can be inspired by the legendary 2002 Enzo. In silver with red interior, this was one of Ferrari’s great supercars and was the embodiment at the time of the latest Formula 1 technology and expertise.

All cars ordered with these striking livery options will be distinguished by an exclusive commemorative logo of the 70th Ferrari anniversary along with an ID plate with the name of the model that inspired it. Truly unique, there can only be one of each of these paeans of the past.

Luxury sportscar launch: Porsche presents its latest Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show 2017

The new Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is set to make a mark! Proving that the trickledown effect does indeed work when applied to automotive technology, the latest model in the German sportscar company’s expanding executive fastback range is literally dripping in technology developed and perfected in the company’s hybrid hypercar — the 918 Spyder. Debuting this week at the Geneva Motor Show, the Panamera Turbo brings a shot of power to the stage.

After the successful début of the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, which uses a V6 engine together with an electric motor, Porsche is showing once again that hybrid technology has great performance potential. The new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid combines an electric motor (100 kW/136 hp) with a V8 engine (404 kW/550 hp). Like the multi-million-dollar Spyder, this car can run purely on electricity for distances of up to 50 km and when the electric motor and turbocharged V8 are working in concert, it offers a remarkable fuel economy of 2.9 l/100 km.

So far, so sensible. But Porsche thankfully has decided to carry over the hypercar elements as well as the hybrid elements of the Spyder to this particular Panamera. And this results in a 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds, a top speed of 310km/h and a remarkable maximum output of 680hp. Porsche promises that throttle response will be instantaneous and that there will be no turbo-lag as the electric engine plugs gaps in the torque band while the turbines are spooling up.

Throw all-around air suspension into the mix for ultimate comfort and agility plus the option of a longer wheelbase model for those that want even more rear leg room and relaxation, and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is potentially in a class of its own.

Even its price tag, €185,736 for the standard wheelbase model and €199,183 for the Executive (long wheelbase) version is reasonable, considering that it’s still less than owning both a luxury sedan and an out-and-out sportscar.

Geneva Motor Show 2017: Peugeot to unveil the concept car called ‘Instinct’

At the Geneva Motor Show from March 9, Peugeot will be offering a glimpse into the future of mobility with its ‘Instinct’ concept car. The new addition has a unique Shooting Brake which offers the option of fully autonomous driving or driver control. Given a sneak peek Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona before the official showing at the Swiss show, this handsome, sleek concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) power train offering a mighty 300hp. The car features both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, affording the driver the choice between an engaging drive and the convenience of a fully autonomous vehicle.

The Instinct is programmed with four distinct driving settings. In ‘Drive’ mode, drivers can opt for ‘Drive Boost’ or ‘Drive Relax’. With the Relax mode, the car will implement a full set of semi-autonomous assists available such as adaptive cruise control. On the flipped, Boost mode is thought to sharpen steering and suspension. In ‘Autonomous’ mode they have the option of ‘Autonomous Soft’ or ‘Autonomous Sharp,’ balancing comfort and optimized journey times.

Technophiles will be delighted to learn that on-board technology includes an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) platform and the Samsung Artik Cloud, which syncs with the user’s devices. This enables the car to learn its user’s lifestyle and pre-configure its settings — for example, driving mode, seat and interface settings, ambient lighting and audio.

This futuristic, intelligent technology offers scope for organizing our busy lifestyles. For example, it can read data from a smartwatch and configure its settings to ‘Autonomous Soft’ mode to give the driver a relaxing ride home after a trip to the gym.

Through the synchronization of the driver’s diary and the vehicle navigation system, the driver can be reminded to set off for an appointment 15 minutes earlier, to allow for the traffic and weather conditions at that time of day. Cameras in each LED headlamp will enable the car to scan the road ahead and communicate with the driving assistance systems. However, the driver remains fully in control at all times and is able to determine whether they have a hands-on or autonomous drive.

The Responsive i-Cockpit reacts, we are told, when switching between ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes. This helps to create the most suitable environment according to how the car is being used. When in ‘Autonomous’ mode, steering wheel and toggle switch panel fold into the dashboard and the accelerator pedal folds back into the pedal unit to maximize space, which will take a little getting used to.

The Peugeot Instinct concept vehicle is on display at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

New supercar launch in Singapore: Lamborghini Aventador S boasts more power and improved technology by the Italian luxury car maker

© Lamborghini Singapore

Long known as one of Lamborghini’s speediest steeds, the Aventador series is now six years old. With increased power and a rehashed tech interface, the Aventador makes a comeback with the Lamborghini Aventador S. This new model of the Aventador sure does make a statement with its debut. As the next generation of the V12 Lamborghini flagship, the new design features a sleeker, more aerodynamic performance. The supercar manufacturers, promising an exquisite ride, dub the new additions to this the “Four Masterpieces”.

The first of these masterpieces is the Four Wheel steering, that is seen for the first time on a series production by the luxury car maker. The result is an enhanced lateral control. For those who may not be familiar with this, it means that the supercar is agile at low and medium speeds and is also more stable at high speeds. With the Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS) combined with the front axle and the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering (LRS) on the rear axle, the supercar is able to boast a five millisecond reaction time to the steering movements, ensuring it to be easy to manoeuvre at both low and high speeds.

The next features include a four-wheel drive and a function that allows the driver to choose between four driving modes: the STRADA (comfort and daily use), SPORT (rear-wheel drive), CORSA (maximum track performance) and EGO to be exact. The last option provides additional and individual set-up profiles, customizable by the driver. Here, you can experiment with all four different modes, finding the one that is most suitable to your tastes. With all driving modes recalibrated in the Aventador S, ESC integration is improved.

Active suspension on all four wheels wraps up the list of ‘masterpieces’ brought by Lamborghini. A real-time variable damping system reduces caster and load on the car, maximizing balance and ground stiffness, coupled by new rear springs that contribute to the car’s balance.

© Lamborghini Singapore

Though it has inherited the V12’s engine, the Aventador S has a 40hp hold over its predecessor at a stunning 740hp. With maximum engine revs of up to a whopping 8,500rpm and a top speed of 350km/h, the Aventador S embodies unprecedented driving dynamics. The Aventador S rests on a specially developed set of Pirelli P Zero tires, specifically designed to respond to the dynamic behaviour induced by the LRS. Not to mention, the interior specifications of the Aventador S are completely customisable thanks to Lamborghini’s Personam customisation program.

“This is the next generation Aventador as well as the expression of new technological and performance milestones in super sports car development,” says Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali. “The Aventador S is visionary design, cutting-edge technology and driving dynamics in pure harmony, and elevates the concept of super sports cars to a new level.”

The Lamborghini Aventador S is priced at SGD$1,628,000 excluding COE and options. Reservations for the Aventador S can be placed with Eurosports Auto, the authorised dealer in Singapore.

Geneva Auto Show 2017: Red Bull and Aston Martin give you the limited edition Vantage Red Bull Racing

 

Red Bull gives you wings. Well in this context, it sure does. We all know about the upcoming collaboration between the two brands for the AM-RB 001 hyper car due for 2018. To keep motoring junkies sated, Supercar manufacturers Aston Martin have recently revealed their special edition Red Bull Racing editions of their Vantage series V8 and V12 — just in time for the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. The new cars have been built to celebrate Aston Martin’s on-going partnership with Red Bull racing, as well as the start of the 2017 Formula 1 season on March 26. Despite having no additional changes to the power of the car, both present aesthetic changes.

The cars are finished in Red Bull-inspired Mariana Blue exterior paint. Gloss Tungsten Silver and satin Mariana Blue are also available as an option. Complementing this signature paint finish is a carbon fiber spoiler, splitter and front grille. The grille gets a Red Bull red finish and the brake calipers are a contrasting yellow, staying through to the brand’s colour scheme. No changes have been made to the powertrains of both models. The V8 model gets a 436hp 4.7 litre unit and the V12 a 573hp 5.9 litre engine

Inside, the vehicle is dressed in carbon fiber trim, with Red Bull Racing embroidery on the headrests, diamond quilted leather and an Alcantara wrapped steering wheel complete with 12 o’clock marker. Created by the brand’s in house customisation firm Q by Aston Martin, this Aston Martin has also offered the opportunity of an autograph from one of Red Bull’s current F1 drivers — Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen — on the vehicle’s sill and inspection plaque.

Aston Martin CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer commented: “Motorsport is and will always be a key part of Aston Martin’s DNA and both the V8 and V12 Vantage S Red Bull Racing Editions bring that ethos straight to our customers. With the 2017 FIA Formula 1 World Championship® set to begin soon, I hope that the purchase of these models will bring the racing season that little bit closer for those lucky few customers who can’t wait for it to begin”.

 

Luxury car auctions: Classic car collectors favour modern day editions from Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin

The collectible classic car industry has long been one that gets your heart pumping. With the prospect of collecting an item so elusive you’re one of the few ‘lucky ones’ to obtain, classic car connoisseurs are known for their deep passion in the industry. Despite talk of bubbles, and of Ferrari fatigue, the classic car market is in extremely good health as 2016 becomes 2017. Yet, we ask ourselves what makes a car collectible? The very definition of what makes a car collectable or desirable is changing faster than a classic Ferrari’s 0-100km/h time.

On the whole the market has remained very strong,” begins RM Sotheby’s Peter Haynes. “Probably the thing that came out of 2016 most clearly is a shift towards what the industry is calling the modern classic.” By modern, Haynes says that interest in automotive exotica from the late 80s and 90s is now huge. “It’s really hard to account for this change unless what we’re seeing is the beginning of a sustained shift in the market — the passing of one generation and a new generation of buyers coming in,” he says.

As a rule, collectors that buy with their heart rather than as an alternative to a hedge fund, will be drawn to those cars that have a personal, emotional significance.

“People are buying the cars they want to buy,” explains Robert Johnson, director of Classic and Sports Finance, a company that helps collectors track down and pay for exotic cars, whether at auction or through dealers. “It’s a case of what do I really want? What do I aspire to and what was on my bedroom wall as a kid?”

And in the 80s and 90s, bedroom walls were covered in pictures of the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, Porsche 959 and the Porsche 911 Turbo. Over the past 12 months, prices for all of these models, and their successors have started climbing. At the RM Sotheby’s Paris sale on February 7, a 1988 Porsche 959 Sport went for a world record €1.96 million, but a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet attracted a winning bid of €1.34 million.

And the auction houses are now changing the mix of lots on offer to cater for this changing taste. “A few years ago, it was very rare to find an auction house selling a new car,” points out Haynes.

Yet at this year’s Paris sale, some of the biggest lots were also the newest. A 2014 Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series went for €470,000, a 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO for €450,000, a 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato fetched €750,400 and a 2016 Porsche 911R went for €515,200. These prices point to a second growing trend in the collector car space. The investors that would normally be buying up mid-1960s Ferraris are now looking to rare modern cars instead.

“A lot of people are now sniffing these cars out rather than going to classic car auctions,” points out Haynes. And at the moment there is no shortage of choice. McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini have all unveiled extremely rare, extremely expensive models over the past 12 months, from the Ferrari J50, to the aforementioned Porsche 911 R and the Lamborghini Centenario.

But in each case, the entire run has sold out before the first example has been built. “People are going to start clambering over each other to buy them,” says Haynes, who believes the cars will be stored for resale and never driven.

However, it could also be good news for everyone else. Some of the most desirable traditional classics, could soon be within more collectors’ reach. A 1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal sold for just €78,400 at the Paris sale, a Maserati Bora for just €179,200 and a 1970 Ferrari Dino 246 GT L Series for €448,000 — that’s less than a 2016 Porsche or a 2012 Aston Martin.

Luxury car launches: Aston Martin AM-RB 001 to debut at the Canadian International Autoshow

The long awaited Aston Martin AM-RB 001 has finally made its way to the stage at the Canadian International Autoshow. The company unveiled the concept version of this new model at its UK headquarters in July, but this has been the first time that anyone other than potential owners will have seen it in the flesh. “The AM-RB 001 is destined to become the defining hypercar of this decade and a hugely desirable investment for collectors and enthusiasts,” said Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer.

Developed in partnership with Red Bull Racing and its superstar Formula 1 designer, Adrian Newey, the AM-RB001 boasts a mid-mounted naturally aspirated V12 engine and a one-to-one power to weight ratio. It also uses cutting-edge racing developed aerodynamic trickery so that it behaves like an F1 car in the bends and at the limits of grip. However, because all of these systems have been largely integrated to the car’s underside, there are no huge spoilers, splitters or side skirts negatively impacting on the car’s visual aesthetic.

Even with such an impressive team working on the AM-RB001, there is no guarantee that it will be a decade defining hypercar. Especially as Mercedes-AMG is plotting a similar vehicle of its own that will be unveiled at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show in September. However, in terms of its appeal to the car collecting community, the Aston boss is completely correct.

Even though this car won’t be going into production until 2018 and when it does it will come with a £2 million price tag, every one of the 150 planned examples (25 of which will be track-only models) are already sold out. What’s more, if a potential owner changes his or her mind, Aston won’t be worried, as there’s a long list of people waiting to step in and take a car if an order is cancelled.

The 2017 Canadian International Autoshow will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and opens its doors to the public on February 17.

Bespoke Rolls-Royce record in 2016: Luxury car maker announced its second-highest sale record

Lotus Exige Race 380: Dedicated racing car is both light and fast

The final iteration of the mid-engine hardtop Lotus sportscar is the Exige Race 380, a dedicated track-only car that weighs less than 1000kg and will cost over $100,000, but for that owners will get a car that meets FIA regulations and that has set a new record around Lotus’s own Hethel test circuit.

Now that Lotus’s finances are well and truly back on track it’s about to start developing a flagship Esprit and testing the feasibility of a crossover or SUV. However, it hasn’t forgotten its hardcore fans and the reason why the company has managed to weather the storms of financial uncertainty — it makes some of the greatest track-focused cars that any amount of money can buy.

And the new Lotus Exige Race 380, announced on Thursday, continues in this tradition. Built exclusively for racing, it starts out life as the already ferocious yet road-legal Exige Sport 380 and jettisons regulatory elements like headlamps and airbags that hold back performance.

“The Lotus Exige Sport 380 is a real giant slayer on the road,” said Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. “It gave us the ideal platform from which to develop the new Exige Race 380.” It keeps the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 but now it’s mated to a six-speed Xtrac sequential transmission complete with carbon fiber steering column-mounted paddle shifts. There’s a limited slip differential, the gearbox gets its own oil cooler and the exhausts are lightweight titanium.

Built for teams and for individuals to race in sanctioned competitions, the car meets FIA criteria for its class so there’s a roll cage, racing seats with six-point harnesses, a fire extinguisher system and motorsport towing eyes for those moments when the car eventually runs out of grip and leaves the track.

However, thanks to adjustable dampers and roll bars all round plus external aerodynamic improvements that increase downforce to 240kg, it’s going to take some very heavy-handed piloting for the car to come unstuck.

As for performance, because the car tips the scales at just 998kg, it will go from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds but, more importantly, laps the Lotus Hethel test track in one minute, 23.5 seconds, making it the fastest Exige ever.

“By setting its weight below 1000kg, its power to weight is unsurpassed in its class. When lapping Hethel, it’s a phenomenal 1.5 seconds faster than the previous Exige Cup R — a massive performance gain,” said Gales.

Available to order now, the Lotus Exige Race 380 will cost £99,500 ($122,000) excluding taxes, and deliveries are scheduled to begin in May in time for the 2017-18 race season.

Special edition luxury car: Jaguar launches re-worked F-Type 400 Sport for 2017

Driverless Cars for Millennials: New Fiat Chrysler Portal concept announced at CES 2017

One-off Ferrari: SP275 RW Competizione created for private collector by Special Projects team

The Ferrari Special Projects team is to supercar fans what Santa Claus is to kids. Should you have the means (and by this we mean wealth), the team can create one-of-a-kind designs based on its existing car models, that will leave other envious. One lucky private collector counts himself as the proud owner of such a creation thanks to his Ferrari SP275 RW Competizione.

The result of a collaboration with Pininfarina, the car uses the limited edition F12tdf as an inspiration while also featuring elements of the 275 GTB. Where the F12tdf had a hood that was sharper and free of louvres on the side fenders, the one-off creation boasts curves and four shark gills. The gills are repeated behind the rear wheel arches and rear side window.

Powering the SP275 RW Competizione is a powerful V12 engine and gearbox that was used in the F12tdf. The 6.3-litre engine provides you with 574kW of power and is said to rival that of the Ferrari F1 team. For its paint scheme, the Special Projects team has decked the car out in an eye-catching yellow that is said to be similar to the one used by the Ferrari group who won the GT category in the 1965 Le mans 24-Hour race.

Car review: Mercedes E-Class Coupe, Luxury Driving with a heart

The new E-Class sedan is many things. It’s the most technologically advanced four-door car on sale today. It’s also one of the most connected. However, one thing it isn’t is exciting. It’s a car that appeals to logic rather than emotions.

With the new coupé version, Mercedes is hoping to address this shortcoming. “With its clear, aesthetic lines, our new E-Class Coupé appeals equally to heart and mind. It condenses contemporary luxury, agile sportiness and high-tech engineering into an automotive personality with esprit, offering exclusive, refined driving pleasure,” said Mercedes-Benz head of R&D, Prof. Dr Thomas Weber.

The coupé’s combination of a high waistline and sharply sloping roof definitely gives the car a much more striking appearance than its sedan counterpart while details around the grille and at the rear offer subtle nods to some of the company’s sportier models such as the SL.

And it’s a similar story inside. The coupé has a new cockpit layout with a two digital screens fused together that run across most of the dashboard replacing the traditional driver’s instrument binnacle and the centrally positioned infotainment system.

The steering wheel is also touch sensitive — it responds to taps and finger swipes. This means that you can take a call or turn up the volume without taking your hands off the wheel. All of which lends the cabin a very futuristic feel — and it’s apt as the car is bulging with next-generation technology.

For instance it has remote parking and can be summoned via a smartphone app. It can also automatically follow a car ahead on any type of road at speeds of up to 130mph. It offers the driver live, real-time traffic news, can autonomously brake to avoid potential collisions and, if you’ve misplaced the key, as long as your smartphone supports NFC, you can use the handset to lock or unlock the car.

As for performance, that will initially come from a range of four- and six-cylinder engines, the most exciting of which, a 3-liter V6 will offer 333hP and 100km/h in 5.3 seconds. However, hotter AMG versions are in the pipeline for late 2017.

The E-Class coupé will make its real-world debut at the Detroit Auto Show on January 8.

Lexus LS Debut: Highly anticipated new model to be unveiled at 2017 North American International Auto Show

When the original Lexus LS debuted at the Detroit auto show in January 1989 it completely disrupted the luxury car market. Twenty-eight years on the company is hoping that history will repeat itself when it takes the wraps off the fifth-generation model at the exact same venue.

Lexus has confirmed that its long-gestating luxury flagship sedan, the LS, will be making its global debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. And, while the marque is being suitably secretive about what exactly the new car is going to offer, it has said the new LS will be a “world-class car” and one that will boast a “bold new look with a coupé-like silhouette.”

Take that admission as a sign that the new car will bear more than a passing resemblance to the LF-FC, a concept study the company unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo motor show and one that was so striking and imposing that it was one of the event’s absolute star cars.

Lexus has spent recent years focusing most of its attention and capabilities on creating desirable SUVs and coupes, so it’s easy to forget how much the original LS shook up the luxury car market.

It was the first ever Lexus, the foundation on which the brand was built and was genuinely premium in every aspect, from cabin quietness to ride quality and fuel efficiency. Its impact was so great that within four years, rappers — in particular Notorious B.I.G, Tupac and Jay-Z — had stopped namedropping Cadillac in their rhymes in favor of Toyota’s luxury brand, and even Mercedes and BMW found themselves digging deeper in order to compete in the highest echelons of the executive sedan market.

But times change and the current-generation Mercedes S Class, the benchmark against which Lexus has always wanted to be judged, is now a technological tour de force, capable of essentially driving itself on highways at speeds of up to 120mph. Meanwhile the BMW 7 Series can be parked or summoned remotely simply by pressing a button on the key fob.

Even Cadillac, the brand that suffered the most as a result of Lexus’ success, is well and truly back on track with the CT6, a car that is the closest to a genuine performance and luxury flagship in decades.

So the new LS is going to have to be something very special, and as the 2017 NAIAS opens to the press on January 9 we won’t have to wait long to find out just how well it measures up to the competition.

Artcurial Rétromobile 2017 Auction

Eight of the vehicles going under the hammer this year come from the prestigious collection of Hervé and Martine Ogliastro. These include an exceptional Delahaye 135 Sport Roadster by Figoli & Falaschi (estimated at €1.2 to €1.8 million) and a Bugatti 57 Atalante convertible (estimated at €1 to €1.5 million).

Other outstanding classic cars expected to break the €1 million mark include a 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi (estimated at €1.2 to €1.6 million) and a 1936 Talbot T150C (estimated at €1 to €1.5 million). Fans of sporty rides can snap up a 1957 Osca 273 S Spider (estimated at €500,000 to €800,000) or the famous Renault 5 Turbo with which Jean Ragnotti won the Tour de Corse rally on the island of Corsica in 1982 (estimated at €300,000 to €500,000).

1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet

This 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi is estimated at €1.2 to €1.6 million.

However, the model that’s really expected to send bids through the roof is a 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa Scaglietti, a competition racer previously driven by champions such as Giuseppe “Nino” Farina and Raymond Sommer. Artcurial hasn’t yet provided a price estimate for this model.

Visitors to the Rétromobile classic car show in the French capital will be able to admire all these vehicles at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center from February 8 to 10, 2017.

1957 Osca 273 S Spider

This 1957 Osca 273 S Spider is estimated at €500,000 to €800,000.
© Artcurial
Artcurial Motorcars – Vente Rétromobile du 10 février 2017

Other models are likely to be added to the sale before the catalog listing closes December 15, 2016.

In 2016, the Artcurial auction at Rétromobile set a new worldwide auction record when a 1957 Ferrari 335 S sold for €32.1 million (including costs and taxes).

The 42nd Rétromobile classic car show runs February 8 to 12, 2017, at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France.