In a year in which high-end cars have sold particularly well, the prices of several imports have moved higher than $100,000 — in some cases much higher. The imports in this segment of the market are dominated by four brands — BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus. Each has a “super car” that is priced well above many American homes.
As measured by base price, the highest end BMW is the flagship 760Li, a huge four-door sedan that runs on a V12 engine. Without features that would drive the price higher, the 760Li costs $141,200. The car can be customized for another $10,000 plus.
The Mercedes SLS AMG GT has a base price of $201,500 for the hardtop version. The car is handmade. Each engine is made by one technician. The sports vehicle runs on a huge V8 that pushes the car from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. The list of extras available on the SLS AMG can push its retail prices as high as $251,775.
Audi’s flagship is another huge sedan, with a W12 engine. The Audi A8 W12 costs $139,500. Among the hardware and software features are a version of Google Earth, 3D satellite imaging to track weather and a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect eight devices. The A8 W12 is available with rear massage seats and a hands-off parking feature. With additional options that include rear-seat entertainment electronics and night-vision assistance, the A8 W12 can cost as much as $163,250.
The economy product among luxury imports is Toyota Motor Corp.’s (NYSE: TM) Lexus brand. However, its highest end modal is remarkably expensive. The LFA sports car has a base price of $375,000. Only 500 of the 552-horsepower coupe were built. The car’s engine has 10 cylinders. Lexus claims that in city driving, the LFA gets 11 miles per gallon.
By the way, the Census Department reports that the median price of an American home was $221,800 in 2010.