1) Aston Martin Rapide S
The Rapide used to be a saloon produced by the British luxury car maker Lagonda. Aston Martin took over Lagonda, despite which the marque remained inactive and no Rapides were made for a number of years. Manufactured continuously since 2010 after a long gap, the Rapide is Aston Martin’s way of reviving the Lagonda heritage.
The Rapide S is among the world’s best looking four-door sports cars. Its massive 6.0 litre AM29 V12 is a quad overhead cam, 48 valve engine, which produces 552 bhp. This potent power goes to the rear wheels via the Touchtronic III ZF eight speed automatic transmission using electronic shift-by-wire control system to shift gears in just 130 milliseconds.
Together, this awesome combination accelerates two tons of car from 0 to 60 mph in merely 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 203 mph. The Rapide has a front mid-mounted engine, rear wheel drive and a near perfect 49:51 weight distribution. Independent double wishbones suspension in the front and rear improves comfort and handling.
2) Bentley Flying Spur
Bentley took their Continental GT coupe, added two more doors and unveiled the Flying Spur. In doing so they also created one of the most luxurious and powerful sedans ever. Although Bentley has started using mass production techniques for mechanical components, a significant part of the car’s interior is still hand crafted and takes as many as 130 hours to finish.
However, the Flying Spur is not all beauty and finesse. Its 6.0 litre twin turbocharged W12 engine produces a sizable amount of torque and gives the car a top speed of 199 mph. The Flying Spur has a 40:60 rear-biased torque split which helps with understeer and makes the car very agile for its weight. An all-wheel drive system automatically manages the power distribution between the front and rear axles. It automatically sends more power to wheels with the most traction.
An even higher-end model of the car is the Flying Spur W12 S which is sleeker, sportier and even a bit more powerful.
3) Bentley Mulsanne
Bentley’s high performance cars have had much success at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To commemorate that success Bentley revived the Mulsanne nameplate after several years, and named this beautiful and talented car after the Mulsanne Corner of the famous Le Mans circuit.
The car is being offered in three variants. The ‘Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase’ has an expansive glass sunroof, Wi-Fi connectivity, high res video screens and a versatile car audio system. Buyers can opt to install private-jet style reclining seats in their cars. An elongated central console runs the length of the cabin.
The Mulsanne comes with adequate power to boot. Its 3,200 kg gross weight is driven by a 6.75 litre twin turbocharged V8 with cam phasing and variable displacement. 505 bhp pushes the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and gives it a top speed of 184 mph. Air springs with continuous damping control enhance ride comfort. The car has a huge 446 litres of boot space.
4) Bentley Mulsanne Speed
The Mulsanne Speed is one of the three variants of Bentley’s four door saloon, and provides a unique combination of luxury and power. The Mulsanne Speed distinguishes itself from the other two Mulsanne variants with its dynamic styling consisting of black steel details. The interior trim also reminds occupants that this car is meant as much to be a high performance vehicle as a luxurious ride.
A 6.75 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine combines with an 8 speed automatic transmission and propels the Mulsanne Speed from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. Its top speed of 190 mph is more than decent for its class.
The car’s air spring suspension with continuous damping control and four driver selectable settings makes for exceptional handling, considering the car’s size and weight. Creature comforts include a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and ambient mood lighting. There are also numerous customizable extras.
5) Mercedes-Benz S550
The 2017 S550 Sedan is the sixth generation of the company’s flagship class of vehicles. It currently retails in the US at $96,600 for the base model.
The car packs a 4.7 litre V8 biturbo engine with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. 449 hp of max power goes to the rear wheels and powers the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
The car’s AIRMATIC semi-active suspension employs electronically controlled air springs that adjust to changing driving conditions. Automatic 4-wheel level control helps compensate for additional cargo or passengers. Other safety and comfort enhancements include heated 16-way power front seats with memory, an Adaptive Damping System, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), ABS and optional rear seat belt air bags.
Another useful feature of the car is locator lighting, which uses the car’s lights to help illuminate a return path when the car is remotely unlocked in darkness.
6) Genesis G90
Genesis motors, a part of the Hyundai Motor Company, have produced the Genesis luxury sedan since 2004. The car is currently being offered in several models, from the ‘3.8 modern’ to the ‘5.0 limo royal’.
The car has an electronic AWD system which allows for a stable drive when cornering and while on slippery roads. The 3,778 cc V6 gasoline direct injection engine comes with DOHC and Dual CVVT. There is also the shift-by-wire 8 speed automatic transmission system with paddle shifters.
Interiors consist of richly upholstered modern ergonomic seats. Comfort and safety features include full led headlights, 9 airbags and a rear seat entertainment system with 9.2 inch wide-viewing-angle dual monitors.
An adaptive front lighting system improves lateral visibility by automatically adjusting the illumination angle of low beams according to travel speed. The car’s smart cruise control uses front radar to monitor distances and maintain safe distance. Autonomous emergency braking comes as standard.
7) Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Hand-built by more than 60 seasoned experts, the Ghost is one of the most advanced luxury cars available on the market. Five coats of paint on the bodyshell and custom hand-stitched leatherwork interiors are just two of the many details painstakingly added by skilled specialists to the Ghost at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, UK.
Each of the car’s wood veneers is individually shaped, sanded, lacquered and polished. The completed car is hand-polishing to a flawless mirror finish. The Ghost is instantly recognizable by its unique shape and front grille. The Series II gets modern contours, overriding tradition and creating an informal presence.
Powerful yet restrained the Ghost packs a twin turbo 6.6 litre V12 engine with an eight speed gearbox. Sat-nav GPS is standard. Redesigned front and rear struts help manage all 2.5 tons of the car’s weight effortlessly. Despite its state-of-the-art technology and world-class engineering the Ghost remains remarkably simple in its appeal. Nearly every feature of the car is customizable according to buyers’ preferences.
8) Rolls-Royce Phantom
The Phantom remains the signature car and flagship of the Rolls-Royce marque. Buyers commission their Phantoms with a range of personalizations such as 800 individual fibre optic lights hand-fitted into the roof lining, bookmatched veneers, intricate designs and embroidery, and a unique choice of colour palette from 44,000 hues. Individual crests, initials and insignias can also be added.
Rolls-Royce leather specialists fashion, cut, stitch and fit up to 450 individual pieces by hand, using traditional tools. It takes nine hides to finish each car’s interior, and each set of veneers comes from a single tree. The Phantom’s long wheelbase and bonnet, as well as the classic 2:1 proportions of the wheel to body-height ratio provide the scale and status to give it a commanding presence.
The plush interiors feature deep lambswool rugs underfoot, three-flute heated seats and umbrellas concealed in each rear door.
9) Maserati Ghibli
Italian automaker Maserati first used the Ghibli name on a V8 grand tourer that they started manufacturing in 1966. The 2017 Ghibli has all the style, power, handling and comfort of a modern luxury sedan.
The car’s long bonnet ends in a front grille with the classic Trident badge. The simple and elegant instrument panel matches the functionality of a 7 inch TFT screen. Maserati offers a wide array of optional extras with the Ghibli, such as premium sound systems by Bowers & Wilkins or Harman Kardon, interiors designed by Ermenegildo Zegna and a selection of wheel designs.
Safety and comfort are enhanced by seven airbags, front seat active headrests, a stability programme, multiple driver aids and warning sensors. Depending on market, the Ghibli is available with two variants of the 3 litre twin turbo V6 petrol engine, delivering either 330 hp or 410 hp. There are another two diesel engine variants available.
10) Jaguar XJ
XJ is the flagship, full-size, luxury car from British luxury car maker Jaguar. The car is currently available in two variants, namely the Standard Wheelbase (SWB) and the Long Wheelbase (LWB).
Engine options include the V6 turbocharged diesel. Petrol engine variants include a 3.0 litre V6 Supercharged, and XJR’s powerful 5.0 litre V8 550PS Supercharged powertrains. XJ’s all-aluminum body is strong, rigid and extremely light. XJ is one of the few cars today that can boast an entirely riveted, 100% aluminum monocoque chassis and body structure.
Jaguar’s pinnacle saloon seeks to combine beauty, luxury and power, and succeeds masterfully. The 3.0 litre V6 turbocharged diesel and Jaguar’s 8 speed automatic transmission take the XJ from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The car’s Adaptive Dynamics System continually monitors the car up to 500 times a second, adjusting the damping to keep the XJ flat and stable, while maintaining superlative ride comfort.