Written by Guest Writer: Matthew Young
Things are looking up for luxury car buyers in 2016. Decades ago, luxury automobiles were mostly defined by looks, brands and the materials used by certain manufacturers. These days, the definition of a luxury vehicle has been expanded to describe a rich experience on wheels.
The target audience for luxury cars goes beyond wealthy buyers who can afford the hefty sticker prices. There are plenty of high-priced vehicles sitting on dealership lots these days; luxury vehicles are parked inside showrooms and can be evaluated by appointment only.
The modern luxury car experience is a lifestyle choice; making a commitment to owning one of the cars listed in this article means becoming immersed in a rich VIP experience that will last as long as the vehicle is in operation.
Here are five luxury cars that are making headlines in the automotive world thanks to their opulence, style, performance, and special features designed to pamper their owners.
One of the most anticipated luxury cars in 2016 is an Italian auto brand that is synonymous with style and performance. The Maserati Alfieri eschews the extra comfort and fancy electronics being installed in today’s luxury cars; instead, drivers are treated to a sleek machine that looks better than the Maserati Gran Turismo coupe while packing a turbo-charged V6 that starts at 410 hp and can be upgraded to 520 hp. Although the Alfieri sports classic looks, its modern and lightweight materials make it a nimble roadster that can take on V8 engines. The Alfieri was originally to be released as a late 2016, early 2017 model the release date will likely be pushed to 2018 as part of the company’s 5-year plan. Pricing has yet to be announced but the Alfieri is estimated to hit the market at around R1 563 200. We remain hopeful that this beauty will be available in South Africa as well.
For those who are immersed in the luxury auto world the name Jaguar evokes visions of powerful coupes and sedans. In the last few years, however, Jaguar engineers have been working with their counterparts at the prestigious Land Rover brand to create the F-Pace, a new concept that combines high performance and luxury into a sports utility vehicle. For less than R782 875, F-Pace owners get an engine similar to the F-Type sports car, which means V6 supercharged performance that starts at 375 hp but can also go off-road. This being a Jaguar SUV that can accommodate six, it is loaded with comfortable and advanced features that can make any trip a luxury experience. The F-Pace will be coming to SA and the release date should be expected sometime this summer as a 2017 model.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The luxury SUV space may be getting crowded, but there is still plenty of room for vehicles such as the Trackhawk, which can outperform rivals such as Porsche in terms of performance and at more reasonable pricing. The impressive Trackhawk delivers a massive 707 hp all-wheel drive experience in a chassis that is considerably larger. Starting at R1 096 025, the Trackhawk is bound to take market share away from Mercedes Benz, Land Rover and Porsche once it arrives at showrooms in late 2016. We have no information whether the Trackhawk will be available in SA, however in the event that it will be, you can expect the Trackhawk to hit the SA markets not before sometime during 2017.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
Everything that a luxury car owner can expect from a brand such as Mercedes Benz can be found in the 2016 version of this legendary vehicle. The new C-Class has aggressive and futuristic styling; its base model features a 2.0 four-cylinder engine with a turbo package that can easily deliver 241 hp. This is essentially the same power of the C300 sedan packed into a coupe. The interior and infotainment systems are among the best in the market; they even mimic an in-flight presentation such as what first-class air passengers get, complete with Google Maps and Spotify integration. The 2017 model C-Class Coupe will be hitting dealership lots in the late spring of 2016. The car will be available on SA market with a starting price at around R626 088 for the C 300 model.
Looks may not be everything in the luxury car market, but the Lexus SC is probably one of the most stylish and aesthetic cars ever designed. The Lexus SC may not become available until late 2016, mid 2017, but prospective owners are anxiously awaiting the prospect of a 10-speed automatic transmission powered by a hybrid engine that delivers 500 hp. Lexus is promising that the SC will exceed expectations, and it will offer 24-hour concierge service that can be accessed from the futuristic in-dash console; this service will be feature a combination human and artificial intelligence assistants. Currently there is no info on whether the SC will be available in SA, but here’s to hoping that this stylish hybrid will indeed come to SA. You can expect the SC to launch at a starting price of around R1 252 176.
In the end, the models above are just a glimpse of what the future holds for the luxury car market, which is getting more luxurious and impressive as time passes. Do you know of any other luxury vehicles missing from this list?
About the author:
Matthew Young is a Boston based freelance writer. As an aspiring automotive journalist looking to make a name for myself in the industry, he is passionate about covering anything on 4 wheels. When Matthew is not busy writing about cars or new emerging tech, he usually spends time fiddling with his camera and learning a thing or two about photography. You can tweet him here.