The ultra high end brings new meaning to ‘exotic’


In the past, a brand that produced powertrains of awesome performance, or rarefied designs of outstanding touch and feel, or luxurious construction that translated to stratospheric pricing, was known as an exotic.

Today, the segment is identifying new products, new powertrains and new strategies to meet regulatory and competitive changes around the world while still meeting the high expectations of customers.

An SUV for McLaren? Maybe. An electric crossover for Rolls-Royce? Definitely. A future for Rolls’ V-12 engines? And is there still a place of relevance for Maserati’s elegant Ghibli sedan?

Meanwhile, new players are gravitating into the exotic orbit, including Lucid Motors. Although Lucid and fellow electric vehicle startup Rivian face challenges in getting their new production plants up to speed, Lucid is already calculating plans to introduce a $250,000 version of its Air sedan, called the Air Sapphire, for a new ultraperformance subbrand.

Electrification is, by itself, resulting in higher-priced vehicles for all automakers. But those brands already at the pinnacle of the luxury price pyramid are continuing to quest for refinement and exclusive driving experiences.

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