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2012 Detroit auto show: Cars for the 1 percent

Consumer Reports News: January 10, 2012 09:23 AM

If much of the country is still focused on value for the 99 percent, the Detroit auto show still has plenty of room for the remaining 1 percent. For those with money to burn, some of the finest hardware anywhere is on display.

Porsche, perhaps trying to kiss and make up to Detroit after the German company shunned the city’s auto show last year, is back with a smattering of silver beauties, including a stunning (and ridiculously priced, at $133K) Panamera GTS. Gold was once the color of riches; this year, they’re apparently buying silver.

Invitation.jpgI also happened upon a Maybach display--even though Mercedes-Benz is killing off the brand, apparently finding that the high-end division couldn’t out-Mercedes Mercedes. So it was a curious decision to include it here at the auto show. It seems as though a puny percent of the 1% bought them.

Undeterred by any shaky jobs report, Bentley showed several of its elegant machines, including a $250,000 Mulsanne sedan and GTC convertible. Interestingly, there was also a sign outside the display that read “By Invitation Only.” I guess the 99% better keep on walking.

Finally, I stopped dead in my tracks in front of the Audi display. What caused my partial paralysis? An impossibly gorgeous R8 GT Spyder. The price? Be ready to pony up $210,000 to occupy this baby.

Mike Quincy

   

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