This is not the domain of America's best-selling car, the Toyota Camry. Other high-volume cars like the Honda Accord and Honda Civic or Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Elantra, or even the BMW 3-Series for that matter, won't be priced in this neighbourhood until a few decades of inflation have had their way. No, this is where ultra-premium badges come to play. Fighting above their weight class are a few simpletons from the luxury crowd: Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and.... pfft, Porsche. For the most part, automakers represented in the group below are avid promoters of largesse and excess; hedonism and epicureanism; indulgence and opulence.
Two specific cars have been left off this list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Sedans In The World for obvious reasons. The Maybach Landaulet, with its estimated MSRP of $1,380,000, won't be purchased by any sane self-respecting person. It's that ugly. Meanwhile, the Bugatti Galibier 16C, although gorgeous and terribly expensive (likely $1,470,000) is a mite too far from the Marketplace to be included with this bunch of current or near-Future automobiles.
Don't forget about the 5-door capability of two cars in the group below. Perhaps you won't walk in to the country club proclaiming the majesty of your new hatchback, but it's a unique trait nonetheless, one that makes it hard to include the two vehicles in this sedan/saloon list. All prices are in U.S. dollars. Scroll all the way down for the Gallery slideshow.
#10 - PORSCHE PANAMERA TURBO: $132,600
She ain't pretty. But on dynamic talent alone, few if any of the other contenders could stay with the Porsche on a racetrack or even a country road. The Panamera's auto start-stop function must be selected each time you set our for a drive but will shut the engine off automatically when you're stopped at traffic lights and then it'll restart the powerplant just as quickly to save fuel.
#9 - MASERATI QUATTROPORTE GT S: $133,700
Competing for the crown of best-looking car in the world, the Quattroporte has no trouble making the majority of expensive sedans look like poorly drawn boats. Quattroporte owners are also able to point out the origins of their car's engine: Ferrari's factory.
#8 - BMW 760Li: $137,000
With its vastly improved exterior design, the biggest BMW is ready to rein in some Mercedes conquest sales. Though Rolls-Royce won't be keen to declare it, BMW sales consultants will readily claim the 7-Series/Ghost connection. 20% of their parts are shared.
#7 - ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE: $199,950
As the supermodel of the sedan world, Aston Martin's Rapide shares plenty with its brethren. From the grille to the overall proportions, the Rapide is undeniably Aston in every way. Even its doors swing up 12 degrees to provide easier ingress while at the same time avoiding scuffs on the curb.
#6 - MERCEDES-BENZ S65 AMG: $201,150
Not that the regular S-Class variants are weak-kneed or technologically lacking, but AMG's alternative to the S400 Hybrid, S550, and S600 adds more expensive metal and software than you can shake a stick at. Plus, there's 738 lb-ft of torque. Reeesult.
#5 - BENTLEY CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR SPEED: $202,500
The most expensive edition of the Flying Spur, Bentley's 4-door Speed requires extra horsepower to carry around plenty of weight and plenty of Breitling timing gear. Flying Spurs are also alone in this ten-strong group, powering forward without a V-shaped engine. Continentals all use a twin-turbocharged W-12.
#4 - ROLLS-ROYCE GHOST: $245,000 (est.)
Restrained styling has resulted in a more attractive Rolls-Royce this time around. The Phantom has presence, but the Ghost seems more... appropriate. What's more, this smaller, "cheaper" Ghost is more powerful than its big brother.
#3 - BENTLEY MULSANNE: $295,000 (est.)
Unveiled in Pebble Beach to rave reviews, the biggest, baddest Bentley resurrects the Mulsanne name after a two-decade hiatus. Each Mulsanne will take approximately nine weeks to build from start-to-finish. Apart from the press cars, it's highly unlikely that any two Mulsannes will be same, not with 114 paint colours and 24 leather hides to choose from.
#2 - MAYBACH 57/62: $366,000-$506,500
Certainly the least desirable and least attractive model on this list, the Maybach family (including the more expensive Landaulet and Zeppelin) has not been a roaring success for Daimler AG. That's not to say the cars themselves won't roar. Indeed, only excessive sound-deadining material hushes the twin-turbo V12.
#1 - ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM: $408,000
Reeking of old money and permeated with modern technology, the Phantom is the image-conscious vehicle choice for the extraordinarily wealthy. Even the mega-rich friends of the extraordinarily wealthy are impressed by the gigantic Rolls. Touches include the tucked-away umbrella in the side panel and the Phantom's power reserve meter which takes the place of a traditional tachometer.