The focus on fuel efficiency that has swept across the automotive world has touched the luxury segment, a bastion of high-powered engines. That’s beginning to change, as a number of redesigned luxury models are available with four-cylinder power for 2012. There are also a few new hybrids. A selection of new luxury cars is listed below. All cars are listed in alphabetical order and from the 2012 model year.
Flying has never been so good for those who can splurge.
While most holiday travelers will fight for overhead lockers and go hours without a snack or room to stretch their legs, life in first class is stress-free. It has always been a special place on the other side of the curtain. Now, it is getting even cushier.
US airlines, profitable again after a disastrous decade, are spending almost US$2 billion (NZ$2.6 billion) to upgrade amenities for their highest-paying customers.
On the most profitable international routes, high flyers are being treated with pre-flight champagne, flat-screen TVs and seats that turn into beds. Staff greet them by name, hang up jackets and serve meals on china.
A 45-year-old owner of an investment firm in Hong Kong recently bought a $4 million-plus super yacht from Spanish yacht builder Astondoa, and then spent nearly 15 percent of the cost on jazzing it up.
The owner outfitted his new 76-feet four-bedroom boat with a jacuzzi, a Ferrari driving seat and interiors designed by celebrity Italian architect Cristanto Gatto, according to brokerage Asia Boating, which conducted the deal.
“Asian clients are moving towards custom designing their boats, rather than buying designs from factories that make huge quantities of yachts every year,” says Baggy Sartape, general manager of the Hong Kong-based Asia Boating. “And they don’t like to hold back on spending.”
Asia’s yacht market, dominated by Chinese buyers, has been growing at a double-digit pace over the past few years; in 2010, sales of super yachts — boats 70 feet or longer — totaled more than $100 million, according to Hong Kong-based yacht dealer Simpson Marine.
AUTOMOBILE Magazine picks the Audi A7 as its 2012 Automobile of the Year. Editors from the magazine selected the A7 for its “embodiment of everything a luxury buyer would want in a car – design, performance, and technology”. The award will be presented by AUTOMOBILE Magazine President and Editor-In-Chief Jean Jennings during the Los Angeles International Auto Show next week.
Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen was delighted to hear the news. “The Audi A7 boasts bold styling and dramatic features, making it an icon of design and technology. We’re thrilled that AUTOMOBILE Magazine has selected A7 as the Automobile of the Year,” he said.