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Auto blogFri, 14 Mar 2014 18:31:00 EST
It's a good time to be in the luxury car business. In Volkswagen Group's financial report for the 2013 fiscal year, it is revealed that that Porsche enjoyed an operating margin of 18 percent. That means the Stuttgart brand made on average about $23,200 per car sold, according to BusinessWeek. Bentley wasn't far behind, and Audi (which was combined with Lamborghini) posted a 10.1 percent margin. This compares to only around 2.9 percent for the Volkswagen brand.
"Luxury brands are on fire," said Dave Sullivan, an industry analyst at AutoPacific. He said that the average profit margin is between six and eight percent. Brands like Porsche and Bentley have the benefit of competing in rarefied markets. Buyers looking at one their vehicles have fewer models to shop against and don't care as much about price. They can also charge more for options, which further boosts income, according to BusinessWeek.
In a way, we should be more impressed by the continued success from Audi. Its models generally have direct competitors in every segment from the other premium automakers. Plus, their buyers aren't the captains of industry who are shopping for a Bentley. Still, the Four Rings is leading rivals in sales so far this year.
As one of the greatest sports car manufacturers of all time, when Porsche puts out a new, ultra-exclusive hypercar, enthusiasts tend to stand up and take note. Jay Leno is no exception, and now, the funnyman is finally getting his time with awesome 918 Spyder.
With his 1963 Porsche 356 and his 2005 Carrera GT flanking a Liquid Silver 918, Leno takes us through the basics of this plug-in hybrid roadster alongside Daniel Eastman of Porsche North America. Following the chat, Leno and Eastman take the German-plated car through the streets of California, testing it in a number of modes and even going on a short, all-electric freeway cruise.
If you're looking to learn more about the 918, or to just here its glorious gas engine at work, you'll want to scroll down and take a look at the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage.
Fans of Porsche in America have longed for the chance to buy a 959 ever since the German automaker produced and sold it (well, sold it everywhere but the United States...) in the 1980s. Well, they just had their chance. The car you see above is a Porsche 959 prototype built in 1986, and only one other running prototype still exists.
The 959 prototype can't be driven on public roads, as it carries no such certification. Somehow, we doubt that matters all that much to the new buyer - this one is probably going to be sitting in a collection. When the gavel finally fell, bidding had reached $400,000, plus a 10-percent buyer's fee.
Check out our high-res image gallery above to see this prototype up close, and scroll down below to watch a video of it crossing the auction block and for its official auction description.