Sales of exotic cars in Europe increased 3% in 2019 to 7,368 units, which is the highest annual sales volume since 2008. After the Ferrari 488 led the ranking for two years, the Bentley Continental GT has reclaimed the segment crown it used to hold, thanks to the new generation. The Continental GT has its highest annual sales in Europe since 2008 after peaking at over 2,800 sales in 2007, while the 488 is down 17% and the #3 Aston Martin DB11 is down 20% to drop below 1,000 annual sales for the first time since its launch in 2017. That allows the Ferrari 812 Superfast to close in, just 41 sales from on a podium finish, and with the highest annual sales for any V12 Ferrari ever in Europe. It leapfrogs the Lamborghini Huracan, down 24% as the Huracan Evo facelift was launched this year. Its sibling Lamborghini Aventador is up 2% to a new annual sales record, and also the highest annual sales for any V12 Lamborghini in Europe ever. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera finds almost 500 buyers which beats the Ferrari GTC4Lusso, down 36%. Rolls Royce is in trouble with its cheaper models as both the Dawn and Wraith are down by 35% or more.
Audi RS4 Avant and BMW M5
If this is the future of performance saloons/wagons, sign me up! Sure, we should all mourn the passing of the thrilling NA V8 screamer in the RS4 and, going back two generations, a similarly high-revving NA V10 in the M5. However, if they can only imbue the new engines with a bit of charisma it’s hard to argue with the hard facts: 0-62mph (100km/h) times of 4.1s for the RS4 and 3.4s for the M5, respectively, plus a series of chassis techniques to make these big cars controllable and exciting: torque vectoring, carbon brakes, a rear-biassed 4WD system that can be fully switched off in the BMW’s case. Plus they look every bit as good as they should, with their wide tracks and swollen arches.