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Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti are some brands that create the most coveted and wanted cars in North America, however only a select few drivers can afford these types of cars. The Joneses set a high standard to follow when it comes to these select few.

Maybe a Hennessey Venom GT, for a suggested retail price of $1.2 million, would represent a step ahead of the Joneses. Hennessey says its 1,244-hp Venom GT set a Guinness World Book-sanctioned record time of 13.63 seconds from zero to 300 kilometers per hour, or 186 mph, in January 2013. However, anyone who wants to buy one better move fast, pun intended. The company plans to build a total of only 29 units, and 11 have already been sold, including just five in the United States.

No. 1 on our list of the 10 Most Expensive Cars for 2014 is the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which retails for $4.5 million — if you can get one. Lamborghini says it plans to build only nine of them in 2014.

Next year could be a good one for the exotic automobile industry. Wall Street bonuses could be 5% to 10% higher than last year when they are handed out in early 2014, according to Johnson Associates, and that’s a prime source of buyers for high-end automobiles. Exotic-car dealers keep close track of the stock markets, since that’s where many of their customers get their disposable income, whether those customers are shareholders or captains of industry.

The automotive upper-upper crust also includes traditional brands whose names ring a bell like Bugatti and Ferrari. British brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley are also traditional choices, although they are not in the business of hair-raising performance at all costs.

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The self-driving car looks to be the future of safer driving. Accidents due to road rage, speeding and distracted driving could drop drastically thanks to this new technology.

Self-driving cars could generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from mobile Internet services and products, even if occupants spend only a fraction of their free time on the web, according to a new study by McKinsey & Company.

The study, released Thursday, also projects that widespread adoption of self-driving cars could lead to a 90 percent reduction in U.S. vehicle crashes, with a potential savings of nearly $200 billion a year from significantly fewer injuries and deaths.

In addition, the McKinsey study warns of several risks to established companies, including vehicle manufacturers, dealers and even insurance companies.

McKinsey projects that future owners of self-driving cars could save up to 50 minutes a day, some of which is likely to be spent surfing the web.

The consulting firm estimates the additional free time in the car could generate about $5.6 billion a year in digital revenue for each additional minute that vehicle occupants spend on the internet – as much as $140 billion if half their free time in the car, or roughly 25 minutes, is devoted to daily web surfing and shopping.

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When you go to buy a car, incentives and sales sweeteners are all part of your decision-making process. When these incentives begin to decrease and disappear, will you still want to buy that new car? Will there be more competition between car brands in price and features when incentives no longer separate them from one another?

This is the decision that new car buyers and prospects will have to make one day soon. Prices of incentives have been dropping as the sweetener on a new light vehicle $5,041 which is 17.2 % less than the average $29,312 transaction price before.

That’s about as rich in real dollars as the average in 2013, when the incentive money represented 17.6 per cent of a average transaction price of $28,259 — or $4,973.58. Thus, for more than two years now, carmakers and their dealers have used $5,000 to lure Canadians to pull the trigger on a new ride.

The incentive money certainly lit a fire under buyers. In 2014, Canadians bought a record 1.85 million new cars and light trucks. That sales boom broke the previous all-time record set in 2013. As J.D. Power put it in a note to clients, “the doldrums of the recession years are clearly in the rear-view mirror, albeit perhaps closer than they appear.”

We’ll call that a cryptic caveat. That is, J.D. Power and auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants both see reasons to be optimistic about what lies ahead for 2015 – but it’s a cautious optimism. 

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