Irish motorists splashing out in the €100k club
If you were ever looking for a sign that the Irish economy was back on its feet; you need look no further than the massive sums of money which is being splashed out on luxury 2016 motors.
Not since the height of the Celtic Tiger have we seen so many high end cars hit the road.
Back in the Noughties, luxury €100k SUVs like the Range Rover and the BMW X5 were commonplace on Irish roads – and they weren’t just driven around by our sports stars.
You were as likely to see an Audi Q7 or an S-Class Mercedes outside the gates of a primary school or a supermarket car park as outside an Edwardian residence in the posh suburbs of Dublin’s D4.
Before the bubble burst in 2008, Land Rover Ireland sold more than 1,150 units of its luxury Range Rover model – numbers only matched in the plush horse-racing areas of the U.K.
2006 Range Rover
Other luxury brands like BMW sold 597 units of its X5 SUV, Mercedes shifted 416 models of its chauffeur-like S-Class, while Audi handed over the keys to 593 lucky owners of its amazing Q7.
However, when the downturn really struck, customers opted to downsize and dumped their gas-guzzling machines.
Now, though, the executive car boom is back with a bang.
But it's not just saloons and 4x4s back on Irish roads as a handful of exotic sports cars have found their way onto Irish driveways.
Audi have registered one of its R8 supercars with a price tag just south of €300k.
Rumour has it that it has been sold already, and may well be joining a certain car fan’s fleet.
The new specially-developed ‘European’ Ford Mustang has arrived and three have been sold so far.
Tesla Motors, the world's leading electric car brand has sold three of their Model S so far this year.
Two brand new Porsche Caymans' have been bought by Irish customers.
And two of Jaguar's awesome F-Types have been ordered.
Eight Audi A7s, three Porsche Cayennes and two Audi A8s have also been sold.
Out of the 30,000-plus vehicles already sold this year, more than 500 luxury cars have been driven out of the country’s showrooms, with most of those customers joining the €100k executive club.
Here we take a look at some of the expensive models sold so far this year.
This popular SUV tops the list, with 131 units hitting Irish roads since January 1.
Prices for the X5 start at €66,610, but when you start adding on a few must-have extras, you would find yourself easily tipping the €90k mark.
This is another monster SUV that received rave reviews last year.
A Volvo insider tells me that majority of the 106 cars sold so far this year have been the top-of-the-range models, which can also touch the €100k mark.
It’s a firm favourite with Room to Improve star and Irish architect Dermot Bannon.
This fancy seven-seater in the Audi range got a new look last year. So far the German company has shifted 94 models since January 1.
Prices for the Q7 start at €72,125, but, again, it wouldn’t take too long to break the €100k barrier with a few add-ons.
BMW Ireland has so far sold 53 models of its luxury car.
Many of these €100k-plus motors will be chauffeuring politicians and wealthy businesspeople.
Mercedes Benz GLE
Like the Q7 and X5, the Mercedes GLE and GLE coupé, which just launched last year, is proving to be a popular buy with more than 44 units being sold so far.
You’d get little change out of €100k if you added on a few bits and bobs.
Range Rover/Range Rover Sport
The Chelsea tractor, as they are known in the U.K., is as popular as ever, and not just with international rugby stars like Jamie Heaslip. So far, 30 Range Rovers and 40 Range Rover Sports have been sold.
Mercedes Benz S-Class
The S-Class is a chauffeur’s dream and there seems to be a big demand for the flagship in the Mercedes range.
Expect to be writing a cheque with a six-figure sum, like the 31 new owners already have this year.
The sporty coupé-like version of the X5, has sold five so far, while the 6-Series saloon, which sits just below the flagship 7-Series, has seen 13 models shift from the forecourts.
Prices start at €85,040 for the X6 and €97,840 for the 6-Series.
Move over Conor McGregor, because you are not the only one in the country to have the amazing BMW i8.
This electric and petrol-powered supercar, which costs just under €150k, has already found three new homes in Ireland this year.
Rory McIlroy also joined the club when BMW kindly gave one to the golf sensation.
Now if you could just win the Euromillions you might join the €100k club too.