High-end auto makers coming out with 'bigger, better' models

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Some high-end auto makers are taking the phrase "bigger is better" to heart with a group of new sedans. (KABC)

Some high-end auto makers are taking the phrase "bigger is better" to heart with a group of new sedans.

There's a hot, new BMW on the road these days: The first-ever M2. It's the company's smallest model, packed with big power and big performance. It's the kind of diminutive race-tuned car that put BMW on the map.

But what if you want something bigger, how about an M version of the 7 Series?

Well, there is no such car as an M7, but there is once again a B7 Alpina, which is like an M-car but a little more special.

Alpina is BMW's affiliated tuning firm, and the Alpina name goes back decades.

For this decade, the Alpina 7 Series means staggering performance, especially when you realize what a large and luxurious car this is on the inside.

For bragging rights, horsepower from the twin-turbo V8 is 600. Another number that may blow you away -- the sticker price of nearly $140,000.

German auto makers have a penchant for making these king-size hot rods.

You can get Mercedes-Benz's biggest sedan -- the S Class -- as an AMG model if you feel the need for speed and the need to spend close to $150,000.

Audi's big sedan is the A8, but the S8 is something extra special. It has huge power at just over 600 and pretty much huge everything else -- huge tires putting down huge traction from the quattro all-wheel drive system, a huge performance-themed interior and yes, a huge price tag.

These are often called halo cars, ultimate examples of a brand's engineering know-how, which draws people in, even if they only have the budget for a less expensive model.

That goes for Audi, that big Alpina from BMW and the top AMG model that Mercedes-Benz offers.

Buy the less expensive one, get some of the cachet, if you do have the means for one of these big luxury bruisers, you can be relatively certain that you're driving one of the fastest sedans money can buy.
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