Meanwhile, new players, including Lucid Motors, are gravitating to the exotic orbit. While Lucid and fellow electric car startup Rivian are struggling to get their new manufacturing plants up and running, Lucid is already mulling plans to launch a $250,000 version of its Air sedan called Air Sapphire for a new high-performance sub-brand.

Electrification alone is driving up the cost of cars for all automakers. But those brands already at the top of the luxury price pyramid continue to seek refinement and exclusive driving experiences.

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