Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

RARE RIDES

THE TOP 10 CARS you won't often see on Canadian roads

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With the end of summer in view and fall just around the corner, the annual new-car model-year changeover is upon us.

While there are still plenty of 2013 models available, some new vehicles are decidedly hard to find.

Here's a list of the rarest new vehicles sold in Canada so far this year.

10. (Tie) Bentley and Toyota Land Cruiser

It's no surprise you see so few new vehicles from the Volkswagen Group's ultra-luxury Bentley brand. From the $227,335 Continental Flying Spur to the $362,635 Mulsanne, only 77 have been sold this year.

Stranger is the US$78,555 Toyota Land Cruiser. It's not an official Toyota Canada model, but the records show just 77 were sold so far in 2013.

9. Audi R8

Although it's seen in some circles as a "poor man's Lamborghini," Audi's R8 supercar is still a rare bird. From the 430-hp $136,795 R8 V8 Coupe to the 550-hp $189,795 R8 V10 Coupe Plus, only 75 examples were sold to the end of July this year.

8. Jaguar XK

Overall, Jaguar sales in Canada are up a whopping 79 per cent for the first seven months of 2013. But the brand's flagship XK grand touring machine is still a unique proposition. From the 375-hp $100,768 XK Coupe to the 550-hp $148,143 XKR-S Convertible, only 66 have been sold.

7. Honda Insight

While hybrids still garner only a small share of overall new-car sales, two of the rarest models are from Honda. The first is the compact $21,990 front-wheel-drive, five-passenger Insight four-door hatch. Only 59 samples of the Toyota Prius competitor have been sold so far this year in Canada.

6. Honda CR-Z

As the reincarnation of Honda's CR-X sports coupe from the 1980s and 1990s -- but with an eco-friendly hybrid powertrain -- the Honda CR-Z (above) was always going to be a unique car. And with only 46 sold through to the end of July, the $22,645 front-wheel-drive Honda two-seater is rarer than some $250,000 ultra-luxury cars.

5. Hyundai Equus

While Hyundai's mainstream models are as popular as ever, its flagship $64,499 Equus is one of the rarest new vehicles you'll see (or not!) on Canadian roads. With just 45 of the full-sized Equus luxury sedans sold in Canada though to the end of July this year, the big Hyundai makes the Mercedes-Benz S-Class seem common.

4. Acura ZDX

With new products such as its RDX and MDX crossovers flying out of showroom doors, Acura sales in Canada are growing. Overall sales were up 20 per cent through to the end of July. But with only 31 sold so far this year, the $56,750 ZDX SUV/coupe could still be considered an exotic.

3. Lamborghini

We couldn't get our hands on the sales figures for Ferrari or McLaren. But we did find out that from the 550-hp, 10-cylinder $211,500 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupe to the $485,400 700-hp, 12-cylinder Aventador Roadster LP 700-4, only 26 of these ultra-rare Lambos have been sold this year.

2. Volvo S80

It's not a hybrid or a supercar, but Volvo's $47,450 S80 flagship luxury sedan sells like an exotic vehicle. With only 24 of the big Swedish four-doors sold in the first seven months of 2013, the S80 is the second-rarest new vehicle sold in Canada this year.

1. Lexus LFA

With only 500 ever built for worldwide sales (production stopped in 2012), it's no surprise that the US$375,000 Lexus LFA V10 supercar with 552 hp is the rarest new car sold in Canada. Apparently, only 10 of the Lexus Ferrari-fighters were ever sold in this country, with just one delivered so far this year.

Statistics were compiled from data from DesRosiers & Associates; Automotive News Data Center; Association of Global Automakers of Canada (GAC); and automaker supplied data based on retail sales in Canada between January 1 and July 31, 2013. Except for US pricing, all prices include freight and pre-delivery inspection fees.

-- Postmedia Network Inc. 2013

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 20, 2013 A1

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