Buying Advice

Luxury cars for almost every budget

Mercedes-Benz makes cars that are budget-friendly and vehicles that could break the bank.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The concept of a luxury car for any budget means different things to different people, and often it depends not only on the features or price point, but also on personal perspective and perception. The driver of a 15-year-old econobox might think any new car is a luxury, while someone used to piloting a $100,000 Mercedes might be slightly harder to please.

Let's consider what a luxury sedan might look like for those within just about any new-car budget. Keep in mind that vehicles listed here are within ranges — final prices could be slightly higher or lower than the range shown. Sticking with traditional luxury cars, each vehicle listed here is a 4-door sedan — and a potential luxury car for any budget.

$20,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited — $22,800
Hyundai may not be the name that comes to mind when it comes to luxury, but the brand's best-selling model is surprisingly equipped for the price. Refreshed last year with a new hood, front fascia, grille and headlights, the current Elantra has a more chiseled look than its predecessor. Inside the Elantra Limited feels like a premium sedan with standard features that include leather heated seats, dual-zone climate control with CleanAir Ionizer, wireless device charging, proximity key with pushbutton start, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, Infinity premium audio system and 7-inch high-resolution display screen. With full LED headlights and taillights as well as 17-inch alloy wheels, the Elantra looks the part of a luxury car as well.

Other options:

$40,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

2020 Mercedes-Benz C300 — $41,400
The best-selling passenger car in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the C-Class moved into its fourth year of the current generation last year with updated styling, more power and new features. Looking like a proper Mercedes with standard LED headlights and taillights and freshened front-end styling, the C-Class is available in a number of trim levels with varying levels of power. The entry-level C300 comes well equipped with a 7-inch display, a power sunroof, active brake assist, a rearview camera, keyless start and a new multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel that includes Touch Control Buttons that respond to swiping motions. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 255 horsepower, teamed with a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission. The C-Class is available with Mercedes 4MATIC all-wheel drive for an additional $2,000.

Other options:

$60,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

2020 Lincoln Continental Reserve — $59,870
The Lincoln Continental is a name long associated with American luxury, and in 2017 this classic returned to the U.S. market after a 15-year hiatus. The flagship sedan of Ford's luxury brand, the Continental is designed to provide a quiet and relaxing experience for all passengers. Approaching the Continental brings it to life, projecting the Lincoln logo in front of the doors to act as a welcome mat. Unique door handles combine the classic handle with an electronic door release. The interior has a welcoming mix of soft leather and real wood trim, as well as an available 19-speaker Revel Ultima audio system. Optional Perfect Position seats can be adjusted 30 different ways and are available with front and rear heating, cooling and massage functions. Continental can be configured with front- or all-wheel drive with power coming from the standard 2.7-liter twin-turbo engine producing 335 horsepower and a plentiful 380 pound-feet of torque.

Other options:

$80,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

2020 Audi A8 — $83,800
The A8 resides at the pinnacle of the Audi sedan lineup and was completely new for the 2019 model year. Now in its fourth generation, the A8 introduces a modern look for the Audi brand with stylish high-tech headlights that flank the latest version of Audi's signature Singleframe grille. At the rear are new LED taillights, enhanced by a lighting strip that stretches the width of the car. Passengers will find an ultra-luxurious interior that features the latest high-tech displays and features. The multi-screen display consists of a 10.3-inch upper screen with smartphonelike functionality with haptic touch functionality, while the lower 8.6-inch screen can be used to adjust HVAC, seating and up to 32 programmable shortcuts. In front of the driver is the latest version of the Audi virtual cockpit that contains a 12.3-inch high-definition screen that can be configured to suit driver preferences.

Other options:

$100,000 Range

2020 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 Granlusso

Photo courtesy of Maserati

2020 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 Granlusso— $110,990
Once this luxury list hits the $100,000 mark, most folks might assume that whatever gets highlighted would be rather exclusive. This isn't necessarily true; but if exclusivity is important, why not try the Maserati Quattroporte? The flagship of the Maserati line, the Quattroporte is handmade in Modena, Italy, and features an elegant interior with fine Italian leather and silk trim from Ermenegildo Zegna, the Italian luxury fashion house. In addition to traditional niceties, the coachbuilder has embraced technology with a Maserati Touch Control screen, adjustable pedals, a rearview camera and an optional 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, as well as a WLAN-based Wi-Fi system. Best of all, under the hood lurks a Ferrari-built engine that emits a sound so amazing even those who aren't looking will know something special is motoring by.

Other options:

$120,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

2019 Jaguar XJR575 — $123,300
The Jaguar XJ may be in its final year, but there's still time to pick up this special edition of the British luxury sedan. Introduced for the 2018 model year, the XJR575 gets built on the long wheelbase Jaguar XJ sedan and has bespoke styling features inside and out. The XJ is not a common car on the road, which already gives it a level of exclusivity; however, the XJR575 further differentiates itself with a gloss-black grille and side power vents, sports exhaust with quad pipes, hood louvers, red brake calipers and 20-inch gloss-black finish wheels. The interior is equally special with sport seats featuring diamond-quilted leather and 575 branding throughout. The long wheelbase provides a spacious rear seat. As one might guess from the name, the XJR575 is equipped with a unique version of Jaguar's supercharged V8 engine that generates 575 horsepower, moving this big luxury sedan to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and continuing to a top speed of 186 mph.

Other options:

$140,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

2020 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4 Door — $140,250
As the high-performance tuning group associated with Mercedes Benz, AMG has produced two standalone sports cars: the SLS AMG and the current AMG GT coupe / roadster. Now there's a new AMG-specific model, the AMG GT 4-Door. The all-new AMG GT 4-Door has styling cues that clearly link it to its 2-door sibling. Up front are slim multibeam LED headlights that flank the AMG "shark nose" grille and feed into the low and long sculpted hood. At the rear are LED taillights and quad exhaust pipes — a must for any AMG model. Passengers will enjoy the luxurious surroundings inside, but the driver will be most excited by the hand-built biturbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates a plentiful 577 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The four-seat GT 63 will sprint to 60 mph in only 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 193 mph.

Other options:

$160,000 Range

Photo courtesy of BMW of North America, LLC

2020 BMW 7 Series M760i XDrive — $157,700
The 7 Series is the flagship of the BMW family, and this M760i xDrive sits at the peak of the 7 Series lineup. The big sedan combines the utmost in luxury with impressive performance to create the ultimate high-performance sport sedan. Rear-seat passengers enjoy big, comfortable seats that recline, massage, heat and cool while they experience the high-end video entertainment system. As inviting as the rear seat might be, the driver's seat is the one to choose. With a TwinPower Turbo V12 engine producing 601 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, this big sedan can reach 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, boasting a top speed limited to 155 mph. Full-time all-wheel drive and legendary BMW handling make this a luxury-performance sedan for any season.

Other options:

$180,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S — $185,000
Porsche has introduced its first fully-electric vehicle and it is pure Porsche. Taycan's design team made sure the new model is easily recognizable as a Porsche, with its sleek body and roofline that slopes toward the rear in its signature Teutonic taper. The headlights have a futuristic look, while at the rear a light bar over the large PORSCHE name evokes the look of the new 911. Inside Taycan, occupants experience a new dashboard that features a standard 10.9-inch infotainment display as well as an optional passenger display; both meld behind a single glass panel. This first electric Porsche is powered by two electric motors — one at each axle – which also creates an advanced 4-wheel-drive system. The Turbo S generates a staggering 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque, making it the most potent vehicle in the Porsche lineup. That's enough grunt to move this 4-door Porsche to 60 mph in a mere 2.6 seconds.

Other options:

$200,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650 — $202,550
While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is approaching the pinnacle of luxury, the Maybach takes things to another level, especially for rear-seat occupants. Those lucky passengers will enjoy seats that are both heated and cooled, can recline up to 43 degrees, and offer six massage programs. Ultra-soft Nappa leather and hand-finished wood can be found throughout the cabin, including a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel. The feature list is much too long to list, but highlights include 4-zone climate control, 64 color/3-zone LED ambient lighting, heated armrests and a Burmester 3-D Surround Sound audio system.

Other options:

$225,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

2020 Bentley Flying Spur — $214,600
There's a certain level of luxury expected from a Bentley, and this all-new Flying Spur delivers. Hand built in Great Britain, the latest Flying Spur features a new aluminum and composite chassis that let engineers increase the wheelbase by more than 5 inches which translates to an even roomier interior. Styling is updated with a bold grille flanked by LED matrix headlights with cut crystal detailing, and a retractable and restyled Flying B is positioned above the grille. Inside, the new Bentley Flying Spur is swathed in leather, wood and technology. Any Flying Spur owner will be continually answering the question whether the best seat in the house is in the comfort of the rear seat or behind the wheel. While rear-seat passengers will enjoy the lavish surroundings with the expected high levels of craftsmanship and refinement, drivers get to experience Bentley's twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine producing 626 horsepower, delivering runs to 60 mph that take 3.7 seconds with an eventual top speed of 207 mph.

$300,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost — $315,000
From the "everything is relative" department, the Ghost is the "entry-level" model in the Rolls-Royce lineup. Rolls-Royce has long been the benchmark for luxury automobiles, and this still holds true for the Ghost. The hand-built sedan is swathed in five coats of paint that take seven days to apply, with an additional five hours of hand polishing. Inside is a mix of classic matching wood veneers and hand-stitched leather seats with the latest in high-tech connectivity and infotainment . The twin-turbo 6.6-liter V12 engine provides more than adequate power, and the intelligent air suspension delivers an impressively smooth, quiet ride.

Other options:
  • Bentley Mulsanne

$350,000 Range

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

2020 Bentley Mulsanne Speed — $342,300
The Mulsanne Speed is a perfect example of the classic large and powerful Bentley. The car weighs almost 3 tons and stretches more than 18 feet long, but with a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 530 horsepower and a whopping 811 lb-ft of torque, it easily reaches 60 mph in under 5 seconds while boasting a top speed of 190 mph. The Mulsanne Speed's driver-adjustable air suspension can focus on comfort or stiffness to optimize performance and handling. The lavish interior features diamond-quilted leather on seats and door panels, a leather headliner, piano-black veneer with handcrafted carbon-fiber inlays, and an embroidered Bentley emblem on each seat. A 60 GB onboard hard drive stores music for the driver and films for rear-seat passengers to view on 8-inch screens. A frosted glass bottle cooler — replete with crystal champagne flutes — can be installed in the rear armrest, and power-operated tables can be fitted to the rear of the front seats.

$400,000+ Range

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom — $450,000
If there is a bar against which all luxury cars are judged, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is well above it. The legendary British marque has introduced an all-new eighth-generation Phantom that is completely new from the ground up. In addition to the added stiffness of a new aluminum spaceframe, the Phantom features Rolls-Royce's "Magic Carpet Ride," which can adjust the air suspension continuously for the smoothest motive experience. The system uses a camera to assess road conditions and adjusts the Phantom's setup proactively to accommodate rough road surfaces. The elegant rear seat is accessed through larger rear-hinged doors that can be softly closed with the push of a button. The gamut of standard features is too long to list here, but it includes the latest in advanced safety technology, the highest-quality materials and just about any level of customization a customer could desire. And for those seeking a Rolls-Royce that goes even longer on luxury, might we suggest the extended-wheelbase version of the Phantom, which can be had for $530,000.

Other options:
  • A very nice house
  • A new boat

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The BMW iX is just one model that is coming to American for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Many cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans have gotten upgrades for the 2022 model year. There are a a variety of terms you'll frequently see associated with a description of a vehicle for its annual changeover. Here's how AutomotiveMap defines them:

  • New - These models are entering the market for the first time.
  • Carryover - There have been no major changes from one model year to the other. It is common that the year after a new or refreshed model is introduced, it will be a carryover.
  • Refreshed - Commonly occurring three to four years after the new generation of a model is introduced, a refresh usually includes new fascia, perhaps an engine lineup change or tech upgrade, and usually the addition of safety system upgrades.
  • Redesign - This term signals a generation change in the model. This usually requires an architecture change and all new body panels, engine lineup, tech offerings, and the introduction of new packages, trim levels, and pricing. Redesigns typically happens every seven to nine years.

The models on this list are new or have either been redesigned or refreshed for the 2022 model year. This list will grow as more information becomes available. Click here to see the 2021 models that were new, refreshed, or redesigned for the year.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG​

Volkswagen announced a refreshed version of the Tiguan SUV in late 2020 but made it known that the model wasn't going to make it stateside until late 2021. The European version (shown above) of the SUV has a new grille that combines with standard LED headlights, VW's new logo right up front, new rear bumpers, redesigned lettering, and a pretty decent tech upgrade in its cabin.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Word on the street is that the new Toyota Corolla Cross could be coming to the U.S. as a 2022 model. That's unconfirmed at this point. If it were, the Corolla Cross could fill a gap in Toyota's lineup between the RAV4 and CH-R, similar to where the Hyundai Kona fits between the Santa Fe and Venue. Stay tuned for more information.

2022 Nissan Ariya

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Ariya is a 300-mile all-electric crossover with a $40,000 price tag. It might be replacing the Murano in the company's lineup as the brand strategically weighs production versus an electrified business model. The Ariya has unique, minimalistic design that uber modern. Stay tuned for more information as it's announced throughout 2021.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

When the Grand Wagoneer concept debuted in late 2020, it was touted as coming soon and nearly production ready. The model fits into FCA/Stellantis's multi-year product plans as a 2022 model with production expected to kick off in 2021. Check back for more information.

2022 Hyundai Kona

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company

The Kona is already old enough to have undergone a model refresh. They grow up so quickly! The new design infusion gives the 2022 Kona new cladding, a freshly stretched hood, new grille shape. The lower bumper has a skid plate while intakes dominate the corners of the face. At the back are new taillights with a horizontal graphic. Below is a new bumper. The revised Kona rides on updated 17- or 18-inch wheels, or the 16-inchers that have been carried over from previous model years. The model also gets Hyundai's 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback Photo courtesy of Audi AG

In their seemingly never ending move to fastback everything, Audi is making the Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback a reality for the 2022 model year. The two models get basically the same equipment package as their squared-off counterparts and has about the same capability.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

Cadillac Blackwing launch

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac will soon be introducing its new performance-centric sedan. We'll update this information when it's announced.

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Sedona

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia Sedona name is gone, replaced by the Kia Carnival moniker for the 2022 model year. That's not as big of a deal as it sounds, the van has always been known as the Carnival to global markets. For 2021, the van got a generational upgrade overseas, but those changes won't make it stateside until the 2022 model year.

2022 BMW 4 Series Cabriolet

2022 BMW 4 Series Convertible Photo courtesy of BMW

The 4 Series is a distinct creature. For the 2022 model year, a cabriolet version of the car will be made available for sale that's lighter and has more cargo space and a lower center of gravity than its predecessor. Like its hard-topped relatives, the 4 Series Convertible is available with a variety of packages but only one engine is available, a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Volkswagen Taos

2022 Volkswagen Taos Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is introducing the Taos to the U.S. market for the 2022 model year. The small SUV is akin to the Hyundai Kona in size and the Volkswagen Tiguan in styling. VW made this model explicitly for the U.S. market where SUVs are dominating the sales conversation.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

In 2020, the automaker revealed the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, which has been refreshed inside and out. Most notably, it has a refreshed face and redesigned hatch. Minor interior improvements are designed to help make the Mitsubishi more palatable to buyers.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is the most powerful Golf to date and yes, it's coming to the U.S. The performance variant of the Golf family delivers 315 horsepower, a 27-horsepower boost over the outgoing model, and 310 pound-feet of torque up from 280). Each Golf R gets a turbocharged 1,984 cc four-cylinder engine hat is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Blacwing launch

​Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac will soon be introducing its new performance-centric sedan. We'll update this information when it's announced.

2022 Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Tucson has been completely redesigned for the 2022 model year and it's impressive to say the least. The upmarket two-row SUV comes with high-tech features, comfortable seats, and a seriously budget-friendly price tag.

2022 Infiniti QX55

2022 Infiniti QX55 Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The long-awaited Infiniti QX55 is finally a reality. Like many of the other vehicles on this list, it's a small SUV. The QX55 takes the place of the QX30 in the automaker's lineup and is designed to offer a premium drive experience that's engaging and fun, similar to the Infiniti FX of the past.

2022 Honda Civic

2022 Honda Civic Prototype Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

A new generation of Honda Civic is on the way. The company recently revealed a near-production prototype of the car (as seen above) and a fully operable next-gen version is planned to debut soon. Stay tuned.

2022 Subaru BR-Z

2022 Subaru BRZ Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The sister of the Toyota 86 has gotten a full blown generational change for the 2022 model year. The 2022 Subaru BRZ keeps its pin-sharp handling but has gotten a significant makeover inside and out. It's also gotten Subaru's standard EyeSight driver assist and safety technology.

2022 Genesis GV70

2022 Genesis GV70 Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The Genesis GV80 just landed on U.S. shores but its smaller brother, the GV70 isn't too far behind it. The GV70 carries over the premium looks and features of the GV80 into this smaller, and more budget-friendly package.

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX exterior Photo courtesy of Acura

The Acura MDX may be one of the first 2022 models to make it to market. The next-generation MDX has gotten significant enhancements to its interior quality, drivability, and comfort for the new model year. Engineers are also planning a sportier version of the MDX so stay tuned for information about that.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV Photo courtesy of GMC

The GMC Hummer EV finally debuted in mid-2020 but it won't make it to buyers' homes until late 2021. The first editions of the model are slated to be the most powerful and priciest with the cost of each topping $100,000. GMC's first all-electric model combines the comfort of an SUV with the styling of a beefy truck as it attempts to become the ultimate utility vehicle.

2022 GMC Sierra

2022 GMC Sierra Denali

Photo courtesy of GMC

It's been rumored since its interior design fell flat at its debut that the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado were having interior redos hustled through the design process. GMC gave the first indications that this is true when they announced that the Sierra Denali is getting Super Cruise driving tech for 2022. Stay tuned for more info.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet teases refreshed 2022 Bolt EV, new 2022 Bolt EUV

A refreshed Chevrolet Bolt EV is on the docket for 2022. Chevy has been teasing the model left and right over the last few months so we should know more concrete information soon.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

A crossover version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV called the Chevrolet Bolt EUV will be coming to market as a 2022 model as well. Information is pending on the model but several clues have already surfaced.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi is teasing the next-gen 2022 Outlander ahead of its February debut. Stay tuned for more information about the SUV.

2022 BMW iX

2022 BMW iX Photo courtesy of BMW

The 2022 BMW iX is an all-electric SUV slated to arrive in the U.S. later this year. The iX will be the first bit of BMW's future EV plans to reach U.S. shores and bring with it the latest and greatest technology the company offers.

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This 1924 Bentley 3 Litre was one of just 1,600 made.

Photo courtesy of DM Historics

The Bentley 3 Litre is one of the greatest historic race cars of all time, but you might not think that based on a first glance. It was a Le Mans champion in the early days of the contest winning in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 beating the famously fast Bugattis of the era.

Bentley first built the car in 1919, debuted it at the Olympia Motor Exhibition, and made it available to coach builders a few years later. The cars were produced in Red Label, Blue Label, and Green Label formats with the Green Label models being the rarest and most highly specialized for racing.

DM Historics has taken Bentley 3 Litre chassis 589 (of approximately 1,600) and expertly overhauled. There's only 12,700 miles on the odometer of the model and it has a long Bentley Drivers Club history. The car served duty as the pilot car for the BDC Jubilee Run in 1969 as well as featuring heavily in the "Bentley Golden Jubilee Book 1919 -1969".

1924 Bentley 3 Litre, Chassis 589

Photo courtesy of DM Historics

History tells that the first owner of this Bentley was W H B Moorehead a magistrate from Newry, who had it finish in a four-seater combination.

The historic racing engineers in charge of the project starting in on the overhaul in 2018. The extensive renovation restored the car to a near factory standard, taking it back to very near the condition it was when it rolled off the line in 1924. Work was done cooperation with pre-war Vintage specialists Kingsbury.

The car has also been uplifted a smidge. It now has a two-wire Dynamo, electronic voltage regulator, 12-volt LED lighting, 6.5-liter rear axle, and replacement pistons. Repairers have kept the car's original three-cylinder engine with super carburettors and a period-correct four-speed gearbox. To meet modern standards, the car received rebuilt magnetos, and new and period-correct exhaust and fuel systems.

Chassis 589 has been restored to wear the most iconic Bentley racing livery. That includes a black exterior with refurbished wheels, lights, and a bespoke tonneau cover.

Its interior is equally as refined with red leather racing-style seats with contrasting black carpets and red piping. The original 18-inch four-spoke steering wheel is in place as are all the original dials and gauges, in full working order.

After a long history of ownership and restoration, the model is for sale again. The price? £285,000.

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