6,471 $m
For a small car company, Porsche has a big presence and, in the minds of many, it endures as an automotive icon. Though enthusiasts revere Porsche for the purity of its design and the caliber of its racing machines, the brand has pushed to stay relevant to a broader audience by introducing vehicles like the Cayenne, Panamera, and the new Macan, which fills a gap in the SUV segment. Purists were skeptical about this diversification, but the strategy seems to have been a success: In 2012, the brand enjoyed record revenue and delivered more cars than ever before. Though some critics feared Porsche’s identity would be diluted after becoming subsumed into the larger VW Group, the brand retains its distinctiveness within the parent company’s portfolio. Still celebrating its heritage, this year Porsche commemorated the 911’s 50th birthday with a special exhibition at the Porsche Museum. Given its track record for great design and efficient drive systems for maximum performance and minimum fuel consumption, it’s likely Porsche will continue to enhance the authenticity of its brand by taking advantage of the synergies of an integrated automotive group. With the debut of the new 911 at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show, the upcoming launch of the 918 supercar hybrid, the rebirth of Porsche prototype racing, and an ever-widening product line, Porsche is still top in automotive performance, true to its core, and always evolving.