For many students, graduation is just around the corner ? but that doesn't always mean the end of school. Most high school students will be headed to college, and many college students have graduate school somewhere on the horizon. Although more schooling might seem like a daunting task, there are a few cars out there that remind us to keep working hard, so that one day we might get a chance to call one our own. These are the cars that inspire us to stay in school.

  • 1 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia

    2011 Ferrari 458 Italia

    $225,325

    0 City / 0 Hwy

    OK ? an obvious one. Ferrari reinvents their mid-engined sports car line every few years, creating a new object to lust after for thousands of car aficionados worldwide ? and the unbelievably beautiful 458 Italia is no different. Featuring a 570-horsepower 4.5-liter V8 mated to a lightning-quick 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the 458 combines scorching performance with some of the best styling in the business. Sure, the base MSRP is north of $225,000 ? but that's nothing that a good degree and a few years of hard work can't fix. Well, maybe more than a few.

  • 2 2012 BMW M5

    2012 BMW M5

    $57,225

    15 City / 22 Hwy

    I know what you're thinking: who spends fifteen years in school daydreaming of a humdrum four-door sedan? Sure, the "three-box" sedan may not be a traditional dream car ? but the M5 is hardly a traditional sedan. Instead, velocity is delivered by a monstrous twin-turbo V8. It may not be a Ferrari, but it sure beats the typical bland family sedan or SUV likely driven by the other moms and dads in carpool.

  • 3 2011 Audi R8 Spyder

    2011 Audi R8 Spyder

    $172,800

    13 City / 19 Hwy

    It doesn't get any cooler than Audi's new droptop exotic. Now available in either V8 or V10 guise, the open-air R8 is either "hot" or "scorching," depending on how you decide to spend your hard-earned $130,000-plus. Movie and TV credits include Iron Man, 17 Again, CSI: Miami, and Transformers, upping the awesome factor on one of the most instantly recognizable cars on the road. If the idea of one day parking an R8 Spyder in your garage doesn't inspire you to study hard and stay in school, nothing will.

  • 4 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost

    2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost

    $246,500

    13 City / 20 Hwy

    Although the Ghost doesn't have the stunning presence of its stately Phantom stablemate, nothing says, "I've arrived" like a brand-new Rolls-Royce. Better yet, the Ghost will show you just how your hard work has paid off, pampering you with thermal-image night vision, a heads-up display projected on to the windshield, adaptive cruise control, and hundreds of wood, leather, and stitching personalization options allowing you to truly make your Ghost unique. Unfortunately, the Ghost isn't cheap, with base pricing starting around $250,000 ? but that's a bargain compared to, say, the $450,000 Phantom Drophead Coupe.

  • 5 2011 Cadillac Escalade

    2011 Cadillac Escalade

    $70,700

    20 City / 23 Hwy

    The Escalade has been in so many rap songs, music videos, movies, commercials, and TV shows that it's turned into a veritable icon of the new money crowd. But that's not because it's easy to come by: in fact, with a base price now above $61,000, the Escalade is far from cheap. But unless you're headed for a pro sports draft or you've got a record deal on the way, you'll have to earn yours the old-fashioned way: study hard in school and get a good job afterwards. Then, you can have access to the Escalade's generous standard features, muscular 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, and aggressive styling that have led celebrity after celebrity to pick one up.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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