Right, you?ve suddenly got yourself a shed load of cash (lets not ask how) and you want to blow it on a depreciating asset. What better than a brand new car, a best of the best one at that. Sports Car vs Luxury Car?
It is almost everyone?s dream to own a flash car, but only the super wealthy can own the flashest. You may be surprised to know that even the most expensive cars in world, Bentley is not on the list, nor is Ferrari, or Lamborghini.
Assuming your McLaren F1 is becoming a bore with the rest of your exotic cars and you want THE most expensive street-legal full production car in the world today, then the Veyron from Bugatti is it. This W-16 (essentially two narrow-angle V-8s sharing a crankshaft) has four turbochargers, generates 1001 hp, hits 60 mph in 2.5 secs, the quarter-mile in 10.5 secs and a top speed of 252 mph in just 55 seconds. After a long absence from the market Bugatti (with a little help from parent company Volkswagen) has reclaimed its title as the ultimate performance car and reigns supreme as the world?s most expensive car in production. Somewhat amazingly, while each Veyron is being sold for over £800,000+, the production costs of the car are approximately £5 million per vehicle. At such a loss, it has been likened to Concorde in that both are huge achievements, but the car will probably, like the plane before it, be discontinued after proving to be an economic failure. 1 Veyron it is then please.
But what about the ?luxury? car? You know, something to venture out in for Sunday lunch with Hyacinth. The key players today in the uber-luxury market are Rolls Royce with their Phantom and the Mercedes Maybach 62. Both cars are a snap in the region of £300,000, and the two battle it out together purely as the very iconic status of a Roller creates a marketing opportunity for Maybach.
Not everyone with a morbidly large bank account wants to rub it in the faces of the plebes, and Maybach offers an ?understated alternative to a Rolls Royce? – it lacks the well-known history, but also the baggage. Potentially built in a hurry by Mercedes when it realised that its arch-rival BMW had bought Rolls-Royce, it is fitted with lots and lots of gadgets like photochromatic glass and fully reclining seats like those in an airliner when you turn left at the door, but essentially however, its a stretched S-class.
The Roller however is different. It?s mahusive. Climb into the back of this car and you wade through an acre of thick pile carpet to your seat. There?s nothing on the dash to suggest that this is anything but pure Rolls-Royce, you don?t even have a rev counter, but a dial telling you how much power the engine has in reserve. Whatever the argument, both cars are the ultimate in luxury, and if money was no object, either of these would transport ones exquisite rump in spectacular fashion. I?m a fan of the Phantom and I?d be writing the cheque for one of them. It has precence like almost nothing else, it is lush, spacious and furnished with discreet taste. At nearly 20ft long and 6ft 6in wide it absolutely dwarfs everything else on the road, including the Maybach. In black it?s quite blatantly a thug in a silk dressing gown. Not to mention that Pharrell Williams and P-Diddy dance around them on TV with half naked girls and I would do the same if I had one.
Anyway, being a boy, if I had a blank cheque I would want something faster and with more buttons. Something REALLY special. Forget the cars, I want a sky car. No I?m not joking. Moller International are developing the M400 – the first and only feasible, personally ?affordable?, personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle the world has ever seen. You have to love the sales ploy too. ?No traffic, no red lights, no speeding tickets. Just quiet direct transportation from point A to point B in a fraction of the time. Three dimensional mobility in place of two dimensional immobility.?
Well, I certainly won?t miss the queues at bel royal?.. Biggles.