Grand Drives

To drive in one of these cars is to breathe rarefied air. Extremely limited and supremely powerful, our selection of fab five automobiles represent the best that car engineering has to offer, as well as the greatest extravagance car design is capable of. Pedal to the metal, with luxury in every atom.

1. Touring Berlinetta Lusso

If you don’t enjoy seeing another Ferrari similar to yours, this 2015 tailor-made release of just five units might be the answer. Modelled after the F12 – and at the supposed request of a Singapore Ferrari lover – this car is the sleeker version of its angular predecessor, the F12 Berlinetta.

More than 80 years in the business has enabled expert coachbuilder Touring Superleggera to design this automobile with a retro look. Carbon fibre and 12 alloys – some used for the first time in automotive manufacturing – result in weight savings and 20 per cent more torsional stiffness to this instant collectible. At 740hp, 690Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm and a 6.3 litre V12 engine, power and dynamism spring forth naturally from this car.


www.touringsuperleggera.eu

2. Koenigsegg Agera RS

A tribute to carbon fibre, Kevlar and phenomenal horsepower, the Agera RS is a natural evolution which draws from the 440km/hr top speed of the Koenigsegg One:I and the wicked 1,500hp Regera.

On the Agera RS, a five-litre V8 with two turbochargers churn out 1,160hp, while its torque registers at 1,280Nm with 4,100rpm. All this results in a track and road (in some countries) automobile which feels like future technology made real.

Its remarkably light construction of carbon fibre components and a rejigged aerodynamic pack offers a total down force of 485kg at 250 km/hr. Beyond its superlative headline figures, the RS is also imbued with practical figures – a 150-litre luggage compartment and detachable hardtop – as well as sound insulation and optional active sound cancellation. Even before its debut in Geneva earlier this year, 10 units of the RS were already pre-sold.


www.koenigsegg.com

3. Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf

Available only by exclusive invitation, the Lagonda Taraf, made in a limited run of 200 units, was envisioned by the same team that gave us the Vulcan and Vantage GT3. The largest car built by Aston Martin since its 1976 namesake, the smooth, powerful running of this super saloon enables easy cruising around city thoroughfares.

Its rear track, the widest Aston Martin has ever achieved, alludes to the designs of the classic Riva powerboats. In fact, its rear seats boast more space and legroom than Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class and even the Roll-Royce Ghost Stretched (despite the latter being a few centimetres longer overall).

Engineered primarily for the Middle Eastern market but now available worldwide, the Lagonda Taraf can be personalised via the popular Q by Aston Martin bespoke service.


www.astonmartin.com

4. Rolls-Royce Serenity Phantom

At the Geneva International Motor Show 2015, Rolls Royce unveiled its bespoke edition: a combination of the finest materials comprising Chinese silk, mother-of-pearl and cherry wood. Serenity Phantom, as it is named, recalls stately Rolls-Royces of old that ferried emperors, monarchs and kings.

Using the V12 Phantom Series II as a canvas, designers from Rolls-Royce’s bespoke atelier procured a single bolt of silk from Suzhou, a Chinese city known for its exquisite imperial embroidery. Transformed into a lustrous Smoke Green silk, the fabric is anointed with Japanese-style hand-painted blossom motifs, with more than 600 hours of work invested for each panel. Seats are crafted from rare smoked cherry wood, while arctic white leather on the seats consolidate its tranquil character. The Serenity’s oriental theme is further embellished by cross-banded bamboo, which appears in tandem with the cherry wood on the door cappings, dash fascia and rear centre console.

Meanwhile, the glimmer of mother-of-pearl accents, inlaid with rubies, offers a point of fascination on instrument dials.


www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

5. McLaren P1 GTR

Meant only for a select 40 or so of the 375 owners of the existing P1, this Formula One-derived track car pushes the limits of reality with improved aerodynamics (contributing a 10 per cent improvement in down force), 19-inch Pirelli tyres and a powerful twin-turbocharged 3.8 litre V8 engine aided by an electric motor.

The corresponding 986bhp generated from their aerodynamic reconfiguration, as well as a host of other tweaks, helps this car shave a few more seconds off lap times versus the P1.

As a car which made chief engineer Dan Parry-Williams ‘forget to breathe’ in his first run, its top speed is a rather significant 320 km/hr. Drivers will have plenty of opportunities to test this barrier at special events organised b y McLaren on the world’s most iconic circuits.


www.cars.mclaren.com

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Published December 3, 2015
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