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Drive

Fancy a Luxury Car?

When it comes to the world of luxury cars, whatever your budget, there is a car out there for you
If Batman were eco friendly he’d have to drive the BMW i8 electric supercar which on all accounts is the Batmobile of the future. It suits Batman’s image too – cleaning up Gotham City, or Oxford City or the Home Counties

Personally I ‘need’ a Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini or Porsche; I really do. You might disagree but God made me that way. In fact I proposed to my wife after she suggested we buy a Ferrari one day; a woman like that just has to be good marriage material. In Spring this year you’ll be joining us behind the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Speciale – a great alternative to a second marriage, and if for many of us it is the stuff of dreams, then hey…it’s nice to dream.


 

Those more inclined towards luxury saloon comfort will be introduced in early 2015, to the gilt-edged finery of the Bentley Mulsanne. Its amazing 6.75 litre V8 engine produces 505 bhp and a staggering 752lb of torque to achieve its 184 mph top speed. In fact, towards the end of the year we can see Bentley offering its first serious top of the range 4 x 4 contender in the form of the Bentley SUV, probably the first really big challenger to the amazing supercharged Range Rover 5.0 litre V8 we review here.

In the mid-range luxury saloon sector, marques like BMW, Jaguar, Audi and Mercedes shine, each of them demonstrating exemplary build integrity throughout the range. These days, be you an entry level or top of the range buyer, quality is a given.

Competition is a good thing, and these accomplished luxury car sellers have to deal with a new seductive competitor on the market in the form of the Maserati Ghibli. A ‘Maser’ for around fifty grand cannot be sniffed at. It looks gorgeous, and despite being one of the first ever ‘Masers’ to be offered with a diesel engine option, by all accounts it is a ‘proper’ Maserati.

Plug in to the future

Times are a-changing in Motoring World, and not only are we seeing fewer luxury cars with manual gearboxes (I feel like crying at the thought) but it’s becoming more and more the case of plugging a car in to a local charging socket rather than filling a big petrol engined V8 with £110 worth of fuel twice a week. Here’s a case in point; I was dragged kicking and screaming into the driver’s seat of the new tiny electric BMW i3 only to leave the car beaming with excitement at its amazing performance. Then of course, if Batman were eco friendly he’d have to drive the amazing new BMW i8 electric supercar, which on all accounts is the Batmobile of the future. It suits Batman’s image too – cleaning up Gotham City, or even Oxford City or the Home Counties for that matter. 

If you’re not Batman, then maybe you should go for the new Tesla. I proved remarkably unpopular on BBC breakfast one morning for suggesting that our energy infrastructure isn’t up to coping with electric vehicles en masse – and then Tesla go and produce this great looking saloon (pictured) that has two boots, and you’ll be damned if you can find an engine.

For those of you who haven’t tried electric cars yet; it’s worth a secret go when nobody’s looking, or you might try the best compromise we’ve experienced to date: the new ‘all things to all fuel conscious people’ Audi A3 e-tron – a hybrid that takes away range anxiety as effectively as Imodium. We’ll be putting you behind the wheel of all these amazing cars and more in our mags and on our website. Look out for #motorsmonday on Twitter too!

Just one final thought for the road; classic cars. It’s a seriously growing industry; Did You Know that some people are taking cash out of pension funds and making bigger and better returns on investing in rare classic cars? If you own a classic car we’d love to hear from you by the way.

Yes, the future is looking rosy for luxury cars. It’s good news for business, jobs and the economy, and not least for those of us who love the freedom and independence afforded by the motor car. What’s more they are becoming ever quieter, cleaner and more economical. It should be an interesting year…

- Kevin Haggarthy

Top Image - The Ferrari 458 Speciale

Below - The BMW i8