10 most ridiculous optional extras on a luxury car
Luxury car option lists are the ultimate proof that money and taste are often strangers to each other
Sublime of ridiculous? Ridiculously unhelpful.
Or you could have bought: It’s a STG£2,400 option on the FF so, a lifetime subscription to The Irish Times for your passenger to look at instead.
3. Bentley’s iPod drawer
Bentley can offer you an entirely kitted-out mobile office in the back of your Mulsanne or Flying Spur. With multiple screens, a 4G internet connection and a Mac Mini stashed in the boot, it turns your sybaritic limo into a full-on den for deals on wheels. Buy. Sell. Buy. Long, Short. Etcetera. Still, that’s not entirely frivolous - after all, if you’re being driven around in the back of your Bentley you’re probably worth a bit and probably want to be worth a bit more, so being able to work and communicate on the move is actually quite a useful thing. However, Bentley can offer you a cutting-edge connectivity option that’s so utterly frivolous it almost defies description. It’s a drawer, inset into the dash of your Mulsanne, made of the same polished walnut veneer and lined with the same Connolly leather as the seats. And it’s for your iPod or iPhone. Most car companies make you stick your Pod into a handy cupholder, Some, Skoda chief amongst them, can offer you a handy custom-made slot to leave it in. Not Bentley though. Bentley reckons your iPhone needs to be pampered.
Sublime or ridiculous? iRidiculous.
Or you could have bought: A 64gb iPod Touch.
2. Hyundai Equus
We think of Hyundais as affordable, well-specified and possessed of a long warranty. They are rivals to the likes of Ford, VW and Opel. They are not luxury cars. Well, that’s not what Hyundai really wants you to think, or at least, if you’re in the United States, that’s not what they really want you to think. They want you to think of Hyundai as capable of mixing it with the likes of BMW and Mercedes as easily as it does with Ford and Opel. That’s why, in the US, you can buy cars like the Equus - a big, luxurious, imposing, rear-drive V8 saloon. It’s not half bad either; good to drive, refined and very, very comfy. And it’s got a champagne cooler in the back. Now, a mini-fridge in a Hyundai we could understand, but a specific champagne cooler? That’s the sort of thing you find in Commander Bond’s Aston, not a Korean-built exec saloon. Maybe it’s just a question of perspective, but even so, don’t expect to see this on a Santa Fe any time soon.
Sublime or ridiculous? Ridiculous.
Or you could have bought: Well, an Equus costs USD$62,000 so quite a lot of other things, really…
1. Rolls-Royce Starlight headlining
This is kind of a charming one. A few years back, Rolls-Royce decided to offer as an option a roof liner that replicated the night sky. It was originally offered on the first generation Phantom Coupe and seemed to be of similar provenance to the decision to fit the Phantom Drophead with a cloth roof instead of a folding steel item - because it’s more romantic to hear the patter of soft summer rain on a cloth hood. Similarly, the idea of feeding tiny fibre-optic lights into the headlining to replicate the night sky from within seems rather romantically lovely. A nice touch. It all gets a bit undermined when you dig a little deeper though. You see, for a fee, Rolls-Royce can layout the ‘stars’ to replicate the view of the night sky from a chosen point on the Earth on a chosen date. Your birthday, perhaps. Or the night you bought the winning Lotto ticket that led to you buying a Rolls. It makes the romanticism of the original idea start to seem needlessly narcissistic. Besides, you can now have a similar option on a lowly Opel Adam, which rather spoils the whole effect…
Sublime or ridiculous? Sublimely ridiculous.
Or you could have bought: An actual star, probably.