Everyone has a dream car, but too often even our dreams remain grounded in the cold reality of price. If price really is not an object, what is the finest, most exclusive automobile money can buy, with the highest standards of performance and comfort? Herein, three perspectives on the ultimate ride.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 (2006)
How fast do you want to go? So fast, a hidden tail wing automatically extends to keep the car's specially designed tires on the road? Don't let the all-leather interior of this cushy two-seater fool you: the 16-cylinder, eight-litre engine rumbling behind the driver is a beast that can burn five litres of gas per minute, and has a computer-controlled transmission like F1 and Champ race cars. Good thing, too–you'll be matching their top speeds.
Top speed 400 km/h
Production 300 total over five years
Price $1.55 million
For some, the ultimate car doesn't pollute. That dream may one day be realized in the form of an eight-wheeled, five-metre-long Japanese sedan that runs on lithium-ion batteries. Designed by Tokyo's Keio University and 38 partner companies, prototypes have top speeds of 370 km/h, and accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds with only a faintly audible whir. Backers project production will begin by 2010.
Horsepower 800 (100 brake horsepower of the motor per wheel)
Range 320 km
Recharge time 10 hours
Est. Price $300,000
Rolls-Royce Phantom (2006)
Enter the private (and heated) rear theatre seating through coach-style doors. A center console holds a drinks cabinet and controls for the television and custom-designed surround-sound audio. Note the interior's 18 different hides of supple leather, lambswool rugs, elaborate woodworking with boxwood inlays, art deco-inspired twin reading lamps, and night-time ambient LED lighting that can be adjusted to see your companion. Stretch out in more than three feet of legroom while the vehicle silently accelerates to 100 km/h in under six seconds.
Temperature control six separate zones
Price $479,000 (driver not included)