This year’s automotive off erings that make even the most jaded of petrolheads go weak in the knees.
01 BENTLEY BENTAYGA HYBRID
What is this? A six-cylinder Bentley? Yes, but that is not quite the full story. Crewe’s behemoth sport utility vehicle has finally received an eco-friendly powertrain option: a hybrid that mates the said engine with an electric motor to bring carbon emissions down to a hatchback-like 75 g/km. A 2.5-hour charge using a Philippe Starck-designed dock can juice the car up for a 50 km-long sojourn. This means, in Singapore at least, that you can make the average daily commute without ever stopping by a petrol station. Mind-boggling for an object that will weigh over an estimated three tons.
02 JAGUAR XJ6
Deserving of a double take is this blast from the past: a 1984 luxury sedan, updated to 2018 standards. Built over 3,500 hours by Jaguar Land Rover Classics on commission by Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, the Series 3 XJ6 receives 4,000 modern parts including LED headlamps, an infotainment screen and push-button start. This one-off piece is finished in a brilliant mauve paint and trimmed in stunning Pimiento red leather, befitting of the flamboyant, ardent Jaguar fan. And naturally, the speakers are powered by no less than a 1,100-watt sound system.
03 MERCEDES-AMG GT 4-DOOR
Here’s one for scaring the offspring in. Following the SLS and GT 2-Door coupes – and offering the same tail-happy drifting dynamics – the first family car by Daimler’s high performance arm comes in three variants, with the most powerful of the lot capable of reaching 100 km/h from standstill in a quick 3.2 seconds. Despite the sexy fastback silhouette, the car has rear seats that dish out bountiful legroom and headroom. If you are not carrying people in the back, the boot expands from 395 litres to a truly usable 1,324 litres. Proving to be a bona fide daily driver, this.
04 BMW M8 GRAN COUPE
Reviving a neglected – but well-loved – nameplate at Munich’s Bayerische Motoren Werke, the 8-series is a long-awaited replacement for the iconic 840i/850i (pop-up headlamps, anyone?) last sold in the previous century. Still in the concept stage, the M8 Gran Coupe will serve as the range topper and is slated in 2019 to complete the family of two-doors and convertibles due out this year. Expect typical BMW M touches, such as a roof made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic and a 4.4-litre V8 motor that will most certainly exceed the M5’s 591 bhp power by a sizeable margin.
05 MCLAREN SENNA GTR
The closest thing to a Formula One car a mere mortal can buy – if you have a million pounds to spare. The GTR is a track-only model created for one sole purpose in life: blazing lap times. Power goes up by 25 horses to a breathtaking 814hp. The increase does not seem much, but that is because the go-faster trick here is the aerodynamics makeover. The massive front spoiler and rear diffuser generate one metric ton of peak downforce – equivalent to the weight of 10 baby elephants created on demand – that ensures the GTR drives around corners as if it were on rails.
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