Autocar’s Cool Affluence blueprint takes in the best of the actual best on four wheels: alone the ultra-rare, ultra-expensive and ultra-luxurious get in.
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Most of the contenders actuality are auto saloons ample abundant to accomplish the boilerplate UK three-bedroomed semi-detached abode attending small, but one or two of the best affected and adorable SUVs in apple accomplish the cut also.
If you appetite the actual aftermost chat in opulence, sophistication, sense-of-occasion and conferred cachet from your best of car, this is the alcove you’ll be arcade in. There isn’t a car actuality you can buy for beneath than a six-figure outlay, and one or two ability alike bulk you seven-. For approved super-luxury chic clientele, afterwards all, to be denied the befalling to bifold the bulk of your car in authoritative it actually your own would be the ultimate turn-off.
So, if you like the abstraction of actuality chauffeured about like Sir Alan Sugar in a car appropriate abundant to accomplish you feel ten anxiety alpine – and you can allow the actual best activity has to action – well, advantageous you. Here’s what your disciplinarian should be ordering.
The grandest and greatest affluence conveyance in motordom was replaced by Rolls-Royce in 2017, and accustomed a bright best alley analysis acceptable by our alley testers anon thereafter.
Owners will adulation it at atomic as abundant for the absurd account of abundance and cachet it endows, and for the incomparable sense-of-occasion you adore aback travelling in one. But, while abounding won’t anytime apperceive as much, the latest Phantom is additionally an absolute joy and a attenuate amusement to drive.
The car’s alluringly adequate and abnormally isolating ride abundance can be sampled from the aback seats, of course, and is like annihilation abroad you’ll appointment in a car: acclaim loping and deliciously indulgent-feeling, but additionally chiefly quiet and bland admitting Rolls’ fitment of the latest runflat tyre technology.
But the attention feel and absolute weight of the car’s large-rimmed council caster is remarkable; additionally the affluence with which you can abode such a huge car on the road, the altruism it has for whatever bulk of advance apparel your trip, the absolute clarification and adaptability of its V12 engine, and the progressiveness of its burke pedal on step-off.
Even admitting it’s a abreast three-tonne adulation song to baroque isolation, this car will advance to 100mph from rest, and from 30- to 70mph through the gears, added bound than the aftermost Ford Focus RS. The candor of its engineering is artlessly breathtaking.
2. Mercedes-Maybach S650
The richest and best appropriate car in what ability be the best universally admired and admired auto ambit in the world, the S650 is the avant-garde advocate for Daimler’s Maybach super-luxury brand, and the acme of the accepted Mercedes S-Class range.
To adjudicator by appearances, you’d say it was at atomic as abundant S-Class as Maybach – and that’s the aftereffect of Daimler’s cardinal decision, taken a few years ago, to augment the ability of the Maybach marque by creating ‘halo’ Maybach models beyond some of its added accustomed Mercedes commuter car ranges. The ultra-rare, Simon Cowell-spec, Maybach-only ‘57’ and ‘62’ limousines were, at the aforementioned time, boarded to history.
And so that actuality that this car is ‘only’ an S-Class may be at already its better backbone and its key vulnerability. Compared to a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, a Mercedes S-Class ability not cut a lot of alacrity for drool-worthy kerbside appeal; but actuality an S-Class makes this car the almsman of the all the aforementioned avant-garde alive abeyance and disciplinarian abetment technologies you can get on any added S-Class, and helps to accomplish it so blithely refined, affluent and cosseting.
The car’s 621bhp, 737lb ft twin-turbo V12 is almost audible, and its adherence to abundance and acceptable amenities is conspicuously good.
3. Bentley Mulsanne
A auto that’s abnormally aristocratic, whose attendance announces itself from hundreds of yards away, and whose calendar is all about confined the interests of the commuter aboriginal and the disciplinarian a audible second, may complete ambrosial in theory. But if you doubtable the absoluteness of buying of such a car ability not address absolutely as much, don’t’ anguish – the super-luxury chic has article for you too: the Bentley Mulsanne.
Deliberately added bashful and alert in its actualization than a assertive key British auto rival, the Mulsanne is a top-level affluence four-door that’s admirable with a baby ‘g’. It feels beneath academic than a Rolls-Royce Phantom, and its autogenous ambient is added like that of the paneled smoker allowance of an old gentleman’s club than the Phantom’s chandeliered ballroom. The car’s actual quality, the lustre and accustomed address of its copse veneers and concrete attraction of so abounding of its fittings, are additional to none.
A acceptable allowance of disciplinarian address has consistently been allotment of this big Bentley’s motive character. And so while the Mulsanne doesn’t ride absolutely as serenely as some of its abutting competition, it handles and responds with added vigour and action – thanks, not least, to the car’s torquey turbo V8 engine.
What after-effects is a car that may not hit absolutely the aforementioned affluence high-notes as the actual best cars in the class, but that you ability end up application added often: not aloof for appropriate occasions, but because it feels attainable to adorn a added ambit of journeys.
4. Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Goodwood’s ‘Marmite’ accession to the cool affluence articulation accustomed in 2018, in acknowledgment to a cogent bulk of Rolls-Royce chump acknowledgment that a added daily-usable, all-surface-capable, family-practical Rolls would be a actual acceptable way to augment the firm’s exhibit archetypal range.
The Cullinan has been met by abundant criticism of its design, from all quarters, to accept set in aspic a faculty that its maker has taken a cogent accident in introducing a car that some accept declared as awkward and unlovely, and others accept airtight in alike beneath affectionate terms. But if the company’s bazaar analysis holds accurate – and a year’s account of accepted orders is a acceptable assurance that it will – again the aggregate abhorrence of those who wouldn’t accept bought a Cullinan anyhow will do little to anticipate it from acceptable a bartering success.
Gallery: Porsche shows off the new 911 ability testing [Autoblog]
There is absolutely as abundant to like about activity onboard this car as there ability be to animosity about either the abstraction or the actualization of it. This is a accurate Rolls-Royce, and amidst its activating strengths are outstanding automated refinement, absolute ride abundance and accomplished drivability.
Height-adjustable air abeyance and BMW-derived four-wheel drive gives the Cullinan all the offroad adequacy owners are acceptable to require, and while towing accommodation is currently capped at 2600kg, it’s due to access to a added adulatory 3.5 tonnes afore long. Which is apparently abundant for a speedboat appreciably added big-ticket than the car.
5. Bentley Bentayga
The Bentayga has had an active access through the Autocar alley analysis appraisal process. Actuality the aboriginal in a battery of £100,000-plus ‘Super SUVs’ to appear to bazaar in 2016, we aboriginal rated it highly, with a admonition or two, in ‘W12’-engined form; and again rated it college still aback Bentley alien an Audi-sourced 4.0-litre, 429bhp V8 turbodiesel agent for the car in 2017, which fabricated absolutely as abundant torque as the twelve butt motor but at added attainable crankspeeds.
Then, in 2018 and amidst the overextension toxicity beleaguer agent engines, Crewe removed the Bentayga Agent from auction in Europe, and with it removed from appearance what we advised the absolute adaptation of the car. A V8 petrol archetypal aggrandized the archetypal ambit in the aforementioned year, while a constituent amalgam is due in 2019.
The Bentayga’s affably costly interior, its cool of torque-laden achievement and its faculty of imperious, abnormally enveloping affluence accomplish it angle out alike in this chic – and they ability alike be almighty abundant to win over a carper who started out against to the abstraction of activity in a aloof SUV.
It isn’t absolutely as comfortable-riding or isolating as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, alms instead a hardly added antic active acquaintance that comes at the amount of that final adumbration of ride comfort. But a adumbration is all the Bentayga gives up – an casual advancement of headtoss, and the merest fidget of adornment over assertive chastening and bumps at speed. Alike as a affluence car regular, there’s every adventitious you artlessly wouldn’t apperceive what you were missing.
6. Rolls-Royce Ghost
The Ghost was a band in the beach for Rolls-Royce aback it appeared in 2009: the alpha of a transformation which saw its maker’s anniversary assembly aggregate move from hundreds of cars a year to several thousand.
Using automated underpinnings acclimatized from those of a BMW 7-Series, the Ghost fabricated Rolls-Royce buying added accessible: alone hardly but decidedly so. The management’s appearance now on the accommodation to use those BMW Group mechanicals may analytic be absurd to alter somewhat from what it already was, aback the abutting Ghost will move assimilate the aforementioned all-aluminium Rolls-only belvedere that the Phanton and Cullinan use.
While the Phantom is actual abundant a car in which to be driven, the Ghost was advised as a car for the flush owner/driver, and its activating actualization reflects that. Slighter tauter-riding and added active than the Phantom (partly by advantage of its added bunched proportions), the Ghost lends itself added readily to the cut-and-thrust of circadian motoring on traffic-clogged UK anchorage than its bigger brother.
In agreement of autogenous space, affluence ambient and arduous actual quality, the car is a rung beneath the Phantom, and conceivably not as acutely a cut aloft added ample limousines as a result. Its rolling refinement, too, isn’t absolutely incomparable amidst cars of this ilk. But to accept either isn’t to abolish this car’s absorbing affluence or its abstruse charm.
7. Range Rover SVAutobiography
The top-rung, long-wheelbase Ambit Rover has appear a continued way as a affluence car aback the canicule of alpha of the acclaimed SUV on which it’s based. The avant-garde SVAutobiography, hand-finished as it is by Land Rover at its Appropriate Operations abject abreast Coventry, is a car that’s now absolutely 5.2 metres continued and 2.6 tonnes in weight at its heaviest. It was conceived to booty abounding advantage of the beginning bazaar for super-expensive SUVs, and of the attention some accept for the Ambit Rover brand; and does so absolutely effectively.
Coming with a best of V8 petrol, V8 agent or four-cylinder petrol constituent amalgam powertrains, the SVAutobiography is a austere four-seater with ‘lounge’ rear chairs about anniversary of which you can align a fold-out aluminium tray table, while a sliding across-the-board sunroof contributes to the arresting senses of ablaze and amplitude onboard. The car’s berth abstracts are added concrete and big-ticket than those of the accepted Ambit Rover, too.
Ride abundance and abreast both represent a footfall up from those of the accepted Ambit Rover, although neither is absolutely in the alliance of the best aesthetic cars in this niche. Some bluff edges assume to analysis the structural banned of the car’s underbody, thudding through the car’s ride accord slightly.
8. Rolls-Royce Dawn
The cool affluence four-seater convertible is a attenuate blazon of car indeed. Mercedes offers an open-top four-seat S-Class; Bentley has dabbled intermittently with its abundantly ample Azure drop-top. But Rolls-Royce has, at times, offered added than one four-seater super-cabrio aural its archetypal ambit over the aftermost decade. And while the convertible adaptation of the current-generation Phantom has yet to materialize, its agnate from the abate Ghost/Wraith archetypal strata – the Dawn – charcoal actual abundant a allotment of Goodwood’s archetypal mix.
The aggregation acclimated uncharacteristically racey agreement to call this car aback it was launched in 2016, announcement it as “the sexiest Rolls-Royce anytime built.” Whether you accede or not, there’s no abstinent the car’s aloof credentials: it uses the aforementioned belvedere and 6.6-litre, twin-turbocharged V12 agent as the Wraith coupe, the closing bearing 563bhp and 575lb ft of torque, bottomward from 624bhp in Wraith tune but still abundant to concealment the belly of the beforehand Phantom Drophead.
This doesn’t feel like a Wraith convertible to drive, and nor was it advised to. A soft-riding boulevardier at its best at a laid back, amphitheater cruise, the Dawn begins to feel its admeasurement and weight aback you bend faster on a archetypal British A-road. It rolls and lolls added than a Wraith might, thusly advancement you, in the best alert of terms, that if your austere aback bench cartage won’t acknowledge you for slowing bottomward a bit, the car’s acquaintance patches absolutely would.
Stick to what Goodwood declared as a ‘social’ pace, however, and the Dawn’s abreast and abundance levels are actual absorbing indeed.
9. Bentley Flying Spur
Bentley’s four-door ‘Continental’-series auto started off its avant-garde activity as the Continental Flying Spur in 2006, alone bottomward the nomenclative prefix that links it with Crewe’s accepted two-door GT with its better archetypal check yet in 2014.
Now the Flying Spur is advancing the end of its additional archetypal generation, and what you’ll acquisition as a aftereffect of that is a decidedly advanced best on engines, derivatives and prices for the car. In entry-level ‘V8’ form, the car develops 500bhp and is priced to attempt with cars at the high end of the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series ranges. In ‘W12 S’ form, though, it develops 626bhp, will beat 200mph, and costs a barb beneath £170k; and there are a brace of abnormally flavoured derivates to accept from in between. Like the two-door Continental GT, all Flying Spurs action four-wheel drive.
Even admitting it’s Bentley’s entry-level limousine, the Flying Spur offers an autogenous of absolutely comfortable ambient and feel, kitted out as it is with soft, beautifully stitched leathers, authentic, accustomed veneers, and clear and concrete metal brightwork.
The car’s adaptive air abeyance can attempt to aftermath a absolutely cosseting accessory ride, depending a little bit on your best of admixture wheel, but its clarification and abreast is contrarily actual impressive, and its disciplinarian address present and actual also.
10. Mercedes-AMG S65 L
The automated architecture of the top-of-the-range ‘performance’ adaptation of the Mercedes S-Class auto hasn’t afflicted abundant in added than a decade. Cince this car has a leviathan of a twin-turbocharged V12 agent that produces 621bhp and 738lb ft of torque, you could altercate it hasn’t bare to.
It’s an agent able of sending a two-and-a-quarter-tonne, 5.3-metre, rear-driven S-Class to 62mph in aloof 4.2sec; and that’s afore it’s absolutely acclimatized down, begin its legs and gotten going, don’t forget.
And yet this car is still a able affluence car, with uncompromising ride abundance and clarification – which is why it gets a acknowledgment at the bottom of our cool affluence chic rankings. The S65 offers onboard abundance alien to annihilation abroad of absolutely the aforementioned achievement level, and its huge affluence of torque accomplish it so calmly almighty to drive that it’s adamantine to accept how little you charge to do to accomplish article so ample biking so quickly.
The S65 isn’t a cool saloon, though, and it anatomy abundant prefers smooth, advanced anchorage to testing narrower ones, the closing giving its air abeyance and its adherence ascendancy a lot to anticipate about. Alike so, aback in its element, actual few cars in actuality administer to assume at already so annoying and so affably nice as this.
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