Most of us are happy with a reasonable aftermarket audio system and an air-conditioned cabin in the car. It's not that we don't want the fancy stuff, it is how it is. But for the well-heeled-and-manicured-toed, the normal things are a teeny bit different.
That's because it's all about the money, and carmakers have dished out luxury products for generations now to cash in on the upper crust of society's whims and fancies in their personal transport.
Here's some of the ultimate in present-day automobile opulence.
1. Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Air affair
This one's so you can literally hold your nose up in the (premium) air. Called the ‘Air Balance Package', this innovation from the premium manufacturer actually provides ‘individually fragranced room air', in Mercedes dictat. So take a deep breath in the oxygen-ionised-and-filtered air with three-stage adjustable aromas, and soak in what seems to sound better than the real thing?
2. Audi A8 L: It’s got your back
If you've got the A8's optional Rear Seat Executive Package, you're probably used to being ferried around in what's possibly one of the most luxurious rear seats in the world. Called a ‘relaxation seat' and located behind the front passenger seat, it features a luxury foot rest and premium leather upholstery befitting one of the world's best luxury sedans.
3. Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe: Going down around the bend
With Curve Tilting, the S-Class Coupe treats a corner much like a rider or a skier would, and actually leans into the curve. This tech is not for better handling or improved high-speed manners, but a more comfortable ride, so that you're snug in the seats at all time without experiencing mortal roll.
4. Bentley Mulsanne: Bubbly society
Bentley knows how to take style to a new level, and offers a ‘cost option' of a frosted glass bottle cooler that can be installed with champagne flutes. Bentley says ‘time on the road (in the Mulsanne) becomes times to think'. And drink, praps?
5. Mercedes-Maybach S-Class: Far from the madding crowd
Mercedes claims the Maybach's rear cabin design and special seals give it excellent ‘Aeroacoustics' in the rear-it's actually the quietest production saloon car in the world. Fancy term, ay? We'll quietly say then, that the most mute saloon car on the planet also costs up to INR 1.5 crore...
6. Bentley Continental: A whole lot of bull
The Bentley Leather Workshop goes through 5000 bull hides every week! That's because only the finest leather is curated for the Bentley Continental interior, specifically chosen from bulls from Northern Europe, where imperfections don't play er, hide-and-seek because of lack of insect bites and scratches.
7. BMW 7 Series: Bang for your buck
Must be nice to be a wealthy audiophile, because you can opt for nice things like an ultra-premium Bang & Olufsen music system for your fancy wheels. 1,200 watts of power, two subwoofers mounted directly to the body of the car to reduce vibration and improve clarity, 16 speakers with Surround Sound, and more blah. Beat it, said Michael Jackson. Beat kit, says BMW.
8. Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Magic Body Control?
Yes, that's exactly what this amazing technology is called. The system uses a camera above the windshield to scan the road ahead, and prepare the suspension in advance to absorb bumps and undulations. All this happens in milliseconds, working towards your ‘flying carpet' ride quality and ensuring your champagne doesn't spill and stain those nice seats.
9. Porsche Panamera: Leather weather
It's apt for Porsche to feature on the list, because these features are literally as cool as hide. Leather air-con vents, rear view mirror, centre console, and much more options for the tanned stuff take extravagance to a new high. So much so, that an amazing USD 24,000 (around INR 15.5 lakh) in leather options is actually present above the dotted line.
10. Mercedes-Benz S-Class: The medium is the massage
We've saved our biggest jealousy for the end, because if you ask us, getting in-car massages is the epitome of automobile luxury at the moment. And Mercedes didn't want to stop just there, so now there's a ‘hot-stone' function that can send pulses of heat up to 55 degrees Celsius to different sections of the seat, within the multiple massage settings. Dayam.