The 10 luxury car features you didn't know you wanted
Ready your finest cucumber sandwiches for our list of luxury goodness
Bentley Bentayga – Mulliner hamper
Luxury SUVs are ten a penny these days, but Bentley still has a few tricks up its sleeve courtesy of the firm’s Mulliner department, jam-packed with coachbuilding and wish-fulfilment specialists.
The hamper setup isn’t your traditional wicker trunk, it sits on a custom-engineered docking mechanism that allows the hamper system to be pulled forward and even removed, the lids providing handy seating at the horse racing, celebrity bowls tournament or wherever you are.
Don’t worry about packing the plastic plates, either – the Mulliner hamper features bespoke china crockery, cutlery and crystal glassware, as well as a Bentley ‘Flying B’ bottle stopper for your booze. There’s storage space for your scotch eggs and ginger beer, and even a fridge. Chin chin.
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Bentley Continental GT – rotating dashboard
What’s the point in being wealthy if you can’t show it off to your friends? We can only imagine they’ll love watching you spin the optional rotating dashboard display on your Bentley Continental GT.
Like James Bond’s number plate you can choose between swanky analogue dials (displaying outside air temperature, compass and chronometer), a 12.3in touchscreen or austere walnut veneer. Or whatever expensive veneer you’ve specced on the car, there are many options to choose from.
Bentley says that its bespoke mechanism is made up of 40 moving parts, with an intelligent drive system that varies speeds to maintain tight tolerances, taking into account variances in friction and temperature. Fascinating facts to wow your friends.
Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Champagne chiller
If you’ve achieved success in life, obviously you want to be able to toast yourself whenever you like – what could be better than having a champagne fridge on hand in the back of your car, complete with crystal glasses?
Get yourself a Rolls-Royce Cullinan in which case – a touch over a quarter of a million for the car, but patting yourself on the back comes free. Spec your Rolls with the Individual Seat configuration in the back and it comes with the glamorously named Fixed Rear Centre Console, incorporating the champers chiller and requisite equipment.
Not only that, but if you like your tipple a little peatier, there’s even a set of Rolls-Royce-branded whisky glasses and a decanter to form a fully functioning drinks cabinet on wheels. If you’re carting the kids around then you can always swap the booze out for fruit squash and a couple of milkshakes, or something. To your health.
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Bentley Flying Spur – Lambswool rugs
For high-flying, fast-driving company execs, the limo should be a home away from home – and that doesn’t just mean having a splosh of aged scotch at your elbow wherever your Filofax leads you.
The rear seats in the Bentley Flying Spur truly are a cocoon of luscious luxury, with heated and cooled massage seats that adjust in 14 different directions. Entertainment tablets can be found on the back of the front seats, allowing you to chillax with a film inbetween barking at underlings on the mobile.
But the best bit? Tick the box marked ‘Lambswool Rugs’ on the order form (or get someone to do it for you) and you’ll get floor mats that Bentley says are ‘soft, cushioned and naturally luxurious to the touch’, made from the softest natural lambswool. Because a posh car isn’t truly luxurious until you need to wear slippers inside it.
>> Around £1,500
Rolls-Royce Wraith – Starlight headliner
Are you a fan of looking up at the stars? Now you can do it from the comfort of your Rolls-Royce, with the starlight headliner. It takes two of Rolls-Royce’s master craftspeople around 9-17 hours to put one of these bad boys together, depending on how complicated the order is.
The job varies because it’s not merely a simple case of pricking holes in the roof lining and whacking in a few fibre-optic lights – Rolls will replicate whatever constellation takes your fancy.
The leather headlining is perforated according to the desired pattern, and up to 1,600 fibre-optic lights are set into the holes at different angles, and the occupant can vary the intensity of the light using the onboard infotainment system. Space, it truly is the final frontier.
>> Approx. £10,000
Range Rover Sentinel – Emergency escape system
If you’re going to make money, you might need to make a few enemies on the way. That’s just the way life goes. But don’t worry, because Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations unit has your back with the heavily armoured Range Rover Sentinel.
It features all of the usual armoured mod cons – it’s bulletproof, safe against pipe bombs, grenades and 7.62mm armour-piercing bullets, as well as retaining the Range Rover’s go-anywhere abilities. Probably the best all-round family car a high-value target can buy, although bear in mind that with 4.5 tonnes to lug around, the fuel economy from the supercharged V8 is likely to be trash. Best if you own some oil fields already.
Now the best thing about the Sentinel, however, is at the back of the car. Perhaps the worst has happened and the doors are damaged thanks to a particularly aggressive assassination attempt, or your soon-to-be-ex-driver has parked in a ridiculously tight spot again. Never fear – you have an escape hatch in the boot. Cinderella you shall go to the ball.
>> From £350,000 (plus taxes, if you pay them)
Rolls-Royce Phantom – Umbrellas
It doesn’t matter how filthy rich you are, rain discriminates against no one. We can all get caught short by a sudden downpour if we’re not careful, but get yourself a Rolls-Royce Phantom and it’s a worry that needn’t concern you ever again.
A base-spec model might set you back a cool £320,000, but on the plus side you get two umbrellas thrown in that sit inside each of the rear doors. In a world where even Skoda has got in on the umbrella gimmick, there’s a fine line between cheery Czech utility and opulent British craftsmanship. You can tell the Rolls gizmos are fancy by the polished handles and Rolls-Royce monogram on the end.
Don’t worry about drying the things off, either – the storage compartment has drainage holes and circulates air to make sure your brolly is drip-free and ready to go next time you need it. Of course, if you’re wafting around in the back of a Phantom, ignore all of the above and send the link to your driver.
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Aurus Senat – heated and cooled cupholders
Are you a Russian oligarch looking for a new set of luxury wheels, but you need to show some patriotic love to a homegrown manufacturer? Understandable – but have we got the car for you. The Aurus Senat is based on Russian president and all-round nice guy Vladimir Putin’s state limousine, and comes with all the mod cons and niceties you would expect.
Commissioned as a challenger to Rolls-Royce – which you can’t at all tell – the AWD drive beast comes with the option of a 6.6-litre V12, producing a spicy 848bhp. We can only imagine the drag races at Bilderberg.
Inside, the seats in the back recline by 45 degrees and have lovely little pillows attached, and fold-out leather-trimmed tables alongside. But the best bit has to be the heated and cooled cupholders – such extravagance. Is your takeaway coffee too hot? Press the button. The luxury feature you never knew you needed.
>> £130,000 approx
Bentley Bentayga – Biometric secure stowage
A successful and monied person such as yourself might have secrets to keep in the car – numbered Swiss bank accounts, your One Direction CDs, that sort of thing. Well Bentley has just the thing for you, and it’s the most James Bond-style gizmo on our list.
One of the coolest things you can order for your Bentley Bentayga is a biometric storage unit in-between the front seats. At least until you realise it’s the same tech that unlocks your phone. Still, you can wow passengers with the high-pressure die-cast aluminium unit finish in black and hidden under the arm rest. And if they’re not impressed, you can hide their keys inside the box.
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Mercedes-Maybach – Genius I cufflinks
These may be the cheapest entry on our list, but it’s all relative – these are also the smallest entry on our list. You know what they say, though – in for a penny, in for £300. If you’ve bought into the Maybach lifestyle you surely want to go the whole hog and get yourself some Genius I carbon-fibre cufflinks.
Those kindly fellows at Maybach say that these “beautiful items of gentlemen’s jewellery show off exclusive materials, finest workmanship and unmistakable style”. Unmistakeable indeed. If you really wanted to set your Maybach-themed outfit off, you can always plump for a £450 belt from the Fabulous collection, complete with enormous logo-filled buckle. Quite stylish.