If you are interested in buying a new car that is really tailored to your wants and needs, perhaps skip the yard at your local dealership and instead pick up a manufacturer’s brochure.
Thicker than a mattress, some of these brochures are a pandora’s box of options that range from standard models and optional extras including electric seats and navigation systems, to some rather exotic and exclusive extras.
Here is a quick rundown of the most notable of these left-field add-ons to get your juices flowing the next time you think of what you want from your new car.
Those who are often hungry on the go and don’t feel like stop at the nearest drive-thru would perhaps appreciate the solution pitched by Britain’s luxury brands.
Rolls-Royce, Land Rover and Bentley are all happy to offer tailor-made and electrically cooled picnic baskets to customers. However, try not to choke on your sandwich when you discover it can cost in excess of US$10,000 (RM41,400).
As if a Rolls-Royce and its hood ornament wasn’t prominent enough, the British manufacturers offer an elaborate tune up for the sculpture known as the “Spirit of Ecstasy”. On request, the hand-sized hood ornament is available in gold and even crystal glass, complete with its own lighting.
Bar compartments belong to noble limousines like the reclining seats and the roller blinds in front of the windows. But at the upper end of the price range, people are not satisfied with a refrigerator compartment and a few cheap mugs. The more expensive the car, the greater the care taken when choosing accessories. In the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS, there are solid silver champagne flutes in the armrest for a stylish sip.
Many car manufacturers show a heart for animals on their equipment lists and therefore offer numerous options for the safe and comfortable transport of the Felix and Fidos of this world, especially with station wagons and off-road vehicles.
But where Mercedes, VW and Co. usually have simple dividing grids, protective blankets or cages, Aston Martin has developed a lavish Pet Pack for the new DBX – including a pillow and silver bowls.
Wonder trees and air fresheners are a thing of the past with automakers doing their best to please all the senses.
For the nostrils, they have created their own electronically controlled fragrance dispensers, equipped with individual perfumes. At Mercedes, for example, there are separate scents for coupes and convertibles and, of course, especially for the noble Maybach offshoot.
Where others in the luxury class are into paint and leather and spend a fortune on wood or hides, the most expensive Toyota customers apparently have a somewhat more traditional taste.
The Century flagship, which is sold exclusively in Japan, has its own crocheted blankets and protective covers that look suspiciously like grandmother’s quilt. And because they like to take off their shoes, the Japanese have even integrated a shoehorn in the rear – as standard.
A few electronic extras that Tesla has hidden in its infotainment system are also fun. Not only can you conjure up a virtual fireplace on the large screen in the centre console, but you can even fool your passengers with artificial fart noises.
But since it is only the odourless sound, perhaps the Americans have saved the air freshener as a punchline for another time. – dpa
Quirkiest features in cars
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