For most of us, a car is much more than just a form of transport. It’s a reflection of our personalities, a trophy that represents hours and hours of hard work. The more fussy among us will know the feeling of finding that ‘almost’ perfect car, but wishing it had different alloys, leather interior instead of fabric, or (most importantly, we think) somewhere to put your coffee during your commute to work!
This week we’ve been researching some of the most popular (and a few not so popular) add-ons that are available today so you can tailor make your car to suit your needs.
Gone are the days of keeping a road atlas in the boot! An in-dash GPS Navigation system takes all the hassle out of long journeys and is a pretty safe option compared to the alternatives. It has a much clearer display than if you were using a cheaper alternative, i.e. the GPS system on your phone, or a smaller plug-in (which is guaranteed to leave a ‘sucker’ ring on your windscreen EVERY time!). Most systems will also narrate the directions so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road for a second.
Keeping on the safety theme, the next add-on people can’t live without is Bluetooth capability. If you choose to add this feature to your new car, you’ll be able to make and answer calls through the car stereo system, which means no fumbling around trying to plug in a hands-free kit when your phone rings. Most Bluetooth systems can handle music streaming too so you can get rid of the stack of CDs gathering dust in the glovebox, wirelessly link your stereo to your music device then hit play on your favourite playlist and off you go.
Probably one of the more controversial luxury features available. Heated seats really are like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. The first to offer electronically heated seats was Swedish manufacturer Saab back in 1972. One might assume this was down to their chilly climates but they claim the heated seats were actually designed as a precaution for driver’s back aches, which would lead to more comfort and, ultimately, safer driving. They have evolved over the years and now come with the option of heat OR air-conditioning, which means you can benefit from them in all weather conditions. We, however, reckon a warm lap is nothing more than a worrying feeling!
Dashboard/Rear Parking Cameras
The sale of dash-cams has rocketed over the last few years as motorists are realising they can record evidence in the event of any collisions with another driver or cyclist. Cyclists have been using head-cams for years but drivers seem to have cottoned on recently to the fact they can get their own gadgets to prove their innocence in case of an accident. We’ve seen some of these dash-cams in action and the result is sometimes shocking, but we think they’re a brilliant idea. As far as we know these aren’t available as a built-in feature yet but are available from Halfords or similar retailers.
The rear parking cams are also a great way to ensure perfect parking every time and also to highlight any object or person directly behind you. Without the rear cameras, there is a natural blind zone behind your vehicle which stretches to up to 50 feet away from you. Sensors will pick up anything within the first 5 feet and warn you, but the cameras have a broad scope ensuring nothing is out of view. Essential for areas where there may be children playing near your car.
OK, it may not be seen as essential feature, but we certainly think it is! Here are a few reasons why;
1. There’s nothing worse on those mornings you really struggle to get out of bed, than being deprived of your first coffee of the day (or in some cases, second or third!) on your way to work.
2. Safety first! We should be concentrating on the road whilst driving, not trying to balance a takeaway coffee cup between our knees.
3. Your friends won’t get shirty with you for naming them Chief Cup Holder every time they ride shotgun with you.
Even Ferrari appreciate the importance of cup holders. They offer a carbon fiber option as an additional extra for the F12 Berlinetta for a measly $3,500… Of course, that’s after you’ve shelled out nearly $316,000 for the car itself!
(The Ferrari carbon fiber cup holder)
What must surely be the most expensive cup holder in the world brings us nicely to some other extravagant factory options available…
The Rolls Royce Phantom coupe offers a dazzling starlight effect by installing dozens of LED in the headliner. It is an exquisite feature, but has an exquisite price tag to go with it. The luxury of leaning back and feeling as though you are admiring the constellations will set you back around $12,500!
Go Faster Stripes
Or as Ferrari like to call them, Historic GTO Stripes. We’re talking about the stunning 599 GTO, and if you own one of the 599 of these in production, you have the option to add this attractive racing stripe detail for an extra $9,500. The price tag begs the question – “does it really NEED to ‘go faster’?”.
Porsche 918 Spyder
We’ve had no choice but to give this car it’s own heading. There are so many extravagant optional add-ons, we can’t pick just one to talk about! Here’s a list of some of the most ridiculous;
1. Let’s start by pointing out that the car costs $845,000
2. Magnesium wheels – $32,500
3. 6-point seat belts – $3,600
4. 918 Spyder luggage set – $19,900
5. Authentic leather – $26,000
and last but not least, our favourite…
6. Liquid metal chrome blue/silver paint – $63,000
This one gets it’s own heading too, and you’re about to understand why.
So you’re looking to purchase the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport… That’ll be $2.2 million. Looking to purchase that Bugatti Veyron in the unpainted carbon fiber finish? The price goes up to a hefty $2.5 million. We find it pretty ironic that it will cost you $300,000 more to leave the paint OFF your car, but the end result is inarguably stunning.