Wheels of fortune

Dec 09 2012, 00:33 IST
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SummaryYou are what you drive. The larger mass of car buyers in India look at value for money but there’s no limit for those who can afford to buy the best, or the most expensive, set of wheels.

You are what you drive. The larger mass of car buyers in India look at value for money but there’s no limit for those who can afford to buy the best, or the most expensive, set of wheels. That is why they make supercars, so the super rich can feel superior to the rich.

It’s the reason Volkswagen brought the Bugatti Veyron to India this year. It costs R16 crore, give or take a few lakhs, the most expensive vehicle in India. It is one of the fastest road cars in the world—0-100 kmph in just over two seconds, but not many Indian billionaires want to swap stomach-churning speed for comfort, luxury and a badge that spells class.

Some do, though. Ratan Tata, India’s most respected businessman who generally errs on the side of caution in his personal style, owns a bright red Ferrari! It’s a car he drives on holidays for the kick he literally gets from the 4.3-litre V8 engine. Who could imagine Ratan Tata behind the wheel of a two-door convertible supercar with a top speed of 310 km? But this is his personal passion, like his love for flying airplanes. You will never see him drive the car to Bombay House, the company headquarter; it’s strictly for private joyrides and clearly worth the R2. 25 crore price tag.

Ferrari’s latest model, the F 12, will be headed to a showroom near you in 2013 with an estimated price tag of R4.5 crore. One potential buyer will be Gautam Singhania. He is a sports car nut and could be looking to replace his two-year-old Ferrari 458 Italia, one of the most gorgeous supercars built.

Mallya is the undisputed car king of India, with his garage boasting every ultra-luxury brand, but the most expensive in his contemporary collection is the Maybach 62, billed as the most luxurious car in the world, and made by Daimler. It costs R5 crore-plus and has everything a corporate czar could want, which is why India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, owns one as well. He also owns a top of the line Mercedes S Class and the sportier limited edition Mercedes SL500, among other luxury automobiles that take up an entire floor at Antilla. Younger brother Anil is more adventurous. His favourite is a Lamborghini Gallardo (R2.25 crore), another envy-inducing super car. He also owns a Mercedes S class, a Maybach (naturally),

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