Finding a car to suit the budget can also be incredibly taxing. So we thought we would go out on an Afropolitan car shopping spree, where we threw the budget completely out the window.
Shopping on an infinite budget is not as easy as one would think. There are so many amazing cars for so many different tastes, how could we possibly pick our favourites? With much investigation we found two completely different cars that serve two very different kinds of drivers, but may be two of the best cars available on the market at the moment.
The Ferrari 488 GTB
Having recently attended a glitzy launch at the new Scuderia headquarters in Bryanston, we were introduced to the successor of probably the most successful Ferrari of all time, sales wise, the 458. The 458 is regarded in many motoring circles as the most complete sports cars on the market and the 488 GTB aims to take the near perfect 458, to perfect heights. Looking and driving the 458 and then trying to perfect it must be like looking at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and trying to figure out what to change.
The 488 in the name indicates the engine's unitary displacement while the GTB stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta. The new car is now easier to drive than ever before, even for those less experienced at handling supercar power, yet still able to deliver unparalleled performance on the track and road. The 488 GTB has an extraordinary engine and the stylish design combined with class-leading aerodynamics enhances the overall performance of the 488. The 488 GTB also has extremely advanced vehicle dynamic controls which have drastically advanced the already razor-sharp responsiveness of Ferrari's road cars to near track level.
This four litre turbo-charged is one of Ferrari’s most powerful engines ever. New technology taken straight from the F1 testing grounds mean the engineers have been able to eliminate any turbo lag and still deliver efficient, yet seductive performance. The engineers have gone as far as manufacturing the perfect soundtrack for the 488 GTB engine, tuning their sounds to deliver that unique Ferrari growl. The engine delivers 492kW of power at 8,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 760 Nm in seventh gear. Consequently, the 488 GTB can get from stand-still to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat and from 0-200 km/h in just 8.3 seconds.
Ferrari told us at the launch of the 488 GTB that while this model will be able to do in excess of 325km/h, they no longer concern themselves with having the fastest car on the planet, only the best one to drive in, so we would guess the top speed is in the region of 330km/h, which combined with the handling and performance promised through the specs of the latest edition to the prancing horse stable promises to deliver a spine-tingling drive experience. The Ferrari 488 GTB will cost in the region of four-and-a-bit million rand to own, but as far as we could tell from the demand and interest, getting your hands on one will be as tough as nails.
The Rolls Royce Ghost II
There is a famous saying in the world of motoring; it takes half a day to build a Toyota, but half a year to build a Rolls Royce. The reason behind the time it takes to build one of the world’s most luxurious cars is the fact that almost the entire car is meticulously put together by hand. From inserting the air-conditioning vents, to the sound system, everything inside a new Rolls Royce is put there by an expert. Rolls Royce can confidently call them experts because it takes roughly three years for their technicians to become masters in their individual jobs, so the person that installs the steering wheel (and that may be his only job on the assembly line) had three years of practice before they were allowed to put a single part in your new Rolls Royce. The reason Rolls Royce chose to avoid going mechanical was because human mistakes can be spotted and identified a lot faster than mistakes made by machines. 85% of all Rolls Royce’s sold globally are completely tailored to individual client’s desires and needs and trying to teach a machine how to make the same part in 2,000 different ways is a lot tougher than leaving it in the capable hands of someone who eats and breathes what Rolls Royce personifies.
So how luxurious is the Rolls Royce Ghost Series II we tested? Absolutely everything inside the car completely catered for the needs of the person in that particular seat. Whether you sit at the wheel, or you are the one being driven around, the Ghost II is made for you. The lamb wool floor mats were so soft and supple, you’d do well to just remove your shoes and socks and run your feet across them every time you climbed in the car. Those same floor mats however, cost as much as a small German hatchback, so be careful not to spill anything on them. The gorgeous and comfortable leather seats and interior provide drivers with the ultimate cocoon of sophistication. Everything is trimmed the way it should be, the clock and dials flow harmoniously through all the design elements and your every need is taken care of at a push of a single button.
But with all this comfort one would think that a car that weighs nearly two and a half tons would be rather sluggish and cumbersome for the driver but nothing could be further from the truth. What you will find hidden under the Spirit of Ecstasy, which adorns the bonnet of every Rolls Royce, is a massive 6.6 litre V12 engine. The engine, despite its enormous size, does not thrust the driver back into his seat, but delivers an effortless ride that is both smooth and responsive. We wouldn’t want to buy a Rolls Royce to win a drag race, but having that much power at the disposal of your right foot, means you can still glide through the streets like a feather caught in the wind, a strong wind if your heart desires. If your heart longs for a Rolls Royce Ghost Series II, then that budget that you are not worried about, better be thinking of a sum above R7 million.