The automobile industry is seeing a churn. While we spent the last few months obsessing about electrification of mobility, the last couple of car launches seem to suggest quite the contrary. Down at Pebble Beach and Monterey, we witnessed a few relics of motoring heritage even dating back to pre-World War II. Extravagance and exclusive novelty services seem to be the latest obsessions in the motoring world and the past week has had plenty examples. Here’s a roundup of the auto news in case you missed it.
Aston Martin‘s new bespoke garage service for supercars
This is undoubtedly the most exciting car news we’ve heard all week. Imagine owning an Aston Martin Valkyrie and a bespoke bat-cave to house it. As extravagant as it sounds, Aston Martin will soon be offering customers the chance to build a superhero-style lair for their cars. Titled ‘Aston Matrin Automotive Galleries and Lairs’, the British luxury marque showcased a few digital examples of how they’d like to revamp your garage into a world-class car museum. Renderings released along with the announcement show a few options Aston Martin is keen to start building, including a very casual underwater garage in which the vehicle is housed in an aquatic tank filled with sharks and exotic fish. There isn’t any comment on pricing but we’ll leave that to your imagination.
Bugatti Centodieci, an ode to the 1991 EB 110 Super Sport
Limited to just 10 builds, the Bugatti Centodieci is a very special one-off that marks the brand’s 110th anniversary. Unveiled just a few days ago at Pebble Beach, this hypercar is based on Bugatti’s Chiron but is a tribute to the 1991 EB 110 Super Sport (Centodieci simply means a century and ten). In terms of design, the front fender and headlight are a contemporary take on the EB 110’s headlight ducts. Based on the Chiron, it harbours its glorious 8.0-litre W16 that’s capable of delivering 1,577 BHP and an electronically limited top speed of 236 MPH. 0-62 MPH is achieved in just 2.4 seconds and 0-186 MPH in 13.1 seconds. Priced at a hefty US$8.9 million.
The fiasco of Porsche’s 1939 Type 64’s auction
Amongst the stunning racecars and vintage cars that were auctioned-off at the Monterey RM Sotheby’s auction, the auctioning of Porsche Type 64 was a tragedy. The one-of-three Porsches was estimated to sell at US$20 million with a fixed opening bid at US$13 million. Just as the Type 64 arrived on stage, the auctioneer stated the US$13 million opening bid amount but the technical team misheard it to be $30 million. Which was then followed by a series of confused and tensed bids at an incremental rate of $10 million each. The highest bid was registered at $70 million. But upon realising that the displayed amount was 70 and not 17, the auctioneer immediately corrected himself and discontinued the bidding. The Porsche Type 64 remains unsold as of today. Most definitely the most disheartening car news we’ve heard in a while.
Blending sport and style, BMW’s new 3 Series gets unveiled in India
The new generation 3 Series just made an India debut and is available in three variants – Sport, Luxury Line, M Sport. Being BMW’s flagship since 1975, the 3 Series has had seven updates so far. The 2019 variant will boast its predecessor’s diesel engine but will also have a petrol variant. The petrol engine boasts 255-hp and 4000-Nm of torque whereas the 320d diesel variant slates in at 188-hp. The goal with this luxury cruiser isn’t speed, but if you’d really like to take it down to the track, you’ll probably peak at 250-kmph.
Kia unveils the Seltos in India
The much-awaited Kia Seltos finally arrives in India. Being their first Indian car, the Seltos will directly take on brands like Hyundai, Mahindra, and Honda in terms of pricing even though the luxury accents certainly seem to be above par. The SUV comes in 16 stunning variants in terms of performance, interior specs, and design that ranges from between Rs 9.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. Top-of-the-line Seltos models come equipped with a massive 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Built for city commute and utility, the Seltos variants vary in horsepower too. Starting off at 115 and peaking at 140 between its petrol and diesel variants.
All images: Courtesy brands