- Kristian Appelt
In our occasional series on what the dealers drive, here we asked the guys at Knights International for their favourite cars for a number of scenarios.
A drive to Monaco with the family and luggage - My temptation is to cheat and say my children are legless midgets, opening up a range of very exciting coupes with absolutely no legroom. But alas, my children are teenagers, and their legs are therefore almost as long as my monthly food bills.
1. Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. Driving to Monaco from Italy (naturally), take the fun route by turning right onto route D22 from Menton towards Sainte-Agnes, then dropping back down the hill towards Monte-Carlo. Put the windows down and enjoy the gorgeous V12 bouncing off the rocky walls - it will easily drown out the kids' screams.
2. Aston Martin Rapide AMR. I have a huge soft spot for its timeless design; it still looks gorgeous despite being released nine years ago. Of course, it also packs the raucous naturally-aspirated in-house V12, the last Aston Martin model to do so. I'd ditch the lime-green accents personally, but it's a car that is equally at home blasting through the alps and turning heads while parked in front of the Casino.
3. Tesla Model X P100D. The pragmatists' choice. If you've had a tough week driving noisy cars or listening to noisy children, the Model X offers an oasis of calm. Hand your screaming kids a device, engage autopilot and spend the next few hours scoffing at other motorists in their primitive internal-combustion machines. Those ridiculous falcon-wing rear doors offer the perfect mix of drama and practicality in notoriously-tight Monegasque parking spaces.
A Sunday morning blast through the countryside, alone and clearing the cobwebs.
1. Brabham BT62. In a world where turbos and hybrid units are becoming the norm, the latest player in the hypercar space offers an undiluted, visceral driving experience. Make no mistake, the BT62 is first and foremost a racecar, but lucky owners can drive it on public roads if they so desire. Its incredible downforce rewards the brave, as do the full-carbon brakes. Just make sure you're on good terms with the neighbours if you plan to fire it up in the shed early on a Sunday morning.
2. Ferrari LaFerrari. Despite the ridiculous name, the LaFerrari will go down in history as one of Ferrari's all-time greats. With styling that somehow manages to be both menacing and handsome, a game-changing 950bhp hybrid drivetrain, and engineering and construction drawn from the vast knowledge base of the F1 team, the LaFerrari also happens to be a cracking driver's car that is equally comfortable being punted hard and pottering around local roads in traffic. Just as well, given it will magically attract traffic wherever it's driven. Drive it, look after it, and watch its value skyrocket over the next decade or so. Is the Aperta worth the extra buy-in cost? Not if you plan to drive it.
3. Lexus LF-A. What's this?? A Japanese car? Don't spit out your Sunday morning coffee too quickly. No weekend warrior garage would be complete without including something V10-powered. For those privileged enough to experience the LF-A's 4.8-litre mill, it is truly one of the best sounding, free-revving engines ever made. The car itself is exceptionally well built, handles beautifully and, because of its Toyota heritage, is probably also the most reliable supercar ever built. Take the time to read the history of how the LF-A came to be and you'll soon understand why they are now fetching well above their original sale price.
One to keep in the garage forever to love, admire and polish
1. Porsche 911R. With manual gearboxes going the way of the dodo, the R is an instant classic, combining all the goodies of the 991 GT3 RS with three pedals whilst also removing all the lairy wings and spoilers. Porsche has announced that the 992 GT3 Touring will be available in manual, so the lustre has come off the 911R a little in recent times, with resale prices softening slightly. This just means it's the perfect time to buy-in. In my opinion, the R is currently the best water-cooled 911 ever built.
2. McLaren P1. Along with the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Porsche 918, the P1 is a member of the "Holy Trinity" of hypercars, a phrase that will continue to be used in the future to describe this golden era of petrol-powered performance. Not only is the P1 now the cheapest of the three models to purchase, it is generally considered a far better-looking model than its successor, the Senna. Just make sure you check the battery life before purchasing, lest you need to replace the battery pack. McLaren mechanics wear gold Rolexes for a reason.
3. McLaren Speedtail. I will preface this choice by saying I have a huge yearning for an Aston Martin Valkyrie and that I'm annoyed I couldn't find a spot for it on my list. So why the Speedtail? "It looks ridiculous," I hear you say. As outlandish as the design may currently seem, it also demonstrates how a laser-sharp focus on function can also create an incredible form, with a bonus throwback to the F1 with the seating layout. Will its future values reach the heady heights of the F1 in 25 years' time? I'm quite confident they will. As a bonus, its smooth curves would make it a cinch to polish.
Many thanks to Kristian Appelt.