Two new additions to billionaire’s row

Aston Martin and Bentley have launched exclusive models for a handful of lucky owners.

The hotly anticipated Geneva Motor Show, which was to be held last week, was in the end cancelled due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. “But that didn’t stop many manufacturers from showing their exciting new vehicles online, [with] several companies livestreaming launches,” says The list of new launches included electric superminis and 1,700bhp hypercars from Koenigsegg, “and everything in-between”.

One of the stars of the show that never happened was Aston Martin’s new V12 Speedster. “Paying more for less is a well-established mantra in the car business” and this car is no exception, says Jason Barlow in GQ. Ferrari reworked the no-roof/almost-no-windscreen concept with its limited-run SP1 and 2 cars, and McLaren did something similar with the Elva. Now we can add Aston Martin’s Speedster “to billionaire’s row”. Look under the bonnet and you will discover the “full-fat 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 used in the DB11 and DBS Superleggera”, says Ollie Kew in Top Gear magazine. That’s a little “like putting a cruise-ship engine in a pedalo”. Nevertheless, you can expect 691bhp from this set-up, “which is a mighty total for a car that’s about as well-protected from the elements as a Himalayan goat herder”. Just 88 will be made, each costing £765,000.

That makes the Speedster a bargain compared with the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, which is twice as expensive. Not that that put off any of its buyers: all of the 12 cars made have been snapped up. Built for Bentley under the auspices of its coachbuilding division, Mulliner, the Bacalar boasts personal touches such as bespoke doors and dashboards. “I love the bold haunches, an exaggerated treatment of the rear wheel arch that has been a Bentley design trope since the gorgeous R-type Continental of the early 50s,” says Paul Hudson in The Daily Telegraph. The Bacalar packs a 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Expect more bespoke Bentleys in the near future.

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Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

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