Riding out the global crisis…in a Bentley
If you want a break from a global financial meltdown, the launch of Bentley’s latest luxury car in India can be welcome relief – and show that the rich are still doing what they do best. Buying unnecessary things.
It means you can, in my case, leave behind an office full of tired journalists hunched over ever more depressing data, and ignore TV screens showing grimfaced politicians and weepy traders.
The car – which costs a cool Rs2.5crore (over half a million USD) – was on display at one of the capital’s high-end hotels on Friday.
Boasting a stylish black finish and a retro-style front grille, the car’s specs are, in the current climate, almost satirical.
To get to 100kmh needs just 4.8 seconds of pedal pressing; while your top speed – if you were ever tempted to try it out – is 322kmh.
Every car is also custom-made to fit the whims of those who can still afford to be whimsical; and is built with a decadent slowness that means that the cover for the steering wheel, for example, takes 5 1/2 hours to stitch together.
It makes for entertaining reading on the same day that the carmaker’s country of origin, the UK, is revving up to sue Iceland over withheld bank deposits – not an event many of us saw coming.
And as Bentley’s MD for India says, ‘there is always somebody making money’. While things are starting to look really bad in India, Bentley and many companies like it still see the country as a ‘key market’, and aren’t going anywhere.