What’s your ‘dream machine’?

15 February 2012: When I was a kid, I was crazy about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (now when I think of it, I really don’t know why). Then for a while it was the Mercedes CLS followed by the Aston Martin DBS. A while ago I had stated that the Audi R8 was my dream car; in fact my first blog article was about the R8. It was a brilliant car and still remains so. But does it happen with everyone that your dream car keeps changing with time? It’s like a nice guessing game that you keep playing with yourself. To some extent, it defines your personality as you evolve and absorb life around you, it indicates your aspirations in life, and is a nice way to fill your vision board. Isn’t it? And perhaps it also makes you work harder so that someday… just someday you could have your dream machine proudly parked in your driveway!

Let me share with you my current favourite – the Maserati Quattroporte. (Can’t wait to be 18!). It’s actually not one, but two cars fused into one. On the outside is a sober, luxurious four door saloon, and inside lies a fire breathing Italian thoroughbred. A saloon with a soul, as some call it.

The Quattroporte looks brilliant from every possible angle. Maserati handed over the design work to the Italian design house Pininfarina, and they worked their magic to create a four door saloon that looks entirely different from the German and British competitors. The front grille gives the car a mean look, and the stylized triple vent behind the front wheel arches gives it a sporty yet classy touch. The back has been kept simple with the quad exhaust outlets as the main attraction, which is also an indication of the brutal power that lies under the hood. The interiors have a sleek and stylish design, with comfy leather seats and aluminum accents on the dashboard. Even the back seats have ample legroom and this car seems as spacious as the regular S-class and 7 series.

However, the real forte of the car lies under the bonnet. It has a Ferrari developed 4.3 or 4.7 litre V8 engine, depending on the variant you choose. Power ranges from 400-440 BHP, and the beast of an engine zips from 0 to 100 in a brisk 5.2 seconds! And unlike other German super saloons this one is not limited to 250 km/h and goes all the way up to 285 km/h! But what does it for me is the sound of the engine – hard to describe, but a throaty roar at low engine speeds and full symphonic sound of a genuine sports car at higher rpm. Check out this clip below and be sure to pump up the volume!

In India the Quattroporte starts at Rs.1.25 crore (ex-showroom). That’s about US$ 250,000. Not a bad deal if you compare it with the price of a BMW 740Li here. But look at it this way – you won’t get an entry into a super car club if you buy the Beemer, but with the Quattroporte, you surely will. And it’s way cheaper than the Aston Martin Rapide (Rs. 2.2 crore/ USD 450,000), so it’s sort of a bargain!

If you are somewhere around the US, you can get the Quattroporte for half the price. I really don’t get it why can’t we have a parity in tax structures so that car prices in India are comparable to other global markets. We are living in 2012, are one of the largest auto markets now and an important cog in the global economic wheel. What is it that I am missing? Anyway, for the moment, just soak in the sound of the mighty engine and enjoy. Vroom vroom!!

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