Catch Me If You Can : Uber Limos
Catch Me If You Can : Uber Limos
Singapore - Crossovers may seem to rule the roost, but there's still a lot to be said about stealthy Q-cars, especially lux-limos that operate in the D and larger segment with big firepower that don't look the part.
After all, we're already well familiar with the brands' attempts to endow over-styled overland overachievers with sportscar-levels of performance.
While we're huge fans of the putting the 'fun' in 'functional', there's nothing quite like ambushing the unwary in one of these frighteningly rapid luxo-barges that boasts the footprint of a one-room flat.
The rarefied few we're featuring here are 'uber'-limos in the true sense of the word... as opposed to the ride-hailing variety and each generation sees fewer contenders in this segment.
However, rest assured they'll get you from A-to-B quicker than it takes for you to hail a ride... unless of course, you've decided on the longer route simply to be able to enjoy more wheel time... and why wouldn't you?!
Audi S8 (Photos: Clifford Chow)
In our minds, the coolest S8 is still the D3 with the screaming Lamborghini V10 at its heart (yes, look it up!), but that's not to say the current D5's turbo'd 4.0-litre V8 gives anything away in terms of charisma.
It's a wonderfully punchy and flexible engine that develops 571hp, but more importantly, a stupendous 800Nm for ballistic intercontinental ability. The steering, stop and go controls are well-weighted so you're never truly detached from the proceedings.
Due to its low-key aesthetics, we like how the S8 can slink stealthily around as it prowls the CBD, yet still provide a good level of driver engagement when you're turning a wheel in anger on the B-roads, or furiously storming the autobahn.
Bentley Flying Spur Speed
Do you hear what I hear? It certainly isn't Kris Kringle's sleigh-bells, but rather the stonking twin-turbo'd W12 at the heart of this handsome leviathan, which is the sportiest model of the Flying Spur range.
All the familiar exterior Speed styling cues are subtly executed and accounted for: dark tint finish to the front grille, headlamps and tail lamps, as well as signature Speed badges on the lower wing.
Needless to say, the Speed's customisation palette for the cabin is limited only by one's imagination... and bank balance, because the sky is the limit as far as materials, colours, stitching and even equipment are concerned.
The Speed will handle itself well when the goings gets winding too, as rear-wheel steering, Torque Vectoring and Bentley Dynamic Ride allow the committed driver to exploit the car's mega 635hp and 900Nm.
BMW M760e xDrive
BMW bids adieu to the soulful V12 that saw service in the previous M760i xDrive and like the Mercedes-Benz S 63 E Performance, adopts a plug-in hybrid application for its M760e xDrive with suitably 'dynamic' chassis measures to optimise its powerplant's performance.
The '7' is now available in either an all-electric i7 flavour, or the more 'conventional' 7 Series that still sees the hybrid service of ICE and electric motor. In the case of the M760e, the twin-turbo'd inline6 sees a boost to 571hp and 800Nm thanks to the electric motor.
True to M Performance form, the M760e gets the visual trappings that help differentiate it from the lesser models, which includes the M rear spoiler in Black Sapphire, M Sport brake in Black high-gloss and the M high-gloss Shadow Line with special accents in Black high-gloss that extend to the kidney grille frame, rear trim strip and exhaust pipe finishers
Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance
Mercedes-Benz's legendary Sonderklasse (or Special Class) becomes even more special with a plug-in hybrid application (this P3 Hybrid System comes with a larger 13.1 kWh AMG high-performance battery) for the S 63 that works with the twin-turbo'd 4.0-litre V8, a direct result of technology transfer from F1.
With a humongous 1430Nm and 802hp, the S 63 E Performance is the most powerful S-Class of all time (although this can be said for pretty much all successive models), but retains all the sublime comfort and latest technology associated with the model.
Like all the newer hybrid models, the electric motor not just enables the S 63 E Performance to travel in zero-emissions mode, but will boost the V8's performance when the going gets fast.
Don't forget, the S-Class is no stranger to motorsports and has been tearing up race-tracks since 1971, when the OG AMG duo of Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher thought it would be a good idea to shoe-horn a 6.8-litre into the 300 SEL, paint it red and christen it the 'Red Pig' (or die Röte Sau in German)!