three cars you probably can't afford
* Some of the top-end cars on the stands at the 2014 Beijing motor show * Most are eye-wateringly expensive * Rolls-Royce, Bugatti and Brabus offer something for the richest of the rich...
In China, the rich have never been richer, and car makers have been responding to a growing love of luxury goods and the last word in exclusivity.
It’s not for us to judge, but as a result, some of the top-end cars sold on the stands of the Beijing motor show are eye-wateringly expensive. For most of us, these photos may be as close as we ever get to them.
Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom
Anyone who watched the recent television documentary Inside Rolls-Royce will know all about both the company’s exacting standards and its customers’ appetite for not just owning very special cars, but also unique ones.
Here in Beijing, then, we have a one-off Rolls-Royce Phantom that has been designed to celebrate the Chinese population’s love of travel. It takes styling inspiration chiefly from the golden era of cross-continental train travel.
Highlights include the red-and-sand-coloured two-tone exterior and the striking red leather interior, complete with grey stitching.
Rolls-Royce says the interior wood design is the most complex and intricate it has ever produced. To create it, 230 pieces of wood veneer were laser cut, and the pieces then assembled by hand to create the motif of a train with plumes of steam in its wake.
Rolls-Royce will not disclose a price for the Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom, but its reported to be well in excess of £1 million.
Bugatti Veyron Legend Edition Black Bess
This one-off Bugatti Veyron model has taken its inspiration from one of the firm’s most famous pre-war cars, the Type 18, and one of that car’s original owners, French pilot Roland Garros, who chose to name his Type 18 ‘Black Bess’ after a race horse.
This Legend Edition model is based on a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse that is powered by an 8.0-litre W16 engine with 1184bhp and peak pulling power of 1106lb ft. That’s enough for 0-62mph in 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 254mph.
Bugatti has not disclosed a price for the Bugatti Veyron Legend Edition Black Bess, as it will vary significantly depending on the import taxes it attracts in the region in which it is sold. However, it is likely to be in excess of £2m.
If you're the sort of person who can't have too much of a good thing, the Brabus G63S is the car for you - so long as you have £400,000 to spare, of course.
The car is currently billed as a one-off, although customer demand may change that. The car is based on the 'standard' Mercedes G-Class 6x6, but with the 5.5-litre engine heavily modified to deliver 690bhp and 708lb ft of torque - as much as a Formula One car.
Other modifications that hinge on performance include gold heat reflectors for the air intake, a custom-built exhaust and an all-new ECU for controlling the power. As a result, the four-tonne car can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 7.4 seconds.