By Tim Esterdahl
You’ve seen them on the big screen and at red carpet events. Likely, you have lusted after them years. What are they? Dream cars. These works of automotive brilliance cost a pretty penny, yet there are five cars you should drive at least once in your life.
There isn’t a worthwhile dream car list anywhere which doesn’t include a Lamborghini Gallardo. The infamous sports car, named after a famous breed of fighting bull, has been the gold standard of dream cars for years. While it has since been replaced by the new Aventador, the Gallardo still captures our attention. It largely started the dream car craze and graced many a teenager’s walls.
The last edition of the Gallardo has a V-10 engine mated to a 6-speed transmission with a conventional or electrohydraulic automated clutch. The car has a top speed of 200 mph.
On November 25, 2013, the last Lamborghini Gallardo was built and delivered to a private collector. During its 10-year run, 14,022 Gallardo’s were built.
Even though it is no longer built, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it off your list. It is still one of the top dream cars ever built and could, possibly, become affordable on the used car market in the years to come.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
If your idea of a dream car has a dream ride, then the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead coupe is the one for you. This Rolls-Royce luxury vessel is the ultimate expression of a Sunday driver.
The very definition of luxury, this handmade convertible has an aluminum frame with yacht-inspired wood paneling and rear-hinged doors. It is currently the most expensive Rolls-Royce on the market and was part of the closing ceremony at the 2012 Olympic Summer games.
Rolls-Royce says this “latest expression” is more relaxed and less formal than other models. It is still, though, meant to evoke a feeling of an “elegant motor yacht.” With all of its new interior features, Rolls-Royce still maintains that it continues its theme of combining features of a luxuriant 1930s styling with the new modern technology look of the 21st century.
With a powerful V12 under the hood, it is a combination of sports car power with luxury refinements. Plus, it has the unattainable feel to it with only 253 models sold worldwide in its first year.
Aston Martin Vantage
Maybe you like dream cars on the smaller, track-ready side. If this is the case, the Aston Martin Vantage is the car for you.
The smallest of the Aston Martin offerings, the Vantage comes with several different V-8 engine sizes and one large V-12 that pushes out 573 HP. This V-12 Vantage S also comes in a convertible roadster, so you can really, really feel the wind in your hair.
One of the most notable things about the Aston Martin brand is their tie to James Bond. Bond famously drove Aston Martin DB5’s through 7 different movies including recent ones like Skyfall and Quantum of Solace. It is considered one of the most luxurious vehicles in his stable and is either used throughout the movie or makes a cameo appearance.
Like the Lamborghini Gallardo, a dream car list isn’t complete without a Ferrari. Unlike the luxurious ride of other dream cars, the Ferrari 458 is built for one thing – speed. It is powered by a ridiculously fast 562 HP V-8 mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission while riding on an F1-inspired suspension.
Ferrari’s X-Acto knife styling with its mid-engine design is hard to not dream about. This car goes 0-60 in three heart-pounding seconds. It doesn’t just push you back in your seat – it launches you back in your seat.
While the exterior is particularly striking, the former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher inspired interior is laid out with many features common on racing cars like turn signal and high-beam signals on the steering wheel.
Racing and speed is so central to Ferrari that they built this dream car in a track-only racecar variant. It has the same engine and transmission with a racing cockpit along with other racing only features. Reportedly, it goes around the Fiorano test track in 1:16.5. Ferrari’s private racetrack, Fiorano, is 1.86 miles long and has an F1 average speed of over 99 mph. The F1 top speed is 180 mph.
Bentley Continental GT
Rounding out our list is the car popularly associated with tall basketball players like Shack. It is the Bentley Continental GT touring car. It famously has a large enough interior to make Shack feel at home.
The Bentley Continental GT touring car has a 6L twin-turbo W-12 engine (four banks of 3 cylinders in a W formation). It has a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.3 seconds – pretty outstanding for its size.
The Continental GT car has been a major force in making the Bentley name go mainstream. Why? Unlike previous Bentley models, it is a mass-produced car. By sharing a platform with the Volkswagen Phaeton (VW owns Bentley), Bentley was able to cut costs and build an “affordable” dream car.
Having an affordable price doesn’t mean it is dream car. With its powerful engine with a luxurious interior makes it both a pleasant and fast drive. The Bentley can both maintain a 100+ mph speed and be at home touring around at 15 mph.
Interestingly, Bentley decided with its second generation to put some focus on fuel economy. This normally isn’t something dream cars have to worry about. However, Bentley introduced cylinder deactivation, reduced weight and eco-tires to improve fuel consumption by 40 percent. Really, 40 percent! Remarkably, the 6L W12 engine is rated at 26.1 mpg (metric converted).
Whether your dream car is a speed demon, a luxurious Sunday driver or something in the middle, any of the above cars will do the trick. When it comes to $100k+ cars, it is hard to pick a dud.
Featured image by Phillip Lucke