The most luxurious vehicles on Earth
In an age of multinational trade and global brands, the most powerful people on Earth are travelers. But how do you get from A to B, when you have a budget of billions? Air Charter Service discovers five of the most luxurious, extravagant and exclusive vehicles in the world.
Boeing 747-8 VIP
For most, speciality private jets such as the Cessna Citation X and the Gulfstream G550 are the height of luxury air travel. But a select few have the means to take private jet ownership to the next level, following the lead of presidents and monarchs by buying and converting a commercial airliner. From Donald Trump (who owns a Boeing 727-23) to Roman Abramovich (Boeing 767-33A), many wealthy individuals have chosen Boeing’s commercial aircraft. To meet demand, Boeing have begun selling "VIP" versions of their airliners. A prime example is the Boeing 747-8 VIP: At 4,786 square feet (444.6339 m³), these planes generally contain a stateroom, an office, lounges, two bedrooms, and a dining/conference room. According to Boeing, nine 747-8 VIPs have been ordered, of which six are presently in service. The base price for the Boeing 747-8 VIP is $358 million, though approximately $200 million more is needed for refurbishment. In 2017, Donald Trump closed a deal with Boeing for two new Boeing 747-8s for the White House, so owners of the Boeing 747-8s also have the satisfaction of owning Air Force One before POTUS.
Lamborghini Veneno Roadster
The Veneno Roadster, described by Lamborghini as “an open racing prototype with an extreme design and breathtaking performance” costs $4.5 million new, making it the world’s most expensive car. And because Lamborghini only manufactured nine in 2014, the Veneno Roadster is already fetching much higher sums through resale. Powerful, even muscular looking, with sweeping side-scoops and angular bodywork, the Veneno Roadster is powered by the same engine as the Aventador LP700-4, with tweaks to the pushrod suspension and a seven-speed ISR gearbox for additional power. The Veneno (its name means “venom” in Italian) has no roof, so this is not a car for every climate. The Veneno is also not for every driver; only highly skilled drivers, who hit the track for pleasure but are looking for the agility and power of a racing car, will be able to handle a vehicle this potent and responsive.
Migaloo Private Submersible Yacht
Take a floating Four Seasons, cross it with a US Navy attack sub, and you have the Migaloo Private Submersible Yacht. This luxurious convertible submarine-yacht has a following, according to the manufacturer, primarily with media-shy billionaires who want the option to escape scrutiny by plunging beneath the ocean’s surface. Potential owners can choose the layout and design, with sizes ranging from 236-928 feet (72-283m). The larger of the Migaloo subs come with a helipad, up to eight VIP suites, movie theatres, elevators, bars, libraries, private terraces, and an 8 metre long pool. Safety is also a major feature, with the Migaloo submersible yachts meeting US Navy SUBSAFE safety standards, ensuring that interiors are watertight and the vessel can recover from flooding. While the 11 metre-wide hull of the Migaloo is identical to current military submarines, the Migaloo’s tower is custom-made to increase the feeling of light and space in the interior. Costing around $2.3 million US to make, and an undisclosed sum to buy, a total of four Migaloos have been built. The company’s other projects include the “floating island”, with an 80 metre high penthouse with panoramic views, waterfalls, and a helipad.
Marchi Mobile EleMMent Palazzo RV Motorhome
If the word “motorhome” does not conjure images of mahogany and flocked wallpaper, that’s because you are unfamiliar with Austrian manufacturer Marchi Mobile. Marchi specializes in upscale versions of usually functional vehicles: shuttles, trucks and yes, the humble RV. Their most luxe vehicle is the EleMMent Palazzo RV Motorhome: A 40 foot (12.1 m) home-from-home for the wealthy. The body is modelled on the fluid lines of a sportscar, while the driving area resembles the cockpit of a jet. The EleMMent Palazzo is equipped with real yacht windows, and offers 732 square feet (68m) of living space including a kitchen, lounge, bar, bathroom and large bedroom. There are two lounges, one of which – the sky lounge – can transform into a sundeck with underfloor heating, overhead lighting, and a cocktail bar. A custom air con and heating system allows for independent temperature zones, and there are also electric sliding doors, a fireplace, and a 40-inch (102 cm) TV. The EleMMent Palazzo RV Motorhome costs $2 million US, plus shipping.
Like Boeing, Airbus has a well-earned reputation for gargantuan commercial airliners. So it is no surprise that, similar to Boeing, Airbus is a popular choice with wealthy individuals looking for something with more space and grandeur than a standard private jet. Parallel to Boeing’s VIP range, the Airbus ACJ319 (a version of their A319) is designed to fit that super high-end market. One of the largest corporate jets available, the ACJ319 has a cabin height of 7.4 feet (25 m), and measures 12.1 feet (3.7 m) wide. Rumour has it that one aircraft was even fitted with a bowling alley. When acting as a commercial airliner, the aircraft seats 124 passengers, but the private and corporate version is designed for just 19 people, with a lounge, bedroom, bathrooms and galley. The decor is closer to a luxury penthouse than a plane; bathrooms typically come equipped with gold taps, electric blinds and concealed speakers, while the lounge contains leather seating and mahogany coffee tables.