The Cool Extras
Luxury accessories help you hear, smell and get a grip.
For the luxury-car owner who has everything, including space for some additional posh features, here are four unique items designed to make your daily drive even more lavish.
You’ll get no argument that the phrase “information superhighway” is so 1990s, but if there ever were an occasion to bring back that dated colloquialism, this would be just the ticket. For folks behind the wheel who can’t get enough of that interwebby thing, Sony’s come up with the nifty XAV-701HD Smartphone Connected AV Receiver, which won the Best Of Innovations award at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year in Las Vegas. The device features a seven-inch LCD display that you can hook right to your iPhone, Android or Blackberry, but the attractions don’t stop there.
Touchscreen capability enables you to effortlessly access your favourite apps, while hands-free chatting via Bluetooth technology mitigates those distracted driving hazards. Added bonuses for the music lover include connectivity to Internet radio service Pandora, compatibility with Sirius XM and HD Radio, and access to your personal music collection. While digging the tunes, don’t worry about getting lost, thanks to the Telenav GPS system that not only displays your route, but provides vocal instructions without the hassle of having to turn down the music to hear them. ($699.99, sony.ca)
When it comes to auto interiors, a new-car smell might be appealing, but nothing beats the smell of success like your favourite fragrance. Thanks to the Perfume Atomizer by Maybach Zeppelin, you can get that priceless scent every time you get behind the wheel. Pump-activated by your choice of a button right by the steering wheel or via thumbwheel in the back seat, the atomizer intermittently releases perfume into a plexiglass globe which mixes with air before releasing the compound throughout the interior.
The result is an auspicious aroma in a gentle flow of air, quickly evaporating without any of it soaking into the upholstery. Besides the eye-catching sphere, the product also comes with three interchangeable vials, enabling consumers to choose from two types of fragrances from Swiss manufacturer Givauden, with a third option to personalize your scent by substituting your favourite brand. (US$5,000, maybachusa.com)
Key to Success
Diamonds may be forever, but Ferrari owners desiring an eternity in overdrive may want to slip these shiny trinkets into their ignitions. Created by S.P. Green & Co. and distributed by Camal London, this ornate key which features the iconic Ferrari prancing horse, is super-shiny, thanks to 1,160 diamonds mounted on the surface. With a total weight of seven carats, the Ferrari Key can also be gold-plated for a conversation piece that, even without the car, would leave all your jealous peers in the dust. However, if compressed carbon isn’t your thing, you can special order a key with your own choice of gemstone. (US$23,147, camaeldiamonds.com)
Get a Grip
One thing that luxury vehicles and bucket-of-bolts beaters have in common is that when they get stuck in the snow, you’re not going anywhere. And given Old Man Winter’s benevolence in dumping that white stuff in recent years, it’s an irritant that’s not going away anytime soon. But you can cut down your chances of spinning your wheels in the great seasonal equalizer with a set of ISSE Snow Socks, designed to provide additional traction on snow or even ice.
Made of a durable polyolefin fabric and available from Rockford, Minn.-based Shark Industries, Snow Socks are easy to install, especially for cars with low arch clearance. Simply slide each sock over the top of the tire and the accessory self-aligns to cover the rest of the wheel. Not only are these socks designed to get you out of nasty drifts, the fabric actually sticks to the snow surface, allowing for additional grip while driving up to 40 km/h. (US$99/pair, trysnowsocks.com)