Luxury List: Top 5 Most Expensive Holiday Gifts for 2015

Most expensive holiday giftsImage ©Neiman Marcus

Tis the season once again, and with it comes the annual analysis of the most expensive holiday gifts available! With much-loved publications like Harper’s Bazaar and the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book to thumb/click through, there is no shortage of staggering price tags and baubles to check out this year. Let’s take a look at some of the expensive fare we have seen thus far:

  • A $3.2 million smackaroo couture dog collar by Amour Amour tipping the scale at a whopping 52 carats and laden with 1,600 individual sparklers.
  • A pair of $230,000 solid gold ladies high heels, for the well-heeled types. Created by Christopher Michael Shellis, this pair features 2,200 diamonds but costs less than the dog collar.
  • The $345,000 robot servant will be more adept to your adult needs but will cost far more than the child’s play versions. The minds at Hammacher Schlemmer claim the robot is controlled via a wireless remote while the operator enjoys the stationary life. Sadly, this is true.
  • Experiences seem to be the popular route for the Neiman Marcus book this year, with some of the following offerings standing out: A $90,000 ride into the atmosphere in a pressurized space balloon from World Views, a $150,000 tour of Florence and Venice with Italian jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno (for 4 guests over 7 days), and an $80,000 lunch and personal styling with legend Iris Apfel of the fashion industry (this one comes with a trunk brimming with accessories).
  • The disappointment this year was the car selection for the Neiman Marcus book…a special-edition 50th anniversary Mustang convertible for $95,000. Yawn.

Most expensive holiday giftsPhoto courtesy of Neiman Marcus 

If the price tags for these holiday gift ideas seem a touch decadent, you can always opt for a $300-$500 card from the Gilded Age instead…no, that is not a gift card—it is just a greeting card with some gold and bling that the recipient cannot even wear. Share your favorite extreme gift item for this year!

Bottom line: A LaFerrari would have suited just fine, Santa.


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Bold Claims: Haas F1 Chassis is Better than Ferrari

When you are an established force in the automotive industry but a newcomer to the F1 Racing arena, you can be humble or you can be Haas–who just announced that they think their first-ever F1 chassis is superior to Ferrari’s. True or false, you simply must admire their bravado with that exceedingly bold claim. So what makes them think this to be true?

Haas F1 ChassisHaas seems to have some arrangements with Ferrari, but also knows how to utilize the media to spread awareness of their new game. And what better way than to jolt readers with bold claims?

The Haas F1 chassis, according to founder Gene Haas, is going to be “substantially different in construction from the Ferrari one, because we are just doing it separately.” He also claimed that the overall design is better and that is because rather than mimic the established racing brands, they have taken a new and different road. Haas tapped Italian manufacturer Dallara for the chassis, rather than creating it in their California-based automation headquarters.

Haas F1 will start their racing career next season with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez piloting vehicles with Ferrari engines. While borrowing power from Ferrari seems ok to Haas, they view the Prancing Horse’s chassis as comfortable, a tried-and-true safety net that is somehow about to be viewed as a relic.

Haas F1 ChassisOverall, Haas is a start-up team with precious little to actually boast about at this premature stage in the game. That does not make it less amusing or attractive to follow, however, and they certainly managed to grab the attention of the F1 circuit. Grosjean is currently with Lotus racing and Gutierrez possesses knowledge of the Ferrari brand from his time served as the team’s reserve driver.

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Palmer Johnson Bugatti Yacht Action

If you are lucky enough to own a Bugatti hypercar, it is entirely likely that a mere luxury yacht may not be exciting enough. To remedy this, there is a concept in the making that is being dubbed the “Bugatti of the sea”—the Palmer Johnson Bugatti yacht.

The Palmer Johnson Bugatti yacht will offer just a bit of size and, of course, that speed. The price range will be about the same as throwing down for a million-dollar Bugatti Veyron, but this one can swim. For the yacht concept, Bugatti teamed up with Palmer Johnson yacht builder. Let’s take a look at some of the preliminary specs for the project:

Bugatti YachtPhotos ©Bugatti

The Bugatti yacht concept at a glance:

  • The desired top speed shall sit at around 43 miles per hour or 38 knots.
  • The craft will boast lightweight and durable carbon fiber hulls like the record-breaking car.
  • Pricing will range according to size, power and customizations, of course, and is anticipated to be $1-$2.3 million. There will be 3 sizes to order from initially: a 43-foot, 63-foot and 88-foot yacht.
  • Names align with sizes, and are as follows: the PJ43 Niniette, PJ63 Niniette, and PJ88 Niniette.
  • As for looks, sleek titanium and dark blue exposed carbon fiber should do the trick.

Bugatti YachtPhotos ©Bugatti

The Bugatti yacht will rely on Palmer Johnson for its hull shape and carbon fiber for the material, a blend of car meets boat that will extend to the core. The Palmer Johnson SuperSport series, the Niniette vessels will draw models like the Bugatti Type 57 C Atalante and Type 41 Royale to the imagination. Inside a rich blend of brown bubinga, maple and naturally blue morta oak create the perfect pallet for the sea.

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Last Stop: Bugatti Veyron Successor to Emerge at Geneva Motor Show!

The so-called “Fastest car on the planet” is about to break the Internet again. The most drawn-out and not exactly seductive tease for the newbie initially captivated but has shed some zest over time. The ridiculous wait for the Bugatti Veyron successor is about to come to a screeching halt, however, depositing the suspect onto the well-attended concourse of the Geneva Motor Show in France.

Bugatti Veyron successorThe Bugatti Chiron 18/3 concept from 1999 is pictured above. What will the new version look like? Fun fact: This year marks the 86th for the Geneva Motor Show.

The mere mention of the Bugatti Veyron successor in the automotive world seems provoke a yawn or two, though that does not mean there is no longer any interest. Now that it is finally coming out and rumors can get run over and die–let us just hope that they do not immediately begin efforts to tease on the next edition. Alas, they must be doing something right because annoying or no, there are already a full 100 orders placed for the Bugatti Chiron—the rumored name for the Veyron successor.  The brand has announced that fans can look for the Chiron at the Geneva show in March, a venue entirely befitting the launch because it is among the most luxurious and anticipated automotive events of the year.

Bugatti Veyron successorThe 1999 Bugatti Chiron concept was created by Fabrizio Giugiaro.

Will this little number be enough to perhaps draw some negative attention away from parent Volkswagen Group’s recent transgressions in the environmental arena? Well, if adding a thirsty and insane new sex kitten to the family fails to do the trick, it would be interesting to know what would! As to what we can expect from the engine in the Chiron, but it will be an enormous shock if it lacks in the power department or fails to compete with the likes of current offerings like LaFerrari. The ride is rumored to be named for Louis Chiron, a historic Bugatti racer from the 1920s and 30s.

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Bentley Bentayga Gets All Boost on Us

The upcoming Bentley Bentayga is the topic of much debate because she seems to be a very complex lady right off the jump. Now it is being teased that the diesel Bentayga is getting an electric-aided turbocharger to go with that glorious W12 engine. The feature will be called the E-boost to appeal to gearheads with thunder in their veins and a thirst for that boost. Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga is all about that boost, bout that boost—no trouble. 

The luxury carmaker has revealed that the Bentley Bentayga will eventually offer both diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, with the keyword being eventually. And to keep attention focused in their direction, they have begun to build up on those future models by sharing details like the turbocharging. Is anyone else getting the vibe that Bentley wants us all to be aware that not only is the Bentayga going to be capable of competing in the SUV arena, but that it will be a threat to competitors in the hybrid and speed sectors as well? It is only natural for the hard-working engineers at Bentley to want to share the good news regarding what they are working on and what is to come from the marquee. While the automotive industry is certainly fierce when it comes to competition, secrets do not remain so for extended periods of time because everything must emerge and sell at some point!

Claims are that the electric-aided turbocharger for the Bentley Bentayga works by an electric motor that spools up the turbo compressor wheel at lower revs. It keeps a spin during acceleration and factors out turbo lag for refined responsiveness. The electric turbo requires the new 48-bolt electric system to function, look for it in the next-gen Audi SUV offerings because that will be the prototype hidden in plain view, ladies and gents.

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In Gear: Old School Bugatti EB110 GT Up for Grabs

Bugatti fans love the all mighty Veyron, but the stuff that rolled out back in the day is just as cool to collect and experience—like the 1993 Bugatti 110 GT hitting the auction block at RM Sotheby’s soon! The flashy time capsule will be at the RM Sotheby’s auction January 28th-29th, 2016 and is anticipated to fetch between $600-$800k. Collectable car pricing varies according to many factors, and it appears that this 1993 Bugatti is on the up right now.

Bugatti EB110 GTThe 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT at a glance:

  • This is a single-owner specimen. Much like the Ferrari packs the most curb appeal in classic red—the Bugatti seems to generate the most praise in this shade of blue. Why is there no color coined ‘Bugatti blue’ in existence?
  • Power is derived from a quad-turbocharged V12 producing 550 horses. While that amount of power is nothing insane in today’s terms, it certainly was back in the early 1990s!
  • To make it more unique, power is fed to all wheels and driven via a six-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is over 213 glorious miles per hour in this little aerodynamic street devil.
  • This is the 6th unit of the 139-unit production run.

The upcoming RM Sotheby’s Arizona car sale will showcase over 100 blue-chip automobiles from industry icons. The specialty collection is all hand-selected by the blended experts at RM Sotheby’s—so you know they are top-level investments. Remember that they used to be two separate auction houses: RM Auctions and Sotheby’s, and they were competitors. Now the two companies have joined hands and since that time are creating some of the most sophisticated and well-themed automotive auctions on the planet.

The 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT could be yours and would make a complimentary addition to any enviable luxury car collection.  

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Winning a Luxury Car Rental Just Went All Mainstream: 5 Steps to Enter!

 Instagram contestImagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals is at it again—giving away a free luxury car rental! This time we are taking to Instagram under #want2rent, because it is where the photos of you and your supercar experience will end up anyhow, #amiright? Let’s get straight to how you win our Instagram contest:

Just 5 easy steps stand between you and the shot to spend an unforgettable day with a free luxury car rental (that is right—it is all on us!):

Once you have completed that easy task, the contestants with the most likes per month shall become the victorious one and get treated to a luxury rental car for a day!

free luxury car rental contestTips to up your game: Stop by an Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals location in New Jersey or Miami and snap some selfies with the cars. Nothing says I am serious about this passion quite like a few uploaded Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati selfies to share!

The fine print

You can win a free Imagine Lifestyles shirt by stopping by our showroom to take photos. This contest must receive a minimum of 25 entries per month in order for a winner to be selected. Posts during the month are entered for that specific month’s contest only. Only one entry per person though they may enter the following month. Winners must be 21 years or older with a valid driver’s license and insurance. Offer does not include delivery, tax, fees or security deposit. If you are shaking your head at this, remember: by winning you are getting up to a $500 rental car for the day—those small pesky charges will be forgotten the second your behind hits the seat.

Looking forward to your entries and best of luck friends!

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Aston Martin Vulcan Pairs Well with the Avro Vulcan

The Aston Martin Vulcan is pretty much the most powerful thing the brand has produced lately, an extreme track-focused beast given the look of a show car. There is also another famous Vulcan in the UK—the Avro Vulcan aircraft. Watch the two epic creations encounter each other in the short clip below!

The Avro Vulcan is stunning in the air and the Aston Martin Vulcan has the ground effects covered. The Avro version is an iconic jet bomber craft that originated back in the 1950s. It is unclear if the aircraft is the car’s namesake, but it is nice to think as much. The Vulcan car retains a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V12 engine during the time of the hybrid, and churns forth 800 horses for the road to reckon with. There will only be 24 examples of the car crafted, and all are likely pre-sold.

Aston Martin VulcanThe Avro Vulcan aircraft is a bit more rare than the Vulcan car. During its time, just 134 units of the craft were produced and just one, the Vulcan XH558, remains in operation. The crafts were a part of the British Royal Air Force from 1956-1984. The XH558 is a part of the Vulcan to the Sky charitable trust, but is fated to soon serve as a display slice at the Vulcan Aviation Academy & Heritage Center at Robin Hood airport. Yes, Robin Hood airport—we all know the British love their stories as much as their spirited automobiles.

Aston Martin Vulcan

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Buffering: Aston Martin Smartphone Ranges from $6k-$30k

Supercar themed smartphones are not a new thing, and while they seem to be fading out a touch, a high-priced gadget still makes headlines here and there. Like the latest Aston Martin smartphone, which ranges delicately in price from $6k-$30k. Seriously, it is dubbed the Aston Martin Racing 808 smartphone, though those wielding it could perhaps be perceived as dummies for dropping so much on something that will be old within a year. On the upside, owning an Aston Martin car would sustain a lasting curb appeal.

Aston Martin smartphonePhotos ©Aston Martin

The Aston Martin smartphone is at least cheaper than the actual car, and offers interested buyers the chance to feel like 007 instead of the standard Apple geek. Much like a car, the phone starts as a base model and works its way up in both abilities and pricing. The top-of-the-line Aston Martin Racing 808 features 18-karat gold and diamonds for $30k. It is unclear if the materials will retain as much value when the user tires of the phone, which often happens within a few months of owning a new gadget. The phones use a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.5GHz and around 32GB of space. The tiny display screen is 4.7-inches and the resolution is mediocre at 1,280×720 pixels. On the upside, it is shielded by a sapphire glass screen with questionable visibility. This seems forgivable for a prototype, but not for a floor model demanding such a sum.

What is special about the Aston Martin smartphone

Nifty features of the 808 Racing phone include a 13-megapixel rear camera and duel SIM LTE support. It uses Android 5.0, inline with Google mobile stuffs. The back is slathered in high-end leather covering a durable metal frame. To protect the components, there is also a ceramic shell over the speakers and such. Don’t expect to see this phone at the local Best Buy, as it will likely be sold in sparse specialty boutiques in London, Hong Kong, Dubai and other locations.

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How the VW Crisis Could Affect Bugatti

By now, everyone in the automotive world and all others know about the VW crisis dealing with the emissions scandal. While accusations and opinions will continue to fly for a while, an important issue will be the future of Bugatti. How will the Volkswagen emissions crisis affect the future of the beloved Bugatti brand?

VW crisis

The Bugatti brand actually costs money to stay alive, meaning that VW loses money on each unit sold. Even though the basic cost of a Bugatti Veyron is around a million and up, it has been revealed that VW loses around $3 million for each Veyron sold. Many find these figures difficult to grasp and assume that selling million-dollar-plus hypercars can only lead to profit. The reality is that development and materials often outweigh profits by a large margin, making the boutique brand reliant upon the other VW brands for its financial survival.

VW brands

Now that the VW brand is enduring so much scrutiny and likely an astronomical financial hit, what will become of Bugatti in the foreseeable future? Will this put a halt to the Bugatti Veyron successor’s development? It seems safe to assume that any expensive expenditure will be put on hold at this time, causing unfortunate delays to fans already waiting for the next big thing.

VW crisis As with most legal issues big automakers invariably encounter, this will likely be addressed and managed with impeccable speed and attention to detail, with lessons learned and a wiser future path mapped. VW is simply too large and good at its game to allow this to be a fatal hit, which leaves ample hope that the Bugatti brand will survive, just perhaps after a brief pit stop. VW is currently focused on righting the wrongs and working to earn back trust in the brand. Overall, while it certainly does not make the emissions errors ok, the media has done a splendid job of making it seem like they are the only brand guilty of such a thing. Carmakers have been trying to adhere to constantly changing environmental regulations while trying to remain profitable to shareholders, and at times taking the easy route can prove to be too tempting. With innovative new powertrains and the idea of a hybrid being more accepted in the market, these illegal issues should begin to diffuse on their own and the world should have its Bugatti Veyron successor in due time.

VW crisis

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