The Awe-Inspiring World of Ultra-Extreme Luxury Vehicles

Luxury is, by its very nature, a state of extremes. It revels in the headiest heights of opulence, the zenith of decadence, seeking out the rarest, the most precious, the most distinguished and unusual.

From gilding and gold-plating almost anything imaginable to encrusting even the most everyday items in diamonds and precious gems, the luxury goods industries have proven adept at serving the whims and fantasies of the world’s elite. Few industries, however, take these extremes of whimsy and fantasy to the level of the luxury vehicle scene, where childhood dreams of supercars and flying machines can be realised, often with utterly stunning and pioneering effect.

In this piece, we’ll be lifting back the velvet curtain on some of the most unusual, expensive and outlandish items in the vehicle collections of the rich and famous. This is a realm of genuine extremes – possessions which go above and beyond the ordinary, and which elevate luxury lifestyles to the echelons of science fiction. It’s one in which too much is rarely enough, and in which the thrilling nature of removing limitations realises its absolute potential.

Let’s take a closer look at an array of ultra-exotic vehicles, and the possibilities they allow the individuals fortunate enough to call them their own.

Exploring Land, Sea and Everything In Between With Amphibious Vehicles

 
 
 
 
 
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Luxury living is all about removing the obstacles that everyday life often throws in our faces. It’s an approach to life which sees the impossible as surmountable, and which recognises the world – and all of its terrains – as places to explore, places to uncover and call one’s own.

This, in essence, is part of the draw of owning a luxury amphibious assault vehicle – a pioneering set of military vehicles which has only recently begun to emerge as part of the collections of the ultra-elite. Their appeal isn’t difficult to understand; with an amphibious vehicle, the world becomes your oyster. Both land, river and sea open their gates to discovery, and no terrain becomes off-limits.

 
 
 
 
 
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Luxury amphibious vehicles come in two key categories: you have the serious, boisterous and imposing models – such as the Shaman, a colossal eight-wheeled ATV currently popular with Russian oligarchs keen to make the most of their hunting trips – and lighter, more fun-based vehicles, such as the effortlessly stylish Iguana Knight. While the former boasts a 146-hp Iveco engine designed to overcome even the roughest terrain and float on water, the latter is more at home on a superyacht in Monaco; its tank tracks mean land movement is possible but limited, yet can hit blistering speeds of 88km/h at sea.

Whether you’re looking for some serious off-roading time camping with your friends, or prefer the freedom of zooming off the beach into the sparkling sea waters, there’s an amphibious vehicle that’s perfectly suited to your lifestyle.

Luxury Airships, Where Old School Elegance Meets Cutting-Edge Innovation

 
 
 
 
 
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There was a time when the airship was considered the absolute height of European luxury. Stately, sedate and utterly imposing, behemoths of the sky in the form of zeppelins were a true mark of sophistication – a signal of a bold and ambitious future of international travel. Of course, these dreams of airborne intrepidation were somewhat dampened by a certain high-profile air disaster, but decades later, airships (now thankfully safeguarded from combustion) are beginning to take to the skies once more.

The latest generation of luxury blimps aren’t just beautiful, they’re a technological marvel in and of themselves. Relying on non-combustible helium and a range of bulletproof materials, companies including US-based Skunk Works and French brand Flying Whale have reinvented the airship for a new generation. Aeroscraft, a California-based company, has created a solar-powered airship that is set to be used for luxury trips from the US mainland to Hawaii, and their prototype designs look nothing less than spectacular – a vast flying saucer-esque machine, fitted with the utmost in opulent detailing, and capable of cruising at an impressive 80 miles per hour.

Whether airships will eventually find their way into private ownership is yet to be seen. One thing’s for sure, however, the commercial flights delivered by Aeroscraft and others are guaranteed to bring back an imperial glamour the world hasn’t witnessed for almost a century.

Private Tanks: The Ultimate Boy’s Toys

 
 
 
 
 
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Contemporary city life can be stressful – this is a truth universally acknowledged. Little surprise, therefore, that the ultra high-net-worth individuals of the world are increasingly looking to add a truly monolithic all-terrain vehicle to their garages. Indeed, private luxury tanks are becoming, while not commonplace, more and more featured on the wishlists of those with the capital with which to indulge their fantasies.

While there are now numerous armoured vehicles on the market which could be described as ‘tanks’, not all truly live up to the moniker. Enter the Howe & Howe Ripsaw EV3-F4. Its name might be a little ungainly, but the vehicle more than makes up for that in raw power, limitless versatility, and a sleek-yet-unmissable look that signals a new horizon for luxury tanks in the private market. A high-end tank without a cannon (thankfully, in fact, without any weapons systems), the EV3-F4 is designed to offer the utmost in both robust durability and remarkable levels of comfort.

While not fit for warfare, the EV3-F4 comes with a wide array of military-grade tactical equipment – this tank isn’t just for show, it’s genuinely capable of tackling almost any imaginable terrain. This not only comes down to a frankly terrifying 6.6 litre turbo diesel V8 engine, capable of hurling out 800bhp of torque and supporting a 4.5 ton frame, and propelling it to speeds of 60 mph while the driver relaxes in a heated and ventilated seat.

Bulletproof Glamour and Armoured Exotic Cars

The increasing trend in armoured exotic cars and bulletproof supercars provides a fascinating insight into a certain sector of the luxury vehicle industry. On the one hand, it could be assumed that the ultra-rich are prone to bouts of paranoia – not entirely without reason. On the other, it showcases that the old adage ‘more is more’ rings totally true when it comes to this level of wealth and spending power. After all, if you have the capital with which to superpower your luxury vehicle and make it capable of withstanding an explosion… why wouldn’t you?

Of course, there are practical uses for armoured vehicles – some people in the top ranks of society genuinely do need that extra layer of protection, and luxury car manufacturers worldwide are consistently competing to match beauty and style with amazing degrees of security. Built to withstand gunfire, bomb blasts and more, many of the latest luxury armoured cars come with 007-esque details like the ability to emit smokescreen, defending drivers and passengers from attack.

Let’s take a quick peek at three of the most iconic armoured luxury vehicles out there today.

A black Mercedes Benz G 63 AMG is looking sharp as it stands ready outside a black airplane hanger on an overcast day.

 

  • Mercedes Benz G 63 AMG

The first choice of armoured luxury vehicle for many of the world’s elite, this beautiful Mercedes comes replete with black leather interiors, bullet-resistant shielding, surveillance cameras and customised lights. With a floor made from grenade-proof material, it’s certainly worth its $1 million price tag for those who need to feel absolutely secure when on the move.

An intimidatingly huge black Knight XV armored truck stands imposingly on the tarmac. Eleven out of ten threatening aura.Image courtesy of Conquest Vehicles
  • Knight XV

A veritable beast of an armoured vehicle, the Knight XV is a limited run of 100 SUVs, making it an exclusive and valuable choice for those needing security across multiple terrains. Packing a monstrous V10 engine and a Kevlar body, the interior is as luxurious as you might expect a $650k vehicle to be, including elegant leather stylings and a satellite television.

The iconic striped silver grill and interlocking circle logos of a sleek black Audi A8 Security armored car "pops" against the dark grey rectangular panels of the showroom walls.

  • Audi A8 Security

Matching style with substance is central to the Audi brand DNA, and their armoured flagship vehicle is no exception. Custom aluminium alloys and a range of bulletproof materials make it certified by the German Ballistics Testing Centre as VR7 Ballistic Standard – basically, it’s a car that can withstand bombs and grenades, while still delivering its passengers to their location in timeless elegant fashion.

Into the Unknown: The World of Ultra Exotic Private Submarines

The mysteries of the deep have maintained their allure since time immemorial, and it’s no real surprise that the ultra-rich have deep sea exploration in their sights – after all, where else on Earth can you be assured the absolutes of peace of quiet, and views and vistas which are as exclusive as can possibly be?

Private luxury submarines or submersibles have become the latest in a long line of extravagant superyacht toys, ideal for allowing yacht owners to make the most of their time on the waves. Split into various categories – some purely for fun, some for more serious expeditions beneath the waters – luxury submarines represent a pinnacle of technology being used for leisure time, and offer plenty of fascinating features that, once again, fulfil no shortage of childhood fantasies. Here are three of our favourites on the market today.

 
 
 
 
 
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  • Seabreacher Z

Arguably one of the most technologically advanced sea vessels of all time, Seabreacher Z is a two-seater submarine superpowered by a 300hp engine. With amazing underwater propulsion, the shark-inspired design sees the Seabreacher mimic the tail articulation of dolphins and whales – a seriously impressive feature, and one which looks like it provides no end of fun.

 
 
 
 
 
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  • C-Explorer

For those looking to really get below the waves, explore shipwrecks and reefs, and live out their intrepid adventurer dreams, the C-Explorer does it all. Capable of reaching a maximum depth of 1,000 feet and staying underwater for an incredible eight hours, this mini sub offers 360-degree views and a climate-controlled cabin.

 
 
 
 
 
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  • Necker Nymph

A 4.6 metre submarine with an open cockpit, the Necker Nymph was designed for Richard Branson to use on Necker Island, his exclusive paradise resort. Perfect for a brief sojourn into the deep, it’s capable of diving to 150 feet – an extension of scuba diving, perhaps, but a whole lot of exciting fun regardless.

Ultra Exotic, Ultra Exciting: Vehicles Which Go Above and Beyond

When it comes to exotic vehicles which take ownership of every road, elevate their owners above the clouds and even dive deep beneath the sea, too much is simply never enough. As we’ve seen, the market for such vehicles continues to push the boundaries of possibility, unveiling new horizons and frontiers for those willing and able to explore them.

As technology continues to scale ever headier heights, there’s little doubt that ultra-exotic vehicles will continue to astonish and amaze. We await further developments, further realisations of dreams, and further innovative marvels with bated breath.

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