According to the undeniable power of aphorisms, “there are no maybes in math.” According to the great chronicler of the upper classes F. Scott Fitzgerald, “the very rich are different from you and me.” By applying the transitive property, this begs a rather obvious question: How do the rich do math?
Let’s say, for example, that you’re a hedge-funded oligarch in the market for an expedient and exclusive new sedan, and in your comparison set are vehicles like the $200,000 Bentley Flying Spur, the $250,000 Rolls-Royce Ghost, and the $300,000 Bentley Mulsanne. (These are the base prices for each car, if such prices can fairly be referred to as “base,” and in Rich Math, they can.) These cars are all astounding. So, within the realm of the remarkably recherché, how do you perform the cost/benefit analysis and decide whether the Mulsanne is 50 percent better than the Spur, or the Ghost is 20 percent worse?
This mathematical word problem is further complicated by the existence of upgraded, up-powered executive sedans like the Audi S8, BMW Alpina B7, and Jaguar XJR. One afternoon behind the wheel—or behind the passenger seat in the reclining, massaging, first-class rear accommodations—of any of these mid-$100,000 cars will quickly rationalize their price tags. Mollycoddling, and produced in numbers that rival the rarity of the bespoke Brits, how can you not factor these into your calculations?
Adding a complex variable to this equation is the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. We spend more than our fair share of time sampling from the Beluga buffet of luxury vehicles, and we can say with confidence that, in this category of Brobdingnagian chariots, we often find the newest car is often the greatest, simply because it has the latest updates. And while, with its massaged Bentley engine the Audi can hustle to 60 mph more quickly; and, with its stasis-annihilating Ian Callum design, the Jaguar has never stopped looking like the loveliest .50 -aliber sniper’s bullet to ever be fired at our foreheads. But the S63 has, at least for the moment, laid claim to the mathematical mantle.
Want 90 percent of a Bentley for 45 percent of the money? This is your car.