To die for

These aren’t cars. They’re lust machines. Meet the men who own them.
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Updated on Jun 26, 2010 06:24 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
A few years ago, when a Mercedes or BMW zoomed past you on the road, you gaped. Now, however, Mercedes and BMWs are passé. The new big wheels are supercars.

What’s a supercar? “It’s high on luxury and falls in the price bracket of Rs 1 crore and above,” says Paritosh Ghosh, founder of the Cannonball Club in Delhi that has got all the owners of supercars together. “The three big brands in that category are the Rolls Royce, Bentley and Maybach. And a few of the best sports cars, like Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and the Maserati, also feature in the list.”

If you have the money, you could get a supercar because, says auto critic Ronojoy Mukherjee, supercars are easily available today. “Importing them is easier, and the big brands are also here,” he says. “Rolls Royce, Bentley, Audi and Lamborghini are already here and Aston Martin and Ferrari are coming.” We spoke to four owners of supercars about why they’re so passionate about them.

Raunaq Singh Anand
Owns: 2010 Jaguar XKR, 2010 Range Rover Supercharged, 2010 Jaguar XF 5.0 V8, 2007 Mercedes SL55 AMG
Wants to own: Jaguar XJ Supersport
Why supercars turn him on: “The looks, the exclusivity, the sound, the way they sprint to lightning speeds of hundreds of miles in a few seconds...”

When you’re from a family that has been in the automobile business for three generations, then cars are obviously in your blood. “I was brought up around fancy cars and my father and grandfather always drove very exclusive vehicles,” says Raunaq Singh Anand. “Soon, I was hooked too.”

Director at AMP Motors that has the exclusive dealerships for Jaguar and Landrover in the Delhi-NCR area, Raunaq is the proud owner of the 2010 Jaguar XKR. It’s a grand tourer supercar, purchased just a month ago.

“The Jaguar is a stunning combination of breathtaking, flamboyant British looks and awe-inspiring performance,” says Raunaq. “And the XKR looks and feels a generation ahead of other super cars. It is also faster than the Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG, Porsche 911, Aston Martin AMV8 and Audi R8.”

His Jaguar XKR is a gleaming blue. It makes heads turn when he takes it out for a spin. “Its sound is amazing. Everyone turns to look at it and some people even take pictures of it on the road!” he laughs.

Gurpal Singh Chawla
Owns: Porsche Cayenne, Ferrari 599GTB, Bentley Flying Spur, Bentley GTS, Rolls Royce Phantom
Wants to own: Bugatti Veyron, Nissan GTR
Why supercars turn him on: “I wanted to own something that was high on looks as well as great to drive.”

Car mania runs in 24-year-old businessman Gurpal Singh Chawla’s family. His grandfather, father and uncles were all crazy about cars, so it was natural that he should be too. While growing up, Gurpal had Bentleys, Ferraris and Rolls Royces around him. He also spent a few years in Los Angeles, called the city of beautiful cars, so it was just a matter of time before Gurpal wanted to own something fancy. So he bought a Porsche Cayenne.

“But since I was a kid, I had a great liking for the Ferrari, so a year ago I bought the Ferrari 599GTB, one of the fastest cars in the world,” says Gurpal. It can go up to 220 kmph on the Gurgaon or Noida Expressway, he adds.

The family garage boasts several incredible cars, the latest being the Rolls Royce Phantom. “It’s in a league of its own!” says Gurpal.

Bharat Aggarwal
Owns: Aston Martin
Wants to own: Ferrari 458 Italia
Why supercars turn him on: “Once you are behind the wheel, you never want to stop.”

Industrialist Bharat Aggarwal swears that his passion for cars began the day he was born. “The best birthday gift my parents could give me when I was a child was either an encyclopedia on cars or a model of a good car,” says the 25-year-old.

When Bharat was studying engineering in Bangalore, he was exposed to some of the coolest cars, including the Porsche and the Audi. But the Aston Martin was always his dream machine. “It’s not just about how it makes you feel when you are in it,” says Bharat. “It’s also about the feeling you get when you simply hold the keys of the car.”

His car is a speedster, able to go from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds, but Bharat is also enamoured by the Aston’s looks and sound. “The sound it makes is mind-blowing,” he says. “Its dual exhaust means that the sound changes with the speed at which the car is moving. So you could compare it to a cat that can turn into a panther!”

Bharat drives his car on the Gurgaon and Noida Expressways, and sometimes in Connaught Place, Delhi. “My adrenaline starts pumping only after I touch 200 kmph and I have actually done up to 290 kmph in this car,” he says. “But I must emphasise that a car is only as good as its driver. So my senses are at their sharpest when I drive the Aston.”

Prateek Madaan
Owns: Porsche 911 Carerra S, Porsche Cayenne GTS, BMW X6
Wants to own: Bugatti Veyron
Why supercars turn him on: “I wanted something exciting that could get my adrenaline pumping, that would give me great speed with a good design,” says Prateek.

He’s been passionate about cars since he was a kid, but Prateek’s parents were too strict to let him drive a sports car. He got an opportunity to drive the kind of cars he fancied only when he was studying in the UK, says the 28-year-old MD of the Skyland group of companies.

He wanted to experience the real thrill of speed. So he bought a Porsche 911 Carerra S. “Porsche makes some of the best cars in the whole world, plus their cars have the best road-handling track record, even better than the Ferrari and Lamborghini,” he says.

Prateek’s passion doesn’t end at buying cars. He also likes to customise them to his tastes. When he parks his car in the city, crowds gather around it. “The noise of the 911 makes everyone stop and notice it,” he says. “People take pictures of it, and recently, when I was driving it, I was followed by two girls in a BMW. They stayed behind us for 20 km!”

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