For The driver who wants to level up
BMW Driving Experience
From S$1,000 | bmw.com
When it comes to driving, there’s always more you can learn. Like other luxury car brands, BMW offers a number of driving courses abroad to expand a person’s driving abilities, no matter their skill level. For example, earlier this year, we attended BMW’s Alpine Drive Experience, held in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Participants were taught the finer points of controlling an all-wheel drive BMW on snow and ice, and how to safely — and quickly — navigate tricky conditions. Not only is it hugely informative, it’s also mega-fun. Other advanced driving courses from BMW, and other car manufacturers such as Porsche and Ferrari, offer everything from defensive driving to competitive international racing series.
For easier breathing in the cabin
Octygen Inrush air purifier
S$250 | octygen.com.sg
The smell of a brand new car for Christmas might be exhilarating, but it’s probably not good for you. Ditto for carbon monoxide, benzene (a byproduct of gasoline), plasticisers, vapours, stale air-conditioning, brake dust … and that’s all without the haze! Singapore company Octygen makes industrial air purifiers and has miniaturised the technology for in-car use. The Inrush, an in-car air purifier unit, uses plasma technology, a UV steriliser and an ioniser to remove all the bad stuff from the air inside your car’s cabin. It’s also supposed to leave you feeling more awake by keeping the air fresh — all the better for driving home from late (but obviously alcohol-free) festive season carousing.
For the car nut who has to stay connected
S$1,099 | pioneer.com.sg
Pioneer’s top-of-the-line in-car entertainment unit, this is more than just a stereo system. Its key feature is connectivity. For starters, you can control your iPhone (via Apple CarPlay) or Android smartphone directly through the screen (useful since ‘handphone driving’ is illegal) while iPhone users can even converse with Siri while on the go.
You can also connect to the head unit via Bluetooth for answering calls and streaming audio, run certain apps such as Waze through an AppRadio mode, plus stream music from Spotify. If you want to bring your own tunes on-board, the unit can also play lossless FLAC audio files from a USB thumbdrive.
To tickle your ears on the go
Micro Precision 3 Series Speaker Set
S$968 | email@example.com
The best way to improve audio quality inside a car is to change the speakers. In the pursuit of audio nirvana, you can technically spend limitless amounts of cash. But speakers that won’t break the bank and offer great performance will work wonders for your wallet. This set from Micro Precision of Germany is a great starting point. It includes two pairs of speakers. One pair of 6.5-inch speakers handle mid-range frequencies and have cones made out of aluminium, like on more expensive Hi-Fi systems. There’s also a pair of 25mm tweeters to take care of upper frequencies with more clarity.
For the driver who has almost everything
Rolls-Royce Cocktail Hamper
Price on application |
There are festive hampers and there are festive hampers made by Rolls-Royce. The British ultra-luxury carmaker has just announced its Cocktail Hamper, which, the company says, comes with “every necessary accoutrement required to create and enjoy the perfect cocktail”.
It’s designed with input from cocktail experts — Dorchester Collection hotels — presented in a hand-crafted case that takes six weeks to make from American walnut wood and the same leather found in the firm’s cars. Besides silverware, cutlery, preparation utensils and a recipe book, the hamper also has hand-made, platinum-rimmed glassware from specialists Theresienthal. Only 15 hampers will be made, and as for the price, well if you have to ask …
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, we reported the model number of the Pioneer in-car entertainment unit as AVH-X7850BT. This is incorrect. It is the AVH-X8750BT. We apologise for the error.