By John and Laurie Wiles
In just six weeks the doors of the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side open for the 2020 New York Auto Show. Anyone with an interest in vehicles of every ilk does not want to miss this automotive spectacular. There are, of course, auto shows held all over the globe—famously, Detroit—but none has the panache or thrill of the New York Auto Show. Here, the world’s greatest cars and trucks are displayed, and the realm is like Camelot. From mini to maxi, they come in all sizes, shapes, colors—and prices. Each week, from now until April 10, when the show opens, my delightful, suave husband, Johnny, and I will talk about each of the car manufacturers that will be exhibiting, starting in alphabetical order. What’s more, we will also be focusing on one car maker or model with which we have little or no acquaintance. For example, in yesterday’s show (which you can get on demand on Westchester on the Level) we discussed arguably the most outrageously expensive, MOMA-worthy designed vehicle we have ever heard of. Since we have not seen, touched, or driven this vehicle, all we can do is imagine…and pass along our notes:
The KARHLMAN KING SUV
- Made in Italy
- Named after King Carolman, a 9th century Frankish ruler who became King of Bavaria
- It is the most expensive SUV in the world ▪
- Boasts a 6.8-liter V10 engine that produces 398 horsepower ▪
- Weighs 10,580 pounds—and that’s without armor
- Has a top speed of 87 mph
- Optional bullet-proofing
- Only 9 units will be built In Italy this year, although an unknown number will be built in the United States in a modified and more standardized version
- Includes a coffee machine, neon “Sky Lighting,” a flat screen TV, electric tables, an air purification system, a bar (I suspect you have to buy your own liquor), a laptop, and a refrigerator. All electric features can be controlled by apps or a built-in control panel.
- The entertainment system include a hi-fi sound audio, PlayStation 4, phone projection, and satellite TV.
- It is angular. There are no Mae West curves on this baby. The body design looks like it was chiseled with a Samurai sword and the design breaks all the rules. The manufacturer calls it a “diamond design.” Nothing is symmetrical. Nothing is aerodynamic. Nothing is elegant about the design of this brute. Think of its mother being a stealth fighter F117A Nighthawk and its father, the Batmobile—but without the speed.
- The shell is built on a Ford 550 chassis.
- It has 3 doors, 2 on the left and one on the right.
- It’s an elephant. However, like an elephant, you do not need a special license to drive it.
- The base price is $1.085 million. Fully loaded, it’s $3.8 million dollars, depending on customization.
- It is a “rolling lounge on wheels.” The seats are recliners.
- If you live in the center of Paris or any European city, for that matter; a quaint England or New England village—anywhere where the main arteries are pretty much narrow lanes— then this SUV will not fit your lifestyle, let alone the streets. If, on the other hand, you live in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Mohave, or anywhere else that has vast expanses of dessert, then, boy, this is surely the SUV for you.