December 11, 2008 Year's end is rolling round again and it's time to get set for the holiday season, meaning it's also time for our annual look back at some of the most outrageously expensive and as yet unattainable products we've featured in Gizmag during 2008. Read on for our selection of the coolest "toys" that you more than likely wont find under the tree this year.
If you’re the kinda person that drives a Reventon, won’t tap on a laptop unless it’s a Luvaglio, and only sails Mangusta, then boy have we got the motorcycle for you! It’s called the Ecosse Titanium Series - so called because it sports the world’s first all-titanium frame. And from the 200-horsepower, 2150cc polished billet aluminum v-twin engine, to the MotoGP-spec Ohlins suspension, to the radially-mounted 6-piston billet ISR front brake calipers - with an individual brake pad for each of the 12 pistons - every detail screams "you can't afford me!" At USD$275,000 it's not cheap - but it does come with a free watch.
It’s designed to carry up to 800 passengers, but HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal has his eye on one of his very own. Airbus has confirmed that the Saudi Prince has placed the first private order for the $300 million Airbus A380 superjumbo. Bringing a whole new meaning to the notion of private aviation, the massive A380 VIP “Flying Palace” will be fitted out to become the world’s largest private jet Jet-Envy and will replace the Prince’s current ride – a Boeing Boeing 747-400.
It’s destined to be the world’s largest cruise ship – when launched next year, Royal Caribbean International ’s US$1.24 billion Project Genesis will be 1,180 feet long, and carry 5400 passengers (6,400 at a pinch). It’s the most expensive ship in history, and it’s longer, wider and taller than the largest ocean liner ever built, (Cunard’s QM II), 43 per cent larger in size than the world’s largest cruise ship, (Freedom of the Seas) and remarkably, bigger than any military ship ever built, aircraft carriers included. In a world where choice of amenities count, Project Genesis has yet another trump card – in the the center of the ship is a lush, tropical park which opens to the sky.
The submarine was invented several hundred years before the automobile, but it’s not surprising that it is taking a little longer to reach ubiquitous recreational usage. A bent fender is small change indeed compared to the inconvenience of Decompression Sickness, asphyxiation or perhaps being crushed to death. The risk of such perils had to be comprehensively mitigated before recreational submarines Submarine could safely come to market and the Dutch U-Boat Worx Personal-Submarines was the first to get it all right with the C-Quester one-seater CQ1 and two-seater CQ2. Now the company is set to launch a completely revamped CQ2 aimed at the SuperYacht Market and a two, three and four-seater CQ3 (pictured) aimed at the tourism industry. An exclusive few might still find one of these under the tree with prices starting from UKP315,000 (EUR395).
Amosu announced a limited release of only five Motorola RAZR2 V8 Luxury Diamond Edition phones earlier this year. The handsets feature 412 diamonds with 5.9 carats and the purchase includes an international Concierge service. The ultra-exclusive handsets were snapped up at £25,000 each. If you miss out there's always the fall-back of the Motorola K1 or Diamond iPhone, both of which are priced at £20,000, or if you consider that 412 diamonds is a little underdone, there's always the Diamond Nokia N95 finished in 18 carat solid gold but with 658 diamonds for £27,500. You could also take a look at Tag Heuer's US$6200 Meridiist mobile phone handset or the Gresso White Diamonds luxury mobile phone collection.
It's not a car and it's not quite a scooter, but it is only a concept at this stage so it won't make the Christmas wish list. Peugeot's HYmotion3 compressor is an original mix of previously seen design elements - a semi-enclosed shell akin to BMW's C1 or the Benelli Adiva and the carving 3-wheel layout of Piaggio's MP3 - with hybrid drivetrain technology added to produce a 2-person vehicle that promises low CO2 emissions Green-Business-Travel as well as greater safety and weather protection than conventional scooters.
7. Under the sea: Dubai's underwater hotel takes shape
Anywhere but Dubai, the idea of building a luxury hotel 66 feet underwater would sound far-fetched. But next to the Burj-al-arab, the rotating skyscraper, manufactured islands and indoor ski slopes of the desert commerce capital, the Hydropolis will fit right in. At a rough cost of UK£300 million, this jaw-dropping engineering challenge will allow guests to get a true taste for the peace and beauty of underwater life – and at a projected price tag of up to USD$5500 per night for a room, you'd certainly be hoping that life is much better down where it's wetter.
Never shy of venturing into unchartered territory, Swiss automotive design company Rinspeed’s latest Concept takes the aquatic theme showcased in its 2004 Splash Amphibious Hydrofoil Sportscar to the next level with its latest creation - the sQuba diving Concept Car. Thirty years after the release of the film The Spy Who Loved Me, where James Bond took to the deep in a subaquatic Lotus Espirit, Rinspeed aim to turn the famous cinematic sequence into reality with an amphibious, zero-emission Concept designed to dive to depths of up to 33 feet (10 meters) using two propellers in the stern and two jet drives in the bow.
The size of nine 50" plasma screens combined, the world’s largest advanced high definition (HD) plasma display panel was unveiled by Panasonic at the 2008 International CES. The prototype 150-inch PDP features an 8.84 million pixel resolution (2,160 x 4,096), an effective viewing area of 11 ft (3.31 m) wide x 6 1/4 ft (1.87 m) high 103-inch PDP and boasts true-to-life color reproduction and quick response.
Multi-millionaires might have to wait a few years before this one becomes a Christmas option. Moller International has announced that it has designed a hybrid flying car. The two-seater autovolantor is fashioned in the shape of a Ferrari Drive-Like-a-Million-Bucks 599 GTB with wings and is claimed to be capable of lifting off vertically from a traffic jam and flying at up to 150 mph for a short distance (about 15 minutes). The autovolantor is designed to function on the road very much like a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) using one of its eight Rotapower engines to generate enough electrical power to drive for up to 40 miles.