A beautiful, impressive car can be an essential part of just about anyone’s self-expression, but choice of vehicle is all the more important for those constantly in the public eye. There are plenty of celebrities who are well known for their connection to their cars. The following is a list of six vehicles that, for one reason or another, draw lots of attention from the rich and famous and can often be found in many celebrity car collections.
1. Bugatti Veyron
The Bugatti Veyron is a superlative with wheels. Prices range from $1.7 million for the no-longer-available “base” model Veyron, with stunning 1001 horsepower and a top speed of 254 miles per hour, all the way up to $3.14 million (2.35 million Euros) for the one-of-three Ettiore Buggati Legend Edition Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, a final send-off for the model honoring the company’s founder.
The raw numbers are astonishing; 8 liters, 16 cylinders, four turbochargers, ten radiators, four fuel pumps, and 1200 horsepower in the Super Sport and Grand Sport Vitesse. The Veyron held the Guinness World Record for fastest production vehicle for three years, the best speed being 267.8 MPH, though competition like the Hennessey Venom F5 and Koeniggsegg Regera are hot on its tail.
Bugatti Veyron is a masterful blending of intricate engineering, elegant styling, opulent luxury, and sheer, brute force.
The car is styled to stand out a mile away, but also to cut through the concrete wall the air becomes at the ridiculous speeds it is capable of reaching. The interior is bedecked in leather and customizable upon customer request, with comfortable but supportive seats snuggled up against the firewall for that massive engine. It’s no wonder such a high-end vehicle would attract a high-end clientele.
Especially popular amongst rappers and hip hop artists, the Veyron celebrity owners club includes such luminaries as Simon Cowell, Jay-Z, Birdman, The Game, X-Zibit, Tom Cruise, Lil’ Wayne, Tom Brady, Ralph Lauren and of course, Jay Leno. It’s such a widely owned celebrity car, in fact, that it’s often customized to stand out from the crowd; Flo Rida wrapped his in gold chrome.
This is a car that inspires awed reverence from all who see it go past. Or in other words, the perfect vehicle for the jet-setting movie stars, millionaires, musicians, and athletes of the world.
2. Bentley Continental GT
For celebrities looking for a similar luxury pedigree to the Bugatti, a healthy helping of speed, and all the luxury they could ever want for a comparatively reasonable price, the Bentley Continental GT is an ever-popular choice. Introduced for the first time in 2003, the Continental GT has been a popular choice amongst those that like their wealth to be seen and heard for over a decade. Higher trims of the delicious grand-tourer can easily crest $250K, combining a certain nouveau-riche flair with the gravitas of a British luxury company that’s been building cars for the upper crust for nearly a century.
The Continental GT is no featherweight, tipping the scales at a massive 5,115 lbs. To motivate all that weight, Bentley has equipped the Continental with a twin-turbocharged, 626 HP V12 engine, good for a sprint to 60 MPH in just four seconds in the Continental GT Speed trim. The 521 HP V8 on the base model is no slouch itself. Speed and razor-edged handling are not, however, the priority for Bentley.
The Continental GT boasts one of the nicest interiors on the market, with metal and leather festooning a high-tech, well-appointed cabin. For sinking into the lap of luxury on long drives, with the option to blow the doors off any competitors when the urge arises, there really is no better choice.
Notable celebrity owners include Paris Hilton, Cindy Crawford, Kobe Bryant, David Beckham, and Xibit. Rapper The Game also owned one, but decided to auction it off. The benefits from the auction of his brand new, customized Continental GT all went towards Morgan Freeman’s charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
3. Aston Martin Vanquish/DBS
While the previous two entries on our list have been popular amongst celebrities who like a certain flash to their automotive statement, our next vehicle (actually, two of them) comes from a company that has built its image on style and flair: Aston Martin.
Long the choice of the greatest secret agent ever, Bond, James Bond, Aston Martin is the very definition of cool. Sleek and stylish, understated yet powerful, comfortable and capable, Aston Martin is the car of choice for celebrities who value beauty, luxury, and performance, in that order. It’s so good that both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig bought their own after driving one in their respective Bond films.
The Vanquish and DBS are Aston Martin’s range-topping V12 powerhouses. The DBS was built from 2007-2012, as a beefed up version of the slightly tamer DB9. It sat lower and wider, with carbon fiber aerodynamic effects, 510 HP, and a top speed of 191 MPH. Aston Martin revived the Vanquish nameplate to serve as the successor to the DBS in 2012. Styling is an evolution rather than a full re-imagining, with added touches like long side strakes inspired by the One-77 hypercar. Power is up to 565 HP and the top speed just crests 200 MPH.
Famous owners include Hugh Grant, Eddie Murphy, and Denise Richards, in addition to the aforementioned Bond actors.
Both cars have impressive interiors, but the Vanquish is the victor, with a beautifully flowing center console, decadent trim materials, and an intuitive touch-sensitive control scheme.
4. Audi R8 V10 Plus
The Audi R8 is a car so cool, Iron Man drove one and the actor who played him, Robert Downey Jr., went and bought one after the filming. It is all the passion of supercar ownership without most of the pain.
Boasting German engineering, a V10 that can move mountains, and futuristic, almost sci-fi inspired styling, the R8 is somehow a supercar for the sensible. Prices start at just $117K, practically entry-level for a celebrity-owned vehicle.
That V10 is matched to an advanced all-wheel drive system and cutting edge dual-clutch gearbox. The R8 V10 Plus rockets to 60 MPH in just 3.2 seconds with the assistance of launch control. Everything about the R8 is high-tech, from the driving aids to the cabin and infotainment system.
Built on the same platform as the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8 V10 Plus is Italian passion tempered with German practicality.
Celebrity owners skew more towards the businessmen of the world, such as Michael Bloomberg and Nike’s Phil Knight, but Lady Gaga has been spotted driving an R8 GT. Robert Downey Jr. purchased one after driving it during the filming of the “Iron Man” movie.
5. Maybach Exelero
Less a car owned by many celebrities and more a car many celebrities would love to own, the Maybach Exelero is quite literally one of a kind. It was commissioned by the tire company Fulda back in 2005 as a test platform and marketing stunt for their high-speed tires. The Exelero was built to be the greatest achievement ever for then-thriving Maybach, and a tribute to their legendary race cars of the 1930s.
It was built with a 700 HP twin-turbo V12, with a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 218 miles per hour, all in a car weighing in at a hefty 5,836 pounds. But those numbers alone wouldn’t merit such an astronomical pricetag; the exterior was a fully custom design based on the Maybach 57 platform, and the interior was trimmed in only the finest materials, and included racing harnesses and matching helmets.
The Exelero’s celebrity connection has become quite the mystery. Rapper Birdman claimed to have bought it for the princely sum of $8 million in 2011, but representatives of Arnaud Massartic, the European entrepreneur from whom he purchased it, reported that he did not pay for the vehicle. The current owner and whereabouts of the Exelero are unknown.
6. Toyota Prius
We’ve saved the most surprising for last; many celebrities have bought and continue to buy the Toyota Prius. The Prius is not ultra-fast, opulent or expensive. It is, however, extremely economical, and promotes an image of the driver as caring about the environment.
Celebrities were some of the earliest adopters of the Prius as an environmental statement, with Leonardo DiCaprio saying in his 2007 documentary that owning a Prius was “a step in the right direction.”
The base model Prius starts at just $24,200, comes with a bevy of high-tech interior options, gets 51 MPG in the city, and has plenty of interior space.
Other eco-friendly famous faces who can be found behind the wheel of a Prius include Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Anniston, Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, Harrison Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, and most of the rest of Hollywood.
Different Cars for Different Desires
Celebrities, just like the rest of us, pick their vehicle based on a wide variety of concerns. The Veyron held the position of the fastest car in the world for three years, making it a must have for many celebrities, while the Maybach still holds the position of the most expensive one.
What would you choose to drive if you were famous?
The Aston Martins are the epitome of cool, and the R8 is a sensible supercar. The Bentley meshes luxury pedigree and modern performance, and the Prius is user friendly and has great mileage. For six different reasons, these are six of the most desirable vehicles for celebrities.