What's the difference between flying business and first class? While it's hard to imagine improving on the luxurious trappings of business, once you've tried first there's no looking back.
It's a similar concept driving the Bentley Flying Spur W12 S – every detail has that extra gleam and gravitas, making it like the private jet of the road. This is an absolute brute of a sedan, but handles like a sportscar, flying from 0-100 km/h in a dizzying 4.5 seconds.
It's the first four-door Bentley ever to achieve maximum speeds of over 325 km/h, and that's all the more impressive when you consider its size – some 2445 kilograms hand-built with every conceivable flourish in Crewe, England – which still feels light and springy on the road.
Ride of your life
Then comes the biggest number in the equation: the driveaway price of this pimped-out fantasy car is a cool $583,000.
There's a certain Underbelly-meets Buckingham Palace vibe that comes over you when driving the car, with its hatched matrix grille gnashing like glosssy teeth, red headlights glowing like the eyes of a wolf.
The engine purrs like a pampered Siamese, fat twin-spoke gloss black wheels spinning smoothly with red ceramic brakes.
The Bentley seems to welcome the open road with a vigorous golf clap. The freeway is where the W12 S is most at home, effortlessly meeting the speed limit and whooshing smugly past every other vehicle without breaking a sweat.
There's such power here, every press of the accelerator produces a smooth, confident burst of speed and strength, and it's hard not to feel like a minor royal or major rapper behind the wheel.
Bentley is big on options, and customers are likely to personalise their W12 S to the hilt. There are over a hundred colours to choose from the Mulliner workshop, with prestige specifications including drilled alloy sport foot-pedals, and Bentley badges emblazoned on the hood and headrests.
The Spur has an old-school sensibility while sporting all the latest tech. There's a regular key ignition, for example, or a more modern push button start, depending on what you'd prefer to use at the time.
Speaking of buttons, there are several more on the side of each chair: heated seats or cooled seats, elaborately soothing massage functions which knead you subtly in the spine, and every conceivable adjustment made with the flicker of a finger.
Digital mod cons are controlled by a silver toggle on the steering wheel, from GPS to Bluetooth audio. Need the time? There's a classic Breitling embedded on the dash.
Aircon is digitally adjusted to suit each passenger, but can be switched on and off easily by pushing a chunky, pleasingly-retro chrome lever. The vintage vibe extends to the digital media centre, which is reasonably low-fi considering the price, and at times a bit clunky to navigate using the toggle on the steering wheel.
Nothing quite like owning the road in a @bentleymotors #flyingspur #w12s ... the ultimate four door flagship with a mind blowing top speed of 325 kmh. Where do you want to go?
This is road-tripping at its finest, the kind of car the Obamas would take to dinner.
In the back seat, wide LCD video screens are installed behind the driver and passenger seats for a properly pampered ride. Pop-out trays lower smoothly to rest your particulars for long journeys, plus there's a subtly-concealed media centre with individual DVD player and USB chargers. In the seat back pouch, personal headphones are on hand so you can plug in and switch off.
The back windows also have dark shade cloths that slide up and down for privacy, plus an iPhone-esque console which pops out to allow passengers full control of the car's climate and infotainment systems.
A hefty fuel tank also offers 672 kilometers between stops, which means you're halfway to Sydney before you need to pump in $100 of premium unleaded.
Not that you can imagine many people who buy this car actually pumping petrol – they'll most likely employ someone to do that for them. You're now free to sit back, relax, and prepare for take off.