The Drive 100: The Most Pointless but Awesome Car Features of 2015

If you didn’t know, now you know.

byThe Drive Staff| PUBLISHED Dec 19, 2015 4:59 PM
The Drive 100: The Most Pointless but Awesome Car Features of 2015

Every day through Dec. 23, the writers and editors of The Drive are bringing you the essential guide to the year in car culture. Divided across 10 core categories, The Drive 100 is a celebration and send-up of the year that was. Check back tomorrow for: Innovations.

McLaren P1 Scale Model

Those lucky 375 who spent over a million bucks to own a McLaren P1 hybrid supercar, arguably the definitive rocketship of our era, got some perks: matching luggage, helmet, race suit and an exact, color-correct scale model of the car. Pictured here, Los Angeles Angels pitcher CJ Wilson’s model, in Cerberus Pearl no less. On Dec. 15, McLaren announced that scale models would now be available to mere proles like us. Sizes range from 1:64 to 1:8, with pricing from a few bucks to about $12,000. Big enough to stuff in a Christmas stocking, but not so small that it’ll be forgotten by Jan. 1. Want. —A.J. Baime, editor-at-large

Mini Yours Interior Lighting

For $400, Mini will spackle the interior of your brand-new Mini Clubman S in multicolored LEDs. The option is part of the Mini Yours menu of customization options, and it turns the leather-lined interior of your twee British wagon into a 189-horsepower London vodka bar, quilted leather and all. In a Mini so equipped, every tedious action—pushing the gas, adjusting the driving mode, blasting the music—is met with bursts of Technicolor delight. In concert with Mini’s signature light ring that outlines the dash, the LEDs recreate the ambience of a Donna Summer album release party. Disco: mostly dead, except in larger Mini Coopers.—Ben Keeshin, staff writer

Puddle Lamps

There’s nothing wrong with some automotive theater, especially when it keeps you from stepping into a curbside cesspool. Recalling earthbound Bat Signals, puddle lamps are adding images to their repertoire. Fittingly, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque kicked off the trend: Where SUVs once paired best with muddy boots, the owners of Rover’s citified crossover surely prefer spotless Christian Louboutins. The Evoque’s mirror-mounted lamps beam a line drawing of the Evoque’s distinctive silhouette at your feet. First-time passengers cooed at the novel sight, every time. In short order, the Hyundai Genesis sedan adopted an illuminated winged Genesis logo. The latest Ford Mustang flashes a galloping pony on the pavement, and Mercedes-AMG models, including the GLE 63 Coupe, display a detailed AMG logo. Sure, there’s no practical advantage whatsover, but these illuminated mats are a literally welcome touch.—Lawrence Ulrich, chief auto critic

Jaguar’s Loud Switch

It’s thoughtful of Jaguar to include a console-mounted button that allows one to disengage the blatted, cracking obstreperousness from the quad exhaust pipes of its F-Type R coupe and convertible. But I’m an incorrigible asshole, and I plan to revel in the last glory days of the internal combustion engine, so I’ll drive this car in second gear all day long and will put a piece of Gorilla Tape over this button like the Check Engine light on my old Volvo.—Brett Berk, writer-at-large

Range Rover Sport SVR

Yes, the whole vehicle. Nose to tail, top to bottom. It is a 5,150-lb, 550-horsepower truck that’ll lap the Nürburgring in 8 minutes 14 seconds. The SVR is the very definition of pointless. Also: Awesome. You know, because it’s a 5,150-lb, 550-horsepower truck that’ll lap the Nürburgring in 8 minutes 14 seconds. Get on board, or get bent.—Max Prince, senior editor

Bentley Bentayga Picnic Hamper by Mulliner

The Bentley Bentayga is the fastest SUV on the road, which makes the Bentley Bentayga’s Picnic Hamper the fastest lunchbox on the road. Three lunchboxes, actually. Outfitted with silver cutlery, porcelain dishes and enough ostentation to take you from the polo fields to your ski chalet in all the style you’ve become accustomed to. Anyone else feeling peckish?—Chris Cantle, West Coast editor

JEGS Tool Box Mechanical Seat

A rolling seat with a toolbox in it—or a toolbox with a rolling seat attached, depending on your worldview—is pretty much the coolest place I can think of to store tools. If I had more than broken, weed-choked asphalt as a floor for my outdoor "garage," I'd surely go for one of these.—Benjamin Preston, writer-at-large

Volvo XC90 T8 Orrefors Crystal Gear Knob

Tailfins, those flamboyant tassels on America’s Nuclear Age, were useless. This was design for its own sake, serving no aerodynamic, ecological or structural purpose whatsoever. But that didn’t stop them from stealing hearts. Similarly, the icy crystal gearshift in the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid—hand-blown by Swedish studio Orrefors—is pointless. Why do it? Why not carry over the perfectly handsome, leather-wrapped, conventional number in the XC90 T6? You might as well question the logic of putting sea salt on caramel ice cream. It’s better. That’s why.—Jonathan Schultz, deputy editor

Immobilizer on Morgan 3-Wheeler

The Morgan 3-Wheeler cannot be stolen. Cannot. Be. Stolen. Why? It has the world’s most effective immobilizer. Not only the most effective, but the only effective immobilizer available for any street legal car. I’m not referring to the optional $220 electronic immobilizer, which comes with two flimsy plastic fobs. Lose or break both, and your 3-Wheeler will be immobilized until Morgan sends you new fobs or you buy a new ignition. Either route will take two to four months, and cost you $500. If there’s a fob on your keychain, as the immortal knight said to Indiana Jones, “He chose… poorly.” No, the wise man’s choice is the dealer-installed immobilizer option, which at $200 is the world’s greatest bargain in exotic car options. It consists of a spacer on the steering column, granting more legroom than a Countach, and a steering wheel release latch, allowing you to place it on the bar of the bar you should not be driving to. Voilà, my good man. An unstealable car. Granted, Morgan owners can’t get parts. You think thieves have extra Morgan steering wheels lying around?—Alex Roy, editor-at-large

Mercedes-Maybach S600 Cabin Atomizer Agarwood Fragrance

Have you ever wanted the interior of your $200,000 saloon to smell like a forest of rare agarwood? You may not even know what agarwood is, and that would be totally O.K. This rare fiber can be found in Southeast Asia, and it forms when Gyrinops trees are infected with a type of mold. Well, Mercedes-Maybach has pumped its luxo-barge full of moldy fragrance, just in case the HVAC system of S600s didn’t already dispense the musk of wealth. The thing is, it smells really, really good.—Max Goldberg, assistant editor