Last-minute trawls round malls or petrol-station flowers aside, it’s probably time to accept that it’s getting a tad late for thoughtful festive presents this year. But for car-idolising types who get the best gift of all this Christmas – cash, obviously – there are plenty of, err, wheely great gifts to splurge on from around the world.
A few months ago, we reviewed the impressively clever Anki Overdrive, a 21st-century, artificial intelligence update on slot-car racing, operated via a free app on your smartphone. Should humble robotic cars not be sufficient to sate your competitive edge, however, the game now has a beefier add-on: Supertrucks (pictured below left). They’re about three times the size of the previously available Supercars, with powerful virtual “weapons” to hamper your opponents’ progress, and have been conceived by Harald Belker, a German designer who has worked on mind-blowing vehicles in Hollywood movies such as Tron: Legacy and Minority Report.
Want something even more combative? Try Galaxy Zega. It’s operated in a comparable way to Anki Overdrive, via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone app that allows you to wage a mini war with up to four battle tanks. It’s yet to be available in shops in the UAE, but you can order it online.
• Anki Overdrive Supertrucks are available at retailers across the UAE, including Virgin Megastore, Hub Zero, Harvey Nichols and iStyle, from Dh349.99; Galaxy Zega is available online at store.galaxyzega.com, from US$149 (Dh547) for a starter bundle
Global driving experiences
The turn of the year is a pertinent time to start planning your upcoming holidays, and what better way to get some inspiration of where to journey in some high-end cars than with a full 12 months of inspirational travel with a storied British carmaker. Art of Living by Aston Martin’s Ultimate Drives provides a dizzying amount of choice of destinations, taking in some of the planet’s finest motorsport events (24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix), scenery (South Africa, Bavaria), food (a gastronomy-themed tour of the Basque Country) and racetracks (a driving academy at peerless German circuit the Nürburgring). The prices of some packages are still TBC, but several of those that are seem rather reasonable, considering the levels of access and unforgettable experiences on offer.
• From €1,399 (Dh5,322) per person, based on two people sharing, excluding flights. For more information, visit www.astonmartinartofliving.com
Ford Mustang GT go-kart
As a Mustang driver, I have previously spent more money than any sane person should at the brand’s official online store, on everything from towels to key chains. But there aren’t many more iconic cars than Ford’s pony car and its merch range is pretty comprehensive. Arguably the store’s top draw right now is this Mustang-based pedal go-kart for ages 4 to 12, aimed at, in the store’s own words, “real asphalt cowboys”. Even the expat brat that has it all might deign to smile should you buy them this little beauty. Dear Santa, I might not fit in this present, but I have been really good this year.
• Available online at www.fordlifestylecollection.com; £404 (Dh1,829), excluding postage
There are a variety of motorcycle clubs across the UAE, and among a variety of superbikes and Harley-Davidsons, whenever you see a crocodile of leather-clad bikers revving along the country’s highways, you will invariably spy the legendary couch on two wheels that is the Honda Gold Wing. British web store Gold Wing sells a variety of accessories based on the monster motorcycle, from swish chronograph watches to tongue-in-cheek parking signs, but this T-shirt, in the classic biker shade of black and celebrating the Gold Wing’s birth year of 1974, allows you to demonstrate your allegiance wherever you ride your trusty steed.
• Available in sizes M to XXXL online at www.goldwing.us; €23 (Dh88), plus postage
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