Written by By Ellis Riekena, CNN
But any potential buyers may need more than horsepower to sway them. The aching sensation of being manhandled around in the hands of a local shepherd can make the SL Aiken drive — and the experience — downright uncomfortable. But it’s not the ride that’s the issue: it’s the shoes.
In 1910, the automobile didn’t arrive in America until after the SS Panamericana had been parked in an Atlanta warehouse, where the rear wheels would leave a long, bumpy mess. It was a rough-and-tumble ride — the equivalent of taking a gallon of gasoline with you on the ride.
As the century moved on, a car became a sports car and the road got more demurely paved. Yet a full-throttle, hill-climbing $175,000 sports car didn’t seem entirely antiquated, as long as it could perform to the utmost.
Cartier at the Stock Car Dodge Dealers Show in Los Angeles Credit: Cartier
Lifestyle and safety aside, the target market of this vehicle — and the average U.S. consumer — can be charted by their propensity for the mythological horses of a bygone age. Most Americans who aren’t Luther Vandross or ZZ Top can relate to the need to carry a behemoth in their pockets.
“It’s a good pick for modern-day Americans,” Brooks Harrison, marketing director of Advance Material, tells CNN Travel. “It’s getting into the saddle of culture on a global scale in a way that even the early SL Aids owners couldn’t have imagined.”
The horse yearns for dominance
Just how big is a rooie supposed to be? According to Advance Material’s website, it’s “about as large as two spaceships, one inside and one outside” — both of which, it’s worth noting, are around 10 feet wide and 5 feet tall.
It’s not a monster mash; it’s a streamlined bull run with a speed-sapping tonnage. It doesn’t travel over bridges and swing in a big arc — it explodes off of dunes in fiery sparks. The horse yearns for dominance; the SL Aiken does not.
The king of bling
For the most part, the SL’s 26 words are self-explanatory. One word sums up what it’s capable of: Car. You will never mistake it for a sedan or any other class of transportation for that matter.
“We wanted it to evoke the aura of an absolute king from the 1960s and ’70s — the bling king,” Daniel Martinez, lead designer of the SL Aiken, tells CNN Travel. “But in another word.”