NEW YORK (MainStreet) — As the old saying goes: "If you've got it, flaunt it" — and here are some cost-is-no-object features well-heeled car buyers can add to their next vehicles and impress friends and family alike.
"These are things that really go above and beyond the automotive norm — that pop out and wow you and your passengers," says Kelsey Mays of Cars.com, whose editors recently named the auto world's Top Features for Show-Offs.
Mays says the winning systems are all great for "anyone who wants to show off when they pull up in a new car."
Some are available on modest-priced vehicles, but most only come on high-end cars — and are likely to stay that way. "A lot of these things will be 'show-off' systems for some time to come," Mays says.
Read on to check out the five systems at the top of Cars.com's show-offs list. All dollar figures refer to manufacturers' suggested 2015 retail pricing for a given piece of equipment or the base version (including destination fees and any "gas-guzzler" taxes) of the model on which it appears.
Fifth-Best Car Feature for Show-Offs: Sublime Green Pearl Coat paint
Available on: Dodge Challenger
The Sublime Green paint available on some 2015 Dodge Challengers not only has a witty name, but pretty much guarantees this muscle car will turn heads when you drive it down the road.
"It's just this bright, bright lime green that stands out day or night," Mays says. "The Challenger is a pretty iconic-looking car anyway, but it really stands out in a crowd with this color."
Best of all, Sublime Green is available at no extra charge on upscale versions of the Challenger, although Dodge plans to make it available for only a limited time.
Fourth-Best Car Feature for Show-Offs: Multimode exhaust systems
Available on: Chevrolet Corvette and other high-performance cars
Sure sports cars look cool, but their throaty engines sound even cooler — and multi-mode exhaust systems will make sure everyone hears your vehicle's roar when you drive by.
Available on Chevrolet Corvettes, Porsche 911s and some other sporty vehicles, these systems open special valves in a car's muffler to make the engine noise louder than it normally would be.
Mays says the Porsche 911's multimode exhaust system actually creates so much extra noise that Cars.com editors have seen it set off nearby vehicles' alarms.
These devices come standard on some sports cars and as options on others. For instance, upper-level Corvettes have them as standard equipment, while lower trim lines offer them as $1,195 options.
Third-Best Car Feature for Show-Offs: Self-parking systems
Available on: Many vehicles
Buy a car with an electronic self-parking system and you'll never have trouble parallel parking again.
That's because these systems use special sensors to vector your car automatically into a space without your even having hands on the steering wheel (although you'll typically have to operate the accelerator and brake).
"Once you get the hang of it, it's actually a pretty good feature," Mays says. "It can save you from having to gauge when to cut the wheel when backing up and parallel parking, and it can prevent you from scraping the bumper of the car in front of you."
First offered in America as an option on the 2007 Lexus LS 460, self-parking systems are appearing on more and more vehicles, including some versions of the $24,760 Ford Fusion SE and other midpriced models. When not included as standard equipment, self-parking systems generally list for around $1,000.
Second-Best Car Feature for Show-Offs: Bang & Olufsen 1,400-watt stereo with retractable tweeters
Available on: Some Audi A8s
Got $100,000 or so to spare and want to amuse your friends?
Then buy a high-level Audi A8 with the optional $6,300 Bang & Olufsen sound system and you can all watch your car's two high-tech tweeters pop up out of the dashboard every time you turn the stereo on.
Mays says the stereo — which has 19 speakers and 1,400 watts of power — is not only cool to view, but awesome to listen to. "It's pretty theatrical at what it does, but it's also a good sound system," he says.
Unfortunately, the Bang & Olufsen system is available only on the two most expensive A8 trim levels: the $91,325 L 4.0 T Quattro and the $140,125 L W12 Quattro.
Best Car Feature for Show-Offs: Magic Sky Control roof
Available on: Mercedes-Benz SL- and SLK-Class cars
If you're going to spend big bucks for a Mercedes-Benz, you don't want to mess around with something as low-brow as a shade for your vehicle's sunroof.
Mercedes offers a high-tech alternative: the Magic Sky Control.
Available on $44,875 SLK-Class and $84,925 SL-Class cars, this $2,500 option consists of an electrically charged film built right into the vehicle's sunroof. Flick a switch and the sunroof will automatically turn from see-through to opaque, blocking out the light without your having to pull a sunscreen across it.
"The Magic Sky Control accomplishes the same thing as a sunshade, but does so with the push of a button," Mays says.
— By Jerry Kronenberg for MainStreet