Climbing behind the wheel of an expensive car does something to a man. The exact brain chemistry, I can’t say. Perhaps it’s the sudden grip of power; the adrenalised unpredictability. Or, maybe, the increased likelihood that you'd catch the eye of anyone when you toss the keys to the valet. As someone who has previously shown an unwavering indifference to automobiles his entire life, for the first time I finally understood.

The Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid is the first hybrid ever made by Bentley. Powered by both electric battery and petrol it's a different hybrid symbiosis when driving it. A hybrid of heaven and hell. Heaven, for its robust smoothness and opulent interiors; and hell, for the feeling of devilish omnipotence that hijacks the person gripping the wheel.

A Childhood Memory

Having grown up in Los Angeles, the familiar image of a Bentley gliding down PCH is one tattooed across my psyche. But driving one myself? Please. That is a privilege reserved for those whose business cards have CEO in the title. Those with rocks on their fingers the size of walnuts. People with Sir Richard Branson on speed dial and who rent out the entire Beverly Hills hotel on 4 July because they didn’t want to be disturbed during breakfast. It’s a car reserved for those who do in a world of those who don’t.

As I drove this immaculate piece of machinery down the spidery highways of Dubai to pick up two unsuspecting girl-friends visiting from London—let’s call them M and N—I pulled up to the front of their hotel. Their mirrored expressions of incredulous wonder told me everything I needed to know.

“Is this your car, Anton?!”

Sure, I may have been guilty of letting the story marinate for an hour or so, but as our friendship dates back nearly a decade. Eventually, they saw through my charade. Still. Bolting through Dubai in a Bentley on our way to Hakkasan for dinner wasn’t so terrible.

A Bentley is like an award. It’s something you earn after years of hard work and dedication. Something the universe grants you when it feels you are finally deserving of such prestige. This is where you get to park right by the entrance, letting others know that it is a restaurant worth eating at, and you are worth eating there.

Growing up, I had a friend whose parents owned, among many other things, two private jets and a yacht. They also had a white show-poodle named Bentley. I used to think that was silly. Now I get it.