At a showroom in Singapore, a small crowd of McLaren enthusiasts were gathering for the unveiling of the latest "supercar" made by the British carmaker, a petrol-electric hybrid with a top speed of 350 kilometer an hour.
Never mind that the vehicle only comes in left-hand drive, so can not legally be driven on Singapore's crowded right-hand drive roads.
Anyone interested in buying would be looking at the P1 as an investment, even if they could get their hands on one – for a cool S$1.5 million ($1.2 million). McLaren has only made 375 of the cars and has yet to allocate what few are left unsold to the Singapore market.
None of this has put off Chor King Ang, senior executive at Kwang Sia, a Singapore-based fashion retailer that sells luxury labels such as Hugo Boss and DSquared2 in stores across southeast Asia. "I've long been a fan of their Formula One racing team," he said, adding that he is already an owner of an earlier McLaren model.
In the past year, the trappings of wealth have been increasingly visible in Singapore as the number of sports cars roaring down its streets has increased. Last month saw the first sale in the island-nation of a Koenigsegg "hypercar" for $5.3 million.
Nightclubs catering to high-rollers are opening every few weeks, helping cement the city-state's growing reputation as one of Asia's hottest party towns. The clientele is an eclectic mix of the twentysomething offspring of Singapore's wealthiest families and the foreign billionaires who are increasingly making Singapore their home, drawn by Singapore's relatively low tax rates.
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Among them is Eduardo Saverin, the Brazilian co-founder of Facebook, who can sometimes be seen on the nightclub circuit. Last year Nathan Tinkler, the mining tycoon, moved to the island nation from Australia.
Yet Singapore faces an increasingly awkward dilemma as its image as a playground for the wealthy collides with an economic squeeze felt by its middle class.
Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister, said on Friday that if he could persuade 10 more billionaires to move to Singapore, he would, even if that worsened income inequality.