Columnists,Lorraine Cattell,Main Slider l by Lorraine Cattell l 8 Sep 2021     - 336

’’Baby, you can drive my car’’ - Divindu Edirisinghe

There's something extra special about high-performance vehicles, especially luxury car brands and prime models such as Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Porsche, and the finest Lamborghini. With an emphasis on delivering superb design and performance, such as handling, acceleration and exceptional speeds, elite high-quality cars also tend to include powerful cutting-edge technology, splendid interior materials and a great number of customisation options. In essence, we love them because they represent extravagance and look magnificent.

Divindu Edirisinghe, director of Jet fleet Premium Cars in Colombo, knows all about these types of cars – he has access to a whole fleet of luxury performance vehicles and negotiates their sales. He combines this with impressive skills in car photography, so let's hear all about his passion for cars.

Divindu, I'm one of those who love luxury fast cars, but tell me ... why do you think people love owning one?

A luxury car must have high-end features that go above and beyond the standard necessities. The term 'luxury' is used to categorise vehicles that are equipped with better performance capabilities, lavish interiors, and all the latest safety and technology features. That defines why people love owning one.

So, clearly driving a good car is a status symbol and there is a certain image that has to be upheld?

Owning cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche show a person's taste for luxury and their desire to show off their good taste. Mercedes-Benz, for example, represents heritage and prestige. It has long been a favourite of Sri Lankans since the '90's for its incredible premium upholstery, plush carpeting and sleek styling etc. When it comes to BMW, the BMWi8 is a good example of an extraordinary driving experience and attracts much attention from the younger generation.

What is the most appealing aspect of a car for you? Why do you like working with them and photographing them?

Each car is different, distinguished by the contours of its sheet metal, or sometimes simply by the colour of interior stitching. When photographing your subject, you pause to digest every detail and element, a rarity in this age of instant gratification. You start to appreciate the car as a whole, working your way down to its personality. Eventually these photos might find their way onto Instagram but, during that moment, you're observant and fully conscious of what is directly in front of you. Most people probably had a picture of a favourite car on the wall over their bed before they could drive. I think that at the heart of each and every memorable photo lies great photography.

What is your ride at the moment? Do you have a favourite premium brand?

At the moment, I drive a BMW 5 series F10. Favourite premium brand? That would be a Koenigsegg Agera RS. It's equipped with a Koenigsegg 5.0 litre twin-turbo V8 producing 1176 horsepower and 940 1b-ft of torque under the bonnet, running on regular petrol.

Explain what it feels like to drive a Mercedes Benz B-class electric drive?

Well, it's eco-friendly which is the new norm for saving the earth whilst cruising around town, but it's definitely a bouncy ride! The B250e's suspension is constantly in motion, and lots of rebound makes it springy going over rough roads. It's never harsh or jarring in the way of a firmly sprung sports car, but it's definitely far from the most comfortable Mercedes I've ever driven.

How did you get into the luxury car sales business?

I think around the age of 18, I just found myself around luxury cars and eventually I started selling family vehicles, and things moved on from there. It was a dream come true to set up my own business and see it running smoothly by the time I was 20. Since then, it has just grown and grown and the experience has been priceless. I started at the bottom and worked my way up ... Today, selling cars is my passion.

What are your favourite places to travel?

Definitely, the Greek islands like Santorini so I can enjoy sipping wine with my fiancée whilst watching the stunning sunsets over the Aegean.

What are your top luxury travel tips for the following months?

To get vaccinated, wear masks at all times, take precautions, follow guidelines, and to enjoy your luxury vacation in the safest way possible. Do your research and travel to safe places, eat healthy, stay fit and – most of all – avoid travelling with large groups, so everyone can stay safe and enjoy their vacations.

When did you decide to combine your passion for elite cars and photography?

When I was a kid, I loved taking pictures of different cars so I could add them to my collection of snapshots. In later years, I worked in the wedding industry hiring out luxury vehicles for ceremonies. Since my main platform to promote the elite vehicles was through my social media, I continued photographing cars and gained more experience about the angles at which the cars looked their best. I'm crazy about cars and study everything about them on the internet. I also pay special attention to other photographers in the car industry, studying their shots and the specific aspects of the vehicle they highlight.

You have photographed everything from small hatchbacks to supercars. What for you is the most enjoyable part of automotive photography?

Through my passion for photography, I've had to deal with many different types of cars and I'm able to capture the beauty of them all. I'm living the best of both worlds since I'm combining my two great passions – photography and vehicles. Thus I'm more inspired to take the best possible picture and share it with people who also love cars, just as I do.

If you could photograph any car in the world, what would it be and where would you take that amazing shot?

It would definitely be the Koenigsegg Agera RS in Gstaad, Switzerland.

On a more personal note, do you as director of an upmarket company pay attention to your own style and fashion trends?

I think being with my fiancée has definitely made me more concerned about my fashion trends. I believe it's important to have a good style while you're out driving a luxury car.

Also, the demand for male-specific grooming and skincare products has been steadily on the rise. Do you follow a personal care routine?

I don't follow a strict personal care routine. However, I definitely love sporting a good haircut and a trim beard because it gives a fresh look to my face. I do use a face wash for my face and a moisturiser so my skin doesn't dry out.

Finally, Divindu, can you leave a personal message for our readers?

Always believe in yourself and your dreams. Sometimes the road to success can be a bit rocky but, if you don't give up on your dreams, you can definitely reach your goal one day. I've had to travel a really long way to reach my dream goals and I'm still navigating my path, but I will reach there with God’s blessings and my hard efforts.

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Lorraine Cattell

Lorraine Cattell (Eyre) is a renowned international British Fashion Journalist. Her articles & interviews appear regularly in magazines & online across the globe.

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