Aerodynamic Performance – Aventador S

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By Shereen Shabanam

With the hills of Tuscany as the backdrop and in the company of fellow supercar motoring enthusiasts from around the globe over a few days, I recently tested the new Lamborghini Aventador S which has a new aerodynamic design, redeveloped suspension, increased power and new driving dynamics.

The ‘S’ is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models and defines a new benchmark for the V12 Lamborghini and indicates the new Aventador generation, redesigned to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency while accenting the Aventador’s complex, muscular dynamism.

According to Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali, the Aventador S has a visionary design, cutting-edge technology with driving dynamics that elevates the concept of super sports cars to a new level.

A more aggressive nose and longer front splitter redirect airflow for better aerodynamic efficiency, improved engine cooling and increased cooling to the radiators. Two air ducts in the side of the front bumper reduce aerodynamic interference from the front tires and optimize wake flow to the rear radiator.

The rear of the Aventador S is dominated by a black diffuser, available on request in carbon fiber, characterized by a number of vertical fins that amplify the airflow effects, reduce drag through pressure recovery and generate downforce. Three single exhaust outlets exit through the rear bumper.

During the drive, we learnt how the rear wing, movable in three positions depending on speed and drive select mode, optimizes the car’s improved overall balance, working with vortex generators created in the front and rear of the chassis’ underside that maximize air flow as well as assist in brake cooling.

With the Aventador S design, the front downforce has been improved by more than 130% over the previous Aventador coupé. When the wing is in its optimum position the overall efficiency at high downforce is improved by over 50%, and in low drag by more than 400% compared to the previous model.

The Aventador S is redeveloped around a ‘total control concept’ to provide a superior drive, ride and performance; every aspect of the car’s suspension and electronic control systems has been advanced, with the goal of particularly enhanced control and driving emotion.

Also interesting is the smart Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Attiva (LDVA) control unit that manage these systems in the car. LDVA is the new brain of the car, which receives real time and precise information on body motion via input from all sensors of the car and defines the best set-up of all active systems that guarantee the best vehicle dynamics in each situation.

The Aventador S is more agile with a reduced turning radius, ensuring higher performance in curves and making it easy to maneuver in town and at low speeds. On the tracks, I tried all four different driving modes: STRADA, SPORT, CORSA and the new EGO mode, which influence the behavior of the traction (engine, gearbox, 4WD), steering (LRS, LDS, Servotronic) and suspension (LMS).

STRADA stands for maximum comfort and daily use. SPORT provides a sporty, rear-wheel drive feel and CORSA is suitable for maximum track performance.

EGO is the new driving mode option. This provides several additional and individual set-up profiles, customizable by the driver’s preferred criteria for traction, steering and suspension within the STRADA, SPORT and CORSA settings.

In STRADA, the progressive damping is smoothed for better comfort and stability on rough roads. Torque is split 40/60 to the front and rear as standard: safe and stable with maximum adhesion, the car is easily driven and controlled.

In SPORT mode, the stabilizing effect of the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering allows up to 90% torque to the rear wheels for maximum sportiness and driving fun on curving roads. Driving precision and driver feedback is improved, while maintaining safety and without compromising on comfort.

While I drove mainly in SPORT mode, I tried the CORSA as well experiencing less intrusive dynamic and traction control intervention while maintaining driving precision and traction. In this mode, high levels of damping force maximize driver feeling and feedback from driver inputs including steering, braking and throttle.

Counter-phase steering is enhanced in high-performance situations and torque is balanced to both axles, with a maximum 20/80 split to front and rear for more neutral behavior and to maximize track-oriented performance.

The Lamborghini Aventador’s naturally aspirated twelve cylinder, 6.5 liter engine outputs an additional 40 hp over its predecessor, to a maximum 740 hp, with a 690 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is reached in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 350 km/h. Transmission is provided by Lamborghini’s lightweight Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) 7-speed shifting system, providing robotized gear shifts in up to 50 milliseconds.

The Aventador S comes with new, specially developed set of Pirelli P Zero tires. Designed to optimize steering, traction, lane changes and braking efficiency, the tires are specifically designed to respond to the dynamic behavior induced by the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering, ensuring handling consistency and driver feedback.

With improved force generation from both front and rear tires, the Pirelli P Zero tires provide a higher lateral acceleration and reduce understeer characteristics. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard equipment for the Aventador S.

The training at the Mugello Circuit with the Aventador S enthralled the most seasoned supercar drivers and owners and the thrills on the tracks proved once again the brand’s superior road power that exudes only from a Lamborghini.

Exclusive Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign Makes Middle East Debut

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Collaboration between Nissan and Italdesign reimagines Nissan’s GT-R as a custom-bodied, ultra-limited edition supercar 

UAE is the latest destination in the GT-R50’s global tour

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign –the ultimate expression of the GT-R – made its Middle East debut today at Dubai Autodrome, as part of a global tour.

The showcase of the GT-R50 prototype in the region followed its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK. The sports car is on a global tour that has encompassed Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Monterey Motorsports Reunion in the U.S and Nissan Crossing in Japan. Following the success of this tour, a unique and exclusive limited edition, inspired by the prototype, is being produced for enthusiast customers. The production run will be limited to no more than 50 vehicles in the world.

Nissan collaborated with Turin, Italy-based Italdesign to create the model, based on the latest Nissan GT-R NISMO. The GT-R50 celebrates the convergence of two key anniversaries; 50 years of Italdesign shaping the automotive world, and 50 years of Nissan generating excitement through the iconic GT-R.

The 50 GT-R50s set to be produced celebrate half a century of engineering leadership. The cars pay tribute to Nissan’s legendary takumis– craftsmen who have hand-built every GT-R engine for the past 50 years. While the prototype vehicle was finished in a special gray with gold accents, customers will be able to specify their preferred color combinations for the production version. They also will be able to choose interior colors and packages.[1]

Watch: The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign – the ultimate expression of the GT-R

Commenting during the launch, Kalyana Sivagnanam, Regional Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Nissan AMI and President of Nissan Middle East: “Continuing our long and proud motorsport heritage in the Middle East, we are thrilled to bring the exclusive GT-R50 to customers and fans in the region. The Nissan GT-R is one of the world’s most iconic supercars, and the GT-R50 by Italdesign is the GT-R taken to the next level, with no compromise in performance, styling or craftsmanship. The GT-R50 is the perfect embodiment of the Nissan brand and an ultra-limited collector’s edition for true enthusiasts who want to own the very best Nissan has to offer.”

Watch:An Idea Coming to Life: Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

The Nissan GT-R in the Middle East

The Nissan GT-R, whether on the road or on the track, has been a strong symbol of Nissan’s engineering excellence for the last half a century. It has also held a special place in the hearts of Middle East consumers, and its popularity is continuing to grow. Monthly sales figures show that Nissan is on track to double its share of the premium sports car market by the end of fiscal year 2018 compared to 2016, making the Gulf one of the largest markets for the GT-R anywhere in the world.

The Middle East is also the location where the GT-R broke a Guinness World record in 2016, for the fastest ever vehicle drift. Driver Masato Kawabata (Japan) reached staggering 304.96 km/h (189.49 mi/h) while driving a Nissan GT-R NISMO at Fujairah International Airport.

“It is fitting GT-R50 is making its regional debut here as the GT-R nameplate has a special connection with customers in the Middle East,” added Juergen Schmitz, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East. “GT-R, like Nissan, offers something genuinely different from anything, or anyone, else and is an important differentiator for Nissan in the Middle East. GT-R is the perfect mirror of our brand, reflecting the boldness that defines Nissan. This exclusive 50th Anniversary Edition is further proof of Nissan engineering and advanced technology.”

Precision + craftsmanship + brute force

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign starts with Nissan’s latest GT-R NISMO and re-interprets it with a European-style sensibility – combining brute force with Italian craftsmanship and tailoring. With a special power plant that boasts up to 120PS over the stock engine, as well as chassis and driveline upgrades, performance backs up the new look.

Italdesign developed, engineered and built the car. The distinctive, crisp exterior and interior designs originated from Nissan Design Europe and Nissan Design America. Key design features include a pronounced power bulge on the hood, stretched LED headlights, a lowered roofline, and prominent “samurai blade” cooling outlets behind the front wheels. A large, adjustable rear wing, mounted with two uprights, completes the overall look. The exterior is finished in a Liquid Kinetic Gray color, with distinctive Energetic Sigma Gold anniversary accents.

Inside, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign reflects its modern, high-performance pedigree. Two different carbon fiber finishes are extensively used across the center console, instrument panel and door linings. The seats feature black Alcantara® and fine black Italian leather. Gold accents echo the exterior treatment throughout the cockpit.

Underneath its new shape, the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign is all business. Drawing on Nissan’s extensive GT3 racing experience, the NISMO organization enhanced the hand-assembled 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine to produce an estimated 720PS and 780 Nm of torque. A revised Bilstein suspension damping system and upgraded Brembo braking system help handle the extra power.

Pricing of the NISMO-tuned 720PS GT-R50 by Italdesign will start at 990,000 euros before taxes and options

For serious inquiries about obtaining a Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign,

Please visit www.gt-r50.nissan

[1]Subject to homologation rules in the intended country of operation.

 

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Solar Charging System Technology revealed by Hyundai to Power Future Eco-Friendly Vehicles

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Hyundai Motor Group has announced plans to introduce solar charging technology on selected Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. Electricity-generating solar panels will be incorporated into the roof or the hood of vehicles, and will support internal combustion, hybrid and battery electric vehicles with additional electrical power, increasing fuel efficiency and range.

The solar charging technology is being developed to support the vehicle’s main power source, improving mileage and reducing CO2 emissions. It can charge batteries of not just eco-friendly vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles, but also of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, thereby improving fuel efficiency.

Hyundai Motor Group is developing three types of solar roof charging systems: The first-generation silicon solar roof system, the second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system, and the third generation lightweight solar-lid on the vehicle’s body.

The first-generation solar roof system, which will be applied to hybrid models, includes a structure of mass-produced silicon solar panels that are mounted on an ordinary roof. This system can charge 30 to 60 percent of the battery per day, depending on the weather condition and the environment. The second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system will be applied to vehicles with internal combustion engines, for the first time in the world. Differentiated from the first-generation system, the second-generation system provides transmissive panel options, also satisfying consumers who desire a sense of openness. The semi-transparent solar panels are applied to a panoramic sunroof, maintaining transparency whilst charging an electric vehicle’s battery or an additional battery mounted on an internal combustion engine vehicle.

Applying solar charging systems to internal combustion engine vehicles will contribute to the increase in vehicle exports, by enabling vehicles to adhere to global-scale environmental laws that regulate CO2 emissions.

The third-generation lightweight solar-lid system, currently in the process of pilot study for applying to eco-friendly vehicle models, includes a structure that mounts solar panels on a bonnet and roof combined, in order to maximize energy output.

The solar charging system is composed of a solar panel, a controller, and a battery. Electricity is produced when solar energy from the sun touches the solar panel’s surface, which converts this by using photons of light from the sun and then creating the electron-hole pairs in silicon cells to generate solar electricity.

When a 100W solar panel is equipped, in 1 Sun standards (Summer noon, 1000 W/㎡intensity of radiation) it produces 100Wh of energy per hour. In the controller, Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), which controls voltage and current to increase efficiency of the electricity collected in the solar panel, and source transformation take place.

The electricity from this process is transformed to the standard voltage by the controller, then stored in the battery or utilized to decrease loads of a vehicle’s Alternating Current (AC) generator. Hyundai Motor Group took not only efficiency but also design into account while developing the solar charging system.

“In the future, various types of electricity generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles. This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy,” said Jeong-Gil Park, Executive Vice

President of Engineering Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group., who has developed this technology. “The paradigm of the vehicle owner will shift from that of a consumer to an energy prosumer.”

Hyundai Motor Group will launch the first generation of this technology into its vehicles after 2019 to help meet global regulations targets and improve vehicle fuel efficiency.

 

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New refined 2019 Corolla XLi Exclusive arrives in UAE

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The world’s most popular sedan with over 44 million units sold worldwide, the Toyota Corolla, is now available in an exclusive variant in the UAE, loaded with new refined and sophisticated features.

Available in limited quantities, the 2019 Corolla XLi Exclusive marks the newest and most premium addition to the Corolla line-up. It comes with a refined, advanced, and sophisticated styling which sets it apart in its segment. Building on the nameplate’s heritage carrying on the legacy as a symbol of quality, durability and reliability in the medium size sedan segment.

The Toyota Corolla XLi Exclusive is enhanced with additional features such as front fog lamps, sunroof, rear trunk spoiler, leather-trimmed steering wheel audio and telephone controls, leather-trimmed gear lever and wireless charger, pushing up the desirability quotient.

The vehicle is designed to deliver a thrilling driving experience powered by a proven 1.6-litre in-line four-cylinder engine producing 121 horsepower and 15.7 kg-m of torque. Complementing the enhanced performance is the Multidrive 7S transmission that delivers unprecedented best-in-class fuel economy of 18.1 Km / L. The new Corolla is both fun and efficient!

Safety is a top priority for Toyota and being a family sedan first and foremost, the 2019 Corolla Xli Exclusive is loaded with a host of safety features including an advanced vehicle stability system, a tire pressure warning system, rear fog lamps, ISO-FIX and two airbags.

Inside, the cabin is more premium than ever, bringing a new level of chic craftsmanship with a warm comfortable interior that further enhances both the driver and the passager’s experience. The new Corolla Xli Exclusive is available in eight exterior paint choices, with body coloured door handles and mirrors that complement the new styling.

“Ever since its introduction in 1966, the Toyota Corolla nameplate has become synonymous with reliability, value for money and bullet-proof build quality and the latest iteration is set to drive that legend forward. The 2019 Corolla lives up to its decades-old heritage and promises unrivalled practicality and value for money,” said Saud Abbasi, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Toyota.

The Toyota Corolla 2019 XLi is now available for purchase at Al-Futtaim Toyota showrooms across the UAE, for AED 75,500 inclusive of VAT. It can be booked for a test drive through www.toyota.ae.

 

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Volvo XC40 wins Women’s World Car of the Year 2018 award

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Volvo Cars has added a new title to its XC40’s string of awards being named the Supreme Winner of 2018 Women’s World Car of the Year to that list – the only car awards in the world voted entirely by women motoring writers. 34 jurors from 27 countries selected Volvo’s first compact SUV as the best new car of the year for women. In two anonymous rounds of votes, the XC40 prevailed against five competing models.

The world’s only automobile award dedicated for women reflects the growing importance of women as an independent customer group as well as their purchasing power. Automakers are considering criteria important to women when buying a car, shown in the WWCOTY decision making process. The award is measured by safety, price-performance, appearance, storage space, child-friendliness, comfort and environmental footprint, as well as color options and desirability.

“Holding the title of “Family Car of the Year 2018”, it comes as no surprise that the XC40 took first place in the 2018 Women’s World Car of the Year. Winning this award highlights Volvo Cars’ dedication to providing a first-class product to women and their families,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “This award also endorses the XC40 as a game changer in the industry boosting the right combination of design, comfort and safety that appeals to both men and women around the world.”

“With women driving the transformation of the automotive market in the region, addressing the aspirations of the new female customer segment is an indispensable part of our vision.” Samuelsson added.

Safety and driver assistance features on the XC40 include Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, Cross Traffic alert with brake support and the 360° Camera that helps drivers maneuvertheir car into tight parking spaces.

The XC40 also offers ingenious interior design and storage ideas with more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones including inductive charging, a foldout hook for small bags, plus a removable waste bin in the tunnel console.

In 2017, the company announced its commitment to electrify all Volvo Cars launched from 2019. In line with this leadership position in electrification, a hybridised as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be added later.

 

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Innovative car wash system in Abu Dhabi

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Revolutionary car wash facility at Mushrif Mall promises efficient 5-minute car wash service, without queues most of the time.

Already renowned for fast and efficient service, the Express Auto Wash (EAW) located at Mushrif Mall in the heart of Abu Dhabi, in partnership with MacNeil of North America, brings customers premium automatic car wash facilities not seen before in this part of the world.

Matthew Jadali, the CEO of Express Auto Wash confirms that the environment friendly facility has a 250-foot (80m) tunnel equipped with fifty-five kilometers of wire, piping and plumbing, allowing multiple cars to be washed simultaneously saving your valuable time.

Express Auto Wash, a pioneer of tunnel car washes in the UAE ensures 95% of the water is recycled and the facility hosts the most reliable and safest conveyor, MacNeil’s XR-1000 for fast service. The 360 ° high tech car wash systems with 48 high-pressure undercarriage water nozzles add to the efficiency of the wash.

The customer experience is five-star quality, using MN Versa Arches, streamers, foamers and tire chemical applicators, washing all vehicle surfaces including the under-carriage, providing customers with an exceptional wash and rinse, while the MN Tech 21 Turbo Drying System completes the drying process.”

Cleanliness, professionalism, and passion is evident at Express Auto Wash on arrival, and as each car travels seamlessly along the automated belt through various stages of the car wash cycle. The fast and yet thorough clean saves corporate and private customers valuable time that can be spent more productively at home and in the office.

Added to that, the high quality microcellular closed-cell Envirosoft foam brushes from MacNeil allow faster line speeds and clean, quiet and safe operation. Express Auto Wash also offers touch free car wash for the more delicate and premium cars.

EAW Carwash Menus

 Express Goldbasic exterior wash offers high Pressure Rinses, Pre-Soak, Wheel Clean, Undercarriage, Touch Free or basic car wash, Tri-Colour Foam, Lustra Wax, Rain Shield, Super Dryer and Hand Dry Finish.

PlatinumWash includes the basic Express Gold services in addition to full interior vacuum, dashboards and window cleaning.

Diamond PolishingAdditional services include full car detailing, diamond body polishing and interior wet and dry cleaning.

Express Auto Wash has a loyalty program that offers one free car wash after every ten washes. There is also a customer referral program where three new plate numbers of friends and family introduced to EAW gets the customer 15 free washes for one month.

Tuesday is ladies day with a 15% discount, while Corporates with over 50 cars, Express Auto Wash offers special packages and rates. First time visitors get a 15% discount while customers with special needs receive a 25% discount.

“Monthly memberships are available and if booked online, the automatic monthly payments are at 10% off,” the CEO adds, 

“There has been an increased interest from the GCC countries eager to learn the specifics of the express auto wash business model in creating automatic car washes and we are keen to share our expertise in the business.”

The mission of Express Auto Wash is to lead the vehicle care industry by always putting customer service, innovation and performance first and their vision is to be passionate champions of world-class car wash solutions.

An Exterior Sedan wash costs AED 30/- and Exterior SUV costs AED 35/-. Extra Services include Mat-wash, Dashboard Polishing, interior and exterior car detailing, AC treatment as well as Bacteria and Odour removal in vehicles, for which a price list is posted on the EAW website.

 

CYPRUS NOW REPRESENTED ON THE WWCOTY JURY

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Alix Capper MurdochJoining the jury panel of Women’s World Car of the Year for 2019 is Alix Capper Murdoch. She comes with an impressive background in broadcasting, driver training and media communications all connected with motor racing and the motoring industry.

The Scotswomanbegan her career with the Royal Air Force as a driver before studying media at Aberdeen University. During that time she became the pit-lane commentator at Knockhill,Scotland’s only racing circuit, as well as presenting on local radio.

Between those duties she ranthe Clio Cup team, Xcel Motorsport, in the British Touring Car and ASCAR championships until a chance encounter with the GM of Dubai Autodromesaw her move to the Middle East.  She then began life as a racing instructor, host of a motoring radio show and a judge for Autocar M.E.magazine. She also set up and ran the first manufacturer-backed racing championship in the region, the Maserati Trofeo Middle East.

In 2005 she was chosen to host a motoring television show and became the ‘voice’ of GP2 Asia.  From there she worked with Formula One management as official commentator for GP2 Asia and Speedcar. All the while she continued to teach driving skills and started her own training as a stunt driver and a FIA official.

More than 10 years on saw Alix still working in radio and as an official for most of the track days at the local circuit. She became the most senior female official in Race and Rally Control for most motorsport events in the region including the Yas Marina Circuit (Formula One Chief Coms), the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the World Cross Countries Rally.

During this time, she appeared in no fewer than 20 films and television commercials and became the founder of Women at the Wheel, a course helping women overcome driving fears while introducing them to modern safety features.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Alix continued writing for automotive magazines including Top Gear Middle Eastand The National, the region’s leading newspaper; she hosted the live stage at the DubaiInternational Motor Show and two television shows covering automotive topics and reviews on four wheels and two.

Alix was then head-hunted to spend the summer working in Europe as a vehicle product specialist and trainer where she had to deliver a formidable list of all relevant information about new vehicles.

A year ago, Alix launched Miss Auto Know, which she describes as ‘a safe place for women to ask questions, gather information and seek advice on all things auto’. It has grown substantially.

“I find myself travelling a lot, writing articles, hosting events and running courses to help women,” she says, almost as an understatement given her (literal) track record.

She and her husband Simonhave now moved to Cyprus with their six rescue cats.  They have all taken up residence between Limassol and Paphos.

For further information please contact Alix Capper Murdoch.

Email.   alix@missautoknow.com

Alix Capper Murdoch – Current media outlets:

  • Miss Auto Know – website and social media channels. https://www.missautoknow.com/
  • Top Gear Middle East – magazine.
  • The National – newspaper and online.
  • ARN – Radio. Dubai Eye (Dubai Today, Drive Live, Night Line).
  • Sunshine Radio Cyprus

 

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Impeccable handling and great driving pleasure – Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q

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Shereen Shabnam

Driving the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio recently revealed numerous class-topping features which sets a new benchmark in the premium compact SUV segment. The first thing we notice is the awe-inspiring design, performance and technology in what is currently seen as one of the fastest SUV around the circuit, having clocked a new record (7 minutes 51.7 seconds) for its class on the iconic Nürburgring.

Driving on the race track, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio took to corners and long laps beautifully as it is equipped with an exclusive aluminium 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo petrol engine delivering maximum power of 510hp at 6,500 rpm and generating a maximum torque of 600 Nm from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm.

The specifically calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission allows gearshifts in just 150 milliseconds in Race driving mode.Boasting an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds and a best-in-class top speed of 283 km/h, the Alfa Romeo’ sports SUV is also incredibly efficient in terms of fuel consumption and emissions.

The 510hp 2.9 V6Bi-Turbo petrol engine is combined with theinnovative Q4 all-wheel drive system, which guarantees unbeatable performance, traction, driving pleasure and safety in all situations.  Impeccable handing and comfort is guaranteed thanks to the Stelvio Q’s suspension layout, with the exclusive AlfaLink™technology.

Another special feature of Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the innovative electromechanical Integrated Brake System (IBS), an Alfa Romeo brand exclusive. Extreme performance and leading-edge technology are conveyed by the unique style of Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which is the finest expression of Italian design.

Alfa Romeo’s unique flair and the perfect synergy of form and function in a sensual, muscular car body is evident in the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. The new model’s most distinctive characteristics include the bonnet with functional air vents, sporty side-skirts and massive wheel arches, all body-coloured plus four exhaust tips.

The same sporty style, with an added touch of typically Italian elegance, is found in the interior, which has been tailored like an exquisite bespoke suit, with painstaking craftsmanship and premium materials – carbon fibre, leather and Alcantara.

Inside the car, comfort was optimum and made the drive an enjoyable experience. The centre of the dashboard is dominated by the new Alfa™ Connect 3D NAV 8.8” infotainment system which includes Apple CarPlay, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in car. Android Auto™ is also compatible with the Stelvio Q’s new infotainment system, bringing the best of Google into the car.

Conceived as a good-luck charm in the heroic period of motorsports, the Quadrifoglio (four-leaf clover), written with a capital ‘Q’ has distinguished the sports and industrial history of Alfa Romeo, and has become the logo for race cars and for the more powerful and exclusive road vehicles since 1923.

Before the drive, we were given a tour of Alfa in the past and what the brand stands for today. Alfa was born on June 24th, 1910 and become Alfa Romeo in 1918, gaining acknowledgement among car manufacturers for the quality and performance of its vehicles. Today, the Stelvio also bears the legendary Quadrifoglio badge, which certifies quality in terms of class-topping performance, steady handling and power.

 

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Comfortable and Versatile SUV: The all-new Renault Duster

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By Shereen Shabnam

Recently we ventured into Jordan to drive the all-new Duster, the unstoppable SUV with Renault Middle East. While offering a range of high-quality, new features, the reinvented SUV will still retain the same level of affordability that the name ‘Duster’ is celebrated for.

The all-new Renault Duster boasts brand-new exterior styling, delivering a distinctly assertive and robust look, as well as an upgrade in perceived quality with a totally redesigned interior for a comfortable and user-friendly driving experience.

Since its global launch in 2010, more than 2.45 million Duster models have been sold across the world under the Renault and Dacia brands. The SUV for everyday motoring has been popular with drivers across the globe, with exceptional sales results recorded in Russia, India, Brazil and the Middle East.

The Duster’s roominess, affordability and off-road capabilities have long been recognised as the model’s strengths and the all-new models continues to carry these desirable attributes.

The SUV’s exterior has been given a more robust look thanks to the addition of a wide chrome-finish grille, which extends to the head lights positioned at the car’s front corners. A front skid plate reinforces the Duster’s adventurer credentials and ensures that the vehicle never loses its smart looks. Finished with Renault’s signature C-shaped lighting with LED daytime running lights the Duster is a modern SUV with a rugged personality.

Inside, the Duster is equipped with new, high-quality, driving aids and new equipment, making it a genuine adventure-ready SUV which offers the versatility and comfort for everyday driving. On stepping inside the cabin, the noticeable difference in quality is instantly recognisable – packed with ‘Easy Life’ features like Hill Descent Control, Multiview camera and Blind Spot Warning, 4×4 monitor, automatic air conditioning, Remote Engine Start (GCC only), seven-inch touchscreen tablet and Renault smart card with keyless entry system – as well as quality trims and materials.

The all-new Duster is available in both 2WD and 4WD specifications and offers among the market’s very best off-road capability. With a choice of two petrol engines; 1.6L (4×2) mated to a CVT automatic transmission, and 2.0L with automatic transmission (4×4), the Duster is an SUV equipped for any terrain.

Commenting on the launch of the all-new Duster, Marwan Haidamous, Renault Middle East Managing Director said, “Before the arrival to the region of the original Duster in 2012, there was little awareness of the Renault brand in the Middle East; the original Duster was responsible for boosting the brand’s awareness. Now, six years on, we are welcoming the all-new Duster which will, again, reinvent and reinvigorate the brand to new levels of performance and positive opinion – pushing us further towards our goal of being ‘best in class’.”

 

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Modern Luxury meets Elegance – All-new Lincoln Navigator

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By Shereen Shabnam

As a full-size luxury SUV, the Lincoln Navigator (Presidential) comes with indulgent luxury touch points at every turn, evident from the moment I opened the door for my one week drive experience.

Capable of producing 450 horsepower and 691 Nm of torque, the Lincoln Presidential made me feel like I owned the road. The twin-turbo 3.5-litre engine provides power delivered through a 10-speed transmission. Twin-turbocharged engine technology provided the fuel economy on demand, with the power and performance I needed and desired for different drive modes.

Inside, the three rows seats offer ample space and the front of the interior layout is clean and uncluttered, with a simple, soothing ambience. The all-new Navigator comes with six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets, a 230-volt plug and a wireless phone charger in the first-row centre console. Individual driver preferences can be set for adapting seat, mirror and pedal positions, as well as climate control and entertainment settings.

A standard rear-seat entertainment system allows passengers to stream content wirelessly with their device to one of the 10-inch adjustable screens mounted on the rear of the front seats. Content also can be accessed from SD cards, an HDMI cable or USB drive.

Each screen can display different content, allowing a personalised entertainment experience for every passenger enjoyed using Revel® Ultima audio with 20 speakers that work in concert with Navigator’s interior design and acoustics.

The 360-degree camera and Enhanced Park Assist is a saviour for divers who stress about parallel and perpendicular parking. The system integrates views from four cameras to create an overhead image so the driver can see all around the vehicle.

The exterior of the Lincoln Navigator Presidential has an enhanced design language that is both bold and flashy and fits into the full-size luxury SUV segment. It is an athletic yet refined silhouette that makes it appealing to both men and women who need to make a style statement.

Driving the Lincoln Presidential for a week was an absolute delight – it offered me a uniquely elevated automotive experience that my love for combined luxury, sport and regal design in one space. It is the answer to luxury travel on wheels, perfect for road trips and equally at home in front of a luxury hotel entrance.

 

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Sustainable Motoring – Toyota Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle

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By Shereen Shabnam

Committed to provide environmentally- friendly vehicles, Al-Futtaim Toyota recently launched the all-new Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), offering motorists the opportunity to experience Toyota’s HEV cutting-edge technology in an engaging driving experience.

Since its debut in 1982 and subsequent evolution over eight generations, Toyota Camry has come to be embraced by people around the world for its excellent performance, ride quality, and high level of Quality, Durability, and Reliability (QDR).

The new electrified version of the Camry cements Toyota’s continued efforts to create ever-better cars and further reiterates its commitment to environmental sustainability. The all-new Camry HEV provides a comfortable and stable ride with superior handling characteristics while injecting a fun driving experience.

Thecar can be driven entirelybyeither electricalpower with zero-fuel consumption and carbon emissions,or with a combination of a petrol engine and two electric motors depending on the vehicle speed and customer’s driving behavior.The batteries in the hybrid electricdrivetrain are automatically chargedby either the petrol engine or when braking and decelerating,eliminatingthe need to plug in a power cord.

Suzan Kazzi, Head of Corporate Communications at Al-Futtaim Toyota mentioned at the launch event that Camry HEV has been leading the sustainable mobility march since 2008, being the first marque that pioneered the HEV technology in the UAE. The company has launched several hybrid electric vehiclesin the past two decades, leading to a steady rise in the adoption of its environment-friendly cars.

The interior features a distinctive design and offers convenience and comfort with a layer of luxury and a range of advanced features. This includes a wireless charging system for smartphones, dual-zone automatic air conditioning system, six-speaker sound system, multi-adjustable power front seats, and 60/40 split and reclining rear seats, among many others.

The all-new Camry HEV model also introduces thelatest in-vehicle information technology displays, offering a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction. It relays information through 2 available interlinked displays; a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigationcontrol panel that is seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design.

Acomprehensive array of safety features has been added to protect vehicle occupants, including six SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA),Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), as well as an enhanced body structure and platform structure, among many others.

Available in eight distinctive exterior and three interior colors, and 18-inch alloy wheels, the all-new Camry HEV lets customers express their individuality.The car is available across all Al-Futtaim Toyota showrooms.

 

 

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