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.

DIMS 2017: Volkswagen moving people forward

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Thierry Seys, Mr K. Rajaram, Andrew Savvas

Photo caption (from left to right)
Thierry Seys, General Manager, Volkswagen Al Nabooda Automobiles
Mr K. Rajaram, Chief Executive Officer, Al Nabooda Automobiles
Andrew Savvas, Brand Director Volkswagen Middle East

→    Teramont breaks cover in region: first seven-seater SUV from the German marque will be available in spring 2018

→    Middle East SUV line-up now capable of meeting needs of all family sizes

→    Volkswagen Arteon regional debut at DIMS ahead of imminent arrival in dealerships region wide

Volkswagen Middle East showcased the future of mobility at the Dubai International Motor Show. The brand’s central theme “Moving People Forward” was presented via the affordably innovative brand new models Teramont and Arteon, alongside BUDD-e, the all-electric concept car from the Volkswagen Group.

Andrew Savvas, Brand Director Volkswagen Middle East, “Today’s presentation represents affordable, innovative solutions that move people forward with products that directly fit our community’s needs. When I joined Volkswagen in the Middle East last year, I committed to better serving our community with products, services and people that are more in-tune with our market; to move people forward. I’m confident that today we are closer to achieving those goals than ever before. The all-new models, the Arteon and the Teramont enhance our multi-award winning model range; our customers can now choose from a Gran Turismo fastback or the perfect SUV, whatever their family size.”

The Teramont is dynamic and bold in its styling. The first seven-seater SUV from Volkswagen is a no compromise SUV for Middle East families. For for the first time, customers need not compromise on price, space or technology to get a vehicle that best meets their needs. Built on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform, the new Teramont is packed with innovative technology and safety features seen in the multi-award winning Tiguan and Golf models. Available in two engines (2.0L 220HP and 3.6L 280HP) and up to four trims lines, the Teramont product line up enables customers to choose a model that best suits their needs.

Engineered on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, the Teramont draws on the latest Volkswagen design DNA to create a bold new look in the SUV segment. The first-of-its-kind SUV for the brand will arrive in the market in early 2018, increasing the brand’s product offering by seven-seats meeting the needs of all family sizes. It boasts large proportions and clean lines that create a sense of timelessness and precision, and offers driver assistance features previously reserved for premium SUVs, at an affordable level.

The Arteon, now available in dealerships region wide, is an all-new, five-door fastback impressing both through revolutionary design and innovative driver assistance systems.

Volkswagen Head of Design, Klaus Bischoff, summarised the character of the new car: “The Arteon combines the design elements of a traditional sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback. It is an avant-garde, business class Gran Turismo that speaks to the heart and the head alike.” Whether for business or personal use, this is a vehicle that captivates day-in, day-out.

Showcasing the future of mobility at the show, the innovative concept car BUDD-e presents the immediate future of electric drive systems and interactive operations. The BUDD-e is the first model to be based on a new, progressive Volkswagen technology matrix for electric vehicles, the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), and is an all-wheel electric drive with two electric motors.

The stand also features a Golf GTI TCR, a customer racing car presented by Volkswagen Motorsports. Based on the seventh-generation of the iconic hatchback, the Golf GTI TCR presents racing technology that does not deviate far from the standard equipment at affordable prices. The car boasts a four-cylinder in-line engine with exhaust turbocharger and intercooling, positioned laterally in front of the front axle.

The Volkswagen Middle East stand is located in the Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Saeed Hall 2, Stand SS215 from 14-18 November.

Why the UAE can bet on Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

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If you attended the Ignition Live Shows at the Dubai International Motor Show, you would have received an insightful exchange by automotive and hydrogen industry experts on global warming, the future of green motoring, and how hydrogen – the most abundant element on earth – can help drive a zero-emission society.

The talk was essentially about Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) and the role they can play in accelerating the green efforts the UAE is making to enable a cleaner air and lower carbon society, in support of the UAE Vision 2021.

But first, what are Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles?

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles refer to a type of electric vehicle that creates its own electricity onboard, without the need to be externally charged. How? In simple words, this is how electricity is created:

  • The car is filled with hydrogen instead of petrol, in about 3 to 5 minutes
  • Hydrogen goes into the car’s carbon fiber reinforced tanks then mixes with oxygen coming from the air through the front intake grill
  • The mixing happens inside a fuel cell stack stored under the car seats and an electrochemical reaction is created, generating electricity that powers the motor.

Unlike a gas-powered internal combustion engine, the only byproduct from Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles is water, that some dare to drink, to prove the cleanliness of the process. The technology emits zero pollutants responsible for causing global warming, and the energy it unleashes is so powerful that it can actually send rockets into space.

The talk explained the key benefits of the FCEV technology which Ralf Zimmermann, Managing Director of Aftersales Services at Al-Futtaim Automotive Group summarized in three main points:

  • Short refilling time of 3 to 5 minutes similar to petrol fueling
  • Long mileage of over 500 km, which can take you from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and back twice
  • No change in the driver’s behavior

The talk often referred to Toyota Mirai, displayed at the Motor Show Toyota stand, as it is the only Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle available in the UAE. The car which is being tested on UAE roads will be deployed by Al-Futtaim Motors at a larger scale with Government and private institutions, to test the viability of the technology in the local market, while the company grows its network of hydrogen stations across the UAE, following the inauguration of the first one in October 2017 in Dubai Festival City.

The discussion also touched on the hydrogen council’s efforts to promote hydrogen as an alternative clean energy.

Made up of 28 companies, the Hydrogen Council said in a report this week that it expects hydrogen to power about 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030.

The speakers highlighted the value of hydrogen as an excellent storage medium, effectively storing renewable energy until a fuel cell or engine converts it back to electricity.

“Hydrogen is promising fuel and energy storage solution” said Edouard Neyrand from Air Liquide during the conference. He continued: “hydrogen can be produced during off-peak periods or when there is excess renewable electricity. Then, it can be converted back to electricity to provide constant power when the renewable source isn’t available”.

When asked what the future of clean mobility looks like in the future, Ralf Zimmermann said: “I’m not claiming that FCEVs will be the only eco-friendly solution in the future, and I can believe a variety of technologies will be used to address the different mobility needs of individuals and corporations”

While Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles like the Toyota Mirai are already being sold internationally in places like US, Europe and Japan, it is yet to arrive to the United Arab Emirates.

As part of the government awareness roadshow, Al-Futtaim Motors has been facilitating test drives of the Toyota Mirai in the UAE, and has showcased the technology to over 40 high ranking government officials, who were all impressed with the vehicle’s performance.

AkzoNobel opens advanced Application Training Centre in Dubai to strengthen customer service and promote innovation

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AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company, today opened its first regional Application Training Centre in Dubai that will further strengthen customer service standards and promote localised innovation of paint products.

The state-of-the-art facility will offer advanced training programs for AkzoNobel’s customers, enabling them to build capacity and deepen their knowledge of paints and coatings, with a special focus on OEMs and refinishers in industries as diverse as automotive and rail, aerospace, and consumer electronics. The AkzoNobel Application Training Centre is located in Al Quoz and will be fully operational by year-end.

Peter Tomlinson, Managing Director for AkzoNobel’s Automotive and Specialty Coatings, said: “The opening of our Application Training Centre highlights our commitment to deepen our relationship with customers in the region, and provide them expert training on the most efficient use of AkzoNobel’s paint systems. As the first training centre serving multiple paint and coatings businesses, the facility will serve as a hub for stronger customer collaboration, and be a center of expertise for colour and application. The training programmes will enable customers to make informed choices about AkzoNobel products and also contribute to collaborative research to develop innovative products.”

The AkzoNobel Application Training Centre further supports the company’s focus on research and development, with over €363 million invested in R&D globally last year. The company has more than 150 scientists who drive innovation through an expanding portfolio of sustainable products.

The Centre houses the most cutting-edge industry equipment for businesses in Wet Paint and Powder where manual application is applicable. It will particularly appeal to automotive and aerospace industry stakeholders, who can gain first-hand knowledge about the latest coatings processes and systems. With the region witnessing positive growth in both the automotive and aviation sectors, the Centre will build industry standards and support its customers in overcoming challenges in the workplace relating to the choice and application of paints and coatings.

McLaren, the global automotive technology company behind the world-famous motor racing team and luxury sports and super cars, will have its first training at the Centre this month. This builds on its existing partnership with AkzoNobel which developed, in conjunction with the McLaren-Honda team, the Tarocco Orange livery for the 2017 MCL32 racing car. McLaren Automotive, the largest part of the McLaren Group, continues to leverage AkzoNobel’s colour expertise and technology to create for its customers striking colors that also offer high performance.

AkzoNobel products are developed on the basis of in-depth market and trend research to identify the changing tastes and preferences of the industry. Headquartered in Amsterdam, AkzoNobel has centuries of experience in paints and coatings, with its portfolio including well-known brands such as Sikkens, International, Dulux, and Interpon.

Three regional premieres at the Dubai International Motor Show 2017

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Mercedes-Benz brings the future of mobility to the region

Premium car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has taken the Dubai International Motor Show 2017 by storm with a dynamic line-up of its latest newly launched models and a number of visionary concept cars demonstrating the power and performance of electric drive.

Mercedes-Benz is premiering three ground-breaking models to the region and displaying 24 of its latest models during the five-day event that ends on Saturday 18th November, all providing a glimpse of the latest technologies shaping the future of mobility.

Future of performance with ‘CASE’ strategy

As the inventor of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz upholds its legacy of innovation through a focused strategy called CASE, based on four key pillars – Connectivity, Autonomous, Shared and Services and Electric Drive. This strategy has shaped the latest cars which combine exemplary performance with electric technology: the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car, the latest and most efficient Formula 1 hybrid technology and Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, blending sports car performance and maximum electric power.

Lennart Mueller-Teut, Head of Marketing & Communications, Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East, said: “Mercedes-Benz continues to lead the industry in shaping what the future of mobility will look like, and this year’s Dubai International Motor Show is the perfect platform to show our vision of electric performance to our Middle East customers. Through our latest concept cars, AMG Project ONE and AMG GT Concept, we continue to push the boundaries of electric power.”

The three latest models from Mercedes-Benz making their regional premiere redefine automotive luxury and performance on all levels, for an experience that is ‘the best or nothing’. They include:

Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car

The two-seater supersports car, Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car, brings the very latest and most efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road. The high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system consists of a highly integrated and intelligently networked unit comprising one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors. This show car is said to produce over 1,000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h.

The 1.6-litre V6 hybrid petrol engine with direct injection and electrically assisted single turbocharging comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car. The electric motors on the front axle are also true rev wonders, with rotor revolutions up to 50,000 rpm – current state of the art is a speed of 20,000 rpm.

The design of the show car is very obviously inspired by the premium class in motorsport. But above all, it embodies the Mercedes-AMG principle that fascination is always linked with function. Every part has a specific purpose. The result is a mid-engine concept, extremely muscular proportions with the cockpit well forward, large wheel arches, a wasp waist and an extended rear end.

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

The Mercedes-AMG GT Concept sports car from Affalterbach extends the AMG family by blending the high functionality of performance cars with the sportiness of AMG GT sports cars, and gives a bonus sneak preview of the exterior design coming to the series production model.

The AMG GT Concept show car is the second AMG model to bear the new designation “EQ Power+,” a designation which all performance hybrids from Mercedes-AMG will be given in the future. The show car provides an outstanding performance with a sprint time of 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds.

The AMG GT Concept is recognizable at first glance as a genuine AMG GT. The exterior design stands out with extremely muscular proportions and sensuous surface styling, with an unmistakable design idiom that features a deeply drawn hood and powerfully raked windscreen.

Mercedes-Maybach S 650

Celebrating its regional premiere at the Dubai International Motor Show is the Mercedes-Maybach S 650, reaffirming its position as the ultimate model for individuality. The luxury brand combines the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. As the world’s quietest production sedan with a spacious First-Class rear suite, refined materials and stylish controls, the new Maybach S-Class is the model ideal for passengers who seek the highest levels of comfort, luxury and exclusivity.

The new model has been redesigned to offer refinements that accentuate the Mercedes-Maybach’s timelessly modern shape, from chrome detailing of its majestic façade to an elegantly sporting array of wheels. The spacious flagship model range exceeds the Mercedes-Benz S-Class by 20cm in both dimensions.

Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is available in the region with prices starting from $209,300.

Other Mercedes-Benz highlights from the Dubai International Motor Show include:

Mercedes-Benz S 450

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class retains its title as the undisputed leader of intelligence, power, performance and luxury. The top-of-the-range model takes another big step towards autonomous driving and elevates Intelligent Drive to the next level. Its precise attention to detail is seen within every corner of the car, from the wood-leather steering wheel to the crystal-look tail lamps.

The ENERGIZING comfort control is a world-first entering series production and can be experienced in all seats. This optional feature links various comfort systems in the vehicle together. It systematically uses the functions of the climate control system (including fragrancing) and the seats (heater, ventilation, massage), the panel heating as well as lighting and musical atmospheres, and enables a specific wellness set-up tailored to the mood and need of the customer. This enhances the physical comfort and performance while driving and during a break.

The new Mercedes-Benz S 450 boasts a new V-6 engine that comes to the starting line with 270 kW (367 hp) and 500 Nm.

The Mercedes-Benz S 450 is available in the GCC with prices starting from $109,950.

Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+

The high-performance model of the new Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ adds impressive power to the top-of-the-range collection. An updated front apron with jet wing underscores the more expressive appearance = at the rear, the new apron and modified tailpipe trim add distinctive design focuses.

The new Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ has been transformed with a new engine, new transmission, new all-wheel drive, new exterior and interior design, thereby dramatically honing the driving dynamics and looks further. It is equipped with the new AMG 4.0-litre V-8 Biturbo engine with cylinder deactivation, which replaces the previous 5.5-litre V-8 Biturbo engine. The new engine puts out 450 kW (612 hp) and thus exactly 20 kW (27 hp) more than the preceding model. With a sprint time of 3.5 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, the performance luxury sedan is on par with full-blooded sports cars.

The Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+ is available in the GCC with prices starting from $174,950.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 S 4MATIC+

The new Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ combines exceptional performance, powered by an eight-cylinder biturbo engine for superior power delivery, along with a highly emotive, unmistakable engine sound. The new model has an acceleration of 0 – 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds.

As a visual indication of its links with Mercedes-AMG sports cars, the GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ displays the AMG Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for the AMG GT family. In addition, the car offers all the advantages of a Mercedes-SUV: ample room for passengers and luggage, comprehensive array of safety equipment and superior traction.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ will be available in the GCC and Levant in 2018, with GCC prices starting from USD $ 100,750.

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+

Mercedes-AMG redefines the performance sedan by turning the most intelligent executive sedan into the most powerful E-Class of all time. Mercedes-AMG is also setting new benchmarks in this market segment with its innovative technologies – the intelligent drive strategy raises the limits of the performance sedan’s vehicle dynamics to a completely new level.

The versatile AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine in the E 63 S 4MATIC+ takes peak performance to a new level at 450 kW (612 hp). Maximum torque attains a new top value of 850 Nm. It is available over a broad engine speed range of 2500 to 4500 rpm and so provides a feeling of effortless superiority in every accelerator pedal position. A sprint from zero to 100 km/h is absolved in 3.4 seconds.

The E 63 S 4MATIC+ is available in the GCC with a starting price of USD 136,900.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R

From the world’s most demanding racetrack directly onto the road: never before has Mercedes‑AMG packed so much motorsport technology into a production vehicle than into the new AMG GT R. The front-mid-engine concept with transaxle, the twin-turbo V-8 engine rated at 430 kW/585 hp, the extensively modified suspension, the new aerodynamics and the intelligent lightweight construction lay the foundations for an especially dynamic driving experience. Even from afar, the exclusive “AMG green hell magno” special paintwork leaves no doubt as to the sports car’s origin, having spent most of its development time in the “Green Hell” of the Nurburgring racetrack.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R is available with a starting price of USD 173,050.

The Mercedes-AMG GT C

Speed, performance and an unmistakable growl – as a third addition to the Mercedes-AMG GT family, the new AMG GT C Roadster enhances the portfolio with a completely new model variant. With an output of 410 kW (557 hp) and peak torque of 680 Nm, the AMG GT C Roadster is the most powerful new Roadster. In combination with the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension, the AMG GT C Roadster guarantees dynamic performance at the highest level. A sprint from zero to 100 km/h is absolved in 3.7 seconds, and this thundering acceleration only ends at the top speed of 316 km/h.

The AMG GT C Roadster rapidly transforms from a coupé to an open-top sports car, with speed, precision and ultimate style. The convertible fabric roof opens and closes in around 11 seconds, and can do this at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

The Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster is available in the region at a starting price of USD 172,650.

Maserati Middle East and Africa reveals new Ghibli at Dubai International Motor Show 2017

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2018 Levante, Quattroporte, and GranCabrio are also on display

Maserati Middle East and Africa revealed almost its entire upgraded product portfolio at the Dubai International Motor Show (DIMS) 2017. Starting with the new Ghibli, which has adopted a new range strategy and features a significant exterior restyling, all Maserati models have been thoroughly upgraded, adopting additional high-tech contents.

The new Ghibli as well as the Levante MY18 are now available in GranLusso and GranSport trims, previously introduced in the Quattroporte range. Ghibli and Quattroporte now feature Adaptive full LED headlights with glare free high-beam, based on Matrix technology for Ghibli, developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, and on L-shape technology for Quattroporte. Both Maserati sedans are fitted with power upgraded 3.0L V6 petrol engines and with the new, performance enhancing Integrated Vehicle Control system (IVC), developed by Bosch in collaboration with Maserati.

“The Middle East is a significant market for Maserati, and the Dubai International Motor Show is the perfect platform to highlight the full range we are able to offer today. Our clients and future clients are able to get a firsthand interaction with our products that are known to be an ongoing quest for innovation rooted in a great tradition,” said Luca Delfino, General Manager Maserati Middle East and Africa.

For the first time Maserati introduces Electric Power Steering (EPS), enabling new Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) with active functions. EPS has replaced hydraulic power steering on both Maserati sedans, as well as on the Levante MY18, providing better handling and comfort, while retaining the razor-sharp steering feel that is typical to every Maserati.

The GranCabrio MY18 has been elegantly restyled for improved aerodynamic performance, while featuring an upgraded interior with brand new driver interface and state-of-the art infotainment system.

Two souls of Ghibli
The new Ghibli sports sedan – the best-selling vehicle in the history of Maserati with over 70,000 cars delivered in 70 countries since 2013 – makes its Middle East debut at DIMS 2017 featuring a significant exterior restyling and a rich array of hi-tech contents. Two new distinctive trims, GranLusso and GranSport, have been included in the model range, following a strategy inaugurated by the Quattroporte in 2016. Each trim uses its own voice to bring out the elegance and sporty performance unique to Maserati.

The Ghibli GranLusso is distinguished by enhanced exterior finish and a luxurious interior with Ermenegildo Zegna silk upholstery. The Ghibli GranSport was conceived to reflect Maserati’s racing heritage displaying sportier exterior design and interior contents. The Ghibli GranLusso and GranSport are available for all powertrain versions and feature Adaptive full LED headlights with glare free Matrix high-beam, a first for Maserati.

The Maserati Design Centre in Turin has given a clear identity to each of the newly-introduced trims, primarily by restyling the front and rear bumpers. These aerodynamically optimised changes accentuate the original’s sporty yet luxurious style. The aerodynamic efficiency of the new Ghibli has improved by 7%, reducing the drag coefficient to 0.29 from 0.31.

The top-range Ghibli S and S Q4 versions now deliver 430 hp and 580 Nm peak torque, 20 hp and 30 Nm more than the previous model year. The increased power output gives the Maserati sedan a top speed of 286 km/h and even better acceleration. The new Ghibli S accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, while the Ghibli S Q4, with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, needs only 4.7 seconds (MY17 respectively in 5.0 and 4.8 seconds).

The new Ghibli has adopted the Integrated Vehicle Control system (IVC), which helps to prevent vehicle instability, providing enhanced active safety, improved driving dynamics and an even more thrilling performance.

The introduction of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) is another first for Maserati. This improves the car’s handling and comfort, better supports the driving modes and enables the newly-introduced active functions of the Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), while retaining the classically Maserati razor-sharp steering feel.

The new Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) are available as an option in the Ghibli. In addition to the existing features, they now include active functions like Highway Assist (HA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Active Blind Spot Assist (ABSA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR, based on Mobileye technology).

Faithful to its DNA, the new Ghibli range offers unmistakable class, top-quality performance and a stylish yet comfortable driving experience. The Ghibli GranLusso Zegna and the GranSport S are on display at the Maserati stand.

The Maserati of SUVs
In 2016, the launch of the Levante, the first ever SUV in the over 100-year history of Maserati, was a turning point for the Trident, introducing it into the world’s largest luxury segment. At DIMS 2017, Maserati presents the Levante MY18 that has adopted a new range strategy with two distinct new trims: the luxury-orientated GranLusso and the red-blooded GranSport. On display at the stand is the Levante S GranSport.

The Maserati of SUVs was engineered to excite the sport-focused drivers by making extensive use of lightweight materials, as well as boasting an ideal 50:50 weight distribution and the segment’s lowest centre of gravity. These features delivered unparalleled agility in the high-end SUV class as well as remarkable comfort on rough roads and great handling on low-grip surfaces.

The Levante MY18 has also adopted Electric Power Steering (EPS) that provides an even more thrilling driving experience – both on- and off-road. EPS enables an enhanced Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) package, which includes new active functions such as Highway Assist (HA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Active Blind Spot Assist (ABSA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR).

Ultimately refined Quattroporte
The Quattroporte MY18 makes its debut with significant upgrades and new high-tech contents, aiming to carry on its success story for the years to come. The headlights have adopted Adaptive full LED technology that provides remarkably better visibility, cooler light, glare-free high beam functionality and double extended lamp life. On display at the stand is the Gran Lusso.

The Quattroporte MY18 retains its top status in the high-end saloon segment featuring power upgraded 3.0L V6 petrol engines, the new Integrated Vehicle Control system (IVC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) that enables active ADAS like Highway Assist (HA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Active Blind Spot Assist (ABSA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR).

In terms of outright performance, the Quattroporte S & S Q4 are further improved, delivering now 430 hp power output and 580 Nm peak torque, respectively 20 hp and 30 Nm more than in the previous model year. The increased power output grants the Maserati flagship sedan a top speed of 288 km/h and even better acceleration. The Quattroporte S accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.0”, while the Quattroporte S Q4, with the intelligent Q4 All-Wheel Drive system, needs only 4.8” for the same sprint (MY17 respectively in 5.1 and 4.9 seconds).

Open air Grand Tourer – GranCabrio
The GranCabrio model has received a substantial refresh for MY18, introducing an elegant and aerodynamically efficient restyling, improved ergonomics and a state-of-the art infotainment system.

The timeless Pininfarina design was treated with the utmost respect by the Maserati Design Centre in the restyling process, benefiting the aerodynamic efficiency of the four-seater cabriolet. As a result, the aerodynamic drag has been reduced from 0.35 to 0.33.

The streamlined range comprises two distinct versions, Sport and MC, both equipped with the naturally aspirated 4.7L V8 engine, producing 460 hp, 520 Nm peak torque and breathtaking Maserati-signature sound.

The interior of the GranCabrio offers unparalleled comfort for four adults thanks to the individual Poltrona Frau® leather seats with integrated headrests. For 2018, the sumptuous interior features a new, high resolution 8.4” capacitive touch screen and refined ergonomics. The state-of-the art infotainment system is combined with standard Harman Kardon Premium Sound system and the interior features a redesigned lower console accommodating a user-friendly double rotary knob.

Maserati Capsule Collection by Ermenegildo Zegna
Maserati and Ermenegildo Zegna are pleased to present the new Maserati Capsule Collection inspired by the GranLusso trim, featuring a dedicated Ermenegildo Zegna fabric, now available for Ghibli, Levante and Quattroporte models.

The sophisticated collection of travel-oriented clothing in microfabrics with micro nubuck details, together with the luxurious personal leather bags and accessories, are tangible representations of the craftsmanship and elegance that characterize the two Made in Italy brands. The collection also demonstrates another concrete result of the long-term partnership that was inaugurated in 2013.

Maserati S.p.A.
Maserati produces a complete range of unique cars with individual personalities which are instantly recognisable anywhere. Their style, technology and innately exclusive character, delight the most discerning, demanding tastes and remain an automotive industry benchmark. The brand’s current line-up comprises the flagship Quattroporte, the Ghibli executive sports sedan, the Levante – Maserati’s first SUV – and the legendary GranTurismo and GranCabrio sports cars. A range complete as never before, with petrol and Diesel engines, rear or all-wheel drive, the finest materials and outstanding engineering. A tradition of successful cars, each of them redefining what makes an Italian sports car in terms of design, performance, comfort, elegance and safety

 

New Porsche Cayenne comes to Dubai

 

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L-R: Deesch Papke, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE; K. Rajaram, Chief Executive Officer of Al Nabooda Automobiles LLC; Earl Bamber, Porsche Works Driver; Lee Newton, Marketing Director of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, presenting the new Porsche Cayenne

Today at the opening of the region’s biggest automotive event, the Dubai International Motor Show (DIMS), Porsche revealed four new models for the first time in the Middle East. The brand’s sports car showcase featured the latest generation Cayenne, as well as the all-new Panamera Sport Turismo, Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and the limited edition 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. Alongside the model debuts, Porsche Works Driver and newly crowned FIA WEC Driver’s Champion in the LMP1 category, Earl Bamber was in attendance to highlight how the brand’s motorsport achievements are helping create the sports car of the future.

Deesch Papke, Chief Executive Officer at Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, commented: “Our aim at this year’s event is to once again reiterate how and why Porsche builds the best sports cars in every segment. Although all four models revealed today differ in size and shape, they all share the same impressive Porsche performance and iconic design DNA that have become synonymous with our brand. The eagerly anticipated new generation of the Cayenne for example takes an already successful four-door sports car to even greater heights. I am certain our customers and enthusiasts will be impressed by how our engineers have created a dynamic SUV, with offroad capabilities and outstanding levels of comfort, coupled with innovative assistance systems.”

With more than 770,000 units of previous generations sold worldwide, the arrival of the third generation Cayenne has been highly anticipated.


Combining typical Porsche performance, design and versatility, the latest Cayenne range features up to 65 kilograms of weight savings, along with innovative chassis systems, wider rear tyres and rear-axle steering. Going off-road is now even easier, as the driver can choose between five pre-programmed drive and chassis modes, depending on the terrain. A completely new interior showcases the Porsche Advanced Cockpit concept, which creates an even closer link between driver and vehicle. Virtually all the vehicle functions in this fully networked SUV can be viewed and operated using the high-resolution display and touchscreen.

At launch, the Cayenne model range will be available in three versions that range from 340 hp to 550 hp and feature a new eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox. Top of the model line and on the stand at this year’s DIMS, the new Cayenne Turbo delivers a maximum torque output of 770 Nm (an increase of 20 Nm) and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds, when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package.

Also on public display for the first time in the Middle East region are the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, the Panamera 4S Sport Turismo as well as the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, highlighting the diversity of Porsche’s sports car line-up.

The Panamera Sport Turismo is the first saloon featuring three seats in the back and a completely redesigned rear exterior. A versatile and practical sports car in the luxury segment, it can accommodate five passengers and up to 520 litres of luggage. The Panamera 4S Sport Turismo, revealed at this year’s motor show, offers typical Porsche performance with an output of 440 hp and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 4.2 seconds, when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package.

Now the most powerful saloon in the range, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid brings cutting-edge technological advancements in electric mobility to the fore. A boost strategy adapted from the 918 Spyder delivers 850 Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.4 seconds in a model that can drive up to 50 kilometres in electric mode.

Ahead of competing in the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) set to take place in Bahrain this weekend (16th – 18th November), two-time Le Mans winner Earl Bamber attended the 2017 instalment of DIMS. Discussing how Porsche utilises motorsport to develop road cars and referring to the 919 Hybrid show car on the brand’s stand, he said: “The 919 Hybrid is a phenomenal race car, not only because of its performances on track, but also because it has served as a laboratory on wheels for Porsche to develop new technologies. For example, the regenerative charging system, featured in the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, was an outcome of technology tested during racing conditions in the WEC. This approach means that ultimately the customer always benefits, and I for one am proud to be part of that process.”

During the first day of the motor show, Porsche also premiered the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, a limited edition coupé, that represents the most powerful and distinctive Turbo S to date. Intricately finished by hand at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur in Zuffenhausen/Germany, the 3.8-litre, six-cylinder biturbo flat engine (with an exclusive power kit) has a maximum torque of 750 Nm and a power output of 607 hp.

A wide variety of models, including the Macan, 718 Cayman and race track ready 911 GT3, as well as the show car version of the three-time Le Mans winning 919 Hybrid, are on display at the Dubai International Motor Show until 18th November.

Aston Martin at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show

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  • Middle Eastern show debut of Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar
  • Iconic, rare original DB5 Convertible displayed
  • Regional debut of newly launched V8-powered DB11
  • Premiere of Middle East exclusive, Vanquish S Pearl Edition

Aston Martin marks the 2017 edition of the Dubai International Motor Show with a show-stopping display of cars, including some of the rarest models ever built amongst several regional debuts.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar makes a hugely anticipated appearance, being shown for the first time in the region to the public. The product of a unique Innovation Partnership between the British luxury brand and eminent F1TM team Red Bull Racing, this ambitious, uncompromising and wholly extraordinary collaboration combines the vision and skills of two world-leading brands to create a road car the like of which has never been seen before.

The show also sees the hugely iconic DB5 Convertible displayed. Regarded by many as the most beautiful Aston Martin produced, and an evolution of the final series of DB4, the DB5 is famous for being the most recognised cinematic James Bond car, first appearing in the James Bond film Goldfinger in 1964. Just 123 convertible DB5s were produced between 1963 and 1965, making it one of the rarest – and most desirable – models created.

The newly launched V8-powered DB11 is shown for the first time in the Middle East at the show. Aston Martin’s definitive GT – the acclaimed DB11 – is now available with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The new powerplant provides the opportunity to reveal more of the DB11’s sporting character, while expanding its global appeal with a combination of exceptional performance and improved efficiency.

Also displayed is a Middle East exclusive, the Vanquish S Pearl Edition, limited to just 10 models and inspired by the region’s long association with the pearl industry. The Vanquish S Pearl Edition takes the tradition, value and rarity of the pearl, with its regional roots and ties, and uses the artistry of the Q by Aston Martin team to create a truly spectacular car.

“To have such a diverse and renowned array of models on display under one roof in the Middle East is an absolute pleasure. The past few years have been busy ones for us as a marque, and here in-region we are heavily focused on reflecting CEO Dr. Andy Palmer’s vision of driving a renewal of the Aston Martin name,” stated Christopher Sheppard, CEO MENA, Aston Martin.

Raring to go, Aston Martin’s commitment to the Middle East is clear. Seven all-new cars are set to launch in seven years with a new model or derivative launching every 6 months – breathing life into the product line, and solidifying the company’s standing in the automotive world as offering a broad portfolio of products, cutting-edge technologies, and the absolute best of British design and craftsmanship.

Cadillac showcases its exciting Middle East future at Dubai International Motor Show

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Middle East premiere for Escala Concept

  • Regional debut of redesigned XTS sedan
  • Launch of 2018 model line-up, including Escalade, CT6, XT5 and V-Series high-performance cars

 Making its first appearance in the Middle East, the Escala Concept car formed the centerpiece of the Cadillac stand at this year’s Dubai International Motor Show (14-18 November) as visitors received a tantalizing glimpse at the future direction of the brand.

The future is certainly bright for Cadillac, with the Escala amplifying its new design DNA and the brand currently introducing industry-leading technologies such as Super Cruise. But the show also provided an opportunity to view new models that are set to entice today’s buyers: the redesigned XTS sedan enjoyed its regional launch, alongside 2018 versions of favorites like the Escalade, CT6 and XT5.

Designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan, Cadillac’s Escala showcases future design and technical systems, including a prototype 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, and is a concept for a more expressive, expansive companion to the current range-topper, the CT6.

The large 4-door sedan features an expansive lift-back design, and at 5347mm is 163mm longer than the CT6. The new face of Cadillac design will begin appearing on production models soon and includes a new expression of Cadillac’s signature vertical lighting – thin, deep-set organic light emitting diode (OLED) elements give it a sinister look. This is complemented by a three-dimensional precision pattern in the grille design and 22-inch wheels with two layers of spokes.

Three very thin, curved OLED screens feature prominently in the front, consolidating the traditional “cluster” of driving gauges into one integrated unit. Like all Cadillac models today, the interior is assembled using hand cut-and-sewn techniques, but is further inspired by suiting material used by Cadillac’s fashion industry partners. The Escala Concept also offers an insight into the user experience in development for future models, with new designs for connectivity and control.

Speaking about Cadillac’s display at DIMS, Andrew Lipman, Cadillac’s Global Communications Director, said: “We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to our customers and fans in the Middle East, and what better way than by revealing a concept car that lays the blueprint for the future of the brand.

“Starting with the launch of the first ever XT4 in 2018, we will bring a new Cadillac to market every six months, a total of five vehicle lines in the space of just two years.  And these models will feature some of the most advanced technology in the automotive industry,” he added.

Super Cruise is a prime example of these advancements. With the ability to take control at any time, it offers the first true hands-free driving experience. Super Cruise takes control in situations like more mundane highway commuting, while in all other conditions the driver can take the wheel to enjoy the vehicle’s exhilarating performance.

Cadillac also unveiled a raft of 2018 models that are set to take the Middle East by storm, most notably the elegant 2018 XTS, which was represented by the XTS Platinum version. Making its regional debut at the show, this redesigned sedan showcases a new generation of Cadillac design and technology,

A new styling approach applied to the 2018 XTS range is communicated through a refreshed front and rear look, with all-new LED headlights and taillamps, fenders, front and rear fascias and grille. An improved chassis provides even greater ride comfort, while enhanced technology delivers a next-generation Cadillac user experience, a dynamic platform that can be adjusted over time to meet a customer’s evolving connectivity needs. With functionality similar to smartphones, the new user experience system provides customers with easier access to the most common features. The more intuitive operation includes a Summary View in which all key applications – climate, audio, phone and navigation – are displayed on one screen.

Two other 2018 models to benefit from Cadillac’s new styling and design were also shown off at the show: the CT6 and XT5. Rounding off the display were the 2018 models of the brand’s flagship large SUV – Escalade, and the ATS-V and CTS-V models from Cadillac’s acclaimed high-performance V-Series.

The 2018 CT6 has all the size, prestige and technology of a large luxury sedan, while offering the driving dynamics and efficiency of a mid-size sport sedan. Built with one of the industry’s most advanced body structures, the CT6 is equipped with an Active Chassis system and either a 3.0L Twin Turbo or 3.6L V6 engine. Hi-tech features include Enhanced Night Vision, Advanced Park Assist and Rear Camera Mirror – an industry first application of full-display technology, combining camera technology with the conventional inside mirror to project an unobstructed view in the mirror.

The XT5 combines spacious luxury and high-tech convenience features to create the perfect crossover. A lightweight construction elevates efficiency and driving performance while the all-new design and structure increases interior space without adding bulk. The 2018 XT5 is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine and advanced all-wheel drive, as well as advanced features such as a rear camera mirror, Apple Carplay & Android auto compatibility, and front- and rear-seat USB capabilities.

Visitors were also able to experience the brand’s flagship model, the 2018 Escalade, which features a new 10-speed automatic transmission and bold new interior and exterior color options. The Escalade has long defined spacious premium driving with its modern design, powerful capabilities and sumptuous amenities that keep luxury firmly in the driver’s seat.

Combining luxury and power in one machine, the Cadillac CTS-V sedan is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine, that delivers 640 hp (477 kW), 630 lb-ft of torque (855 Nm) and is mated to a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission. For 2o18, it introduces Apple Watch integration, two additional USB ports in the rear console and a new range of colors.

Joining the CTS-V will be the 2018 ATS-V, with its track-honed design, chassis and suspension elements which complement the car’s 3.6L V6 twin-turbocharged powertrain to provide true track capability, performance and driver control without modifications or special procedures. New for 2018, an advanced next-generation Cadillac user experience with embedded navigation is now available.

Speaking at the show, Christian Soemmer, Managing Director of Cadillac Middle East, commented: “With new models hitting the market and new facilities set to open in the near future, now is an extremely exciting time for Cadillac and its customers across the Middle East.

“Over the last year we have brought global brand initiatives to the region and created local activities that reflect Cadillac’s core values, such as the ‘Arabs of New York’ campaign which celebrates the entrepreneurial Arabs of our home city. Furthermore, next month sees the arrival to Dubai of ‘Letters to Andy Warhol’ – a traveling exhibition, part of a global multi-year partnership between Cadillac and The Andy Warhol Museum. All of which is helping us to connect more closely with people who share our outlook and aspirations, in particular a younger generation of car buyers who share our passion.”

Liberty Automobiles Launches Exceptional Offers across the Cadillac Line-Up at Dubai International Motor Show 2017

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Offering visitors outstanding benefits on their preferred Cadillac.

Liberty Automobiles – the largest General Motors dealership in the UAE and excusive dealer for Cadillac – will showcase its impressive Cadillac line-up with a range of exceptional benefits at the Dubai International Motor Show 2017, which runs from 14th to 18th November at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Every visitor to the Cadillac stand will receive a voucher that can be redeemed at the Liberty Automobiles showrooms to unlock a world of exclusive offers.

Rimoun Hanouch, Group General Manager at Liberty Automobiles, commented: “Dubai International Motor Show is an excellent opportunity for us to reach out to our customers and offer them something special to mark the occasion, reflecting our ‘Liberty Difference’ philosophy. This year, we are going the extra mile by making it easier than ever for our customers to discover a range of exciting promotions across the Cadillac range, by simply visiting our stand.”

Vehicles on offer will include the Cadillac ATS and ATS Coupe, in addition to the CTS and Flagship Sedan CT6. The V-Series enthusiast will also get one step closer to the Supercharged 6.2L V8 engine CTS-V, 3.6 Twin Turbo ATS-V and ATS V Coupe. As for SUVs, Cadillac’s new generation XT5 3.6L V6 and Iconic Escalade will also be included.

Rimoun Hanouch concluded: “Cadillac is globally renowned for its bold and innovative range of prestige vehicles, which appeal to those who dare to drive the world forward. In this spirit, we hope that our customers will seize the exciting opportunity we are offering them at Dubai International Motor Show 2017.”

New Renault ZOE Long Range model arrives in the Middle East

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The new all-electric Renault ZOE Long Range model has arrived in the Middle East. The latest version of Renault’s most popular 100% electric vehicle now boasts a record driving range of 300 Kilometres (real driving conditions) on a single charge – double the distance of the previous generation ZOE model.

Renault was the first car maker to introduce a 100% electric car to the Middle East, and has since been blazing the trail for pure-electric, zero emissions mobility in the region. The new model, launched this week, features Renault’s new Z.E. (zero emissions) 40 battery – a 41kWh unit delivering the longest driving range of any mass-market electric vehicle on sale today.

The ZOE is a compact 5-door city car. With sporty and dynamic styling you have to look closely to see the car is 100% electric. Its electric badge, Z.E. signature headlamps with daytime running lights and rear lights all feature subtle blue styling cues which proudly denote it’s zero emissions status.

Inside, the light and spacious cabin offers a comfortable and peaceful driving experience. A modern touch-screen center console provides a hub for an array of in-car features including climate control, multi-media music and entertainment, and driving performance statistics.

Charging the ZOE is easy using the cables provided and connecting to a power source via the socket cleverly positioned under the Renault badge on the ZOE’s bonnet.

The new Z.E. 40 battery in the new ZOE Long Range model has been developed in partnership with LG Chem and uses cutting-edge high-energy density lithium-ion technology. The unit has been engineered to increase storage capacity without making the battery bigger or significantly heavier. The battery integration in the vehicle, new air circulation system and electronic management system maintains the battery’s temperature at a consistent level; making the car economical to run, even in very high temperatures.

Whilst the ZOE Long Range benefits from extra capacity there has been no impact on charging times. ‘Topping up’ the battery for just 30 minutes provides an additional 80 kilometres of range. With the charging infrastructure in the Middle East growing, in Dubai, new initiatives have been introduced by the Supreme Energy Council meaning EV owners can now charge for free at any public charging station until 2019, as well as benefit from an array of other benefits including free parking*.

Marwan Haidamous, Managing Director for Renault Middle East, said; “As pioneers in electric mobility in the Middle East and the market leader for electric vehicles in Europe, we intend to continue to lead the way in developing electric vehicle solutions in the region.

“The introduction of the new ZOE long range is an important step forward for electric mobility in the Middle East. Many drivers’ main fear around electric motoring is running out of battery power. Now we can offer our customers our longest driving range yet – 300 kilometres. The ZOE is the perfect blend of practicality, affordability and most importantly, the freedom to drive without the worry of running out of power. This new model cements our position as true pioneers of electric mobility, not only here in the Middle East, but across the world.”

Renault recently announced its ‘Drive The Future’ strategy – a six-year plan which will see the brand maintain its EV leadership across the globe with the introduction of eight new pure-electric vehicles and 12 new electrified models by 2022.