What a show! The biennial Dubai International Motor Show rolled into town last weekend, and it seemed like half of the UAE was there to take in the four days of automotive excellence.
Naturally, we were there offering rolling coverage of the show on our social media pages. But in case you missed any of that, here’s a quick round-up of the hottest metal that was on display at the event.
The crazy stuff
Devel is a Dubai-based brand that’s hoping to create the fastest car in the world. That’s what its showcasing of the Devel Sixteen suggests, anyway. You’ll note that it looks incredible, but the beauty is more than skin-deep. According to Devel, this car packs a V16 engine that generates 5,000 bhp. The claimed 0-100 km/h time is 1.8 seconds, and claimed top speed is 560 km/h! We’re taking these numbers with a pinch of salt, of course, but it’d certainly be something if Devel manages to pull this off.
Brabus 900 One Of Ten
It’s another Mercedes G-Wagen! Except this one is very, very special. It’s a G65 AMG (that’s the V12 one) that’s been beefed up by Mercedes tuner Brabus to produce 900 bhp and 1,106 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the 0-100 km/h dash takes 3.9 seconds, and it’ll go on to a top speed of 272 km/h. Elsewhere, there’s an outrageous interior, and a whole bunch of new carbon-fibre body panels. Obviously you want one. But you’d better get in quick – Brabus is only building 10.
Billed as “the world’s first titanium supercar. The advantage to this is that titanium is light, meaning better performance and handling. That said, at almost 1,600 kg, the Vulcano is actually reasonably heavy for a supercar. That’s down to the monster under the bonnet – the supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from the old Corvette ZR1. It produces 670 bhp, meaning the Titanium is good for 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 356 km/h.
AMG Project One
AMG has been teasing us with small details about its upcoming hybrid hypercar for quite some time now. And though there wasn’t much more to be learnt about it at the Dubai Motor Show, it was certainly impressive to see this thing in the flesh. Thanks to a combination of petrol and electric power, we’re looking at power output of “at least” 986 bhp. Oh, and the chassis is built around Mercedes’ Formula 1 car. Certainly, this will be special once it finally lands.
The stuff you’ll actually buy
Infiniti made a big splash at DIMS with its new ultra-sized QX80. This is the third-generation model, and it’s the first time the brand’s flagship SUV has been updated since 2010. Underneath, it’s still based on the Nissan Patrol, meaning it’s still absolutely enormous. But you can see from the styling that, actually, a lot of the Patrol’s lines have been carried through to the new QX80. To us, that’s no bad thing – the previous QX80 looked a little lumpant in comparison to its less-expensive sibling. That said, save for some new seats, not much has changed on the inside. Indeed, not much has changed at all – the oily bits are all exactly the same, with Nissan’s 5.6-litre, 400-bhp V8 providing the oomph. Still, we’re on board with the new styling.
Okay, this was hardly the most exciting launch that DIMS saw, but the new Mazda CX-5 is a reasonably big deal for ‘normal’ car owners. The previous one was launched in 2012, and earlier this year, Mazda unveiled a brand-new one. Now it’s available in the Middle East, too. There’s refreshed and sharp styling inside and out, a new range of ‘SkyActiv’ engines designed to be fuel-efficient and powerful, and a whole host of new toys and safety features. While we’ve no word on pricing yet, expect the new CX-5 to be a bargain for what it offers – Mazdas always are.
Another small SUV, the Jaguar E-Pace shares much of its platform with the Range Rover Evoque. That gives you an idea of its size relative to the hugely popular F-Pace, Jaguar’s first SUV that launched a couple of years. Still, the posh small SUV market is pretty competitive – the E-Pace goes up against the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and the Mercedes GLA-Class. On first impressions, we liked the E-Pace’s interior relative the BMW and the Mercedes, but we’ll have to get behind the wheel to see if it stacks up as a good buy. Still, we expect Jag to shift loads of them in this region.
If you’re used to being driven around, rather than driving yourself, the new Audi A8 could be the executive saloon for you. For everyone else, though, the A8 is important because it gives us a preview of what tech we can expect on lesser Audis further down the line. Of particular interest are the autonomous driving functions, such as Traffic Jam Pilot, Bump Detection and Remote Parking. Oh, and the amazing back seats, one of which comes with a foot massager.
While electric cars are all the rage right now, we’ve privately been more bullish about the chances of hydrogen-powered vehicles as the best replacement for petrol. Enter the Mirai, Toyota’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. It may look like a standard saloon car (albeit a very futuristic one) but the technology under the bonnet is properly space-age. Essentially, there’s a miniature, hydrogen-fuelled power plant on board, generating electricity that’s then fed to the electric motors powering the wheels. And all that comes out of the exhaust is H2O – yep, water. The first hydrogen filling station recently opened in the UAE, meaning that you can now buy – and run – a Mirai here, too.
Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio
Finally, confirmation that Alfa Romeo is bringing its new range of cars to the Middle East. At DIMS, we saw the Guilia saloon, as well as the Stelvio SUV. But the pick of the bunch is obviously the Guilia Quadrifoglio, an M3-baiting sports saloon with a Ferrari-developed, twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet. Power is 505 bhp, the 0-100 km/h dash takes 3.6 seconds, and top speed is a dizzying 307 km/h. Has Maserati lost its crown as the top purveyor of Italian saloon cars?
Okay, you might not be interested in this one, but we reckon your children might. The new Jeep Compass has just launched in the UAE, and it’s a much-improved follow-up to the last one (which wasn’t very good). On the outside, you get baby-Grand Cherokee looks, and on the inside, you get a pretty tidy interior with plenty of the tech that you’d expect from the much bigger (and more expensive) Grand Cherokee. Jeep even reckons that the new Compass will go off-road, meaning this is a compact SUV that we can definitely get on board with.