Auto News: A peek into the exciting motoring events and moments in the region

Dubai's automotive scene is heating up with numerous events showcasing the latest vehicles and technologies

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 6:20 PM

As we head into the thick of winter, the automotive scene is heating up with numerous events showcasing the latest vehicles and technologies. Here’s what’s been happening:

Genesis Motor announces its ‘One of One’ program and takes the covers off several special editions

On December 14, the luxury arm of Hyundai Motor Company, Genesis Motor introduced the exclusive ‘One of One’ program to the Middle East market at the Four Seasons Resort, JBR. The 'Distinctly Yours' event was an immersive audio-visual spectacle that seamlessly mingled a near-360-degree, life-size advertorial video with the physical reveal of the vehicles. Under the instruction of Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Creative Officer and 2022’s ‘World Car Person of the Year’, two ‘One of One’ cars were unveiled under the bespoke program. The concept of ‘One of One’, which finds its origins in the art scene, has been applied by Genesis to its hyper-personalized service. The program offers two options, fully personalized vehicles or special editions that embody various sources of inspiration.

The first car revealed was the brand’s first One of One model, a G90 Long Wheel Base sedan with a two-tone, black and white exterior paint with a pearlescent finish. Its black paint features red metallic flakes to subtly match the emphatic red interior. The rear cabin features built-in analogue watches that display three separate time zones and a cooler, a crystal carafe, and glasses in the rear console. The right rear passenger seat features a metallic plate with Donckerwolke’s signature, while the One of One marking also extends to the headrest cushions and treadplates —all of which can be replaced with the customer’s name or signature upon request.

The second car revealed under the One of One program was the GV80 Twilight Special Edition, created exclusively for 20 Middle Eastern customers. The term ‘Twilight’ symbolizes the convergence of two lights and the meeting of two cultures, the Middle East and Korea. The car unveiled came in a two-tone gold and black exterior; the gold embodies the desert sand, and the orange interior depicts the sunset. The other available variant comes in blue - representing the post-sunset Arabian skies – and black. In addition, the amazing, brushed pattern created using a proprietary painting technique conveys the effect of wind on desert sand.

Donckerwolke also revealed three performance-based projects—all in livid Magma colour paint. The gorgeous four-passenger GV80 Coupe Concept, first unveiled in New York last April, is a lifestyle-oriented slant-roof vehicle that combines SUV practicality with sports car dynamism. The second vehicle revealed was the G80 Performance. The aerodynamics and suspension of this sports sedan were modified to enhance the car’s athleticism. This too will be limited to 20 models, exclusively for the Middle East. The final reveal was the jaw-dropping X Gran Berlinetta Concept, first introduced in Barcelona on 2 Dec at the 2023 Gran Turismo World Series Finals. Created as part of Polyphony Digital’s Vision Gran Turismo series, the X Gran Berlinetta Concept can be raced in the video game from January 2024.

BAIC Unveils BJ60 SUV at the ‘Xide of Delight’ Launch Event

Move over Wrangler, there is another new Chinese off-roader in town! On Friday, December 15, BAIC launched the BJ60 mid-size SUV at an outdoor launch event held at Kempinski The Palm.

The BJ60 SUV joins the comprehensive BAIC range of SUVs that includes the BJ40 and BJ80. The SUV which uses a body-on-frame chassis is matched with a rugged angular exterior that sits high on groovy 265-section tyres and looks to attract the off-roading community. While the insides are quite luxurious with leather seats with a massage option, a 10.25-inch instrument cluster, and a 12.8-inch central display.

Powering the BJ60 is a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that makes a whisker over 250 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, which is sure to come in handy offroad. The motor is coupled to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission and the high-riding chassis - with independent suspension at all four corners – gives the BJ40 an incredible wading depth of 750 mm.

With its outstanding off-road-specific features including part-time four-wheel drive, three differential locks, 1-12 grade crawl control system, the BJ60 is claimed to provide excellent off-road performance. While features like the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and the well-insulated quiet cabin are said to provide high levels of driving comfort.

Continental launches two new tyres in the Middle East, one with a Yellow Chilli infusion

Continental, a major global tyre manufacturer, has launched two new innovative tyres, the UltraContact, and CrossContact H/T. These new tyres were revealed at the brand’s annual Contivention event organized at the Ritz Carlton in JBR, Dubai.

The new UltraContact tyres are designed to provide the perfect blend of performance and durability and have been specially developed for both sedans and coupes, including electric and hybrid vehicles. A key ingredient in its manufacturing process is Yellow Chilli. The curious compound is said to help better mileage and guarantee long service life. The UltraShield casing provides damage protection for everyday driving. The harmonious tread pattern design is claimed to deliver compelling performance and short braking distances even on wet roads. Additionally, noise-absorbing elements in the grooves are said to improve driving comfort. The UltraContact range is available in widths from 155 to 245 mm and rim sizes 14 to 20 inches. Also on display was the UltraContact NXT, a sustainable range of tyres produced with up to 65 per cent recycled and renewable material.

The second range that was introduced is called the CrossContact H/T, which is designed for both on-road and off-road performance, as the H/T (highway/terrain) suffix indicates. It's engineered to excel on various terrains and is designed for SUVs, including the electric and hybrid varieties; and is said to provide resistance to aquaplaning ensuring safety in wet weather. It has been manufactured for rim sizes that range from 15 to 21 inches.

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