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

As far as the motoring calendar is concerned, the first quarter of 2024 has been jam-packed. With numerous brand and model launches happening back-to-back, Dubai’s stamps itself further as the world’s automotive hub

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Mon 1 Apr 2024, 5:24 PM

Aston Martin Vantage Gets Stunning Facelift; Launched in Dubai

Following the recent international unveiling of the stunning 2025 Aston Martin Vantage, the newly refreshed model made its Middle East debut during a Suhour event held on 20 March 2024, at the Bulgari Hotel Yacht Club in Dubai.

The ‘baby’ Aston is baby no more as it takes the company’s “Engineered for Real Drivers” tagline quite seriously. It comes powered by a heavily reengineered, hand-built twin-turbo 4.0 V8 engine that churns out stupendous output peaks of 665 PS and 800 Nm of torque. The increase of 155 PS and 115 Nm i.e. 30% and 15% respectively are the biggest bumps we have seen on an successor, from Aston. It also makes the refreshed Vantage the fastest in the nameplate’s history. Thanks to the powerful V8 which is mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic, one can propel the Vantage from standstill to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds…all the way to a 325km/h top speed. The new Vantage also brings a more muscular, more aggressive aesthetics, pilfering elements from the DB12 and DBX. It now has a wider body and a completely redesigned front end. Other highlights include the (reintroduced) iconic Aston Martin side strakes, all-new Matrix LED headlamps, gorgeous 21-inch forged alloys, a new integrated splitter and larger quad exhaust pipes.

Beyond its purpose as a hardcore sports car, the new facelift Vantage has also been endowed an all-new luxury interior setting, drapped in the finest materials and packed with state-of-the-art technologies like dual screens and Bowers & Wilkins audio system. It is the second model to feature Aston Martin’s next-generation infotainment and comes with optional 16-way power adjustable seats and guaranteed space for your golf bag. The first deliveries of Vantage in the Middle East are scheduled to start in Q4 2024, and the price starts at USD 179,000 or Dh657,000 approximately.

As far as the motoring calendar is concerned, the first quarter of 2024 has been jam-packed. With numerous brand and model launches happening back-to-back, Dubai’s stamps itself further as the world’s automotive hub.

Flamboyant New Rolls-Royce Showroom Opens on Sheikh Zayed Road

On 8 March 2024, the world’s most celebrated luxury automotive brand, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars opened the doors of its new showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road. It is imbued with the new Rolls-Royce visual identity, which is designed to resonate with its growing demographics, especially the younger clientele and will be replicated across Rolls-Royce showrooms across the globe.

At the heart of the new showroom sits The Bespoke Commissioning Atelier, created to help customers explore and select personalised surface finishes, wood veneers, leathers, embroidery threads in a variety of vivacious hues, and fabrics for their Bespoke commissions. It also features a hospitality lounge for society’s elites to socialize. With so many standouts, it’s hard to pick what design features are the best, but as I see it, both the programmable overhanging light feature that can be adjusted to suit the silhouette of the vehicle below and the sliding entrance doors that mimic the brand’s Pantheon-inspired grille deserves a mention. Also, on display were four of their spectacular creations like the Spectre, the marque’s first fully electric ultra-luxury Super Coupé; the Phantom ‘Year of the Dragon’, one of four Bespoke creations commissioned to mark the Chinese New Year; the Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis edition which is inspired by the spectacle of a solar eclipse and limited to just 25 examples globally; and finally the Black Badge Cullinan ‘Iced Black Diamond’.

Very recently, AGMC received the “2023 World Dealer of the Year” award at the Rolls-Royce World Dealer Conference in Singapore, and this showroom adds yet another feather in its cap.

Chinese premium EV brand Zeekr Enters UAE Market

Amidst the awe-inspiring architecture of the The Gate, DIFC, on March 6, AW Rostamani Group announced the official launch of Zeekr brand in the UAE. Zeekr, for those who don’t know, is a Chinese premium electric vehicle maker and a subsidiary of Geely Holding Group.

They marked the launch with the roll-out of two of EVs. Zeekr 001 is their flagship product. It’s a 5-seater electric shooting brake (estate-like vehicle) with a range of 620 kilometres. The car also holds four Guinness records in the EV category. The Zeekr X is a lifestyle crossover SUV which has a range of 440 kilometres. Both vehicles can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in just a half hour and get from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 3.8 seconds. Both models also originate from Zeekr’s state-of-the-art R&D center in Sweden and are equipped with an in-car cellular network featuring ECALL functionality and include complimentary internet connectivity for the initial year. AWR also plan to introduce fast charging CCS Type2 superchargers in convenient locations soon.

Notes from my brief interview with Zeekr’s Vice President Mars Chen and Stefan Sielaff, the VP for Global Design, indicate that they have big hopes for Zeekr and that the company was in good hands. Chen mentioned: "The UAE is a country with immense opportunities and a strong demand for premium EVs which aligns well with Zeekr’s timely launch.” While Stehan Sielaff’s words conveyed that a world of infinite opportunities could arise from the use of EVs.

Zeekr’s EVs will be available across AWR showrooms in Rawdhat in Abu Dhabi and on Sheikh Zayed Road during the second quarter of 2024. In the meantime, the two models can be seen at a pop-up within Mall of the Emirates until April 3. The starting price for the Zeekr 001 is AED 226,900 while the Zeekr X’s starts at AED 170,900.


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