UAE: Leading automakers make some big announcements

A peek into the exciting motoring moments & events in the region

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Mon 27 May 2024, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 May 2024, 12:19 PM

We are now in the middle months of 2024 and automakers of all kinds are making big announcements and organising high-profile events before the sizzling summer sun sets in on the region. From super mobiles to practical services for motorists, these are some of the highlights of the weeks gone by.

Lamborghini Urus SE, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid super SUV arrives in the Middle East

Italian supercar manufacturer, Automobili Lamborghini has introduced the Lamborghini Urus SE – the brand’s first plug-in hybrid super SUV – in the Middle East. The all-new variant was unveiled to customers and media members during an invite-only event held at the One&Only One Za'abeel in Dubai.

Based on the highly sought-after Urus SUV, the SE features a tweaked exterior design with optimised aerodynamics, which includes a new floating bonnet, new headlight clusters featuring matrix LED technology, a reviewed bumper and front grille, a new rear diffuser, and a completely redesigned taillamp grille inspired by supercars like the Gallardo. The follow-on model to the Urus S features a revised cockpit draped in alcantara, anodised aluminium trims and new panel and dashboard coverings. It also features a new version of the Human Machine Interface (HMI) and a dedicated telemetry system included in the Lamborghini Infotainment System (LIS).

The highlight, however, of the Urus SE is the new hybrid powertrain. Thanks to its “two hearts”, thermal and electric, the torque and power numbers achieved are the highest ever, while boasting an 80 per cent reduction in emissions. Together, they produce 800 PS of peak power and 800 Nm of torque, allowing the SE to sprint from 100 km/h from a standstill in 3.4 seconds and hit a Vmax of 312 km/h. It is also claimed to do over 60 km range in electric-only mode.

Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini Chairman & CEO, said, “With the Urus SE, we’ve taken another step towards the future in line with our Direzione Cor Tauri strategy, moving ahead with the electrification of the range and the path toward decarbonisation that began with the introduction of the Revuelto super sports car in March 2023.” When asked about whether Italian automaker would release a hardcore off-road variant of the Urus, like the fabulous Sterrato is to the Huracan supercar range, Winkelmann remained tight-lipped, but we remain hopeful.

All-new Geely Starray crossover SUV makes it UAE debut

AGMC, the official distributor of Geely vehicles in the UAE, announced the launch of the all-new Geely Starray crossover SUV, at an event held at Warehouse 46 at the Alserkal Avenue.

While we’ve seen a swarm of Chinese SUVs enter the market, the Starray, which is based on Geely’s hallmark Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), promises to be different, thanks to its future-forward design and astronomy-inspired themes. It sports angular bodywork, a bold front fascia with its “coordinated” daytime running lights, an interesting multi-axis taillight design and 20-inch dual-tone wheels. The interior features avant-garde brown leather seats, a 13.2-inch infotainment system, diamond-cut gear selector and 8 INFINITY speakers.

Equipped with features like 12-seat adjustments for the driver’s seat, seat ventilation and a Head-Up Display that projects vital information onto the windshield, the Starray is sure to give the more expensive luxury SUVs a run for their money. The Starray also features a 360-degree HD camera that provides an all-encompassing view and a host of other safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). It also offers a generous 650 litres of luggage space, with up to 1610 litres available with the rear seats down.

Motivating the Starray is a 2.0T Drive-E 4-cylinder engine that churns out a respectable 218 horses and 325 Nm of torque, and it is mated to a 7-speed DCT offering 98 per cent efficiency and 0.2-second shifts. The all-new Geely Starray is available now starting from Dh84,900 and will take on a sea of SUVs in the highly competitive crossover market.

Al-Futtaim Auto Centers becomes UAE’s first multi-brand aftersales network to launch electric & hybrid vehicle service

Support for owners of sustainable transportation options, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, has reached new heights in the UAE, with Al-Futtaim Auto Centers, the country’s premier multi-brand aftersales network, announcing the launch of specialised maintenance and repair services for EVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles across its 18 facilities. This adds to the efforts of building a comprehensive e-mobility ecosystem in the country.

Drivers of electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles of all makes and models can now take advantage of all the services offered by the centres from maintenance to repair, and diagnostics performed by expert technicians trained at Al-Futtaim Automotive’s E-Mobility Training Centre.

Jawahar Ganesh, managing director of Global Aftersales at Al-Futtaim Automotive, said, “With this groundbreaking launch, we are not only transforming Al-Futtaim Auto Centers into comprehensive hubs for modern mobility needs but also advancing Al-Futtaim Group’s COP28 commitment to bolster the EV ecosystem in the UAE. Our aim is to spark wider e-mobility adoption across the nation, setting a new standard for sustainable progress and customer-centric excellence.”

He further added, “By expanding our services to include EV maintenance and support, we are instilling a greater sense of confidence within customers to make the shift towards greener mobility options, be they individual car owners or fleet customers. Moreover, the commitment extends beyond Al-Futtaim Automotive’s own partner brands to offer repair services for third-party warranty claims, solidifying our aftersales division’s position as progressive industry leaders within the sector.”

The Al-Futtaim Auto Centers operate seven days a week from 8 am to 10 pm, and is said to be fully equipped with cutting-edge technological tools necessary to ensure the highest standard of service to serve owners of all brands of EVs and hybrids.


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