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

The UAE has become a haven for car enthusiasts with several events taking place across the country

By George Kuruvilla

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Published: Sun 10 Dec 2023, 4:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 10 Dec 2023, 6:31 PM

Dubai continues its campaign to be the centre of the global automotive scene, as brands continue to choose this Middle Eastern metropolis as their venue for launches and drive events. Here’s a peek into what’s been happening over the past few weeks.

Thousands gather at the Icons of Porsche festival

A record crowd set foot into the Icons of Porsche festival held at the Dubai Design District on November 25 and 26. More specifically, over 27,000 fans entered the venue between 4pm and 10pm over two days. If you do the math, that’s an incredible 38 individuals per minute that came to feast on the Porsche flavour – the most the festival has ever seen since its conception in 2021.

The 3rd edition of the event was a spectacular few night outs not just for Porsche and automotive buffs, but for their families as well, thanks to the live entertainment, a Porsche-centric LEGO stall, a Porsche Design kiosk, a mini marketplace for merchandise, and an Esports Arena. And of course, let’s forget the stars of the show, the large and curated variety of rare and popular Porsche vintage, sports, and racing vehicles.

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Over 27,000 people attended the two-day Porsche festival
Over 27,000 people attended the two-day Porsche festival

Event highlights included the regional premiere of the 718 Spyder RS and the future-forward Vision 357 Speedster concept. Adding extra oodles of visual grandeur to the show were the much-anticipated, all-electric Mission X hypercar concept, the 911 S/T, and a host of other vehicles from the Porsche Museum collection. Also on display was the new Panamera and the special ‘Sonderwunsch’ 911 Turbo that pays homage to the first-ever 911 Turbo.

And it is only befitting that an event of such this scale had a giant inflatable 911. The bright red figure, positioned in the middle of the Icons of Porsche festival, was officially awarded a new Guinness World Record for the ‘largest inflatable vehicle’. The inflatable which measured almost 20 meters in length, stood over six meters tall, and had a width of over eight metres, was based on the shape of the first-generation F-Series 911, in production from 1963 to 1973. This was a tribute to Porsche’s 75th Anniversary year, and the 911 model itself, which celebrates its 60th year in 2023.

Dr Manfred Bräunl, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE said, “This sensational event is now not only the biggest classic car gathering in the Middle East, it has cemented itself as one of the ‘must do’ events on the global car culture events calendar.”

Flagship BYD Showroom Opens in DFC

Customers at the new showroom can view all five models on display at a leisurely pace
Customers at the new showroom can view all five models on display at a leisurely pace

Yet another electric car manufacturer strengthens its Middle Eastern presence. Chinese EV manufacturer BYD, in collaboration with Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company, has opened its all-new flagship showroom at the Discovery Center at Dubai Festival City. The new facility opened its doors to the public on November 23 and it gives customers the chance to experience electric mobility.

The showroom, which stands between Festival Tower and Intercontinental Hotel, has a unique roundel floor plan that covers approximately 800 square meters. The repurposing of an existing building to minimize its carbon footprint is a testament to BYD and Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility’s commitment to environmental sustainability. The strategic choice of location, with direct mall access, is designed to attract a wide range of customers, from casual mall-goers to car enthusiasts.

Reflecting BYDs global design language, the showroom's aesthetic is a mix of clean whites, greys, and warm timber accents. The space is architecturally centred around a conical skylight that fills the interior in diffused natural light during the day and when the moon shines, it is lit by energy-efficient feature lighting. The showroom is also set up in such a manner customers can view all five models on display at a leisurely pace. The showroom’s other unique features include a 6-meter-high curved perimeter display and a cozy lounge café.

Dubai Police adds Mclaren Artura Next-Gen Hybrid Supercar to its Patrol Fleet

The Dubai Police has been lauded the world over for its spectacular fleet of patrol vehicles, the likes of which include Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Ferrari vehicles. The latest to enter the emirate’s law enforcement fleet is the McLaren Artura. The Dubai Police has announced the addition of the Artura as part of a strategic collaboration with McLaren Dubai, and Performance Tuning L.L.C. part of the Juma Khalifa Al Nabooda Group.

The Artura’s claimed 0 to 100 km/h time of 3.0 seconds and 330km/h top speed make it one of the fastest supercars on the market
The Artura’s claimed 0 to 100 km/h time of 3.0 seconds and 330km/h top speed make it one of the fastest supercars on the market

This low-slung ultra-light supercar which now wears the Dubai Police livery is built with an advanced new McLaren Carbon Fibre Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) at its core and swoopy bodywork with cuts, creases, and vents that wrap around it like a befitting glove on a hand. Powering it is the latest 3.0 V6 twin-turbocharged hybrid petrol engine along with an 8-speed transmission and a compact e-motor. Weighing in at 50kg less than a V8, it produces the highest PS/litre per kg of any V6 on the market with the ability to run 31 km in pure EV mode.

The Artura is a plug-in hybrid supercar designed to seamlessly transition between petrol and electric propulsion. With their powers combined, the Artura produces a remarkable 680PS and 720Nm of torque – with the E-Motor adding up to 95PS and 225 Nm of torque, on demand. The Artura’s claimed 0 to 100 km/h time of 3.0 seconds and 330km/h top speed make it one of the fastest supercars on the market. While the claimed CO2 emissions of just 104g/km and a fuel economy figure of 4.6 litres/100km make it the most fuel-efficient McLaren ever produced.

The Artura interior embodies the McLaren signature styling and is rendered with the finest of materials like carbon fibre, leather, and the latest HD screens for instrumentation and infotainment. Of course, it is expected that some purposeful modifications may be made to its exteriors and interior given its purpose.

To find out more about these vehicles, please visit the respective manufacturer and distributor websites.

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