The world’s leading names made their presence felt at this year’s Dubai International Motor Show where they unveiled their latest and greatest models to the region and the world.
The five-day event at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre showcased nine exclusive global debuts, more than 50 regional launches and 11 show-stopping concept cars. New exhibitors to the show included Asma, Dallara, De Macross, McLaren, Pininfarina-Hyperion, Lifan Motors and Switzer. More than 150 exhibitors from around the world made the event one of the biggest and brightest yet.
Here are a few of the show’s other highlights:
· On display for the first time in the Middle East, the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive was a demonstration of BMW’s intelligent networking between driver, vehicle and the outside world. Dynamic design and innovative technology reflect the vision of BMW ConnectedDrive and the potential that can be unleashed through an exchange of information that optimise comfort, safety and Infotainment inside a car. This sensational two-seat roadster concept study was joined by the all-new fifth generation BMW M5 that goes on sale this month, as well as the exclusive BMW 7 Series ‘Steinway & Sons Edition’ and a BMW 7 Series ‘UAE Edition’ which celebrates 40 years of the UAE.
· Celebrating 125 years since company founder Carl Benz built the very first automobile, Mercedes-Benz was first to fire-up the DIMS 2011 engine at the show’s inaugural press conference, unveiling the all new M-Class SUV in the region for the first time, and launching the hotly anticipated new SLK 55 AMG and SLS AMG Roadster in the Middle East. The M-Class unveil precedes an expected launch in early 2012, and follows the regional success of Mercedes-Benz SUV sales performances in 2011 driven by the GLK, ML, GL and the G-Class.
· Chevrolet’s midsize sport utility vehicle, the TrailBlazer, made its global debut. The robust seven-seat show vehicle previews Chevrolet’s latest SUV offering, which will be sold around the world, beginning with Thailand in early 2012. The new-generation TrailBlazer combines the hauling and towing capability of a body-on-frame SUV with the ride comfort and efficiency of a crossover. Developed in tandem with the all-new Chevrolet Colorado pickup by GM Brazil, it shares the same architecture as its truck sibling, with a chassis tuned to combine heavy-duty off-road capability with refined city driving.
· Jaguar chose the event to show off the stunning Jaguar C-X75 supercar, which looks set to go into production from 2013-2015. The Jaguar C-X75 concept vehicle turned heads worldwide when it was first unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September 2010. The stunning range-extended electric supercar capable of reaching 330kph at a blistering acceleration rate of 0-100kph in just 3.4 seconds, offers a glimpse into the future of Jaguar and its commitment to producing beautiful, fast cars powered by sustainable means.
· With its surprise reveal at the show, Audi proved it was venturing into a new market segment: The Audi Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact-class form. The Audi Q3 is being launched with two four-cylinder 2.0 TFSI engines, which combine direct injection with turbocharging and feature an energy recovery system. With power outputs of 170 hp and 211 hp, these engines are as efficient as they are powerful.
· Mazda launched its new CX-5 crossover in the GCC. A compact SUV powered by a 2000 cc SKYACTIV engine offers new driving dynamics for a car in this segment. Mazda was also celebrating its 40-year relationship with Galadari Automobiles, Mazda’s sole distributor in the UAE.