AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Dead on from the front or the back, it looks like just any other new Mercedes-Benz E-class, but take a look at its profile shot and you will no doubt rub your eyes and have a double-take.
It’s an E-class alright, but it doesn’t have two-doors, or even four. No, this one has six-doors and that is what will give you a leg up on all your friends who have E-class Merc’s.
This steel blue limo, which is a 2011 model and has covered just 3105-miles, is based on the E350 model, and retains the factory spec 3.5-liter, V6 engine and its seven-speed automatic gearbox. According to the advert, it can do 149-mph flat-out, so this might just be among the fastest limousines on the planet.
And where will you find this rather special E-class? Dubai of course.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Six Door E-Class
[Source: Alain Class]
Nissan Middle East is offering a special edition VVIP GT-R at an extravagant $266,000 (Dh977,000) price. That means this GT-R is more than double the normal MSRP, and with it you get some gaudy options including 24-karat gold trim.
Something like this probably wouldn’t ever fly in the American market, but it’s a different story in the Middle East. Apparently someone is willing eat the price for a glitzy Godzilla car. The GT-R VVIP features a specially-tuned Bose stereo system, 24-karat gold-plated side panels, front grille, and VVIP badges, and German leather that has been trimmed with a Japanese influence.
You might assume that the added cost comes with performance upgrades, but you would be wrong. The 3.8L twin-turbo engine will remain untouched with 550 horsepower, but something tells us the target market for the VVIP model aren’t performance-minded folks. There are 12 different interior color combinations available, quite a few more than what is offered in dealer showrooms.
Optional carbon ceramic brakes and titanium mufflers are included in the aforementioned price tag. Remove those options that are worth around $40,000 (Dh150,000) and you’re still sitting in one flashy performance car.
However, that does not mean the brand will vanish off the face of the Earth, thanks to a coach-building company called Xenatec. They take a four-door Maybach 57S and get rid of two of its doors. Since they kept the wheelbase the same as the donor car, they gave it longer doors and a sleek coupe body to fill in the gap.
Mechanically the car remains standard because Xenatec wanted the car to be servicable by any Maybach dealer around the world. So while you’ll have the standard cars 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, V12 engine that produces 621-hp, you’ll now also have a sportier looking body to travel around in.
And how much would it cost to have this conversion done? It’ll cost as much as the original donor car. A Xenatec 57S Coupe will cost you a cool $940,000. That’s very nearly Bugatti Veyron money.
Despite the stratospheric price tag, Xenatec has sold quite a few of these uber-coupes through their three main distributors; the factory itself in Germany, a dealer in Saudi Arabia and an armor car firm in Russia.
Finding one of these rare exotics would thus be hard, but we have. A Xenatec Coupe is looking for a new home. It is listed for sale at an exotic car dealership in Dubai, U.A.E. According to the advert, it has no mileage on it. While it is sitting at a used exotic car store, the car is still new.
So while you can still get in touch with Xenatec and pay them to build you a coupe out of your donor 57S, a fully finished example is awaiting you in a desert oasis.
Afterall, we at AutoGuide get a fuzzy good feeling by uniting the rich with expensive cars.
GALLERY: Xenatec Coupe
[Source: Alain Class]
If you’re a fan of car porn (and really, who isn’t), you have to feast your eyes on the new showcase video for the Nissan GT-R.
Brought to you by motor sports film company Clash Production, this flashy video will keep you mesmerized for 2:12… which turns out, is not nearly long enough. Shot against the backdrop of Dubai, we’re treated to the beauty and art that the Nissan GT-R can inspire.
Watch the video after the jump – it’s just over 2 minutes long. But be warned… this video is so cool you may feel the urge to light up a cigarette after it’s done.
[Source: Youtube Via Crank and Piston]
Nissan Europe and JRM Racing will be campaigning this fantastic looking GT-R NISMO GT3 at the upcoming Dubai 24 Hours race. As an official entry for Nissan Europe, the GT-R will be driven by four of Nissan’s championship drivers in 2011.
Almost a dream team if you will, the four drivers campaigning this race car in Dubai are Michael Krumm from Germany, Alex Buncombe from UK, Tom Kimber-Smith from UK and Franck Mailleux from France. Krumm was the FIA GT1 World Champion driving a GT-R GT1 race car last year, while Buncombe was the Blancpain Endurace Series GT4 champion while running a Nissan 370Z. Kimber-Smith took victory at the Le Mans Series and is the LMP2 champion while Mailleux had success at the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and is the LMP2 champion.
Over the last six months, JRM has been rigorously testing and developing the GT-R NISMO GT3 race car, which is powered by a 3.8L twin-turbo V6 with 500-hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Transmission in the GT-R is a Hewland six-speed sequential. It’ll be racing on lightweight 18-inch Rays center-locked, aluminum forged wheels and sports a set of vicious Brembo brakes. The majority of the body components are constructed from carbon composite and plenty of aerodynamic tweaks were done.
Sometimes a negative can really be a positive. Take the Blackberry outage that had users scrambling for a way to communicate earlier this week. It turns out that traffic accidents and fatalities fell drastically during that time period.
The three-day Blackberry service interruption and its effect on driving were especially evident in the Middle East. The National, a local English-language newspaper, reported that in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, accidents fell by 20 to 40 per cent.
“The roads became much safer when Blackberry stopped working,” said Brig. Gen. Hussein Al Harethi, director of the Abu Dhabi police traffic department.
In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, police said they noticed a significant decline in traffic accidents. The drivers most likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents are young men, and traffic accidents fell 20 per cent in Dubai and 40 per cent in Abu Dhabi. Even better news – there were no traffic fatalities during this time. Both countries have recently launched crackdowns on cell phone usage while driving, so this unplanned experiment couldn’t have happened at a better time.
It may take a few weeks to find out what the service interruption’s impact was on driving habits and accidents in other countries around the world.
[Source: Toronto Star]
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer was killed off in 2009 to make way for GM’s new range of car-based crossovers, but evidently there’s still demand for a mid-size, truck based SUV, as Chevrolet has announced a new TrailBlazer based on the upcoming Colorado mid-size pickup.
Given that the Colorado was developed for world markets by GM’s Thailand division, expect the new TrailBlazer to differ from the outgoing vehicle, which could be had with a 6.0L small-block V8. The new TrailBlazer will be unveiled alongside the Colorado at the Dubai Motor Show in November. In the mean time, check out the press release below.
While there are folks in Dubai that can afford to simply toss away a million dollar Enzo, this car, found sitting in a police impound, appears to be one of a growing number of vehicles left behind by people fleeing the country’s strict bankruptcy laws.
With just 400 Enzos ever made (the 400th being a gift to the Pope), this 651-hp V12-powered exotic is destined to be one of the most valuable Ferraris ever.
GALLERY: Abandoned Ferrari Enzo
The $1.6-million Aston Martin One-77 is the fastest and the most powerful production car ever made by the luxury sportscar brand. With just 77 units planned to be produced (hence the name, One-77), it is also quite rare.
So imagine our surprise when we stumbled upon the website for Alain Class Motors, an exotic car dealership in Dubai, U.A.E., who has not one, but two brand new examples of the One-77.
The ad is not a hoax either. This is not some dealer using file photos from the manufacturer to lure people and collect deposits for the possibility of ordering the car. No, this dealer has both of these cars (and plenty of other exotic machinery) sitting in the showroom.
Have your pick from either the white example with the red interior, or the more James Bond-esque gun metal grey with a white interior. Both examples have just delivery miles on them.
The One-77 uses a 7.3-liter, V12 motor that produces 750-hp. Power is sent to the rear-wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters. It can cover the sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and will keep going all the way to 225 mph.
So if you haven’t been hurt by the world’s financial meltdown and you don’t want to order and wait for your car to get built, these two can be had right away. We surely would, if only we could.
[Source: Alain Class Motors]
You have so much money, you don’t know what to do with it. We’d like to offer a suggestion: send your car to the spa. The price tag: A mere £10,000 a week (roughly $16,000).
The “in” thing for car lovers to do seems to be to send their precious automobiles to the “Car Spa,” otherwise known as the Monza Ultimate Detailing and Protection Company in Dubai. To give your car the special treatment (and for that price, we hope it gets a “happy ending”), the service uses the latest in nano-technology to give expensive cars the luxe treatment. It takes a week to complete, and no bare human finger will ever touch the body of the car to ensure perfection.
For the detailing process, the spa uses special microscopic cleaners that remove dirt not visible to the eye. Upholstery is cleaned times before it gets a natural oil rub down, which promotes extra sheen and finishing. To ensure there are no holograms (patches left behind by regular car washes), the spa won’t lay a bare finger on the car during the exterior wash.
If you’ve got a Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini or Jaguar, feel free to bring it in for a week-long pampering session. Right now, most of the customers are British nationals who have shifted base to Dubai, but that doesn’t mean North Americans aren’t welcome. If you’ve got the cash to fly your luxury automobile over there, we’re pretty sure you won’t need to book an appointment to this spa.
[Source: Born Rich]
Modifying wagons isn’t very widely accepted, especially not in Dubai. And that’s a shame because nicely tuned wagons look killer. Needless to say, we were pretty excited as soon as we saw this Cadillac CTS-V Wagon Race Car. Then reality stepped when we realized it’s just a rendering.
The concept is the child of Lap 57′s Emirati race driver Omran Al Owais, and in his own words, “A typical Emirati thinks a wagon is as cool as a chauffeur driving an old smelly Camry Wagon with trunk full of fish baskets.”
Omran and his brother Mohammed both imported CTS-V Wagons from America in hopes to stir the pot a bit in Dubai. “We are hoping this fetish might catch on with other Emiratis and see them ditching their X6Ms and G55s, so that we start seeing serious girls on the road such as the RS6/E63 or the new exciting M5 Wagon. The streets of Jumeirah at night will never be the same.”
Currently the two brothers plan on taking their wagons from Dubai to the Nurburgring and then converting one of them into a true race car, ideally making this rendering a reality. They’re hopes are that these renderings get to the hands of famed Cadillac tuners such as D3 and Hennessey Performance here in America so that brothers can campaign a CTS-V wagon in the UAE GT Championship.
We’re thinking that if the guys want a CTS-V Wagon race car, they should call the team behind the Corvette race cars, Pratte & Miller.
GALLERY: Cadillac CTS-V Wagon Race Car
Apparently shiny gold wraps are already out of style, and in the land of bold and flashy cars, a matte gold Nissan GT-R has surfaced. And surprisingly, this GT-R in Dubai, UAE looks pretty darn good in its matte gold shade.
Your first assumption, probably much like ours, would be that any gold GT-R has no place on this planet. And while it still might be a little too bold for some, we’ll be happy to admit that the matte gold goes really well with the GT-R. Something about it gives the GT-R a little bit of class and luxury, despite it being a very powerful and sporty machine. We could just imagine how killer this car would look if it had some suspension mods to lower it on a set of 20-inch wheels sporting a gold face.
GALLERY: Matte Gold Nissan GT-R
One of the rarest supercars on the planet is the Aston Martin One-77. As the name suggests, only 77 examples of this 7.3-liter, V12 exotic will be made, making it one of the most sought after cars in the world.
It is also seriously fast. Thanks to its 750-hp motor, the One-77 can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and top out at 227-mph, not that you should try that on any road in North America.
In the Middle-East, it’s a different matter, since some of their roads have no limits, and that is where we find a used One-77 up for grabs.
Perhaps used is the wrong word, because this gorgeous white on red example has only delivery miles on the odometer. While the dealer has not listed any asking price on his website, but since Aston Martin charges $1.5-million for one, you can imagine this one won’t be going for much less than that.
[Source: Alain Class]
General Motors has long had a major presence in middle eastern markets, particularly in Gulf countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where it has sold large numbers of its American sedans (particularly full sized ones) like the Chevy Impala and Caprice, but with slight equipment differences.
However, there’s also a large percentage of sports car buyers in this part of the world, with the Corvette ranking is one of the more high profile offerings.
Recently, Chevrolet introduced updated variants of the Corvette for Middle Eastern consumption, changes include a Grand Sport model with the dual mode exhaust system as standard (it’s optional on the base car in this region), along with two new paint colors (Orange and Supersonic Blue), with contrasting headlamp pockets, plus an upgraded stereo, new wheel options and Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Car GEN2 tires.
The 2008 Lamborghini Reventon is a very rare car. Only 20 were ever produced, so finding one for sale is not the easiest thing in the world. Finding one that has no mileage is even harder, but we have.
With performance specs like 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph, it is hard to imagine anyone not be tempted to take this 650-hp, Murcielago-derived supercar on a drive and play with its fighter jet inspired instrumentation. However, an owner in Dubai, U.A.E. has done just that. He mustn’t have been crazy about his new car – or maybe he was just crazy, because his unused Reventon is listed on sale at a used exotic car dealership.
After speaking with a representative for the dealer (yes we make long-distance calls to serve you better), we found out that the car still has just delivery mileage on it and the car can be yours if you have a spare $1.5-million at your disposal.
While most of us won’t be able to own a Reventon, follow the link to see more pics and details to help you daydream better.
[Source: Alain Class]
BMW Classic, the division responsible for maintaining and restoring historic BMW vehicles, is auctioning off an M1 and a 3.0CSL at the Bonhams classic car auction in Dubai next month.
BMW will use the sale to promote its racing heritage and raise the profile of the brand. BMW also plans to auction other vehicles in the future. Bonhams has previously auctioned large collections of BMW motorcycles.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
[Source: BMW Blog]
Gallery: BMW M1 and 3.0 CSL
Looking more like something we might find parked in front of the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai than at the booth of a serious German automaker at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Audi had on display an R8 coated in chrome paint.
This was no regular R8 either, but the 525-hp V10-powered model capable of hitting 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
Standard equipment on the new R8 5.2 FSI includes a rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive system Audi magnetic ride, navigation, a 465-watt Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Audi parking system with backup camera, and 10-way heated sport seats.
Audi’s chrome R8 was made specifically for show purposes and the automaker has no plans to offer a chrome version for sale.
GALLERY: Chrome Audi R8 5.2 V10
Suzuki has been in the North American marketplace for a long time, but you’d hardly know it. The Japanese automaker hopes to change all that by stepping into the ultra-competitive mid-size sedan category competing alongside cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
Set to officially launch tomorrow, the Kizashi (or at least that’s the name given to the concept car) was spied just ahead of its debut. The last time we saw the car it was doing some hot weather testing in Dubai and was spied by a citizen journalist. Back then the vehicle was masked in both the front and rear.
What we can see now is a massive front grill along the lines of Audi’s new design or the previous generation VW Golf. The earlier spy photos showed a rather uninspiring car but now with the covers removed its quite striking.
We’ll be sure to update you more photos and full specifications once they become available.
GALLERY: Suzuki Kizashi