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Test Driven Weekend Drive

Driving the most beautiful car in the world “Velar”

VELAR

Back in November 2017, and while cruising the Dubai Motor Show my eyes fell on the most beautiful creation ever made, it was love at first sight.

Her body is sculptured with perfection, smoothness and exactly how you imagine it will be. If I wanted to create the perfect creature this is how I would have done it. A charismatic appearance, athletic silhouette, just enough rounded curves to make it attractive without overdoing it, the perfect shape with a magnetic rear that you literally cannot take your eyes off it.

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So I came closer to her and ask about her name as she stood gracefully like a princess waiting for her prince charming for that first dance. The name by itself is glamorous and attractive it made me want to know her more. Let me stop here before my wife thinks I’m wooing one of the hostesses at the show. I was truly in love with the “Velar”.

Backing things up a bit, the Velar has one of the best designs in the world and has won several awards in that direction. Our Velar was coloured in one the most elegant colours a Flux Grey with Black Contrast roof and came with a burnished Copper Bumper accents, Range Roger badge on bonnets Vents with side vents, tailgate script for that extra sportiness. On top of that, it was equipped with a Matrix Laser LED headlights with Signature Daytime Running lights and coped with a 22” 9 Split-Spoke Style 9007 Diamond Turned finished. The Velar looks was out of this world.

Fast forward to our test drive, I took hold of the Velar keys and I was ready to drive this astonishing machine. The best part is when you click on the keys to open the door, the shaved handles pop out of the doors, I mean I did that phenomenon several times just to see how it opens and closes. The question is would you buy a car just for its handles? Well, I will.

Inside the cabin, it was a whole different story. Luxury, comfort and technology are what defines the interior of the Velar. The combination of colours of Nimbus/Ebony with Windsor leather and piano black with satin chrome defines the elegance within the Velar. The steering wheel by itself is a design prodigy with Satin Chrome gear shift pedals to enhance the sportier feel. Technology is purely defined by a 12.3” Interactive Driver Display and the Pro Duo touchscreen 10” high definition is the language of the future.

The Velar R-Dynamic came loaded with features that will make your life easier in every way such as enhanced navigation, infotainment and connectivity capabilities, Acoustic Laminated Windscreen, Solar Attenuating Glass, Infrared Absorbing Windscreen, 20-way heated and cooled memory, massage front seats with heated rear seats, Power Recline Rear seat, Split Armrest, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, illuminated metal front tread plates with R-Dynamic branding, Foot Pedal-metal Finish, Tailgate/boot lid-powered with Hands Free and most importantly for the best entertaining journey ever the Meridian Signature Sound System with 23 speakers including Subwoofer 1500 w output.

This SUV is not just a beautiful vehicle. It has comfort, future capabilities and most importantly driving capabilities that will surely surprise any car connoisseur. To prove its Off-roading and driving capabilities, we have decided to take the Velar on a desert Off-roading trip but with an aching heart, I mean why would you take such a beautiful sporty machine made to impress on tarmac roads out in the desert. So why we did it because we can and it can.

On sandy roads, the Velar performed incredibly. The 3.0-Liter V6 Supercharged engine coped with an 8-speed Automatic Transmission generating 357 HP was more than we needed to get through the sandy dunes of Dubai’s desert. Armed with the All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) – Terrain Response 2-, Twin-Speed Transfer Box (High/Low Range) and Active Rear Locking Differential nothing was capable of stopping us. Sand was flying from all sides and the Velar was moving sideways as we turned off the Electronic Traction Control (ETC). it was drifting and dune bashing with elegance.

Our trip on the sand was over and it was time to hit the tarmac again. Adrenaline pumping and closed roads are a superb combination, so we floored down the pedal and we were in for a surprise. I mean the Velar can do 0-100 Km/h in just 5.7 seconds very impressive for an SUV in its class. After the rush, we reached the highway heading towards the hotel and we were exhausted. Throughout the journey, the Velar basically drove itself and even facilitated the parking process since it comes loaded with driving assistance and safety systems exceeding any expectations set out for this SUV. The Velar comes equipped with Torque Vectoring by Braking, Dynamic Response, Adaptive Dynamic Low traction launch Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), Anti-Locking Braking System (ABS), ESP, Roll Stability Control, Trailer Stability Assist (TSA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electric Parking Brake, Electronic Air Suspension, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep assist, Driver Drowsiness Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control and queue assistant, Front and Rear Park Distance Sensor with visual display, rear parking aid Surround Camera System, Wade Sensing, Perpendicular Park Assist, Reverse Traffic Detection, Blind Sport monitoring, Closing Vehicle Sensing and so much more.

Our verdict on this SUV will be biased as we were truly madly deeply in love, we leave it up to you to decide if this the SUV of your dreams or not?

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Categories
Heels & Wheels

Storm chaser – Beauty of the Desert

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Vehicle : Storm Chaser
Model : Jeep Wrangler
Year : 2014

Models : Unknown
Country : Somewhere in the Desert

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Storm chaser - Beauty of the Desert - Wrangler-Heels-On-Wheels-Arab-Motor-World-00

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Automotive news

Nissan demonstrates power at the Dubai International Baja

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Nissan dominated the final lineup of the second edition of the Dubai International Baja, powered by Nissan and AW Rastamani, with four of its cars finishing in the top ten positions.

The UAE’s Mansour Al Helei and his Nissan Patrol Pickup came third in the T1 category, with the regional favourite Nissan Patrol also taking second place in the T2 classification.

Nissan also topped the charts of the GCC competitors, with a Nissan Patrol Pickup and Nissan Navara taking first and second place respectively.

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Kalyana Sivagnanam, President, Nissan Middle East and Regional Vice-President, Africa, Middle East & India Region, was present to award the successful Nissan rally drivers.

Kalyana Sivagnanam said: “We’ve had another very successful year here at the Dubai International Baja, with some highly promising results from our cars and drivers alike. With Nissan cars making up four of the top ten, this event has demonstrated what many in the region already know – that our vehicles are durable and reliable in the challenging desert terrain.”

He also added “At Nissan, we recognize the potential in the motorsports domain globally and here in UAE. Across the region, the sport continues to grow and we are proud to be part of such an exhilarating event that brings joy to participants and fans alike.”

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Test Driven

Discovering Dubai with the All-New Land Rover Discovery First Edition

Alongside our visit to this year’s Dubai International Motor Show 2017, we decided to go beyond the city of dreams and explore the magnificent areas of Dubai outside the tarmac, far from the towers and away from the lights and the fast pace of Dubai’s active life.

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We wanted to explore more and live the tranquility of the desert. For the occasion, we took a private drive to the desert’s oasis in a splendid SUV made to both live the glamourous urban life of the city and discover the adventure of the rural places: “The All-New Land Rover Discovery First Edition”

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As you might have guessed it by now “First Edition” stands for a very unique release by the King of SUVs “Land Rover”. In our opinion, the British manufacturer took the Land Rover Discovery to new heights of premium everything.

On the exterior level, the sleek futuristic and sophisticated design is clearly noticeable from every angle. Land Rover is undoubtedly sending out a message to its rivals “Beat This”. The distinguished Silicon Silver body color combined with black glossy grille and Narvik Black fender vents, door mirror caps and Discovery script are without any doubt a head turner. Everywhere we went with the Discovery First Edition, people can’t help not to stare. I, personally, was gazing at this SUV from minute one, admiring every inch crafted carefully by the British engineers for a more versatile and aerodynamically capable Land Rover Discovery. The design details with focus on smoother modern lines created a more vibrant silhouette of a sporty, luxurious and spacious SUV.

On top of that, the swept to the side signature LED headlights and the distinguished taillights combined with the sharp blades of the 22” Aero V Sparkle silver alloys convey the Discovery’s modernity, strength and fitness in design.

Despite the fact that admiring the vehicle from the outside was a killer sight, it was time to pick up the team and head towards our exploration journey for discovering new places and going above and beyond. Thus as I’m opening the door with my Land Rover Wristband Leisure Activity Key (what a functional invention), one thing was lingering in my head: How come such a bespoke vehicle is not badged?

And the Land Rover stunned me with a wow effect; The British Auto Makers, and in order to reflect its uniqueness, positioned the Bespoke First Edition badge on the B-Pillar of the SUV reminding you as you enter or exit this exceptional Discovery First Edition of its originality and exclusivity. Simply astonishing.

Once inside the cabin, the modern cultural styling is the main title for the First Edition. Premium materials are used all over the inside cabin. Our vehicle came with Tan/Ebony Windsor Leather Interior with Nimbus Contrast Stitching & Ebony Carpet. The eye catcher was actually the exclusive to All-New Discovery First Edition a Cartography Aluminum finisher gracefully laid out on the doors and across the instrument mid-section. The legendary aspect of this item is inspired from the Discovery Journey: the carefully and exclusively crafted map shows different milestones across the UK where the vehicle was designed and built including Land Rover Design headquarters at Gaydon, world-class manufacturing facilities at Solihull and the capital of British design – London. The center console also features the bespoke ‘First Edition’ badge. I was truly amazed.

Elegance and comfort are not the only aspects I enjoyed while driving the First Edition; the 10” Infotainment Touchscreen coped with Multifunction Premium Leather Steering Wheel placing the world at my fingertips as I was pulling away with my friend from city and enjoying our favorite tunes blasting from the MERIDIAN™ Surround Sound Audio System are worthy of being a signature feature of the First Edition.

Another noticeable aspect inside the All-New Discovery First Edition is the cleverly laid out seating and stowage space. You can practically fit anything with the seats up or down. It even comes equipped with Front Centre Console Cooler Compartment and stowage space in every possible location: Hidden Central IP Stowage, Central Hinged Twin Lidded Stowage, First and Second Row Door Bins, Lower Centre Console Stowage, Outboard Driver Side Stowage Bin, Rear Left/Right Stowage Cubby Box, Third Row Stowage and much more. This vehicle is made for every lifestyle.

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Our expedition continues as we approach the desert, we took on a left turn right in the middle of nowhere and headed to what we hope it will be an oasis. We didn’t know exactly what to expect as we have never been in this area before.

Adventure on my mind, discovering on my list and First Edition capabilities is the target. At first, we hit the unpaved roads as the Discovery was sliding smoothly across the pathway with enough power generated from its 3.0 L V6 Supercharged engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission generating 340bhp and 450Nm of torque. As the landscape got tougher moving further into the desert and the sand got smoother, the Discovery despite its elegant and luxurious look revealed its true identity as an off-road capable vehicle ravishing the obstacles the desert threw at our face.

The All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and Terrain Response 2 among other systems such as Hill Descent Control (HDC) with Off-Road ABS, EBD, CBC… monitor the driving conditions and automatically select the correct driving mode to help the driver enjoy an adventurous trip safely like we did.

One thing I regret not being able to test is the 900mm Wading Depth, but hey I was in the desert.

Finally, we reached an area with supreme tranquility, the true meaning of oasis. The lakes surrounded us from one side, the desert from the other side and a huge metal structure that I personally never seen before was there as well, the mission is accomplished.

And Oh, did I mention that the First Edition is actually a 7-seat enabled vehicle loaded with options such as Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Drowsiness Monitoring, Rear Parking Aid with Surround Camera System, Reverse Traffic Detection, Perpendicular Park Assis, Cooled & Heated Front & Rear Seats, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror and most importantly the signature of the First Edition the Intelligent Seat Fold feature.

So wherever you want to go, whoever and whatever you want to take, All-New Discovery First Edition is above and beyond.

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Categories
Off-Road

2014 Jeep Wrangler Fully Loaded and Ready for the Desert

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Image Credit by RAMY 4×4

Make : Jeep
Model : Wrangler
Year : 2014

Owner : Rob De Deken (from Netherlands)
Country : United Arab Emirates
Customized by : RAMY 4×4

Engine and Upgrades:

  • 3.6L V6 Pentastar
  • Rancho Exhaust Parts

Chassis, Suspension and Accessories:

  • Rugged Ridge Wheel Spacer PR BLK 07-11 JK
  • Teraflex Spacer Rear JK 1/2 In JK Lift Kit
  • AEV Suspension 3.5″ 2DR (Teraflex Short Arm JK Rear Upper, Artec JK Front Axle Armor Kit, Teraflex Sleeve Kit Front D-44 JK 2 Sleeves)
  • Teraflex Track Bar
  • Rugged Ridge Ring & Pinion Dana 30 ( 4.56) JK Front
  • Rugged Ridge Ring & Pinion Dana 44 (4.56) JK Rear
  • Rugged Ridge Dana 30 Master Overhaul Kit
  • Rugged Ridge Dana 44 Master Overhaul Kit
  • AEV Pro Cal Modul
  • Limbada Compressor Mounting Frame
  • Extreme Outback Products Closed Air Chuck
  • Extreme Outback 105 Psi Switch
  • Extreme Outback 80 AMP Circuit Breaker
  • Extreme Outback 100 Amp Relay (Continuous Relay)
  • Rugged Ridge A Pillar Switch Pod LH 11-12
  • Rugged Ridge Rocker Switch Amber
  • Warn Winch 9.5xp-s
  • AOR EZ Deflator
  • AOR Valve Remover
  • Pressure Gauge

Wheels and Tires:

  • Cooper AT3 315/70/17 (5 tires)

Exterior:

  • Rugged Ridge RRC Rocker Guards, Black, 07-13 Jeep Wrangler
  • Teraflex A Bump Stop Kit-Rear
  • Gibson Black Ceramic Coated Exhaust
  • Daystar Hood Wrangler, Wrangler JK
  • Extreme Outback P Extreme Air Magnum 12 Volt Compressor
  • Extreme Outback 30′ Polyurethane Coil Hose with Brass Fittings
  • Rugged Ridge Fuel Cover Black Alum JK 07-12
  • Teraflex Handle Grab 3″ 1 Pr. Skin Pack
  • Drake Jeep Jk Pwr Steering Res. Cap
  • Drake Jeep TJ/JK Fuel Cap Black
  • AOR FLG9 9ft Flagstick 3/8″
  • LED lights

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Categories
Road Trips

Lost In The Desert With The All New RAM 1500

The Arabian Desert is probably the harshest place on earth; a landscape of sand full of dunes and emptiness, no living creature can survive its heat and its tough environment. Driving through the Arabian desert is not an easy task and cannot be done without a guide. For off-roaders, it is the ultimate challenge, you will need an outstanding vehicle to cross those sandy dunes and survive the trip.

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Arriving one night earlier than the RAM drive event, we were super excited about crossing the desert with the All-New lineup of RAM 1500, and what better vehicle than the RAM 1500 to take on the challenge with!

Earlier that night, we received our orders to take on the desert while test driving the 2017 RAM 1500 and we were ready for the quest. The most important note we got is to stay with the convoy, follow our guide’s instructions and check-in at the check points created specifically for this trip.

We felt safe with the presence of experts along our side, we decided to crash early in order to be ready for our mission the following/next day.

At the break of dawn, I woke up to the smell of fresh desert rain and just by looking outside my mid-desert hotel window, I could clearly see the long stretched beige carpet of desert sand ready to be RAMmed by the RAM made for this type of terrains. The smell of fresh rain on those sandy dunes and the light morning desert breeze had never felt that so refreshing, and giving us the right amount energy to be ready for the tough day ahead.

Reaching our first check point, we were blessed with the 2017 RAM 1500 Laramie edition 4×4. Seated in the driving seat and taking off with the convoy was exhilarating, we hit the tarmac at first to reach our desert take off destination; it was a joyful ride. Arriving at the start line, we took a 5-minute stop to deflate our tires and set the RAM free to invade the desert.

Along the way, we got separated from the convoy and were left alone with the Laramie in the middle of nowhere. Modern communications and tracking technologies were absolutely useless. We were stranded in the desert and had no clue how to reach our destination!  So I stepped outside my RAM and started to look around for a glimpse of hope how will we be able to reach our destination? it was the only question on my mind.

The sun started to take settle in the middle of the blue sky shining hot, the ground was still wet from the night before and silence was king as tranquility ruled the earth. The only sound heard in that vast desert was the rumbling of that American powerful exhaust reminding us that the RAM was there for us to cross the toughest terrain created by God.

Challenge mode on, our sole goal was to cross those dunes, keep going straight to reach nearby roads and join the convoy. If the mission were to fail, we would be doomed!

I jumped back into my RAM seat and decided to hit those sandbanks powered by the legendary 5.7L HEMI® VVT V8 engine with FuelSaver MDS. Gears set to 4×4 low, just in case, and the truck was on its way flexing with a front suspension system equipped with upper and lower control arms, coil springs and heavy-duty shock absorbers working alongside the rear suspension with multilink coil spring.

I felt sorry for those grains of sand that didn’t really know what had hit them. Crossing from one dune to another, the RAM performed perfectly uphill and downhill, no matter what obstacles we faced along the long journey, we were sure that the Laramie was capable of overcoming them with confidence.   

We were truly RAMming through the desert with 395HP @ 5,600 rpm and torqueing 55 Nm @ 3950 rpm coped with an 8-speed TorqueFlite® automatic transmission, we were unstoppable.

Meanwhile, the heat was rising, the desert was getting harsher by the minute and the ground was not the easiest terrain as it had dried from the rain. Nevertheless, we were enjoying our quest and not just because of the RAM Off-roading capabilities but also because of its nice, cozy, modern, and spacy inside cabin. Leather-faced 40/20/40 high-back front bench seat, heated and ventilated front seats, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic temperature control and humidity sensor, deluxe door trim panel, 10 amplified-speaker system including subwoofer, Uconnect® 8.4 multimedia centre with 8.4-inch touchscreen and so much more made our journey through the desert joyful. I personally liked the front armrest with three cup holders, I mean three cup holders? How much caffeine can anyone consume! However, with the RAM it is either all the way or nothing.

Moreover, we couldn’t help but to notice that the new lineup of RAM is truly a mobile office made for those rural off-site work line. The dashboard is set up to hold clipboards, notes, invoice pads, pens, and tape measures. The console lid is flat, so you can write on it, or do woodwork on it, or rebuild a carburetor, or whatever those offsite guys dream of doing. It made me wish I was an engineer just to put it into real life test.

On the exterior level, it is not just a truck; it is a RAM.I love the exterior; the front is characterized by a large chrome grill centered by the RAM emblem and equipped with fog lamps, premium bi-functional halogen projector headlamps and that aggressive truck look that flashes in the rear view mirror of any car. Moving to the sides, I couldn’t help but notice the chrome, power 6 x 9-inch heated, multifunction mirrors and those 20-inch Chrome-clad aluminum wheels laying under the body-color fender flares, the rear of the RAM is set far away from the front as the truck-bed fills the gap for that extra cargo and decorated with that dual rear exhaust with bright tips. I can certainly confirm that the RAM 1500 is a head-turner, not that there was anyone out there in the desert to turn head.

The journey came to its end as we reached the final check point, re-inflated our tires and hit back the paved roads heading towards our hotel.

After that long day, I can truly state that the 2017 RAM 1500 is an impressive truck, notable in this highly competitive segment for its great ride quality, unique storage solutions, upscale interior, and high overall capability. Thus if you’re the sort of person who loves trucks, and wants a truck, even if there is no valid reason for you to own a truck, or if you are a person that requires a mobile operating office that can go into rural areas and tough terrains and still perform that office work, the All-New RAM 1500 has what it takes.

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