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Events Coverage

W MOTORS and ICONIQ MOTORS FLAGSHIP SHOWROOM OPENING

W Motors along with Tianjin-based partner ICONIQ Motors have proudly announced the opening of their first flagship showroom in the world, located at the premium district of City Walk, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Described as “urban living” destination by Meraas, City Walk is nestled in a prestigious neighbourhood close to Dubai main highway “Sheikh Zayed Road” and offers a perfect combination of luxury living, shopping, entertainment and wellness options, within one integrated space.

The new flagship showroom concept was developed around W Motors and ICONIQ lifestyle values and will offer a space not only to exhibit the latest creations penned by the W Motors team but also a combination of lifestyle products and art pieces from around the world.
A true reflection of W Motors values and aesthetics, this new space was conceived and developed by iMagine Interior Decoration LLC, who have successfully combined functional design with artistic craft to create a unique environment enabling guests from all around the world to immerse themselves in W Motors exceptional universe. It is in an art gallery ambiance, that the brands’ guests can enjoy a private coffee break while admiring the exclusive vehicles exhibited at the showroom.

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“ This new flagship showroom is a giant step for W Motors, finally giving us the opportunity to share with the public our world and to permanently display our creations”, as stated by Ralph R. Debbas, W Motors Chairman and CEO.

It is during this flagship showroom private opening event, that the global premiere of W Motors latest creation took place, the most awaited Fenyr SuperSport, in its final production version, in front of regional and global press members as well as select international VIPs.

Designed by W Motors and engineered through the help of illustrious partners worldwide, Magna Steyr Italy and RUF Automobile Germany, the Fenyr SuperSport focuses mainly on performance, speed and driving pleasure without compromising its inherited luxury. The heart of this machine is a one-of-a-kind flat 6-cylinder 3.8L twin turbo, mid-rear engine, 800 horsepower and 1,000 Newton-Metre torque with a 7-speed double clutch transmission. This results in less than 2.7 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) and a top speed exceeding 400 km/h (249 mph).

Talking about the new vehicle unveiling, Ralph R. Debbas stated that “the Fenyr SuperSport is the most incredible car ever produced so far”.

Gathered guests were also able to witness exclusively the regional premiere of the ICONIQ Seven in both its Premium and VIP editions after their successful debut at the acclaimed Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year. Designed by W Motors design studio in Dubai, in collaboration with its partner ICONIQ Motors, the two fully electric MPVs are developed around the passenger with the purpose of bringing the latest in comfort and connectivity.

The ICONIQ Seven Premium Edition brings incredible features when it comes to passenger comfort, a key characteristic since the car was fully developed around the passenger’s experience while the VIP Edition being the ultimate version of the Seven platform, is the most sophisticated and refined fully electric MPV ever created, a combination of luxurious materials, advanced technology and unseen customization levels in its class.

“Today marks a huge milestone for the ICONIQ story, we are thrilled to open our first showroom and design studio. ICONIQ will surprise the Chinese market by incorporating supercar styling and aesthetics DNA into an electric vehicle,” said Alan Wu, President of ICONIQ Motors.

In addition, the famous Fast and Furious 7 Lykan HyperSport was also exhibited in the showroom.

Both partners have also unveiled the “L5 Autonomous Concept” targeted for Expo 2020 in Dubai. This advanced Level 5 vehicle, which is currently in its development stage through the help of world-class engineering and technology companies, such as AKKA Technologies along with several other multinational partners, will be launched mid 2018 in a first demonstration version, to be fully functional for the most anticipated Expo 2020.

“We’ve got a great team here, and it’s an exciting time for us. The investment into the ongoing L5 project further highlights our dedication to giving consumers the very best experience and has allowed us to improve the level of products and services we offer,” said Bruno Lambert, CEO of ICONIQ Motors.

Throughout the event, guests relished exquisite cocktail canapés carefully crafted by Chez Charles catering company while enjoying lounge music in the private courtyard area of the showroom.

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Automotive news

Luxury BMW Vehicles from Abu Dhabi Motors chosen for Abu Dhabi Airport’s VIP Terminal

 New BMW M760Li added, doubling the fleet to ten luxury vehicles at VIP Terminal operated by National Aviation Services (NAS)

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Abu Dhabi Airports’ VIP Terminal, operated by National Aviation Services (NAS), the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets recently took delivery of five new BMW M760Li individual vehicles from Abu Dhabi Motors. This has doubled the current fleet of luxury vehicles at the VIP Terminal in Abu Dhabi International Airport to ten luxury BMW’s in addition to a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Dan Cappell, Acting Chief Commercial Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, commented: “The VIP Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport is a haven of unsurpassed luxury and exclusivity. The expansion of the BMW fleet resonates with what this unique facility is aspiring to offer to its valued customers, as it re-affirms our goal to deliver an-un matched luxurious service that turns the travel experience in to a memorable journey.”

The chauffer driven fleet managed by NAS, facilitates the transport of passengers at the VIP Terminal, to or from the aircraft, comfortably and privately.

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Arno Husselmann, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Motors, said: “We know that passengers passing through the VIP Terminal expect nothing but the best when they travel. These expectations are the demands of typical BMW owners so a partnership was a natural fit. It’s a fitting distinction to see our new BMW M760Li models become part of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s renowned premium travel experience. We are confident that the discerning VIP passengers travelling through the terminal will enjoy and appreciate the new levels of comfort, refinement and luxury in one of our most luxurious BMW models.”

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Johannes Seibert, Managing Director of BMW Group Middle East added: “The BMW Group is very pleased with this partnership. Our new BMW M760Li works perfectly for Abu Dhabi International Airport’s VIP Terminal. Both of them are bearing the same level of incomparable luxury, and the ability to take a travel experience from comfortable to extraordinary. We’re looking forward to seeing how it will enable those seeking a more bespoke journey to enjoy an exclusive, premium, and ultimately relaxing trip.”

The VIP Terminal offers a luxurious ambience for passengers arriving at or departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport. A private access road allows quick passage into the terminal. A dedicated check-in area, customs and immigration facilities ensure that you breeze through all pre-flight formalities. Elegant décor, multiple lounge areas, a large menu selection, Wi-Fi, shower facilities, prayer rooms, smoking area and a variety of other entertainment facilities, makes the VIP Terminal the perfect place to relax and unwind from the stress of traveling. The Diamond Lounge at the VIP Terminal, one of the largest, was historically used as the Royal majlis or sitting area and continues to be as rich and opulent till date.

Khalid Raouf, General Manager of NAS Abu Dhabi said: “At the VIP Terminal, we strive to ensure a relaxed and stress-free journey for passengers through Abu Dhabi International Airport, be it on arrival or departures. The complete NAS experience includes our meet and assist services, lounge facilities as well as luxury transport.  With the new BMW vehicles from Abu Dhabi Motors, added to our fleet, we are ready to offer passengers new levels of indulgence and exclusivity every step of the way.”

NAS has a strong presence in 13 countries across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa; managing 31 airport lounges, and providing ground handling services to seven out of the world’s top ten airlines. With an expanded portfolio of aviation services and certified by IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO), NAS also has demonstrated expertise in supporting local hub carriers in the Middle East and Africa.

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Test Driven

Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury

When it comes to choosing the right vehicle, many factors come into play, especially if the vehicle is made to serve several purposes and satisfy many people.

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We receive many inquiries throughout the year from our readers requesting our professional opinion on certain vehicles, and our reply always has been around the needs of people who will utilize the intended vehicle, thus I will take advantage of this opportunity to illustrate the best scenario on how to choose the perfect vehicle that fits your need.

This year, our annual family vacation was a trip around Dubai, and I had to make a choice for the best vehicle that fits our needs. I personally wanted to drive a sporty looking vehicle and at the same time have a vehicle capable of transforming from an on-road sporty car to an off-road adventure SUV when taking that left turn towards the desert for a 5-minute getaway or for a full of freedom off-road adventure. However, my family’s needs were beyond my personal preferences and I gave them a promise to bring a car that is roomy enough to fit the kids and still be able to satisfy the shopping needs when moving from one mall to another.

I was looking for a mid-size SUV with a sporty and slick design that fits my small family perfectly and can also act as a shopping cart for the wife. An additional advantage of carrying those extra guests if needed would be a plus. Thus, I chose the Land Rover Discovery Sport – HSE Luxury.

The name says it all: “Land Rover Discovery” for off-roading capabilities and needed space; “Sport” for that sportiness in design and “Luxury” for that extra comfort.

I took the Discovery from the dealer and headed to my hotel where my family was staying, and I called them down for the first cruise. You cannot imagine their reaction when they saw this sporty-looking vehicle all wrapped up in gorgeous Firenze Red with its Black Contrast Roof. I mean, I personally was delighted to drive this vehicle all the way to the hotel; it turns heads wherever you go. The design is superb and stylish giving it a familiar family face, and its slick detailing with an aerodynamics silhouette makes it a classy and modern SUV. The lines and cuts are based on the Evoque with a personalized Discovery identity especially when looking at the sportiness of the exterior combined with the uniquely designed LED headlights and taillights that give the Discovery sport its own personality.

The kids jumped into the back seat and started to enjoy the infotainment system as much as I did, especially with the MERIDIAN™ Surround Sound Audio System with 17 Speakers, including Subwoofers 825 Watt Output and rear seat entertainment. Mine was a bit more sophisticated with an HDD Navigation System with Bluetooth® Telephone Connectivity plus Streamed Audio, an eight inch Color Touch-screen, and my own special, five inch Color TFT Driver Information Centre. The whole family was indulged in comfortable and spacy seats wrapped up in Tan Windsor Leather and surrounded with Ebony classy Interior.

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The trips were enjoyable; the driving sensation is truly above and beyond.  The smoothness of the road trips came from all the electronic systems that make your life much easier on-road and off-road. The Discovery Sport comes equipped with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and much more. The LR is powered by a Turbo charged 2.0-Litre Si4 Petrol engine coped with 9-Speed Automatic Transmission with Paddle Shifts capable to generated 240hp @ 5800 rpm and 340Nm of torque @ 1750 rpm.

Beyond the driving sensations of a sporty-looking SUV, one more goal has to be fulfilled. As we moved from one mall to another, the bags were getting thrown in the back from the wife’s shopping fever, and I was seriously doubting which would be maxed out first, my credit cards or the back boot. On the second day, we all wanted to have our getaway, so we left the hotel, picked up my cousin and his wife, and not so surprisingly the Discovery Sport had that extra seating row for those extra guests we picked up on the road. We headed down to an off-road adventure “Desert camping” and reached our remote destination at ease. The suspension systems, great ground clearance, and driving mode selector gave us an enjoyable and respectively smooth ride even off-tarmac. I think that the Discovery Sport has more capabilities than most owners would dare to take it. Just choose between Normal, Mud, Sand, Rocks and Snow modes, then let the car’s sophisticated traction control system do the rest.

So finally, as our annual family vacation came to its end, I can truly say that the Discovery Sport – HSE Luxury is the perfect car for my family. I was able to enjoy a sports car, indulge in luxury, go off-road and push the limits, while my kids were well seated, safe, and entertained, and most importantly the wife had a great shopping time. The Land Rover Discovery Sport – HSE LUXURY is truly a versatile and an all-purpose vehicle for Sport, Adventure, Shopping, Family and more.

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Automotive news

Genesis Supplies Luxury G80 Sedans to Eastern Economic Forum

  • Genesis G80 is the Official Car of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)
  • 150 luxury Genesis G80 sedans transported dignitaries attending the event
  • Meeting hosted delegates from 56 countries in Russian city of Vladivostok

Genesis has supplied 150 of its premium G80 sedans to the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), a high-profile political event held in Vladivostok, Russia, during early September. As the exclusive automotive brand of the forum, Genesis played an important role in providing transportation for prominent political figures from around the world.

“It is a very exciting opportunity for Genesis to partner with the Eastern Economic Forum and provide the official car of the Forum,” Alexey Kalitsev, Managing Director of Genesis in Russia, said. “We are sure that the participating members at this occasion will enjoy the excellent quality and comfort offered by the G80 luxury sedan.”

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The EEF takes place annually in Vladivostok and is one of the major events for the region’s economy. The key goal of the EEF is to strengthen relations within the global investment community, presenting new terms of investment and business, in addition to providing expert evaluation of the economic potential of Russia’s Far East region. This year, the forum was attended by thousands of representatives from 56 different countries.

4,600 representatives of business, expert, and scientific communities and the public from 56 countries in 2016. 4,600 representatives of business, expert, and scientific communities and the public from 56 countries in 2016.

The Genesis brand, which launched during 2016, is experiencing significant global success in selected countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas – including several markets in the Middle East.

“Genesis is rapidly establishing itself as a brand of choice for luxury motoring, which is reflected in its use for official transport at this economic forum,” said Head of Genesis for Africa and the Middle East, Mike Song. “The response to Genesis has been very positive, building its reputation for advanced engineering and high quality.”

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Lifestyle

Roger Dubuis launches Kuwait Limited Edition Excalibur Automatic Titanium

Roger Dubuis, Swiss fine watch maison renowned for its avant-garde style and cutting edge designs, has unveiled a new Excalibur Kuwait Limited Edition, exclusively available for Kuwait watch collectors at Roger Dubuis’ partners, M. Y. Behbehani Group outlets.
The magnificent 28-piece limited edition of the iconic and charismatic Excalibur line, the Excalibur Automatic, is a veritable Collector’s Piece and through its fine lines and stylish presence conveys the very essence of the Geneva-based maison’s penchant for inventiveness, innovation and technical mastery.
Housed in a 42mm black DLC titanium case, this timepiece makes a pronounced impression with its black satin sunburst dial with unique green framed white indexes, sporting the Kuwait national colors at index 3.
The stylish timepieces fits snugly on the wrist with a green rubber and black alligator strap held together by a black folding buckle. Powered by the RD 830 movement, the Excalibur Automatic Titanium Kuwait Limited Edition features x28 engraved on the case-back indicated the number of watches in the limited series.

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Test Driven

Rolls Royce Wraith, Inspired by Music

Rolls Royce, the most luxurious mansion on wheels, has always been a sign of success. Any Rolls Royce owner is sending a straight and loud message to the community saying “I Made It”.

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We decided to take you on a luxurious journey inside a one of a kind mansion that is guaranteed to set new standards for the meaning of the term “luxury”, and for that purpose, the Rolls Royce team blessed us with a very unique flagship, the “Rolls Royce Wraith Inspired by Music”.

Rolls Royce Wraith Inspired by Music defines the true partnership that the British manufacturer has set with famous musicians over the past few decades. Anyone who’s anybody in the showbiz industry owned, at some point, his or her dream luxurious vehicle the “Rolls Royce”.

Prior to taking you on the musical journey of a lifetime, here’s a brief Rock’n’Roll history chapter that truly defines the relationship between successful artists and Rolls Royce, and it is not just the R’n’R initials.

In January 1961, Elvis Presley walked into the Beverley Hills Rolls-Royce dealership. Flush with his success I the music field, as well as a five-year movie deal, he ordered a Rolls-Royce Phantom V; the only motor car in the world that could possibly befit his status as the ‘King of Rock & Roll’.

John Lennon acquired a Phantom V in 1965. He custom-made various trailblazing embellishments including a television, portable refrigerator, record player, and the first blacked-out windows to appear on a car in England. He was highly impressed with the interior and its comfort that he is reported to have converted the rear seats into a double bed.

And the legends go on.

As such, the luxurious vehicle manufacturer decided to create a unique edition as a tribute to those brilliant legendary artists that changed our lives and reformed the music that inspires us “Rolls Royce Wraith Inspired by Music”.

The Rolls Royce Wraith Inspired by Music is based on the Wraith fastback, one of the most iconic Rolls Royce produced. It comes equipped with a 6.6-liter twin turbo V12 engine that can sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 250km/h. However, what is astonishing is perhaps the silence and complete sound isolation that you get when sitting in this first class cockpit; it almost feels quieter than a library at closing time.

The designers of this musical piece of art had a different say and went all the way to create the ultimate joyful experience in every single detail, guaranteed to shatter that silence.

The Rolls Royce Inspired by Music is not just about the Goodwood’s magnificent bespoke Audio system that comprises of 1300-watt of row dB and sound clarity, it is definitely the most unequalled and unparalleled acoustic experience with its 18-channel hi-fi containing seven tweeters, seven mid-range speakers, a couple of bass boxes, and two ‘exciter’ speakers in the LED star-studded roof lining, which is the roof trademark of the Wraith.

On top of that, and to complete the luxurious yet musical theme, the designers decided to create a musical flair at every corner on the exterior and interior of this musically legendary vehicle. Just by looking at the car, you can clearly notice the melodic inspirations from the black and bronze glittering colors used on the RR. It has a dark Lyrical Copper paintjob on the outside, matched with wood and copper trims throughout the interior for that extra acoustic and deluxe feel. Bespoke items were the highlights of this flagship: the copper shaded dashboard, along with copper door inserts, speaker grilles, the woven leather floor mats and more, not to forget my favorite attraction on the dashboard, a special clock with a bezel designed to echo the look and feel of vinyl records. This Rolls Royce is truly inspired by music.

After this short trip into the details, we will take you on a dream journey filled with sensations and an out of this world musical experience. Imagine that you have just won a once in a lifetime experience for a private party in the most luxurious location and a one-on-one duet with your favorite artist. You are now entering that luxurious mansion, surrounded by the most outstanding musical theme, and your senses heighten as your favorite artist performs right next to you – you can even hear him breathe. You can sense the band playing, and every instrument and every beat counts for the ultimate musical pleasure. This is exactly how we felt for 3 days, driving around in this astonishing Rolls Royce Wraith Inspired by Music.

The Rolls Royce Wraith Inspired by Music brings together the finest materials and a Bespoke sound system to deliver an unrivalled acoustic performance and driving impressions.

The British manufacturer was able to transform a supreme driving experience that you usually get in a Rolls Royce to a dream journey that splashes you with sensations every time you turn the volume up.

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Road Trips

Volvo S90 Elegance In Motion

After enjoying the all-fantastic and all-new Volvo XC90 SUV a couple of months back, I was eager to get my hands on the next Swedish, state-of-the-art flagship, the S90, a luxury mid-sized sedan and Volvo’s latest entry in the luxury Sedan segment.

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I received my invitation to take on this chef- d’oeuvre in one of the most beautiful countries in the Gulf, the Sultanate of Oman, and the trip was on. It all started with a great welcome by the Volvo hostesses in Muscat, and afterwards, we headed on our way to Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, riding in the XC90 – one of my favorite SUVs- for a 45-minute drive from the airport to our resort. It was relaxing and at the same time full of anxiousness as I couldn’t wait to experience the S90 up close and personal.

Arriving at the resort, Volvo made us feel welcome and helped us live the true experience of the luxurious S90 from the very start. Premium cars require a premium experience, and the Swedish manufacturer was not about to compromise on any detail. The rooms were super comfortable with a view to die for. The atmosphere was so relaxing and quiet, and I even had my own private beach.

With a few hours to spare before the Regional launch of the S90, I took a short break and headed to the beach for a quick, warm summer breeze siesta. Swinging on the hammock, I couldn’t but wonder, would the All-New Volvo S90 be as enjoyable as the XC90 and will it be able to perform and drive like the wide range of luxury Sedans already present in the market for quite some time?

Finally, the wait was over and we are heading towards the regional launch event to meet up with our long awaited executive. As we entered the ballroom, there it was, parked inside under the spotlight, just like a CEO waiting to receive his lifetime achievement award, all wrapped up in a silver tuxedo, shiny and ready to take on the world.

As I approached slowly towards the S90, the details on the exterior started to reveal themselves. The front of the S90 is simply stylish and well designed, with simple yet elegant features that distinguish this luxury Sedan from its rivals, which are heading towards a more intricate approach. The lines on the hood give the S90 a sporty and elegant feel, the vents and the concave grille centered by the Volvo emblem with a touch of chrome sparkles as you move around its front. The lower lip is there for that extra spicy athletic impression – we were admiring the S90 T6 Polestar. One of my favorite elements of the S90 are the superb headlights that are slightly swept to the side fenders and are characterized by horizontal T-shaped LED elements representing what Volvo likes to call “Thor’s Hammer”, the Scandinavian icon, or as we know it today the Marvel super hero. The “Thor’s Hammer” headlights are Volvo’s own lighting signature with daytime running lights. This feature, alongside the S90 fascia traits, give this Sedan a distinctive character of charm and charisma, suitable to make a long lasting CEO’s kind of first impression. Moving along the S90 side curves, the car shows slightly bigger dimensions than its rivals, with a clean cut design leading all the way to the rear to steal the show with exceptional LED taillights, an executive rear bumper shape, and twin dual exhaust for this S90 T6 PoleStar edition.

Just before the press conference started, I snuck inside the S90 to steal a glimpse from the inside cabinet. The interior was a complete reflection of the exterior with simple, beautiful, and chic designs. 

As soon as you open the door, the Scandinavian warmth feeling surrounds you. The smell of real leather tickles your nose, the touch and feel of comfortable seats unwinds your skin, the sight of coordinated colors delights your sight, silence and acoustic clear music experience comforts your ears, and the taste of luxury spoils your tongue as you indulge your five senses in the modern Danish art of fine living.

Away from poetry, the inside cabinet has a great functional layout with proper display of all that is needed within the driver’s reach. Volvo’s commitment to excellence is clearly shown in the premium material used inside the cabinet, from real leather, to real wood, chrome, and black trims. What is particularly attractive is the amount of technology used to facilitate connectivity and entertainment throughout the journey onboard of this All New-Sedan. Yet the crown jewel of the interior remains the portrait layout touchscreen, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (soon to be released) without a full screen takeover, meaning you can use both your phone and the car’s screen separately.

As the conference began, I was surprised by the amount of technology and safety features installed in the S90, as Mr. Emre Karaer, General Manager of Volvo Cars MENA and CIS, explained. More surprises were headed our way with the detailed approach on the specifics of the New-Sedan, elaborated by Ms. Ozge Ugurluel, Marketing and PR Manager of Volvo Cars MENA and CIS.

The Volvo S90 features state of the art comfort and safety systems that will surely enhance the in-car experience. The new Volvo S90 comes equipped as standard with an advanced semi-autonomous drive feature “Pilot Assist”, a function on top of the adaptive cruise control systems. It gives gentle steering inputs and can guide the car solely via lane markings, without having to lock onto a car ahead.

In addition, the S90 also introduces a first world function for City Safety – large animal detection – a system capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses, or moose, night or day. It also features warnings on pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Combined with Run Off-Road Mitigation systems, these technologies offer an intuitive warning and brake support to help avoid any possible collision.

The S90 has taken the executive driving experience to the next level, delivering high-end luxury enjoyment. To keep up with elegant atmosphere associated with the reveal of the S90, Volvo ended the evening with music, laughter, and a relaxed dinner under the stars, complete with the sound of enchanting waves coming from the resort’s private beach.

The next day was the test drive day; we were looking forward to taking the S90 on a cruise and test its drivability and features. However, not so excited about putting into real test the large animal detection and Run Off-Road mitigation systems; despite our complete confidence in Volvo’s safety features, I mean we are for sure in safe hands but running off large animals and Off-Road spillovers were not exactly part of our plans.

Turning the knob for Engine Start! how cool is that? Then, we were on our way. We took the Sedan for a lovely cruise around the mountainous roads of Oman and got the chance to experience luxury on wheels, feel the comfort of driving, and enjoy the lovely scenery. Inside the cabin, the road silence and complete isolation from the engine and motorway noises was relaxing. On another hand, when music was needed, the musical experience was nearly a theatrical joy. Moreover, we wanted to juice the energy out of that turbocharged and supercharged 4-cynlinder-inline engine coped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox capable of generating 320 Horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, and the experience was beyond expectations.

The Volvo S90 comes in 4 trim levels: R-Design, Inscription, Momentum, and the recently launched Excellence.

In our opinion, the Volvo S90 has enough styling, comfort, immersive luxury, and elegance to compete with rivals from the same sector, and in some points it even exceeds rivals’ offerings. The Volvo S90 is truly a distinctive executive class Sedan, a visual expression that exudes leadership and confidence and can be described in one sentence “Elegance in Motion”.

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Test Driven

Volvo XC90 T6 R-Design AWD PoleStar

North American Truck of the Year 2016

We wanted to start our first UAE test drive with an SUV that marked history, and what would be better than the Volvo XC90, voted recently as the North American Truck of the year in the last edition of Detroit Motor Show 2016. So we called up the guys at Volvo, requesting to test drive this award winning SUV, and we were told that during our visit to UAE the car would not be available. We were extremely disappointed, as we couldn’t think of an alternative to replace what we had already set as a plan.

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The next day, we received a call from Volvo informing us that just recently a new Volvo XC90 had landed in the UAE and that we would be among the first to drive it. That was excellent news, everything was back on track.

On Test Drive day, we showed up at the Volvo Showroom in Dubai, and an amazing surprise was waiting for us in front of the showroom; we wanted to test drive the North American Truck of the year and we got the truck of the year upgraded to T6 AWD R-Design PoleStar in its launching blue color. What a Beauty!

At first glance, I truly fell in love with it. If you are into sporty and luxurious SUVs, this one is definitely your target. We all know that the Swedish manufacturer produces vehicles that are modern and focused on classiness, yet more conservative than other manufacturers when it comes to flashy designs. Well, to me this specific second generation R-Design SUV has what Volvo stands for in terms of classy design, yet it swept my heart away with its new slick, sporty design, equipped with breathtaking LED headlights and a very non-conservative front bumper that screams “sport” in every detail. The curves on this vehicle are outstanding, leading all the way to the rear that is characterized by the new LED taillights design and dual exhaust tips for that extra spice.

When we talk about Volvo vehicles, we cannot but mention safety. The all new XC90 is the safest SUV ever built today, and it comes loaded with so many safety features guaranteeing to keep you and your loved ones safe at all times, on all-terrains, and in every driving condition, all grouped under the Volvo IntelliSafe banner, such as Volvo’s City Safety auto-braking tech, Queue Assist, and so much more.

After being astonished by the exterior and interior of the Scandinavian vehicle, it was time to turn the knob of the engine start and hit the road. We drove this SUV for more than 5 days, and the driving sensation is superb. It has 4 driving modes: ECO for efficiency driving, Comfort for everyday drive, Offroad for rough roads, and Dynamic for high performance.

We tested all 4 systems and got the chance to experience the efficiency of the Drive-E powertrains combining the low-fuel consumption and emissions of a four-cylinder engine with the handling and performance of a six or eight-cylinder. Using just a 2.0L engine 4-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged, Volvo was able to produce 320HP that kicks in when needed and alter its power and emissions according to your driving need and selected drive mode. Now, what if we add the PoleStar blue badge on this SUV? An extra 14 horsepower comes into play, and the engine performance is optimized to give the driver that extra push from low, to mid, to high power ranges. PoleStar optimizes the drivability of this vehicle, especially when it comes to throttle response, gearshift speed, gearshift precision and gear hold, off-throttle response, and overall engine performance.

There’s so much to say about this vehicle in terms of safety, performance, innovation, and technology that I can summarize in one sentence; we just couldn’t get enough.

All of this and more made this SUV one of the best in the industry and triggered 53 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada to vote for the XC90 as North American Truck of the year for 2016, based on several factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for the dollar. We can easily make it 54 with our team joining the North American committee in their decision. The XC90, in every trim, is truly what Volvo’s new strategy in vehicle production stands for.

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Test Driven

Mercedes Benz GLE, Stands For Luxury & Adventure

Image Credit by Andrew Farhat

In any car conversation as soon as you mention the brand Mercedes-Benz, everyone knows you will be talking about luxury, elegance and capabilities whether off-road or on-road. Now add it to the word “GLE” you are talking about one of the most innovative SUV ever built by Mercedes.

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For this review of luxury SUV test drive, we have chosen for you the new breed in Mercedes-Benz lineup the “Mercedes GLE”.

Mercedes-Benz is known to be one of the first ever to build a luxury SUV, previously known as the M Class, the GLE stands for what Mercedes Benz innovation and re-styling is all about.

To start our test drive, we headed down to Gargour Showroom – Mercedes Benz Dealership in Lebanon – to pick our SUV for a two-day test drive. At first glance you can clearly see what Mercedes have done to this vehicle, the name has surely change from the 18 years award winning vehicle the M Class, but that is not just it, there’s a completely new SUV waving for us and waiting to be test driven.

The looks on the exterior is slick; it has all the curves needed for that muscular look which car lovers strive for.
At the front you can evidently spot the overhauled upgrades with complete redesign in every inch; There’s a new bonnet, a new face and the headlights are just a killer coped with the latest Led technologies. Sliding your eyes across and just before reaching the back, this German masterpiece has all what is needed for that sportiness look. Wrapping it up perfectly at the rear with upgraded taillights and tailpipes for that contemporary look. We were stunned.

Test Drive mode on, we took the car for a long cruise into the mountainous roads of Lebanon; the journey was to die for. The cabin was so quite it almost felt like an S-Class, seated comfortably and listening to our favorite tunes was a blast with green scenery all around.

What would a person ask for more? Well with Mercedes there’s always more when it comes to luxury, elegance and technology: the nappa leather comfortable seats, the wood in dash, the technology, the spacious environment and much much more. To us the inside cabin is pure luxury on wheels.

On tarmac, the drive sensation was absolutely magnificent, this vehicle handles smoothly in on-road driving, you can barely hear the engine yet power corrupts and the engine light roaring keeps gashing in your head to push it more. Our ride is a GLE 400, it runs a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine generating 329-hp and 354-lb-ft of torque, so powerful and efficient that will surely make an impression on any car fanatic. The engine is coped with a nine speed state of the art automatic gear box which add more power, more efficiency and most importantly more comfort on gear change. The Mercedes-Benz GLE has a wide selection of engines to chose from: diesel, petrol and surprisingly hybrid and the most awaited is as usual the brutally powerful Mercedes-AMG GLE63 rated at 550 horsepower.

“Make the best of every ground” has become the official slogan for the SUV launch worldwide and in Lebanon, we want to take this to the letter. So to us what is an SUV if it can’t go off-road?

Well driving a Mercedes-Benz supped up with elegance and luxury is not your usual off-roading, rock crawling, mud crushing vehicle, nevertheless if you want it to be, it has all what it takes or so we were told. To prove this point, we took the GLE on a drive in the country side and test it its off-roading capabilities mated with the 4matic all-wheel drive.

On a muddy horse track and in light off-road terrain, it never failed to impress us. The suspension, the transmission, the power, the ground clearance and every tech put into this machine has a function.

To us, this was the wonder of German engineering.

If I want to summarize the GLE in one video scene, I would say when this vehicle is floating on roads, you feel like the music from Star Trek that accompanies the Enterprise when it moves from its dry dock in Space should be playing.

This re-invented Mercedes Benz has a sleek comfortable drive with utmost handling and responsiveness and fits seamlessly with any lifestyle, whether for a family trip on- or off- road, a sporty adventure with friends or just a comfortable driving experience around the city. It is elegant, spacious, and luxurious; it combines traditional classiness with a modern vibe.

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Test Driven The Journey

Premium Getaway In Style And Elegance Onboard The Infiniti Q50

Things have been moving very fast lately for us; pressure is rising and workload is spiking. I personally have been traveling more frequently than usual especially with the early year 2016 planning, preparations and new projects’ implementation. Having all this happening, I’ve decided that I rapidly need a premium getaway to refuel, disconnect and get back fresh and in full throttle ready for the challenges to come.

The planning for this getaway had to be perfect; starting from the chosen vehicle to ensure comfortable drives leading to a perfectly selected luxurious location for a one of a kind relaxing experience. The selection is set; the vehicle that will for sure meet our requirements is the all new Infiniti Q50 with an exceptional executive appearance and premium exterior and interior designs, this was definitely the perfect car for the journey.

Next came the destination’s choice, we wanted a location that is not far from Beirut yet remote from all the city noises, greenery all around and blazed with fresh air, and we wanted to indulge ourselves in the refined world of luxury for an ultimate lavish experience, for this there could be only one destination “Grand Hills Hotel and SPA Luxury Collection”.

On D-Day, it was a rainy Saturday afternoon; I picked up the Infiniti Q50 from RYMCO’s showroom and what a beauty. We have already seen and test driven this baby on track in 2015 however the slick design, the aerodynamics and the cutting lines will always take your breath away.

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The keys are in hand and I’m inside the cockpit. Once inside you cannot but appreciate the spacious interior and the premium materials such as Kacchu Aluminum trims used on the dashboard and on door panels, the leather sport design seats and I don’t want to mention the central console which has a futuristic design all over.

Ignition on with the start/stop button and all is set in place thanks to the I-Key with smart access and enhanced memory feature from the seat setup, steering wheel setup and everything that is carefully design to suit your seating preferences.

The journey for a luxurious getaway began; cruising first around the Lebanese coast roads, the trip was calm and despite the Saturday afternoon’s traffic the dual zone adaptive climate control with auto-recirculation and Grape Polyphenol Filter and the onboard entertainment with the Infiniti InTouch feature gave me the relaxing time of my life, to me it was maybe one of the very rare moments where I enjoyed getting stuck in traffic.

Reaching the mountainous road highway uphill to Broumana, the 208-hp 2.0-litre Turbocharged V4 engine with the 7 speed automatic transmission kicked in. Just my luck, the roads were wet from the rainfalls and got the chance to really put to the test the various electronical driving systems that were fitted in the car: Direct Adaptive Steering, Active Trace Control among others. All of these drivability and safety systems will give you the sense of luxury and provide you with full control, precision driving, adaptability and amazing handling while shielding the driver from excessive road vibrations even on some of the uneven roads of the Lebanese highways.

All of this and more truly gave me the feeling that this Infiniti Q50 lives up to its reputation as the ultimate vehicle for executives.

Grand Hills Hotel and SPA Broumana was our destination and as you know people say that the journey itself is half of the intended goals, my quest for the ultimate relaxing and luxury getaway was fulfilled with a relaxing journey onboard of this Q50.

Destination reached, Infinti Q50 parked and it was time for me to enjoy the beautiful scenery of this majestic resort, the location was close to city and completely shield from the city noises.

A nice warm cup of coffee, quite night and relaxing mood was all that I need to wake up fresh the next morning and drive around the resort fishing for some nice shots to truly illustrate the beauty and luxury of both the luxurious resort and the executive vehicle. I didn’t know where to start being swept away by the luxury all around.

Eventually and despite the rain outside, I knew that each corner of Grand Hills hotel was a sight by itself and no matter where I will place the car, the photo will be revealed as cover photo.

The day ended with some great shots and Monday morning was just a round the corner, I had mixed emotions struggling inside me, I spent two days hugged tight by majestic luxury furniture, greenery and scenes to die for and now I’m on my way back inside this beautiful piece of art to RYMCO showroom returning the Q50.

48 hours of pure luxury was all that I needed to help me re-gain my strength and start the upcoming days in a great mood.

Mission accomplished, the premium getaway was achieved.

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