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Feature Coverage Videos Test Driven

Insane Video for the 800 horsepower Fenyr on the track

It is no secret that W Motors makes the most beautiful and powerful cars, and what really sets it apart is its Emirati identity. Last spring, we got the opportunity to fully drive one of W Motors Cars “The Fenyr”. However, the test drive was a little bit limiting the full capacity of that wolf as it was performed on the streets of Dubai where speed limits are highly respected. We didn’t fully understand the power behind this machine until…

We were invited by W Motors during the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK to experience the VIP passenger ride and feel the true power of its Fenyr Super Sport on the Goodwood Hill Climb. The driver was a professional with several 24H Le Mans endurance titles. So how can we say no to such experience that will put us behind the wheels and feel firsthand the enormous power of this car?

We arrived at the super sports cars yard, overwhelmed by all the super and hyper cars there, one car stood out with its silky white color that was our ride. Wore the helmet and the right outfit and hopped in inside the Fenyr, as the engines roared and the checkered flag dropped announcing the start of the race; The Fenyr was first on the track which gave us an exhilarating experience as we rushed into the 0-100 KM/h under 2.8 sec you feel your soul leaving your body, to catch it up again as we reach the 200 KM/h in a blink of an eye. This wolf is capable of reaching a top speed of 400 km/h which honestly I don’t remember if we reached it or not as this experience was surreal.

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The Fenyr proved once more that with its twin-turbo 6-cylinder flat mid-engine upgraded by RUF, the experts in Porsche engine tuning, can compete and sometimes exceed the 12-cylinder Super Cars. The Fenyr engine is a 3.8-liter capable of producing 800 horsepower and 980 Nm or torque and if you don’t know what these figures mean all you have to do is watch the video.

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Feature Coverage Videos Test Driven

The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS a future blast from the past

Our story begins today from the late 1950s when the German manufacturer Porsche decided to enter the race arena with a revolutionary car: the “718”.

The “718” of the 1950’s shocked all race enthusiasts by being able to out-race its competitors equipped with a relatively smaller four-cylinder mid-engine. This phenomenon car created a new milestone in the history of automotive racing and manufacturing.

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Fast forward 40 years later to 1996, Porsche introduced the first generation of Boxster, this particular car is one of the main factors that contributed to the financial recovery of Porsche at that time.

To be followed later on with three successful generations of Porsche Boxster, out of which is this 4th generation amazing machine.

Taking our time machine back to the current present, we have decided to experiment the legend of the 718 mixed with the lucky charm of the Boxster adding to it the GTS badge: “The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS”, and there is no better place to go enjoy this experience other than the empty paved desert roads of Dubai.

Our Journey in Dubai began with a Rendez-vous with Two Porsche Boxster fanatics and owners trying to understand the passion behind their attachment to the Boxster previous generations: Mario Maatouq owner of a Porsche Boxster generation II and Melanie Schindler owner of Boxster Generation III GTS and of course I had to show up with the fourth generation Porsche 718 Boxster GTS.

As expected, stories were swapped across about our passion for the Porsche brand especially that I’m a Porsche fanatic myself and the life they lived inside their Porsche noting that both of them own several Porsche as well.

After going through the history of the Boxster and trying to prove which is the best generation, we took a pause and decided to put the 3 cars next to each other for a visual evolution of this amazing machine.

If I want to talk about the car I’m driving: the 4th generation of Boxster, it was clear that this generation has the slickest appearance with the adoption of “Sport design” by Porsche backed up by its completely new front bumper and the latest technology and design for the front and tail headlights.

Paradoxically, although Mario and Milani were dazzled by the new design, Mario was hooked on his second generation Boxster that for him had a unique family value. Melanie insisted that she is somehow connected to her third-generation Boxster from first sight despite the fact that they own several Porsche cars at home. However, the fourth generation had a different appeal for everybody and from here our journey begins.

Once inside the cabin, you cannot but notice that the car you are driving is a GTS by all means. The Porsche 718 Boxster GTS features two standard Sport Seats Plus engraved with the GTS logo on the headrest, a GTS logo on the RPM dials reminding you at all times that this is not an ordinary vehicle. In addition, and for that extra athletic design the Porsche 718 Boxster GTS cockpit comes with Alcantara materials, carbon fiber, and brushed aluminum laid out on most cabin design parts.

The dream starts at the first engine spark as the “GTS” logo welcomes you on the TFT screen coped with a unique symphony emanating from that sporty exhaust system. In just a few seconds, I was pumped up and ready to roll joined by my two Porsche fellows with their 2nd and 3rd generation Boxster. Rooftop down, I was enjoying my time with the new “PCM” infotainment system keeping me company, entrained and connected at all times with the easy to use touch-screen as we cruise the urban side of Dubai.

Unfortunately, Mario and Melanie’s journey came to an end as we reached the last metropolitan scenery of Dubai and started to enter the empty free roads of the tranquil desert. The silence was torn by the thunder of the Boxster’s revving; I was living a performance experience like no other “within speed limits off course” that brought back the history of the legendary 718 in the 1950s taking its competitors by surprise with a smaller engine size.

A quick comparison between the third and fourth generation engines came as a surprise: the first is a 3.4-liter V6 engine and the second is a four-cylinder 2.5-liter turbocharger, however despite the smaller displacement, the 718 produced an additional 35 hp reaching a total of 365 horsepower and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 290 km/h coped with the PDK gearbox.

On the drivability level, the adrenaline rush and action flairs don’t come only from engine performance, it is a combination of several factors that make the Boxster GTS one of the most stable vehicles in speeding cornering. In addition to the mid-car location engine, the complex systems of suspension and stability control using Porsche’s experience in racing give the driver an unprecedented sensation of joy. The 718 Boxster GTS comes equipped with Porsche Active Suspension System “PASM”, PSM Sport and PTV coped with a mechanical rear differential lock, allows aspiring drivers to get closer to the maximum vehicle limits without taking the risk of losing control.

For me, one of the most important features of the fourth generation is the “PTPA” application, allowing the driver to record driving data directly from the race ring on his smartphone and being able to share it on his social media accounts or even analyze his driving techniques.

And if that isn’t enough, for straight line racers like myself the “Launch control” function is what makes it all worthwhile and don’t get me started on that small button on the steering wheel “Sport Response button” that gets you all drooling to get the maximum rush for 20 seconds simulating Hollywood movies experience or even race games.

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Feature Coverage Videos Test Driven Weekend Drive

Unprecedented luxury onboard the Rolls Royce Phantom 2018

On every occasion and at every new release by the British Manufacturer Rolls-Royce, the same eternal question pops up: Do you think that Rolls-Royce Luxury vehicles are made to be self-driven or Chauffeur Driven?

So we took advantage of our presence in the United Arab Emirates, specifically in Dubai, to answer once and for all this eternal question.

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Landing in Dubai for a short 8-hour trip and as a first timer in the city of dreams, I wanted to indulge myself in luxury and elegance but I didn’t know where to start. I initiated a call to my colleague Nabil and asked him to prepare a fast tour around the main landmarks of Dubai.

Stepping out of the hotel, I was immediately stunned with Super Cars and Luxury Cars gathered at the Hotel entrance, however, only one magnificent palatial mansion gleaming in front of my eyes in English white and elegant Tuscan Sun colors captured my attention. It was the 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom the icon of pure elegance and luxury.

Admiring this British Masterpiece moving slowly towards my direction, time froze for a moment as the handsome driver stepped out of the vehicle and gently with a hand gesture invited me in as he opens the doors with a poise. I was transported immediately to the Cinderella Fairytale waiting to step into her carriage for that unforgettable experience.

As the magical moment slips out, I just realized that the Rolls Royce Driver was none other than my colleague Nabil fulfilling his pledge to take me for an unforgettable drive around Dubai filled with Elegance and Luxury. Let the Journey begins.

The rear seat view in the Rolls Royce Phantom was beyond imagination, a fantastic experience that stimulates senses in every aspect. The comfort of the seats along with the luxury materials used from leather with tan and arctic white colors, Paldao veneer and other refined tissues simulate and even exceed any First-Class services. The 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom is luxury at its best.

Having said that, the Rolls Royce Phantom is designed to be the perfect luxury station for any businessmen or women as it comes heavily loaded with connectivity and controls guaranteed to save time and provide the perfect setup to conduct business efficiently.

For successful people, Business and leisure are a must to maintain creativity and excellence in life, the Rolls Royce Phantom is no stranger to that concept as the same connectivity and controls used for business can be implemented in leisure for an extraordinary entertaining experience. The Veneered Picnic Tables along with the folding screens and the astonishing controls of the full vehicle including the entertainment system provide you with a chance to unwind and relax in the rear seats in elegance and style. Taking it a step further, massage seats and reclining seating configuration as you admire the starlight headliner and rest your head on those RR Monogram hand-stitched on all Headrests after that long working day surely exceeds any 5-Star SPA experience.

Pampered in luxury onboard the Rolls Royce Phantom moving from one landmark to another around the busy streets of Dubai, I was intrigued to learn more about the other side of this luxurious mansion “The Driving Experience”. I turned to my colleague Nabil for that different point of view since he took the role of chauffeuring me for these few hours (in my opinion he didn’t seem to mind doing so, I mean he was driving a Rolls Royce Phantom).

The feedback from the cockpit was instant, the smile on his face says it all. The same look and feel of the rear seats are clearly reflected on the front seats as well. The luxury and elegance is laid out in every single detail of the Rolls Royce Phantom 2018 from Art Gallery to the famous Rolls Royce bespoke Watch…, I mean you can literally place your favorite painting or even diamond or Swarovski on the dashboard, our Phantom came with the Regatta Sails in Arctic White Gallery.

As for the driving sensation, the British chef d’oeuvre floats on the roads even on bumpy ones providing ultimate comfort for the driver as well as the passengers. the Rolls Royce comes fully loaded with countless driving assistance, safety and control systems guaranteeing a stress feel and enjoyable drive even on long trips. What captured Nabil’s attention was the newly developed suspension system for that extra comfort and the eight-speed ZF satellite connected gearbox. And Yes he affirmed: “Satellite connected gearbox” that actually receives information via satellite connectivity about the various types and elevation of terrains and automatically adjusts the torque and acceleration to eliminate any chance of discomfort during the journey.

“Now imagine the engine on the Rolls-Royce Phantom”, he added: “We are talking about a V 12-cylinder engine with a capacity of 6.75 liters Twin-Turbo Charged capable of generating 563 horsepower and a torque of 900 N/m @1700 RPM, the sound of that engine must be extremely loud”. In reality, I personally couldn’t hear the engine sound not even any road noise despite that the streets were busy and traffic surrounded us from every angle. Once more Nabil’s input cleared out the picture, the 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom has the best in class road noise reduction with improved glass isolation, 9 layers of paint and even specially designed tires filled with foam eliminating any chance of undesired noise trying to squeeze into the Phantom and disturbing your unwinding.

Lots of attention to details and features are built into this elegant palace, makes it really hard to answer that eternal question posed since the first Phantom was created in 1925.

So will you drive your Rolls Royce Phantom or have it chauffeur driven?

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Feature Coverage Videos Road Trips Test Driven

The All-New Porsche Cayenne 2018 from Fujairah to Oman

The story of the Porsche Cayenne began about 15 years ago. In 2002, Porsche unveiled the first generation of Cayenne, which shocked the world at that time as the first sporty luxurious SUV. The Cayenne sales have surpassed the 770,000 units, creating a new boom in the automotive world and an unparalleled success story in the automotive industry. Now, after the launch of the third generation of Cayenne, the Cayenne is ready to complete the chapters of this success story.

We heard a lot about the new Porsche Cayenne and we saw it at Dubai International Motor Show however the driving experience was completely different and exceeded our expectations.

We started our journey on the Cayenne 2018 from early morning just after sunrise from the Emirate of Fujairah, one of the seven Emirates in the United Arab Emirates, heading towards the Sultanate of Oman. But before we dive in the details of our long awaited trip and feel the rush of the driving experience, admiring the exterior is a must to better understand the new philosophy adopted by the German manufacturer in his All-New 2018 Porsche Cayenne SUV.

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On the platform level, the 2018 Porsche Cayenne was built on a completely new and bigger platform that contributes significantly in increasing the cabin space without oversizing the exterior of the SUV and also contributes greatly in weight reduction despite the presence of a large number of new electronic systems, in addition to being one of the main new factors in maintaining balance and stability while driving. As for the exterior design, the All-New 2018 Cayenne was influenced big time by the traditional successful design of the Cayenne’s previous generations. However, in a quick comparison between the new and previous generations, you can clearly notice the difference on the front of the SUV with bigger bumper vents, a prominent and more elevated hood, adoption of LED headlights and more. Moving to the rear, where the change is undoubtedly dedicated to the New Cayenne, the German manufacturer adopted a Panamera-inspired LED integrated Taillight belt which I personally loved the way it gives the Cayenne its elegance and futuristic design. In addition to the other elements inspired by the sporty design of the 911 such as the new adaptive roof spoiler, the first of its kind in the category of SUV, among other items. In short, the all-new Cayenne became a car that combines the Panamera’s elegance, the 911’s sportiness and the SUV capabilities.

Moving on to the inside of the All-New Cayenne 2018 and as soon as we entered the cabin, we were impressed by the materials used and the layout of controls. The Cayenne reflected its trio design of being at the same time a Panamera, a 911 and a Cayenne. The super comfortable leather seats of the Panamera coped with the one-piece front seat design inspired by the 911 and the wide space of an SUV was even more sporty and stylish. The Piano Black centre console with the elimination of the buttons and moving the controls into the 12.3-inch screen was a true reflection of the new identity and philosophy of the German manufacturer Porsche in elegance and sportiness. The Cayenne placed the driver as the centre of attention, giving him full control over the functions of the car in a safe and convenient layout, and to top it, the Porsche engineers implemented the “Porsche Management System” PCM – to create the perfect link between the driver and the car.

Seated comfortably inside the Porsche Cayenne, we set off on our journey from Fujairah to Oman where we started driving at first on paved roads and got the chance to unleash the Cayenne S powered by a 2.9-liter V6 Twin turbocharged engine producing 440 horsepower coped with the new 8-speed Tiptronic S gearbox. The push and the rush we’ve got gave us a sense of power, especially after setting the driving mode on “Sport +” located on the multi-functional steering wheel, but the real sense of speed and adrenaline rush was indescribable when we pressed the “Sport Response Button”, the Cayenne screamed with all its force for twenty seconds, giving us the sense of speed and driving sensation of a race track. Moreover, and as the Cayenne is also a car inspired by the luxury sedan, it is necessary to mention the complete comfort during the driving experience on the paved roads in addition to sound insulation from outside the car for further comfort and luxury. It is worth mentioning that the SUV also comes in two additional trims besides the Cayenne S: ” The Cayenne Turbo” that comes with an eight-cylinder Twin-Turbo producing 550 hp and capable of reaching 0 to 100 km / h in about 4 seconds and a maximum speed of 286 km / h and the Cayenne base version with a turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine generating 340 horsepower.

The Cayenne is also equipped with a large number of advanced systems that contribute significantly to the driving comfort on all types of roads and speeds in terms of suspension, brakes and electronic systems such as 4D Chassis Control, PDCC and Rear Axle Steering in addition to the three-chamber air suspension and the Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB), which both appear for the first time on any vehicle.

Our journey on the paved roads came to an end as we entered the rugged track in Oman. The driving style changed from normal driving to the off-road mode. Even the Off-road mode has several driving styles that allows the un-experienced driver to enjoy a hassle-free and safe off-road adventure. Our selection of Gravel driving mode was suitable for the nature of the roads we were experiencing.

We ended our off-road trip after more than four hours of comfortable driving despite the rocky nature of the mountain passageways we were cruising. We were truly impressed with the capabilities of this sporty yet elegant machine. On our journey back home, we were able to enjoy the sophisticated entertainment system of the Cayenne “Porsche Connect” and the intelligent AI voice command function that allow the driver to always be connected and put a wide range of services at the driver’s fingertips, all contributing to ease the burden of any long journey.

Finally, we can say that the Porsche Cayenne has exceeded all expectations in its segment and has laid new trends that determine the path to follow when designing a luxury SUV.

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Feature Coverage Videos Test Driven Weekend Drive

Discovering the city of Tripoli in Lebanon on board the Mazda CX-5

As the weekdays come to an end, we have decided to go on an out of ordinary trip for our weekend getaway.

We have decided to adventure in discovering a Lebanese ancient city, one of the oldest in the world and the 2nd in the world to contain the largest quantity of historical monuments in one city; we have decided to tour the city of Tripoli in Lebanon.

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Moreover, and as we were planning our discovery journey, our eyes were set on one extraordinary location to be our first stop in Tripoli. We’ve heard about “The Rashid Karameh International Exhibition Center”, the fifth among the largest exhibition centers in the world in terms of dimensions and variety of construction. An exhibition center that was built in the late 60s’ and early 70s’ of the 20th century with a futuristic vision and a forward-looking outlook.

To match the concept of this chosen location, we needed a car that influenced the automotive manufacturing industry and set the future trend for its manufacturer. We chose Mazda’s compact crossover The “CX-5” 2018 model. This car has revolutionized the Japanese automotive trends and set the path for future designs specifically with the Japanese manufacturer Mazda. In 2011 and during the Tokyo International Motor Show, Mazda introduced for the first time the concept of the Kodo Design or the “Soul of Motion” through the CX-5 first generation. Afterwards the Kodo design became an integral part of the Japanese manufacturer’s identity in all its modern designs.

On D-day and as the sun began to rise, our journey on board the all-new Mazda CX-5 2018 initiated as we hit the Beirut-Tripoli highway. The roads were almost empty, so we took benefit of the occasion and juiced the CX-5 engine in different conditions. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine coped with a six-speed automatic transmission producing 188 horsepower was exactly what we expected it to be. The CX-5 is also equipped with SkyActiv Technology which helps significantly in providing the right amount of power when needed and also helps in reducing fuel consumption and fuel emissions.

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Reaching our first destination in Tripoli, “The Rachid Karameh International Exhibition Center”, we were stunned with the amazing scenery and the variety of sights from concrete to greenery. We took advantage of the superb weather and nature’s mix of lights and colors to take some astonishing photos for the Mazda CX-5.

Mazda’s black colored compact crossover has a captivating exterior. The front of the CX-5 is stylish yet aggressive with a large new design grille centered by Mazda’s enlarged emblem with a 3D effect, a bold statement by the Japanese manufacturer conveying its message of Mazda’ evolution over the past few years and providing a sense of pride when owning any new vehicle from the Mazda’s lineup. The front is also characterized by a chrome strip underneath the grille connecting the two headlights and swept inside the headlights’ design for that “Continuity in Design” feature that symbolizes Mazda’s new identity. The “Continuity in Design” is clearly shown with the similarity in shape between the headlights and taillights of the CX-5 and noticeable with the side lines connecting those lights from front to back for that extra aerodynamics. These lines combined with the muscular shaped fenders provides a more athletic looks on the All-New CX-5.

The photoshoot session is done and now it was time to meet our guide for that promised tour of Tripoli’s historical monuments.

As soon as we entered the inside cabin of the CX-5, a puzzled smile appeared on the face of our guide. He was intrigued with the modern and elegant design of the CX-5 interior. Mazda has adopted a modern and future interior design with a clear change from the previous generation. The materials used from leather and elegant plastic reflected the stylish scheme required in this type of cars. Our guide had a specific question about that peculiar looking wood element carefully laid on the console and door panels. And the answer was simple, Mazda used the “Wood-Metal” material to reveal its intention of combining the elegant feel of classic wood and the modern and futuristic touch of the inside cabin elements. On top of that and for that extra spice of elegance, Mazda also relied on handcrafted stiches for its super comfortable leather seats and steering wheel. The distance between the stiches is exactly the same proving once more that the CX-5 is inspired by classic, handcrafted elegancy with a futuristic approach and design.

Mazda also gave the rear area a “noteworthy” attention in terms of design, comfort and space. The rear seats are as elegant as the front zone and are supported with a hand rest containing a USB charging port and cup holders dedicated for the rear cabin passengers. For storage space, the CX-5 is equipped for both family and adventure seekers, we therefore find a relatively large trunk storage space. The space can be extended considerably for those extra shopping bags or adventure cargo by lowering the rear seats using the designated handles in the trunk of the CX-5.

After that careful dissertation of the interior and exterior designs, we were ready to move and have set course for our 2nd destination: The Crusader Fortress of Tripoli built in the early 12th century. We took some narrow roads and were faced with traffic jams. The Mazda CX-5 is well equipped for that extra comfort in daily drives, the “Auto Hold” option made our life easier in traffic jams. it holds the car standing still on full stop even when the feet are lifted of the brake pedal and moves forward when needed with a single touch on the gas pedal.

After the fortress, we cruised to visit another two archaeological sites located in one destination; the 13th century ” Barsbay Tower ” and the “Ottoman railway station” in the harbor. Although access to them is not that easy, the All-Wheel Drive system with the Active Torque Split functions came in-handy to overcome some mud and rough terrain surrounding the two sites. This have proved that despite the fact that the CX-5 is not built initially for rough off-roading however it does the job when needed for those adventure seekers.

As the day come to an end, our journey in Tripoli came to its last moments with a promise to return soon and continue our visit to the remaining archaeological sites. The trip onboard the Mazda CX-5 was far from being over. As the night laid its wings on the highway, we took benefit from our return trip to Beirut and got the chance to experience the “G Vectoring Control” on those curvy turns and also experience the vast variety of the CX-5’s safety and technological options such as: Adaptive LED Headlights, 7″ screen infotainment, TCS, ABS and so much more.

At the end, it must be said that Mazda has evolved significantly over the generations of the CX-5, and has given Mazda lovers a new car entirely worthy of carrying the Badge of the Japanese distinguished manufacturer “Mazda”.

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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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Interviews and Reports

Jaguar Land Rover insights with JLR executives

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During our visit to Dubai International Motor Show this year, we have visited the Jaguar Land Rover stand and were stunned with the amount of new vehicles released for our market. For that purpose, we sat with Mr. John Edwards Managing Director, Special Operations Division from Jaguar Land Rover to explain the strategy set for the upcoming few years.

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As MD of the SVO division at JLR, what’s coming in this year and what about future projects?

As you have seen today, we have two global debuts and one regional launch. Let’s start with the main attraction the Project 8. We like to call it the crazy car, it all started after Project 7, we were thinking what’s next? Someone at the division came up with the crazy idea to put our most powerful engine into our most lightweight platform and so the Project 8 was born. It is a car designed and engineered by petrol heads for the petrol heads. Project 8 is a track car with 200 MPH as top speed but we wanted a track car more than a straight line racing car and that meant lots of upgrades on the skin as well under it…
Project 8 is an exclusive car that will be produced in 300 unites only. We also have on the stand two global premieres: the Range Rover Sport SVR with carbon fiber bonnet and the SVAutobiography Dynamic with refined luxury. Both vehicles have improved performance and are positioned as a limited edition. Our operations as SVO division have a vision to build unique and distinctive vehicles that really stand out and make a bold statement while maintaining and improving the vehicle in terms of performance and luxury. This our business: Personalization is a form of luxury.
We have also coming up the Discovery SVX which is built on an already very sophisticated vehicle and we are taking it even further.
There are at least two major launches coming soon, we are busy and we are growing and you have to wait to see what’s coming.

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To get a better insight on the JLR in our region, we also got the chance to sit down with Salman Sultan Regional PR and Social Media Manager at Jaguar Land Rover and this is what he has to say.

Where does JLR stands today on the regional level?

Well, we brought several global and regional premieres this year at the Dubai International Motor Show as mentioned earlier by John. Our region has the highest market share for SVR sales in the world specifically in GCC, the evoque in Morocco has the biggest market share among JLR brands in the middle east and number 2 is Lebanon and the Velar is sold out till June 2018, thus JLR gives high importance to our market. The E-Pace is here as regional premiere and the XF Sportbrake also which is set for the UAE and KSA as pilot markets and will be followed by XF Sportbrake R ad XF Sportbrake S. Moreover, Project 8 which is produced in limited edition is also part of the regional strategy, we have already sold 25 units in the region which is a great accomplishment and shows our region’s high interest in the SVO products.

What is JLR strategy in KSA after the royal decree allowing women to drive there?

We have been selling cars for women around the world and KSA is no different. Women in KSA have been buying cars for long time, the change now will be: do I buy a car that is Chauffeur driven or self-driven? To us at JLR we see this in two axes: the first one is the increase in sales especially that our lineup allows the change in buying mentality and the 2nd axe is to empower women to move more into the working field of the automotive industry and we are working hard with our partners to enable that option in KSA. I think this is a great opportunity not only in sales but as an improvement for the whole automotive industry.

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Test Driven

The All New Hyundai IONIQ, Forget About Fuel

The Future is here for Hyundai. Whether we like it or not the future of automotive has been set and is defined in one word “Electric”. Looking 5 years ahead of today, you will probably see all cars coming out of the factory are either hybrid or fully electrical, IONIQ is Hyundai’s way of saying Hello to the future.

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It may look like a normal 5-door hatch Sedan with cool design however the IONIQ is the way out of the fuel consumption dilemma for car owners searching to reduce their monthly fuel budget.

In our step forward into the future, we have decided to test drive the All-New Hyundai IONIQ in an urban environment and take it for a trip outside the city to put it to the test of power and economy.

On the exterior level, the IONIQ doesn’t have an out of this world design like most hybrid cars of today, it reflects the modern design with a touch of cool elements that makes it a car suitable for everyone.
The IONIQ is a 5-door hatch sedan with a Hyundai like identity. The front is characterized by a glossy black grille with an integrated active air flap, the grille flaps open when air is needed to cool the engine and close when not for that extra aerodynamics, how cool is that? The Headlights, HID-Bi Xenon projectors, are Hyundai’s own façade signature coped with the L.E.D. daytime running lights give the IONIQ an ICONIC feel. The arched rear along with the 17” 2-tone alloy provide a spice of sportiness to the vehicle and create an introduction for more athletic design on the rear end. Looking closely on the side fenders, you can notice the Blue-Drive badge, Hyundai’s own statement for Fuel Economy and Environmental Friendly Vehicles, and the Blue Badge is clearly reflected on the modern design of the IONIQ with the touch of blue on the front and rear.

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The Blue look and feel is also a major characteristic of the vast interior cabin. The dashboard and the D-Cut leather steering wheel have a high-tech yet sporty layout with a touch of blue relating to the super comfortable leather seats with blue stiches for that extra energetic design.

The IONIQ comes loaded with connectivity, technology and safety features exceeding its rivals in the same category.

On the Fuel Economy level, the IONIQ really impressed us. We took the car for a 200 km drive along the Lebanese coastal highway and a glitch of uphill mountainous roads, the fuel indicator barely nudged. Every time I looked at the dashboard I see that there’s more than 800 km left for the next Gas Station visit. In this regard, I would like to point out one major disadvantage for the IONIQ; the IONIQ will make you forget about fueling up so make sure to set your timer at least once a month for that gas station visit.

Beyond the fuel economy, the IONIC comes equipped with a 1.6L Kappa Atkinson GDI Engine coped with a 6-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission and a high efficiency Lithium-ion Battery generating a combination of an 104bhp petrol engine and a 60hp electric motor – getting it from 0-100 Km/h in 10.5 seconds; quite impressive for a Green-Energy Sedan. The driving sensation is remarkable as the IONIQ is equipped with Motor Driven Power Steering System.

To wrap it up, the Hyundai IONIQ hybrid whether it comes with the GL or the GLS fully loaded options is the perfect city car that will take the worries out of your daily driving stress and monthly fuel budget with its technology features, fuel economy and comfort.

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Road Trips

An adventure like no other for a SUV Like no other, the All-New Volvo XC60

The Swedish manufacturer of premium cars, Volvo, has been noticeably making a futuristic leap in the auto industry clearly distinguished in all its released lineup during the past few years. I mean who didn’t fall in love with the XC90 and who cannot respect the luxurious S90 and the list goes on.

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Today, we will be sharing with you a nine years old story that took a ravishing turn in March 2017 during the Geneva Motor Show: “The Volvo XC60”.

Since its launch nine years ago, the XC60 became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally, this didn’t stop the Premium Car Maker to take this SUV to the next level with a more adventurous styling, bold move, enhanced comfort and the well-known additional safety features packed in the All-New Volvo XC60.

We got the chance to experience the Volvo XC60 in an adventure like no other suitable for an SUV like no other.

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Our adventure started early at 6:00 am with a kayaking trip down the amazon forest river in Turkey. Seated comfortably inside the Kayak, we began sculling and moving forward on a mysterious journey inside the jungle and out on open waters. Just like the safety features of the Volvo XC60, whenever we stray out of line or are within danger sight, the XC60 Kayaking instructor brings us back to safety. It felt like we had our own Volvo Safety Features inside the Kayak from the Steer Assist system recently added to the ground-breaking City Safety system to the Oncoming Lane Mitigation preventing head-on collisions and Volvo’s Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) that uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions among other features previously introduced on the XC90. When within Volvo Vehicle or with the Volvo team you cannot but feel safe at all times.

Reaching the shores of the beautifully chosen Turkish sanctuary, Volvo team wanted to take the rush up-a-notch, isn’t that what Volvo is all about eventually? So we dropped our Kayaks and got delivery of adventurous mountain bikes ready to take on the next challenge.

The Volvo road team accompanying us along the road and the XC60 insight gave us the energy and determination to go up the mountains riding our bikes and reaching new heights.

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The Volvo team auto piloted our journey and kept us on track, it felt like a semi-autonomous driving technique as they were guiding us when to brake, when to accelerate and when to steer. I couldn’t but compare the biking piloting assistance we had from the Volvo guides with the Pilot Assist feature in the XC60, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h. Not that we had any paved or marked roads or we were able to reach a speed of 130Km/h with our bikes but it surely felt like it.

Drained out from the challenging journey of Kayaking and Bicycling, we couldn’t wait until we drove the XC60 and sense if it felt like what we had experienced so far. So immediately, I hopped into one of those gorgeously sculptured Red XC60 SUV and was ready for the drive.

The XC60 was built to impress, on the exterior level the XC60 had an athletic sculpture with a subtle, timeless quality. From the front end, you immediately notice Volvo’s new design traits; the large front black grill with a touch of chrome centered by Volvo’s diagonally crossed emblem, all tied to Volvo’s new Thor hummer headlights signature leading the way to slightly wide fenders for that sportiness in design. The curvy lines swept all the way back for extra aerodynamics reaching the arched rear of the XC60 are a true identity revealer of the active lifestyle this SUV stands for. The rear is characterized by twin exhaust tailpipes and superb taillight design that gives you the feel of being embraced by your loved ones.

The interior is a true Scandinavian masterpiece. Its masterful composition of well-resolved architecture, beautiful materials and the very latest technology – all perfectly blended together indulge your mind in a true refined experience like no other.

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Now it was time to drive, ignition on and off we go for that long awaited test drive along the cost and mountainous roads of the beautiful Turkey.

The way the XC60 is designed immerses your full senses. The cabin was significantly quiet and combined with the that acoustic infotainment system that cuddles your ears, the new CleanZone four-zone climate system that removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside tickles your noise, the commanding view of the road ahead inspires your sight, the glint of comfort and luxury delights your touch and the taste of well-being waters your mouth, the XC60 is the next generation’s everyday stress-free machinery.

Enjoying the roads of the beautiful touristic area of Marmaris and turning heads wherever we go, time flew and the sun was about to set. We hit the highway and juiced the performance of what’s under the hood. Our XC60 came equipped with the T5 engine generating 254hp more than enough to push this SUV where it needs to go, we swapped to T6 engine along the way and felt the rush of the T6. It had both a turbo and supercharger attached delivering 320hp and 400 Nm of torque. If you thought this is it for the XC60, wait till you drive Volvo’s award-winning T8 Twin Engine petrol plug-in hybrid at the top of the powertrain range, delivering 407hp and acceleration from 0-100 Km in just 5.3 seconds.

The Volvo XC60 floated on tarmac and delivered a true contented driving sensation with a feel of comfort, luxury and most importantly safety.

If you are an adventurous person or a carry family person, the XC60 guarantees to fulfil those needs.

It’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle.

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Test Driven

Maserati GranCabrio Sport with The Trident of Neptune

Maserati is not your ordinary Italian super car manufacturer. Each car produced by the Italian manufacturer has a character of its own and symbolizes the true spirit of what it stands for. The Maserati GranCabrio Sport is a true reflection of the Maserati spirit, combining heritage, luxury, style, and power.

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Our story begins from the Meydan Hotel, the den of Maserati in the UAE, where we picked up the GranCabrio Sport. It was a sunny morning; the car was being delivered, and we were waiting for it passionately. Looking just outside the hotel lobby, a flare splashed into my eyes, reflecting the sunlight, and in just a few seconds, the sight was clear as a Dark Blue Maserati all shiny swayed her way into the driveway.  It was the Maserati GranCabrio Sport with an elegant Blu Oceano color, ready for us to take it on a spin around Dubai City.

From the outside, you can inevitably see that Maserati meant business when they decided to create a four-seater luxurious convertible worthy of holding the Trident of Neptune. At a glance, you will notice Pininfarina’s unmistakable lines reflected all over the gorgeous body of the GranCabrio, and as your heart shivers from the global view, your eyes start nibbling on the details. The aggressive yet elegant front is the first thing that captivates your heart, with a long nose and huge oval grille inspired by its super racing ancestor, the Maserati A6 GCS from 1953, all fitted beneath the perfectly sculptured hood and centered within the bi-xenon headlights with the Maserati signature of luxury. The front was characterized by its elegant yet forceful design with the triple air vents and large nose holding the traditional trident in the center that is both a true homage to the Maserati Legacy and a slick aerodynamic design with improved brakes and engine cooling vents.

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Moving on to the sides, the GranCabrio Sport screamed Maserati all over with its three side vents, “the Maserati’s unique signature”, and the muscular front and rear fenders dreamily sliding from font to end with perfectly defined lines and sharp edges for flawless aerodynamics. Reaching the rear of the GranCabrio Sport with its futuristic design, you cannot but notice its aggressive sportiness with an athletic looking diffuser, two large oval tailpipes, and the Carbon fiber wing – an add-on which comes with the MC package- centered by a third stop light aligned in perfect harmony with the two high-tech triangular taillights embracing the rear muscular fenders. On top of the small upgrades that differentiate the Sport from the rest of the GranCabrio range, ours came with an Aerodynamic package that included: carbon fiber front splitter on front bumper, side mirrors in carbon fiber, door handles in carbon, under door sills in dark look, and a rear bumper in carbon fins.  Underlining its powerful character, the GranCabrio Sport comes equipped with 20’’ Antracite Grey Astro design holding the Trident of Maserati for that extra sporty look.

On the inside, the GranCabrio Sport maintained the luxuriousness, elegance, and sportiness of the exterior with the touch of traditional Italian handcrafted and innovative designs. The smell of Poltrona Frau® finest leather, the hand-stitched Trident logos on the headrest, and the Maserati console watch are all true reflections of heritage and luxury. The new sports seats, drilled aluminum pedals, carbon fiber all over, Trofeo inspired paddles shift, Sport steering wheel, and the GranCabrio Sport badge on the dash, combined with roomy four-seats and the Easy Entry system enabling the front seats to move fully forward blend luxury and space with performance in perfect harmony.

Perfectly seated inside the GranCarbio Sport, it was time for us to hear the engine roar. With the ignition on, the sound of the sports exhaust with bypass valves creates that exhilarating Maserati sound, even at stand still. Equipped with a 4.7-litre V8 hand-assembled by Ferrari engine, the GranCabrio Sport coped with a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission MC Auto Shift is capable of producing 460 horsepower at 7000 rpm and 520Nm of torque on 4750rpm and reaching a top speed of 285 Km/h and an acceleration of 5.0s from 0-100 Km/h.

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All of that was great, but it was time to roll it on the asphalt.

We took the Trident of Neptune on a cruise around Dubai City, and believe me when I say that it was a true head-turner. Everywhere we went it made the perfect appearance. This masterpiece is not too flashy, yet it is graceful and elegant enough to create a long lasting impression. On the highway, it was a completely different story. Maintaining the legally allowed speed limit, we were still able to get that rush of racetrack just by feeling the amount of torque when flooring the pedals, and don’t get me started on the impact of passersby when we switched to sport mode.

Just when we thought that was it for the Italian chef-d’oeuvre, and as soon as the sun started to dip into the sea, we lowered our speed just a tad below 30Km/h and decided to enjoy the GranCabrio Sport as a convertible. In less than 24 seconds, the top was down and the GranCabrio Sport never looked better. Still in sport mode, the new open air musical theatre will give you that adrenaline-charged driving experience every driver is eager to live. The GranCabrio Sport never ceased to amaze me. It is even equipped with a telescopic roll bar system that deploys in less than 190 milliseconds to protect the passengers in case of an unexpected accident or roll over.

Back on the roads, the light breeze caressing your hair as you slide slowly from one lane to another, heading towards that perfect spot to rest after a long drive… that’s a feeling to die for. As the first day ended, the long drive came to an end. The V8 Symphony on open top, or the quiet cabinet with the top up onboard the Maserati, gave us the feeling of driving one of the most stylish and athletic open top cars available on the road today. The GranCabrio Sport is the perfect combination of a four-seater Open Top coupe indulged with heritage, luxury, and performance, capable of crafting that sporty driving sensation in comfort and luxury, even on long journeys. To feel the Maserati passion, you have to drive one.

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Test Driven

Jaguar F-Pace, Seductive British SUV

The Jaguar F-Pace is the latest addition to the Jaguar Family. The British manufacturer finally decided to take part in the worldwide growing market of SUVs and did a splendid job.

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We took advantage of Dubai’s light October weather to have an in-depth look at this SUV that swept the world of its feet when launched back in September 2015, and exceeded all sales expectations worldwide. We had to see for ourselves what the fuss is all about.

We are very familiar with the British elegancy and the way it is reflected within the Jaguar Vehicles, especially that the F-Type, which was in our possession a few weeks earlier. This was a good opportunity to see if the British manufacturer was capable of making an impression that lasts in the SUV sector, just like it did in the premium sport sector.

We have seen the Jaguar F-Pace on several occasions and many times before; however, seeing it in its natural habitat has a completely different impact on our perception. Luckily, we received the 2016 Jaguar F-Pace S with an astonishing Polaris White color, which was so seductive it resembled an Olympic heroine on her wedding night. The controversy and mixed emotions took over as we looked at the F-Pace. It had a sporty look with light muscle curves all over. The front had a sporty slick design with the “S” design front bumper, narrow swept-back Adaptive LED Headlamps with Signature DLR, large grille centered by the Jaguar emblem, three large air vents, a touch of Satin chrome, and the “S” badge for that graceful athletic feel. Despite its relatively vast proportions, the lines from the sides all the way to the rear reflecting the Jaguar’s coupe-like profile coped with narrow window line and a hunkered shape gave it a smooth appeal, the Jaguar F-Pace is a fit female model by all means. The rear has all what is expected from a Jaguar “S” trim. It comes equipped with an aerodynamic design, dual exhaust sport tailpipes, LED taillights inspired from the F-Type, “S” rear bumper gloss black finish, and Satin Chrome diffuser. To wrap it up, this Jag comes equipped with a 20” 5 Spoke with Grey and Diamond Turned Finish. Judging by its exterior, the F-Pace is truly seductive.

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Inside the cabinet, the view was no different. The F-Pace is without a doubt an elegant Jaguar on high wheels. The Jet Interior with Light Oyster Contrast Stitching and Taurus Leather Sports Perforation Seats truly reflect the identity of sportiness and chicness that Jaguar engineers revealed in every high-end Jaguar vehicle. I personally liked the gear knob when it elevates out of the center console, a stolen feature from the F-Type. The Jag SUV comes loaded with so many features, such as Sliding Panoramic Roof, Power Recline Rear Seats, State of the art Infotainment system, InControl Touch Pro Navigation (SSD), 12.3” Instrument Panel Display, Full Screen 3D Map View, and so much more.

On another note, nighttime has a different impact on the F-Pace passengers, with the Tron inspired Interior Mood Lighting system that takes you on a galactic journey when combined with musical notes generated from the 380 Watts MERIDIAN™ Digital Sound System with 11 Speakers.

Furthermore, the F-pace, despite being a medium size SUV, contains a rather large amount of space. It can easily fit 5 adults, even with the coupe-shaped roof, and it also has lots of cargo space distributed ergonomically around the inside cabinet, in addition to 650 liters of boot space with the rear seats in place, expandable to 1,740 liters when the seats are folded flat. In my opinion, the F-Pace could be one of the roomiest, medium size SUVs currently running in the market. So if you are an adventurer looking to stack your gears, a family person with many carry-on items, a woman who happens to like filling the truck with shopping bags, or a person who likes owning a spacious vehicle with multiple talents, the F-Pace has what it takes to fulfil your needs.

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Admiring its look and seeing its features only pushed us passionately to test its capabilities, so we hit the motorway for a nice cruise inside the F-Pace, heading to our shooting destination. The ride was super smooth; the F-Pace felt remarkably car-like to drive. It benefits from quick