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JAGUAR HEAVEN AT THE GREEN HELL: HAIL AN F-TYPE SVR AND XJR575 RACE TAXI AT THE NÜRBURGRING

Performance car fans can now hail the ultimate taxi rides around one of the world’s most renowned race circuits. The Jaguar Race Taxi experience gives thrill-seekers a full-throttle hot lap in the Jaguar F-TYPE SVR and XJR575, around the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit.

Jaguar Race Taxi passengers will be driven around the world’s most demanding circuit by hand-picked professional drivers, encountering cornering forces of up to 1.2g on the most challenging sections. They can also relive the excitement of their experience around the 20.83km, 73-turns
Green Hell, with an HD video recording of their lap.

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“A ride in the F-TYPE SVR and XJR575 Race Taxi is a thrilling and truly unforgettable experience for any car enthusiast – or anybody who just enjoys going very fast! Our highly experienced professional drivers are veterans of the Nürburgring 24-hour race, making them uniquely qualified to show customers the true potential of these extraordinary supercharged V8 Jaguars.”

Phil Talboys, European Engineering Operations Manager, Jaguar Land Rover

The F-TYPE SVR has been developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations as a 200mph all-weather supercar and is the pinnacle of the F-TYPE range. Powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with 575PS and 700Nm and benefiting from an enhanced chassis and driveline and active aerodynamics, the all-wheel drive F-TYPE SVR delivers supercar performance – in all conditions – and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds (0-60mph in 3.5 seconds).

The Jaguar XJR575 is the fastest and most powerful XJ ever made in the iconic luxury saloon’s
50-year history. Also powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 developing the same maximum power and torque as the F-TYPE SVR, it can reach 100km/h in just 4.4 seconds (0-60 in 4.2 seconds) before reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 300km/h (186mph) while delivering the luxury, refinement and comfort for which the XJ is renowned.

Passenger laps in the two supercharged Jaguars are available until November.

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Automotive news In the News

New 911 GT3 RS sets a lap time of 6:56.4 minutes through the ‘Green Hell’

On April 16 the Porsche 911 GT3 RS set another benchmark for road-approved sports cars at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany: Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre set a lap time in 6:56.4 minutes with the 520 hp GT3 RS. The Frenchman’s lap time was 24 seconds faster than the best time achieved with the previous GT3 RS model. Porsche development driver Lars Kern was sharing driving duties with Estre. Following the 918 Spyder and the 911 GT2 RS, the new GT3 RS is the third production Porsche sports car with a notarised lap time of less than seven minutes on the world’s most demanding race track, known as the ‘Green Hell’. As is customary for record drives, the time was measured around the 20.6-kilometre lap.

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Frank Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars, commented; “No other Porsche model gets as close to racing as the new GT3 RS. Many innovative ideas from top-level motorsport were transferred; for example, from the 911 GT3 R. This is what our philosophy for GT models is about: Highest technology must be fascinating but tangible. In this regard there is no harder test for our ideas than the Nordschleife.”

Andreas Preuninger, Director GT Model Line, added; “All four lap times of both drivers were below seven minutes and only tenths of a second apart. This proves not only the outstanding power of the GT3 RS, but also its extraordinary driveability at the limit. A perfectly composed overall system allows for highly dynamic performance even with a relatively modest engine power. For a driver, each of the car’s thousands of parts have to feel like one – that’s an unbeatable strength of the GT3 RS. And what especially delights me is how much fun Lars and Kévin had when driving that car.”

29-year old Estre began the record lap at 11:40 am in ideal conditions, with 14 degree Celsius ambient and 18 degree Celsius track temperature. “This lap was a sensational experience for me”, he revealed afterwards. “Through the fast corners and on the brakes in particular, the GT3 RS is unbelievably close to our racing car GT3 R. This is also thanks to the new generation of tyres for road going sports cars. I like the engine of the GT3 RS a lot. Up to 9,000 revs per minute from a six-cylinder engine just feels fantastic. The sound is a dream and the torque is massive.”

Since 2016 Kévin Estre belongs to the squad of Porsche works drivers. He competes with the Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that includes the Le Mans 24-Hours. In the ADAC GT Masters he races the 911 GT3 R.

At the Nürburgring the 911 GT3 RS was equipped with the latest generation of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. Optimised especially for track day use, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R is fully compliant with relevant EU and US law. The tyre (265/35 ZR 20 front and 325/30 ZR 21 rear) can soon be ordered at every Porsche Centre and selected dealers or tyre fitters. Its approved fitments include 911 GT3 RS and 911 GT2 RS.

The 911 GT3 RS with motorsport-bred chassis and 383-kW (520-hp), four-litre, high- speed naturally aspirated engine had its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in early March this year. The high-performance sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 312 km/h.

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Events Coverage Feature Coverage Videos

Dub Drive returns: Over 250 Volkswagen cars take over the streets of Dubai

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→  Over 800 people converged from across the region for the largest ever regional gathering of Volkswagen fans

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Dub Drive GCC 2018, the largest gathering of Volkswagen owners and fans in the region, welcomed over 800 visitors at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday 9 March. In its second year, the event hosted by Volkswagen Middle East saw 268 car owners from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates take over the streets of Dubai in the largest convoy, ahead of enjoying a festival of live entertainment, food and track racing.

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Following the success of Dub Drive 2017, regional participants drove thousands of kilometres from their home countries to take part in the event. This year, the event was open to the general public, allowing car enthusiasts to explore a range of classic, limited edition and modified Volkswagen cars while enjoying the family friendly entertainment on offer.

“Dub Drive was introduced in 2017 to highlight our dedication to our fans in the region. This year’s event has surpassed our expectations and we could not have created this without the unity and commitment of the seven different Club’s from across the GCC, coming together as one big family. The energy of the regional Volkswagen community and the passion that owners and fans have for the brand is overwhelming and pushes us to better serve our customers through creating these unique brand experiences,” commented Andrew Savvas, Brand Director, Volkswagen Middle East.

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The 268 car convoy was supported by Emirate Motorsport Federation, RTA, Dubai Police and Civil Defence, creating a network of clear routes for the ultimate Volkswagen fans and ensuring a seamless convoy drive experience through the centre of Dubai.

Dubai welcomed organisers from the world’s biggest Volkswagen clubs, as well as key global Volkswagen personnel including Jost Capito, Managing Director of Volkswagen R GmbH who attended the event with the intention of connecting fans worldwide.

Dub Drive has taken inspiration from an old tradition, Wöerthersee Club Treffen, which is the largest Volkswagen GTI event in the world. The festival started off over 36 years ago in a small village at lake Wöerthersee in Austria by a few Volkswagen fans meeting up, showcasing their cars and exchanging stories. Since then, the event has grown into a three-week-long festival attended by hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen fans from all over Europe.

This year’s Dub Drive Car of the Year Award went to Sameh Helal, from Wolfswagen AUH Club who will now be going to Wöerthersee later this year as his winning prize to continue the experience.

Twice as big as last year Dub Drive 2018 gained the support of key sponsors, Pirelli, Castrol and Volkswagen Accessories.

Carlos Milani, Managing Director Pirelli, Middle East and India said: “As a leader in the premium tyre sector with more than a century of design and manufacturing excellence, this partnership is a natural fit for Pirelli, given Volkswagen’s history and heritage.”

It was great to see so many car enthusiasts in one place doing what they love and the captivating event gave us the perfect platform to engage with this knowledgeable community.”

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Ford Performance Models + Ford GT Race Drivers = One Epic Track Showdown

It’s the ultimate track showdown: Eight models from the Ford Performance global line-up on a circuit together for the very first time, pushed to their limits by the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team drivers.

In a new video from Ford Performance, filmed at the Motorland race circuit near Barcelona, Spain, the Ford F-150 Raptor; Fiesta ST, all-new Fiesta ST, Focus RS, new Mustang GT, Mustang GT350R, Ford GT road car and Ford GT race car go head-to-head in a staggered time trial around one lap of the 5.345 km circuit.

Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Olivier Pla and Stefan Mücke from the World Endurance Championship, and Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, each took the wheel of a Ford Performance model – setting off at intervals and culminating in an eight-way battle through the final bends and finish straight. The time trial was the first and probably only chance to find out if a Fiesta ST could beat a Le Mans-winning Ford GT race car.

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From extra special pickup trucks to Le Mans-winning thoroughbred race cars, Ford Performance vehicles offer unique characters, but share sophisticated driving technologies to deliver exceptional fun to drive experiences. All but two of the cars feature Ford’s EcoBoost engines, from the smallest 3‑cylinder 1.5-litre EcoBoost in the all-new Fiesta ST right up to the 3.5-litre twin turbo EcoBoost in the F-150 Raptor, road-going Ford GT and Ford GT race car.

The Mustang GT350R features a remarkable flat-plane crank V8 that delivers 526 horsepower from 5.2 litres, while the new Mustang GT features the iconic 5.0-litre V8.

Afterwards Harry Tincknell said: “It was a hilarious shoot. Eight racing drivers all given a car to go flat-out in for a race. Anything could have happened and it almost did! It was amazing to be one of the first people to drive the all-new Ford Fiesta ST, one of the most popular cars in the world, and it handled like a dream. “

Richard Westbrook, who drove the Focus RS said: “It was great to take on our Ford Chip Ganassi Racing teammates at a totally different challenge. It was just a blast. Ford Performance offers vehicles that are so capable at very different things and their strengths showed on the track.”

Stefan Mücke said: “Driving the all-new Mustang GT road car on the race track was great fun. It was very special to see all the Ford Performance cars on the track at the same time, and quite brave, too, to do this with a group of competitive racing drivers! It got very close in the final corners as everybody wanted to be first. Great fun and an awesome lap!”

Joey Hand said: “Some of the coolest cats out there drive Mustangs and I love horsepower, so I was crossing my fingers I’d get the GT350R. Things got a little wild on the track, but it was a great time. I’d take them on again.”

Olivier Pla said: “Obviously driving the Ford GT was great around Motorland. You can clearly feel and it is obvious to see how fast this car is. Driving the Ford GT at the limit is very special. The car is a work of art!”

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ELECTRIC vs PETROL DRAG RACE HEADS LINE-UP OF EVENTS DURING ROAD TRIP ACROSS UAE & OMAN

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Global EVRT has revealed the exciting list of events planned for its convoy of drivers during its 1217km Electric Vehicle Road Trip, including the UAE’s first drag race between electric and petrol vehicles.

The event, which sets off from Abu Dhabi on 18thJan, will take in stunning desert landscapes, twisting mountain roads and picturesque coastal drives as it makes its way across the UAE and Oman.

Event organiser, Global EVRT, has also now announced a fantastic line-up of sustainability focused events during the nine-day trip, which will see drivers and passengers get up close and personal with world-leading solar technology and meet the people helping to shape the future of energy in the region and beyond.

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Members of the public are encouraged to join the convoy in their local area for their chance to test drive an electric vehicle and learn more about the fantastic financial and other benefits of owning one through the experts at Emirates NBD, who offer special rates through their Green Auto Loans. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Emirates NBD has taken the lead in green financing, in addition to being a strong supporter and diamond sponsor of the Global EVRT.

Setting off from Abu Dhabi, the fleet of electric cars, including a trio of the Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as Tesla models S and X, will drive 120km for a guided tour of the innovative Shams 1 Solar Park in Madinat Zayed. As one of the largest solar power stations in the world it represents not only a huge step forward for commercial solar energy, but also a clean future energy source for the UAE.  

EVRT Middle East Road Trippers will then drive directly back to Abu Dhabi to charge before setting off for the 270km drive to Oman, passing through some of the UAE’s most stunning deserts and the ‘Garden City’ of Al Ain before arriving at the beautiful coastal city of Sohar after approximately three hours on the road.

The Oman leg of the journey will continue with a drive to the country’s picturesque capital, Muscat, visiting its Botanical Gardens, Sultan Qaboos University and the German University of Technology, where students will be given a chance to test drive the cars.

Day five of the road trip will bring together the key stake holders of Oman in the industries of transport and smart cities, for The Future of Mobility Roundtable discussion. The first event of its kind in Oman, this will be a unique chance for government and industry to explore the country’s successes, challenges and future plans in this sector, in this fast-evolving region.

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When the cars return to the UAE, they will be put through their paces with a drive up the steep mountain roads that lead to the summit of Jebel Jais. However, while the energy sapping drive uphill may take its toll, the smart technology inside the cars means they will automatically recharge during the descent, with up to 40km worth of extra power added to their batteries.

That extra power will come in use for their visit to RAK Race Track where they will take part in a winner takes all drag race. In what is sure to be a fun and thrilling race, the very latest in zero-emission technology will go up against the best that traditional petrol power has to offer with famous drag racer Doug Herbert leading the challenge against the Global EVRT team.

Spectators will get to see first-hand the huge advancements made in the electric vehicle sector as the Chevrolet Bolt EV will race to 100km/h in just 7.3 seconds while the Tesla S, P100D, is expected to take the chequered flag as it can clock the 100km/h mark in just 2.7 seconds – faster than the majority of petrol cars on the market.   

On the final day of the journey the cars will arrive at Dubai’s The Sustainable City for the EVRT Middle East Grand Finale and the e-Mobility Showcase Day. The special event is not only a chance for the public to welcome the EVRT Middle East convoy, but also to find out more about the technology that has powered the cars across two countries through live test drives and showcasing opportunities. 

During the trip a list of VIPs will join the convoy including Formula E presenter Nicki Shields, Chris Ramsay, the first person to complete the Mongol Rally in an Electric Vehicle and Sushil Reddy, the world record breaker for cycling across the world using a solar powered bike.

A network of 18 permanent charging stations will be established along the route to power the convoy of electric cars taking part in the EVRT Middle East 2018. Five official opening ceremonies will take place when the cars reach key locations in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Sohar and Muscat – where there will be two ceremonies.

Anyone with an interest in EV technology is invited to take part in the road trip. Tickets are available for the full journey or for two individual stages with participants able to join for Abu Dhabi to Muscat (January 18th-22nd) or Muscat to Dubai (January 22nd- 26th). Driving experiences will also be offered to the public in Muscat, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah or Dubai.

Ben Pullen, Managing Director of Global EVRT said: “The journey promises to be nine days of fun, educational and inspiring moments and activities that will not only clear up any misunderstanding amongst consumers about what these cars are capable of, but also showcase the natural beauty of this region.

“Driving an electric vehicle is the ideal way to discover the technology that is shaping the transport needs of tomorrow. By establishing a network of charging stations across the 1,217km route, the EVRT Middle East will demonstrate just how capable these vehicles are and how they are a real, practical, and fun option for car buyers today.”

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Performance News

STEEDA DEBUTS Q500 ENFORCER MUSTANG IN EUROPE

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480bhp turnkey car from world’s largest Ford performance specialist revealed at Performance Car Show

Steeda, the world’s largest privately-owned Ford performance-based specialist, has unveiled its first turnkey V8 Mustang for the European Market. Derived from the 5.0 V8 model, the Q500 Enforcer, part of Steeda’s SSV range of tuned Fords, is a practical and usable sports car that offers noticeable improvements in performance, chassis design and styling over the standard Mustang.

Designed to appeal to buyers seeking genuine performance gains many of the changes are found under the Mustang’s skin. By combining a bespoke cold air intake system to increase and stabilise the flow of cool incoming air, revised engine mapping to provide instant throttle response and a custom exhaust that releases the V8 soundtrack that enthusiasts crave, the Q500 develops 480bhp, up from the standard car’s 410bhp and 485lb/ft. of torque – an increase of over 70lb/ft.

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Significant changes have also been made to the Mustang’s chassis and suspension set up. Developed on Steeda’s own test track in Georgia as well as on racetracks including Sebring and Homestead Miami, the Q500 boasts adjustable suspension and chassis upgrades to sharpen responsiveness. These comprise bespoke thicker front and rear adjustable anti-roll bars that feature solid billet ends and mounts, Steeda’s own progressive rate springs, strut tower brace and upgraded bushes for the Mustang’s independent rear suspension sub-frame. The result is a lowered stance designed to offer the comfort of the factory car with improved turn-in, a much more planted rear end and a noticeable reduction in wheel hop and deflection that can affect the standard Mustang.

The Q500 also features Steeda’s sub frame alignment kit to eliminate misalignment caused by a difference in bolt and hole size that has been reported on some factory cars. Customers selecting the optional wheel packages will have Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres fitted as standard, whilst track-focussed customers can opt for the Cup derivative. Steeda’s UK first car, revealed at the Performance Car Show, is fitted with satin black 20” Velgen VMB7 wheels that, despite being one inch larger in diameter, and running larger tyres from Michelin all around (265/35/20 and 295/35/20) are Identical in weight to standard Mustang wheel and tyre combination. 19” wheel options are also available.

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Targeting a ‘factory-plus’ appearance, Steeda’s subtle exterior styling updates tighten the Mustang’s iconic lines. A discrete splitter, developed on Steeda’s race Mustang, reduces lift at the front whilst a polyurethane duck tail has been carefully designed to improve stability yet not adversely affect rear vision. The interior benefits from detail upgrades including Steeda sill trim finishers. A build plate, located under the bonnet and the Steeda script on the rear of the car, confirm its SSV provenance and are only fitted to turnkey cars.

In keeping with the Mustang’s tradition of customisation, Steeda offers a comprehensive range of options suitable for either road or track. The most significant on the demo car is the Steeda Coilover Kit, adding fully adjustable dampers front and rear with a height-adjustable front coil over setup including camber adjustable top mounts and a rear spring and damper setup with a height adjustable spring seat. Other available options include a heavy-duty Tremec Magnum XL six-speed manual that can be specified with multiple gear ratio options, an upgraded twin plate clutch, heavy-duty aluminium driveshafts, vented brake discs as well as options to have custom paint finishes for brake calipers and under the bonnet. Options can be specified during build or retro-fitted at a later stage.

Priced at £8,998 over the base GT vehicle, the Q500 Enforcer is available to order now from Ford dealer Haynes of Maidstone, Kent. All turnkey Steeda cars come with a comprehensive factory warranty.

“Steeda has been developing Mustangs for 30 years in the US,” says Steeda UK’s director Robbie Kazandjian. “Drawing from that experience and our comprehensive collection of suspension and chassis upgrades, the largest of any manufacturer for Fords, we have created a very special Mustang that offers an involving, affordable and thrilling alternative to offerings from the German manufacturers.”

The Q500 joins the Q350 Sport Mustang and the Mondeo Sport in a growing range of offerings from Steeda for the European market. In the US, where its production-based cars have won more championships and races than all its competitors combined, Steeda is one of the most renowned Ford specialists offering a range of its own road and race parts for Fords including Fiesta, Focus and Fusion/Mondeo models. Steeda is already working on the Q Series packages for the new 2018 Mustang facelift which will launch later this year in Europe with further cars set to be revealed during the year.

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About Steeda 
Founded 30 years ago, Steeda is the world’s largest aftermarket manufacturer of Ford performance equipment and a leader in parts and upgrades for Mustang, Fusion/Mondeo, Fiesta, Focus vehicles, F-150 trucks and more. Alongside its comprehensive parts catalogue of over 4000 parts, Steeda also offers a range of turnkey Steeda Specialist Vehicle (SSV) vehicles which are now also available in the UK via Ford dealer Haynes of Maidstone, Kent. Headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida, Steeda also has a second facility in Valdosta, Georgia that features a 1.2 mile all weather test track, skidpan, brake test area, and dynamic road surface area to aid in the further development and refinement of its Ford performance products.

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