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Events Coverage

The American University of Science and Technology Automotive Day 2019

Image Credit: K8 Car Photography

On March 14th, it was not a normal day for the students of the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut. The AUST University campus was transformed into an exhibition of sports cars and racing cars building up the usual excitement of this annual exhibition, which was characterized this year by the presence of the motorsport world stars.

Despite the rainy weather, the students flocked to the university campus at first engine start. Fans of cars and motorcycles were intrigued to enjoy the roaring motor symphonies of the best motorsport vehicles on display at AUST that day.

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The day started with the presence of one of the youngest drivers in Lebanon, Alex Feghali Son of Lebanon Rally Champion for 14 consecutive years Roger Feghali, Alex engaged with the students and had a nice Q&A session about the difference between Rally cars and ordinary cars and how are these equipped for speeding on closed roads and are fully loaded with safety features to protect the driver and the passenger. Alex displayed his own Speed test and Rally Cars and shared his experience with the students.

Oliver Kick, the Middle East Drift champion, was also present alongside his car and gave the students an opportunity to meet him, share his news and a chance to take some photos with the champ and his car. Oliver also shared his public safety message and informed the student about his special drifting school with the intention of removing drifting from public roads and taking it to the safe closed areas.

The event was also attended by drivers: Richard Ibrahim and the oldest driver in 4×4 Rallying in Lebanon Rashid Nehnehi alongside their vehicles, covering by that all aspects of motorsport activities and educating students about road safety and speeding no matter what type of vehicles you drive or whatever your motorsport passion is.

Lebanon Motorcross academy, led by Joe Salloty the RC Cup racing and motocross champion along with Rafic Eid Lebanon’s motocross champion for several years, were also present on campus to bring excitement and information to the sport of two-wheel motors.

And of course, as the usual annual ritual, Students brought their cars onsite attending the competition of the loudest car on campus and also the most beautiful car on Campus. The students filled the AUST campus with amazing classic, Super and tuned cars creating an unprecedented atmosphere.

The awareness activities don’t stop at safety messages and cars display, Giti tires decided to join the event this year and create the pit stop competition by Giti where students competed for the fastest tire change competition while being educated by Giti Experts on the safety of tires and the importance of having the right tires on your vehicle. In an attempt to break the routine, Automotive influencer and mechanic Rana Hayek joined the competition to incite girls to participate and win with Giti.

Giti Stand also witnessed the presence of International guest from Giti Mother company in China and USA that got the change to interact with the students and engage with them on the importance of having safe tires installed on their vehicles.

Finally, Strive Middle East the leading automotive and lifestyle digital platform wanted to spread a new kind of message, thus created a PlayStation racing game with an aim to show that driving on circuits is more fun that driving on public roads and with the rise of electric motors in Lebanon, Strive Middle East decided to offer 5 winners the chance to go-Kart in the first indoor karting arena using electric Go-Kart vehicles.

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Feature Coverage Videos Test Driven

Alfa Romeo Stelvio unconventional SUV

Each person has his/her own day start routine; from some, it is the morning coffee and off to work, for others, a newspaper is a must before anything and for some breakfast is the most important meal of the day and off we go. For me, I start every day in a different way.

Today I have decided to have an unusual day start. After my morning coffee and breakfast, it was boxing time. This may look strange for some and unusual for others, but I consider myself an unusual person and a routine breaker girl. To complement my today’s unconventional experience, I had to drive an unconventional SUV from the Italian manufacturer: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce .

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Conventionally, The SUV is perceived as either a family car or businessmen’s vehicle or adventure-oriented, however, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce, in my opinion, broke the conventional routine and the traditional positioning of an SUV: it is the abovementioned and so much more. And here’s why!

Italian Fashion designers have a worldwide known reputation for being the best in the Fashion industry and are always the most elegant and most distinctive among all other designers. This reputation flows as well to the universe of car designs and is clearly reflected in the exterior shaping and curvy lines of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce. The Stelvio received a unique and an unusual yet daring and sporty design that is attractive for both men and women, young and young at heart and to whom ever is fascinated by the unique appeal of the Italian taste.

The flowing lines from the front to the rear give the Stelvio its sporty character and, of course, the relatively lowered rear with dual exhaust and the aggressive front act as a reminder that this is an offspring of excellent sports cars by the Italian manufacturer “Alfa Romeo”

Personally, I was attracted by the two chrome tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper and the shark look-alike front. It gave the Alfa Romeo Stelvio an offensive look with style yet elegant drawing attention of all passbyers.

As for the interior cabin, it is a whole new story. Even the word “Italian design with distinction” does not give this cabin Justice. The combination of the brushed aluminum with the Carbon Fiber touch, the Piano Black, white stitching on black leather give the interior an elegant and sporty style. I am sure that it charms all types of clientele.

The interior architecture reflects the same contradiction of the exterior design, it imitates the outward appearance of sportiness and elegance in terms of design and functionality clearly seen in the craftsmanship of the center console, dashboard, seat stitching with Alfa Romeo logo on the headrest and the multi-functional D-Shaped steering wheel.

Moving forward, the first sign of being unorthodox in the Stelvio is the presence of the Start/Stop button on the steering wheel and not the conventional dashboard placement, a different start to a distinguished day.

And the journey began from city roads moving up towards great scenery in the Lebanese mountains, the roads started to get narrower and the turns started to get faster, I was enjoying my new Stelvio equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine connected to the 8-speed automatic gearbox producing 280 Horsepower however what gave me that safe feeling and sporty curve turning was the Q4 suspension system that also helped out on some unpaved roads we had to take to reach our final destination.

Even though the trip was long in distance however the Infotainment system “Alpha Connected” kept us connected to the outside world and at the same time we got the chance to enjoy our own music.

Taking the trip up the mountains in Lebanon can only be accompanied by nature’s flipping weather that added more excitement to our day. The vision began to weaken as the atmosphere started to be filled with fog however the B-Xenon headlights stepped in to restore the vision and give us a feeling of comfort and safety.

What I forgot to mention is the DNA Driving modes system present in most modern Alfa Romeo cars including the Stelvio, The DNA has contributed significantly to either adding more driving fun with the Dynamic (D) mode that turns the car into a sporty vehicle for full enjoyment as we did on the quick turns or the “natural” mode for the most comfortable and relaxed driving style on the coastal roads or in the city, but the main reason for mentioning it at this point is the change in weather and the drops of rain that changed the roads conditions to slippery so “All Weather” mode was on for a safer and more entertaining experience despite the crazy weather of the mountainous area.

Finally, we have reached our unusual destination; a golf course on the top of the mountain with light rain and fog, it was super exciting. To experience something for the first time is always filled with joy, excitement, and feelings to last forever. To experience the Alfa Romeo Stelvio the first SUV by the Italian manufacturer is not different and proved to be not your ordinary SUV and worthy of holding the Alfa Romeo Badge.

After the end of this unusual day filled with unconventional experiences onboard an unusual SUV, I have one question for you: when was the last time you did something for the first?

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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.

Rolls Royce Phantom Luxury Cars Test Drive Arab Motor World (1)

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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A Journey with Twizy and the Future of Electrical Mobility

Because the future is now, and because most of the Arab countries have started to motivate citizens to own electric cars whether through installing charging stations or various types of incentives facilitating the process of owning electric cars, we will be taking you on a unique journey with a forward-looking experience filled with new technologies.

To match our themed Journey of youth and futuristic technologies, we chose the “American University of Technology” in Lebanon to be our ground testing base for the modern, funky, 100% electric and revolutionist vehicle made by the French manufacturer the “Renault Twizy”.

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Before diving into the technologies and features of this scooter resembling vehicle, let’s start with the out-of-ordinary name “Twizy”. The European manufacturer has chosen this unusual name to reflect the nature of this unique car and to reflect its capabilities as well. The name “Twizy” is derived from the words: “Twins” as the Twizy is a small two seater vehicle capable of fitting closely two inseparable friends or twins and “Easy” which reflects the three major highlights of the car: Easy to Drive, Easy to Park and Easy to charge.

As for the exterior styling, the Twizy has a unique design. The Twizy structure is relatively small in size, resembling a scooter. The Twizy has the perfect in-city car dimensions of 2.34 m length X 1.4 m x width 1.98 m height making easy to drive in narrow streets and during traffic. The Twizy is also equipped with vertical doors for that extra coolness on exit and entry, you will surely make a remarkable entrance whenever you are going in or out of your car.

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On the driving level, whether you are driving on city roads and even cruising the university campus, the exotic car will turn heads. The various cool and funky elements of the Twizy’s exterior design will guarantee unprecedented attention from its round distinctive headlights, unique wheels’ design or unusual rear shape and taillights. Perhaps the most important feature of the Twizy’s design is the color mixture of the body as you can customize it and choose any color combination that reflects your personality.

Personally, I can say that the driving sensation of the Twizy is 100% unique and different from any other driving sensation. Twizy brings on a smile on everyone’s face from the driver, the passenger and the people on the streets in a very strange way. it actually enlisted the spirit of humor and youth in the heart of everyone we met during our unique experience.

On the mechanical level or should I say Electro-Mechanical, the Twizy comes equipped with a 100% electric motor emissions free generating 13 KW of power equivalent to 17 HP at a weight of 474 kg. The Twizy is capable of reaching 80 km/h and an approximate range of 80 Km of combined distance without the need to be re-charged.

For the best driving experience, my colleague and I decided to take on a journey full of youth and fun. Our journey began from the city streets of Beirut heading towards the American University of Technology to re-live the university’s daily life of future youth full of energy and great times.

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As we reach the University campus parking lot, we initiated in quick maneuverability drive. The Twizy was up to challenge due to its size and best turning radius (3.4m) defined for the 4-wheels vehicle.

After a few hours of driving, we decided to spice things a bit and make an unusual challenge, that is to drive the Twizy inside the university campus and specifically towards the basketball court. The Twizy fitted perfectly as we were driving it through the narrow classroom hallways. It was a true eye catcher to see a car driving through those tight alleys not made for driving conditions. As we reached the basketball court, you can clearly notice both the smile and question marks painted on students’ faces wondering how did this car get here and what is that out-of-ordinary vehicle?

After answering all inquiries and removing all doubts that this car was driven inside the campus, the basketball challenge between me and my colleague was set. We enjoyed our time shooting some hoops for three and a half hours, the time needed to recharge our energy and also to fully charge the Twizy. Charging a car has never been so easy, as the Twizy comes with an easy to plug 3-meter built-in cable that can be connected to any electrical outlet. The charging is done and we were on our way for our next challenge.

The most important problem we face in our everyday life is finding the parking spot for our car. As the day was about to end and the sun was about to set, the campus’ parking lot was full of cars with no place to park for a final wrap up. Renault’s innovative solution for the parking matter was in our hands, the Twizy made the parking process so simple and easy. We actually had fun parking the Twizy due its relevantly small size that can fit anywhere. Whether longitudinally or horizontally, the Twizy can be parked in less than 1.5m of space.

In the end, we can confirm that this revolutionary car from the French manufacturer Renault has defined the future path of the small electric cars and is at the same time suitable for the young generation interested in preserving the environment while driving cool cars and also suitable for corporates distinguished by their Social environmental responsibility and interested in fuel-saving while making their product delivery as the Twizy comes also, in addition to its two seater, with a Cargo Version which replaces the rear seat with a storage capacity of 180 liters or 75 kg.

So the final question is Are you a “Twizy”?

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She Challenges

The Mechanic, Rana Hayek

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Image Credit: As Received from Rana

Name : Rana Hayek
Profession : Mechanic
Country : Lebanon

For this “She Challenges section”, we couldn’t but talk about Rana Hayek a dedicated mechanical engineer lady that decided to take the Auto Mechanics to another level.

Ladies and gentlemen introducing The Mechanic Rana Hayek.

Who is Rana Hayek??

I am a 21-year old young lady. A university student at NDU majoring in mechanical engineer and very passionate about cars, engines and speed.

How did your passion for cars started and when?

It started when I was a just a little girl and  I accompanied my dad to the garage. I was influenced by movies and video games about cars that I used to watch and play.

We don’t see much or maybe at all an auto mechanic girl, why this domain?

Every time I pass next to a garage, I feel that I want to be part of the team checking on the car. That feeling led me to where I am today.

When a certain customer pulls over to work on his car and sees you what is his first reaction?

You can see the surprise on their faces and they start asking me questions. They usually congratulate me on taking the decision to study what is considered to be a man work.

Auto Mechanics is a greasy business, how do you deal with the nails and all?

That’s not a big deal ! Water and soap can fix it all ☺︎ because I like what I do, I have to like what comes with it.

What’s the story of that Gear Tattoo?

That’s a sort of a permanent expression that reflects my passion to cars. Also, I always wear my wrench earrings and ring.

Do you recommend other girls who has passion for Mechanics to venture into studying it and working as a car mechanic here in Lebanon?

Definitely! I don’t see any barriers that prevent them from doing so. . With the digital evolution, everything is computerized and what matters is the mental strength over the physical strength. This eliminates all barriers when it comes to the field of study and career selection.

Is there a specific message you are trying to send to our community?

I think the message comes as a matter of fact: women accessing men’s world.

Doors are open to women in any field they believe they can excel at! I encourage them to follow their dreams and passion and forget about the NO of the society if they believe that what they are doing is right.

Anything you would like to add?

I would like to thank you for shedding the light on what seems to be a contrast: a woman in the field of mechanics.

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