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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

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.

ENJOY THE VIDEO BELOW:

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