Over a hundred new launches, 15 concept cars and many unique models were revealed to the public at the opening of Dubai International Motor Show 2013 at World Trade Centre, on Tuesday, November 5.
This week the world’s top automotive manufacturers, potential buyers, hobbyists and international media gather for what is considered the region’s largest and most influential automobile event.
If not there to view what is on the market, visitors are just in the right place to be entertained, as the convention hall is host to a range of superlatives.
For anyone who cares for the fastest, biggest, most expensive and most luxurious in terms of cars, the exhibition is definitely a must-see event.
At the motor show, speed is what everybody talks about. “To have the fastest car in the world is an ‘ego-thing’,” said David Golder, General Manager of Hennessey, a US-based tuning company.
The Venom GT
Presenting the Venom GT at the show, David and his team are bound to set the world record for the fastest car in December, expecting to bring it to its top speed of 448 kmph.
Earlier this year, the model drove a 0-200 mph run within 14.51 seconds, setting the Hypercar World Record.
“We just need a little more space to reach the top speed. We will be doing the drive at a naval air station in Leemore, US. We are confident that the top speed will be attained there,” he added.
The Venom GT is designed solely to be the fastest car in the world, minimised in weight and streamlined to the acceptable limit.
“Of course the car should also look a little bit attractive, because it is a commercial item too. But the main aim of the design is speed,” explains David, adding that only 29 samples of the automobile will be produced.
Just a few meters away stands the monstrous apparatus called Devel Sixteen: 16 cylinders, 5,000 horsepower, and 7,500 rpm. 'Made in Dubai', reads the logo on the stand.
Mohammad Al Attar, one of the brothers heading the company called Defining Extreme Vehicles Car Industry LLC explains: "This is going to be the fastest car in the world. I am sure there is nothing like this so far."
Already in the making, the automobile has an expected top speed of 560 km/h, which would exceed current and anticipated world records. However, there is one problem: there are no tyres available to handle the top speed.
"We have talked with various companies and have even approached aircraft providers. But there is no tyre that can handle the top speed that this car can reach," says Mohammad.
For now, the automobile will not be seen challenging records and even if tyres are found, the challenge will be reserved for the exclusive some only.
"It is not responsible to sell this car to an 18-year-old who has just got his driving license, enabling him to drive at such a speed. Driving at the top speed will have to be enabled by us."
Bugatti’s Meo Constantini
Leaving ambitions and expectations aside, the king of speed remains to be Bugatti, which has not only been manufacturer of fastest car in the world per se, but also reached a speed of 408.84 km/h with the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse roof down in April 2013, making it the fastest production roadster ever built.
Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse forms the basis of the limited edition series of Les Légendes de Bugatti, of which the third model is presented at the show.
Named Meo Constantini, the 8-litre W16 engine achieves an unparalleled torque of 1,500 Nm from 1,200 hp at 3,000–5,000 rpm, and can accelerate from 0–100km in 2.6 seconds.
The blue carbon vehicle piece stole the hearts of many on the first day of the Motor Show.
"The UAE is a great market for Bugatti. Maybe a quarter of our sales are in the Middle East, and about half of these sales go to the UAE," said Manuela Höhne, Head of Media Relations at Bugatti.
Only three will be produced, and will be sold for $2.82 million each.
The McLaren P1 is the race car on the road. Prioritising driver experience, the car reaches 100 kmph within 2.8 seconds and needs 30.2 metres to be brought to a full stop. "Driving the McLaren P1 would be the closest one could get to driving a Formula 1 car on the road," says McLaren's Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin.
“Once you have driven the McLaren P1 you will see why this ultimate supercar cannot be compared to anything you have ever driven – the McLaren P1 is without a doubt the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever.”
That the annual show is one of exclusivity, not only stems from superlatives, as some pieces are unique in itself.
Aston Martin’s CC100 Speedster
One such car is the CC100 Speedster, a production of Aston Martin in celebration of its 100 year anniversary.
"We tried to incorporate the history as well as the future of Aston Martin in this car," explains a spokesperson of the British manufacturer.
"We have based the design on the model that was driven in 24 hours Le Mans race of 2007, which was won by Aston Martin Racing.
At the same time, the grill at the front is the same as the grill in the recently released Vanquish Volante."
Another unique sample of Aston Martin is found in the corner, where the company promotes its restoration service.
"Owners of an Aston Martin can restore their old model with modifications of their choice. For example, this model now has an air conditioner at the back, while this was not there in the original product," he continues.
Visitors to the Motor Show are treated with 15 concept cars, offering a look into the future of the specific manufacturer. Concepts can be seen at the stand of BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Lincoln, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Zenvo.
Furthermore, releases of 76 regional and 17 international manufacturers are presented.
The Motor Show will be held from November 5-9, from 11am to 10pm with an hour’s extension into the evening on the weekend.
Tickets are Dh55.
Photo by Majorie van Leijen