All posts by H.soukar

A passionate car lover, expert and automotive editor...

Six Family-Focused Features Define GMC’s Crossovers

The men and women who designed, engineered, tested, and built the GMC’s 2018 crossovers, Acadia and all-new Terrain, aren’t only professional-grade engineers and designers – many of them are parents. By blending personal experience with feedback from customers, GMC were well set to equip the new Acadia and all-new Terrain with a variety of family-focused features.

As contemporary vehicles designed for families on-the-go, both the Acadia and all-new Terrain are re-imagined crossovers aimed at the heart of the mid-size and compact SUV segments respectively. Both models are designed to offer greater versatility and refinement, with more advanced safety technology and efficient powertrains.

Six of the family-focused features which the Acadia and all-new Terrain have to offer include:

2018 GMC Terrain Interior
2018 GMC Terrain Interior
  1. Rear seat reminder

The GMC Acadia and all-new Terrain are equipped with Rear Seat Reminder, an industry-first feature.

Over the last few years, there have been a number of reported cases in the GCC where children have suffered from severe heatstroke when left unattended in vehicles. The Rear Seat Reminder feature is an initial step towards using technology to help remind drivers to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle.

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Autonomous Cars to Be Allowed on California Roads Starting Next Year

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has just released its revised regulations governing the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads. After a 15-day public comment period, those rules will be submitted to the state government, which will then begin enforcing them sometime in the middle of 2018.

California is an obvious hotbed for autonomous vehicle testing, so changes made to the state’s rules governing these tests are followed closely by companies like Google and Uber that are developing fleets of self-driving cars for public use. There are currently 42 companies testing some 285 autonomous vehicles that are licensed with the DMV, officials said. Nearly 1,000 safety drivers are licensed to test those vehicles, but after the state’s rules go into effect, companies would be allowed to deploy cars without any human behind the wheel.

Autonomous Cars

The rules are a stark departure from the original proposal issued in 2015. Those draft regulations would have put the kibosh on autonomous vehicles without a human driver, such as Google’s steering wheel-less prototype. But then in May, the agency reversed itself, putting out a new proposal that would not only allow for the testing of self-driving cars without a human driver, but also regulate the manufacture and sale of fully autonomous vehicles.

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DB11 Volante: The Latest Evolution of Aston Martin’s Iconic Convertible Sports GT

The most elegant of convertible Aston Martins begins a new chapter with the introduction of the eagerly-awaited DB11 Volante. Joining the DB11 Coupe, which was launched to wide acclaim last year, the new DB11 Volante sets new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style to create the definitive open-top Sports GT. 

DB11 Volante-01

Powered by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo 510PS V8 engine, the DB11 Volante is built around the all-new bonded aluminium structure first seen in the DB11 Coupe. Lighter and more rigid than the model it replaces, the DB11 Volante has been engineered to deliver a much broader envelope of abilities. Greater levels of performance and handling accentuate the more sporting side of its character, while increased refinement, comfort and interior space ensure it remains a consummate grand tourer.

DB11 Volante-02

This depth and breadth of ability is made possible by the Volante’s 3-stage powertrain and chassis modes. Working in perfect harmony with the 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, electric power steering and limited-slip differential with dynamic torque vectoring, the driver is able to configure the car’s responses and tailor its behavior in a way that best suits the road, weather conditions or their mood.  Creature comforts such as a heated steering wheel encourage all-season open-air motoring, and rear seat ISOFIX attachment points – a first for a Volante model – bring added versatility.

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Hyundai Named in Top-40 Most Valuable Brands for Three Years by Interbrand

Hyundai has maintained its position as one of the world’s 40 most valuable brands for the third year in a row, according to the latest Best Global Brands report from respected international consultancy Interbrand. The carmaker retained its place as the world’s 35th most valuable brand and sixth most valuable automotive brand, despite challenging conditions in many global markets.
Hyundai Vision G-Coupe Concept
Hyundai Vision G-Coupe Concept

Interbrand’s rankings are calculated using companies’ financial balance sheets combined with marketing activities, while also reflecting each brand’s potential profit. The analysis assessed Hyundai’s brand value as growing to US $13.2 billion for 2017 – a 5.1% increase on the previous year. The ranking comes after Hyundai sold 4.86 million units annually worldwide, and places the Hyundai name above Audi, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Porsche.

This follows a period of exponential growth for South Korea’s leading automotive manufacturer that has seen a fourfold increase in brand value since 2005, rising from US $3.5 billion to its current record value.

“Hyundai Motor aims to be a lifestyle brand rather than simply an automotive brand, so we are building on our ‘Modern Premium’ brand direction and moving into new automotive spaces that allow people to experience our brand value at every touchpoint,” said Wonhong Cho, Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motor Company. “Our brand philosophy and blueprint for future mobility has resulted in the rise of our brand value and, in addition to quality, technology and price, our creativity and innovation will lead us to achieve sustainable brand growth in the future.”

Hyundai-Named-in-Top-40-Most-Valuable-Brands

The annual Interbrand Best Global Brands report identifies the 100 most valuable global brands, analyzing the ways in which the strength of a brand benefits organizations, from delivering on customer expectations to driving greater economic value. The ranking is based on a combination of attributes, each contributing to a brand’s cumulative value. These include financial performance of branded products and services, the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice, and the strength of the brand in commanding a premium price or securing earnings for the company.

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Renault to Launch Twelve New Zero-Emission Electric Vehicles by 2022

As the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy announced a number of new incentives for Electric Vehicle owners in Dubai last week, Renault, in conjunction with its alliance partners, has released details of a six-year plan which will cement Renault’s reputation as EV trailblazers in the region.

The Renault, Nissan & Mitsubishi motors alliance has pledged to launch twelve new zero-emission electric vehicles by 2022. The two announcements are significant steps in supporting the ‘Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050’ which envisions Dubai having the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050.

Renault Electric Vehicles

The new incentives announced by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, allow new EV buyers to charge their vehicles for free at Dewa-approved stations until 2019, access free designated green parking in Dubai, qualify for free electric vehicle registration and renewal fees, as well as, exemption from Salik’s tag fee and a licence plate sticker identifying the vehicle as an electric car.

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The Truck of Today: An Expression of Personality or Occupation

Trucks were borne out of necessity in the 1900s, with farmers and tradespeople transporting heavy loads and customizing their vehicles to transport various goods and merchandise. However, what was once seen as a vehicle for work has since evolved to become an expression of personality or occupation.

At one time, consumers searching for a refined or family-friendly vehicle might have looked to the latest sedans or SUVs to suit their lifestyle. Whereas, if they needed something for work purposes, they might have looked at a truck, but now the line is blurring.

This is particularly evident in the Middle East where trucks have become ships of the desert, taking people across the dunes with ease and comfort. Brands that manufacturer trucks, like GMC, have played such a pivotal role in the growth of the region over the last 91 years that they are seen as part of the culture and way of life in the GCC.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, American automotive companies began to expand their horizons and build trucks after becoming aware of the growing market for farmers and tradespeople that needed an easier way to transport heavy loads and unwieldy cargo.

The Truck of Today
2017 GMC Sierra All Terrain X

Over time, an increasing number of automakers in the segment, trying to outdo their competition, creating trucks that were bigger, stronger, and more agile – a pattern that continues to this day. Today, the truck segment has grown exponentially – even overtaking midsize sedan sales in the first quarter of 2017 in the USA.

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1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage on Display alongside DBR1, DB11 and Vantage AMR

The much-loved Goodwood Revival is just around the corner and Aston Martin will again feature in Lord March’s annual celebration of the glory days of the motor industry.

1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The British luxury carmaker, which recently celebrated record first-half profits, will feature strongly in the Earls Court Motor Show, a unique part of the Revival where manufacturers showcase their classic models alongside their latest offerings.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The new V8-powered DB11 and the V8 Vantage AMR will fly the flag for the modern Aston Martin, while two very special delights from the past will represent days gone by for the luxury marque.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage -rear shot

The company President and CEO, Andy Palmer, will be thrilled to see his very own 1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage on display.  Palmer bought the car in 2015 from the company’s heritage division Aston Martin Works, which still operates at its original site in Newport Pagnell.

Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8-front shot
Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8

“I admired that car throughout my teenage years,” said Palmer. “After going through the pain of realizing it was well out of my reach when I passed my driving test in 1980, to be able to buy it now feels great and it is a rare privilege to be able to take it to the Goodwood Revival to show it off.”

Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8-rear shot

Completing the line up in the Earls Court Motor Show is a glorious example of the  DBR1. The first of the five DBR1s built recently sold at auction at Pebble Beach for US$22.5 million, making it the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.

Aston Martin-console

Aston Martin people will also be at the Revival, at the heart of the on-track action.  2017 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Darren Turner, will take part in the RAC TT Celebration race on Sunday in an AC Cobra that he will share with Rory Henderson.  The British racer will also take part in the ultra-competitive St Mary’s Trophy in an MG Magnette and he will race a Ford GT in the Whitsun Trophy on Saturday. Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman will also be on track on Saturday, racing his personal 1960 Cooper T56 in the Chichester Cup.

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The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition: A Bold Showcase of the Bespoke Personalization by Aston Martin

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition is a bold showcase of the bespoke personalization service offered by Q by Aston Martin. The Vanquish S Pearl Edition will be limited to just 15 examples, available exclusively in the Middle East which has a long association with the pearl industry.

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition

The fascinating cultural history of this spectacularly rare and elegant natural material has been at the heart of the region’s heritage for thousands of years, capturing the imagination through mythology and legend. The Pearl Edition celebrates this.

Marek Reichman, EVP and Chief Creative Officer, who oversees the dedicated Q by Aston Martin team at the company’s HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire commented: ‘The Vanquish S Pearl Edition is an extremely special car, it is a chance for us to demonstrate our skilled application of exotic materials as well as the Q by Aston Martin team’s attention to detail.’

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition-Interiors

Dr Matthew Bennett, Head of Q by Aston Martin added: ‘The Pearl Edition is a true representation of what Aston Martin stands for – it brings together new materials and skills with what we consider the lifeblood of every Aston Martin, design.’

The Vanquish S Pearl Edition takes the tradition, value and rarity of the pearl, with its long association with the Arabian Gulf, and uses the artistry of the Q by Aston Martin team to create a truly spectacular car. Every Aston Martin is a hand-crafted, high performance sports car, and the new Vanquish S represents the pinnacle of the model’s engineering and design refinement. A sublime driving experience, thrilling dynamics and exceptional refinement are paired with the soft and natural beauty of the Arabian pearl, with its timeless allure and understated character.

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition-control

 

 

 

 

Subtle but striking details abound. Most prominently, the Aston Martin wings on the front and rear of the car are inlaid with iridescent panels of delicate mother of pearl. The same material is also carefully incorporated throughout the car’s sumptuous interior, including down the center of the waterfall-style central console, on the dashboard rotary switches, sill plaque and sterling silver fender badge.

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