Category Archives: FIRST DRIVES

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Honda Launches the Completely Redesigned and Reengineered ‎All-New 2017 CR-V

Honda Motor Co. Africa and Middle East Office announced the launch of the All-New 5th Generation CR-V at the Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E, earlier this month. The completely redesigned and re-engineered 2017 CR-V boasts of bold new styling, a more premium interior and a host of new features and technologies aimed at enhancing CR-V’s status as the outright benchmark in the highly popular compact SUV segment.

Honda CRV-108

The New CR-V targets the highest levels of quality and driving refinement in its class with top class steering precision, ride comfort, body control and cabin quietness. The New CR-V comes in four grades namely, DX and LX in 2 Wheel Drive (2WD) and EX and Touring in All Wheel Drive (AWD).

Honda CRV-100

New Powertrain and Chassis Technology

At the heart of the 2017 CR-V is a 2.4-litre DOHC, direct injected i-VTEC engine that is mated to a smooth shifting and sporty continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda G-Shift control logic. The 2.4-liter engine generates 184-horsepower @ 6400rpm and a torque of 244NM @ 3900rpm. The fuel consumption statistics of the CR-V are 15.5km/L for the DX and LX grades and 14.7km/L for the EX and Touring grades.

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On the Trail of the New Mercedes-Benz SL 400

 Words: H.Soukar, Photos: H.Soukar, T.Soukar

Just another weekend, just another hot car test, eh? Arf. The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400, as you will notice, isn’t your typical hot convertible. Sportscar? GT? Saloon? The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400 remains hard to categorize. H.Soukar finds out how the range-topping supercar stacks against all its competitors.


The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400

The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400 looks completely different from the standard car, not least with its extraordinary exterior lines reminiscent of an SLR. The new Mercedes-Benz SL400 picks up minor styling changes, updated technology and a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The colossal front end sweeps through to the passenger cabin and wide rear. It features signature chrome hood elements, gills on the sides.

A three-part roof, with sections consisting of steel, rubber, and plastic, folds away at the touch of a button in a mere of less than 17 seconds. 

More about this in the following video:

I spent time driving with the roof on and off and found that the new Mercedes-Benz SL 400 doesn’t scuttle shake anywhere near as badly as it once did. 

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The 2017 Volvo S90 T6: A Five-Star Hotel Suite On Wheels

Words: H.Soukar, Photos: N.Sawsou, T.Soukar

Have you ever seen a luxurious five-star hotel suite making its way throughout the streets and highways? This is no puzzle, guys! It seems that Volvo has made its mind  to turn boyhood dreams into reality. To clarify, I am not talking about “all show, no go” concept car here. This whip is real and being driven–it’s the 2017 Volvo S90 T6.

The 2017 Volvo S90 T6 features bespoke styling elements. Many of them are drawn directly from the masterpiece XC90. Despite retaining the same specs of the said XC90, this luxury sedan sports a different grille and unique headlight and tail-light graphics as well as added chrome and individual wheel designs.

 The 2017 Volvo S90 T6 revamps up performance and luxury for a reasonable price. The car is but a younger brother to the XC90. It seems that the designers went a little bit away from the square-ish design. It worked in Europe but not globally. Some people find it a bit too different.

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Aston Martin Rapide S: every trip in it is a red-carpet event!

Words: H.Soukar, Photos: N.Sawsou, T.Soukar

My dad, who’s a veteran auto expert, made a statement a while ago, through which he said: “When the Brits fashion sports cars they really mean it.” And if I am honest, I didn’t buy it at the time. But when I had my first date with Miss Aston Martin Rapide S, I found out that this four-door, British car is every inch a sports car.


It seems that Miss Rapide’s goal was to get out of the friend zone with me and hook the cars lover’s interest—I was totally seduced by her at the very first sight.

Since it was the very first date, we had to get to know each other better. As such, we made our mind to pick out some tough roads of different nature, so as to cut the Rapide S some slack.

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The Lamborghini Aventador S: Elevating the benchmark for super sports cars

The new Lamborghini Aventador S is characterized by new aerodynamic design, redeveloped suspension, increased power and new driving dynamics. The ‘S’ is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models and defines a new benchmark for the V12 Lamborghini.


“This is the next generation Aventador as well as the expression of new technological and performance milestones in super sports car development,” says Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali. “The Aventador S is visionary design, cutting-edge technology and driving dynamics in pure harmony, and elevates the concept of super sports cars to a new level.”

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Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 300: A legend reborn


Over the past few months, I had the feeling that Infiniti has designed some hot wheels under the Q category, so I got very excited when I was asked to test-drive the 2017 Q50 Red Sport 300. At first glance, it seems nothing much has changed from 2016. But on the contrary, the vehicle comes equipped with a host of new technological aids as well as a level of drive mode customization that is unequaled in the market.


The 2017 Q50 Red Sport 300 is equipped with a one-of-a-kind electric-assist power steering system, analogous to the one used in most cars today. It’s pretty difficult, however, to sample all the driver’s assists for a first review, as many depend on responding to the unforeseeable behavior of other drivers – something I thankfully did not encounter.

The forward collision warning, for instance, sets an alert once it detects cars in front of you suddenly slowing down. Equally, if the system spots a pedestrian or other forward impediment, it will apply the brakes immediately to help you evade an accident.

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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLS 500: A place of refuge for visionaries


Do you know, guys, that there’s  an S in GLS? It represents the comfort of an S-Class. But there’s a G there, too – and I can guess this stands above all for: larger, tougher version of Mercedes-Benz‘s oft-lauded flagship sedan.

As a car enthusiast, I can see an array of abundant options that allow any Merc lover to personalize the new GLS further. From small details that just add a certain something, through to deluxe and comfortable appointments. Also, that face-lift, grafting a far more up to date facade across the SUV’s bluff frontage, is the most obvious bit.

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The 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman PDK Automatic breaks away from standards


As many of you may know the Boxster and Cayman have recently received completely retuned chassis, upgraded brakes, and even a newly shared numerical designation—718—to help clarify that they’re simply two variants of the same model. But the most consequential changes by far were the replacement of the sonorous, naturally aspirated 2.7- and 3.4-liter flat-six engines with turbocharged 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter flat-fours in the standard and S models.

If you’re like us, you worried about how Porsche would maintain these cars’ ebullient characters, so much of which resided in those legendary, mid-mounted flat-sixes, with their peaky but delightfully linear power (above roughly 3700 rpm) and richly mechanized thrum emanating from just behind one’s ears.

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Review: Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design Polestar



Over the past few years, I’ve test driven so many vehicles of all makes & categories. Yet, very few cars have surprised me. And to be honest, I never expected a 3-row, 7-seater large SUV from Volvo to surprise me & appeal to me the way the new XC90 did — given I’m too much into performance & sporty driving experience.

Ever since Volvo launched the completely new XC90, I have read & heard so much positive feedback about it that got me so eager to get behind its wheel. And here I am now telling you how it felt driving this car around the UAE for 3 days.

Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design Polestar

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The all new Camaro ZL1: Mind over muscle


The iconic ZL1 has been reinvented for the sixth-generation Camaro and is purpose-built to challenge the most advanced sports coupes in the world. A refined, driver-focused cockpit helps you get every last bit of performance from the supercharged 6.2L LT4 engine. Rocketing from 0-to-60 in just 3.5 seconds, running a quarter mile in 11.4 seconds and pulling up to 1.02 g in g’s, ZL1 is a sports car designed to dominate
in any setting.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Surprisingly, a lack of packaging space demanded the change. But what matters is this: 650 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 650 pound-feet of torque at 3600 rpm. It’s all ­managed, aurally, by a dual-mode exhaust, which is now electronically controlled rather than vacuum actuated as it was on the last ZL1. Chevy offers two transmissions here, including a high-torque version of the six-speed Tremec TR6060 that’s available in the Camaro SS. A tailored gearset allows the manual-transmission–equipped ZL1 to hit 60 mph in first gear, while both fifth and sixth are overdrive gears. At 0.54:1, sixth gear is a true fuel-economy cog, though the 3.73 final-drive is still low enough to serve up shovel-to-the-spleen holeshots.

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