Talk­ing new cars


Executive Magazine - - Front Page - Words by Olga Habre

Au­to­mo­tive mod­els on the mar­ket in 2018

the mar­ket for hy­brid and elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs) in Le­banon has been given a massive boost this year, with new tax ex­emp­tions de­signed to in­cen­tivize both buy­ers and sell­ers (see story page 60). But while deal­ers and con­sumers wait for the ben­e­fits of these in­cen­tives to kick in and for the in­dus­try in Le­banon to start im­port­ing EVs there are a range of ve­hi­cles that are newly avail­able or com­ing soon this year that car en­thu­si­asts can pe­ruse a ve­hi­cle for ev­ery taste.

Since hy­brids are the hot topic, we have good news: the oy­ota rius, the rst ever mass-pro­duced hy­brid ve­hi­cle, dis­trib­uted locally by Bous­tany United Ma­chiner­ies Com­pany (BUMC), is de­but­ing a new and im­proved ver­sion of the eco-friendly car this year. Mean­while, Cen­tury Mo­tor Com­pany launched the new Hyundai hy­brid in Le­banon, the Ioniq, late last year. Porsche is one of the rst car­mak­ers in the lux­ury seg­ment to launch hy­brids with the Cayenne Hy­brid and the Panam­era Hy­brid, while also equip­ping show­rooms and work­shops with charg­ing sta­tions. The brand’s all-elec­tri­cally pow­ered Mis­sion E four-seater and Mis­sion E Cross Turismo Cross-Util­ity Ve­hi­cle (CUV) are ex­pected to be re­leased in Le­banon by 2019-2020.

Though green cars are a grow­ing trend, one seg­ment that will never go out of style is per­for­mance cars. One of the most highly an­tic­i­pated su­per­cars in the world is com­ing to Le­banon later this year: the Lam­borgh­ini Urus Su­per Sports Util­ity Ve­hi­cle (SSUV) the rst of its kind and an in­cred­i­ble su­per­car in the body of a sleek SUV. The lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor Saad & Trad will be holding a special event to un­veil this ex­cit­ing ve­hi­cle.

De­buted in cel­e­bra­tion of Ferrari’s 70th birth­day late last year, the sporty, el­e­gant, and ul­tra com­fort­able Ferrari Porto no is the brand’s most pow­er­ful con­vert­ible yet, and it will be avail­able in Le­banon start­ing this sum­mer with lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor, Scud­e­ria Le­banon. Like­wise, a er its launch at the Geneva Mo­tor Show in March, the Ferrari 488 Pista will soon be com­ing to Le­banon. Its name is an homage to Ferrari’s un­par­al­leled her­itage in mo­tor sports, and the car fea­tures ex­ten­sive weight-sav­ing so­lu­tions, along with engine, ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics, and aero­dy­namic devel­op­ments, all de­rived from Ferrari race cars. Scud­e­ria also or­ga­nized a car launch for the 812 Su­per­fast ear­lier this year. Later in 2018, the ex­clu­sive dis­trib­u­tor plans on or­ga­niz­ing a range of events for its clients, in­clud­ing in­ter­na­tional test drives where clients can try out cars in des­ti­na­tions abroad, as well as life­style test drives where pro­fes­sional in­struc­tors from Italy will come to Le­banon to show­case the fea­tures of the lat­est Fer­raris.

This year Porsche is also cel­e­brat­ing its 70th birth­day, and Porsche Cen­tre Le­banon is plan­ning to mark the oc­ca­sion with a special event in June. In 2018, Porsche

“I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it my­self.” — Fer­di­nand Porsche

Cen­ter Le­banon is re­leas­ing a whole lineup of new cars in­clud­ing Car­rera T, Panam­era Sport Turismo, GT3 RS, 718 GTS, as well as the fastest and most pow­er­ful road­ap­proved 911, the GT2 RS, and the newly re­vealed third­gen­er­a­tion Cayenne E3.

Aston Martin’s new­est DB11 will also be launched later this year. Dis­trib­uted by Tew­tel Group, the al­lur­ing su­per­car is as beau­ti­ful as it is evo­lu­tion­ary.

Tiny but mighty, the Abarth 124 Spi­der is com­ing in May. Dis­trib­uted in Le­banon by Gar­gour Au­to­mo­tive Com­pany, the top­less road­ster looks com­pletely di er­ent to the cute, boxy Abarth of old, and de­liv­ers a real rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

When it comes to the lux­ury car seg­ment, we have a few new launches to look for­ward to. A whole new brand is also en­ter­ing the mar­ket this year: Hyundai’s lux­ury Ge­n­e­sis brand. One of the many ex­cit­ing devel­op­ments for Cen­tury Mo­tor Com­pany, the newly born Ge­n­e­sis is a stand-alone brand that has had three mod­els in its lineup in­ter­na­tion­ally since its launch in 2015. By the end of the sum­mer, the all-new Ge­n­e­sis G70 will be avail­able in Le­banon.

Look­ing to the tried and true brands of lux­ury, Saad & Trad is re­veal­ing the stun­ning new Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT later in the year, with its twin-tur­bocharged W12 en- gine, it’s not only phe­nom­e­nally pow­er­ful, but also exquisitely cra ed.

This year Land Rover, dis­trib­uted in Le­banon by Tew­tel Group, launched the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, both of which have had face-li s, but also ma or in­te­rior up­dates that in­clude new Touch Pro Duo tech­nol­ogy. The lat­est model ad­di­tion to the Land Rover fam­ily was re­vealed in 2018, the Range Rover Ve­lar, a strik­ing com­pact lux­ury cross­over.

Jaguar’s new com­pact SUV E-Pace was launched ear­lier this year, with a unique com­bi­na­tion of good looks, agility, and dy­namic driv­ing, it fol­lows the trend to­ward more com­pact ve­hi­cles while main­tain­ing the lux­ury we are used to from Jaguar, an­other brand un­der Saad & Trad.

Audi is ush­er­ing in a new de­sign era with a se­ries of launches, start­ing with the A8 in May, fol­lowed by the new A6 and A7 later in the year. This year, the brand is also re­veal­ing its rst ever 8, its largest and most lux­u­ri­ous SUV

yet. In ad­di­tion to the launches, Audi’s o icial dis­trib­u­tor in Le­banon, Ets. F. A. Ket­taneh, is host­ing an on­go­ing Audi VR ex­pe­ri­ence at A shti by the Sea, o er­ing the clos­est thing to a real driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cadil­lac, dis­trib­uted in Le­banon un­der IMPEX, al­ready saw the launch of the ATS Sedan a few months ago, the most pow­er­ful four-cylin­der turbo engine in its cat­e­gory (272HP). To­ward the end of the year the brand is also launch­ing the XT4, an in­no­va­tive, fu­tur­is­tic-look­ing, and very dis­tinc­tive com­pact cross­over.

Early in the year Volvo Cars, part of Gabriel Abou Adal & Co., launched its new Volvo XC60, a dy­namic mid-size SUV cross­over, which was voted World Car of the Year for 2018. Later this year, the brand is launch­ing its new Volvo XC40 the rst com­pact cross­over SUV, named the 2018 Euro­pean Car of the Year. It sets a new stan­dard in its seg­ment in terms of de­sign, con­nec­tiv­ity, and safety fea­tures, part of the brand’s 2020 vi­sion to cre­ate safer cars. It is also the rst model built around Volvo’s new Com­pact Mod­u­lar Ar­chi­tec­ture, which will un­der­pin all up­com­ing cars in the 40 se­ries, in­clud­ing fully elec­tri ed ve­hi­cles.

Bas­soul Heneine and its brand BMW is in­tro­duc­ing a whole bunch of new car de­signs, in­clud­ing three in the X range: the all-new mod­els BMW X2, BMW X4, and BMW X5. Also com­ing this year is the pow­er­ful new gen­er­a­tion BMW 8 Se­ries coupe and con­vert­ible, which is the epit­ome of dy­nam­ics and so­phis­ti­cated lux­ury the very essence of a BMW.

Alfa Romeo, dis­trib­uted in Le­banon by Gar­gour Au­to­mo­tive Com­pany, is launch­ing the all-new Stelvio uadri­foglio, which will be avail­able in Septem­ber in Le­banon, a lux­ury SUV for those who ex­pect high per­for­mance and util­ity.

This year, G.A. Bazer i & Sons, o icial dis­trib­u­tor of Maserati, is in­tro­duc­ing the new Le­vante Tro­feo. The sportier, more pow­er­ful ver­sion of the brand’s SUV is equipped with a V8 engine, one of the most pow­er­ful ever tted in a Maserati, while re­tain­ing its Ital­ian el­e­gance. The 2018 mod­els come in two trim op­tions: GranLusso, with an em­pha­sis on lux­ury, and GranS­port, which is more dy­namic.

Rasamny You­nis Mo­tor Com­pany has al­ready re­vealed two ex­cit­ing ve­hi­cles from one of its brands, In niti. The gi­ant X80 and sleek X30 are at op­po­site ends of the SUV spectrum, each ap­peal­ing in its own right. The com­mand­ing, pow­er­ful, and ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous X80 (known as the X56 un­til 2013) is an un­doubtable force on any road and dou­bly so on Le­banon’s un­pre­dictable sur­faces. Mean­while, for those look­ing for lux­ury in a more com­pact pack­age, there’s In niti’s rst-ever pre­mium ac­tive cross­over, the X30. Yet to be re­vealed is an­other ve­hi­cle in the SUV range. Com­ing in ust above the X30 is the new X50, with its new de­sign and a new-gen­er­a­tion engine (the world’s rst pro­duc­tion-ready vari­able com­pres­sion ratio engine), which will have its o icial launch in the next few months. While some car com­pa­nies are fo­cus­ing on driver­less cars, In niti is em­pow­er­ing the hu­man be­hind the wheel, with the three new mod­els stand­ing as bold re­minders of In niti’s dar­ing and unique de­signs, ac­com­pa­nied with all the for­ward-think­ing tech

that en­hances the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mov­ing to brands and mod­els in other classes, there are ve new Hyundai mod­els com­ing to Le­banon: The all­new i30N is a hot lit­tle hatch­back that’s de­but­ing in the Mid­dle East for the rst time this sum­mer. Known for its in­no­va­tive asym­met­ri­cal de­sign, the new model Veloster puts the fun back into driv­ing with a style that is sporty and unique. Mean­while the all-new Santa Fe is made for the cus­tomer that val­ues work and life, with its digni ed ex­te­rior, and strong and so­phis­ti­cated in­te­rior. An­other cool car com­ing to the mar­ket is a brand new, stylish, and youth­ful cross­over: the Kona. A fa­mil­iar face is also get­ting a li the Ac­cent sub­com­pact car, now in its h gen­er­a­tion, is big­ger, bolder, and bet­ter than ever. In ad­di­tion, the o icial dis­trib­u­tor of Hyundai says they have two other new, top-secret mod­els for this year. Look­ing to the fu­ture, we can also ex­pect the all-new Sonata 2019 to land in Le­banon next year.

This year the o icial dis­trib­u­tor of Toy­ota and its lux­ury divi­sion Lexus, BUMC, is also launch­ing the small but sen­sa­tional sub­com­pact Toy­ota Yaris, and the mid-sized, sturdy Toy­ota Camry. What makes Toy­ota one of the most pur­chased brands world­wide is its range of de­signs and shapes to suit di er­ent cus­tomers. Not only that, but the new lux­ury sa­loon Lexus LS500 is set to be re­vealed soon, a dra­matic sedan if ever there was one, with the car­maker’s rst-ever twin-tur­bocharged engine.

Chevro­let, a er be­ing named the most awarded and fastest-grow­ing brand for the last four years and be­ing the only brand to earn the J.D. Power Depend­abil­ity awards for cars, trucks, and SUVs three years in a row, dis­trib­uted in Le­banon un­der IMPEX, is launch­ing two new SUVs this year. The 2018 all-new com­pact SUV Equinox with class lead­ing tech­nol­ogy, roomi­ness, safety, and per­for­mance. The slightly larger, all-new Tra­verse is also mak­ing its de­but this year, ad­ver­tised as the car for go-get­ters, ad­ven­ture-seek­ers, and those al­ways in mo­tion. Mean­while for those look­ing for a proper mus­cle car, this sum­mer will see the R1 in Le­banon the most pow­er­ful, fastest pro­duc­tion Corvette has ever made.

A.N Boukather, the o icial dis­trib­u­tor of Mazda in Le­banon, is cel­e­brat­ing their 50-year an­niver­sary this year with a cou­ple of new cars. Al­ready launched is the newly re­designed Mazda CX-5, with a dis­tinc­tive de­sign and spe­cial­ized Sky­ac­tiv fuel e iciency tech­nol­ogy. With the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion CX-5 win­ning over 150 awards over the

years, the new de­sign is keep­ing up, this year com­ing in among the top three na ists or or d ar o the ear 2018” at the Geneva Mo­tor Show. ANB will be re­veal­ing an ex­cit­ing new fam­ily-ori­ented model re­design later this year. ANB also re­cently ac­quired Opel and will be launch­ing a new show­room by sum­mer.

Jeep, dis­trib­uted in Le­banon by Gar­gour Au­to­mo­tive Com­pany, has sev­eral launch­ings this year. The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee Track­hawk has al­ready had its reveal, and it’s setting new stan­dards for the Cherokee ex­pe­ri­ence. May will see the de­but of the smaller Jeep Com­pass, the com­pact sport util­ity ve­hi­cle with awe­some o -road ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The Jeep Cherokee is set to reveal its face-li in June, while the all-new Jeep ran­gler is ex­pected to drop by July. Mean­while Gar­gour is host­ing sev­eral events for cus­tomers, in­clud­ing the an­nual Jeep Jam­boree, which gath­ers own­ers from across the coun­try to par­tic­i­pate in ex­hil­a­rat­ing on-road and o -road drives, packed with fun ac­tiv­i­ties.

As one of the most pur­chased car brands in the coun­try, KIA, dis­trib­uted by NATCO, is launch­ing two new mod­els this year: the com­pact Cer­ato and the lux­ury sedan uoris, both high on tech and con­nect­ed­ness.

Tew­tel Group, who also dis­trib­utes Honda, is hav­ing a good year with this brand too, with the reveal of three new mod­els: the pop­u­lar com­pact Civic, the roomier and sleeker Ac­cord, and the CR-V com­pact SUV. Later this year, their other brand Ford is also launch­ing a new model, the Ford Ecosport.


In Jan­uary, Porsche in­tro­duced the world to a whole new car buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, pre­miered in Beirut at the brand’s Down­town deal­er­ship. Named the Porsche stu­dio, the sleek, lux­u­ri­ous space al­most looks like a Porsche car turned into a room, with special lounge ar­eas, an LED screen show­ing on­go­ing dy­namic videos of the cars, a ve­hi­cle dis­play that looks like a fash­ion run­way, and more. The im­mer­sive brand ex­pe­ri­ence also in­cludes an on-site Trim­ming and Con gu­ra­tion Lab to cus­tomi e ve­hi­cles.

Ferrari re­cently up­graded their 3500 square me­ter Dora show­room to be a 3S fa­cil­ity, mean­ing it com­bines the show­room, work­shop, and bodyshop in a cen­tral­ized space, o er­ing a com­plete range of ser­vices and mak­ing it more con­ve­nient for clients.

Saad & Trad is de­but­ing its ren­o­vated show­room for all three of its brands to­ward the end of the year. ANB is opening a brand new show­room in Hazmieh this sum­mer for their newly ac­quired brand, Opel. Mean­while, Bas­soul-Heneine is also plan­ning for a big­ger state-ofthe-art show­room in the near fu­ture.

Mean­while, Gar­gour Au­to­mo­tive Com­pany is con­tin­u­ously mak­ing an e ort to im­prove its a er­sales fa­cil­i­ties, with the launch of a new sup­port fa­cil­ity in Dora by the end of 2018.

With so many new car op­tions on the mar­ket for var­i­ous seg­ments, there’s a car for every­one.

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