Petrol­heads con­verge for an­nual show­case event

▶ The Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron can hit more than 400kph and is named after a rac­ing legend

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE - NICK WEB­STER

From ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers to lux­ury sports cars, the 2019 Dubai Mo­tor Show is a petrol­head’s dream.

The in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tion opened its doors yes­ter­day at Dubai World Trade Cen­tre with some­thing on of­fer for ev­ery­one.

Dubai Po­lice were keen to show off the lat­est ad­di­tions to their fleet of pa­trol ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing a V8 Bent­ley Ben­tayga with a top speed of 290 kilo­me­tres an hour.

The Shaman 8X8 am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cle by Streit is also likely to be a big draw for vis­i­tors to the five-day event.

Its 146-horse­power en­gine and eight wheels can cope with even the most treach­er­ous driv­ing con­di­tions by in­flat­ing or de­flat­ing its tyres.

En­gag­ing the rear pro­pel­ler of the 11-seater also al­lows driv­ers to power through flooded streets or even nav­i­gate lakes and rivers.

“Self-in­flat­ing tyres and the built-in pro­pel­ler can all be con­trolled from the dash­board,” said David Kauf­man, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager at Streit, a US man­u­fac­turer. “All eight wheels are mul­ti­di­rec­tional, so it is very ver­sa­tile and can turn in a very tight space.

“There is a UAE mar­ket for this ve­hi­cle, par­tic­u­larly with the heavy rains re­cently. It can even be taken into the sea from the beach.”

Po­lice in Ras Al Khaimah, mean­while, are be­lieved to have added the mon­ster Shaman to its fleet of pa­trol cars.

The Rus­sian-built all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle is re­garded as be­ing ide­ally suited for the moun­tain­ous land­scape of the North­ern Emi­rates.

At $300,000 (Dh1.1 mil­lion) it does not come cheap, but its price tag is still some way short of the most ex­pen­sive ve­hi­cle on show.

Su­per­car Al­ley is al­ways a favourite at the an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion and this year’s dis­play of speed does not dis­ap­point.

A 2018 McLaren Senna, named after the Brazil­ian For­mula One driver, has a gar­gan­tuan rear spoiler, help­ing to de­liver down­force to cope with its top speed of 340kph.

And although that may seem fast enough for most, parked up next to the Senna is an even quicker beast.

The 2018 Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron can hit a top speed of more than 400kph, and is also named after a pre­vi­ous rac­ing great – Louis Ch­i­ron was one of the fastest driv­ers in pre-For­mula One his­tory.

Ulug­bekhon Mak­sumov, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Inkas Ve­hi­cles, said his com­pany had brought cus­tomised ve­hi­cles built to pro­tect pres­i­dents and other VIPs.

“We are up­grad­ing nor­mal ve­hi­cles to weld bal­lis­tic steel on to the cars to make them bombproof,” he said.

“There are many dif­fer­ent spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Se­cu­rity com­pa­nies in the UAE will re­quest cars that can with­stand nor­mal am­mu­ni­tion.

“In other parts of the world, our clients ask for ve­hi­cles that can with­stand ar­mour-pierc­ing bul­lets and grenades.

“Our mar­ket is con­cen­trated in the Mid­dle East, but we de­liver cars all over the world [in­clud­ing] em­bassies and mil­i­tary de­part­ments.”

Su­per­car Al­ley is al­ways a favourite des­ti­na­tion for vis­i­tors to the Dubai Mo­tor Show

Dubai Po­lice show off some of their pa­trol ve­hi­cles on the open­ing day of Dubai Mo­tor Show

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