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Road Test: Nissan Kicks 2018

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Nissan has let its creativity all out with its newest entry into the sub-compact SUV market. We are of course, talking about the brand new 2018 Kicks. Making noise in an ever-burgeoning automotive segment is no small feat for small SUVs. So with stylish good-looks, standard features normally reserved for pricier fare and tech to satisfy even eager early adopters, the Nissan Kicks hopes to make big noise. And it does so in style and performance.

The Nissan Kicks comes packed with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM), which redefines the way Nissan powers, drives and integrates its cars into society. NIM makes the ride through life more thrilling and confident every day and transforms the Kicks 2018 from a car into a responsive partner that is always on the lookout for drivers, passengers and pedestrians through its Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection system.

The Nissan Kicks 2018 accompanies a 1.6 L engine XTronic CVT that offers 118 hp and 149 Nm torque. It also boasts a fuel efficiency of 16.4 kms per liter. Features include rear spoiler, roof rails, Bluetooth hands-free, steering mounted controls, front driver and passenger airbags, ABS + EBD + BA, Vehicle Dynamic Control with Hill Start Assist, Tyre Pressure Monitor System, Front Disc / Rear Drum brakes, and Active Chassis Control.

You also get leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, navigation with a 7-inch touch screen, audio system with six speakers and USB port, side and curtain airbags, and  six airbags. We were also surprised to find an around-view monitor with Moving Object Detection. However, the Nissan Kicks does not come with cruise control.

In terms of styling, the Kicks is impressive. It comes with the company’s signature V-motion grille, large sweptback headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, along with a wide central airdam and LED foglamps on either end. Meanwhile, the rear comes with a set of sharp LED taillamps, sculpted tailgate, and a beefy rear bumper with diffuser.

The navigation system though on the Nissan Kicks is not suited for this region. It does not allow you to search for destinations using keywords. Instead, it relies heavily on street names or building names or specific locations such as hotel names. We had to make do with Google Maps on our smartphone when we were out driving this beautiful thing.

The Nissan Kicks also comes with a range of safety and comfort technologies such as chassis control. This is further supported by advanced electronic systems such as Active Trace Control, Active Ride Control and Active Engine Brake. Having said that, the Nissan Kicks handles quite nicely. It is possibly not a family car – it is more suited for young-somethings who are looking for a sweet ride to drive around town.

Price: AED 75000 onwards

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Rimac Concept_One Takes Centre Stage at New Hypercar Exhibit

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Rimac Automobili’s first production model and the world’s first electric hypercar – the Concept_One – is a part of a new hypercar exhibit at the world-famous Petersen Automotive Museum in California. Joined by game-changing icons like the Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg Agera RS, it’s an exploration of the recent phenomenon of cars with such other-worldly performance that they go beyond the realm of the supercar, and into the hyper.

The new ‘Hypercars: The Allure of the Extreme’ exhibit opened on December 4th, designed to showcase what hypercars stand for and why they continue to captivate the global automotive community. It’s just one part of the Museum, which is described as “the world’s greatest automotive museum”, housing one of the largest collections ever assembled, from all-time classics to modern-day racing cars and cutting-edge electric vehicles of the future. The Concept_One on display is in fact the very first production example ever produced, owned by Mr. Paul Runge based in the US, who wished to give the public a chance to see the hypercar in the metal.

The Concept_One was Mate Rimac’s first car built from the ground up and was designed to showcase the potential of electric technology in the world of automotive performance. Born out of Rimac’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology and electric powertrains, the Concept_One was not only intended to transform the performance EV platform but to prove that an electric powertrain can make a car faster, but also more exciting, too.

Revealed to the world in production form in 2016, the Concept_One was based upon entirely new powertrain systems and an original platform developed in-house by Rimac. Powered by four magnetic electric motors – one for each wheel – with a total output of 900 kW/1224hp and 1600Nm of torque from 8450 battery cells, the Concept_One was soon recognized as one of the fastest road cars, at the time beating many hypercars off-the-line. It’s capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h (62mph) in just 2.5 seconds, to 200 km/h (124mph) in 6, and to 300 km/h (186mph) in 14 seconds.

The Concept_One also helped to lay the foundations for Rimac Automobili’s latest all-electric hypercar, the Nevera. Although not a single component was carried over from Concept_One, the experience helped the Rimac Automobili team to create evolutions of some of Concept_One’s technologies, including Rimac All-Wheel Torque Vectoring, and a quad-motor powertrain fed by a 120kWh battery. Rimac’s next generation, Nevera, is the most technologically advanced hypercar in the world and the fastest accelerating production car, launched by its 1,914hp motors to 300km/h (186mph) in 9.3 seconds – nearly a full five seconds faster than Concept_One.

Mate Rimac, CEO and founder of Rimac Automobili, adds: “With the Concept_One, we didn’t want to simply create an electric version of existing hypercars. We wanted to create the hypercar of the 21st century. To have it stand wheel-to-wheel with other iconic hypercars in one of the most prestigious automotive museums in the world is a real honour for us. And, with only eight built, this exhibit will provide visitors with a rare glimpse of the car that so much of our knowledge and technology is built upon. The Concept_One is an absolutely crucial part of Rimac Automobili history and – while we’ve come so far since – we’ll always look back at Concept_One proud of the electric revolution we helped to kickstart.”

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Yas Marina Circuit to Host Four-Day #ABUDHABIGP Festival

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With the four-day Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race festival just around the corner, Yas Marina Circuit is buzzing with activity as the world-famous F1 landmark prepares to welcome 60,000 motorsports fans with 55% visiting internationally, despite the current challenging conditions. Hundreds of team officials along with VIP guests, celebrities, international media, and, of course, the world’s best drivers will all be in attendance.

Making sure everything is ready and set to go ahead of the big race is a huge team of dedicated cleaners, painters, gardeners, and skilled technical experts who will be hard at work across the Circuit’s track, grandstands, and landscaped areas. As one of the world’s iconic motorsports venues, it’s vital that Yas Marina Circuit looks its very best for the tens of thousands of fans packed into the stands and the many millions watching live on TV around the globe. Squads of painters will work around the clock to apply a fresh coat of paint to the newly reconfigured 5.28-km track.

This year Yas Marina Circuit used new robot technology for the first time to mark out and paint special track run-offs to celebrate the UAE’s Year of the 50th. The innovative Robot Plotter was used for a compact and autonomous way to mark lines quickly and accurately, providing a safe and cost-effective technique. Other unique murals, painted by UAE-based artists, will feature across Yas Marina Circuit to celebrate the Golden Jubilee and the future of the region.

Before this year’s four-day racing festival, a small army of cleaners will be given the essential task of clearing away the dust from the Circuit’s impressive Grandstands. Equipped with high-pressure hoses, the team will set about tackling the Circuit’s 228 canopies over a mammoth 6,920 hours of non-stop cleaning work in order to have the venue looking spick and span and ready to welcome spectators.

Away from the track and the Grandstands, Yas Marina Circuit’s 88.4 acres of landscaped areas are also given special attention with teams of gardeners pruning and planting 2.52 acres of seasonal flowers and petunias. The green-fingered gardeners will install more than 1,750 different kinds of foliage along with 886 varieties of Palms and 529 potted plants to bring a splash of natural colour and the wonderful scented aroma of flowers to Yas Marina Circuit.

While the huge cleaning operation is going on ahead of the F1 long weekend’s official start, behind the scenes the huge logistical task of organising this epic motorsport event is already well underway. Teams of motor racing experts and logistics managers direct fleets of transporters carrying everything required for the FIA F2 Championship and the non-championship F4UAE race.

Squads of highly skilled technicians and safety experts will inspect every inch of the Circuit as part of intensive procedures to ensure the safety of the drivers, teams, and the spectators watching the F1® action unfold. With the huge to-do list slowly being completed the job by job, the time arrives for the 10 teams to land in Abu Dhabi. Fresh from the season’s penultimate race in Saudi Arabia, the teams and the hundreds of personnel that travel with them will sweep into the UAE’s capital city in a fleet of planes, ships, and lorries, all loaded with the essentials that keep F1 on the road and racing.

After 21 rounds of racing the 2021 F1 season is guaranteed a thrilling grand finale in Abu Dhabi – and Yas Marina Circuit is guaranteed to be looking great.

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IEM Opens New MG Showrooms in Sharjah and Al Ain

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Inter Emirates Motors (IEM), a subsidiary of Ali & Sons Holding LLC and MG’s official distributor in the United Arab Emirates, have announced the opening of two new showrooms across the country, adding to their existing three showrooms as a part of their expansion plans. The opening of the new MG exclusive showrooms is driven by heightened consumer demand for the British-born automobile brand along with its drive to increase its customer base across the UAE.

The new showrooms will open beginning of December 2021, at Shiab Al Ashkhar, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and at Industrial Area 12, Sharjah. The core focus of these showrooms is to widen the reach of MG Motor across the country and provide quality service to customers without compromising on convenience.

The 381sqm showroom will open in the neighbourhood of Shiab Al Ashkhar, located in the southern region of Al Ain. In Sharjah, the two-storey showroom will be located at Industrial Area 12, with ground floor having a space of 929sqm and mezzanine floor with 439sqm. Like other IEM showrooms, both the newly launched facilities will have a dedicated space for MG electric vehicles, showcasing MG’s commitment to sustainability.

Mohamed Ali Khalfan Al Dhaheri, Managing Director of Inter Emirates Motors, said, “We are thrilled to see the phenomenal response that MG vehicles have attained over a very short period of time in the UAE. The passion and enthusiasm of motorists in the UAE for the brand is what is providing us with the opportunity to grow even faster than we projected. This enables us to further cement our national commitment to the residents of the UAE in meeting their unique needs and demands.”

IEM commenced operations for MG Motor in April 2021. Since then, it has sold over 2,600 vehicles from a variety of categories with its most recent launch being that of the all-new 2022 MG GT – which will be displayed exclusively across five IEM showrooms across the country.

The 2022 MG GT adapts the third-generation MG family design language incorporated with the aggressively sporty look. Inspired by the classic two-door MGB sports car, MG GT is the perfect choice for those looking for power at a cost-efficient price. Moreover, the new models align perfectly with the region’s demographics, resonating with freedom, aspirations, passion, and rebelliousness.

“We are extremely proud to not only have the opportunity to launch such an exceptional car in the UAE, but more importantly to have celebrated the opening of two new showrooms across the country in time for the UAE’s 50th National Day,” said Hisham Elsahn, General Manager, IEM. “The UAE is a young nation compared to other countries across the world but has outpaced the rest in terms of vision, ambition, innovation and execution. We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage our expertise within the automotive industry to drive sales for MG Motor whilst strengthening the brand in the country. We look forward to creating an impressive impact for the brand and bring joy and excitement to every MG Motor owner now and in the years to come.”

Celebrating the occasion of the UAE’s 50th National Day, IEM is running a ‘UAE 50 Years’ offer to its customers. Customers that purchase an MG vehicle between 4th to 9th December 2021 can avail a discount of up to AED 5,000.

IEM also has three dedicated service centres across the UAE, manned with almost 100 after sales representatives and equipped with 32 work bays. In Dubai a 2,700sqm facility is located in Al Khabisi in Deira, in Abu Dhabi the service centre is located in Al Mussafah, and a 600sqm facility in Ras Al Khaimah is attached to the showroom on the ‘Auto Mile’.

The MG brand officially returned to the Middle East in 2015 and has enjoyed remarkable success since last year, breaking into the top 10 car manufacturers across the GCC. Launched in 1979, Ali & Sons is well established in the UAE and has long been aligned with some of the globe’s most prestigious automotive brands. Now, through IEM, MG customers across the Emirates can benefit from the Group’s unparalleled industry experience.

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