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Road Test: Ford Taurus (2023)



The Ford Taurus was discontinued in the U.S. a couple of years ago. However, the nameplate has been revived for a new model in the Middle East. The Taurus is only available in select countries in the GCC.

It comes packed with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder “Ecoboost” engine married to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It offers 232 horsepower and a torque of 360 Nm.

Standard features on the Taurus Ambiente include power steering, power windows, LED auto headlamps, auto start-stop, cruise control, a sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic AC, parking sensors, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Taurus Trend meanwhile includes additional features such as a rearview camera and dual-panel sunroof. The Taurus Titanium, which is reviewed here, includes leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, front LED fog lamps, ambient lighting, wireless charging, and adaptive cruise control.

The Taurus Titanium Plus includes additional features such as a power rear seat recliner, rear seat climate control, and an automated parking system.

Safety features on the Ambiente include front and side airbags, knee airbags, tire pressure monitor, ABS, and traction control. The higher Titanium models include lane departure warning, lane discipline aid, blind spot monitoring, and collision mitigation.

On the front, the Taurus features a pair of striking LED daytime running lights located above the main headlamps and a prominent black grille. The rear of the vehicle features LED taillights, an LED light bar, a large “Taurus” badge on the trunk lid, and silver accents on the rear bumper.

The interior of the 2023 Taurus boasts a comfortable cabin with features such as an 8-inch digital instrument cluster, a 13.2-inch infotainment screen, a wireless charging pad, a three-spoke steering wheel, and a two-tone dashboard. The interior is quite pretty and modern and goes very well with the striking exterior.

The Ford Taurus provides a comfortable driving experience, even on rough roads, with less road noise compared to some more expensive alternatives in the market. It handles well for its size, feeling agile and providing a good grip.

If you are in the market for a full-sized sedan that looks and feels premium, you should definitely consider the 2023 Ford Taurus.

Price: AED 144795 onwards

Ford Taurus (2023) AED 144795 onwards
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The Taurus Titanium, which is reviewed here, includes leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, front LED fog lamps, ambient lighting, wireless charging, and adaptive cruise control.

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BMW Launches the M3 CS



BMW M GmbH will maintain its focus on adding highly appealing special-edition models to its product range in 2023. The all-new BMW M3 CS brings even greater intensity to the racing allure that marks out the company’s successful high-performance models for the premium midsize segment. This gives the BMW M3 CS a unique character profile and the ability to serve up the undiluted M feeling that excites and enthralls over every mile on the road as well as on the track.

The powertrain concept for the new BMW M3 CS teams a 550 hp six-cylinder in-line engine with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission and the M xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system. This setup produces a 0 to 100 km/h time of 3.4 seconds. The BMW M3 CS comes with the M Driver’s Package as standard and has an electronically limited top speed of 302 km/h. The new BMW M3 CS will be built in a limited run at BMW Group Plant Munich from March 2023, with its phased launch getting underway the same month.

A more power/less weight formula instills the new BMW M3 CS with compelling performance qualities. It draws its power from a specially upgraded version of the high-revving six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology developed for the BMW M3 and BMW M4 models. The engine under the bonnet of the new BMW M3 CS therefore also boasts a wealth of technological details derived directly from the race-car unit.

Its crankcase has a sleeve-free, closed-deck construction and is extremely rigid, making it suitable for very high combustion pressures. Its cylinder head has a 3D-printed core, allowing the coolant ducts to be routed in an optimum arrangement for temperature management that would be impossible to achieve using conventional metal casting methods. The system of oil supply is designed to handle the specific challenges of track use, as is the cooling system.

The unit’s considerable upgrade potential paved the way for a 40 hp hike in peak output compared with the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive, resulting in 550 hp. In addition, a specially designed engine mounting with increased spring rates creates an extremely rigid connection between the power unit and the vehicle’s structure. A press of the accelerator is therefore greeted by an even sharper engine response and direct transmission of its power to the drivetrain. The engine in the new BMW M3 CS puts a peak torque of 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) on tap from just 2,750 rpm and sustains it all the way to 5,950 rpm.

This is accompanied by the emotionally stirring soundtrack produced by the dual-branch exhaust system featuring electrically controlled flaps, a titanium rear silencer with weight-minimising design, and – in customary M fashion – two pairs of tailpipes painted in matt Black. Selecting the SPORT or SPORT+ modes for the engine setting in the M Setup menu dials up the drive sound to produce a note with unmissable racing car undertones.

Extensive, model-specific lightweight design measures play a major part in moulding the performance qualities and exclusive character of the new BMW M3 CS. The use of components made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) both inside and out is of key importance here. Besides its carbon fibre roof, the special-edition model also uses this lightweight, high-tech material for its bonnet, front splitter, front air intakes, exterior mirror caps, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler.

Its centre console, the shift paddles on the steering wheel, and its interior trim strips are likewise all manufactured from CFRP. The standard M Carbon bucket seats also do their bit to keep weight down in the cabin. The titanium rear silencer, meanwhile, shaves more than 4 kilograms off the weight of the exhaust system fitted on the new BMW M3 CS. The various lightweight design measures bring about a total weight saving of some 20 kilograms compared to the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive.

The new BMW M3 CS instantly announces its sharper character with a series of individual design features. The Frozen Solid White metallic paint finish available for the exterior is exclusive to the latest special-edition model from BMW M GmbH. Exposed carbon-fibre surfaces for the roof, the two indents chiselled into the bonnet, the front splitter, front air intakes, M exterior mirror caps, rear spoiler, and rear apron combine with the Black side skirts and M gills to provide a stunning contrast to the new paint finish. Signal Green solid, Brooklyn Grey metallic, and Sapphire Black metallic are available as alternative exterior colours.

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Gargash Group Launches the All-New GAC EMPOW



Gargash Group has unveiled the all-new GAC EMPOW in the region. The all-new EMPOW continues on GAC Motor’s tradition and is built to deliver an exhilarating drive packed with advanced smart features, stunning racecar design, and ultimate handling. Ushering a new chapter of the modern and sporty sedan with an iconic wider and lower stance coupled with its racecar-style exhaust sound, the new model takes on GAC Motor’s revolutionary technology and boasts a refreshing and trendy design and dynamic exterior. GAC Motor has chosen UAE to be the first market in the Middle East to showcase EMPOW due to its strategic importance within the region.

Comprising a 1.5TGDI engine, EMPOW brings users a stronger sporty, youthful vibe, and is equipped with a central console screen, wireless phone charging, and the L2 ADAS feature—making it much more advanced in terms of technology, innovation, and smart driving in experience as compared to its competitors in the segment.  GAC Motor seeks a presence in this sporty sedan segment and EMPOW delivers it in style with 177 max horsepower & 270 Nm torque delivering strong power coupled with superb handling.

Shehab Gargash, MD & Group CEO of Gargash Group stated, “Our strategic partnership with GAC Motor is an important milestone for us and is very much in line with our growth strategy. Since our inception, our core goal has been to create outstanding experiences for customers, and by joining forces with a brand like GAC Motor that has inspired monumental change in the market over the years, we’ve been able to move forward at a rapid pace. We stand by GAC’s decision to host the Middle East debut of the EMPOW in the UAE and believe it’s the ideal market to introduce this new sporty sedan, which will surely create waves and take the nation by storm.”

For his part, Zeng Hebin, General Manager of GAC Motor International, said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with our long-standing partner Gargash Group, an industry expert, to offer UAE residents the dynamic EMPOW. Customers will find it a delight to own one, as it is a comfortable yet stylish car that will meet most transport needs. Over the past few years, we’ve been working on making a mark in this product segment and with the opportunities that the UAE market holds, we’re confident that we’ll be able to meet our targets by exceeding customer expectations.”

Morgan Sunderland, General Manager at Gargash Motors, said, “GAC Motor is one of the leading automobile brands in its segment and we’re pleased to represent them in the UAE. With the new EMPOW model, we look forward to elevating GAC Motor’s position as the definitive choice for customers and taking our partnership to new heights. The EMPOW is a top-of-the-class sport sedan which matches its on-road performance with its comfort and convenience.”

Currently, the EMPOW is available in five iconic colours including Classy Black, Moon Grey, Ivory White, Glossy Fighter Green, and Matte Fighter Green.

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Ford’s All-New 8-Seater Expedition SUV Packs a 3.5L EcoBoost Twin-Turbo V6 Engine



With power, comfort, convenience, and style, the Ford Expedition ticks a lot of boxes for a driver’s SUV requirements and lifestyles. With six trims available in the Middle East, the Expedition has been built to allow adventures for all the family, anywhere. Whether you’re driving up a dune or down a highway, the all-new Expedition’s 3.5L EcoBoost Twin-Turbo V6 engine – which includes an available new High-Output version from the F-150 Raptor that delivers 440 horsepower and 691 Nm of torque to the brand-new Timberline and Stealth Performance Edition – will get you there quickly.

The Expedition’s readiness for multiple driving scenarios is accentuated by a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission that maximizes power, complemented by an available Terrain Management System that optimizes ride dynamics for a range of road conditions. With up to seven selectable drive modes – including Normal, Sport, Eco, Sand, and Tow/Haul – at the turn of a dial, the Expedition is set for every driving scenario.

An electronically limited-slip differential is now standard across all 4×4 trims of the Expedition, while an off-road front bumper on the XL and XLT 4×4 series further enhances its off-road capability. An available powered panoramic Vista roof allows natural light to flow into the all-new Expedition, making the already sizeable cabin look larger than ever.

The cabin comes packed with all the technology required to make driving a pleasure. A standard 12″ touchscreen and available largest-in-class 15.5″ HD SYNC 4 touchscreen make it easy to play your music, navigate apps, and wirelessly interact with your Apple or Android smartphone through voice or touch prompts. Alongside the biggest screen on a large SUV, the Expedition also boasts another segment-largest feature, with its available 12.4” fully digital, customizable LCD instrument panel.

Drivers will appreciate an extensive collection of Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technologies, which help to minimize stress and maximize the fun for those behind the wheel. These features utilize a network of sensors and sophisticated cameras to offer drivers support such as Pre-Collision Assist with Emergency Braking, Intersection Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and even Adaptive Cruise Control, which can bring the vehicle to a stop and then continue on if you encounter traffic on your work commute.

With re-designed front and rear facias, the new Expedition not only performs better than ever but looks even better doing so. The new Expedition also comes with LED headlamps, an 8” Digital instrument cluster, and a Center Console Refrigerator as standard. An immersive audio is also offered through the available 1,080-watt best-in-class B&O Unleashed 22-speaker sound system transforming every song into a concert.

“The all-new Ford Expedition comes with a rich variety of standard and available features to suit a diverse range of customers,” said Chris Noel, Managing Director at Ford Middle East. “It’s the ideal SUV for those seeking an adaptable vehicle – on and off road.”

At its heart, the all-new Ford Expedition Timberline delivers one thing: Confidence. Built to conquer even the roughest off-road environments, drivers can tackle whatever the trail throws at them, without fear. Packed full of class-leading, segment-first features, and technology, the Timberline stakes a bold claim as the most off-road capable large SUV out there.

Borrowed from its F-150 Raptor cousin, the Timberline’s High-Output 3.5L V6 engine delivers a best-in-class 440hp and 691 Nm of torque, while segment-first Trail Turn Assist – first developed on the Ford Bronco – allows the Timberline to undertake sharp pivots on low-friction surfaces such as sand dunes. For a smoother ride, Standard Trail Control operates like low-speed cruise control, allowing you to focus on obstacles in the terrain, and is perfect for helping novice off-roaders get unstuck.

The Expedition Timberline is fitted with a front bumper and skid plates, also borrowed from the F-150 Raptor, as well as an upgraded modified ‘rough road’ suspension with a wider wheel track providing more stability off-road. The Timberline comes standard with specially designed, lighter weight 18” off-road wheels with wider spoke gaps for sand outflow and large sidewall 33” all-terrain tires enhancing performance when deflated. These upgrades elevate the Timberline over the standard Expedition with improvements in approach and departure angles – and almost 11” of ground clearance to conquer any challenge.

The Timberline’s exterior features a dark carbonized gray grille and tailgate appliqué, black Ford Oval badges with Ember Red tow hooks and exterior accents, Timberline badges, and black roof-rack side rails to lend the SUV an air of streamlined toughness and let everyone know this is something special. Inside, the Timberline’s spacious cabin offers a unique Deep Cyprus color, complemented by Tangerine stitching and accents to match the exterior, with ActiveX seats or optional leather, offering all the comfort and sophistication Expedition is known for.

Stealth Performance Edition
For those seeking to add a layer of unmatched style and presence underlined by power, the Ford Expedition Stealth Performance Edition has you covered. The Stealth Performance Edition comes in a sleek, dynamic package that exudes style, capability, and speed. Equally adept at taming the rugged off-road as the Timberline with the same class-leading features and technologies, the Stealth Performance Edition also has a design refined enough to rule the streets.

A sport trim adorns the interior with polished black accents, red interior stitching, and luxury sport floor mats to match the performance capability and compliment the sporty exterior. Top-of-the-range technology such as the best-in-class B&O Unleashed 22-speaker sound system and power deployable running boards are standard. Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 features a 360-degree camera with a split-view display, Reverse Brake Assist, and Active Park Assist 2.0 to make journeys more seamless than ever.

Powered by the same F-150 Raptor-based High-Output 3.5L V6 Twin-Turbo engine as the Timberline, the Stealth Performance Edition packs a class-beating 440hp and 691Nm of torque with Enhanced Active Noise Control to ensure the aggressive dual exhaust note is just the right amount of angry.

Leveraging the ST pedigree on other Ford models, the Stealth Performance wouldn’t be complete without a Sport suspension and brake setup. Its performance is underpinned by the Continuously Controlled Damping suspension and – unlike competitor versions of active suspension – Stealth Performance uses a segment-first, front-facing camera to monitor the road ahead and adjusts the damping every 2 milliseconds.

On the outside, Ebony Black accents all around provide a monochromatic appearance, while EXPEDITION lettering on the hood, massive 22″ premium black-painted aluminum wheels, and red performance-tuned brakes let you know the king of the streets have arrived.

“Drivers in this region have a diverse set of expectations when it comes to SUVs,” added Noel. “With the Expedition’s various trim options, Ford has catered to several needs for driving off and on the road.Whether you’re looking for a standout SUV that rules the highway or desert, the all-new Ford Expedition offers enough variety of options to keep you covered, whatever adventure you’re about to embark on. The all-new Ford Expedition is available for sale in most Ford showrooms in the Middle East.

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