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2018 Infiniti QX80

2018 Infiniti QX80

A fresh face for Infiniti’s flagship SUV

The Infiniti QX80 is getting a slight refresh for the 2018 model year. This comes after the SUV debuted in 2013 and is welcomed since the SUV segment is so hot these days. The grille, headlights, and hood receive the biggest updates, while new LED taillights, wheel designs, and color options round out the refresh. Even milder changes happen inside, though potential customers wanting the latest and greatest will find the larger rear-seat entertainment screens, revised leather-wrapped steering wheel, and larger storage compartments a welcomed addition.

The QX80 is somewhat of a niche vehicle. Infiniti says it sold 14,085 QX80s in the U.S. within the last calendar year, which is an 8.3-percent increase over the prior year. Compare that to the Chevrolet Tahoe’s 2016 sales of 103,306 in the U.S. Even the Cadillac Escalade outpaced the QX80 in 2016 with 23,604 examples sold in America. Still, Infiniti says its research shows the QX80 averages the youngest buyer in the full-size SUV segment, with a high percentage being females. The brand also labels the QX80 buyer as “affluent, high-achieving entrepreneurs and business leaders, often with families, who demand space and utility, hand-crafted quality and modern design, and effortless on-road performance” – whatever that means. Basically, the QX80 is a three-row, full-size SUV for those who want to stand out. The changes for 2018 won’t magically boost QX80 sales toward the Tahoe, but Infiniti can surely expect to see growth in the segment.

Let’s see exactly what’s changed for 2018.

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2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO

2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO

Black and gold never gets old

Introduced earlier this year at the Geneva International Motor Show, the McLaren 720S is the second addition to the Woking brand’s Super Series line, offering high-end exotic performance and styling in a more accessible package. Indeed, a daily driver supercar makes for a great fit in a place like Dubai, and as such, McLaren just dropped the above-featured one-off as the piece de resistance for this year’s Dubai International Motor Show. Built by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the brand’s in-house tuners and creative customization team, it’s dubbed the Zenith Black, and its got a careful selection of styling upgrades both inside and out that are sure to get noticed, even when the local police force consists of hoverbikes and Bugatti Veyrons.

All told, this is an utterly unique creation, as indicated by the “1 of 1” placard inside the cabin. MSO spent an extra 120 hours on top of the usual production process to bring it to life, and overall, we think it looks great. The theme pays homage to the idea of “achievement” in a distinctive fashion – read on to learn exactly what that means.

Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO.

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The 5000-HP Devel Sixteen Debuts Next Week! Can it Live up to the Hype?

The 5000-HP Devel Sixteen Debuts Next Week! Can it Live up to the Hype?

And suddenly Koenigsegg, Bugatti, and Apollo seem a little obsolete…

Remember the Devel Sixteen? You know; that supercar built in Dubai a few years back that gave us the instant impression that someone was trying to blow smoke up our ass? Well, it may have taken a couple of years, but the official production model is finally about to make its long-awaited debut. The venue? The 2017 Dubai Auto Show. In case you don’t remember, let me fill you in on what the Devel Sixteen really is. It was a car that came to the Dubai Auto Show back in 2013 looking like a plastic Hot Wheels car with unbelievable claims of power and speed. By unbelievable, I’m talking about 5,000 horsepower from a V-16 with quad turbos and a top speed that surpasses 300 mph – a feat that may be accomplished by the Hennessey Venom F5 in the very near future.

You can’t deny that those claims sound pretty ridiculous – even the Koenigsegg One:1 is rated at just 1MW or 1,341 horsepower. The new Hennessey Venom F5 is rated at 1,600 horsepower, and even the Bugatti Chiron comes in at just 1,470 ponies. So how can a no-name company like Devel show up to the scene with a car that is said to have 5,000 horsepower and can smash 300 mph really be in the news yet again? Well, Devel may not be showing off the official car until next week, but it has already released some specs on the engine, and at this point, we kind of have to see it – just to scratch the itch that is curiosity.

To top it all off, Devel isn’t exactly on its own either, which really makes things interesting. If you remember correctly, the company teamed up with Steve Morris Engines – an engine building out of Michigan. It’s also teamed up with Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT,) a firm that has had a hand in building cars like the SCG 003 and the Apollo Intensa Emozione. Needless to say, these aren’t exactly no-name companies working on a project that seemed to be nothing more than a marketing gimmick just a few years ago. Keep reading to see some pictures of the prototype, a picture of this crazy V-16 engine, a video of the Engine on the Dyno and full specs of the production model so far.

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2015 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Tiger Edition

2015 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Tiger Edition

Since the debut of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, there have been a number of bespoke coupes made, including the 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Al-Adiyat , 2015 Rolls-Royce Suhail Collection, 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Bespoke Chicane Coupe, and the 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Ghawwas Edition, among others. Now, a new Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe has been created – this time called the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Tiger. Just like when the Phantom was updated back in 2013, there have been no modifications to the 453-horsepower engine. On the other hand, the car did receive a custom paint job and customized interior that makes this Phantom stand out even more than it already does.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is already a special car, be it in coupe, sedan, or drophead form, but there’s always room for customization. It is unfortunate that nothing has been done to modify the engine in any way, but then again, 453 horsepower isn’t something to shrug your shoulders at either. Let’s take a look at the Phantom Coupe Tiger Edition and see just how special it really is.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Tiger Edition.

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2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63S By Brabus

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63S By Brabus

Brabus is taking center stage at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show with yet another tuning kit for one of Mercedes’ newest models. Coinciding with the unveiling of the Mercedes S63 AMG Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition, the German tuner has now pulled the covers off of the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63S - 700.

The new tuning program is for the GLE 63, Merc’s first offering to a coupe-SUV segment currently populated by the likes of BMW X6 and the Porsche Cayenne. The GLE has yet to gain the following that it’s competitors have had in years, but Mercedes, and Brabus by extension, hope to change that with programs like this one.

On its face, the B63S - 700 checks all the required boxes of a comprehensive program. It has cosmetic upgrades, aerodynamic improvements, and engine enhancements. It even has a suspension update, which goes to show how detailed this kit really is.

In the midst of all the changes made to the GLE 63, I still get the feeling that Merc’s coupe SUV still has to earn its keep. This Brabus program certainly gives it a little bit of credibility. But, that currency will only remain valid for as long as the GLE 63 is relevant. It’s too early to say how popular it’s going to be, but right now, it still has a lot of miles to cover before it can catch up with its more established rivals.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63S By Brabus.

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2015 Mercedes S65 AMG "Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition" By Brabus

2015 Mercedes S65 AMG "Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition" By Brabus

Brabus is known in the industry for its ability to turn standard Mercedes models into rockets on four wheels. The German tuner has a long list of modifications that fit this bill. Now, it’s adding another one to that list in the form of the S65 AMG Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition.

Launched at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, the ultra exclusive Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition packs the kind of power that’s fit for royalty. It’s got a comprehensive list of refinements that’s right in line with what we’ve come to expect from Brabus. From aerodynamic kits to engine modifications, the Desert Gold Edition has it all, so much so that it’s easy to forget that the aftermarket shop even went a little out of its wheelhouse to develop a special Desert Gold paint finish exclusively for this particular model. We see what you did there, Brabus.

About the only thing missing from this car is availability. Sadly, Brabus is expected to offer the Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition in extremely limited quantities. Since it made its debut in Dubai, there’s a good chance that its got dibs on all the available units. Seems appropriate considering that Brabus has a newly minted showroom in the country. The Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition would make for an incredible showpiece model.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes S65 AMG "Rocket 900 Desert Gold Edition" By Brabus.

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2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider By Garage Italia Customs

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider By Garage Italia Customs

Some of the most beautiful cars in the world have come straight out of Italy. Take the Alfa Romeo Spider, for instance. It may have been considered a “poor man’s Ferrari,” but the classic Pininfarina design and its twin-cam engine made it legendary. Of course, there is also the Lamborghini Murcielago, Maserati Bora, and Ferrari Enzo, among many others. Ferraris, Lambos, and Maseratis aside, I’m here today to talk about another Alfa Romeo Spider, but this time, it’s not one that was built from 1966 to 1993.

I’m talking about the Alfa Romeo 4C, specifically one that was customized in collaboration with Garage Italia Customs. The company’s main focus for each project car is to focus on the personality of each client, making each car just as unique as the person that owns it. I’ve seen some pretty wild modifications made to cars in my day, but this one is flat out elegant in every way.

The Alfa Romeo 4C comes a 1.7-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It has been on my wish list for years, but I never thought I would see one modified to the extent of the 4C by Garage Italia Customs.

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2016 McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 By MSO

2016 McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 By MSO

If you were at the 2015 Dubai International Auto Show, you would see three customized McLaren models sitting at the company’s booth – a Mclaren 570S, McLaren P1, and an exclusive McLaren 650S Spider named the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79. This custom 650S was developed by McLaren Special Operations (MSO,) and built exclusively for the Middle East market as a tribute to McLaren’s most loyal market.

Ian Gorsuch, McLaren Automotive’s Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa, said, “McLaren Automotive is a true pioneer in its approach to the design and development of high performance sports and supercars, and the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 by MSO is evidence of that. This truly unique project – our first in the Middle East – is inspired by a region that is home to some of our most loyal customers.”

The 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 is said to be inspired by the rich history and culture of the Middle East. Even the name has a meaning related back to the Middle East. “Al Sahara” means Desert when translated from Arabic. “79” is the atomic number of gold – the precious metal that has long been associated with opulence and luxury in the Middle East.

So, now that we know a little about the McLaren 650S Al Sahara 79, or “Desert Gold,” let’s dive into the details and see just what MSO did to this 650S to make it that much more special.

Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 By MSO.

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1997 Panoz Esperante GTR-1

1997 Panoz Esperante GTR-1

Panoz can be a very difficult company to explain to someone who has never heard of it. It is a racing team that sometimes builds road cars, which isn’t all that unique, but it also owns the Road Atlanta racetrack, as well as several wineries and hotels. More importantly, this was the race team still fielding a front-engine LMP1 car at Le Mans in 2003, a full 40 years after the last time a front-engine car took an overall win at Le Mans. Panoz isn’t interested in the norm, and that much is obvious in the company’s latest road car, the Esperante GTR-1.

Those familiar with Panoz might be scratching their heads, as the Esperante GTR-1 isn’t new at all, and dates back to 1997. Panoz only built two units of the GTR-1 as a road car, as that was all that the weird GT1 regulations of the day required for homologation. One of these units stayed at Panoz, and the company has recently gone through it and restored it. The car is now being displayed to the public at the Dubai International Motor Show. To commemorate this, Panoz is now offering a replica version of the car available by special order.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1997 Panoz Esperante GTR-1.

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2014 Devel Sixteen

2014 Devel Sixteen

The Devel Sixteen hypercar was unveiled at the 2013 Dubai International Motor Show and it is either sheer vaporware or the most insanely powerful car we’ve ever seen. According to it’s creator — Majid Al Attar — the new Devel Sixteen is "created with the passion of making this car a legend in the history of super cars."

The only problem is that even though the model dropped cover in Dubai, it’s official webpage remains mostly specification-free. Still, its pretty obvious the new Sixteen features an outrageous design language that seems inspired by the Lamborghini Egoista and Veneno, but taken to even crazier levels — if that’s even possible.

Under its hood, the Sixteen gets a sixteen-cylinder engine that, according to the specifications listed in Dubai, delivers a total of 5,000 horsepower — no, that’s not a typo, it’s a five with three zeros. With this incredible amount of power, Devel estimates the Sixteen will hit 60 mph in just 1.8 seconds and go up to a top speed of 560 km/h (347 mph). If the Devel Sixteen ever hits the market, then it will easily become the fastest production car in the world.

The new Sixten is rumored to come with a price of $1 million — a relative bargain if the specs are correct — and three customers have already placed orders.

Click past the video to see a video of the Devel Sixteen shot at the 2013 Dubai International Motor Show.

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2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer

2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Despite having a plethora of auto shows to choose where they were going to unveil the new Trailblazer, Chevrolet decided on doing it at the 2011 Dubai Motor Show as a way of effectively sucking up to the Middle East. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, because if you really think about it, the Trailblazer is built for a region like the Middle East.

In any case, the 2013 Traiblazer did in fact make an appearance in Dubai and it came with plenty of new features that could potentially shoot it up the always-competitive mid-size SUV market.

The new Trailblazer was designed to combine the hauling and towing capability of a body-on-frame SUV with the ride comfort and efficiency of a crossover. Its no coincidence that the new Trailblazer, which was built in Brazil, epitomizes these qualities.

For all intents and purposes, the model that was shown at the Dubai Motor Show was merely a show vehicle, but according to Chevrolet, it’s as close to the real thing as it can possibly get.

The show vehicle features, among other things, a refreshed design, an all-wheel-drive system, and GM’s new 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine, providing all of us as good a look at the company’s new mid-sized SUV before the production version enters the market next year.

Find out more about the 2013 Chevolet Trailblazer after the jump

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2012 Mercedes CL 800 Coupe by Brabus

2012 Mercedes CL 800 Coupe by Brabus

Brabus has chosen the 2011 Dubai Motor Show to set the stage for the world’s fastest and most powerful luxury coupe. Together with some of the most amazing vehicles in the world, Brabus has revealed their Brabus 800 Coupe based off of the Mercedes CL600. This new package ensures the coupe pushes out 800 HP and a top speed of 217 mph while looking sporty and elegant.

Starting off the transformation is the upsizing of the vehicle’s V12 engine, from 5.5 L to 6.3L. Then, thanks to a high-end turbocharging system designed by Brabus engine specialists and a carbon-fiber ram-air intake integrated into the hood, the CL600 now pushes out a total of 800 HP and 1,047 lb-ft of torque. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is now made in just 3.9 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 217 mph.

Hit the jump to read more about the Brabus 800 Coupe.

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