Why is the new E-Class showing "Qibla" on its new Compass? Because Middle-East...
Mercedes has, on more than one occasion, boasted its relentless strategy for growth. Markets like China, Germany, and the U.S., taking up a big portion of the brand’s motivation to grow. It might sound surprising to some, but the Middle East is also a key market for the German manufacturer.
This fact was made evident years ago. In fact, in a conversation with Gulf Business back in 2013, Matthias Luhrs – the VP of global sales at Mercedes-Benz – said, “The Middle East is one of our defined core markets for our 2020 strategy and forms a major or very important part in this growth path.” He continued, “The implication is if you do a region strategy, you’d only do that if it’s an important region or market. Besides markets [such as] China, Germany, U.S., Canada, there’s other growing markets than these three big and one of the major focused markets for us is the Middle East.”
So, how important is the Middle East to Mercedes? It’s important enough that the onboard compass on the Mercedes E-Class actually has an option to turn on a Qibla marker. That’s right; Mercedes sees the Middle East as such an important market that it went out of its way to add a special feature that indicates exactly which direct anyone of Muslim faith should face when praying.
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Outside the impending spotlight that will fall down in Geneva next week is a showroom in Dubai that has a vehicle that should get everybody’s attention. The car is a Mercedes SLS AMG, but it’s not just any other SLS AMG, it’s one that was spruced-up by noted tuning firm, Fab Design. If you recall from a few months ago, the company released their tuning package for the SLS AMG so it really begs the question, why do another sample of the same thing?
The answer, as it turns out, is that it’s the same thing, albeit with a different aerodynamic package. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Mercedes SLS AMG Gullstream by FAB Design.
Keeping to its widebody package, this particular SLS AMG comes with re-sculpted fenders with the quarter panels and side skirts making up an entire panel that fits snugly over the supercar’s existing panels. Over at the rear, the SLS AMG also got a retooled bumper fascia with wider quarter panels, giving the rear a more sinister look than FAB Design’s previous work. There’s also a non-functional air scoop on the roof while we’re at it.
Performance modifications on the SLS AMG Gullstream saw FAB Design raise the output of the supercar from the standard 563 horsepower to 607 horsepower with the torque also being raised to a peak 509 lb/ft. All this was done thanks to a new stainless steel sports exhaust system with an integrated valve control and four classic round endpipes, with a pair on each side that FAB Design developed themselves. The engine modifications translates to a 0-62 mph time of just 3.6 seconds, a 0-124 mph time of 11 seconds, and a top speed of 202 mph.
In any case, the widebody version of FAB Design’s SLS AMG looks far more aggressive and intimidating than the ‘standard’ type. It might be a matter of subjectivity as far as how its received, but in our case, it looks pretty impressive.
It seems that the Qatar Motor Show is much more impressive than everyone expected with an exorbitant number of cool cars getting their chance on the show floor. One of these models is the new Mercedes G-Class Arabia 100 Limited Edition. As it name suggests, this special edition will be limited to just 100 units and will be offered exclusively to the Middle East where the G55 AMG sales are higher than anywhere else in the world.
The new edition will be available in two of the more typical exterior colors: Cashmere White and Night Black. Looking further into the special edition G-Class Arabia 100 we can see inlay protection strips in carbon design and 19" alloy AMG wheels in a black matte finish.
Its most spectacular features include a 2-tone Designo leather in black and porcelain, an inner-section door covers in porcelain, floor mats with bordering porcelain, a champagne white Designo piano lacquer wood trim, a media interface, a rear entertainment system, and the NeckPro headrest as well as a badge.