The Elibriea might look odd, but this concept's makers want to sell the first supercar manufactured in Qatar.
With a gazillion color options for every little part of the Bugatti Veyron, there's no reason why any two examples should be alike. (Except for maybe an inverse correlation between wealth and imagination.) So it would stand to reason that every Bugatti should be considered a special edition of one. And that certainly appears to be the case, as the French marque seems to bring out another special edition at every possible opportunity.
Qatar's police force has a sizable fleet of Porsche Panamera and Cayenne patrol vehicles at its disposal. How is this? Well, Qatar has lots of oil, for starters, so there's that income. The emirate also holds a 17 percent stake of preferential shares in the Volkswagen Group. So, it's not particularly hard to see how the stable of luxo-cop cars came to be. The force took them for a spin on December 18, Qatar National Day, and you can get a look at the coolest fleet in the video after the jump.
The 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe is serving duty as one of the safety cars for the 2011 MotoGP Championship, which kicks off this weekend at the Grand Prix of Qatar. The 1M Coupe that will be handling safety car duties has been smartened up a little from stock, starting with an Akrapovic sport exhaust.
Yes, we can officially get, not just a little, but very excited by the first taste of Grand Prix action from the opening round of MotoGP, which happened over the weekend at Losail Raceway in Doha, Qatar. The Doctor, Valentino Rossi, continues to prove that his winning ways are no mere fluke, as he topped the podium at Losail followed by Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.
When Volkswagen and Porsche sat down at dinner to discuss which one was going to eat the other one, they forgot to invite the German tax man. After VW came to terms with Porsche to take a 49.9% stake in the Stuttgart sports car maker for €8 billion (around $11.4 billion U.S.), the parties discovered there would be a €3 billion ($4.26B) tax bill on top of that.
Porsche is profitable and it owns a big chunk of the far larger Volkswagen, yet cash seems to be in short supply. Automotive News is reporting that the world-renowned luxury sports car maker's 1.75 billion euro ($2.45 billion USD) loan request from German state bank KFW has been rejected, leaving Porsche to search elsewhere for funding. Porsche secured 10.75 billion euros ($15.1B) in financing from banks in March to feed its 9 billion euro debt ($12.6B) mountain, but it's looking for alternative
Porsche maintains it still has its mojo, but Volkswagen is treating the company like Porsche's got lunch money and VW is hungry. VW -- which Porsche effectively owns -- loaned Porsche €700 million ($983.8 million) earlier this year, with Porsche due to pay it back in September. As collateral for the loan Porsche used its wholesale distribution arm Porsche Holding GmbH.
After a few years of financial windfalls, Porsche is suddenly in need of plenty of capital. The German automaker already received a 700 million euro ($978 million U.S.) bridge loan from Volkswagen in March to stay out of bankruptcy, and it is reportedly in talks with banks to secure 1.75 billion euros ($2.42 billion U.S.) in financing.
There are a number of parallels with an all-American tale of racing fan turned team owner: Man loves drag racing since boyhood, comes from a region crazy for the sport, started off in racing's little league, and races to win even in the big leagues. Yet the differences are enough to inform us that this is a Yankees tale, not an Oakland A's tale: the team owner in question is Qatari native Sheik Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani, all of 22 years old, with a bank account that would make Croesus blush.
The worst secret in the universe is that there's a lot of money in the Middle East and the Gulf states are looking all over the world for places to put it. Abu Dhabi's Aabar investment spent €1.95 billion on a 9.1% stake in Daimler (around $2.5B USD), and now the state of Qatar is eying what could be a double-digit stake in Porsche. Qatar hasn't floated any potential investment sums, but said one sheikh, "we are looking into this issue."