Best and worst of the 2017 Dubai Motor Show.
We traveled halfway around the world to Dubai to witness the debut of the new 755 horsepower 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1. While that American monster may have headlined the Dubai Motor Show, it was far from the most interesting vehicle present.
The United Arab Emirates has a well-deserved reputation for wild, expensive and frankly ridiculous automobiles. For better or worse, Dubai and show did not disappoint. Running on fumes, caffeine and the hot desert air, we stumbled our way through crowds to bring you the best and worst of the 2017 Dubai Motor Show.
The Devel Sixteen is a 5,007 horsepower widow maker, powered by a 12.3-liter quad-turbo V16. You can tell it has 5,007 horsepower and 16 cylinders because it says so right on the car. Actually, it says 5,000 horsepower, but, taking some inspiration from Dodge, Devel decided to tack on an extra 7 ponies just for good measure.
In reality, these are made up numbers that no one will actually be able to verify. Sure, 5,007 sounds nice. A Bugatti has a quad-turbo V16, so this needs one, too. Looking closely, the Devel Sixteen appears to be held together with hopes and dreams. Wait till the mid-cycle refresh with 6,008 horsepower courtesy of an additional turbo. That will be the one to buy.
I'm not sure how horsepower translates to camels, but I can tell you we rode a camel while in the area, and it was surprisingly quick. Tasty, too.
Devel Sixteen PrototypeThis is the Devel Sixteen Prototype. The blue and white model was the "production version." Devel should have kept the rear wing. Makes it look more like the Batmobile.
Devel SixtyThis ... is something. The Devel Sixty is powered by a 700 horsepower 6.7-liter turbo diesel. It will hit 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. It appears to have the aerodynamic properties of a illformed brick or a mobile home with a custom add-on. Like the Sixteen, build quality appears to be subpar, though we haven't been around enough tanks to have a proper baseline.
Shaali Motorsports N360
This is Dubai's true hometown hero. The Shaali Motorsports N360 is a far more realistic proposition than the nonsense being developed by the people at Devel. It's a track-only car (though a street-legal version is being investigated), not some outrageous supermachine.
The guys behind Shaali imagine this to be a sort of Caterham or Lotus-style track car. It's compact, lightweight (1,400 lbs) and powered by a high-reving 1.4-liter engine that mounts a Suzuki Hayabusa head on a custom block designed by John Hartley. He's the man behind the V8 in the Arial Atom 500, so he knows what he's doing.
This is a car built for fun, not chasing outrageous numbers.
GMC Jimmy Desert FoxThis oddball belongs to a guy from Saudi Arabia. His dad bought it new back in the day. It's been living in the Middle East for decades. This thing must be a riot on the sand dunes. I'm sure the owner loves going out with all the Nissan Patrols and Toyota Land Cruiser Prados.
BMW R 1200 GS AdventureIt's a hoverbike, but it doesn't actually work. It looks neat, and the story behind it is pretty cool. BMW lent its name to a Lego kit. The set proved so popular that BMW decided to build a full-sized concept. It was on display at the Dubai Police stand, odd considering the department actually owns a flying motorcycle. At least the BMW won't dismember you if you fall off.
Nissan Patrol Super Safari
The Middle East gets all the cool off-roaders, including this Nissan Patrol Super Safari. This one is decked out with a metal bumper, lights and a flag to mark your location in the desert.
The Patrol Safari is based on the last-gen model and is only sold in select markets alongside the newer model. It's a lot more compact than the current Patrol/Armada. Looks a lot tougher, too.
Nissan Patrol Super SafariNATO jerry cans make everything better. This one looks cool in chrome, though it's liable to get pretty damn hot in the desert.
Italdesign ZerounoThe Italdesign Zerouno is a limited-production vehicle based on a Lamborghini Huracan. It looks a bit like a Nissan GT-R mated with a Formula 1 car, but it's powered by the 5.2-liter V10 from Lamborghini. Like some of the other dumb stuff at the show, production of the Zerouno is limited to just five units. Unlike the other cars, this thing looks polished and capable of moving under its own power without disintegrating.
Kuhl Racing Nissan GT-R
The Kuhl Racing Nissan GT-R is both hugely impressive and totally awful. The same can be said for much we saw in Dubai. From what we can gather, every detail and flourish is actually engraved into the car. Every single inch of the bodywork has been touched or modified in some way. The details are amazing, though the end result is far too much for our pedestrian tastes.
The Karlmann King looks like a badly rendered vehicle from the early 3D driving games. It's big, black and appears to be designed by a person that's never seen a curve. If the wheels could be square, you better bet the Karlmann King would be lumping along like a bad wagon.
Underneath you find the bones of a Ford Super Duty, though which one is unclear. Based on the size, the F-450 seems likely. Power comes from Ford's tried and true Triton V10.
The best part is the price: roughly $3.5 million.
Bugatti VeyronYou didn't think you'd make it through this gallery without seeing a Veyron, did you? It's Dubai, home of supercars and skyscrapers. There was bound to be a Bugatti here.
Bugatti Veyron artwork
... with some pretty unique artwork. There's no accounting for taste.
Take note of the "Deals on Wheels" tag. Despite sounding like a no credit buy-here-pay-here used car lot, Deals on Wheels is actually one of the most high-end car showrooms in Dubai.
Ferrar LaFerrari ApertaThe open-top LaFerrari, because few things in the world sound as sweet as a screaming Italian V12 inches behind your head.
Koenigsegg AgeraThe Koenigsegg Agera R may not be counted among the holy trinity of the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, but it sure as hell matches the performance. Running on E85, this car makes 1,140 horsepower, substantially more than the other three. It's not even the fastest or most powerful Koenigsegg out there.
Ford GTIt wasn't all weird small-batch supercars and high-end exotics. For better or worse, America made its presence known. This is one of the highlights.
Cadillac Fleetwood TalismanI couldn't tell if this had crushed velour or leather, but in the end it doesn't really matter. It was fantastic. This shining example of mid-1970s American luxury only serves as a counter to what follows, my worst of show.
Someone is quite proud of this, and that makes us sad. This hodgepodge mashup of parts and design cues from the C1, C2 and C3 has no cohesive flow. It appears to be based on either a 1978 or '79 Corvette given the pointed nose and fastback roofline.
Everything looks tacked on and out of place. The proportions are awkward since things like the scoops in the doors were never meant to be there.