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Video of the week: Hitler’s GT-R


Before you watch, there is some background information you need to know. The Nissan GT-R has documented problems with its gearbox if “launch control” is used too much. An “AccessPort” is a device that hacks the ECU to modify its settings. “NAGTROC” is the North American GT-R Owner’s Club. And Hitler speaks German.

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First drive: 2009 Volvo XC60 on track

First drive: 2009 Volvo XC60 on track


The 2009 Volvo XC60 is a new crossover SUV that the Ford-owned Swedish company thinks will raise regional Volvo sells by an unrealistic 30%. The GCC version was launched in Dubai a few days ago, and Volvo gave the press a taste of the XC60’s capabilities at the Dubai Autodrome on January 28. They certainly had an impressive line-up of events planned.

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2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets remade

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets remade


The all-new 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, the German manufacturer’s best seller, is back with a new look as controversial as the time it gained four round headlights for the first time. The new E-class is unoriginal in almost all aspects, starting from the Lexus GS-like front end to the Mitsubishi Galant-like rear lights, with a dash of LEDs in the front bumper to get that Audi effect that is so common nowadays on modified cars here. About the only original bit is the flared rear-side fenders, paying homage to 1950s ‘Ponton’ Mercs, although it doesn’t fit in at all on a modern sedan.

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2010 Hyundai Equus luxo-sedan almost ready

2010 Hyundai Equus luxo-sedan almost ready


About a year ago, some research company contacted me to discuss the Hyundai Genesis and how it would fit in the GCC car market, while Korean executives directly from Hyundai viewed my opinions from another room, with no involvement from local dealers. Anyway, I told them that no one would pay much more than Dhs 100,000 for a Hyundai sedan in this region, no matter how good it might be. I said to work on building their brand image first, or to create a separate luxury brand for the Genesis. I told them to price the fully-optioned V8 Genesis at Dhs 130,000 maximum.

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Letters: More social networking

Letters: More social networking


The reason there has been a lack of updates for the past week is that I was working on a ghetto version of a social networking site, so that you guys can show off your cars and talk to each other on a forum, instead of having to slug it out in the comments section of this blog. I have no programming skills, so I’ve kept it simple on purpose to reduce potential software problems. Let me know if you guys are up for such a “social networking” component, or that overblown mess known as Facebook is enough for you.

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Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen celebrates 30 years

Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen celebrates 30 years


Seeing Sheikh Mohammed zipping around Dubai in a Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a rolling tribute to the strength of the German manufacturer’s overengineered pre-1995 designs. The Geländewagen is the only Merc to survive the cost-cutting 1995-to-2005 era, when quality hit the crapper. Even the attempt to replace it with the characterless GL-Class flopped. It is hard to imagine that the vehicle that is a favourite with sheikh-copycats has been around since 1979.

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