Top 10 greatest DriveArabia stories of 2012
The end of the year is near, or possibly even the end of the world, depending on what you believe. It’s been a good year for us, with a 25% increase in visitors, 50% increase in pageviews, and 45% growth in ad revenue compared to 2011, enough to put a Honda S2000 and a Range Rover in our long-term fleet this year! We also started a mobile version in May as well as an Arabic website in December this year, our 8th anniversary, with the help of an ever-expanding team. Before we say goodbye to 2012, we figured you’d want to read some of our greatest original stories of this year that you’ll not find anywhere else, ones that aren’t just regular road tests, but articles that had us pumped up the most as we were writing them. Here they are, in no particular order.
- We know exactly what car brands people are shopping for
An often-overlooked fact is that we’re the largest automotive consumer publication of any kind in the region, easily five times bigger than our nearest competitor in terms of audited readership. That means we can see exactly what cars thousands of people are researching on our website. So we did the obvious and compiled a list of the most researched brands, although the top couple of results are obvious.
- The Toyota 86 versus Honda S2000 comparo
We’re particularly proud of this one. It helped that we had a Honda S2000 lying around under the bed to pitch against the Toyota 86, quite possibly the most hyped little car in recent history.
- The McLaren MP4-12C rampage around Dubai
Being the only people in the region to properly run the numbers on the GCC-spec McLaren MP4-12C, it was quite an experience piloting an honest-to-goodness supercar around familiar streets, and some not-so-familiar as well. We got pro-photographers and even made an awesome video for this one-off run.
- Driving the Fisker Karma electric car
We never thought an electric car would see the light of day in the UAE. But one did. And it’s spectacularly cool. We were also the only ones to run numbers on this Fisker Karma, to see how far you could really run on pure charge, and how fast.
- The time we unintentionally drifted and crashed a Renault Koleos
This was a testament that you can never fully trust a car’s electronic safety aids to save you from certain driving situations. When the perfect cocktail of weather, road and dynamic conditions are just right, it can go very wrong even with a perfectly-fine car.
- The time we thrashed a Toyota Land Cruiser VX-R and broke it
We proved that neutering one of the best offroaders on the planet with a chin spoiler is never a good idea, especially if you want to use the Toyota Land Cruiser for what it was intended for. The chin fell off eventually, after which the truck performed brilliantly. Chasing a police report afterwards was not fun.
- We drove a Porsche Boxster across Germany’s video-game landscape
Driving in Germany was an amazing experience, made even more special with a Porsche Boxster. Legally speeding on the autobahn and blasting through cramped forest roads was nothing short of real-life Need For Speed.
- We performance-tested a CNG-powered Volkswagen in Dubai
Who would’ve thought that natural gas-powered cars can perform just as well as petrol-powered cars, with better fuel economy to boot. We proved just that with our exclusive test. Too bad CNG-powered Volkswagens aren’t sold here yet.
- We stuffed a Toyota Camry with as many Bangladeshi labourers as possible
Well, okay they weren’t labourers. Hell, they weren’t even all Bangladeshis. But Toyota kept claiming how much more spacious the new Camry is, so we just had to find out.
- What the hell, we drove a prototype Nissan Juke-R!
It isn’t everyday that people of our social standing get to pilot a priceless prototype around a racetrack in Dubai. But we did! This event had no free food, no freebies and no long speeches. Just a Nissan Juke-R, lined up next to a 370Z and a GT-R. We arrived at a set time, drove all three one by one, and went home with smiles on our faces.
We wrote far more stories than these, such as driving the VW Passat along the Dead Sea, cruising with the Isuzu D-Max around the Bahrain F1 track and thrashing Ford Interceptor police cars at Yas Marina Circuit, but the above ten stories were the most significant this year, and belong right up there with the time we sped down Jebel Hafeet in a Bentley Continental GT in 2008, or the time we had to fend for ourselves with the Jeep Wrangler at the Jeep Jamboree in 2011, or even that time when we put together a pro photoshoot with a Nissan GT-R, Ferrari F430 and BMW M Roadster in 2009.