Bentley is in the process of updating its range to flaunt a new design language. Their Continental GT and Flying Spur models have already received the treatment and the recently-revealed mid-cycle facelift of the Bentayga brought the behemoth closer to the rest of the range. The Speed version has just been announced.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender 110 recently made its way to our local shores as one of the most anticipated cars of the year, received with mixed reactions before its limelight was stolen by far more retro Ford Bronco and maybe the upcoming Jeep Wrangler V8. We had a go at it on UAE sand to see if the modernised new model does justice to the nameplate.
If ever there were roads least suited to a hypercar, here they are. The ribbon of tarmac that stretches ahead is littered with an assortment of lumps and bumps, with some sections of bitumen having crumbled away altogether. The snaking route is also so narrow in parts that there’s just enough space for two cars to pass in opposing directions without rubbing shoulders.
The Ford Bronco caused quite a stir when it debuted about a month ago, far more than anything that rivals from Jeep and Land Rover could cook up. However, with the top engine option limited to a 310 hp 2.7-litre turbo V6, it seemed like Ford left something on the table for a future higher-performance model such as a Ford Bronco Raptor. That plan was invariably “confirmed” after a long-time Ford engineer mentioned he (or she?) is working on a “2023 Bronco Raptor” on their LinkedIn job profile.
Toyota’s workhorse pickup is now available in a “consumer” trim, as the the 2021 Toyota Hilux Adventure is now available in dealerships across the GCC. The Adventure version is fittingly on display at the Dubai Festival City mall right now, signifying that for the first time in the UAE, a variant of the Hilux can be bought by any expat individual rather than just by companies and nationals.
The Ford F-150 Raptor carved a new niche for itself when it came out first, slotting itself in as a performance pickup. Since then, the Raptor has been enjoying a sort of monopoly with no mainstream manufacturer daring to lighten its halo. But after years of teasing and dawdling around, FCA has finally debuted their version of a fast offroading truck, the 702 hp Hellcat V8-powered 2021 Ram 1500 TRX.
Indian utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra was never a big player in the Middle Eastern market, although a few models are starting to trickle down to showrooms here. Their far more comprehensive U.S. operation recently they took a legal jab from FCA for “copying” the design of the Wrangler for their Roxor off-roader, even though the latter wasn’t meant for road use nor was it a Wrangler rival. While the U.S. factory had to shut down, back at home in the lucrative Indian market, Mahindra hit back with an uppercut. Here is the 2020 Mahindra Thar.
From the time Hyundai slipped the tiny Venue crossover “SUV” under the Creta in their lineup, it was only a matter of time before an equivalent Kia was on the way. Even while the Soul still exists globally, Kia has launched the 2021 Kia Sonet in India to be yet another installment to the ever-growing compact crossover segment. The Sonet packs the Seltos’ design features into a smaller footprint.
We have been following the rise of Chinese cars in the Middle East with a lot of interest now. The barrage of new brands and models has been ongoing for the past decade now, but all the offerings have been lacklustre in one way or the other. They are getting better with every iteration though. So when we got the new Haval H2 for a test-drive, we were hoping China’s carmakers have finally caught up to the competition.
With economies slowly freeing themselves from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, the automotive industry is slowly creeping back up to their old levels. But surprisingly, only a single major recall was reported in the past month that was relevant to the Middle Eastern market. This comes as a stark contrast to the last month, which registered a plethora of recall campaigns. The only relevant recall in the past month is from — no prizes for guessing — FCA.
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