I must say that A200 was quite a surprise. The engine, a 1,6 liters Turbocharged engine was a joy to drive. Even though it has an output of 156hp and 250nm of torque, it manages a very respectable 0-100km/h time of 8.3 seconds. The car feels light, has a very precise steering and really grips through the corners. Suspension was comfortable yet there wasn’t too much body roll. Yes I have to admit it, in order to enjoy it you have to floor it constantly but, with the 3 instagram winners of the “A200 cruise” as passengers, the car was able to climb from Beirut to Baabdat through Metn el Sari3 highway with not too much struggle. The seven speed dual-clutch gearbox was smooth but felt less responsive than the DSG. The fact that there is no gear shift was very weird at first but I got used to it pretty fast specially thanks to the paddle shifts.
Aesthetically, the car looks really good from the inside but that small screen with huge borders looks a bit odd, reminds me of that digital photo frame I offered my grand mother last Christmas. Seats looked really good and were comfortable. You do feel that you are in a Mercedes. As driven, that blue hatch costs $46,500. (Keep in mind a 116 one series BMW with its 136hp costs around $40k)
So would I advise you to buy one? If you are a girl looking for a first car, and daddy would never accept to buy you other than a Mercedes because it would ruin the reputation of the family, that is the car for you! A BMW 1 series could be suitable as well as an economical, not very fast and safe first car in the same budget. (If your dad is one of those anti-front-wheel-drive kind of guys). Personally, as a car to get a first driving experience on, I would rather get a 1,6 Golf 7 (even-though it has only 105hp) which looks as good if not better from the inside and the outside and satisfies the same purpose as the A. Last but not least, I would like to thank Mercedes Lebanon for this wonderful opportunity they gave me to test one of their newest models. Had a blast!
A typical apocalyptic commercial for the official launch of the Huracan. You might think that Lamborghini has dropped the tradition of naming its car models after reputed bulls but you would be wrong. According to Lamborghini, Huracán was a bull that fought in Alicante in 1879. With its triple meaning of storm, Mayan god, and raging bull, this might be the coolest car name ever.
Considered the entry-level Lamborghini, what the California is to Ferrari, it is the replacement of the company’s best-selling model ever, the Gallardo. A worth successor? Powered by a 5.2-liter direct-injected V10 delivering 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque that bull would fly the 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds (0.2 faster than the 458). The chassis, the result of the combined work of Audi and Lambo weighs 10 per cent less than the Gallardo, but is 50 per cent stiffer thanks to the use of carbon fiber and aluminum. Transmitting the immense power to the new freshly engineered all wheel drive system is a 7 speed dual clutch gear box. A clever feature allows you to hold the left hand paddle as you’re braking hard, entering a corner, automatically the lowest gear possible will be selected in order to provide you with maximum acceleration out of it. All those elements can react differently to the click of a button, the ANIMA (translates as ‘soul’ in Italian) on the bottom of the steering wheel which is much like Ferrari’s Manettino dial.
Being a mix of Aventador and Gallardo, that beast look angry! And it sounds very angry too, judging by that apocalyptic launching ad which reminds me of the Aventador launching commercial released a couple of years ago. The world is coming to an end, the earth’s 5 elements are going crazy and your Lambo is your only key of survival! So, a worth successor? I would say definitely yes even though I think a couple of more ponies could have fitted under the hood. When Ferrari is extracting 570hp out of its V8, 610hp is a bit short for a V10. Yep I would still get a 458 over that massive bull. Oh oh and I forgot to mention, there is a Huracan coming to Lebanon in a couple of month and I met its owner ;) So stay tuned to TheAdsGarage instagram account to have a first glimpse at it!
To be honest, I don’t believe in S models when it comes to Audi. For me it is either you buy the chilling A version or the proper, sporty RS. But that S1 was an exception to the rule. As a big fan of hot hatches, it couldn’t go unnoticed. With its 231hp and 272lb-ft squeezed out of a 2.0 Turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, that car, the size of a Ford Fiesta, would burn the 0-100km/h in just 5.8 seconds. It might be a couple of horses short compared to the previously released, limited edition A1 Quattro (256hp and 258lb-ft of torque) but it has more torque making the acceleration more brutal. Unlike the special edition A1, it can be ordered in several brand new Audi colors like that gorgeous Yellow Vegas. It just looks stunning with those new front Xenon headlights and led taillights and have you seen that spoiler and those 4 tail pipes?! With Audi’s Quattro and a manual gear box, that S1 must be a joy to drive. It even has 5 doors so you can take your pals for a hot climb to the mountains or for some drifting on snow.
Price wise, with the A1 costing around $40K I would suspect the S1 to have a selling price in Lebanon of around $60K. Is it worth it for a car the size of a matchbox with the engine of a GTI? Even tough they don’t really belong to the same category, I think I would rather pay a bit more and get myself a proper MK7 GolfR (full review available right here) which is more spacious and has 300 ponies awaiting to be whipped.
As carfreaks, you must have seen the Ken Block’s Gymkhana 6 by now. If you haven’t check the KenBlock Category of TheAdsGarage ASAP!! Here below is the same Gymkhana filmed entirely with a couple of brand new GoPro Hero3+ and edited by GoPro themselves. Not only it is an awesome way for GoPro to advertise their new born and prove, once again, that it is the most versatile camera you can buy but also, an Epic way of letting us enjoy that last Gymkhana in a bunch of new angles. I think there is no better way of feeling the thrill of the drift while sitting at home!
On Sunday the 26th of January, I was invited to Biel, Beirut to attend the launching of the new stallion from Ferrari, the awaited 458 Speciale. The event was very well organised and the setting was perfect. We had a couple of F12 Berlinetta, Enzo, 599 GTO and other custom made 458 to admire while waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. All the pictures of the event are available by clicking right here.
The Major announcements before the Speciale arrived were the official transfer of the Ferrari importer-ship in Lebanon from Sport Motors Group s.a.l. to Scuderia Lebanon s.a.l. and the introduction of a ultra-modern facility located in Dbayeh, offering showrooms for new and pre-owned Ferraris in addition to a “state of the art” workshop all under the management of Mr. Hassan Haidar.
“So, that Speciale, what do you think of it and is it worth upgrading from a regular 458?” Is the question I asked to a couple of 458 owners to which they all answered with a radical No. No because the regular 458 is so good, so well balanced, so fun to drive, that topping it is very very hard. Ferrari did add 30hp and melt its weight by 90kg and add a couple of active aerodynamics here and there but that is not a major enhancement compared to the awesomeness of the 458, it is not ground braking (Yep they had already test driven that Speciale!!). They all added that, upgrading from a F430 to a F430 Scuderia was worth it at the time but in that new generation not really. You are free to check the full review of the 458 Speciale by clicking right here. Oh and btw we got that awesome gift on the way out signed by Luca di Montezemolo himslef!
On the 12th of January, TheAdsGarage was invited to attend a roadtrip to Douma with the RenaultSport Club Lebanon. Around 20 Renault ranging from Clio RS to Megane RS passing through some special edition ones like a RedBull RB7 Megane and 2 Clio Gordini edition met up at around 8:30 am on the Jounieh highway. Organisation was epic there was a car at the beginning of the convoy and one at the end making sure no one gets lost and everyone reaches destination. Once we reached the Tannourine highway, the guys went on a hot run, unleashing all of those 265 hp included in their Megane RS and other 200hp packed in the Clio RS. You would never believe how stable that Megane is unless you ride shotgun with one of those guys. We then stopped by a small bakery to have breakfast. After a small photoshoot of those hot hatches (that you can check by clicking right here), the “President” of the Club Mr.Elias Ghanem took us on very nice rally stage in the region. The road is one of those typical, very challenging, narrow and technical mountain roads. You can easily end up down the valley in a wrecked Megane or Clio if you miss a turn. The video here below is recorded on one of these roads. Special thanks to Stefano Zakher for the video editing :)
The Megane RB7 I was in sounded like an angry dragon sucking in cold air and converting it into fire. The driving sensations you get in those french hatches are very impressive, augmented by the fact that they are available only in manual. Compared to the old one that looked like a steam iron, the new Megane looks good specially with that centered massive exhaust at the back. The only problem I have with french cars is that I think that they don’t age well, they are not “robust” enough. After only a couple of months of driving, you start hearing some weird squeaking here and there in the car. Thing that you would never get in a German car for example. Would that stop me from buying a Megane RS? After the experience I had during this roadtrip, F*ck no! Thank you very much for the invite guys. It was a real pleasure!
Hasn’t it always been your dream to leave a 911 Porsche in the dust while riding the hottest and one of the first hatches ever created, the Golf GTI? Introducing the Design Vision GTI Concept, the 503hp and 413 lb-ft of torque Golf GTI, the supercar killer. The three-door monster was developed to wow the crowds of the Wörthersee tuning festival in Austria last spring and has now been revealed at the 2013 LA MotorShow. With this one of a kind edition, Volkswagen is giving us a spectacular glance into the future of the GTI and showing us the flexibility and performance potential of the “MQB” chassis it shares with the stock MK7. All of these ponies were able to fit into the hatch by adding 2 cylinders and a turbo. In fact the Design Vision incorporates a twin-turbocharged VR6 TSI engine combined with a DSG dual-clutch gearbox driving all four wheels. In other words the ingredients for a bonkers version of the all mighty GTI that burns the 0-100km/h in just 3.9 sec.
And isn’t it just a beauty sitting on those 20 inch wheels?! Ok the plastic body might be a bit too wide and the interior too rough, but hey it is still a concept and it needs to incorporate and be able to handle those 500 horses. I really hope that VW is able to produce a more subtle, but as crazy version, of this Design Vision concept. Watch the video attached to take a glance at the burps and other amazing sounds emitted by that amazing engine.