To launch their brand new, re-branded facility, Auto Shine organised, in collaboration with the Porsche Club Lebanon, a trip to Deir el Qamar, taking advantage of its wonderful mountain roads and its delicious food. It all started at the Auto Shine facility next to Rondpoint el Adlieh where breakfast was served along with a small tour of the different new compartments of the flagship including:
• Car wash lanes fitted with reverse osmosis water filtering systems.
• Detailing services.
• Smart repairs (leather, fabric, dents & windshield).
• Specialized paint booth for seamless paint touchups.
• Dust free room for paint & film protection.
Mainly, Auto Shine promises to give back to your car it’s natural beauty as if it had just left the showroom. I saw a couple of cars they had treated, result was astonishing! One of those was a 2014 CarreraS 50th anniversary edition with its vintage look rims, its sport button and its exhaust button that I had the chance to drive all the way to Deir el Qamar. (Special thanks goes to Maher Abillama for giving me this unique privilege) YES the exhaust and sport button were on, YES I had the ultrasonically fast PDK paddle shifts in my hands and YES I was allowed to whip that thing to 7,500 RPM. The drive was sublime! the exhaust is perfectly engineered to let your ears cry whether your foot is on the gas or not. Oh FYI the 50th anniversary Carrera is equipped with a 3.8-litre flat-six engine which develops 430hp at 7400rpm (30 more than the original Carrera S). The special edition Carrera benefits from the wider body normally reserved for the Turbo and a re-programmed PASM adaptive suspension that synchronizes perfectly with your driving. Throttle response and the electric power steering are very sharp specially in sport mode. Interior was neat, clear, simple, and functional, perfectly German. Even on those twisty mountain roads, the car handled perfectly. It was really a great experience.
All in all it was a very nice roadtrip/launching event. It gave me the chance to learn more about the new products and services offered by Auto Shine, meet several members of the Porsche fan club and specially their president Mr. Joe Feghaly who owns a black tuned Turbo with more than 600hp on wheels. (You can check it out along with the rest of the pictures of the event right here) Hope to be riding shotgun in that monster very soon to witness what it’s all about. Joe is a huge motorhead chatting with him was a real pleasure. He even has a MK7 GTI with an ABT tune and ABT exhaust coming very soon as an everyday’s ride. Thanks again Auto Shine for the invite and for the Porsche Club for treating me as one of their own!
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!
After missing out on around 6 various events due to my neck injuries, I’M BACK and on a very special occasion, the collaboration between the Camaro 5 Club Lebanon and the exclusive dealer for Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer and the Isuzu in Lebanon, IMPEX. The Camaro 5 Club started as a fan club managed by a bunch of Camaro owners who use to cruise around Lebanon searching for other fellows Camaro to add to the group. The number of fans kept growing and, on the 1st of August, they were able to regroup, with the help of IMPEX, around 50 Camaro ranging from the 1967 Z28 to the 2013 ZL1. Press right here to access the photos of the event. A video of the Black Camaro SS with green brake calipers and equipped with Magnaflow Competition Series Exhaust is attached here below. It happens to spit fire from times to times if you ever feel like watching 😉
The gathering point was at La Marina Dbayeh. The convoy then moved to Nabil “Billy” Karam’s Museum in Zouk where we were taken on a tour bi Billy himself around his crazy collection of 27,777 miniature cars that granted him the Guinness World Record of the “Largest Collection of Diorama” on the 16th of November 2011. After that, IMPEX invited us to a conference dinner at ATCL (Automotive Touring Club Lebanon).
The event was planned and very well organised by the owners of the Camaro Club Lebanon themselves. They did a great job, getting the appropriate licenses and permits from the different municipalities, making sure the event runs smoothly and as planned. Even tough the gathering time and day (4pm on a Thursday) of the event were a bit odd, I really enjoyed visiting Billy’s Museum and the food at ATCL was delicious!! IMPEX did a very smart move by collaborating with the Camaro 5 club. It is a very good way of showing that they care about their fans and want to promote the Camaro spirit. These events give a good image and good exposure to the company offline (during the event) and online (after the event). It take some time and effort to organise them, but they do pay off. Rare are the car dealers in Lebanon that take action and “invest” in their fan clubs, which is really a shame. I am expecting a proper roadtrip and some adrenaline rushes for the next event, I am curious to experience what those Camaro have in their guts. Looking forward!
After a long absence, TheAdsGarage is back with a freshly backed category, a new Youtube account and new Instagram account. How is that for a comeback!! A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a gathering with the GT86/BRZ club. We met up on the Marina Dbayeh, waiting for the late comers, then we hit the road, destination, Wardeh Faraya, the most typical destination for all Lebanese road trips. We all know what happens when a bunch of cars reach Wardeh, Drifting time! The trip was really nice there was good cooperation between the drivers, we had lots of fun and burned a lot of rubber 😀 Thank you very much for the invite guys! You can check the rest of the pictures by clicking right here. Special thanks to Mario Yacoub for editing the video here below.
Regarding the cars, I can assure you that the GT86 and the BRZ are almost, totally similar. Mechanically speaking the cars are exactly the same, they feature the same 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder motor delivering 200 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. They are both fitted with the same Manual or Automatic gear box. The suspension and springs settings are very similar, the BRZ is a bit firmer (better for the track) and the GT86 is slight softer resulting in some extra oversteer for drifting action. This can be only felt when the car is pushed to its very limits. The only differences I spotted were the LED lights on the front bonnet, the seats fabric, the dashboard in front of the passenger seat that features a cool design in the GT86 that is not available in the BRZ and I found the standard radio in the GT86 much more appealing than the BRZ one. Price wise, the Subaru costs $46,000 while the Toyota costs $40,000 (both including VAT and registration taxes).
The GT86/BRZ, is easy to drive, it is steady in corners, thanks to the 50:50 weight distribution and its very low center of gravity. You won’t be expecting any surprises entering the corner at high speed. The interior doesn’t look cheap, it has proper finishing. Its exterior design is cool as well is really looks like a sports car to have fun with. The only problem I had with the car was its power, it really lacks of it!! Going up the mountain roads the GT86/BRZ had some troubles over-passing cars at high speed. It just needed that small extra boost. Maybe a small turbo could do the job? or an Intake with a map would be enough? Anyway, I would definitely get the Toyota, the Subaru is really not worth that extra 6,000$. I would use that extra 6,000$ to equipped the GT86 with extra ponies 🙂