The Dubai International Motor Show, held every two years, is now open to the public with its mix of orderly exhibits filled with SUVs juxtaposed against crazy concepts on sale for millions. Mainstream automakers showed vehicles such as the Lincoln Navigator or the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The notable global debuts were the Infiniti QX80 SUV midcycle refresh and the new 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
But tucked between the mainstream booths and hidden in a hall in the back, we found the opulence and wackiness we expected traveling to a show in an exotic city bursting at the seams as it builds skyscrapers and woos opulence as fast as it can.
Here are some of our finds:
This is the latest version of Dubai’s Devel Sixteen, a 5,007-hp hypercar. It is easy to dismiss it as vaporware, but there is a YouTube video out there of the 12.3-liter quad-turbo V-16 on a dynamometer. It appears they are already taking orders, even as they continue testing and development. And there is talk of lesser-powered and street-legal versions, with a V-8 or less powerful V-16, for less than $2 million. The engine comes from Steve Morris Engines in Muskegon, Michigan.
Devel 60 SUV
Tank might be a better descriptor for this one. The models on the floor knew very little about the vehicle they flanked. We were told this is 750 horsepower. End of detail.
Fenyr SuperSport supercar
We’ve seen W Motors’ Fenyr SuperSport concept for a couple years, and a prototype was at the Shanghai auto show. The production car will be unveiled November 29 at the opening of a new showroom in Dubai. The car has a customized 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder engine from Porsche that RUF Automobile has tuned to produce 900 horsepower. It will go into a lightweight carbon-fiber car handmade by Magna Steyr Italy. Plans are to build 25 of them at almost $1.9 million each. It is a bargain compared to W’s other hypercar, the Lykan HyperSport, which sold for about $3.4 million with a limited run of only seven vehicles. It is also the car that was driven off a skyscraper in Dubai in Furious 7.
Shaali N360 roadster is also the creation of a Dubai company, Shaali Motorsport. This is a working prototype with a custom turbo I-4 that gets 360 horsepower in a car that only weighs 1,433 pounds. Just add side mirrors and a steering wheel to make it street legal. Production is slated to begin in Dubai in early 2018, with plans to hand build 10 to 15 a year. Each will take six to eight months to build and cost $120,000.
This tank, made in Italy by LDA Design and financed from China, is for sale for a cool $3.8 million. You can buy it right at the show. Riding on a Ford F-550 chassis with the 6.8-liter V-10, it weighs 10,582 pounds. They are hoping to build and sell nine of them a year. Good luck with that.
This is what we expected to see in Dubai: a fully engraved golden Nissan GT-R. It was in the Kuka Racing Japan exhibit, and the work was done by Rohan Izawa Metalpaint and Engraving. The booth was unmanned so no more detail—or fears of being robbed, apparently.
On the more realistic side…
Dubai police fleet
The Dubai police fleet is famous for its exotic content. There are about 16 vehicles in the fleet, and they are always changing. Among the current crop are the Nissan GT-R, two BMW i8s and an i3, the Bentley Continental GT, the Ferrari FF, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon Brabus G 700, and more. Two Bentley Bentaygas are coming in January. They do more PR work than police work and tend to be parked in the ritzy tourist part of town. There are about 25,000 officers in Dubai, of which 15 are on the supercar team. When a new car arrives, they go to the track for training to get to know the vehicle and its capabilities and limits. Past vehicles include the BMW M6, Bugatti Veyron, Camaro SS, Lamborghini Aventador, Ford Mustang Roush, Porsche Panamera, and Audi R8 V10. And they are not alone. The firefighters have a Corvette.
The show’s notable reveals:
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Chevy chose Dubai for the global debut of the 2019 ZR1 with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. With a top speed of more than 210 mph, it is the fastest Vette to date and only the fourth time that GM has used the ZR1 name. The car goes on sale in the spring and could start about $130,000.
Infiniti used Dubai for the global debut of the refreshed QX80 SUV, which has had a big cosmetic makeover, while the platform and powertrain remain the same. Upgrades were made inside and out, from new fascias and wheels to nicer seats and an improved infotainment system. It goes on sale next month.