Motoring Weekly

More Parisian perfection

October 10 - 16, 2018

Gulf Weekly Stan Szecowka
By Stan Szecowka

Gulf Weekly More Parisian perfection

A wildly expensive supercar from Bugatti. A one-seater retro Ferrari with a giant engine. And, notwithstanding the buzz over electrics featured on Page 20, a big, seven-seat luxury Mercedes-Benz SUV with a powerful internal combustion engine.

Those are among the new models getting the most attention at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

The show, held every two years, is open to the public until Sunday at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre and will likely break all attendance records despite the fact that more than a million people attended in 2016.

Lighter and more agile than its similarly over-the-top predecessor, the Chiron, the Divo carries on the bold Bugatti styling with the swooping side air intakes doubling back into the roofline, traditional Bugatti grille and large front and rear spoilers.

They provide the downforce to keep it on the road at speeds up to 380 kph (236 mph) generated by an enormous 1,500 horsepower, 8-litre, 16-cylinder engine.

The company only offered the car to people who already own a Chiron. The production run of 40 vehicles is already sold out at $5.6 million apiece.

The one- and two-seat open cockpit sports cars are the first in Ferrari’s Icona series aimed at reviving long-discontinued models from the past. Only 499 existing customers can have the limited edition of the slender, boat-shaped cars, which recall racing models of the 1940s and 1950s.

Ferrari says the 810 horsepower engine is its most powerful ever. It takes the vehicle to 100 kph in 2.9 seconds and 200 kph in 7.9 seconds. The Italian price, including VAT, of $1.85 million, suggests the SP1 and SP2 should contribute richly to the company’s bottom line. The priced also includes helmets, custom driver’s overalls and shoes.

Mercedes’ top-selling SUV gives an idea of what customers with money often want: a large engine with plenty of power to move up to seven passengers or pull a boat or off-road vehicle.

The new version’s wheelbase is eight centimetres longer to make more interior room; a third row of seats to accommodate seven is optional.

It has a 48-volt active suspension system to even out the ride as well as driver assistance features that can sense a traffic jam ahead and ease off the speed.

The electrical system can also add power to the wheels when needed, making the car a so-called ‘mild hybrid’ and saving fuel. The interior assistant can sense if you are leaning over to look for something in your bag on the passenger seat and will turn on the light to help you look. Prices will be announced later, ahead of market launch in 2019.


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