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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Rich Arabs Get Tired of Waiting For New Hypercars, Build Their Own

W Motors Lykan Hypersport
If there's one place that buys a lot of hypercars, it's the Middle East (or the bits of it that aren't on fire, anyway). Places like Qatar and Dubai soak up the Agera Rs and Veyron Supersport's of the world and simply show off how expensive they are to their peers, not really bothered by what the car itself is actually like beyond how spangly the interior and how loud the engine is. I disagree with this mentality, but that's irrelevant because I don't have £1Squillion to put where my mouth is. Anyway, it seems that this region of the world is fed up of waiting for its next shopping spree, i.e. the releases of the McLaren P1, Ferrari F70, Porsche 918 Spyder and probably another Veyron LE, so they've started their own car company in Beirut, Lebanon, called W Motors. Here is their car, unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show.

It's called the Lykan Hypersport, because "Supersport" is so common and this way it sounds even better more expensive and exclusive. Well, I say "sounds" - this car will cost the richer locals a staggering $3.4million USD, or £2,154,490, and only 7 of them will be made. Does that even count as a production run?

So what do you get for your month's shopping budget? Well, lots of things not made by W Motors, such as a RUF-supplied Twin-Turbo flat-6 making 750bhp and 737lb/ft that's sent from behind the lavish cockpit to the rear wheels, enabling a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds and a Koenigsegg-bothering top speed of 245mph. Well, that would've bothered Koenigsegg nine years ago when they were going that speed. In fact the whole car isn't made by W Motors, as "production" is expected to be done by Magna-Steyr in Austria, who make cars for the established prestige names. One thing they did do was the design. Company chairman Ralph Debbas studied Automotive Design at Coventry, and his being a former design student explains the huge amount of styling on every surface, and the fact that it conjures up memories of cool concept cars from a few years ago, like the GTbyCITROEN concept that had almost exactly the same overlapping rear wheel arches as this, or the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, which had equally angular intakes and vents on it, as well as satin black "snowflake" wheels. There's even a touch of the Danish start-up hypercar, the Zenvo ST1, about it. But hey, I've said before that we shouldn't just look for other cars in a design, so looking at it in isolation, well, it's certainly striking, isn't it? Like a flashy third-year render brought to life with all the aggressive surfacing and slashes and flicks. As movie adverts would say, "If you like Lamborghinis, you're going to love this!".

But still, 3.4 million dollars for a block of styling and a modified Porsche engine? Well, you do also get diamond-coated LED headlights and real gold stitching for the leather seats, as well as a complimentary Cyrus Klepcys watch that's "worth" over $200,000 or £130,000. I'd rather spend that much on a Porsche 911 GT2 RS than a watch, but whatever. The car has, to be fair, had six years of development time, with the likes of RUF Automobile (famous Porsche tuners), Viotti (either a dead classical composer or a dead Italian coachbuilder...), Studiotorino (Italian design house), Magna Steyr Italia and ID4MOTION being involved in making this potentially worth at least half the money being asked for it. The latter name makes custom digital dials and W Motors says it has made them an "Interactive Dashboard" that's supposedly lightyears ahead of what everyone else has, although they haven't said a single thing about what it actually does.

It's probably on sale now, although with only 7 orders to fill, it will probably be sold out in the next month even at that price, so it doesn't really matter if it is. W Motors are likely to follow this up with a lesser Lykan Supersport to probably sell for "only" $2m and have a detuned engine. They'll probably make more than 7 of them as well, assuming they're still around by then.

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