Salhiya Valet Crashes Porsche

Posted by Mark

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I have no idea how this happened but somehow a valet driver at Salhiya managed to crash a Porsche hard into a pillar inside their underground parking lot. Hopefully the valet driver is fine but damn wtf?

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Review: Garmin Dash Cam 10

Posted by Mark

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Dashboard cameras are cameras you mount in your car and record everything that takes place in front of you while you’re driving. I’ve been wanting to get a dash cam for sometime now but majority of the dash cams I had seen online were cheap looking no name ones. Although they were all very affordable and some had even gotten some great reviews, I was holding out for something better. If I was going to mount the camera on my windshield and have it in my face all day, I wanted something that at least looked decent and well made. Then out of the blue Garmin announced they were releasing a dash cam one day and I knew that was the one I was getting.

I’ve had the Garmin Dash Cam 10 for a few weeks now so I feel ready to give it a proper review.


[YouTube]

As expected, like all their products the Garmin Dash Cam is very well built. The unit feels very solid and looks great… until you mount it up on your windshield that is. I had a Garmin Navigator previously mounted in my car and it looked really sleek. I had the USB power cable come up from behind the dash board and plug in to the rear of the unit and because the suction cup is behind the unit the navigator looked like it was floating in front of the windshield. In my head I imagined the same would apply to the dash cam but I couldn’t have been so wrong. Even though the Garmin Dash Cam is pretty compact, once you connect the large suction cup to it and mount it into place it instantly doubles in height and becomes quite bulky. Then to make matters worse is the location of the USB plug, it plugs into the bottom right hand side of the device. That means I have ugly wire clutter around the unit adding to the overall visual pollution I now have on my windshield. I don’t understand why Garmin couldn’t have found a better solution, it’s like the designer who worked on the unit didn’t take anything into consideration. I mean they should have know people would most likely mount the dash cam on the left side of the windshield near the driver like everyone does with their navigators or that they will be mounted in the center of the windshield. So why would you have the power plug on the right? Wouldn’t it make sense to have it either on the left, the back side (like with my Garmin Navigator) or on the top left side of the device?

With those negatives out of the way it’s time to talk about some of the positives. The device works great. I have my unit set up to turn on and start recording automatically when I start the car and then to shutoff and stop recording when I turn off the car. I also have it set up so that once the memory card runs out of space to start recording over older videos. That means the dash cam operates continuously without any sort of action from me which is very convenient.


[YouTube]

The video quality isn’t anything close to say GoPro quality but then again these videos serve a different purpose. The camera can record up to 1080p and as you can see in the sample videos the license plates are easy to read both during the day and night. Obviously having a clean and crack free windshield improves the quality and in my videos you can see one of my window cracks on the right side of the footage which is a bit annoying but there isn’t anything I can do about it.

The Garmin Dash Cam 10 costs $200 which is really expensive compared to other more popular no brand dash cams. I originally didn’t mind paying this much because I expected a product that would be visually pleasing when mounted but now I know the Garmin is overpriced. The quality of the footage isn’t so different from the no name dash cams neither is the operating method so the Garmin really doesn’t have a major advantage to cost this much. But, since I already bought mine its too late for me but for anybody else I’d recommend they look at the alternatives carefully before deciding on the garmin.

For those interested, here is the dash cam on [Amazon]
They have the Dash Cam 20 as well which comes with GPS and records other data like your speed. I would recommend not going with that option if you tend to speed a lot.


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Red Bull Car Park Drift

Posted by Mark

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Red Bull sent me to Dubai this past weekend to watch the Red Bull Car Park Drift finale that was taking place there. The Red Bull event was actually part of a full day of activities all automotive related that was being held at the Meydan Race Track as part of the UAE National Day celebrations. There were a ton of activities taking place with the whole thing kinda feeling like a super large car meet since there were lots of personal cars being displayed all over the place ranging from pimped out Camaros all the way to Bugattis. The Red Bull Car Park Drift was the last event taking place that day so there was a huge crowd that had gathered all around the track to watch the finals.

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Drifting for those of you who don’t know is a driving technique where the driver intentionally allows the car to lose traction and slide sideways while still maintaining control of the car. Since I was invited to the event by Red Bull I had access to the media area which is where I took all my shots from. There were 16 competitors taking place in the final including ones from Kuwait who didn’t end up performing too well. I personally loved the driving style of Ali Al Bloushi from Oman whom I thought for sure would end up winning but sadly ended up coming second.

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The setup and the whole event including the location was just fantastic and Red Bull is now planning to bring the finals to Kuwait next year. If it ends up with a setup thats even remotely close to the Dubai event then we’re going to be in for a treat.


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Fuel Prices will Triple

Posted by Mark

knpc

A letter has been circulating via social media purportedly from KNPC on the new pricing for diesel and kerosene. The new prices are nearly double triple the current prices and will go into effect starting from January 1st. The letter does not mention if gasoline prices are going to increase so I guess we’re fine for now.


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LaFerrari in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

laferrari

A friend spotted the LaFerrari near the Avenues this morning. Only 499 off them were built and each costs around KD500,000 but, since it’s limited, you need to own at least five Ferraris to be even considered by Ferrari to let you buy one.


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New emergency lane cameras

Posted by Mark

emergencylane

Two readers sent me pictures of a new emergency lane camera that was just setup on the 5th ring road between road 50 and 55. According to a reader the camera was flashing every car driving on the emergency lane so let me be the first to say thank you to whomever came up with this idea. I love it!

Thanks Omar and Dragos


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Kuwait’s version of a car boot sale

Posted by Mark

carboot

I snapchatted this earlier but thought it was funny enough to share here as well.


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Red Bull Failaka Showdown

Posted by Mark

This is a new promotional video for Red Bull Kuwait in which they’ve pit a free-runner against a drifter and shot the whole thing on Failaka Island. It’s a well made made video that will make you want to go exploring around Failaka. [YouTube]

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Emergency Lane Rules

Posted by Mark

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Alqabas newspaper published emergency lane rules a few days ago and Buzfairy was nice enough to translate them into English.

Rules for using the emergency lane in Kuwait:
– Left emergency lane only
– Only if police cars are present
– Right one still just for emergency services only
– 45KM maximum speed
– 6:30AM-9:00AM into the city and 12:30PM-3:30PM out of the city
– Specific instructions regarding our 3 main highways – King Abdulaziz: from 3rd to 6th ring roads – King Fahad (road 40): from 1st to 6th ring roads – King Faisal: from 4th to 6th ring roads

Although this does help ease congestion slightly I think they could have improved on the idea by turning the emergency lane into a carpool lane. That would have helped ease traffic even further.


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Meet the Rally Fighter

Posted by Mark

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The Rally Fighter is a badass looking car designed and built by the US company Local Motors. It was recently featured in the latest Transformers movie, in Jay Leno’s Garage, Top Gear and it’s also in Forza Horizon 2 which comes out today on the Xbox One. It’s a very rare car and we are lucky to have two in Kuwait (same owner). I first found out about the Rally Fighters coming to Kuwait by mistake, back at the end of 2013 Local Motors posted a video on YouTube in which they mentioned they were building two cars for a client in Kuwait and then in a second video they mentioned that Rally Fighter cars might end up being built in Kuwait as well. I posted those two videos and luckily for me the owner of the two cars also happens to read my blog. He contacted me right after I posted the first video and told me he’d let me in on the whole story as well as let me take one of the cars out for a spin once they arrived. Fast forward to last week and I finally got the call to take one of the cars out.

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The Rally Fighter isn’t a mass produced car, it’s kind of a kit car but not really and there is nothing on the road that looks like it. The Rally Fighter looks like a car from Mad Max or a car that was built out of other cars right after a world apocalypse. Calling it badass is really an understatement. The car is pretty high off the ground and has large tires so if you’re not tall, getting into it will be an accomplishment. When I first got in the first thing I noticed was how poor the visibility was. Right in front of me I had the front left car pillar which would usually be located further left and out of my direct line of sight. Because the pillar was right in front of me it made the car feel claustrophobic and the whole seating position didn’t help either. The foot pedals were really far away and I had to move the seat pretty close to the steering wheel to be able to touch them and I’m 6’1 so shorter people would definitely have issues. The steering wheel also wasn’t very adjustable and in my seating position I couldn’t see the speedometer because the steering wheel was covering it. This proved to be an issue on the highway when I was struggling not to speed and get caught by the cameras. The foot pedals were also pretty far apart so the natural way to drive the car is one foot on the brake and the other on the gas like a proper rally driver.

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I picked up the car from Starbucks in Bida’a and headed from there out towards my favorite spot in the desert so I could take some photos. The Rally Fighter has a V8 6.2L 430HP engine so trying to keep it from exceeding 120km/h on the highway was difficult. What made the task even harder was that I couldn’t really see how fast I was going because the steering wheel was covering the speedometer. The ride to my spot was long and this is definitely not a car I would want to take on long highway trips. It was a hot day and the AC couldn’t keep up so it was pretty warm in the car, I would hate to be driving this in the middle of July. The interior is pretty barebones and feels cheap. They ordered a carbon fiber trim but that turned out to be carbon fiber stickers which were haphazardly stuck on the dashboard. The leather trim on top of the dashboard had already separated from the dashboard because of the heat and the windows left a gap at the top which not only let in hot air from the outside but would also let in rain come winter. The interior felt like a kit car even though the car isn’t priced like one (more on that later). While the car looked great from the outside the interior was so bland that I had trouble trying to capture a nice shot of it. The car is a two door but it does have rear seats although it’s made for kids since any adult sitting the back would either hit their head on the rear window or the roll cage.

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I’ve driven quite a few interesting cars and been in even more but I’ve never driven one or been in one that garnered as much attention as the Rally Fighter. Cars were literally hovering around me from every angle on the highway trying to record video or take photos of it. I’m fairly positive there is a video of me on YouTube driving the car. It sticks out on the road like a sore thumb and no one has any idea what the hell it is. This brings me to the next subject on why I think the price is crazy yet not so crazy as well. The base price of the car starts at around $100,000. With the options, shipping and registration in Kuwait you’ll end up paying around KD40,000. For that price you could pick up both a Porsche Cayman and a Ford Raptor (which is just as capable off-road) so yeah I do think 40K is over priced. But, there is another way to look at this as well. This isn’t an everyday car, this isn’t a car you’ll trade in your comfy saloon for, this is a car built with a specific task and so it’s a rich mans toy, it’s your third or forth car. I don’t know of any other car at this price range or less that captures as much attention as this, maybe the KTM Xbow or the Aerial Atom but there really aren’t that many. In a market where no one gives a Ferrari or McLaren a second glance, the Rally Fighter with all the attention is gets seems like good value at 40K. But, the owner seems to think the car isn’t ready for the GCC market just yet which is why he’s abandoned plans of opening a Rally Fighter factory in Kuwait.


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