Police Chase in Kuwait

Post by Mark

A friend sent me two videos from a chase that supposedly took place this weekend. Seems like the crowd was rooting for the getaway driver. If you have any more videos of this chase let me know.

carchase


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The New Porsche 911 Carrera S II (991)

Post by Mark

911-front

The past few weekends have been pretty exciting for me, I had a Lotus for three of them and then this past weekend I had the new 2017 model year Porsche 911 Carrera S. It was actually perfect timing since I had recently taken out the Lotus Evora which I consider a direct competitor of the 911 so it was a good opportunity to compare the two. This wasn’t my first time in this current generation 911, I had previously raced one around the Dubai Autodrome during the Porsche World Roadshow a few years ago. But this model I drove this past weekend was the face-lifted version which they’re calling the 911 II.

911-rear

Visually the exterior of the 911 II doesn’t look that different from the previous years with most of it being just aerodynamical upgrades. But, there are some important changes that take place under the hood. The new Carreras are now turbo charged giving both the regular Carrera and the Carrera S an extra 20HP each. This upgrade has allowed the Carrera S to hit 0 to 100km/h in under 4 seconds making it the first Carrera to break the 4 second barrier. The previous model hit 0 to 100 in 4.1 seconds but this new model now does it in just 3.9.

911-carplay

Another major upgrade is the infotainment system which now includes Apple’s CarPlay. I’ve been using CarPlay since 2014 and although it looks pretty, it’s fairly buggy and lacks some important features. Luckily you’ll still be able to use your phone via bluetooth in the Porsche, something I sadly can’t do in my car. An important thing to mention is you now no longer have multiple options of the infotainment system to choose from. I think thats great because end of the day this is a Porsche so you’d expect all the cars to be fitted with the best infotainment system available. But previously what came standard was an infotainment system that lacked features unless you were willing to plough down around 800KD for the proper one. Now all the 911’s come standard with this new system which is great. Finally one more new feature which I personally loved is the new steering wheel with a rotary switch that controls the driving mode similar to that of the Porsche 918. The steering wheel was oddly my favorite thing about this 911, it felt great in my hands and the design will surely look great years down the line, something I can’t say about the older Porsche 911 (996).

911in

The 911 is pretty much flawless, there really isn’t anything I can fault about the car, even the trunk was surprisingly big. The car was fast, lots of fun to drive and the model I drove had a flashy lava orange color with a beautiful black interior. Which reminds me…People of Kuwait I have a request, STOP ordering Porsches with Bordeaux Red or Beige interiors! Please stop it! Seriously there needs to be an intervention. I was so surprised when I realized I was about to get into a 911 with a black interior in Kuwait, I figured it must have been an international Porsche dealer guideline or something. The Porsches interior looks so much sportier and hotter in black, it’s really the only way to go. Anyway, back to what I was saying, the car was fantastic and I can understand why everyone in Kuwait has one, it’s probably the best daily driver sports car you can get.. which is why I don’t think I’d ever buy one myself.

911yellow

The cars local success is the cars biggest downfall for me. Every other person in Kuwait seems to have a 911. When I want to plucker down KD40,000 for a car I don’t want to blend in with half the population of Kuwait. I mean I get why everyone is buying the car, it makes perfect sense but Kuwait is such a weird place, you’d think these cars were so much more affordable based on the number of them out on the road.

911side

Still that doesn’t stop me from heading over to the local Porsche dealers website every few weeks and building my own car. If you’ve never checked out their website before you should, there is an option to build a Porsche but the best part about it is it will tell you how much it will cost (Jaguar you guys need to add the prices on your website). So I’m on their website every now and then building a Cayman GT4 or a 911 for fun trying to fill it up with options that make sense and offer the most value and I take it fairly seriously as if I’m buying the car even though it’s all just imaginary. After driving the 911 this weekend there is one option I’m taking off the list for sure and thats the KD900 Burmester sound system. It’s not worth it, the car I drove this weekend had it and I was disappointed with the sound. It was extremely boomy and I can’t imagine the stock sound system sounding any worse. Another option I won’t be adding? The Lane Change Assist (a KD210 option), there aren’t any blind spots on the car and anytime the lane change warning light came out, the other car would be in clear sight of me. There are tons of options you can add to the car and they quickly add up. For example the Carrera S starts at a very reasonable KD34,000 but the model I drove costs around KD43,000 because of all the options it had in it. You don’t need door sill guards in stainless steel and illuminated (KD220 option), or the air vent slats painted (KD360 option) or the Porsche crest embossed on the head restraints (KD60 option) or a bunch of other superficial options. So if you hold yourself back with the options you should still be able to get a 911 at a fairly affordable price (for what it is).

911-side

I ended up dropping the car back to the dealer earlier then planned, that should basically summarize my feelings towards the car. I’ve driven a ton of cars over my lifetime, a lot of them were dull and a lot of them were exciting. When I took out the Camaro ZL1 or the Lotus Exige, I was a completely different asshole in them, when I took out the Mercedes S-Class I felt like a pimp. But with the 911, I just felt like a boring and responsible person, it didn’t excite me in anyway. On the plus side, they’ve introduced the Miami Blue color which reminds of the old 90s Riviera Blue 911 (993) which was and is my favorite Porsche of all time. FYI, thats the color to get with a full black interior.

Like I said, if you haven’t done so already, head over the Porsche Kuwait website and build your own car [Link]


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Omid’s Garage

Post by Mark

omid

One of my biggest concerns when I bought my 240z Datsun was that I wouldn’t find a garage I could take it to whenever I needed any work done on the car. The guy I purchased the car from showed me a spot in Shuwaikh where he used to take the car to, but when I passed by to get some stuff done on the car, I had difficulty communicating what I needed done due to language issues and I also didn’t really feel like it was a mechanic that I could connect with. Then while getting my car detailed at ProTech, the owner who had also recently purchased a 240z himself told me about a garage he found called Omid’s Garage. So I passed by to check the place out and right away I liked the place.

Omid is a young guy probably in his late 20s and is really passionate about cars and by that I mean he really loves his job. His garage is frequented by other 240z owners but also owners of other vintage cars and people who need anything from regular mechanical work done to complete engine swaps. Every time I passed by he would be like see this old white Caprice? It has a supercharged LS3 engine producing nearly 700hp. Or see that 240z there? It has a 400hp V8 engine. It’s like every regular looking car parked outside his garage has something interesting under the hood.

mycar2

What I liked about Omid is that it was a one stop shop for me. We didn’t have any communication issues, he was very organized and wrote everything down and I wasn’t an easy customer, I had a whole laundry list of random little things I needed to be worked on my car including:

– Needed AC installed
– Replacing all the cars bushings
– Check brakes, swap pads
– Right turn signal didn’t always work
– Dash lights were too dim
– There was an engine lag on strong acceleration
– Door lock issue needed to be looked at
– Wiper water pump wasn’t working
– New rubber shift boot needed to be installed
– Electric engine fan to be installed
– Alternator upgrade
– etc..etc..

omid1

So as you can see the kind of work I needed ranged from mechanical to electrical and I didn’t even list everything I had him look at. Omid had the car for around 2 weeks and went through my list and got everything done one by one. Not only for example was he able to get AC installed but he managed to hook up the AC to function with my cars stock fan/heater controls. I read about people doing this mod in forums online so it was great he had it done for me. The guy barely sleeps since he’s always working, the last day he was up till 3AM finishing up my car and by the time I got home and went to sleep it was around 4AM. Next day I wake up to find a message from him at 8AM asking me how the car is. Turns out he still hadn’t slept and was still working on other cars. But, he actually prefers working late at night on cars since he doesn’t have any distractions to deal with.

Since I had a great experience I wanted to post about him so that if anyone ever needs a good mechanic they could pass by him. His instagram account is @omids_garage and here is his location on [Google Maps]


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24 Hour Car Wash

Post by Mark

oula1

A few months ago I found out that the Oula gas station near the Jawazat roundabout in Salmiya had a 24/7 car wash. Even since I’ve been wanting to just randomly drop by like 2AM or something to try it out but haven’t had the time to until last night. My Datsun had been at the mechanic for the past two weeks getting a number of things installed (will post about it separately) and last night I dropped by around 11PM to pick up the car. There were still some minor things that he was working on and he ended up finishing at around 3AM. So after leaving the garage, I decided to drop by the car wash on my way home to test it out.

oula2

So I get there and sure enough the car wash was open. I assumed they just had an exterior wash since no way they’d have staff available to clean the inside of the car after midnight but surprisingly, they had a full team on stand by. So I got my car washed in the middle of the night and it cost me just KD3 for an exterior and interior cleaning (without tip).

So if you ever want to wash your car in the middle of the night, this is the place to go. This carwash by the way uses a touch free automated system called the LaserWash which I posted about back in 2010. Here is the location of this car wash on [Google Maps]


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Permission to Tow

Post by Mark

towhitch2

A contact sent me this random bit of information, it seems you now need to get permission to tow stuff with your vehicle. Previously anyone could just connect their jetskis or boat and just tow them down the road but they recently started cracking down on this by applying some new stricter rules. For example if you want to tow a trailer, then the trailer now must have reflectors, turn signals and brake lights on it as well or else you’ll get fined.

towhitch

I guess this new towing permission is an extension of those new safety regulations. According to my same contact, if your car has a tow hitch (pictured above) you might get fined even if you aren’t towing anything. Not sure how accurate this information is, but if your car has a tow hitch then you might want to double check on this.

Thanks Fahad


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CityBus Airport Express

Post by Mark

CityBus launched a new bus service that starts all the way in Fahaheel, passing
through Mangaf, Abu Halifa, Mahboula and Fintas before arriving at the final destination, the Kuwait airport. They’re calling it the X1 route and it costs just 500 fils to get to the airport from all the way in Fahaheel.

airport

The service also runs 24/7 with a bus coming by every 30 minutes between 4AM to midnight and then every 60 minutes from midnight to 4AM. Not bad, and I’m guessing they’ll most likely be adding more routes to the airport to cover other areas as well. For more info including the bus stop location guide you can check out their Facebook page [Here]


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The Lotus Evora 400

Post by Mark

evora1

Like the Lotus Exige S which I recently wrote about on the blog, theres a lot to love and hate in the Evora 400. I actually ended up having the car over two weekends so I got to spend a pretty good amount of time with the car. I’ll get all the good stuff out of the way first, then talk about a few negatives points before telling you what I think.

When I first got into the Evora 400 and drove off I was really surprised at how civil the car was. Unlike the Exige S, getting into the car didn’t require any acrobatics since it’s like a normal car, you just open the door and get in. The interior was also a lot more fancier looking with leather all around, beautiful center console with controls for the AC and gear box, and with seats there were super comfy. The Evora has a Supercharged 3.5L V6 producing 400hp but you wouldn’t be able to tell when the car is in regular touring mode. I thought the Evora was too quiet, like nearly electric car quiet since all you couldn’t hear the engine or exhaust, just the whine of the supercharger. The car felt too civil which was starting to feel disappointing since the reason I’m in a Lotus is because it’s a sports car and so I wanted it to sound like one. Luckily, the Evora has a cool trick up its sleeve. On regular touring mode, the car doesn’t sound any louder than a Toyota Camry, but as soon as you hit the exhaust button on the dashboard, everything changes. The Evora suddenly comes to life and the sound becomes brutal and so violent. If you’re in an indoor parking lot and roll down your windows, oh wow you won’t believe how beautiful the Evora can sound.

evora2

I think that was my favorite aspect of the Evora, it can be super silent and an unassuming daily driver (just don’t go with bright orange), or it can be the loud in your face track car. Daily driver is how I kept describing the car to my friends whenever they asked me what I thought of it. Then you have the looks, god damn it’s a super hot looking car. Like the Exige S, everywhere I went people wouldn’t stop staring, it’s such an eye catcher.

lotusinside

But, not all is great. As I mentioned earlier in the post, I had the Evora 400 over two weekends. The reason for that is the first weekend I ran into issues with the gearbox. Something was wrong with the programming and so when I would give the car a hard kick down, the car would sometimes shift from 1st gear to 2nd to 3rd and then just get stuck there instead of continuing to shift up. On one occasion it even got stuck on 2nd gear. Then one night on my way back home, the gearbox, engine and traction control lights all came on and the car wouldn’t shift anymore and just stayed stuck on 3rd gear. I dropped the car off back to Lotus the next morning and got it back again this past weekend. I guess they reset the software or something but all the issues I had with the gearbox the previous weekend disappeared. Putting that bit of bad luck aside though I did have more issues with the car, ones that a software update couldn’t fix. One of my issues with the Exige S was the lack of storage space, not sure how it’s possible but the Evora has even less space. There is a small pocket on the door that might or might not hold your wallet depending on how big it is, and there is also a small glove compartment that can hold your sunglasses, but other than that there is nothing. I had to keep my phone in between my legs or on the passenger seat because there was no room to put my phone. I should mention there is a back seat in this car that supposedly can hold two passengers, but unless those passengers don’t have any legs I’m not sure how they’ll fit there. The back of my seat literally touches the rear seat so there’s no way anyone can sit behind me thats for sure. Finally the last issue with the car is one that I find mind boggling. I took the car to get it washed and it leaked in water from both doors in the exact same location. If it was one side you could say it might have been a defect or whatever, but both sides? Thats just poor design which is why I don’t understand how Lotus didn’t catch this.

The Evora 400 starts at KD34,000 which puts it right in the Porsche 911 turf. But the question then becomes, do you want a car that everyone has? Or do you want a car that is less common and unique? If I’m paying that much money, I don’t want to blend in so then it becomes about how much issues can I put up with. Personally, with all the issues I had with the more affordable Exige S, I’m in love with that car. Maybe if I ask nicely they’ll let me take the Exige S back out for another weekend.

If you’re interested in test driving a Lotus then pass by them, they have both the Exige S and Evora 400 available. Here is a link to their instagram account @alghanimlotuskw


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New Airport Long Term Parking Extension

Post by Mark

parkingextension

Ok ok so it’s not really an extension but, just to give you an idea of how bad the situation in the long term parking has gotten, they’re now having cars park in the pedestrian walkway in the long term parking lot.

They’re going to have to construct a new multistory parking lot but that would mean they’d have to close the parking lot during that process which will be annoying so I have another idea. How about turning an empty lot of land near the airport into a parking lot and then have a shuttle bus service to and from the airport?


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Nasty Accident Caught on Dashcam

Post by Mark

This accident took place yesterday in Hawalli. Super nasty, no idea why that guy took the turn so fast. On the other hand with dashcams becoming prevalent, we’re bound to see more WTF videos like this.

Back in March while driving on the 40th I nearly ran over a body lying in the middle of the road. It was a scary moment which I was able to capture on my dashcam. You can watch that video above, it’s not graphic, but there is a dead body involved so you might want to skip it if you’re squeamish.

via Frankom

dashcam


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This isn’t real

Post by Mark

notreal

The picture above has been circulating on whatsapp with people thinking it’s real. It’s funny, but obviously its not real. Why? Because the messages on these signs usually read like they were created using google translate, this one uses proper English. Secondly there would at the very least be a grammatical mistake or something misspelled while this sign doesn’t have any faults.


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