GulfRun X

Posted by Mark

Last weekend I went to Bahrain to attend the GulfRun X event that was taking place there at the Bahrain International Circuit. GulfRun is a yearly event where guys in Kuwait take their cars to Bahrain to race on a race circuit over a two day period. The last GulfRun I attended was GulfRun 6 but since this was their 10th year anniversary there was no way I was going to miss it. I spent most of the day socializing at the tracking and the evenings enjoying the dining experience Bahrain has to offer. My good friend at 8IGHTYONE Productions just released a video of the event and I just love it. Check it out above. [YouTube]

gulfrun


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5 Dead, 50+ Injured in Bus Crash

Posted by Mark

Five people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a horrific crash in Kuwait yesterday, involving a bus carrying Bahraini pilgrims.

Thick fog blanketing most of the region was blamed for the incident which happened when the bus, carrying pilgrims from Bahrain to Karbala in Iraq, was apparently overtaken by a water tanker, leading it to crash into a truck carrying bricks. [Source]

A horrific accident that took place the other day here in Kuwait during the thick fog. [YouTube]

crash

Update: Video has been removed by the uploader


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The Kuwait Motor Show

Posted by Mark

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Yesterday was the first day of Auto Moto 15 thats taking place at 360 Mall. I passed by awhile ago and although the selection of cars wasn’t that great, I did leave satisfied. For one thing they have the Alfa Romeo 4C on display, I hadn’t seen that car live before and damn it looks ridiculously cool in person. They also had the Volkswagen XL1 which I posted about last month on display plus the Porsche 918 Spyder.

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For Toyota fans, there was a TRD display but all the cars on display just looked really really tacky. If that wasn’t bad enough, turns out all the cars only had TRD cosmetic kits with no engine performances available.

If you’re a car fan it’s worth passing by. For more information click [Here]


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Volkswagen XL1 in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

A friend sent me the video above of a Volkswagen XL1 at the local dealers garage. The XL1 is a hybrid car that costs around KD40,000 and is limited to only 250 units worldwide.

xl1

Definitely an eye turner since it looks like a car from the future. [YouTube]

Thanks Manae


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The Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Posted by Mark

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I love this car, I’ve loved it ever since I first laid my eyes on it. Last year I took the F-Type roadster out for a day and my biggest issue with it other than the super tiny trunk was the fact it was a soft top convertible. I’m not a fan of soft tops so when Jaguar revealed the F-Type Coupe I knew this is the car I wanted to get.

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The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is one of the best looking cars on the roads right now and in my opinion, it also has one of the hottest looking rear ends. The model Jaguar lent me was the V6 340hp although they had a 380hp version available to test drive as well (maybe I could take that for a spin next time Jaguar?). When I first picked up the car I wasn’t too sure about the color, but by the end of the day it had grown on me. It’s such a beautiful car that even the white looks great on it, actually white might be my favorite color on the Coupe.

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The F-Type Coupe isn’t a big car, it doesn’t have any rear seats nor any kind of room behind the seats. It’s compact but never feels claustrophobic. I picked up the car in the morning and went about my day. I had a bunch of errands to run followed by lunch with a friend and like the F-Type roadster, this is a great everyday car. It’s easy to drive in traffic and the suspension is soft enough to handle bumpy old roads. The trunk in the Coupe is fairly large as well so if you want to drop a friend off at the airport you can, that was something I wasn’t able to do with the roadster due to the fact that trunk couldn’t fit a medium sized bag.

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After lunch I drove up north to my favorite isolated road to take my photos. It’s a 50 minute drive each way so it gives me a lot of good quality time with the car. One thing this model I drove missed over the previous roadster I had taken out was the optional sport exhaust system. Although the car had an aggressive growl and popped a lot, I did miss having the optional exhaust switch which would kick the sound up a notch. Speaking of sounds, the sound system in the review car was also the standard 6-speaker one and not the 12-speaker Meridian system I had previously tried out in the roadster. It still sounded impressive, but just not as good as the Meridian.

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One thing I really appreciated on the car this time around were the brakes. Based on the spec sheet I received, the Coupe I drove was fitted with the standard brakes but they were extremely responsive and very powerful. I’m by nature a late-braker but with the F-Type I became a very-late-braker because I had so much confidence in the brakes. Makes me wonder how much better the optional super performance braking system would be.

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Like the F-Type roadster, one of the best things about the Coupe is the starting price. The Jaguar F-Type Coupe starts at just KD19,500 and the one I was driving with all the options sells for around KD24,000. If I didn’t know how much the F-Types cost I would have easily guessed over KD30,000 just by the looks alone. Is there anything I didn’t like in the car? Not really, I mean this is the car I was actually considering getting a few months ago when I was car shopping. It’s got great looks, incredible performance and just feels fantastic on the road.

If you’re interested in test driving the car yourself you can pass by the Jaguar dealer in Al-Rai (Al-Zayani) and check it out there.


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Emergency Lanes to be Converted to Normal Lanes

Posted by Mark

In a move to reduce congestion, the Ministry of Interior started allowing cars to drive on the emergency lane during certain hours and on certain roads. Now according to the video above (it’s in Arabic), it seems majority of those emergency lanes will now be paved and converted into permanent driving lanes. I’d love to crack a joke about how that’s easier than ticketing people who were using the emergency lanes all day long but thing is this actually makes sense. Our highways will now be a lane wider which will reduce traffic. [YouTube]

via AboFlan


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Kuwait Mile and crowd safety

Posted by Mark

This past weekend the Kuwait Mile event was held where around 500 cars signed up to race down a mile long strip of the highway. The event was a success with lots of interest but sadly there were two accidents (which I am aware of) that took place that day. Accidents at a racing event are absolutely normal but what I was surprised with was the lack of safety barriers between the track and the crowd.

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In the video on top of one of the accidents, the car loses control and luckily crashes into the barrier on the left. If the car had headed to the right instead then there might have been some serious injuries since there was only a metal fence separating the viewers from the track (check the screen grab above).

After I found out about the accident I started checking out photos and videos of the event and noticed a fire truck parked on the side of the track. I quietly thought to myself that can’t be safe for the driver if his car crashes into it and I thought of the Jules Bianchi crash in Suzuka this past year. Later on in the day a car crashed hard into the fire truck and luckily missed some firemen who were standing next to the truck as well.

It’s pretty cool that more motorsporting events are taking place in Kuwait but a catastrophic incident at one event would end up setting us back a very long time.


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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?

valet2


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Review: Garmin Dash Cam 10

Posted by Mark

dashcam

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

cpd1

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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