Kuwait Motor Town Logo

Post by Mark

Kuwait Motor Town Logo

Kuwait Motor Town is set to open next month and the logo for it has now been revealed. From the reactions I’ve been seeing, most people don’t like it mostly because it looks like the Kellogg’s Special K logo. Although I don’t really like the logo, I think its fine.

Special K logo

It’s not a great logo by any means, but compared to other F1 circuit logos below, I think things could have been a lot worse. I mean other than the Baku City Circuit logo and probably the Red Bull Ring, most of the logos are pretty terrible. If Mexico with all their super talented designers ended up with the horrible Autodromo logo pictured below, we’re pretty lucky to end up with our Kellogg’s Special K one.

various F1 circuit logos

If you’d like to see the full branding presentation of Kuwait Motor Town, click [Here] They’ve removed the work from their portfolio but you can still access it [Here]

Thanks lovelykuwait


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Introducing… My Lotus Exige 380 Cup

Post by Mark

Last month while visiting the Lotus dealer with a friend of mine, I was given the opportunity to upgrade my car. A friend had ordered a Lotus Exige 380 Cup, but once it arrived at the local dealer he decided he wanted the more powerful 430 Cup instead. So, the dealer gave me first dibs on the car along with a too good to be true buyback offer on my Lotus. So after a lot of deliberation in my head (which mostly sounded like yada yada yada, you only live once, yada yada yada, mid-life crisis, yada yada), I decided to pull the trigger and get the car.

So what are the biggest changes over the Exige I already had? (skip this paragraph if you’re not into cars)

To start with, the 380 Cup is over 100KG lighter than my previous already super light Exige. The Cup weighs in at just 1,057KG! It also produces 375 hp compared to the 345 my previous car made and does 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds. The aerodynamics of the Cup car is also much more aggressive producing over 250KG of downforce compared to my previous Exige. You can really feel the car being pushed down to the ground once you hit high speeds. The wheels are also lighter forged aluminum, and the tires are larger and come with the track and competition Michelin Cup 2 tires. The AP Racing brakes have been upgraded and the gearbox is now a manual instead of paddle-shift and looks incredible with all the metal gearing exposed. The suspension is two-way adjustable so I can make it softer for the road or harder for the track. Finally, the car is covered in carbon fiber, everywhere, from the roof to the interior, even the rear engine window was replaced with a carbon fiber hood to save weight. So yeah, loads of changes compared to my previous Exige and that’s not even including overall usability improvements. I should also add that the 380 Cup is limited to just 60 cars worldwide (and the only one in the region), so its super rare.

I’ve had the car for around 10 days now and I’ve put just a bit over 1,000KM on the car already so I’ve gotten a good feel for it. The Cup is a lot faster than my previous Exige, and because it’s more track-focused, it rides really rough, is pretty noisy and is now even more unpractical than what was already a very unpractical car to begin with.

But I love it.

Its raw, it’s not bullshitting you pretending to be something it isn’t, it’s as honest a car as you can get. And it’s not just me, EVO magazine gave it a 5 out of 5 and Road & Track called it “too much fun to be street legal”. It is too much fun.

I was planning to take the car to Bahrain for their open track day on February 15th, but turns out I need to have at least 3,000KM on the car before tracking it and I don’t think I can get that done in two weeks. So not sure when I’ll have the car on the track but hopefully pretty soon.

If you’re looking for a good place to take car photos by the way, I’d highly recommend the rooftop parking of the complex in front of Mayar in Shuwaikh. I took all the photos here with my iPhone on the roof and loved the spot because of the neutral colors and clean lines. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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The Ferrari 488 GTB

Post by Mark

I haven’t reviewed a car for some time now mostly because there really hasn’t been a car I’ve been interested in, but also because I love my Lotus so much I’d rather be in it than any other car. But, since my Lotus isn’t with me at the moment (more on that soon), I decided to take advantage of the situation by test driving the Ferrari 488 GTB.

Driving off in a car for the first time that costs as much as a home is a pretty nerve-wracking experience. The fact the car is also super low, and the roads around the dealership in pretty bad shape didn’t help the situation either. But the Ferrari 488 I was driving had the option to raise the suspension to give it a bit more ground clearance, so I managed to make my way out onto the main road without too much drama. It was pretty early in the morning so the first thing I did was head to Arabica in the city for some coffee. I took the long way by going through a bit of traffic on the 4th all the way to the 30th, and then from the 30th exiting onto the Gulf Road. I spent most of my day taking the longest way everywhere I went. Instead of grabbing my usual acai bowl for example from Liquid near Arabica in the city, for example, I decided to drive all the way to Bida’a and pick one up from Be Cafe. After spending the day zigzagging across Kuwait, I headed out to the desert to get some shots before the sunset.

After driving the Ferrari 488 GTB for a day I’ve come to the conclusion that the car has just two speeds, fast, and I’m going to get deported fast. I’m being serious here. The Ferrari 488 hits 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds. That’s just 0.8 seconds faster than my Lotus but damn what a difference that 0.8 makes. But that’s not even the impressive part, if you keep your foot down on the gas for just one more tiny second, you’re suddenly in the getting your license revoked territory. The car is insanely powerful, so much so that there just isn’t enough road for it. Usually, when I take out a sports car to review, I tend to drive it like I stole it. The 488 is probably the first car that I drove decently just because stepping on it would get me in a lot of trouble. Ferrari 488 owners are really going to love our racetrack once it opens up, its the only way to really enjoy and take advantage of all the power the car has to offer.

Other than the speed, a few other things impressed me quite a bit. The brakes on the car impressed me more than the speed of the car, the pedal feel is just so on point and the car stops in an instant. The interior of the car is also a wonderful place to be in. The interior is covered in leather with beautiful stitchwork and lots of carbon fiber trimming. I never felt uncomfortable, and even on my long trip with my friend into the desert, we spoke about how great the car would be on super long trips. Even though the 488 is a sports car first, you’re not sacrificing with comfort or amenities. The sound system was impressively good and the car I drove even came with front and rear parking cameras. It’s a luxury car that just happens to also be crazy ass fast.

So are there any downsides? Well yeah, the car costs as much as a house. The 488 GTB starts at KD78,000 which means I’m not really going to end up owning one anytime soon. But on the bright side, the Ferrari 488 GTB does come with a 5-year warranty (that can be extended up to 15) and 7-years free maintenance. So really the only costs you’ll have to factor in down the line are tires and brake pads. Not bad.

If you’d like to find out more about Ferraris in Kuwait then you should follow the dealer on instagram @ferrarialzayanikuwait. You can also go ahead and build your own 488 by visiting the Ferrari online car configurator [Here]


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Don’t Speed in the Emergency Lane

Post by Mark

I went to get some car paperwork done last night but turned out I had a fine I needed to pay. When I tried paying it I got a message saying I couldn’t and needed to get the fine unblocked first. I got caught speeding, going 88KM/h in a 45KM/h zone. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which road that could have been on but figured I’d just go to the traffic department morning and pay it and get it done with.

I headed to Jabriya traffic department first where they told me I needed to head to the Shuwaikh one instead. When I got to Shuwaikh I headed to the department that unblocks the fines and the cop there was like go get me your car registration since we have to impound your car for two weeks. I was like whaaaat why? Turns out I got caught speeding in the emergency lane. Even though you’re allowed to drive on the emergency lane during rush hour, you’re not meant to exceed 45KM/h. Because the speed cameras give you leeway of up to 20KM/h, I completely forgot the speed limit was 45 and assumed it was 65. So I was driving around 85 thinking I was still within the limit but I obviously wasn’t.

So if you use the emergency lane make sure you don’t speed!


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Flyover of the Kuwait Motor Town Circuit

Post by Mark

I need to do this with my drone, except I’d have my drone follow the track on the same path the cars would take. It’s so close to being finished, just three more months!

Thanks lovelykuwait


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Ferrari Prices in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I dropped by the Ferrari dealership to check out their cars and prices. If you’re curious to know how much their different models cost, check them out below:

Ferrari California T
KD74,000

Ferrari 488 GTB
KD93,000

Ferrari 488 Spider
KD97,000

Ferrari GTC4Lusso
KD100,000

Ferrari 812 Superfast
KD103,000


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Taxi Apps in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Although we don’t have Uber in Kuwait yet, we do have various other apps that pretty much do the same thing. Over the years I’ve posted about a few but never in one concise post, and since some have stopped working over the years, this list is of current active ones.

Q8 Grand Limo
This is my favorite app/service right now, and the one I’ve been using constantly. It’s really made my cabbing experience in Kuwait great, the cars are super clean and fancy, the drivers are very polite and tidy, and I haven’t had any issues with them since I started using them back in May. Costwise, they’re more expensive than regular street cabs but the experience really makes up for the price. Plus, they gave me a 20% promo code when I posted about them back in May so for me, trips don’t cost that much more than regular street cabs. They’ve got around 30 cabs in operation including a Mercedes S400 in case you want to splurge. I actually got picked up by the S400 a few weeks back when they were super busy and didn’t have their regular cars available. Let’s just say I forgave them for being late and they can always pick me up late if they’re gonna do so in the S400. You can also book a cab ahead of time which I’ve done when I needed a middle of the night ride to the airport. [Link]

Careem
Probably the closest thing to Uber in Kuwait right now since they’re Uber’s main competitor in the region. I’ve never used them but I’ve got friends who swear by them. Like Grand Limo, they also have a ride later option which many people use to schedule airport rides and they also have their own fleet of cars. [Link]

Q8 Taxi
This is an app I posted about a few years ago and were one of the early ones to launch in Kuwait. I tried using them back then a few times and had a fairly average experience and then one day, it just stopped working. Now it seems they’re back since they’ve been advertising their app pretty heavily. Haven’t tried them and don’t think I will, but they’re the cheapest option in this list since they use regular street cabs to pick you up. [Link]

If there are any other apps I’ve missed let me know in the comments.


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Kuwait Motor Town Track Map

Post by Mark

The website F1 Fanatic has posted the track map of Kuwait Motor Town with a bit of information I wasn’t aware of previously. Turns out our track will be an anti-clockwise circuit, will feature 20 corners and is going to be 5.6KM long. You can check out a higher res version of the map above as well as some more info on the F1 Fanatic website [Here]

Update: Below are some different variations of the same track


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Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit Progress

Post by Mark

Yesterday some drone photos of the Kuwait Motor Town race circuit were floating around on WhatsApp. Not sure why I didn’t think of going there and taking a drone photo of the circuit myself since Google Maps really hasn’t updated the view since construction started. These drone photos, on the other hand, show that a lot of progress has been made and that the hardest part of the construction, the paving of the track asphalt is basically done. You can also see the dragstrips in the photos as well as the grand stands under construction.

The first phase of the Kuwait Motor Town Race Circuit is targetted to open by the end of March, I’m hoping that’s still on track. I’m so excited!


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GCC Summit Traffic Situation

Post by Mark

Later today some parts of highway 50 and the 5th ring road will be closing down due to the GCC Summit. There are expectations that the closures will result in traffic chaos, but as of 9AM, there seems to be less traffic than usual. This will probably change once the roads close down at noon, but not a bad start to the day.

Update: A reader made me realize that at 12PM Google updated the map of Kuwait to highlight the closed roads. Impressive.


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