Roads Getting Repaired Soon

Post by Mark

In a rare gesture by an official of high ranking, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Dr. Jenan Boushehri apologized to the Kuwaiti people and residents of the country for the damage on the roads.

The action plan to repair the roads is proceeding rapidly, the minister said, however, she indicated that the competent authorities were carefully and closely checking specifications of the repair materials to avert recurrence of an identical problem in the future. [Source]

Finally! Not only are the roads gonna get fixed, but the new mixture they’ll be using for the tarmac will also hopefully solve the flying gravel issue in the long run.

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The Ferrari 812 Superfast

Post by Mark

I wish my review for this car could be just a 😳 because really that’s all I need to describe it. The Ferrari 812 Superfast is the ultimate Ferrari you can buy excluding the limited edition models, and it was the only Ferrari model left from their current lineup that I hadn’t driven yet. It lies on top of the Ferrari foodchain with an engine that is considered to be the most powerful naturally aspirated engine on a production car ever made. It has 789hp which is freakin’ insane!

I can’t emphasize enough how batshit crazy this car is when the roads are dry but I picked it up when it had just started raining. A 789hp rear wheel drive car in the rain in my hands could have turned into something messy really quick. Thankfully, the rain didn’t last long and I survived to tell the tale. And you know what’s bizarre? The 812 is meant to be a daily driver! I have no idea who needs 800 horsepower on a racetrack let alone to drive to the office or the supermarket, but I love it! It’s overkill of course but you kinda have to be nowadays to stick out next to the likes of the McLaren 720s and the Lamborghini Aventador.

But, what I liked about the 812 is that Ferrari allows you to choose the character you play in the car. Are you going to be the successful CEO driving like a normal adult on the way to an important meeting? Or are you going to be a complete moron with the car and try to kill yourself? I’m the second option for sure but the important thing here is you have the choice. Although it has nearly 800hp, if you want to drive the 812 like a normal human being you can absolutely do that. In normal driving conditions, the car engine and exhaust sound are fairly subdued, and with the windows rolled up you can barely hear the outside world. Add to that the ride quality is also incredibly good even when driving over our pothole-ridden roads. I swear I kept forgetting I was in a supercar because of how good the ride quality was. If there is just one thing I wished my Lotus had from this Ferrari, it wouldn’t be the power or the beautiful interior, it would just be the suspension. I keep mentioning this in all my Ferrari reviews but it’s unreal how good the ride quality is on their cars.

So yeah, the Ferrari can be “normal”, in the same way Bruce Banner is also a normal guy.

As soon as you downshift a few gears and step on the gas, things change incredibly fast. I’ve never been so scared to put my foot down as much as I was in the 812. Clearly, the name Superfast was given to the car after one of their test drivers took the car out for the first time because that’s exactly how I’d describe it. Once you step on it the car suddenly starts screaming like an F1 car right as the shift-lights on the steering wheel start lighting up like a Christmas tree. I don’t think I was able to keep my foot down for longer than 3 seconds at any point during the 2 days I had the car.

It’s a monster underneath but so civil on the outside. It has a pretty large trunk and all the amenities of a luxury car like front and rear cameras, a dual-zone climate system, fully adjustable electric seats, an incredible sound system and lots of soft luxurious leather everywhere. But it’s a crazy freakin’ monster.

The car I drove had a retail price of around KD130,000 which makes it one of the most expensive Ferraris you can buy at the dealership. I was thinking to myself if it was worth it or not, as in if I had the money and was in the market for a Ferrari would I get the 812 Superfast? And the answer to that is no, my heart still belongs to the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. For a bit less than the price of an 812 Superfast, the GTC4Lusso for me is a more practical daily car with rear seats that also fold down like in a hatchback. But then again, this is such a first world problem to have trying to decide between the two. I actually just checked the Ferrari pre-owned cars list and the the 812 I borrowed is listed for sale at KD115,000. So if you want to check it out or at least check out more photos of the car then click [Here]

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Small Car Plates Coming Soon?

Post by Mark

Not really a reliable source but the local super cars account @super_cars posted the image above stating that we will soon be getting small car plates.

Not sure if many people are aware of this but a lot of super cars don’t have room for a license plate in front of the car. So super car owners end up putting their plates inside the car over the dash or somehow finding a place to stick the plates on the front bumper making the car look ugly.

Small plates are available for situations like this in some other countries like Dubai (pictured above) so it is believable we could also be getting them soon as well.

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Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

Post by Mark

You’d think the most stressful part of reviewing a Ferrari would be the part where I take a Ferrari out that isn’t mine, on roads which are in terrible condition, surrounded by people who can’t drive yet are all too busy on their phones and then try and bring the car back to the dealer in one piece. Instead, what really stresses me out is trying to find a place to shoot the cars. It’s so hard finding a nice clean backdrop for a shoot which I haven’t abused already like my favorite strip of road in the desert or the rooftop across from Mayar Complex. I can’t keep taking pictures in the same spot so I don’t take out as many cars out as I’d like. With Ferraris, it’s even more difficult since instead of having the car for the weekend like with most brands, I have to instead pick up the car early morning and then drop it off in the evening before they close. Sounds like a first world problem but when car dealers lend me a car, they’re hoping to get nice photos taken in return and I want to keep getting nice cars so I need to keep taking nice shots. With the Ferrari F12, this was the first time I was allowed to keep the car overnight so I decided to try something new.

The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta I picked up is part of the Ferrari pre-owned collection. It’s a 2016 model and had done around 6,500km when I picked it up. It’s the model the preceded the new Ferrari 812 SuperFast which I’m hoping to pick up sometime this week. The F12 has a 6.3L V12 engine producing 730HP making it the fourth most powerful Ferrari road car produced to date. That sounds crazy except then you find out that the F12 is actually meant to be a daily driver and you’re like wtf?! It’s got an insane amount of power, too much power for our fairly short and unexciting roads, but it also has all the comforts and luxury features you’d find on a high-end luxury car plus a large trunk in case you need to drop a friend off to the airport or pick up a few items from IKEA. It’s really why I had my eye on the car a couple of years ago.

At one point before getting my Lotus I was actually checking out the F12’s in the secondhand market. I really wanted the 4 seater Ferrari FF since it would have been the perfect daily driver, but since there weren’t any used ones for sale I started looking at F12’s since they were also meant to be great daily drivers. For the short time I had the F12 last week, I did find it very comfortable and pretty quiet when the windows rolled up. Yup quiet, the exhaust sound on the F12 sounds fairly normal when driving around like a normal human being and the cars sound proofing really helps isolate you from all the sounds outside the car. It’s really only once you lower the windows and get aggressive with your driving does it start sounding like the fourth most powerful Ferrari road car ever produced. I always like that good and evil side to cars, it makes the car more bareable to live with over the long run. Another thing I really loved about the F12 is the minimal interior and the fact you can’t see the stereo. The stereo is usually one of the first things in a car that quickly gets outdated, by integrating the sound system into the main car interface which is in the drivers dashboard next to the large RPM dial, there isn’t anything anymore to get dated. Even the car’s interface graphics have been kept to a minimal I presume to keep the car looking good for a very long time. I think it works.

Since I was able to keep the F12 overnight, I decided I wanted to try some light painting for my photo. To light paint a car you need to take it to a fairly dark area, then take the photo with a very long shutter speed while you paint the car with a light source, in my case a flashlight. What this allows you to do is keep the location around the car dark and moody, but get your car nicely lit. I ended up driving around close to midnight looking for an interesting parking lot to shoot the car before settling on the spot above. I think the shot came out pretty good for my first try at light painting. I actually think I could have light painted the top of the car slightly more but I only noticed that later once I got home and it was too late to do anything about it. If you want you can check out the photo of the car normally exposed without any light painting, click [Here]

After spending time with the F12 I can’t wait to take out the Ferrari 812. Actually while writing this post I realized I really want to take out the Ferrari FF and I think they have one or two pre-owned ones available so I might ask Ferrari if I could do that. For now, if you’re interested in checking out their pre-owned collection, you can do so online by visiting the Al-Zayani website [Here]

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Kuwait Motor Town Trailer

Post by Mark

A few hours ago Kuwait Motor Town uploaded a coming soon trailer highlighting the various activities that will be available at the race track. I’m super excited since it looks like it’s finally happening. Check out the trailer above or on [YouTube]

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Lotus Exige 380 Cup – 1 Year Later

Post by Mark

Since we’re on the subject of cars, exactly a year ago I picked up my 380 Cup from the dealership and since then I’ve done around 10,000KM on the car including four track days in Bahrain. Because Lotus isn’t very popular in Kuwait (or anywhere else really), I decided I’d do a writeup, a sort of a long term review of the car and the local dealership.

As some of you know I had another Lotus before this one. That one kept giving me random problems, but this Lotus has been pretty good so far. I’ve really only had two issues and both were minor:

– Front access panel would loosen up at high speed
– Hazard light button would get stuck sometimes

Both those issues were fixed easily under warranty. Speaking of which, my car’s warranty expires today since it’s just a 1-year warranty. This is the only Lotus I am aware of that has a 1-year warranty, I think the rest have 2 or 3 years but because mine is a special edition with only 60 built, it has just a 1-year. That really sucks but Lotus have the option to extend the warranty for another year for a fee. I’m currently waiting to hear from them how much that fee is, hopefully, it won’t be much.

I actually just got the car back from Bahrain this Sunday. I had kept the car in Bahrain for a bit more than 6 weeks so I could take part in open track days on the Bahrain International Circuit while saving money on having to keep shipping the car back and forth. I got three track days done and just brought back the car to Kuwait so I can get the oil changed and 10,000KM service done. My Lotus did not miss our horrible broken roads that’s for sure.

On the track, the car has been great. I pretty much drive it hard non-stop through the whole session and don’t run into any overheating issues or even brake pedal fade. After four track days, the brake pads are also still full and even the Michelin Cup 2 tires not that worn. Having a lightweight car definitely saves you a lot in consumables. On normal roads, day to day driving I find the car super fun to drive. My car is the European spec, not the GCC spec so it doesn’t have the secondary AC unit behind the seats which my previous Lotus had. I used to find that AC freezing cold 10 months out of the year and it was super annoying because you couldn’t turn off the secondary AC unit. With this Lotus, for 2 months of the year I drive it mostly at night, but then the rest of the year the AC is more than enough. I actually didn’t really face any major cooling issues during the summer, the AC cooled the car enough but I also always parked it in shaded parking. I’d imagine the car would take a long time to cool down if you parked it in the sun, but really I don’t miss the dual AC system of the GCC spec cars. If you’re wondering what the advantage of a Euro spec car is, basically because you have space behind the seats you can install a 4-way seat belt harness and bar. You can’t do that on GCC spec cars since that gap behind the seats is taken with the secondary AC unit.

Moneywise I haven’t really spent that much on the car. I paid around KD200 for the harness bar and 4-way seatbelt, I bought a new racing helmet and gloves, but that’s really it. Oh and I changed the oil back in December before sending the car to Bahrain and it cost me KD60 at the dealership. That isn’t too bad, double what I pay for my FJ, but also like a fifth of the cost of a Lamborghini oil change. So it’s reasonable in that sense. But I do have an issue with the dealer’s prices on parts. New brake pads at the dealer costs KD358, but the same OEM pads can be ordered online for KD100 and KD200 would get you some serious racing pads. I’m not to concerned about the price of the pads since I can just order them online when the time comes. But what I am concerned about is larger pieces like body panels. I’m worried if I crash on the race track how much the body panels and carbon fiber parts are going to cost and I’m too afraid to ask. I don’t think it’s the fault of the local dealer since the local dealer gets everything through Dubai. I think Lotus Dubai are the reason to blame on the high cost of parts.

Generally, though I’m really satisfied with Alghanim who are the local dealer’s. Everyone is just extremely friendly and helpful from the mechanics to the showroom manager up to the aftersales manager. I also love the fact that I’ve got the mechanics on Whatsapp and I just message them before I head over, it makes the service feel very personalized. My only gripes with the dealership are minor, the first being the fact I hate passing by the dealership and seeing dirty and dusty Lotuses parked outside. That cheapens the brand and there is no reason not to keep them nice and clean especially since they’re the test drive cars. The second issue I have is with their instagram account, it’s not very active, the stories they post are lame and their phones camera lens is always dirty. Again I feel it cheapens the brand. Not only that but whoever is running their instagram account doesn’t know their cars well and I’ve had to leave a comment more than once correcting them. Not only that but I setup an account for my car a few months ago (@380cup) and I get more likes and engagement than the dealers instagram account, so they’re clearly doing something wrong. I should probably work out some sort of deal with them where they hand over the account to me to manage in return I get like free service or something.

In the end, I’m really really happy with the car and I’m so glad I traded in my older Exige for this one. I still look back at the car after parking it and I still get excited every morning knowing I’ll be driving the Lotus to work. If you’re looking for a sports car you can track, I’d highly recommend the Lotus and the local Lotus dealership.

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Tesla is Coming to Kuwait! *UPDATED*

Post by Mark

Update: The information below turned out not to be true!

A friend just let me know that Al Bisher, the company that recently lost the Mercedes dealership has signed an agreement with Tesla to bring them to Kuwait. Tesla will be taking over the old Mercedes locations and garage which should make life easier on the Tesla customers who imported their cars to Kuwait.

The reason Tesla took so long to come to Kuwait is because of ownership rights. Tesla doesn’t franchise the brand but it seems they’ve worked out some sort of deal with Al Bisher that solves that. I’m curious to see if they’ll set up charging stations around the country. Exciting!

Note: Keep in mind the above information is just a rumor for now, I am still waiting for confirmation on the above from another source.

Thanks K

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Kuwait Motor Town’s First Open Track

Post by Mark

Looks like the Kuwait Motor Town race track is finally going to open after all the delays. The first open track is taking place next month on Friday, February 8th from 1PM to 5PM. Open Track is when the average joe can take their sports car to the track to race for fun.

I’m super excited that the track is finally opening, but the cost for participating in this first open track is KD150 which is super expensive. In comparison, an open track experience at the Bahrain International Circuit where I go is KD63 and an open track experience at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is KD42.

I’m not sure if it’s KD150 because it’s the first open track being held at KMT and so they’re expecting a lot of people, or if this is going to be the price always. For now I’m going to play the waiting game and see how this first track day goes. But, if you’re interested in signing up for it then click [Here]

Photo on top by @81gram

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World’s Longest Bridge Set to Open in Kuwait Soon

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Causway project is nearly complete and is set to open this coming April. Once it opens the bridge will be the world’s longest with a total span of 48.53km [Source].

Going by the drone footage in the two videos here, the drive will be very scenic over the Kuwaiti bay and take around 35 minutes from one end to the other. There isn’t anything on the other side to see yet but at least the road isn’t broken and full of potholes and little rocks flying around like every other road in Kuwait at the moment.

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The New Suzuki Jimny

Post by Mark

The new Suzuki Jimny is one of the hottest and hardest to get cars right now in the market. When it launched in Kuwait back in October the dealership sold out of the Jimny on the same day (65 cars is what I heard). The resale value of the car is probably the highest right now as well since whoever was lucky to buy one can sell it for basically the same price they paid for if not more. I’ve been wanting to try the Jimny ever since it launched and I was lucky enough to have a friend who lent me his to drive for a few days. Spoiler: It was a lot of fun!

The Jimny is a very tiny SUV that kinda looks like a mini Mercedes G-Class. It has a very boxy minimalistic design which I fell in love with ever since I saw the car when it was announced early last year. The car comes in 8 colors but my personal favorites are the Jungle Green and the Chiffon Ivory which is the color my friend luckily had and pictured in this post. There are no options for the interior color, all Jimny’s come with a black interior (thankfully). Locally, the car comes with practically no options other than powered windows. For some reason the GCC spec doesn’t include options like LED headlights or a stereo with a seven-inch screen and Apple CarPlay. The GCC spec also doesn’t include safety features like Weaving Alert and Lane Departure Warning. This isn’t the dealers choice, Suzuki just doesn’t offer these options for the GCC models right now.

As soon as I sat in the car I felt very comfortable and cozy. I’m 6’1 and there was lots of room for me, even in the back seat surprisingly. The car’s pillars are also fairly thin so there are no blindspots around the car and the large windows bring in a lot of light helping give the car a very open and spacious feel.

Driving the Jimny is a lot of fun, the small size and the fact you can see outside in every direction helps give you a layer of confidence you might not usually have when driving. Actually driving the Jimny reminded me of the Fiat 500 and my old Vespa since both of those were super fun and very easy to manage. You can tell what kind of mood the car put me in from the photos in this post, it’s not a serious car and so I wanted to have fun with it. But don’t get me wrong, the Jimny is still a very capable SUV, it’s actually why the older model had such a cult following. I took the Jimny out to the Mutla Ridge (pictured above) and it didn’t have an issue climbing up the ridges and even the deep sand wasn’t much of an issue since the Jimny is a fairly light SUV. It’s an off-road car as much as it is the perfect city car.

When I finally had to give the car back to my friend it felt a bit sad. Because its so easy to get comfortable with the Jimny, I quickly got used to it, and for the few days I had it, the car felt like it belonged to me. Thankfully the dealership doesn’t have Jimny’s for sale at the moment or else I might have been tempted to just pass by and pick one for myself. At only KD5,500, the Jimny is pretty much in impulse buy territory for a lot of people. But even if you weren’t looking for a fun second or third car, the Jimny would be a great primary one. The car is perfect for driving around in the city or areas like Shuwaikh because of the small size, but even on my drive to Mutla I didn’t feel like I was in a slow car and the ride was pretty comfortable.

If I didn’t already have an SUV I would buy one without hesitation. Plus, the amount of accessories and customizations available for the Jimny is just crazy. For KD5,500 I don’t think there is any other car on the market thats as fun to drive or as good of a deal.

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