W Motors to make $3.4m sports car in UAE, Qatar

Lebanese manufacturer will move production of LykanHypersport from Italy to Gulf states
By Massoud A. Derhally
Wed 23 Jan 2013 11:08 AM

W Motors, the Beirut-based manufacturer of a US$3.4m sports car, will be moving its production operation from Italy to the UAE and Qatar, the Daily Star reported, citing Ralph Debbas, chairman and chief operating officer of the company. 

The LykanHypersport 2013 car, the first luxury sport scar to be designed and produced by an Arab, will be showcased at the Qatar Motor Show on January 29, the Beirut-based newspaper reported. 

Debbas, who has produced seven models of the new sports car, previously designed for luxury car makers like Land Rover and Aston Martin before starting W Motors in 2006, according to the newspaper.

The LykanHypersport features LED lights encrusted with 15 carats of diamonds, a gold-stitched leather interior, a reverse door-opening system. The car accelerates from zero to 100 kmph in 2.8 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 390 kmph.

The company will start taking orders for the LykanHypersport at the Qatar Motor Show with delivery set for September. W Motors aims to produce a cheaper model of the Lykan for November's Dubai Auto Show with US$1.6m price tag.

In December, India's Tata Group said it was signing a preliminary agreement to manufacture 50,000 Land Rover vehicles in Saudi Arabia. Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover is owned by Tata Motors, a unit of Tata Group. As part of the US$1.2bn investment in the kingdom a manufacturing plant will be set up by 2017.

Car manufacturing in the Arab world started in Egypt under the rule of Gamal Abdel Nasser. The North African country assembled vehicles for General Motors, Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW, China's Geely and Lada. Prior to the implementation of stricter international sanctions, Tehran-based Khodro Company (IKCO) was the largest car manufacturer in the Middle East, producing Samand, Peugeot and Renault vehicles. 

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