The Beirut-based car company W Motors has completed the first prototype of its $3.4 million “ultra-luxury hypercar” and is gearing up to officially launch sales at the Qatar Auto Show starting January 29 in Doha.
The “LykanHypersport 2013” is the brainchild of Beirut-born car designer Ralph Debbas, who is the lead investor, chairman and chief operating officer of W Motors. Debbas designed ”several concepts” for such luxury car brands as Land Rover and Aston Martin before starting W Motors in 2006.
The launch of what Debbas has dubbed “the first Arabian supercar” is an ambition he has nurtured since college. The seven models of the LykanHypersport 2013 will not be made in the Middle East either, but Debbas said W Motors is moving its production facilities from Torino, Italy, to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Though the company will keep offices in Beirut, he said, they have no plans to manufacture the car in Lebanon anytime soon.
The LykanHypersport 2013 will be Lebanese in name only, but the car’s design and the press material about its launch bear many marks of its country of origin: a penchant for superlatives, a commitment to exclusivity, and flashy features like LED lights encrusted with 15 carats of diamonds, a gold-stitched leather interior, a reverse door-opening system. The car also boasts “a state-of-the-art, 3-D virtual holographic display with tactile interaction,” which Debbas said would “project images in midair,” and has the backing of some major international luxury car manufacturing brands.
The car accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 2.8 seconds and reaches a maximum speed of 390 kph. Debbas declined to specify the wholesale production costs, but with 100 employees needed to assemble each vehicle, the initial investment “was no joke.”
Debbas will start taking orders for the LykanHypersport 2013 at the Qatar auto show and expects to deliver the vehicles in September. W Motors plans to launch a slightly more understated and less exclusive model of the Lykan at the Dubai Auto Show in November – it will retail for $1.6 million.
adapted from Daily Star Lebanon
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