Sunday, 7 December 2008

Dreams on wheels

Sneha May Francis puts a few readers in the driving seat and lets them zoom on in their fantasy cars

It’s hard to resist these mean machines – the sheer sound of their power can make you go weak in the knees. I’ve always wondered what makes men go ga-ga about a car, even when there is a beautiful woman standing next to it. Guess these machines have a way to a man’s heart, incomprehensible to many. I, for one, am not clued in about engines, but having come to a city that’s choc-a-bloc with the world’s super cars, it’s hard to turn a blind eye. So I take a back seat to see what’s really driving our dreams.

Dubai may be the only city that lets you own your dream car. Mubarak, a UAE national, owns the super Nissan GT-R but has his eyes on the next model, a GTR Spec-V. “It’s the improved version. It’s better, faster, lighter. It’s much more superior to other super cars coming out this year.” Mubarak says his Nissan GT-R has everything he needs. “It’s fast. And when I say fast, I don’t mean only speed. I mean it drives fast around turns, yet it makes you feel safe. And when you are not speeding, you can cruise along as well. It’s got the sophisticated four-wheel system and gives excellent mileage.”

For Noel Ebdon, who hails from Britain, his dream machines are the Suzuki GSXR 1000 for two-wheelers and the Ferrari F430 among the four-wheelers. “The Suzuki GSXR 1000 is the best all-round bike, it’s got the perfect looks and amazing performance. And I believe the Ferrari F40 is the best super car ever to be built”. Noel drives a Range Rover. “I have a weakness for Land Rovers. It’s spacious and powerful.”

Chaitanya Joshi, an Indian project manager who moved to Dubai three years ago, is dazzled by the stunning Bugatti Veyron and hopes to drive it some day. He’s smitten by the car’s ‘batmobile-look’! “This is the fastest commercial vehicle and is completely custom-made,” he says. Joshi, who prefers German engineering to American, claims there are only three people in Dubai who own a Bugatti Veyron, and dreams of being the fourth. But till then he prefers to drive a Honda Civic. “It’s total value for money and has a neat sporty look,” he says. When it comes to everyday driving, Joshi feels the Japanese cars have lots on offer without pinching your pockets.

Usman Khan moved from Pakistan to Dubai over five years ago. He finds it almost impossible to pick a favourite. He names a long list. “From Porsche Cayenne Turbo to Range Rover Sports Recharge to Dodge Charger to Ford Mustang, I like them all,” he says. Khan feels that each car has something different, but the one factor that combines them all is the power. And till he acquires his power, he’s content to drive a Honda Accord. “I think it’s an economical car and easy to handle.”

Walid Mahmoud Abou Khodeir comes from Egypt and has lived here for over seven years. This 37 year old is a fan of Ferrari. “It’s got amazing power, not only on the road but also enough to get you all the attraction! It’s simply the best sports car ever,” he says. For now, Khodeir has to drive the Infiniti FX35. “It’s easy to drive and it has comfortable interiors as well.”

It’s the Aston Martin DB9 that does the magic for Graham Hughes, who moved to Dubai from Britain over a year back. “It’s cool, sleek and full of style. It’s a good combination of power, smoothness and design,” he says. And when he’s not dreaming, Hughes drives a Mitsubishi Pajero. “It’s understated and a comfortable safe drive.”

Gautam C Sreedharan moved from India two years ago. Apart from the good lifestyle it was the love for cars that led him to this city. He eyes the Porsche Cayenne for its looks and powerful engine. “The 4.8 litre gives amazing stability,” he says. His machine now is the Honda CRV, which is “value for money and offers a comfortable driving experience”.

The sazzy Lamborghini Spyder is what leaves Jalal Al Saadi on edge. “It’s about style and power on the roads. Not only does it look super cool, it’s also got a powerful engine to match.” In the real world, the man drives a Mazda 6. “It's a fancy car that can be modified internally and externally,” he says.

Published in e+, Gulf News, Dubai (Dec 11-17, 2008)

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