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Peugeot's EX1 electric car broke another record in China.
Peugeot's EX1 electric car broke another record in China.

Al Tayer Motors opens new Ferrari and Maserati showroom

Plus the EV Peugeot breaks the Nürburgring lap record, a rat causes a fatal accident in Florida and more local and international motoring news.

Dealership revamp opens

Last week Al Tayer Motors opened the doors to its improved showroom and facilities for Ferrari and Maserati, almost twice the size of the old one, at its Dubai dealership on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Speaking at the official opening, the Maserati Middle East manager, Umberto Cini, said: "In 2010, 2008 and 2007, this region was the world's best importer for our cars and now Al Tayer has one of the best and biggest showrooms in the world."

Enrico Galliera, the senior vice president for Ferrari's sales and marketing, added: "Every customer, wherever they are, should expect the same standards at a dealership and this is what the facility here offers; it now falls into line with our corporate image."

Al Tayer's general manager for luxury brands, Hossam Hosni, said the company had recently invested Dh14.8 million between this and the Abu Dhabi dealerships, with Dubai accounting for Dh9m of the total spend.

Ferrari also announced its new, free Genuine Maintenance Programme. From now on, anyone ordering a California, FF or 458 Italia, will be covered for regular maintenance for seven years.


Peugeot concept thrashes electric vehicle lap record at Nürburgring

The Peugeot EX1 Concept has set a new record for an electric car on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

Driver Stephane Caillet beat the previous record by 50 seconds, completing the 20.8km lap in 9 minutes and 1.338 seconds.

The fully-electric Peugeot made its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The lightweight, four-wheel drive EX1 was made to celebrate the French marque's 200th anniversary. The Pug has a pair of electric motors - one for each axle - that total 340 horsepower and 480Nm of torque.

The EX1 Concept's time smashed the previous record, a 9:51.45 set by the MINI E Race in 2010 and the Peugeot averaged 137kph.

Peugeot say that the EX1 will remain a concept, and not go into production, but was rather a project to develop new technologies to use in the next generations of the company's vehicles.

Peugeot is due to release footage of the record breaking lap.


Kids unbuckle their seat belts

Children still too young to walk are finding ways to wriggle out of protective car restraints and are increasing their risk of serious injuries.

Researchers at Yale University's School of Medicine found some children as young as 12 months can unbuckle their seat belts. A majority of youngsters less than three years old can do it, with boys most often the ones attempting to unhook their seat belts.

"Young children might acquire the motor skills to unbuckle from restraints before developing the cognitive ability to understand the necessity of automotive restraints," Dr Lilia Reyes, a clinical fellow at Yale and co-author of the report, told Reuters.

The reaseachers called for a study into devices that would keep children safer. The idea for the study came after researchers treated patients from accidents caused by the unbuckling and parents, distracted by their children, looking away from the road, Reyes said.

Forty per cent of the children who are able to unbuckle the restraints do so while the car is moving.

Better engineered seat belts, or even an alarm, might be part of the solution, Reyes added.


Chrysler selling electric division to snowmobile firm Polaris

Chrysler is planning to sell its Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) subsidiary to Polaris Industries, according to Auto News.

Polaris, known for its snowmobiles and off-road vehicles, will acquire the electric vehicle maker within the next 60 days according to a purchase agreement signed by both companies. Polaris needs to secure the required state sales certificates to sell GEM products before completing the purchase.

GEM was founded in 1998, in 2000 it was bought by the then DaimlerChrysler AG. When Daimler AG sold control of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007, Chrysler kept GEM as a wholly owned subsidiary. Last year it made US$30 million in sales.

Polaris said it expects the market for low-speed EVs to grow. “GEM provides Polaris with an established position in the low-emission small vehicle market and supports Polaris’ strategy of penetrating on-road market segments poised for growth,” the Polaris CEO Scott Wine said.


Rat causes car crash, one dead and five seriously injured

A rat in Miami caused a crash that left one pedestrian dead and five seriously hurt.

“Believe it or not, a rat was at the top of one of the light poles and chewed through one of the fusible links at the top of the pole, this caused the street lights to go out,” Captain Joseph Zahralban, of the City of Miami Fire Rescue told NBC Miami.

Zahralban said a group of people from a nearby bar went to investigate the explosion and were standing on the pavement when two cars collided because the lights were out.

One person died at the scene. Five others were rushed to nearby hospitals. They are in stable to serious condition, Zahralban said.

Frank Negron, one of the people who went to investiage the explosion, said: “We were trying to figure out what was the cause of the explosion and then someone said, ‘There’s a dead rat here on the floor’, and sure enough it was smoking.”

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