x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 September 2017

A new hypercar, supercar and Dubai flagship for UAE's W Motors

The Dubai-based carmaker has big plans afoot, starting with the remarkable Lykan HyperSport

The Fenyr SuperSport, the second hypercar by W Motors, will be launched at the Dubai International Motor Show in November. Courtesy W Motors
The Fenyr SuperSport, the second hypercar by W Motors, will be launched at the Dubai International Motor Show in November. Courtesy W Motors

In the rarefied world of hypercars, only a few names exist, let alone clamber to the top of an already-towering tree. But since the Lykan HyperSport’s arrival in 2015, developed from a concept first displayed at the Dubai International Motor Show two years earlier, Dubai-based carmaker W Motors has been racing towards the summit. With futuristic Batmobile looks, diamond-encrusted headlights and a holographic infotainment display, not to mention a US$3 million (Dh11m) price tag and a guest appearance in the Fast & Furious movie franchise, it continues to capture car fans’ imaginations across the world.

Now, W Motors is ready to do it all over again. Attendees at the most-recent Dubai motor show in 2015 will have likely spied the vehicle in question, in concept form. In November, it will return to the UAE’s biennial premier display of automotive eye candy, this time in its full production guise, before being delivered to customers from January onwards. Readers: we give you the Fenyr SuperSport.

Given that it is named after a mythical vicious wolf, you might not be surprised to learn that the Fenyr is quite the monster. Its 4.0-litre flat-six-cylinder engine is the least-impressive-sounding stat. How about 0 to 100kph in 2.6 seconds; a top speed exceeding 415kph; 820hp and 1,200Nm of torque in car weighing a lithe 1,200 kilograms? Yep, that will probably do it.

“We’re very excited to have this car, which is the second model out of W Motors, ready finally,” says company chairman/chief executive Ralph Debbas. “It’s a crazy car. The car is focused on performance. It’s a similar engine as the Lykan, but has been boosted for performance.

“Every element of it has been made in carbon fibre, so we reduced the weight a lot. We’re integrating new materials as well, such as graphene – the first hypercar in the world to have graphene. It has more space than the Lykan – more headroom, more legroom; [it’s] much more comfortable sitting inside. Everywhere you touch, you see naked carbon and Alcantara, unlike the Lykan, which was very luxurious, with leather stitching.

“It’s a Lykan on steroids; a hard-core car for people who really love to drive performance vehicles. It has a 14-inch screen with internet connectivity, so you have the technology side, but at the same time, you’re in a spaceship that is going to give you massive performance.”

What it does share with the Lykan, however, is W Motors’ trademark angular design lines, which variously evoke hyper-complex origami and a machine that looks like it might transform into a particularly narked fire-spewing robot at any moment.

The Fenyr SuperSport hits 0 to 100kph in 2.6 seconds, with a top speed exceeding 415kph. W Motors
The Fenyr SuperSport hits 0 to 100kph in 2.6 seconds, with a top speed exceeding 415kph. Courtesy W Motors

A remarkable car, then, but it’s also just the tip of W Motors’ ambitions. A new flagship showroom boutique opens in City Walk 2 later this year, replete with a Michelin-star-standard restaurant, a cafe and an art gallery; a new as-yet-unnamed supercar model will be revealed next year ahead of a 2019 release; there are big moves afoot from the company’s sister brand, Iconiq Motors, which specialises in electric vehicles. And while W Motors’ production is currently based in Turin, Italy, it plans to bring the process to a new factory in Jebel Ali before the end of the decade.

“Next year, we’ll be teasing something new as well with a new supercar, which is more let’s say not entry-level, but a different segment,” Debbas confirms. “It’s going to be a $500,000-range vehicle, so a competitor of the Lamborghini Aventador SV or, in terms of Ferraris, F12 special edition. We don’t have the final specs yet, but we’re targeting 600hp on a V8 or V10. About 3.2 seconds [0-to-100kph time]; 600hp. It’s going to be a monocoque chassis as well, compared to the Fenyr and Lykan, which are tubular aluminium. It is more of a daily driver.”

Whereas the Fenyr will have a super-exclusive initial run of 25 cars, potentially rising to a total of 100 in the next five years, the new supercar will be what Debbas calls a “series production”.

“We’re going to make more than 100 vehicles per year,” he says. “We’ll always have our limited-edition cars – the hypercars. But even the Fenyr is much more affordable compared to the Lykan. It starts at $1.4m [going up] up to $1.8m, depending on the custom kits. We see a big demand in that segment.

“The hypercar market has been growing for the past four to five years. The example is Bugatti with the Chiron – the starting price was €2.4m [Dh10.5m] and they’re all sold out. Our target niche clients are not effected by [any financial] crisis. There are always going to be clients who want to have these collectable cars, but our car is more accessible when it comes to price range compared to Koenigsegg, Pagani and Bugatti. And we already had some orders on the Fenyr before we launched it, which shows there is a demand for this kind of vehicle.”

The Iconiq Seven is the first model to emerge from W Motors’ electric-vehicle project. W Motors
The Iconiq Seven is the first model to emerge from W Motors’ electric-vehicle project. Courtesy W Motors

While petroleum-guzzling speed has been W Motors’ calling card to date, their electric-vehicle arm is operating on a far greater scale.

“As W Motors, we’ll never go into electric cars, but that’s why we created our sister company, Iconiq Motors, which is purely EV,” Debbas explains. “We’re making about 16,000 units per year. It’s a new concept of MPV with the styling DNA of supercars, like you have on the Fenyr and the Lykan.

“The first one, the Iconiq Seven, was launched in 2015 as a concept car and, earlier this year, as a prototype at the Shanghai auto show. Mass production starts in a year and a half. We also have the Iconiq Six, which is a smaller MPV; then we have an SUV, and an autonomous L5 [three-wheeled-vehicle], which we’re doing a self-driving vehicle. The car is going to be launched next April at the Beijing auto show. Then it’s going to be displayed in our showroom at City Walk, too, so people can come see this fantastic, crazy-looking autonomous electric vehicle, which is going to be produced here locally by 2020 for Expo 2020.”

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Perhaps surprisingly, W Motors’ sales haven’t been particularly dominated by buyers from our car-obsessed region, with the majority of its cars heading to customers in the United States and China/East Asia. That is something that Debbas envisages changing soon, however.

“We don’t sell many in the Middle East,” he admits. “But especially now we’re homegrowing it, with the flagship store, we’re giving it a lot of attention as a ‘local’ brand. So I’m pretty sure the Fenyr will have a big, big market here.

That profile won’t be harmed by the company’s ongoing showcasing in the Fast & Furious franchise. You might remember the Lykan HyperSport spectacularly vaulting between buildings at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers in Furious 7, a link-up that is set to be reprised in the new Fast & Furious Live stage show, which will begin a global tour in London in January. And the Fenyr could yet join the Lykan on the silver screen.

“We’re in talks with Universal for something else which is quite special for the Fenyr,” Debbas smiles. “Is it a movie? Maybe.”