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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Behind the wheel of the Dubai supercar: W Motors' Fenyr SuperSport

We test the Dh5.1m, 400kph monster that truly announces the UAE on the world motoring stage

Even if you know, or care, zero about cars, there is every chance you will be familiar with W Motors. Its first car, the gobsmacking Lykan HyperSport, starred in attention-grabbing fashion in the movie Furious 7, being catapulted between buildings at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers.

But for all its insane performance stats and even crazier features – hologram display and all – that was a highly limited-edition hypercar that cost more than most multinationals’ chief executives would nett in a year. Now, the Dubai carmaker is ­re-entering the game at a notch below that impressive debut, firmly in the realm of established European supercar manufacturers such as Koenigsegg and Pagani. Even better, I have the chance to drive said car, the Fenyr SuperSport, in Dubai.

Let’s get the numbers out of the way, because they make for impressive headline figures: the Fenyr’s high-revving, 3.8-litre, flat-six engine has an almost freakish output of 800hp and 980Nm of torque. It hits 100kph from standing in 2.8 seconds, which is the same as the Lamborghini Aventador SV (from a V12, it should be noted). The maximum speed is 400kph. For all those digits, the basic equation couldn’t be easier to understand: this is one of the fastest cars made, ever, anywhere in the world. For it to come from the UAE is a badge of honour that should be worn loud and proud.

Now, the Fenyr still is not what you would consider an affordable option for most people, with a price tag of US$1.4 million (Dh5.1m), so there is perhaps naturally a degree of trepidation involved with driving one of the few examples to be built so far – particularly as my test car is an even rarer prototype version.

I needn’t have worried, though: unlike the manual beast that was the Lykan, the Fenyr is automatic, with the option to flip the gearstick into manual for paddle-shifting fun. W Motors boss Ralph R Debbas is on hand to give a few pointers before setting off from his company’s boutique base in Dubai’s City Walk, a gallery showroom fit for such rarefied rides. If you have chance to drop in, you really should. His top tip is to experience the impact of the twin-turbochargers at high revs in either third or seventh gear. Public speed limits dictate that the highest ratio is a little tricky without attracting the attention of the very public servants that W Motors recently collaborated with on the Beast Patrol police vehicle. But in third, I have to concur with his wisdom: the momentum is staggering and the whooshing sucking of air that comes with applying the right-hand pedal can only be compared to one other car that I have driven. That vehicle? The Bugatti Chiron, possibly the greatest hypercar of our time. There can be no higher praise.

There is an almost agricultural roughness to the engine tone, but it’s a gloriously analogue driving experience in an age where far too many vehicles wielding the term supercar are more polite than tea with the Queen of England. And it is as incredibly fast as it is splendidly noisy.

The mid-rear-mounted engine ensures perfect 50:50 weight distribution and helps to position you, the driver, right at the centre of the addictive chaos going on around you. The lightweight body, entirely made from carbon composite, ensures that the Fenyr weighs less than a tonne and a half, which is a lot lighter than its angular, 4.6-metre-long frame would suggest.

Don’t mistake it for a totally stripped-back machine: creature comforts include a 3G internet connection, rear-view camera, plenty of connectivity options and a 31cm instrument cluster, plus a passenger display that will show your lucky companion exactly how head-spinningly quickly you are travelling. Worriers or those prone to heart conditions would be well-advised to not even step into an interior that is dominated by carbon fibre and Alcantara.

Granted, there are a few practicalities that might make the Fenyr seem like it would be difficult to live with on a regular basis: most pressingly, there is no back window, so it follows there is also no rear-view mirror. Thankfully, visibility from the side mirrors beats the all-round angles in most cars that might be considered competitors.

Visually, it will be impossible to go anywhere in the Fenyr without a gaggle of smartphone-wielding folks following your every move, because it looks utterly incredible, particularly from behind, where there is so much going on that you could almost devote an entire article to that alone. Two flaps either side of a self-raising spoiler automatically adjust according to speed; the trapezium-shaped quad exhausts sit above a rear diffuser that looks sufficiently spiky to sever digits should you run your hand along its slats; the rear lights resemble a squinting robot’s visor; in short, if there was ever a car that looked more likely to star as a Transformer, I am yet to drive it. And I didn’t even mention the rear-opening “suicide” doors.

The Fenyr SuperSport, then, appears to drive as ridiculously remarkably as it looks. Indeed, the only fact that exceeds such automotive excellence is that W Motors’ plans for the future are even more eye-opening. The UAE has fully arrived on the world motoring stage.

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