x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Bentley has an Axl to grind

A round-up of local and international motoring news.

Heavy metal stars are more famous for trashing hotel rooms than luxury automobiles, but Axl Rose is being sued for damaging a Bentley.

Bentley is suing the rocker with an 'appetite for destruction' after a Continental Flying Spur leased by him was allegedly given back several months after its scheduled date of return with a cracked windscreen, two damaged wheels, a broken taillight, a missing key, dents on the doors and damage to the bumper.

TMZ website says that: "according to a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court, Axl leased the car through Bentley Financial Services back in 2005 - then flaked on $73,976.42 [Dh 271,708] in payments and fees."

Bentley also declared that Rose was 42,397 miles (68,231 kilometres) over his contracted limit.

So, any leasing agents in the UAE might want to think again if they get a call from a Mr Rose from LA looking to lease a car around December 16, when Guns 'N' Roses are scheduled to play at Yas Island.

TMZ state Bentley wants Rose to pay back the money owed and $91 (Dh334) for the missing key.

Super six: Porsche is flying in its top motors for Dubai exhibition

Porsche is flying in some of its most prestigious cars for an exhibition in the marque's Dubai sales centre on November 6.

The cars are being flown from their permanent home at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, where they are displayed among 80 rare and historic vehicles. The exhibition is part of a marketing campaign themed Genetic Code, that aims to demonstrate "Porsche's DNA and exceptional engineering skills".

On display will be a 550 Spyder 1954 "Carrera Panamericana", a 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7, a 936 Spyder, a 1984 Porsche 911, and a 1998 Porsche 911 GT1.

Completing the line-up and the possible star of the show is the 1971 Porsche 917 KH Coupe. The 917 KH Porsche claimed its first overall win at Le Mans in 1970 when drivers Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood crossed the finish line after completing 343 laps. This debut was followed by 15 further overall victories in the world's most prestigious endurance race.

The Porsche Centre Dubai is on Sheikh Zayed Road, and the exhibition will run from 12 to 6pm.

Paris's gain, London's loss

Despite recent demonstrations, strikes and blockades in the French capital, the Paris Motor Show continues to enjoy its status as one of the the most highly attended motoring events.

More than 1.2 million visitors passed through its doors for the 2010 show.

It also broke the record for the number of world premieres, having hosted more than 100.

The show attracted 13,000 journalists (including the editor of this prestigious section) from more than 103 countries.

Its success follows the cancellation of this year's London-based biennial British International Motor Show. The show is also not returning in 2012, leaving its future in some doubt.

Paul Everitt of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders - which organised the event - told The Sun newspaper, in the UK: "It was not a decision taken lightly."

Everitt said the economic climate was a key factor, with firms now concentrating on events with more targeted audiences.

The 2008 show was held at the ExCel Centre in London when 600 cars were displayed and 500,000 people attended, a slight increase on recent years.

The dates for the next Paris Motor Show have been set for September 29 to October 14, 2012.

Mazda takes a step-by-step approach to greener cars

Mazda plans to strip 100kg from its cars and improve fuel efficiency by up to 20 per cent in diesels and 15 per cent in petrol engines, starting with the 2011 Mazda 2, with a target fuel consumption of 30L/100km.

Under the Skyactiv trademark, two new engines, two new transmissions and a lighter body and chassis have been developed. The engines use lighter materials, friction is reduced and combustion timing has been improved.

The transmissions are lighter, contributing to fuel consumption savings of up to seven per cent, the automatic transmission's lock-up range has been expanded and the shifts are shorter and more efficient in the manual.

Speaking at the Mazda Brand Forum, Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's CEO, explained that hybrid and plug-in electric cars are part of a long-term plan to produce greener cars by 2015.

Georgia Lewis will report further on the Mazda Brand Forum in the November 6 edition of Motoring.

Volvo sees huge growth in China, aims to stick to smaller cars

Volvo's sales have more than doubled in China in the first nine months of this year.

Sales between January and September are up 52 per cent on the corresponding period last year - a marked improvement from global growth of 12.5 per cent.

"As the Chinese government has increased the tax rate for large displacement cars already, we now have a lot of cars below three litres and I think we'll stick to that strategy," said the Volvo Cars China chief executive officer, Alexander Klose. "As you can see now, the XC60 is just two litres."

Volvo, purchased from Ford by the Chinese car maker Geely in August, also expanded its dealer network to 81 Chinese cities, he said, adding that he sees huge growth in the nation's auto market in the next five years.

Li Shufu, head of Geely, told The Wall Street Journal, in September, that he hoped to build three Volvo assembly plants in China that would produce up to 300,000 autos a year for sale in the Asian nation.