x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Lamborghini Aventador named best supercar at Middle East Motor Awards

Woman passes driving test while in labour, Mercedes-Benz shows futuristic Hollywood car design, Kia to build third Chinese plant and other Motoring news.

Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach at the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2011
Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach at the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2011

The Lamborghini Aventador was named the best supercar at the Middle East Motor Awards last week.

A 19-strong judging panel from 10 countries in the region including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, decided that the new carbon fibre monocoque car was head and shoulders above its competition.

"The Aventador is sold out into 2013, in the Middle East and around the world, and we are delighted to accept this award as a formal recognition of the Aventador's place in supercar history," Lamborghini president and chief executive Stephan Winkelmann said of the win.

The awards, which are in their second year, took place in Sharjah, and the overall winner of the Car of the Year award was Volvo's six-cylinder, turbocharged S60, which judges deemed to be a stylish luxury saloon with cutting-edge safety technology.

Among the other winners were Kia's Optima, which won Best Midsize Sedan and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which won the Best Midsize SUV award. Hyundai won in two categories - Best Subcompact (Accent) and Best Small Sedan (Elantra).


Mercedes-Benz puts forward design for Hollywood film award

A design award in Los Angeles is trying to find the most spectacular new Hollywood film car and Daimler AG brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach are among those to have stepped up to the challenge.

Futuristic designs have been created for the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2011, which takes place on November 16 and 17 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The designers from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Sindelfingen, Germany, and Carlsbad, US, joined up with screen writers to create three visionary "hero cars" - a Mercedes-Benz and a smart, each cast in an action thriller, and a Maybach luxury carriage starring in a modern-day fairytale.

The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow teams up with two crash test dummies to battle it out with the forces of evil; the smart 341 Parkour, which is able to climb sheer faces and take to the air, helps a young reporter to scoop the story of her life; and the Maybach Berline brings a touch of magic into the life of a hapless Cinderella.

The winner of the competition is announced on November 17.


Toyota reveals hybrid team

Toyota has announced its three drivers for its World Endurance Championship programme, which includes its first attempt at 24 Hours of Le Mans in more than a decade.

The Japanese car maker's new hybrid LMP1 vehicle will be driven by Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, all of whom are already in simulators ahead of the car's track debut in early 2012.

Austrian Wurz is a two-times Le Mans winner and former Formula One driver who has been tempted over to Toyota from Peugeot.

"As soon as I heard about the possibility to join the team I was instantly excited and keen to be involved," said Wurz. "I love endurance racing and I have been a fan of Le Mans since my childhood, so I have great memories of Toyotas competing there.

"As an ambitious Le Mans racer, this heritage combined with the immense technical capabilities at TMG makes a very attractive combination."

Frenchman Lapierre, 27, is an established ORECA driver and was part of the winning crew at this year's Sebring 12 Hours.

Former F1 driver Nakajima, 26, returns to the international scene after competing in domestic races in his homeland, Japan for the past two years.


Woman passes driving test while in labour - then drives to hospital

A woman has passed her driving test despite being in labour.

Emma French felt four contractions during the test but still managed to drive herself to the hospital to give birth afterwards.

The 20-year-old, from Livingston, Scotland, woke at 4am on the morning of her test on August 30 to find her waters had broken. When the baby didn't arrive French decided to go ahead with the test at 8.40am despite pleas not to from her partner, mother and brother. She didn't tell the examiner about the labour for fear of the test being cancelled.

French passed the test despite her contractions being only 10 minutes apart and then refused a lift to hospital so she could make use of her new licence.

"I had failed my test in March and had to wait until August for another," she says. "I knew I had to do it because I knew I wouldn't have another chance until the baby was a little older."

Healthy baby Eva was born at 7.30pm later that day.


Kia to build third Chinese plant as demand reaches 12.7m a year

Kia Motors has signed an agreement to build a third plant in China due to increased demand.

South Korea's second-largest car maker will build the factory, which will be able to produce 300,000 cars a year, in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province. It comes after a contract was signed at a ceremony where 50 Chinese government officials were present.

The plant will increase Kia's production capacity in China from the current 430,000 per year.

"With our third China plant Kia will be well positioned to provide its growing Chinese customer base with stylish, safe, reliable and high-quality vehicles while also helping to further develop the local economy and improve people's lifestyles," says Mong-Koo Chung, the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Kia Motors.

According to the Chinese government, demand for cars there will reach 12.7 million units next year, increasing to 17.9m in 2014 and 19.6m in 2015.