x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Living the dream

When Luca Gorlero moved to Abu Dhabi three years ago, he finally had the opportunity to get his dream car. Instead, he bought a Lexus IS 300.

Luca Gorlero thinks his Lexus IS 300 is the best mid-sized, luxury sedan on the market, especially when it comes to reliability. And yet, he still pines for another car.
Luca Gorlero thinks his Lexus IS 300 is the best mid-sized, luxury sedan on the market, especially when it comes to reliability. And yet, he still pines for another car.

When Luca Gorlero moved to Abu Dhabi three years ago, he finally had the opportunity to get his dream car. Instead, he bought a Lexus IS 300. "This Lexus was rock solid. If someone looks for a mid-sized car, a 3 Series or a Mercedes C-Class or a Lexus IS, the IS 300 is hands down the best product. It's reliable, it looks good, the interiors are very well-designed and you've got all the gadgets: the camera on the back, the navigation system, the keyless entry, a cool stereo system."

At Dh142,000, the Lexus provided an affordable sporty car for Luca's young family. "You know when you start a family you have to involve your partner. "I was a bit biased towards German cars because I had an M3 and it was an amazing car. And when you think about Germany you think about class, reliability. I have to admit that the Lexus is a little bit less sporty than some German cars, but I did learn to love my Lexus."

Luca clocked 111,000 kilometres on his Lexus in two years, commuting back and forth from his home in Abu Dhabi to his office in Dubai each day. His new commute is now somewhat shorter with his new job as the business park director of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone. "You get your coffee, put it in the cup holder, cruise control, good music in the car and off you go. "And I have to say, thanks to Lexus, the only thing I have to do is bring it back for service, the car never had one single issue.

"A Lexus doesn't devalue. It was a very reasonable choice, logical." However, Luca will tell you that the heart follows its own logic. After his family had settled into their new home, Luca and his wife decided to get a second vehicle. "So my wife says, 'Why don't you buy a car that you really like? You live once, you're in your mid- thirties, you've got some money. Take a look at what you like and I support you in this'."

Still, Luca hesitated over the steep price tag for Ferraris and Maseratis: "Do I want a super car? Yes. But I'm not going through a million for it. "I said okay, what is a sports car that costs a little bit less, has a soul and tradition? And you're not left with much choice. At the end of the day you go to Porsche. "I was telling my wife, 'A 911 is a great car and has a history that is unparalleled'.

"And my wife is like, 'Yes, but is that really the car that you want?' "And I said, 'Well, I think the car that I really want is the 911 Turbo.' But by the time you get out of [the showroom] it is Dh450,000, half a million." "My wife is like, 'C'mon, let's do it'. So I ordered it." It took Luca three weeks to choose the perfect configuration. "It's black, it has a front aluminium air grid with matching aluminium finishes on the rear-view mirrors and rear wing. The interior is dual colour, black and brick red. It has carbon fibre inserts on the wheel, on the clutch, gear stick and on the parking brake."

Luca was in love. "I put the order in and the wait started. The delivery was scheduled for Jan 2009. I had to wait eight months." But within those eight months, the world hit a financial crisis. "By the time January rolls around we are still wondering if the dream is going to turn into reality because the banks are not lending. I will put down Dh150,000 but I'm still wondering if the banks will cover the rest."

However, Luca is determined. Luca and the 911 Turbo are destined for each other. "It's just a matter of time," says Luca. "I will have my 911 Turbo, whether it's now or later. "Porsche has been challenging the way cars have been made and they've succeeded in developing 40 models of 911. When you get one car that you modify for 40 years to make it better and better, you're creating a product in the industry. So for me it's the association and the challenge that Porsche represents.

"And then you get down to the fundamental. It is a small engine but has the same performance as a Maserati or Lamborghini." "At the end of the day, the 911 Turbo is really the only supercar that you can find with that history, that character, that technology. It's very unique." azacharias@thenational.ae