x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Super sportscar to be made in Dubai

Inspired by the sleek curves and angled edges of a fighter jet, the Dh5.5 million Devel Sixteen will be manufactured in the UAE.

The Devel Sixteen, the first supercar built in the UAE, is on display at the Dubai International Motor Show. EPA/ALI HAIDER
The Devel Sixteen, the first supercar built in the UAE, is on display at the Dubai International Motor Show. EPA/ALI HAIDER

DUBAI // Its Emirati designers say it has a top speed of 560kph, and with the flick of a switch its 5,000-horsepower engine can take it from a standstill to 60kph in 1.8 seconds.

Say hello to the Dh5.5 million Devel 16.

Visitors to the Dubai International Motor Show were yesterday introduced to a prototype put together by three brothers who expect it to go into production in six months at the latest.

“We have loved cars since we were little children,” said Rashid Al Attar, vice president of Defining Extreme Vehicles Car Industry, which is making the car.

“We always wanted to do something unique and produce a car that was extra-special, even though many of our friends and family thought we were crazy.”

That love of cars has taken them on a journey seven years and more than Dh100m in the making.

“We initially wanted it to be 1,000hp but Bugatti made the Veyron, so then we decided to push the specs up higher,” Mr Al Attar said.

“Dubai is about being number one and this car will be completely designed and built in Dubai. We designed it to look like an F-15 and the exhaust nozzles will even move like they do in modern jets.”

Mr Al Attar said there had been a lot of interest in the car. “I had a call from an American billionaire who said he was coming to the show just to see it.”

The Devel will be so powerful that special aviation-grade tyres have been designed for it.

“Even racing tyres aren’t good enough to put all that power on the road, so we are working with various companies on designing a new kind of tyre,” Mr Al Attar said.

The final production model will be about the same size as a Ferrari Enzo, and the normal power range will be between 800 and 1,200 horsepower.

“There will be a special switch similar to the Veyron which will allow the driver to go for the 5,000hp mode,” he said.

The power comes from a huge V16 engine made by a US company. It is housed under a lightweight fibreglass and aluminium chassis, and supported on a body made entirely of aluminium.

“The engine was a big headache but once we get the first one from the States we will bring the necessary machinery to our Jebel Ali factory and start producing them ourselves,” Mr Al Attar said.

The first one is expected to roll off the production line in about 14 months.

“The body of the car and chassis will be hand-made and we plan to make six a year,” he said.

“We are really big car collectors and have more than 200 classic cars, including one of the original Batmobiles.

“We hope that by doing this we can show what Dubai can do and it will help to create a car industry in this country.”

nhanif@thenational.ae