The first bricks of the W Motors Campus were laid in January inside the Dubai Silicon Oasis free trade area, on the outskirts of the city of the United Arab Emirates. The site will host the first hypercar factory in the region, a research laboratory and an academy for the development of new talent. The $ 100 million campus, which will span 12,000 square meters, should theoretically open its doors in the last quarter of the year, although given the health emergency it may be delayed (watch the video of W Motors that invites to leave the car stationary and stay at home during the Covid-19 emergency).

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W Motors was born as a car manufacturer for nabobs. Founded in 2012, it reached world fame in 2015 when, in the seventh episode of the film saga Fast & Furious, Vin Diesel launches a red sports car through the windows of a skyscraper. It was a $ 3.4 million Lykan Hypersport with diamond-studded headlights: the first Arab hypercar, although at the time W Motors, based in Dubai, had a factory abroad.

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Now the company is going home to put the first brick of an automotive industry in the Middle East. Someone has to start said Ralph R. Debbas, Lebanese CEO of W Motors in an interview with CNN. The company began by producing limited edition models for wealthy collectors and local nabobs. He made seven specimens of Lykan Hypersports. Then he launched a second cheaper model ($ 1.4 million): the Fenyr Supersport, designed in collaboration with the Italian firm Studiotorino. A custom-made with a 3.8-liter in-line 3.8-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 2.8 seconds, and with a maximum declared speed of 400 km / h.

In the W Motors range there is also the Beast Patrol jeep, a high-tech vehicle, equipped with face recognition cameras and integrated drones, intended for police and armed forces. No longer a car, but an instrument, says Debbas. The jeep is already in the Dubai police fleet and will also be supplied to the other United Arab Emirates in the coming years.

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Production to the future W Motors Campus it will be wider: at least 200 cars per year, including about 25 Fenyr Supersports and the remaining jeeps for the police, electric cars and autonomous vehicles. The Dubai company has already collaborated with Chinese partners to produce the Iconiq Seven electric minivan and the Muse autonomous car that was presented last year. By the end of the year, it will debut its first electric supercar, on sale for less than $ 1 million. Conventional production of Fenyr will continue, but gradually we will switch to fully electric mode, says Debbas.

Finally, the academy to train new experts in the sector represents a step towards the birth of a viable automotive industry in the Middle East. We have many challenges: the first the lack of knowledge, says Debbas. It takes time to build a culture and an industry around it. We hope that in 10 years we will have many more companies.

April 6, 2020 (change April 6, 2020 | 18:11)

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