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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Qatar Gets its First Concept Car, Though its Looks are Polarizing


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

In recent years, the Persian Gulf has enjoyed a boom of startup boutique car manufacturers. The largest, Dubai’s W Motors, even caught substantial screen time in Furious 7 with its $3.4 million Lykan Hypersport supercar. Now it’s Qatar’s turn, and this is the first concept car born unto the small Gulf state. Meet the Elibriea concept.
The car was unveiled earlier this week at the 2016 Qatar Motor Show and it’s said to foreshadow a commercially viable hypercar that Elibriea Automotive hopes to create. One thing is for certain, however. The concept’s wild styling does leave some scratching their heads.


According to Doha News, the eponymous concept car’s story begins in 2009 when Abdulwahab Ziaullah, a graduate student at Texas A&M’s Qatar engineering campus, received a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund to develop a prototype car design in-country. A number of different designs were evaluated and tweaked along the way, and just two years ago, sponsorship from the Ali Bin Ali Group allowed Ziaullah to begin construction of his sports car.
On the outside, the Elibriea’s proportions and roofline have a distinct Lamborghini-ness to them, though the front and rear fascias are unquestionably unique, and quite angular. At its sides, the sports car’s doors scissor open in concept car fashion, and reveal a two-seater cockpit. Beneath its carbon fiber body is said to be a General Motors V6 engine, which has now been tuned to create an impressive 525 horsepower.


The company is now turning its attention toward the design and engineering of its production model, which could offer up to 1,000 horsepower. While Elibriea Automotive actively looks for engineering partners to help make that happen, Ziaullah is also gauging critiques of his concept’s design.

“I’m excited and curious to know people’s feedback on Elibriea, particularly the views of the critics,” Ziaullah told Doha News. “I will use all their comments constructively to shape the hypercar. I want to make sure it outperforms Elibriea.”

The company’s website suggests that vehicle will be named “Equvallas,” and follow the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive supercar formula. Pre-orders will be fielded beginning in March 2016.