crankandpiston 2014 Highlights. Pt 2

To close out 2014, crankandpiston presents ten more personal highlights from the year, as well as some of our more memorable drives

W Motors Lykan Hypersport exclusive photoshoot (February)

Words: James Gent     Images: Arun M. Nair


In late 2013, was introduced – with the help of W Motors CEO Ralph R Debbas – to the Lykan, a werewolf inspired hypercar limited to just seven examples worldwide. Inspired by Ruf’s CTR Yellowbird, the wolf is powered by a 3746cc boxer type flat six with twin turbocharger, which kicks out 770hp, 708lb ft of torque, a 0-100kph time of 2.8 seconds, a 0-200kph time of 9.4 seconds, and a 385kph top speed. Colour us immediately intrigued, and it wasn’t long before several phone calls were being made pleading to grab some time with the Arabic supercar and design director Anthony Jannarelly for a closer look at the pre-production model in early 2014. W Motors did not disappoint, nor for that matter did crankandpiston’s photography team.


Liberty Walk Ferrari 458. The ultimate Bosozoku Fezza (February)

Words and images: James Davison

Liberty Walk Ferrari 458

To find a Oakley Design Ferrari 458 Italia in the wild is rather difficult, since – like the Lykan above – only seven have been produced, each of which brings a ten percent increase in power, a five percent increase in torque, a 65kg weight reduction and a hefty price tag. And back in February, we managed to find something even more exclusive, namely the world’s first Liberty Walk-kitted Oakley Design Ferrari 458 Italia. Work was carried out at the Simon Motorsport workshop in Dubai by Wataru Kato and the LB Performance crew, so naturally it wasn’t long before wandered down to take a look.


*Be sure to check out our Liberty Walk Ferrari video HERE

Carbon Signal Automotive. Wide-arch Nissan 370Z (May)

Words and images: James Davison

Carbon Signal 370Z

By May, Carbon Signal Automotive had been teasing a brand new widebody kit for the Nissan 370Z, sending JDM fanboys into an understandably impatient fluster. Known as ‘Moonbeam’, the 370Z finally broke cover in May with a crankandpiston-bespoke photoshoot in tow. This however was far from the end of matters. A last minute decision to change the front splitter saw the addition of a new, more aggressive design, a decision that also led the Carbon Signal chaps to rethink Moonbeam’s ride height. Add massive Gnosis CV201 Work Wheels tyres and watch Dubai’s road humps start shaking with fear.


Porsche. The long road to Le Mans 2014 (June)

Words: James Gent     Images: Eric Fabre

24H du Mans 2014

When Porsche hit the start-finish straight at La Sarthe with the new 919 Hybrid prototype this June, it brought to a close a gaping 16-year absence for the legendary marque from Le Mans, a venue at which it still holds the record for the most victories (though sister company Audi are closing in). Interest therefore was high, fandom yet higher, and emotion so tangible come race day that you could almost taste it in the air. Well, in between rain showers anyway. Though Porsche couldn’t quite notch up victory number 17 in 2014, its long-awaited return brought the house down regardless. Where else then could we place ourselves during Le Mans weekend?



The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (June)

Words: James Gent     Images: Arun M. Nair


What started as a general conversation about spaghetti westerns a few months earlier had become a de facto group test in June between the Range Rover Sport, the Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG, and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Good. Bad. Ugly. More than just a cheap joke at Porsche’s expense, one of biggest features this summer put the do all, take all Range Rover up against more shouty and garish opposition from Munich (the Merc) and more subdued and powerful yet questionably attired rival from Stuttgart (the Porsche) both on-road and off it. An enormous challenge, one the Range Rover took in its stride and from which it duly came out on top.


*Be sure to check out our Good, Bad, Ugly teaser clip HERE

Bentley Past, Present, Future at Goodwood (July)

Words and images: James Davison


At the 2013 Gulf 12 Hours, Bentley officially returned to motorsport after a ten-year absence with the Continental GT3 before embarking on a full 2014 GT racing season. So at the Goodwood Festival of Speed the following June, it was no big surprise to see both Bentley’s future and past motor racing endeavours on display on Lord March’s lawn (alongside notable display runs from Mad Mike Whiddett in his Mazda RX7, Damon Hill in his championship-winning Williams FW18, and WRC legend Sébastien Loeb aboard his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak). For Davison, it was offered a remarkable trip down memory lane, one he hadn’t experienced since…well, since his run with Jaguar Racing Heritage at the 2014 Mille Miglia.


Volkswagen Golf R vs BMW M135i vs Mercedes A 45 AMG (September)

Words: James Gent     Images: Arun M. Nair


For more than ten years and across four generations, the Volkswagen Golf R (formerly R32) has been the resounding king of the hot hatches, despite competition from all comers. In 2014, it was the turn of the new Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG to wrestle the mantel from Wolfsburg. For, it presented an awesome opportunity, one we felt deserved a left field contender to join the melee: the BMW M135i. Our German trio spent the day driving across the UAE, the nimble Golf R taking on the lairy (and lunatically powerful) AMG and surprisingly showy Beemer and retaining its crown in style. Though it wasn’t without a fight…


2014 Paris Motor Show (October)

Words and images: James Gent


The unveil of the brand new Jaguar XE mid-sized saloon and Land Rover Discovery Sport was only the start of crankandpiston’s Paris Motor Show, during which our deputy editor took a closer look at the brand new Infiniti Q80 Inspiration, Lamborghini Asterion, Audi TT Sportback Concept, Volkswagen XL1 Sport and Honda Civic Type-R among others. He spent rather more time than expected ogling a topless Ferrari 458 Speciale and the Maserati Alfieri concept, which might explain the three memory cards he burnt through.


Inside the McLaren 650S GT3 (December)

Words: James Gent     Images: Arun M.Nair and Harisanker S


Like Bentley one year earlier, McLaren descended on the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in December for the final stage of a development program, one that will see a brand new model take on a full GT racing season the following year. This time it was the brand new 650S GT3 making its competitive debut, McLaren bringing two models – one boasting the #59 made famous by the ’95 Le Mans-winning F1 GTR – to take on AF Corse’ Ferrari contingent and reigning winners Abu Dhabi Racing’s Mercedes SLS GT3. With McLaren GT MD Andrew Kirkaldy offering insight, took a closer look at the latest generation of McLaren’s GT motorsport program.


1986 Audi S1 Quattro replica (December)

Words: James Gent     Images: Arun M. Nair

Audi S1 Quattro-02

It may not have been genuine, but this meticulously built ’86 S1 Quattro replica became the subject of a seven-hour video and photoshoot in December at the Dubai Autodrome. With the help of owner Rolf Volland, we’re given special insight into the legendary Group B tribute: the significance of former WRC champion Walter Röhrl to the build; the five-cylinder turbo unit under the bonnet; the (nearly) original parts making up the suspension and drivetrain; the ’86 Rallye Monte Carlo specific livery; and – of course – that soundtrack. On that note, bear with us whilst we refresh our memories…

*Be sure to check out our ’86 Audi S1 Quattro video HERE

Highlights continue on page 2

Categories: Lifestyle

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