Jaguar Land Rover opens a new $1.5 million test and development facility in Dubai, UAE.[Not a valid template]
There are numerous ways one can spend $1.5 million. That property in Beverly Hills you’ve always hankered after; early retirement and a cruise or two around the Caribbean; one – yep, just one – LaFerrari, or the downpayment for a Lamborghini Veneno.
The mind rather boggles with possibilities, but since the Middle East has proven a critical area for extreme weather testing, Jaguar and sister company Land Rover have just invested said amount into a brand new test and development centre in Dubai’s Al Barsha area. The barometer needle is creeping slowly towards 50 degrees as summer continues to roll in, and notable sightings of the new Range Rover, LaFerrari and the new BMW i8 demonstrate just how critical the region is for manufacturers knocking the final kinks out of their latest designs.
The centre is far from Jaguar’s first – the marque already boasts test facilities in Arjeplog (Sweden), Phoenix and International Falls (USA) and at the Nurburgring (Germany) alongside its hometown base in Coventry, UK – though the new 11,120sq ft base of operations in the Middle East now provides further opportunity to test the durability of new powertrains, chassis and ventilation system (plus, a wide stretch of Arabian desert is just the ticket for putting those off-road systems through their respective paces). In its busiest weeks, the new centre can accommodate 20-25 cars for its team of 40 engineers to work on.
Though further details were not provided, the new test centre is just one step in the company’s ‘ambitious plans for growth’, which includes an unprecedented number of new and refreshed Jaguars. Certainly the new F-Type likely to sell by the droves in the Middle East (so feels manager of engineering operations for Jaguar Land Rover in the Middle East John Winchester, with whom crankandpiston took a spin in an F-Type pre-launch), and a double-sided enthusiasm for speed and off-road capabilities in the region means the Range Rover Sport is sure to prove a big draw too.