Welcome back to My Wheels, Salim. The last time we saw you (issue 387) you had a 2013 Mercedes SL 500, 2009 Porsche Carrera 4S and a 2011 BMW X6. Your collection has changed considerably since then; what happened to those cars?
As the technology in cars keeps getting better and better, I decided I should upgrade my fleet and so out went the Carrera 4s for a 911 Turbo, the X6 for a Range Rover Vogue SE and the Mercedes for a slightly more practical but still a lot of fun to drive Volkswagen Golf R.
You were the first person in Dubai to get the 2013 model year SL 500. Do you miss that one, or any of them?
I miss all of my previous cars especially the SL 500. When I sold it, it had only 31,000km on the clock. That car had a smooth ride, and was ever-so pleasant on the highway. I will always miss that one.
Had I not picked up my new Porsche, I would have upgraded from the SL 500 to the new S 63 Coupé.
You’re clearly a Porsche fan; how good is your new one proving to be?
It provides an unbelievable experience every time I get behind the wheel. I was visiting the Porsche dealership and it just took 30 minutes for me to decide on the new beast. The showroom manager offered me a test drive but I had already decided on buying the car. I guess it was love at first sight!
It is extremely difficult to compare this to my last one; the Carerra 4S had 400 horsepower and this one has 540! It is a true powerhouse, it doesn’t suffer from any turbo lag whatsoever, has all-wheel drive and steering, which makes it handle better in the corners. I also like the styling of this one more than the other one if I am being totally honest.
Let’s move on to the Golf R, a car we are very familiar with; how is it proving to be?
I previously had a Golf R32 with a six-cylinder engine, and so I kind of knew what to expect from this car, even though it has a totally different engine now — but its character has remained the same. It was actually when you guys got the car in your long-term fleet a couple of years ago that I decided to get the new model for myself.
I actually find it similar in terms of handling to my Porsche. It’s the best hot hatch in class for sure. I guess I should thank you!
You’re welcome. And you finally got a Range Rover Vogue SE — something you wanted for quite a while. Does it live up to expectations?
Without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, I would call it the ultimate SUV. All my cars have a purpose: I use the Range Rover as my daily driver and for family outings, the Porsche is my fast and fun car, and the Golf R is ideal for quick trips to the mall. From the lot, I love driving the Porsche the most.
I often use the new Emirates Road for commuting between Dubai and Sharjah, and during the weekends I take the Porsche on the Sharjah-Kalba Road — it is an amazing experience driving on those mountain roads and the stretch between the two long tunnels.
And you had mentioned plans to buy a Morgan Aero 8...
I often wanted to have a classic car for my long term use back home in India and I found this one to be the ideal choice. I will be visiting the UK soon to look at the options and make a decision then. But I think it might take me a little bit longer than 30 minutes to make up my mind this time!
Are you any closer to getting the dream car, a Vanquish V12?
Not for now as the Porsche is only two months old and just has 3,500km on the clock. It is providing plenty of thrills right now and so the Aston Martin will have to remain on the back burner for a little while longer.
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