Welcome to My Wheels, Mohammed. This is a rare sight — there aren’t many of these Petronas World Champion Edition Mercedes-AMG A 45s around. How did you find this?
It was by chance; I had been visiting a couple of Mercedes-Benz agencies looking for the A 45 AMG as I wanted a car that can be used daily but which has some power too. My search took me to EMC, the Abu Dhabi Mercedes dealer where I spoke to the salesman who said they have a Champion Edition coming but that I would need to wait almost a year for it. Since I was going to be going on National Service training for nine months I wasn’t in any rush so I put my deposit down and waited.
Eventually I received a call from the agency to tell me my car had arrived — but there was an even bigger surprise in store; it was the first and the only 2016 Mercedes-AMG A 45 Petronas World Champion Edition in the UAE and Middle East!
I must say that I am really proud to own such a rare car. I had been considering going for an Audi RS1 and Mini Cooper Countryman JCW but I am so glad that I didn’t as my Merc is simply brilliant.
We love the unique silver and turquoise livery, it looks just like the Mercedes-AMG Formula One car — and it’s proving lots of fun to drive…
It really is but the fun begins even before I drive it — I just start to smile the moment I start it up!
On the move it is awesome; it has tremendous power and epic handling. I drive it almost daily and am always on the hunt for curvy roads where this car really shines. It has 19in wheels, a larger front splitter and a large roof spoiler at the back.
Inside, it has Alcantara and leather seats, plus plenty of turquoise stitching and detailing on the dashboard.
But the best thing about it has to be the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It makes 381 horsepower and thanks to the standard-fit AMG Performance all-wheel drive and the front axle differential lock, it can hit 100kph from rest in just 4.2 seconds and has amazing grip and handling.
The car was built to celebrate the brand’s Formula One Championship win in 2015 and since I am a big fan of driver Lewis Hamilton I decided to add a particular quote of his that I really like to the back of my car. I also love Batman and my wife got me a sticker so that’s on the car too!
I have had my car for 17 months and have only put 8,300km on the clock; in this short period of time I have not experienced a single issue with the car — it is testament to the quality of the brand.
It sure is an eye-catcher; what sort of reaction does it get from people?
Most of the time, I see a lot of people take photos of my car and there have been many cases where I have been stopped by other drivers who are keen to know more about it.
My family is always very supportive and they know whatever car I own it will be 100 per cent unique — and fast! My biggest supporter for my passion for cars is my wife Zainab; there was a brief period when I was thinking about selling my car but Zainab dissuaded me from the idea and reminded me how lucky I am to have a unique and limited edition car. But the truth is, I am even luckier than that as I have such a beautiful and lovely wife.
You’re definitely in her good books now! Take us back; how did your passion for motoring begin?
My passion with cars started when I was a child — I would draw sketches of the cars that I would see on the road or on the TV. I also started to memorise the names of the cars and their engines.
I still remember my very first Matchbox toy car that my parents bought me when I was almost five years old. It was from a pharmacy and it was a yellow Land Rover Defender. Now I am a die cast car collector and am very much in to automotive photography and started my own website and car forum in 2003.
You’ve also owned some pretty epic cars in the past haven’t you…
Yes I owned several cars including a 1992 Nissan Skyline GTS R32, 1996 Toyota Mark II, 1998 Ford Mustang, a 2005 GMC Yukon Denali, and a 2014 Ferrari California.
That sure is a fine list — what was your favourite?
My favourite car of all time was and still is my GMC! I spent a fortune customising it and I will never forget it.
I’ll also always fondly remember the very first car that I drove, a 1998 Nissan Patrol that my father taught me how to drive and the very first car that I owned — a 2004 Daihatsu Sirion. I got that before I even attained my driver’s license!
However, the best car I have driven has to be a 2009 BMW M5; it had amazing handling, the best engine sound and superb throttle response.
Final question — what is your dream car?
I have more than one! The list includes a Saab 900 Turbo, Ferrari 599 GTO, Mercedes-Benz 190E, Alfa Romeo 155 DTM, Porsche 964 Turbo, Nissan Skyline GTR R33 and a Toyota Supra Mark IV.