Highlights: 2010 Abu Dhabi Motor Show

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 by

The Range Rover Evoque was the car of the show for many

This year’s Abu Dhabi Motor Show was notable for the absence of many of the big names, with the regional dealers and distributors deciding to stay away.

German marques such as Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW and MINI were all absent, as were premium brands like Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce. In addition there was no presence from Volvo, Honda, Nissan, Infiniti or Renault, or from Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.

As a result, the 2010 show was a relatively small affair at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, but from those manufacturers that did show off their wares, there were a handful of interesting new machines on display.

The XTS Platinum will be Cadillac's new flagship


Cadillac’s big news was the unveiling of its new flagship sedan, the XTS Platinum. You can read more about it here.


Chevrolet unveiled two new vehicles – the Camaro Convertible and a facelifted version of the Captiva SUV.

Pulling back the covers on the topless Camaro, Susan Docherty from General Motors’ international operations department described it as “a car that best embodies what Chevrolet is all about”. Read more about it here.

The facelifted 2011 Captiva gets a new look, new interior and tweaks to the chassis. Available as a five or seven seater, the compact crossover comes with a choice of two engines – a 2.4-litre or a 3.0-litre V6, both with either manual or automatic transmission. You can check out more information on the Captiva here.

The 458 Italia on Ferrari's stand


Nothing new over at Ferrari, but their stand gave visitors a chance to check out the California convertible and the latest supercar, the 458 Italia. You can see more about the California by reading our road test here and learn about the 458 here.


The 2011 Terrain SUV took pride of place at the GMC stand. GM describes it as a crossover with best-in-class fuel economy and more cargo space than its competitors.

It’s powered by the same choice of engines as in the Chevrolet Captiva – a 2.4-litre Ecotec motor or a 3.0-litre V6 – and comes in either front or all-wheel drive. Available features include a rear seat DVD system with two screens, powered tailgate and a 10GB hard drive for music. Electronic stability control and traction control are included, along with six airbags.

The 2011 Terrain will be available from the first quarter of 2011. Check out more information on it here.

The 2012 Hyundai Accent


The big reveal on the Hyundai stand was the all-new 2012 Accent, which will go on sale in February 2011.

The Accent has been one of Hyundai’s strongest selling models so the new compact sedan will have high hopes attached to it. It’s powered by either a 1.4 or 1.6-litre engine and promises strong safety features and good handling.


Jaguar Middle East’s managing director Robin Colgan showed off the fastest version of the XKR coupe, alongside the XJ and XF sedans.

The Special Edition Jaguar XKR

The Special Edition XKR showcases two packs available for the 2011 year – the Speed Pack and the Black Pack. The former delimits the 5.0-litre supercharged V8, meaning a top speed of 280kph (up from 250kph) while the Black Pack adds a front splitter, larger rear spoiler and 20-inch black alloy wheels.


Kia’s sizeable stand showed off plenty of their recently revitalised range, with three crews of breakdancers putting on a display next to a Sportage, Cadenza and Optima.

They also showed off the Cerato Koup, a two-door version of the Cerato sedan. Powered by a 154bhp 2.0-litre engine attached to a six-speed automatic transmission, it’s on sale now costing from 65,000AED to 75,000AED.

The Cerato Koup is new from Kia

Available features include leather seats, traction control, electronic stability control and six airbags.


Some of the most buzz at the show was for Land Rover’s forthcoming SUV, the Evoque. The company’s global brand director John Edwards described the car as a true Land Rover in a smaller, more sustainable package after unveiling the five-door Evoque in Abu Dhabi.

“We believe this car will be a real game changer for our business,” he said.

The Lexus LFA

Read more about the Evoque here.


The Lexus stand had two big unveils for the gathered media. The first was the production version of the LFA supercar, which will start arriving in the Middle East in very limited numbers from the second quarter of 2011. Only 500 will be built globally. You can read more about the LFA here.

The second unveil was the CT200h, a five-door hybrid hatchback that marks new territory for Lexus. Saud Abbassi, general manager at UAE Lexus dealers Al Futtaim, said the car was both environmentally friendly and good to drive.

Lexus CT200h

“We’ve done a lot of in market testing here and we’re very excited,” he told AutoMiddleEast. “We don’t think it’s a risk – hybrid is no longer a risk for us. We’re very comfortable with the technology.”

Lexus hopes the CT200h will attract entry-level Lexus buyers that might also consider an IS sedan or RX compact SUV. You can read more about the CT200h here.


Three cars adorned the Maserati stand, the most interesting of which was the recently launched Grancabrio, a convertible version of the Granturismo. Read more about that here.

The Maserati Quattroporte GTS on display

Also on display was the sporty Quattroporte GTS sedan and a racing version of the Granturismo. The Granturismo MC Trofeo races in the UAE GT Championship and is available to buy for anyone that wants to race.


Mazda’s surprise offering was the Kazamai concept vehicle, an SUV design study first shown in 2008. Other than that, the Japanese company showed off its whole range but there were no new vehicles on display.


The recently-launched ASX was Mitusbishi’s main sell at the show. You can read our driving impressions of the compact SUV here.

Little else is planned from the manufacturer for 2011, save for a new 1.5-litre engine for the Lancer sedan. An all new Pajero SUV is due in 2013.

The Peugeot RCZ, which arrives in the region in 2011


The French manufacturer had three of its latest models to show off. The RCZ Coupe goes on sale in February, along with the 3008 SUV also at Abu Dhabi, was previously displayed at the Dubai Motor Show in 2009. You can read more about both cars here. The 3008 should be on sale early in 2011.

The 5008 is a seven-seater MPV that will also go on sale early next year.


Subaru’s stand was dominated by the unveiling of the 2011 Impreza WRX Sti. The latest version of the snarling, rally-inspired hatchback is powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine producing 305bhp and will hit 100kph in less than five seconds thanks to its high-tech all-wheel drive system.

Toyota's FT-86 G concept is likely to spawn a rear-wheel drive production car within two years

Also on display was the 2011 Forester SUV, which next year will come with a new top-of-the-range 2.5XT Premium model.


Toyota’s stand was one of the biggest at the show, with several new models and ideas on display.

The biggest surprise was the unveiling of a new sporty coupe called the Zelas. Recently launched in the states under the Scion brand, the Zelas is powered by a 2.5-litre engine with 176bhp and is aimed at younger buyers.

Al Futtaim, the UAE distributor behind the Toyota stand, is keen to offer customisation options for the Zelas and demonstrated potential ideas by showing a second car clad in sparkly black paint and silver rims. Read more about the Zelas here.

Toyota's FJ Cruiser Desert Raider could go on sale if enough people show an interest

The customisation theme ran further with the FJ Cruiser Desert Raider – a matte beige, modified version of the regular FJ Cruiser that could go on sale if reaction at the show is positive.

Lastly, Toyota delivered a glimpse into the future with a rear-wheel drive sports car concept – the FT-86 G. Inspired by the AE-86 of the 1980s, the new car forms the basis for a production version that we can expect to see arrive in the region in a couple of years.

Finally, check out our tribute to the hardworking ladies that added to the motor show glamour.

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