King Saud University Gazal-1 (STUDIOTORINO) is one whopper of a student project
Эта машина, впервые продемонстрированная на Женевском автосалоне – плод творческого поиска 50-ти студентов из King Saud University (Саудовская Аравия) в сотрудничестве с Magna Steyr, отвечавшей за проектирование и строительство. В основе замысла – любимый на Востоке Mercedes-Benz G-Class. С дизайном помогла туринская StudioTorino. Название Gazal – в честь очень быстрой антилопы (не верьте слухам, никакой связи с ГАЗом нет), а бирюзовый цвет – один из самых любимых в Саудовской Аравии.
Какой мотор будет стоять под капотом арабской «Газели», пока не сообщается. Вероятнее всего это будет 5,5-литровый V8 мощностью 382 л. с. от того же «Гелика». Планируется, что машину, в случае востребованности, будут выпускать в количестве 20 000 экземпляров в год.
Once upon a time, at the Geneva Motor Show there was the so called “Arab Quarter” where toner and luxury car-makers used to show shining cars that the rich Arab princes would buy without questioning the price.
That is past history today. The present looks much different and challenging, pointing to a time when car might also be built in the Arabic Peninsula rather than simply bought and driven.
This is what a very pragramtic and realistic study presented by King Saud University (K.S.U.), Riyadh, at the 80th Geneva Motor Show, strongly suggests.
Painted in Green colours, considered the most suitable colour, at it grants the vehicle a clear regional identity and named “Gazal 1″ the original Arabia SUV is to be built over the running chassis of a V8 Mercedes-Benz G-500. The Arabian gazelle, is a wild animal that is among the fastest and most resistant in its habitat.
By choice, its classic and conservative, yet highly professional and all-new design is meant to reflect the needs, expectations and taste of Saudi Arabia. Indeed, an internal K.S.U. marketing study of the environment and population of the Arabian Gulf highlighted the need for a classic design, avoiding fashionable trends in favour of a long lasting look.
In the words of the project promoter and leader, Prof. Saied Mohamed H. Darwish, the Gazal 1 is a SUV that combines a natural ability for extreme off road driving, with comfortable urban and suburban road use.
The technical characteristics are those of the long-wheel base G -Class retaining the classic 5-Litre, V8, 218 kW engine. The bodywork is 110mm longer and entirely made from carbon-fiber .
The unveiling is expected to draw much interested from industry insiders as an indication of new development in the car business in the Middle East.
King Saud University (K.S.U.), is the largest historical institution of higher education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is rated within the top 300 universities world-wide
Located in Riyadh, K.S.U has a population of 70,000 students and a faculty of lecturers and researchers of more than 3,000 including a constant presence of Nobel laureates.
In line with the university policy, and with the will of the rector His Excellency Professor Dr. Abdullah Al-Othman and vice rector Professor Dr. Professor Ali bin Said bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, a specific course in VEHICLE ENGINEERING was established in March 2009, dedicated to 55 students, and chaired by Professor Saied Mohamed H. Darwish.
The ultimate goal of the University is “to promote the culture of the automotive industry, to train young engineers who can participate in research and development”.
As principal mentors for the project, K.S.U. appointed STUDIOTORINO for the design and the Italian branch of MAGNA STEYR Italy for the engineering training and development.
The brief was to research and create a vehicle with characteristics suitable for the Arabian Gulf region. The lectures were partly held in the Faculty in Riyadh and partly in Turin, with real “on the job training” for K.S.U. students.
Every phase of the study program has been simulated as a real business plan. Considering timing, cost of development, and technical approach in all stages, from a market survey through to the layout of a manufacturing plant, and including styling, engineering design, structural calculations, and homologation. The construction of moulds and tools for the development of a fully functional prototype were made.
The project was launched in April 2009 and is due to be completed this year 2010 with the presentation of a fully operational prototype at King Saud University in Riyadh.