January 2016

Ford in debate with Google about autonomous vehicles.

Yes, it's that time of year: a season of joy but also a fresh new year of 2016 has commenced!

Each and every one is touched by the spirit of Christmas in his or her own unique way, yet we like to think that everything is lit by a softer light that comforts mind and soul and, at the same time, makes us reflect on the year that's drawing to an end with a clearer sight of 2016.

For us at ArabWheels, 2015 has been a challenging, but rewarding year. We will be celebrating our 14th anniversary. The world is moving on and our focus is not just on keeping up with it, but striving to improve in all areas and provide excellence.

Last month we heard some rumours about a partnership between Google and General Motors. According to the latest reports, now Ford and Google are negotiating a partnership to build autonomous cars. An anonymous source says that the two sides have been talking for months now, and are still discussing the detailed agenda of their possible partnership.

We all know that Google has been developing its own autonomous driving software for quite some time now. There could be a great benefit from joining forces with Ford in order to use their automotive know-how, and Ford could use Google's expertise in self-driving software.

Something interesting and worth mentioning, is that Ford's former CEO Alan Mulally is now a director at Google, while John Krafcik, who is the head of Google's Autonomous Driving division, was also working for 14 years at Ford. If the report turns out to be tangible, the first fully self-driving car could be realized sooner than we thought.

In our first issue of the year, we bring you the world premiere reveal of the Volvo S90, directly from the mother city, Gothenburg. Our cover story has been dedicated to the second generation 2016 Audi R8. What a machine! The Fiat 124 Spider has also been revealed and we anticipate some exciting news.

In our Global Drives section, I was on the first drive of the new Infiniti Q30, which will be a hit in our region. Khaled was on the first drive of the new Hyundai Creta on a very exotic destination in Africa: Mauritius Island.

In our Regional Drives we tested a very unique machine from the Middle East and dedicated to the Middle East: the Nissan Patrol Desert Edition. This project was in collaboration with Muhammed Ben Sulayem and Nissan.

In our Editor's Choice section, David tested La Ferrari in Maranello, Italy, and was the first motoring journo to drive that hypercar on a wet track! In Dubai, Ershad drove both the VW Scirocco R and Bentley Continental GT Speed.

In our tires section our team flew to South Africa to test BFGoodrich's recently launched tires. We also covered the Porsche GT Cup that took in place at Bahrain International Circuit.

Our team wishes you a happy and healthy 2016, and all the best for you and the ones you cherish the most!

- Issam Eid, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: 2016 Audi R8 and V10 Plus

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