Business | Features

Capman Roadster revs up for launch

The newest sports car made in UAE, dubbed the Capman Roadster, is priced to gain user trust

  • By Derek Baldwin, Business Features Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 June 15, 2010
  • Gulf News

Nadeem Dweik, international sales manager of Capital Manufacturing
  • Image Credit: Derek Baldwin/Gulf News
  • Nadeem Dweik, international sales manager of Capital Manufacturing, shows off the new Capman Roadster, a UAE-manufactured vehicle to be officially unveiled in Dubai this week.

Dubai: No, Batman hasn't arrived in the United Arab Emirates.

Rather, the man stepping out of the dark Batmobile-styled sportscar is Nadeem Dweik, international sales manager of Capital Manufacturing, a Dubai-based automaker.

A smile breaks out on his face as he glances at the racing lines of the newest Made-in-the-UAE sports car dubbed the Capman Roadster.

"This isn't a kit car," says Dweik. "Our new cars are much more sophisticated. The big difference is that we manufacture everything in this car except for the chassis and drivetrain.

"We're the only company in Dubai to get a manufacturing licence to build cars. We're the only ones manufacturing cars in the UAE as far as we know." The fibreglass body, interior and virtually every other piece in the car is handmade.

Dweik is gearing up for this weekend's official launch of the muscle roadster's latest model at Capital Manufacturing's head office and small manufacturing plant on Umm Suqeim Road this weekend where new dealers of the UAE automobile will visit from GCC countries to get acquainted.

The company has big plans for the growling road beast based upon the world-famous Cobra design of yesteryear.

"We're expecting a lot of customers to come in to see the car. Some of our customers feel very patriotic and want to support a new nationally built product," Dweik said, adding there is a fierce passion among UAE residents for sports cars with classic looks.

"A lot of people in the UAE already have a passion for the sport and own a Ferrari or a Porsche. But they want something else, they want something special, unique that no one else has," Dweik said.

Rich looks

Part of the business strategy to build and manufacture a UAE-built car is keeping it affordable.

Despite its exceedingly rich looks, the price for a basic model starts at Dh185,000 and can rise to Dh295,000.

"We're making it affordable not just to penetrate the market but also to gain trust in new customers."

Compared to upscale sports cars costing upwards of millions of dirhams, the new muscle roadster is "not a lot of money for a car that has your own signature", he said.

By providing a full package of amenities in a relatively inexpensive but custom-built sports car, Dweik believes the market will welcome the new Capman Roadster in the year ahead.

By mid-2011, Capital Manufacturing says it hopes to sell 40 of the new Capman Roadster in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait through licensed dealers across the GCC.

As more cars sell and the business broadens, Dweik said he expects the firm to open a mini manufacturing plant in Dubai capable of mass production on a small scale at first.

"For now, we're building our cars one at a time but in future we're planning on building a mini plant that will see production increase," he said.

For now, it takes about 12 employees to build a single car, taking it through all stages of production.

Specs

The new Capman Roadster is a car that promises to deliver on performance with a 5.0-litre Mustang engine producing 215 horsepower.

Weight: 1,100kg

Wheelbase: 2286mm

Overall length: 4013mm

Overall height: 1219mm

Overall width: 1790mm

Ground clearance: 115mm

Fuel capacity: 60 litres

Would you prefer to buy a car manufactured in your own country? Or would you rely on a well known brand? Should the UAE set up its own car manufacturing plant?

Comments (9)

  1. Added 14:51 June 15, 2010

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for your comments and I would like to address them professionally: 1- 5.0 Mustang engine: the reason why we are using this engine is because this is an American legend. I think it would be reasonable enough for this car to host an American engine given its history. This engine has also proved itself unique in the field of. Performance is based on a power to weight ratio, being just over 1000 kg, you actually get more horses per ton than on a regular mustang. 2- The design: this was designed back in the 60's and we intend to keeping the basic shape the same only because this car's has a unique design, tracked back to the exact original AC Cobra 427. People do have different tastes in regards to designs, but this one (from our customers and by passers) proved to cause a a major attraction compared to the hottest cars on the road. 3- This is the newest model of our cars which we have been making since 2004. This 2010 model simply (standard) has a better appeal, more options, and better technologies. 4- As stated in this article, we are not planning to build a large number of these cars, not because of man power or any physical reasons, its just to make our customers (who have a passion for this vehicle) feel special and because we enjoy making them. Last but not least, we would love to hear all your comments. please visit www.capmanroadster.com and send us your feedback or maybe even come down to book a test drive and try our vehicle to give us subjective feedback.

    Nadeem Dweik, Dubai, Afghanistan

  2. Added 13:15 June 15, 2010

    It would be good to own a show-stopper for this price. The best part is it's custom made. If it is the Ford 5.0 engine, which generates 215bhp, then I think with the car weighing just 1100kg that would fly like a rocket. After all it is American muscle. How do I get in touch with this company?

    Steve, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:56 June 15, 2010

    I congratulate Haider on his efforts, and would buy one if I could, though I agree that a more powerful engine should be offered as a option. Though I think the quoted 215 BHP figure is incorrect as the new mustang V8 engine produces nearly 400BHP. To have a Cobra prodced here with a warranty, air con and the ability to cope with our weather is an additional benefit to the UAE automotive market and I wish him the very best

    martin Hoyle, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:28 June 15, 2010

    Fully agree with Haider above. From a 5.0 litre engine, I'd expect AT LEAST double the bhp, possibly even more!

    David, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:53 June 15, 2010

    If there is high interest, and many people who want one, then it will not be unique.

    Siddharth, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:51 June 15, 2010

    the styling is dispropotionate & it looks like a cross between a cobra and a 1948 S type. Car's have to be styled better and done using proper automotive designers where as from the looks of things this was not. The engineering as haider mentioned is not efficient as new age technology provides a substantial ratio of HP to ltr. Moreover, why would a car enthusiast invest money in this when you can have a range of options that exist in the market.

    paul smith, -, United Kingdom

  7. Added 11:21 June 15, 2010

    I would not spend AED 185k on a 'first' built in the UAE. The company should try to build a repute for itself before venturing into the pricier car segments. I do not think it wise for the UAE to build their own, it makes no sense. Very stiff international competition, established brand preferences within the GCC markets, no local skill advantage....and so on

    Moustafa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:18 June 15, 2010

    Sorry to drop the ball, but based on the specs this car is very inefficient, polluting and not safe as it hasn't passed any international safety standards. You can achieve the same horse power with a V4 charged engine. By no means worth the price tag.

    James, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 08:57 June 15, 2010

    I would not buy a 215bhp, 5.0 litre car. Thats not a good hp per litre ratio . Would rather go for a GTI which is quite exclusive and gives you the same power with the economy of a two litre i4 engine with half the price (Not to mention the excellent looks and build quality!)

    Haider, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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