Desert terrains like GCC require SUVs (especially the ones made of a ladder frame) that can zoom past cars on the roadways or go for an adventure in the desert. This article will cover what kind of SUV would be the best for GCC as per their tastes and the need for features that enable easier desert driving.
Do Tyres Matter?
Tires are an important part of a car. Depending on the kind of roads of the area you are living in, appropriate tires with the proper traction are needed. Traction is the friction between the road surface and the drive wheel. Losing traction means losing road grip which in turn can cause an accident. Though traction is a basic thing to think about, due to the area’s sandy terrain more focus could be paid to tires that help make the drive smoother. The magnificently constructed roadways of the GCC enable easy driving and considering the SUVs are constructed to function off terrain, this type of vehicle is the best choice.
SUVs are provided with the option of four-wheel drive which means that it's a vehicle that has two axles providing torque to four axle ends i.e. it provides torque to all its wheels simultaneously. Four-wheel drive (4WD) is considered safer as it gives better traction. An SUV offered with 4WD, though more expensive, will be a good option.
The All Terrain T/A KO2 tires by BFGoodrich could be a good option. With a 10/10 dry grip, it could be ideal for off terrains and on-road driving as well. It also has good cornering stability, steering responsiveness, ride comfort, treadwear, and its wet grip is not bad either. Tires like EfficientGrip SUV are also a good option.
For GCC countries the ground clearance of the car should be a little high. Ground clearance is the amount of distance between the ground and the bottom of the vehicle’s body (Another term for this is “ride height” which refers to how far the vehicle’s lowermost area is from the road). More clearance assures the lower body of the SUV is not damaged in any way. The clearance in GCC countries should be above 200 mm.
The SUV could be an enclosed one like the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol. The reason these two models are being taken as an example is because at some point they had the most sales in the GCC. An SUV with a smarter exterior front look could be designed like the Lincoln Navigator or the Ford Explorer Plug-in. The design should be muscular and have good road prevalence.
It could be made available in colors like white, black, and a lush red or maroon as these colors would set beautifully with the GCC desert environment. Generally, Toyota Land Cruisers in white color are seen often in the GCC.
An SUV offering seven seats would be ideal as the families in GCC are big. The interiors could have black, white, or beige leather or polyester seats that have long durability. There could be ventilated seats that allow air to reach the person seated and keep them cool. LED Screens for entertainment could be a great added benefit along with air-conditioning and three mini-fridges (we all know how the last ones are a must).
Torque is a twisting force and it measures the strength (or twisting force) of an engine or a motor. It is generally measured in pounds-feet (lb-ft). It is the force you need to get going while horsepower is what gets you moving. Horsepower conveys the engine’s overall capability. Whether it be gasoline or hybrid, all types of engines generate horsepower and torque. They are both different ways of expressing the performance of an engine.
Torque works differently depending on the engine type and energy source. Mainstream cars and engines have engines that produce about 100-400 lbs of torque. An SUV for GCC should have a low-end torque for bearing with the dune bashing when off terrain. Low-end torque is one that makes the car faster and more responsive.
Certain systems that should be a part of the car for proper safety are;
Electronic Brake Distribution
Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) automatically changes the force applied on a vehicle’s wheels based on road condition, loading, speed, etc. EBD is always coupled with anti-lock braking systems that monitor wheel speeds and apply more or less braking pressure to each wheel. This maximizes stopping power while keeping control of the vehicle. Generally, the front end carries more weight and less braking pressure is distributed by the EBD to the rear brakes to prevent them from locking up and causing a skid.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is an electronic system that monitors the air pressure inside the tires and informs the driver about the real-time tire pressure information through a warning light, a gauge, or a pictogram display. Avoiding poor fuel economy and traffic accidents along with increased tire wear due to under-inflated tires with the help of early recognition of the state of the tires is the goal of this system. This functionality first appeared in luxury European vehicles in the 1980s.
It is available in two types; direct TPMS and indirect TPMS. You can read more about it here.
GCC has good roads but even despite that, there are a lot of traffic accidents. As per statistics from the GCC secretariat information office in Muscat, Oman leads the way in road accidents with 4721 accidents in 2016, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4,609 accidents. These accidents occur due to lack of proper driving training, recklessness, negligence, poor undertaking, not leaving a proper distance between vehicles, and suddenly changing lanes.
Airbags are a must due to such risks. An airbag is a bag designed to inflate extremely quickly and then quickly deflate during the collision. It is a system that is supposed to provide vehicle occupants with soft-cushioning and restraint in the event of a car crash. It includes an airbag cushion, an inflation module, a fabric airbag, and an impact sensor. Its purpose is to reduce the injuries that may be caused due to the flailing person and the interior of the vehicle (steering wheel, instrument panel, body pillar, headliner, and windshield) coming in contact with each other. For proper protection it will be better if the SUV has 10 airbag modules that modern vehicles nowadays do. These modules include driver, passenger, seat-mounted, door-mounted, side-curtain, knee bolster, inflatable seat belt, B and C-pillar mounted side-impact, and pedestrian airbag modules.
These few points can make an ideal SUV for GCC that meets all their needs. As the GCC countries have off terrain traveling as well, the points to be taken into account for easy maneuvering and driving should be paid special focus on. EBD, TPMS, and airbags should be a part of the SUV for safety as the GCC has a high number of road accidents. Amazon Alexa (with a perfect arabic language input, of course) can be integrated as well. After all there is always room for more features (or at least should be), just like there is for dessert.