Saudi Arabia Sheiks Up The SUV Game

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Possibly worried that SUVs are falling out of favor along with the dinosaur juice that keeps their desert kingdom afloat, Saudi Arabia is getting into the SUV business, with this Ghazal 1. Personally approved by King Abdullah, some 20,000 of these peculiarly-styled utes will be sold around the Gulf Region each year, according to Top Gear. The project started life as a Mercedes G-Wagen, which was re-skinned by students at King Saud University. Apparently the king was so impressed with the design (or just bored enough with his Escalade) that he approved the thing for production. Pricing, equipment and options are not available at the moment, but don’t expect the Ghazal 1 to do particularly well outside of the circle of Saudi Royal Family dependents. On the other hand, that is one hell of a market right there…

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jun 28, 2010

    What an odd little video. Did anyone notice that they don't actually show the front of the vehicle? The artist's rendering shows the side, and then the family heads out to see the real thing-rear end first. They go to the rear passenger door, then to look under the hood. When they finally do take a glance at the front, it's not shown on camera. Is it that ugly? Or is the grill a Saudi state secret? I don't know why but there's something amusing about an airbrushed rendering of bunch of men in Keffiyeh's in an SUV with their arms on the window sill like they were riding around Crawford TX with GW. Maybe because its so similar to car ads from the 50's and 60's. PS: just checked the Top Gear site and saw the Gazelle head on, it looks like it came from a perestroika era design studio of UAZ or GAZ.

  • Mrogii Mrogii on Jun 28, 2010

    I'm trying really hard not to make an exploding car joke... I guess I've failed.

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Jun 28, 2010

    The artist's rendering looks like a jumbo sized HHR. I'd much rather stick with the macho G-Wagon.

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Jun 28, 2010

    I am trying to imagine what it would be like to walk around, look at something, or even think while surrounded by dozens of "yes" men and relatives who want to assassinate me.