(MENAFN- Gulf Times) After a remarkable 34-day journey covering nearly 8,000km - crossing 12 countries and two seas - the Tour d'Excellence expedition, which began in Geneva on August 28, reached its destination Doha on September 30.
The epic journey, undertaken by two electric Volkswagen ID Buzz cars, symbolised the strong connection between the two cities and served as a precursor to the highly anticipated Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS).
“A big thank you, the days I don't need to tell you, were intensive, they were adventurous and I think we will never ever forget them, and that was also our motivation to do this once in a lifetime trip so to speak, a unique and pioneer trip to Doha,” Rinspeed AG CEO Frank M Rinderknecht said at a press conference held at the Bin Jelmood House, Msheireb Museums yesterday.
He noted that their average speed was 51.2km per hour with an average consumption of 19.1 kWh per 100km. The coldest temperature they experienced along the journey was 1 degree Celsius in Switzerland, and the hottest was 53 degrees Celsius in Saudi Arabia. The only technical issue was a flat tyre.
Rinderknecht and Rainer Zietlow, owner of Challenge 4, who holds six Guinness World Records for long-distance travel, drove these cutting-edge cars during their expedition, demonstrating not only the impressive technological capabilities of electric vehicles but also underscored the pioneering spirit of the upcoming motor show.
GIMS Qatar is set to take place from October 5 to 14 at a 10,000sqm space at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, featuring 30 renowned automotive brands, including Toyota, Lexus, Porsche, Volkswagen, Lamborghini, KIA, Audi, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Vinfast, and Chery, among others.
It will also showcase the latest innovations from the industry, more than 10 world premieres and over 20 regional premieres.
Qatar Tourism COO Berthold Trenkel said the Tour d'Excellence expedition, which successfully concluded in Doha, fittingly lays the foundation for the remarkable spectacle that GIMS Qatar 2023 is poised to offer.
“This incredible journey not only underscores the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines GIMS Qatar, but also mirrors Qatar's own ambitious vision for sustainability and excellence,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Trenkel said GIMS Qatar will hopefully attract a lot of visitors predominantly from the region, especially from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
“We hope to have a lot of people visiting, and interesting piece was by sandwiching it together with Formula 1, you have all these people that come into the Formula (1)... they have a chance to also go to the Geneva (Motor Show),” he added.
Trenkel cited the unique nature of GIMS Qatar, saying:“The Geneva motor show in Qatar is different from over a 100 years of history of Geneva, that's why I think people are not realising how unique this is.”
GIMS CEO Sandro Mesquita highlighted the event's core values, saying:“Excellence, innovation and pioneering spirit are the key elements of the GIMS DNA. The idea of the Tour d'Excellence was to manifest this spirit, all while highlighting the industry's recent progress in electromobility.”
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