By Theodore Opara

FOLLOWING the exploits of Geely sedans and sport utility vehicles in Nigeria, Mikano Motors, sole representative of Geely Motors in the country has dropped another SUV in the market which it tagged the new ‘Gamechanger’.

The new luxury SUV, Azkarra, which is Geely’s flagship SUV was unveiled at its Victoria Island, Lagos showroom with fanfare and razzmatazz with frontline Motoring Journalists and high network individuals present to catch a glimpse of the powerful SUV. A true gamechanger and pacesetter by every standard in the midsize sport utility vehicles, the Azkarra is loaded with an array of features.

Speaking shortly before the unveiling, the General Manager, Mikano Motors, Mr. Ralph Haidar, shocked the audience with the news that the new Azkarra has already sold 100 units in less than 20 days and that the company was targeting sales of 500 units before the end of the year.

With this record-breaking sales in this era, Haidar said the performance was not a fluke given the fact that the technology is coming from the world’s best automotive countries, Germany and Sweden.  According to Haidar, Mikano Motors offers the best value for car purchases currently obtainable in Nigeria.

These include the five year/150,000 km warranty, mobile workshop, VIP courtesy service, guaranteed resale value and the confidence from Mikano International’s legacy quality, after-sales prowess, assurance for peace of mind and overall, the best value for your auto investment. After sharing insights for the value chain, guests were treated to a detailed analysis of the design process for the Azkarra as shared by Geely’s Head of Design, ShanghaiGuy Burgoyne.

He described the steps taken from ideation to the production of the distinguished looking Azkarra which he described as being “sophisticated, practical, intuitive and technically precise”. He said that the Azkarra was designed with the car owners in mind, identifying that “the consumers’ choice of cars is becoming their choice of lifestyle rather than just a tool for transportation”.

Burgoyne highlighted that the accentuated headlamps, deep set into the body colour inserts, give the Azkarra a matured look which conveys great confidence while the exterior was designed to improve aerodynamic performance.

This refined, sleek attribute transitions to the interior with a self-assured fluidity, successfully merging sportiness and refinement. The cockpit is wrapped in lush Nappa leather, with translucent backlit wood patterns providing adjustable ambient lighting that emotively matches the driver’s and passenger mood.

The user interface as found in the Azkarra’s “humanised” interior complements Geely’s innovative 48V EMS mild- hybrid system. The performance of the Azkarra’s innovative 48V EMS (Electric Motor Synergy) was described in an explainer video.

It detailed when in certain driving modes, the system improves the acceleration dynamics of the car, due to additional torque (+50Nm) and also provides up to 15 per cent improved fuel economy. Overall, the EMS of the Luxury Geely Azkarra provides the car with a distinctly smooth ride, more power and a substantially improved fuel economy.

Haidar announced a limited-time launch offer of a starting price from N17.3 million in addition to the additional perks from the pre-sale offer.

This special limited-time launch offer was to celebrate the success of the pre-sale offer, which led to sales of over 100 units of Azkarra within a short period of time. Guests were then encouraged to physically appraise the Azkarra; which is available in Nigeria in two trims, the Azkarra Platinum Pro and the Azkarra Titanium.

The Azkarra has an immediate charismatic appeal from the first glance, with an elegant and sophisticated carriage. The grille features the signature “expanding cosmos” design, much like the Coolray, but somehow managing to look more mature on the Azkarra. The rear is simple, yet distinct and beautiful in its simplicity.

The interior is a stylish cocoon with Nappa leather seats and tactile controls and buttons lending credence to the “humanized space” inference. The driver can monitor the Azkarra’s performance via the 7″ instrument cluster, and the piano- key air conditioning buttons add an extra flair. However, focal point on the interior is the best in class, HD colour 12.3″ touchscreen infotainment panel with smart device mirroring capability.

This is also where the 360 degree panoramic camera is viewed with 3D option. The skylight panoramic sunroof is also best in class, allowing much more light into the already spacious and highly comfortable cabin. The highlight of the day had guests conveyed in an Azkarra motorcade, to Mikano

International’s Karameh Industrial City for the opportunity to experience the Azkarra “Gamechanger” SUV firsthand- and we were not disappointed! The drive along the highway was indescribably smooth and the isolation in the cabin combined with the premium sound system was first- class.

The real fun began when we took the Azkarra to a neighbouring off- road location and put the off- road capabilities to the test. The All- Wheel Drive feature on the Azkarra is simply outstanding and was tested to the extreme in those off- road situations. The algorithm of the power train and transmission changes automatically, to improve cross- country performance.

The event was well- attended by Mikano Motors esteemed customers, members from the press and a host of auto enthusiasts who all joined Geely Nigeria to welcome the “Gamechanger”, the Luxury Azkarra SUV which really has been designed to confidently redefine the segment for a lifestyle inspired premium SUV.

For your own hands- on Luxury Azkarra experience, visit Geely Nigeria’s flagship showroom at 65 Adeola Odeku Street, VI, Lagos, or the Ikeja showroom at 8b, Metalbox Road off Acme Road. The Azkarra is also readily available at all MikanoInternational locations in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja and Ibadan, or alternatively visit the website www.geely.ng for more information.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.