DUBAI // It is still in the early stages of production, yet potential buyers are already queuing up to buy the first Emirati-built supercar.

The Dubai Roadster will be sold for about Dh400,000 when it becomes available early next year.

Rashid Al Shaali, a former Emirati racing driver who helped to develop the vehicle’s design, said as soon as news of the supercar broke, he received dozens of calls.

“I’ve already had four inquiries from people saying they wanted to buy the car now,” he said. “I had to say, ‘hold on, it’s not finished yet’.”

He said the majority of interest so far had come from Emirati buyers.

“I think they relate to the fact that this is an Emirati car, which will be built in Dubai by Emirati engineers,” he said.

Mr Al Shaali is a former professional racer who won two titles in the UAE Time Attack championship.

He also used to drive a KTM X-Bow to his day job, as a branding specialist at the Government of Dubai Media Office.

He came up with the design with Mostafa Aldah, an Emirati engineer and road-safety expert at Loughborough University, in England, as well as Anthony Colard, a French car designer.

It is planned to have 25 vehicles available for sale at the Dubai Motor Show next year.

Production costs for the project are Dh3 million to Dh4 million – a relatively modest budget to develop and launch a car from scratch.

The Dubai Roadster will have a tubular chassis with a combination of fibreglass and carbon-fibre panels. Its 400-horsepower engine will be capable of accelerating from 0 to 100kph in 3.5 seconds.

The car will undergo full crash testing and is hoped to qualify for Euro 5 certification – emission regulations that would make the car legal to drive in the Emirates.

Although it will have power to rival the KTM X-Bow or BAC Mono on the racetrack, it will be a road car too… see more