King Abdullah greenlights Gazal 1 to become first Saudi-made car

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 11:38 PM

The KSU Gazal 1

The very first car designed and built in Saudi Arabia is officially a reality. King Abdullah unveiled the production Gazal 1 at a special ceremony yesterday and congratulated everyone who participated in the vehicle's development on a job well done. As you may recall, the Gazal 1 was a special project created by the students at King Saud University. Though built off the bones of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the KSU kids penned the exterior and reworked the interior to accommodate Saudi Arabia's notoriously brutal climate and demanding terrain.

When we saw the original Gazal 1 design study at this year's Geneva Motor Show, we thought the vehicle looked pretty good, especially considering how little experience the SUV's designers had in bringing a full-scale vehicle to life. From what we can tell, it looks like the production version has stuck fairly close to the big green model we saw back in March. That means the Toyota FJ Cruiser-style roof has made its way into reality along with the very International grille.

It works for us, especially considering the go-anywhere Mercedes-Benz components bolted underneath. No one's said what's under the hood of the Gazal 1, but we're guessing the same 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8 from the standard G550 is a good bet.

[Source: Arab News]