Top 10 FIFA World Cup car facts - Select Car Leasing
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Top 10 FIFA World Cup car facts

Dune racers, drift kings, and best-selling SUVs you've never heard of - there's more to World Cup Finals host nation Qatar than just the footy. 

The FIFA World Cup Finals gets underway on Sunday 20th November, when Qatar take on Ecuador in the opening match at the Al Bayt Stadium in the beach resort city of Al Khor. 

England and Wales have been drawn in the same group - Group B. 

Gareth Southgate's England will face-off against Iran on Monday 21st November, 1pm kick-off time here in the UK, while Wales, managed by Rob Page, take on USA on the same day, kicking-off at 7pm. 

The one we're all waiting for - the crunch clash between England and Wales - is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 29th November, at a 'pint-after-work' friendly time of 7pm. 

Of course Qatar is a controversial choice to play host a World Cup, with seven of the eight competition stadiums having had to be built from scratch. (You can read about all of the World Cup controversies here). 

But away from the football, how does Qatar measure-up when it comes to car culture? 

Here we take a look with some interesting fast facts: 

1. The Qataris love their SUVs. 

With the Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol dominating sales charts. The trophy for ‘Best Selling SUV’ at the Qatar Car of the Year Awards 2022, held in January, was the ‘Chery Tiggo 7 Pro’ (above) - a compact crossover you won’t find in the UK but which is built by China’s state-owned Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. 

2. The Lusail International Circuit (above) is Qatar’s major race track, playing host to the Qatar F1 Grand Prix. 

The Lusail Iconic Stadium, located just north of Doha, will host the World Cup 2022 Final. It sits just a few miles south from the Lusail International Circuit F1 racetrack.

3. There’s a thriving petrolhead scene in Qatar. 

The Qatar Racing Club (above), in south Doha, is the setting for the national drag and drift championships and has its own stadium.

4. Legendary Qatari rally driver Nasser bin Saleh al-Attiyah (above), 51, has claimed four victories in the gruelling Dakar Rally

 - the only Middle Easterner and West Asian to win the competition more than once.

5. Rally driver Saeed al-Hajiri, aka ‘The King of Dunes’, helped to put motorsports on the map in Qatar. 

The 71-year-old won 18 international victories in his illustrious career.

6. Plans for the first supercar made in Qatar - the 800 hp ‘Elibriea’ (above) - were launched in 2016. 

A production model hasn’t yet made it to the road.

7. Qatar is in the process of building its first plant for the production of electric vehicles

- with capacity expected to reach 500,000 cars by 2025.

8. One of Qatar’s most eye-catching vehicle retailers is Stark Motors 

- who produce executive armoured SUVs for the rich and famous, as well as ‘special purpose’ military vehicles.

9. There are 1,701,346 registered vehicles in Qatar, according to the last count.

With the nation having a population of 2,931,000. (There are more than 32 million cars registered in the UK, among a population of 67 million).

10. Of the 1.7 million vehicles in Qatar, around 4% are EVs (full EV or hybrid)

- with the State of Qatar targeting 10% EVs by 2030. Around 1.8% of road vehicles in Britain are electric or plug-in hybrid, according to government data.

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Friday, 17/05/2024