Abu Dhabi’s Solid Gold Biofuel Mercedes Another Dubious Green Development

white gold mercedes mclaren, carHow un-green? Not only an over-the-top luxury car, but made from white gold! So what if it can run on biofuel.

Are the United Arab Emirate states being over-the-top extravagant when purchasing super luxury cars? Word has it that an Abu Dhabi billionaire is the proud owner of a Mercedes V10 Quad Turbo sports job that has a body made of white gold! Not gold paint, but gold alloy sheet metal. Do these kinds of luxuries find any parallel with the similarly over-the-top “eco” projects happening in the region, like The World islands and Masdar City?

The specially made car features a newly developed V10 quad turbo with 1,600 horsepower and 2800nm of torque. It is said to be able to go from 0-100km/h in less than 2 seconds, and can go a 1/4 mile in 6.89 seconds running on biofuel. But seriously folks, is it even relevant to talk about biofuel in the face of such an item?

Cost of this “jewelry store on wheels” is reported to be $2.5 million USD – or enough money to feed the poorer populations of many Arab countries for months.

Oil rich Emirates in the UAE have been known to spend large sums of money on all kinds of extravagant projects including what has been billed as the largest and  most expensive indoor ski complex in the world, Ski Dubai, the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa Tower (all 158 stories of it)  Abu Dhabi’s now being constructed luxurious Al Reem Island (said to be a playground for the wealthy); and what may be the only truly environmental sustainable project, Masdar City, which is also in the early stages of construction.

Related: Dubai Police Buy Half Billion Dollar Lamborghini

Luxury at the expense of poorer Arabs

All of these, including the car of course, are at the expense of millions of people throughout the Muslim world who go to bed hungry every night; and many of these people (from countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and even Jordan) work in the UAE on these construction projects for incomes ranging from as little as $4 a day.

white gold mercedes biofuel, mclaren

It appears that only the wealthy can afford to purchase properties in these places, buying fancy dresses from Abendkleid Kurz, or spending the night in hotels that can run as much as $25,000 a night for a luxurious suite in Dubai’s Burg Al Arab ultra luxurious hotel tower. It makes us wonder what good could be done if just some of the money spent on these projects had been used for the good of the regional environment.

And while the much touted Masdar City is being marketed as “an example for other countries”; other projects, especially Dubai’s island community extravaganza The World, may turn out to be the region’s economic and environmental downfall, due to severe problems from both aspects.

mercedes biofuel, white gold car mclaren

Getting back to the “solid gold Mercedes” it does have one redeeming quality; its 1,600 HP engine is designed to run on biofuels. But throwing in words and ideas like LEED-certified building and biofuel does not make a construction project or car environmental friendly. It’s just using the good deeds of the environment movement to get some good PR.

Update: The car might be a “fake” gold number, according to Snopes: Snopes; For $2.5 million, it’s still an excess.

More on luxury projects and excess in and around the United Arab Emirates:
Dubai Sports Cop Car Costs $500,000
Abu Dhabi Rich Pay Millions for Camels While Much of Arab World is Poor
Burj Dubai is Finished, But at What Environmental and Economical Advantage?
Will Abu Dhabi’s Al Reem Island be Only a Playground for the Rich?

94 thoughts on “Abu Dhabi’s Solid Gold Biofuel Mercedes Another Dubious Green Development


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  5. nazani

    Masdar City was designed by a British firm, and I salute the Arabs for funding this large-scale experiment. We may all benefit from what is learned.

    The only fact I can deduce from this article is that the author is anti-Arab and anti-environment.

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  7. Let'sTalkCandidly

    No wonder the ugly Oil Sheiks of the OPEC Oil Cartel can’t afford to feed their folks. They need to save to gold plate their vehicles, send empty skyscrapers into the clouds and pay off mercenary protestors who they send to protest the Albert Oil Sands. After all, what would they do if they lost global dependency on their oil? They have never learned to innovate, create, develop or actually work.

  8. Joseph

    Dude don’t be hating someone if they have lots of money. Some of my friends are from Abu Dhabi, and even though they spend money on so many thing as they are millionaires, they also spend it on a whole range of charitable causes. One of them built a dog shelter, the other took a Range Rover full of his old (less than 6 months old) clothes to Oxfam, and you can guess what brands of clothes they were.

    Just because they spend money on cars doesn’t mean they are hurting others. What they spend on cars is relatively as equal to what you and I spend on cars. They just have more, so they can afford more.

  9. Maurice

    This article has been posted already for 4 years. I suppose people shouldn’t be lambasted entirely for wanting to own something so trite as a car made with white gold sheet metal. However, seeing how much human suffering is currently occurring on our planet; much of it due to the raveges of war, global warming and climate change, it seems like financial resources can be much better utilized for helping to improve life on earth instead of creating such ostentatious devices. This is true even if it does operate on biofuel (which itself also creates greenhouse gasses).

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  18. Archie Brand

    Not sure where you got your information from but you can be sure that it’s not gold, its not 2.5 million dollars, it’s engine is not 1600hp, it’s not biofuel, it can’t do the standing quarter claimed, or even the 0-60.

    Apart from that, it’s a pretty accurate article!

    THis is just another anti-Arab article penned simply to fuel hatred.

    In the past we have also seen a picture of a supposed solid silver Audi S6, and before that someone was trying to wind everyone up by showing pictures of Sheikh Zayeds personal palace and his fleet of Rolls Royce Phantoms.
    The fact that it was the (then) newly built Khalidiya Palace hotel didn’t seem to matter.

    While there is significant excess in the Middle East there is also significant good.

    The UAE government pays millions of dollars to set up schools, to help children, to feed the hungry, and a lot of it is done in Europe and the US.

    The UAE is also one of the few countries on the planet that ensures that its people get free schooling and free health care, providing free housing to many.

    I wish my country did that for me.

    All we have here is ignorance and envy fuelling hate.

    The only thing I would complain about thats mentioned here would be the accuracy of information all round.

    Anyone who believes the hype about Masdar definitely needs to take a nap

  19. Jaime

    Posts like this is why so many people ignore those who preach the green ideology. The notion of their being a car made out of gold is insane, not because of the cot but because it is impossible. Gold, even as an alloy is way too soft of a metal to be functional. Plus the numbers don’t match. It takes more than 1600 hp to propel a 3800 lb car a 1/4 mile in less then 7 seconds. Plus there would be no way to get enough traction with stock sized tires even if drag style tires were used. There simply would not be enough traction.

    This particular car is a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and it isn’t made of gold nor does it run on biofuel. Its shine comes from a special polishing technique which is meant to emulate chrome. Plus if it is using a biofuel the engine would have to work like a diesel engine, which would again add to the weight. Plus to get that kind of HP out of a diesel style engine would require large amounts of boost from the turbos which would in turn require large amounts of fuel , so much fuel that black carbon lased smoke would exit the tail pipe and collect on the car and ruin the shine.

    The real facts are this is a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren with about 620 hp from a supercharged V8 5.4 liter. The only gold in this car is in the jewelry of the douchebags driving the car.

  20. Jenn

    It a crime , go learn for your selves how cold is minded and then tell me it ok .
    we all through so much gold a way too and other minded metals .
    All our electric and vehicles should be easily unassembled and recycled in the country of purchase, give more jobs to locals and a clearer world .

    • cd

      Perhaps I misunderstood the article about the “gold” car, but why is it anyone’s business what this person buys, or how much is spent? And what does buying this car have to do with many people being poor?
      Is the writer suggesting that this rich person fix the economy in the area from his own pocket?
      I don’t think it is particularly fair that I have cereal for dinner sometimes while others are eating a big steak, or that I can’t buy fresh vegetables because they are too expensive. Yet, everyday folks throw out tons of food.
      However, I don’t want someone telling me what I can or can’t spend my money on. If I want to buy a ridiculous orange and pink fluffy hat that costs $60, but someone else thinks I should give the money to a poor person – that is none of their business. Although, I’d probably get a $7 hat, give the poor person $5, and save the rest …. but that’s not the point!
      There shouldn’t be cars and money anyway! They both get in the way of my life. People would be happier and healthier without cars and money. Just a thought.

  21. Mutputti

    I came here from a humor site where this is portrayed as a humorous example of a journalist who can’t do his/her background searches properly.
    6,68sec at 1/4mile is time that could be driven by a purpose built 3000hp drag racing car, with drag tires (not low profile street tyres, wich this seems to have) and without any heavy golden bling. 0-60mph on 2 secs on the other hand is way too long if you want to do a under 7 pass, easily googlable, if you care even a bit about the facts in your writing .
    There point of using bio fuel on high-powered cars isn’t really about nature, bees or flowers. It’s used because it has better octane rating than regular gas, so trough witchcraft that would prapably be too complicated for non-autoholic to understand, it makes more power. That’s why they use it in some of the high-end supercars on the market today, Koeniggsegg Agera R for example. This too, is foundable on the googles fist page if you search for “biofuel sports car”.
    If you hadn’t background checked even the most basic info about this car, you propably didn’t check anything else either?
    I call bullshit on this.
    Maybe a Late Aprils Fools?


    I higly doubt this is real. Its either a fake or a piece of engeneiering contradictions.

    Why devellop a quad turbo V10 when 10 isn’t a multiple of 4 ? Maybe there is 2 small turbos for low revs and two bigs for high revs. But develloping this system will be extremely costly. It appears to cost $2.5 million. If we say that the base car, and the personalisation worth one million, there is only 1.5 million for a “newly develloped” engine ?

    The perfomance also seem to be fantasy. For a Bugatti Veyron SS, 0-100 take rhougly 2.5 seconds and it has 1500 Nm passing by a 7 speed gearbox and 4 wheel drive. The base car has only two, and a maybach 5 speed auto. So, in that 1.5 million, we must count a new gearbox capable of handling rhougly 3 times more torque than a stock SLR ? And what tyres does it have ?

    Yeah, that being said, adding to the fact I can’t find any others basic caracteristics (engine size ? Number of gears ? Top speed ?…) make me think this is a fake, and a bad one.

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  28. Abubakarr

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    It is my pleasure to contact you for the purchase of products A/U Gold Dust and Gold bars which i have a direct seller that has pure gold for sales, if you are ready and willing to buy revert back to me immdiately. Indeed, the Seller is the right owner and the head of a local miners here in Sierra Leone, Ethopia & Ghana. His Company represents and helps a group of village Gold mining washers to buy locally from the miners and sell their natural noble metals; mainly A/U Gold Dust. But if you are not the buyer then you can link me up and stand for your commission only.

    My Seller has at present for 150kg of Gold dust whose characteristics are as follows: * Origin: Sierra Leone & Ghana West Africa here, and/or I also have an offices as well in Ethopia & Ghana now while the Quality is : 22 Karats + * Nature: Gold Dust * Rate of purity: 96.06%pure. Bear in mind my prcie is cheaper.

    If my proposal meets you in a favourable considerations to purchase, then revert back to me but be informed that if you really want to have my Seller products either you or your representative must come to see it physically because My Seller want to build trust with you as his foreign business partner that can never mess Him up because there are so many bad people today claiming what they can not do.

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  36. Riyad

    This article is so tainted, foiled over and full of heavy b.s. that it fails to take off despite the many angles of attack the columnist has tried to use to make it fly. The US military spends billions on over priced heavy plated armored polished fuel guzzling stuff for folks to drive around in aimlessly and then gets rid off it for cents on the dollar after a few rounds of sun n fun. Billionaires in the US or anywhere spend money on anything they want. get real Pico, the AbuDhabi, Gulf, Saudi and Masdar guys can and should do anything they dream off and can blow their money on.

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  53. Mark

    You do realise that the guy blasting past you on the freeway in his 10 year old pickup truck guzzling 4 gallons to the mile is the reason the gulf billionaires exist right?

    So unless we want to all buy electric cars or stick to carefully using what we can drill for in our own backyard, I would suggest we all get use to admiring how our hard earned money enbles the toys of the mideast rich and famous.

    If you dont Love being a wage slave to a mideast master.. then go buy a volt!

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  62. Ronni Ishaky

    It’s amazing that Arab people have such a hate for the west – that does take advantage of the poor – no argument there – but, what a waste. I don’t car if that car is white gold sheet metal or just foiled. One day the exploitation that happens right in the backyard of poor Arab countries, by their very own, will come come back to bit them in the a$$. Disgusting.

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  65. Khalid Nasser

    I actually live in the United Arab Emirates, and this picture has been around for quite a number of years. I recently had my wife’s car “foiled” which means covering it with a thin shiny plastic covering which (apart from changing the colour) means that the underneath paint lasts longer, and you don’t get paint chips and sand damage.This SLR looks “foiled”. There was a similar job in progress with a Rolls Royce just when my wife’s car was being done.And as for the “biodiesel” comment – probably more urban legend. None of the filling stations in UAE sell biodiesel and it is only currently available by the tanker load imported from Europe.Oh, and Masdar is a fabulous project. Neutrally yours,Karl

    You are absolutely right Karl =) thanks for explaining that.

  66. Khalid Nasser

    Hmmm actually its only foiled with chrome aluminium just like the black matte foils, and sometimes its just polish which in the greatest extent would cost US$ 10,000. ^_^

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  72. Malcolm Harrison

    Good comment. IF it is actually white gold, then what is the point? The Wow factor and its so called green fuel is completely over shadowed by this display of indifference to the call for some restraint in our use of material resources. It’s just a nonsense.


  73. lord muc

    this is actually waste of money and wouldnt it be faulty again or die and leave all these worldly things behind for judgment? let reason or think of the poors a little when buying some things.

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  76. eric

    I guess if you have the money too piss away ity’s o.k. but youn can bet your balls to barndance ALA will not see it that way.

  77. the question guy

    I often pause to think about the political aspects of a story like this. Was this dreamed up by someone to generate a little more hatred towards rich Arabs? After all if you can hate a wealthy Arab, its easier to hate all of them because it’s easy to paint “them as all the same.”

    Just wondering.

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  80. John T

    Great pics.

    I really do despise know-alls, bullshitting on the coating, saying it is white gold.

    It is actually anodised & lacquered electrobrightened aluminium.

  81. _RC_

    Anyone who knows something about cars will be able to tell you that this is a hoax story. The paint job, the 1/4 mile time etc. are all total nonsense.

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  83. deuanhardy

    Don't believe a word of the solid gold bit. Even with 9 carat gold, it would weigh several tons. At that weight, I doubt 1600 hp would be enough to reach anything like the performance figures quoted.Anything below 9 parts in 24 gold content can't legally be described as gold anywhere.More details, please for a better article.Deuan

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  85. kwfkwf

    I actually live in the United Arab Emirates, and this picture has been around for quite a number of years. I recently had my wife's car “foiled” which means covering it with a thin shiny plastic covering which (apart from changing the colour) means that the underneath paint lasts longer, and you don't get paint chips and sand damage.This SLR looks “foiled”. There was a similar job in progress with a Rolls Royce just when my wife's car was being done.And as for the “biodiesel” comment – probably more urban legend. None of the filling stations in UAE sell biodiesel and it is only currently available by the tanker load imported from Europe.Oh, and Masdar is a fabulous project. Neutrally yours,Karl


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