UAE-built EV Sebring Turbo sportscar

This is the stuff electric dreams are made of. We have to go ‘Back to the Future’!

By Shahzad Sheikh

Electric Sebring TurbElectric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubaio in Dubai

There are dreamers and there are doers. Mohammed Al Musleh is both. His dreams are not about winning the lottery, marrying a supermodel or world peace… actually scratch that. These probably do form part of the many mostly outlandish dreams that Musleh seems to, well, dream up. But whereas that shortlist would be sufficient to occupy ordinary people’s daytime delusions, Musleh is on level ‘expert’.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

He dreams of machines and inventions, of electricity and probably of 1.21 Gigawatts. Ladies and gentleman, I give you a real life Doctor Emmett Brown. Or he would be if he was quite a bit older, had unruly white hair and his eyes were… well in fact his gaze is actually sharp, alert, slightly wild and seemingly focussed on far-flung concepts way beyond our comprehension. Besides he is wearing a ‘Back to the Future’ T-shirt.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

If he isn’t quite Doc Brown today, you get the impression one day he will be. And like Doc Brown, once he makes stuff up in his head, he makes stuff up in his lab. Or rather the engineering lab in Heriot Watt University Dubai Campus, which he manages. I’m not talking a wood work lamp or a transistor radio. No he makes cars – like the super-sleek projectile you see in these images.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

A Masters holder and an Electronics Engineer, he is currently working on a degree in new energy. Meanwhile Musleh has already realised at least one of his electric dreams by building the most spectacular home-grown ode to alternative fuel motoring Dubai has ever seen.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

It’s not his first electric car, he previously built a yellow Beetle with running purely on battery power (he’s a bit of a Beetle fanatic and generally has several lying around) but that still looked like a normal car. This time he decided to go with something that resembled the Buck Rogers version of Doc Brown’s DeLorean. ‘The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?’

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

And the UAE-built EV is a Time Machine, of sorts anyway, or perhaps an alternative reality machine, for it depicts a future – or a distinct other universe – in which electric cars are real, they work, they look like they are shearing the fabric of time and space standing still, and they inspire kids in universities to dream big, dream crazy, and act on those dreams.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

When we posted pictures of this car and Musleh on our social media channels, several students recognised him and mentioned his amazing collection of cars. He clearly inspires respect, inventiveness and a desire to create and innovate. Despite his Beetle-mania obsession, he confesses he is not as much into cars, as he is into machines.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

‘I like machines, I like to make things. The good thing about cars is that I can take them out and show people,’ says Musleh. And that’s a very valid and important point. Technology in labs is boring and unreal to ordinary people. Technology out and about gets jaws-dropping, fingers-pointing and questions-asking – ‘wha… wha… what IS that?!’

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

What it is, is a Sebring Turbo. Although that’s actually just one of the names that this 1970s bodykit had – it’s also known as the Nova and Cumbria and they all originated from the Sterling kit car of 1973, which could be self-built onto a donor car, the donor car being, of course, a Volkswagen Beetle. Like we said, he’s got a thing for bugs.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

This superbug doesn’t even have doors, it has a fighter-jet style canopy that lifts up on hydraulic stilts – revealing a very 70s-style blocky wooden dashboard, classic dials, knobs and switches and an eyeball gearknob. Plus it has pop-up lights. Those are deal-clinchers. We’re sold!

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

If you did buy it, you could drive it. Musleh does, often. But how do you get this thing passed and registered onto Dubai plates? With some effort it would seem: ‘I had to have a couple of meetings with an RTA committee to convince them that it was safe and get them to approve it for registration,’ explains the soft-spoken inventor.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

This after having spent all of last summer in the lab building it. He sourced parts online and had them imported, then scoured local salvage places to find bits and pieces that he could use. The result is a three-phase induction motor at the back that is supplied by a bank of batteries producing 72 Volts of DC current (yeah ok, not quite 1.21 Gigawatts, but hey, who’s counting). That is then converted to AC. Why? Because it is easier to control and provides regenerative charging – clever!

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

And brave. To imagine, to source, to build, to persist, to register, and to regularly use something like this in the UAE. Man, that takes balls. And the car has those too. A pair of batteries make up its dangly bits at the back.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

Madcap Musleh is as zany as they come and he’s not shy to employ humour to get people engaged in concepts that may appear barmy at first, but raise interest and pressing questions. Questions like, just how will we all drive cool-looking cars when the oil runs dry? A very important question I think you’ll agree – seeing as you’re an MME reader.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

As far as Musleh is concerned, to find an answer he is prepared to go to the future. That’s why he is converting this car into Doc Brown’s time machine. He has bought, or is building, the bits that Marty McFly used in the trilogy including the date-set device, read-out displays, the wind-up clock, a Mr Fusion ‘Home Energy Reactor’ and even a FLUX CAPACITOR!

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

Okay, okay, he hasn’t lost it. He knows this stuff won’t work for real. But again he’s having a bit of fun with his latest creation. And his ‘Back to the Future’ theme is pertinent and relevant.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

We need more slightly nutty and would-be geniuses in the world right now, and hopefully Musleh will inspire more mad inventors to emerge from right here in the Middle East.

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

Imagine if the answer to the world’s inevitable oncoming energy crisis also comes from the home of oil – wouldn’t that be ironic? In the meantime I’ve got to go hitch a ride in the Time Machine. We may be gone some time, or perhaps just a blink of an eye.

Great Scott! I wonder if the Sebring Turbo can hit 88mph?!

Electric Sebring Turbo kit car in Dubai

2 responses to “UAE-built EV Sebring Turbo sportscar”

  1. David says:

    Electric cars are evolving in a way that they will eventually become common place in the future. This car is very cool, Its refreshingly clean and simple compared to gas cars we know are made overly complex to be more environmental friendly but are not, so lets build more DIY electric cars. http://www.SterlingSportsCars.com

  2. Pepe Fernandez says:

    How much money kit Electricar for mi sterling chassis WV?
    From Madrid Spain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *