Over the weekend Gulfnews.com reported that police in Dubai had arrested a young motorist as part of a crackdown on illegal street-racing in the oil-rich Emirate. Nothing new there: as part of the operation 120 vehicles have already been seized and 1,700 motorists cautioned for causing disturbances on the road.
What makes this case unique was that the car involved was a Nissan Patrol, modified to run on jet fuel and during the chase it reached speeds in excess of 350km/h (217mph).
Dubai’s Director of the Traffic Department, Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein said after receiving complaints of street racing the police ordered the Nissan Patrol driver and the driver of an unnamed car that he was racing to pull over - an order that both drivers ignored. A high speed chase was only brought to an end when, in an attempt to avoid spike strips on the road, the driver of the Nissan pulled into a residential area and took refuge in a house where he was arrested.
Upon inspecting the SUV the police found it to be modified to run on jet fuel with a separate tank located in the boot. The engine was also fitted with an oversized turbo and a custom ECU.
Unfortunately we suspect something has been lost (or more so gained) in translation, as after exhaustive research it looks like jet fuel is an unlikely culprit. Being kerosene based, jet fuel is more suited to diesel applications and while diesel Nissan Patrols are popular the world over, in Dubai it is the large capacity petrol engines that are king.
The current Patrol uses a 400hp 5.6-litre V8 engine but reports suggest it is the older 248hp 4.6-litre version that is more popular with tuners in Dubai, with some engines known to run in excess of 1,000hp. Avgas (the stuff used in older piston-engine airplanes) is more likely to have been used in a petrol engine but that doesn't make the story, or the car, any less cool.