Name: Kaylie Thomson
Nationality: New Zealand
Occupation: Corporate Services Manager (Corporate Banking)
Vehicle: Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 2013
Tell us the background story of the car…
My first off-road vehicle was a Jeep Wrangler TJ (2002), a much older model than my current Jeep but it had so many problems (it was named the Lemon!). I spent too much time in workshops and not enough time in the sand! So I bought my Rubicon (Ruby), which was in the first batch of GCC spec Rubicon’s for sale in the UAE – it was the last one left on the shop floor, so it was just waiting for me! Since then we have been inseparable.
What modifications have been made, performance and cosmetic wise?
I wanted to keep it relatively simple and avoid modifications to the engine itself, but of course, wanted more power to climb those big dunes in Liwa. So gradually I made some modifications to it including a 2.5inch lift (for better clearance) with bigger tires and installed a snorkel, new Rubicon bumper and hood, as well as a winch and a cat back system.
Do you have something that you consider to be a ‘special feature’ of the car?
The colour of my jeep is Rock Lobster red which was only available on the 2013 models so it is unique because it’s not really red and not really pink, so it generates a lot of debate!
What were your other options before you bought this car?
No other options really – it was only going to be a JEEP! (jeeper for life!)
How often do you use your car, and what activities do you take part in?
It is my everyday vehicle as well as my offroading vehicle so I’m driving it every day. Most weekends I go to the desert for driving or camping (or both). I’m definitely much more of an outdoor person than a city girl! As I am a Marshal with Abu Dhabi 4×4 club I regularly lead or support trips with the club, which is great because I meet so many cool people and it is very satisfying introducing other people to the desert life. In the cooler months I try to get to Liwa as much as possible to play in the big dunes, however, in the summer I stay nearer to Dubai and drive at a lower level – I don’t want to be outside in the summer heat fixing pop outs or doing recoveries if I can help it!
4×4 do you dream of owning?
The new Jeep Wrangler JL – next on my list! ■
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