In a rather Kafkaesque moment for most people in Afghanistan, the Taliban leadership unveiled the country’s first indigenously developed and produced ‘supercar.’ Of all the people in the extremist group in control of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s minister for Higher Education, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, unveiled the Mada 9 prototype supercar, developed and made by a company called ENTOP.
The prototype, which looks very sleek and aggressive, was built over five years by a team of 30 engineers at the ENTOP and Kabul’s Afghanistan Technical Vocational Institute.
A modified Toyota engine currently powers the prototype. The Head of ATVI, Ghulam Haidar Shahamat, told Afghanistan’s TOLO News that the Toyota Corolla engine had been modified in such a way that ‘if you increase the speed, its powerful enough to take it,’ but claimed ENTOP intends to install an electric powertrain in the Mada 9 at a later date.
At the unveiling, Haqqani gave an impassioned speech at the car’s unveiling at ENTOP headquarters, extolling the scientific values of Afghanistan and claiming the car was proof of the regime’s commitment to providing ‘religious and modern sciences for its people.’
Meanwhile, ENTOP’s CEO, Mohammad Riza Ahmadi, told TOLO News that he hoped the supercar would ‘convey the value of knowledge to the people’ and help to boost Afghanistan’s image on the world stage. “It will start its journey in Afghanistan and one day maybe go international,” he told TOLO News reporters.
A tweet by Ahmadi on New Year’s Eve read, “I thank God very much that I was able to finish the construction of Afghanistan’s first car.”
“I would like to thank the great national businessmen and the dear people of Afghanistan who stood by my side during this time.”
Its capabilities on the road remain to be seen – the vehicle is immobile in almost all footage circulating on social media, and ENTOP has not released any performance data whatsoever.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid proudly posted images of the car on social media and said its construction was an ‘honor’ for the whole country.