As a young girl, Alex Hirschi drove a plain-Jane Mitsubishi for years. Now, at 30, she corrals a supercar stable that would make anyone jealous. A popular social influencer in Dubai, Hirschi is living what many car-lovers would consider the dream — she drives supercars for a living. “I’ve driven Ferrari 488 GTB, the 488 Spider, the Mclaren 570s and 540c, the Bentley GT3R, GT Speed and V8s, Mercedes AMG GTs, Lamborghini Huracan, and many others.”
Driving fast and expensive cars isn’t all about publicly defeating physics; the attention-drawing butterfly doors invite gawkers on the street as well. But Hirschi is used to it.
“The best thing about driving supercars is the way it makes me feel. It’s so much fun that I often find myself laughing behind the wheel. I’ve always loved driving, even when I was driving my very first car — a Mitsubishi Lancer,” says the keen motor enthusiast, who grew up in Queensland, Australia.
But stepping behind the wheel of a Ferrari, or a Lamborghini or a McLaren — the loud, large engines — takes the appreciation factor up by “1,000 fold,” she confesses. “It’s a rush!”
She did laps with Stig from Top Gear on a track in the UAE, and even drove the Batmobile — the apotheosis of beautiful, fast cars — from the 1989 Batman movie.
And, when she’s not reviewing a supercar, she drives her own BMW i8 — dubbed The Silent Beast.
For car fangirl Hirschi, four-wheel driving is not a transport mode, but a machine to be enjoyed. She says, “In Dubai, we spend too much of our lives in cars; we shouldn’t be wasting it in something boring, but rather enjoy every minute in something we love and appreciate.”
Not surprisingly then, under her Instagram moniker Supercar Blondie, Hirschi takes her half a million followers for a hot ride, be it a super fast police car or a prancing Italian stallion. “I have around 800,000 followers on Instagram, 3,200,000 followers on Facebook, and just over 10,000 on YouTube,” says Hirschi, who worked as a radio presenter and host for a drive radio show in Dubai before moving full-time into the supercar world this year.
“I started my social media accounts in early 2016 just for fun, but when [my] following started to grow, I worked on them pretty much every hour after work and on the weekends,” she says.
Growing the brand was a gradual process but a regular audience soon developed. Perhaps being based in the supercar capital of the world, with its splashy vibes, has helped her to accumulate such a massive fan following. “I have used the opportunity of living in Dubai to create an account like this [Supercar Blondie]. It is amazing to live in a city where supercars are seen on a daily basis. I realized if I loved seeing them, then there must be people elsewhere who’d love to see them as well, so I started documenting it,” says Hirschi.
But since there are numerous car accounts on social media, Hirschi decided to do things “differently” to stand out. “Instead of reviewing a car, I upload my experience of that car, from a layman’s point of view. I am not an automotive journalist. I provide insight into the supercar culture and what it’s like to drive these incredible cars in a light, fun way.”
“The most difficult thing is to constantly come up with new ideas and interesting content,” she adds.
Being a supercar owner, a social influencer and a car reviewer has turned her into a “hybrid,” she says. “In some car events, I’m mistaken for reviewer while I’m there as an owner, and at other times, I’m keen to cover a media event, but am not invited because I’m seen as a owner. There is also confusion over whether I’m a car reviewer or an influencer. I guess I can’t be simply put in a box.”
Now, brands have started to recognize her reach. “Brands advertise on radio stations, TV channels to reach viewers, it’s the same thing on social media as well. But the Middle East still has some catching up to do when it comes reaching various demographic groups using social media,” says Hirschi.
Hirschi has had many “pinch-me” moments, but the one trip she made with Supercars Club Arabia, less than a year ago, changed her life. “I met up with 60 other supercar owners near UAE-Saudi Arabia border, and we were escorted by Dubai Police Supercars – with a LaFerrari leading our convoy— and a helicopter throughout our trip. It was incredible, and that’s the moment I decided to quit my job on the radio, and go full-time with my social media.”
But it’s clear that it’s still the actual cars that Hirschi is most passionate about, rather than the glamor that comes with her lifestyle. “I am living my dream, but it’s not all rainbows and lollipops.” She receives negative comments too, and gets plenty of hatred, just like anyone posting online. “Social media can often take over your life. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of hate I would get from keyboard warriors. I’m learning how to turn away from those who make it their mission to bring me down.”
“However, I’m really lucky to have people who understand what I’m doing. This wasn’t handed to me on a platter, I stepped out of my comfort zone and figured out a way to get to where I am.”