Goodbye, totsiens, auf wiedersehen, arrivederci, au revoir, ciao 

AFTERgoodbye 35 years of testing cars and tyres, writing about the motor industry and covering motor sport events across the globe, the time has arrived for yours truly to hang up his driving gloves, in a manner of speaking, and take the next step on my road to retirement (not that I will ever retire completely!).

It has been an incredible journey. When I started out in 1979 as motoring editor of a large Afrikaans newspaper, I never ever envisioned seeing the world, driving cars we could only hope to see in South Africa in those early days, covering motorsport events across the globe – from Grands Prix to WRC events – and visiting all the major manufacturing plants, from east to west and all the way up north.

Read more [+]

Infiniti QX30: a premium active crossover for all purposes

infinitiCREATED for a new generation of premium buyers, the QX30 boasts a purposeful appearance that makes a bold visual statement – and joins the Q30 as part of Infiniti’s new premium compact model line-up.

Remaining true to the powerful and elegant design cues that guided the original QX30 concept, the car’s highly sculpted exterior, unique crossover stance and asymmetric cabin design exemplify Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development.

Read more [+]

Toyota Land Cruiser 200: The ‘Master of Africa’ remastered

cruiser1THE name Land Cruiser conjures up images of great open plains, towering sand dunes and imposing cliff faces. The Land Cruiser range has earned the enviable title of Master of Africa, as its legendary go-anywhere ability has been proven time and again across divergent terrain.

The new 2015 Land Cruiser 200 builds upon the rock solid foundation of its forefathers and adds a host of technological advancements – which makes this the best and most capable Land Cruiser ever.

The first thing you are likely to notice about the new Land Cruiser 200 is its powerful and prominent front façade. The new large chrome grille projects a sense of solidity and strength, and underpins the completely restyled headlight clusters. The grille comprises two parts, an upper half and lower half. Read more [+]

The new Audi RS3 Sportback: Power in a compact form

audi1THE unmistakable soundtrack, exhilarating free-revving and brawny power – the five-cylinder engine from Audi is legendary. It is for this reason that it has won the famed International Engine of the Year award for six consecutive years in its category. This engine makes its return in the new Audi RS3 Sportback, producing 270 kW of unbridled power and 465 Nm of torque. The 2.5 TFSI accelerates the five-door model from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds.

Read more [+]

Volkswagen introduces the new Caddy

VOLKSWAGEN Commercial Vehicles has launched the fourth generation of its hugely popular Caddy in South Africa. Around 1.5 million units (23 400 sold in South Africa) of the third generation model were sold worldwide during its eleven years in production.

The new Caddy has been enhanced and refined in every area to ensure that it continues to be the benchmark in its segment.  At launch, three variants are available, namely Panel Van, Crew Bus and Trendline. The Alltrack variant, which replaces the CrossCaddy, will be available early in 2016.

Read more [+]

Mercedes-Benz GLE: Efficiency meets performance

mercgle1MERCEDES-BENZ has thoroughly revised its best-seller in the SUV segment. The highlights of the new GLE include considerably more appealing front and tail ends and extensive measures which make new benchmarks with regard to emissions and drive system possible. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions across the engine range are reduced by 17 percent on average compared with the predecessor model series. The advantages of the new GLE include optimum on-road and off-road handling, outstanding spaciousness and high levels of active and passive safety.

Read more [+]

Foton to enter SUV market in SA in 2016

foton1FOTON, one of the largest and most successful vehicle manufacturers in China, is set to make its first foray into the South African sports utility vehicle (SUV) market next year when it launches its competitively-priced Sauvana. The model name is derived from the Spanish word “savannah”, which means a tropical plateau, and emphasises the vehicle’s go-anywhere capability.

The Sauvana has just been launched at an international event in the United States using its American-designed Cummins engine as a major marketing tool. This is the first ever SUV to feature a Cummins engine.

The Sauvana is a hardcore, large-size SUV powered by the 2.8-litre Cummins turbo-diesel engine that is already fitted to Foton’s Tunland range of premium class bakkies which have been on sale locally since 2012. Designed and developed under the code name U201, the Sauvana is a body-on-frame design which offers rear-wheel or all-wheel drive options with low range. There will be the option of a 5 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic transmission.

Read more [+]

Volvo Cars unveils global electrification strategy

volvoVOLVO CARS has announced one of the automotive industry’s most comprehensive electrification strategies wherein plug-in hybrids will be introduced across its entire range. The Swedish carmaker will develop an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars and build a fully electric car for sale by 2019.

As part of this new strategy, Volvo Cars says it expects electrified vehicles to account for up to 10 per cent of total car sales in the medium term.

Read more [+]

The new Suzuki Vitara: A new direction, but the spirit lives on!

suzuki1THE Suzuki Vitara has been an enduring success since the Japanese automaker launched the first Vitara 27 years ago. At the time, the notion of a compact SUV was as unique as it was novel, and in that sense, the Vitara – and the Grand Vitara that succeeded it – pioneered the small SUV/crossover segment long before it became a recognised trend.

Almost three decades later, Suzuki is launching an all-new Vitara that builds on the SUV spirit of the original Vitara.

Totally re-imagined and completely new from the ground up, the new Vitara combines a contemporary, streamlined shape with the raised stance of an authentic compact SUV, but also offers a spacious, car-like interior with comprehensive appointments. At the same time, a combination of sleek aerodynamics, low kerb weight and an efficient drivetrain ensures that the Vitara scores high marks as far as fuel economy and CO2 emissions are concerned.

Read more [+]

Peugeot 208 Pop Art: Pay less, play more

popart1PEUGEOT South Africa has added a special, high-value Pop Art model to its newly re-energised 208 hatchback range. The newcomer combines the 208’s refreshed aesthetic appeal to agile road manners and the economy of Peugeot’s advanced PureTech engine technology – all at a value-added price point.

The Pop Art benefits from the recent updates to the entire 208 range. These include a wider, more powerful grille now smoothly integrated with the new, colour-coded front bumper for a sleeker, more sophisticated look.

Read more [+]