Month: May 2017

We drive the new Suzuki Ignis

Suzuki Ignis

On launch with the new Suzuki Ignis

I would have loved to have been in the room when the briefing on the new Suzuki Ignis was created. It would have been quite the meeting when the car designs came in. It would have been a shock, but a good one, I thought as I sat on a flight from Jozi Town to the beautiful, but waterless Cape Town for the local media launch of Suzuki’s latest vehicle!

We arrived in a semi-wet Cape Town in the evening and then made our way to a studio which could only be described as a “watch this space” moment for SA television where the Ignis launch happened. Besides the culling of a few local beers from the waiter, the night ran without glitch and when the Ignis was revealed halfway through a light supper, we were greeted by a design that is nothing short of amazing and youthful, backed by one of my favorite tunes, “Hey Hey” by Dennis Ferrer danced to by some “Panstula dancers”.

So, what do you get with this new offering from our Japanese friends? For a price of R169 000 of your hard earned Madiba’s, you get a Crossover hatchback with the 1.2-litre four-pot, an engine from the Suzuki Swift, with a power output of 61 kW and 113 N.m and yes, this won’t get you a new quarter mile record, but will keep up with traffic surprisingly well, and that is aided by having a kerb weight of just 850 kilograms. This translated into some good fuel numbers too, but to be honest, pointed into some curvy roads in the Cape, that went out of the window as we wanted to see what this little offering from Suzuki could do. This little car has a design that is robust and harks back to Suzuki’s from yesteryear.

Suzuki Ignis

In the Cape air, the little Suzuki Ignis immediately blazed its way from the beautiful accommodation in Tableview towards wine county. From a convenience perspective, you immediately feel at home as all you need is your phone cable and the vehicle comes alive as you have connection with ease. Being six foot and still carrying weight from December, space is not an issue but I did fail the “sit behind you test” thanks to my awkward torso to leg ratio. The model that we had was the GLX version which is the top of range model. The motor is the same but the changes are the spec level and for the extra amount of R20 000, you get among other things, LED headlights, as well as daytime running lights, folding electric mirrors, auto aircon, you get the drift. For an entry level vehicle, the Ignis is very well specced and you find yourself lacking for very little. Chasing the Suzuki Ignis through some very windy roads, highlighted that you will not be getting a dull drive. Most cars in this segment suffer from a surprising amount of understeer dialed into the chassis for safety reasons but we found this little car to be very flat though the corners and would welcome more power to explore the chassis a bit more.

There is an auto variant of the Ignis which Suzuki does stress is not a conventional Auto with a torque convertor but rather, a manual clutch system that has it clutch operated by robotics. All I could hear here was BMW’s SMG gearbox that had you nodding all over town and almost crashing while trying to parallel park. Hopefully, this will not be the case with the Suzuki Ignis and we will get to sample this gearbox in due course. We ended up at a wine farm which was a lunch and wine tasting (read responsible) were at the backdrop of one if the oldest family run wine farms in South Africa, the Ignis was right at home. We left the venue running slightly behind schedule heading direction airport and this spirited drive through some glorious roads proved that this will be a loved little car that will be fun to drive on a daily basis.

Knowing the South African market, Suzuki needs to market this little car well as if people get to experience it, they will sell loads of these. Being a car community that is very brand conscious who tends to favour the hijack favorite Polo Vivo, people need to look at other makes and realise that there is life, and awesome cars outside Germany and this little Ignis proves that. You get Japanese reliability, cheeky and quirky design and the 2017 European World Urban Car of the year and you have a recipe for success. Open your eyes SA, you have and awesome little car right under your noses. Test-drive one and see what we are talking about!

Is the BMW 440i Coupe a poor man’s M4?

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

Poor mans M4? Our thoughts on the new BMW 440i Coupe

I read somewhere that the BMW 440i Coupe was referred to as the poor man’s M4. This unfortunately highlights the gap in knowledge that this person has regarding the differences between these two variants from BMW.

Look at this example, you have two sons from the same parents who are quite close in age. As they get older, one is built like a rugby player and loves sports, while the other one is leaner takes up piano lessons. The one brother has a taste for Sade, Norah Jones and UB40, while the other is a David Guetta and fan and attends a festival known as “Ultra”. As much as they come from the same family, have the same DNA and a similar disposition, they differ immensely in terms of personality, interests and even appearance.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

That is exactly what happened in Bavaria between these two six-cylinder siblings. The 440i is the all round nice guy, who is a gentleman and still opens the door for his lady.  The M4 on other hand is the rebel. This is the one that will string along a couple of girls and be out until 05:00 but still make it for gym at 06:30. Thereafter, this will be followed by his business presentation in front of the board at 09:00.

That’s who these two cars are aimed at, different people who have wildly different tastes. Having sampled the previous 435i (for two years actually) most things seem quite the same. It was when I got into the BMW 440i Coupe, hit that Start button and fired the new in-line six, that I felt something had changed. A deeper, more throatier noise came from the dual exhausts and it immediately gets the blood flowing smoothly. From take off, as well as driving in traffic, the change is quite apparent, all thanks to the new engine. The new 440i sports what the Bavarian’s call the B58 in-line 6 cylinder. Yes this is similar to the previous engine but features lighter materials and increased power, an extra 15 kW and 50 N.m to be exact. The result is a “smooth as butter” 240kW and 450Nm power-plant. This doesn’t sound like much of an improvement but trust me, it is.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

From just beyond tick over the torque makes itself known and you can ride the wave and drive the vehicle briskly, without having the tachometer even brush the naughty side of 4 500 rpm. This is unlike the M4, which tends to spike in torque, causing fun yet unexpected oversteer. The 440i is sharp when you need it to be and in my opinion pips the M4 on everyday drivability. It is able to put its power down more comfortably and with more confidence than its more muscular brother.

Styling revisions have been made in line with the engine change as well. This can be seen in tweaked front and rear bumpers, more pronounced front and rear LED lights and an array of new colours from BMW’s new colour palette. Inside, the revisions continue with the new iDrive system, similar to the one found in the G30 5 Series. Further to this, the dash has the option of the new Multi-function display which seems to raise cabin standards to spaceship chic. A must if you ask me.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

The drive as mentioned is just superb. Power is delivered through the familiar BMW channels. An Eight speed Sport Auto from ZF which links to the rear axle, leaving the front end with the simple job of steering. This setup seems like it’s going to be a rare thing in the future, with sports cars and sports sedans giving you more power than sense. Communication from the front axle is good, but I would have liked a more communicative steering. Understandably, the setup is orientated more to comfort as the majority of drivers won’t care for the feeling us journalists want. In fairness, the BMW does a good job of letting you know how much grip the front end has in brisk driving scenarios. BMW’s have always been tail-happy and the 440i is no exception. Turn in into some of your favourite corners and you can feel the rear come alive and the traction control light flicker. The driving modes, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus change the characteristics of the car, specifically Sport Plus mode. In this mode, the threshold for the DSC has been moved slightly so you can explore the limits of mechanical grip without hurting yourself. 

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

Overall, the BMW 440i coupe is a package that is very hard to beat. It’s quick with 0-100km/h done in just  5,2 seconds. It’s balanced and will give you all you need for everyday use in a package that is easy to work with. The car allows you to build your confidence and enjoy it, even if you’re a novice. That is where you start seeing the difference again in personality. The 440i is the car you want to drive to nine tenths everyday, something that you cannot do in the M4 which requires a skill set that the average driver does not possess. If you used the same driving principles from the 440i in the M4, it would end in a spectacularly bad fashion, one that would get a couple hundred thousand views on Youtube. Is it then the poor man’s M4? Not at all! It’s the sensible man’s everyday sports coupe.

 

9 reasons why the Polo R Line is the perfect premium city car.

VW Polo R Line in South Africa

VW Polo R Line: The perfect premium city hatchback?

Volkswagen’s latest Polo, the Polo R line edition could be described as the perfect premium city hatchback. Here are 9 reasons to back this statement up:

 

  • 3 Cylinder Engine

The 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine featured in the Polo R produces 81 kW and 160 N.m. This small engine provides zippy performance and is very quiet in the lower rev range. Its perfect for the city hussle and bussle.

  • DSG Gearbox

The DSG gearbox in the Polo R line takes the annoyance away of gear changing, something which gets emphasized in city traffic. Its delicately smooth and has a sports option if you’re feeling a little cheeky.

 

  • Fuel Economy

With 4.4 l/100km combined in the fuel economy department, the Polo R Line will cut back your fuel bills and help the environment thanks to only having 3-cylinders. Give this little car some right foot though and you might find that number start to rise – these little engines tend to drink fuel when pushed.

  • Styling

The Polo R line is graced with its very own R line bodykit which gives a much bolder and sportier look over a standard Polo. It also comes standard with 17” Serron alloys. This Polo definitely looks the part for the modern city, especially in our test colour of Flash Red. Most off all, it still looks smart, neat and professional.

  • Media Interface

Our Polo R line featured the Composition Media Package which provides 6 good quality speakers, a large display, a mobile phone interface and a USB and auxiliary input. It is a fantastic premium system with lots of onboard vehicle related tech such as the blue economy driving system.Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Taking the media interface one step further is the integrated mobile systems. For example, plug in your iPhone and an Apple’s CarPlay interface is displayed on screen which allows access to music, maps, messages and more through an interface you understand and enjoy.

  • Parking

Being a Polo, it’s small and nimble which makes it a breeze to park and fit into small spaces. Aiding the driver further with this is front and rear parking sensors, along with a reverse camera.

  • Premium Features

The Polo R line features other premium options such as LED headlights, the light & vision package which features auto dimming rear view mirror, a rain sensor and automatic headlights. This car also features an electric sunroof with set modes for different levels of opening all controlled by a nifty roof mounted nozzle.

  • Price

Our test Volkswagen Polo R Line is priced at R290 000 which we think is great considering the premium options. For that price, you get a very nice city car with some very cool options for the young person, which adds style and makes your life easier.

After spending a week in the new Volkswagen Polo R line, we think it is a great car for the city, it stands out and gives you some nice premium features. It is definitely a really good option for the young and trendy South African wanting to look professional while making their way up in the world.

New BMW M5 will feature xDrive!

New BMW M5

End of an era? New BMW M5 xDrive

Anybody who knows me will know what I think of the BMW M5 – it’s flipping marvellous! With each generation, BMW has managed to wow the world with one marvel or another, be it the fastest saloon in the world, a V10 for the whole family to enjoy or independent throttle butterflies for each cylinder. If none of this enough, one just has to look at the past 5 M5’s, each of which has had a completely different appeal but with the same core ingredients – four doors, lots of power, delicious balance and rear-wheel drive.

New BMW M5

So you can imagine the absolute chaos amongst the M5 die-hards when BMW announced that the F90 generation would feature all-wheel drive. Cue the pitchforks. But not all is lost…

Dubbed M xDrive, it works in conjunction with the DSC system to allow for 5 different setups when combining either DSC on, MDM and DSC off with 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. Yes, you can have 2WD only #relief.

Connected to whichever assortment of wheels you choose is the latest version of the now familiar S63B44 twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, now churning out over 450 kW and 700 N.m. All this power to all four wheels should result in 0-100km/h in the region of 3.5 seconds and brutal in-gear acceleration. Controversially, and there’s always controversy with an M-car, the F90 will only come with a ZF 8-Speed automatic. Yes, that’s right, a torque converter. Automatic gearboxes are so slick these days that the added production and maintenance costs of a dual-clutch system are no longer necessary in order get the required performance. M-DCT systems are known for overheating after a few full-bore launches but there’s no need to worry now thanks to the inherent strength of a torque converter setup.

What will it look like? A 5 Series with a big chin and four exhaust tips. What will it cost? Many many of your Rands. Will it be worth it? You bet your aunt Felicia.

 

Hot hatch bonanza: Renault Clio R.S launched.

Renault Clio R.S South Africa

Renault Clio R.S launched in South Africa

The Renault Clio is a car that has won the heart of many a petrol head due to its boisterous attitude and nimble chassis. When it comes to hot hatches, handling is everything and that is something the fast Clio’s have always had on their side. Despite being late to the turbocharging game, the naturally aspirated Clio 3 was a car that still made grown men very happy. This was further amplified when the Clio 4 debuted with a turbocharged engine. Now with its recently face-lifted body, the new Renault Clio R.S comes out aggressively in two derivatives, LUX and TROPHY. Here’s what you need to know:

The Renault Clio R.S LUX is the more docile of the range, featuring 147 kW it still packs a punch, especially due to the fact that it’s mated to a fast changing 6-speed EDC gearbox. It rides standard on 17 inch wheels and looks just as good as the TROPHY, only a bit calmer. The TROPHY on the other hand produces 162 kW, has 18inch wheels and wait for it…an Akrapovic exhaust as standard. The TROPHY is also 20mm lower in the front and 10mm lower in the rear, compared to the LUX model – making it more eager to take corners faster. The R.S comes with a clever electronic differential to make sure you can put that power down effectively. As we all know, you’re only as good as the amount of traction you have, so if you can’t put your power down you may as well stay at home. To further aid that, the R.S has launch control so you can get off the line in a glorious manner, should you bump into a Ford Fiesta ST200.

The Renault Clio is a car that has won the heart of many a petrol head due to its

The Renault Clio is a car that has won the heart of many a petrol head due to its

Of course tech is a must in this segment and the Renault Clio R.S comes chockablock with cool toys to keep the little boy or girl in you alive. The R.S Monitor for instance allows you to play with various vehicle settings. R.S Drive lets you choose between a Normal, Sport and Race mode, the same way you would in other luxury marques. A 7-inch infotainment screen comes standard with features like USB, Auxiliary input and Bluetooth streaming too. The car also includes a keyless card system for convenient access into the vehicle. Obviously one can expect that Renault would make systems such as ESC, ABS and EBD standard, which they have, so you can rest assured that you won’t lock up into a tree under heavy breaking.

The Renault Clio is a car that has won the heart of many a petrol head due to its

 

We’ve saved the best for last – the new Clio R.S’s looks. Hands down, this has got to be one of the nicest looking hot hatches available. Who can say their fog lamps are LED’s in the shape of a checkered flag? Only R.S drivers. Yes, Renault seems to always have their bravery suits on when it comes to styling their cars. For instance, why not slap on some Gold/Yellow gloss paint? We think it’s great. Now to the serious stuff though. The question that comes to mind when considering all the features in this car is; will all this new technology not come at a cost? That cost is old school driving thrills. This refers specifically to the EDC gearbox which is the only option you have in the car. Does it leave you wanting for a good old manual gearbox? We can only answer that question once we’ve driven the car. Until then, the Clio R.S makes for some good eye candy.

Prices:

Clio R.S 200 EDC LUX: R379 900

Clio R.S 200 EDC TROPHY: R419 900

 

  

Details on the limited edition Ford Fiesta ST200 in South Africa

Limited Edition Ford Fiesta ST200 available in South Africa

The Ford Fiesta is a very popular car among the younger generation in South africa and this can also be said for the sportier and faster ST variant. The Fiesta ST is a very rewarding hot hatch to drive, producing 134 kW in a fantastic chassis, making it a very good option for many a racey South African.

If you own or are thinking of buying a Fiesta ST, part of the reason for that purchase is that you want to be a little different and stand out amongst a sea of Polo GTI’s but still enjoy a rewarding drive. Unfortunately the Fiesta ST is also a very popular car, so you’re not going to be doing much standing out, then…

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

This isn’t necessarily the case with Ford latest hot offering, the Fiesta ST200. This is a Fiesta one would definitely stand out in as Ford are only selling 160 of these units in South africa.

The Ford Fiesta ST200 gets a little bit more of everything over the standard ST. It has different styling, more power and and even better handling. It is also more expensive at R339 900 but for a car that’s more rare in South Africa than a VW Clubsport S, it may be worth the money.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

In the performance department, the Fiesta ST200 receives an increase in power from 134 kW to 149 kW or 200 bhp exactly. Torque also increases with an extra 50 N.m, bringing the total to 290 N.m. If that’s not enough, 20 Seconds of overboost is also available which produces an additional 11 kW and 30 N.m. That’s a total of 160 kW and 320 Nm – nice!

The additional power means a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h. Helping you get to that speed, in a safe environment of course, is a shorter 6th gear ratio.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

The suspension receives updates as well with revised damper specs, increased stiffness in the rear twist beam and a bigger diameter front anti-roll bar. New settings have also been included for the Electronic Power Assisted Steering to improve vehicle response. All in all, a fantastic handling hot hatch has been improved even further.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

We can’t forget to tell you about the unique exterior and interior design elements either. The Fiesta ST200 is only available in Storm Grey, a colour which has been specifically introduced for this model. This is offset by Matt Black 17” Alloys, Red brake calipers, LED rear taillights and ST200 badging.

Stepping inside, one will find heated Recaro sports seats, dual-tone seat belts, illuminated scuff plates and privacy glass from the rear windows.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

From the images, we can see that the Ford Fiesta ST200 is still quite understated and would not be easily recognizable to everyone. It is definitely a unique Fiesta ST and isn’t too badly priced when one considers that it will be scaring Golf GTI’s at the lights!

Volvo S90 T6 vs S90 D5 : Same but very different

VOLVO S90 T6

Volvo S90 T6 v S90 D5 : What would you choose?

I recently posted an article on the Volvo S90 D5, and found that in the short, the car was very relaxing to drive and instilled a calmness on the driver. A short while after testing the S90 D5, I jumped into the T6 variant of the Volvo S90.

This relaxed, sensible feeling which I felt in the D5 was something which wasn’t really present in the Volvo S90 T6 AWD version of the S90. We could probably put this down to its Twin-charged 235 kW and 200 N.m 2.0-litre engine. By Twin Charged, I mean it features a supercharger for low down power up to 3500 rpm whereafter a turbocharger kicks in for the remainder of the rev range.

This makes for a very exciting, progressive and boy racer ish Volvo S90. Along with a 0-100 km/h time of 5.9 seconds, comes a beautiful sound, starting with the classic supercharger whine and ending with a turbocharged growl – not quite what you’d expect from a luxury Volvo sedan.

Along with the sound comes acceleration which is sweet, smooth, linear and above all, pretty addictive. I can’t give you the fuel economy figures during my test as it would be somewhat unfair, but then again, one doesn’t buy this variant of the S90 with fuel economy in mind. Volvo claim 7.2 litres/100km combined, which is believable if you don’t have a right foot like mine.

Apart from the performance aspect, everything else is pretty much the same as the D5 in terms of the styling, luxury and interior. Speaking of the interior, the T6 featured an Amber in Charcoal interior. It is beautiful, especially when offset with the Onyx Black exterior paint.

I noticed something worrying though in that a car that has less than 5000 km on the clock should not have scuff marks on the edges of these warm orange seats. It seems like jeans have been rubbing off onto the leather. This is sad as it is such a beautiful colour to have.

What do you choose?

The best way I can describe the difference between these two cars is by comparing them to myself and my younger brother, Dan.

Dan is the sporty and adventurous type, he likes to compete in marathon long off-road obstacle races, jump off very high cliffs into water and partake in many other sports. He is also a natural at these things, along with being cocky and brash. He is very S90 T6, exciting, raring to go at anytime, but still an Ayres.

Now I used to love all of the above, (baring the cliff jumping) and I still do to a certain extent but I am a married man now, grown up and much more sensible and relaxed. I would be more likened to the Volvo S90 D5.

Many would assume that the T6 is the older brother to the S90 D5, because of its bigger engine and higher power production, but they would be wrong. The Volvo S90 T6 is definitely the feisty, exciting younger brother, whereas the D5 is a mellowed, more chilled out version of the same genetics.

Volvo S90 D5 Review

What you choose as a buyer then really depends what you are looking for, the T6 will definitely appeal to a younger audience, perhaps buyers who would look at a BMW 540i for example. Whereas the D5 is car which is more suited to highways and long distance driving where you don’t want the temptation of a Supercharger/Turbocharger spurring you to ruin that sweet 5.0l/100km fuel rating.

Having said all of the above, though, the S90 T6 is definitely my choice.

 

BMW 2 Series Facelift in South Africa

BMW 2 Series Facelift South Africa

South African Car News: BMW 2 Series Facelift

The task of face lifting a vehicle is a tricky one, you see, give the patient a completely new face and you just damn all owners of the current model by throwing their resale value out the proverbial window, but tweak a light and add a paintjob and a rimjob here and there and you’re basically just wasting everyone’s time. So, how has BMW done, then, with the facelifted 2 Series and M2?

Not an ugly car at all, the 2 Series still has quite a bit of longevity in its frisky yet elegant lines, however, in true BMW fashion, while only minor, the updates make quite the difference when all added together. This isn’t to say that the 2 Series was designed with faults or bits that might age more than others, but the LCI (Life-cycle Impulse) which is just BMW speak for facelift, gives the manufacturer a chance to improve aspects of the vehicle which they feel consumers may or may not have asked for. So, without turning this into an essay, the following are changes which one can expect on the 90210ed BMW 2 Series and M2 models.

  •  New headlight and taillight clusters incorporating redesigned LED signatures and varying trim options ie: blacked out surrounds etc. and LED lighting as standard
  • Redesigned, wider kidney grill
  • Larger lower air-intakes on the front bumper
  •  Three new colours, namely: Mediterranean Blue and Seaside Blue, as well as a Beverley Hills appropriate Sunset Orange. Buyers can now choose from 12 colours – what a time to be alive!
  • 16, 17 and 18-inch wheels are now available across the ​range with Jet Black and Bicolour Jet Black wheels now available, bringing the number of rim options to 17.
  • A redesigned and more pronounced instrument cluster which is more driver-focussed (as opposed to passenger focussed?)

  • Upgraded and more premium interior finishes which just further enhance the premium feel within the cabin of the 2 Series and M2, including upgraded materials and chrome bits.
  • The latest version of iDrive can also be found on derivatives specced with the Navigation Professional system, this going hand in hand with the new 8.8-inch touchscreen display.
  • WiFi connectivity for up to 10 devices and a wireless phone charger

The engine line-up is set to remain the same as the current line-up with petrol and diesel engines ranging from 135 kW and 270 N.m in the 220i to 250 kW and 500 N.m in the M240i. The M2, too, remains unchanged, churning out 272 kW and 465 N.m (500 N.m on overboost) from its TwinPower 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six motor.
So then, have BMW succeeded in maintaining resale values while giving the range a worthwhile refresh? Well, the facelifted 2 Series launches overseas in July 2017 so expect local availability towards the second half of 2017 – then we’llbe able to answer that question!

NIO EP9: The electric hyper car that destroyed everything

NIO EP9

NIO EP9: Fastest production car around the Nurburgring

You may not know of the new car company called “NIO” and this would come as no surprise. They are a global production car start-up specializing in premium electric vehicles, and when I say premium, I mean 1% of the world kind of premium. They claim to have brought together the worlds leading people in automotive technology in over 8 locations worldwide.

NIO EP9

Usually, an automotive company would ease themselves into the industry, maybe producing a mediocre vehicle and building from there, but not NIO, their recently produced hypercar just beat every production car record around the “green hell” or Nürburgring – an infamous testing ground for automotive manufacturers – with a time of 6min 45 seconds.

This might not sound like a big deal, it was going to get broken, until you release that the NIO EP9 is an all-electric hypercar with world-leading technology and performance. This is staggering for a company we haven’t ever heard off.

NIO EP9

The details of the NIO EP9

Power is produced by four electric motors producing a total of 1 Megawatt of power or in terms we know – 1 000 kW. Being electric, it produces instantaneous torque of 1480 Nm at each motor which means a combined 6 334 Nm at the wheels – these peak figures are available anywhere in the 7 500rpm range. Power is delivered through four electric motors and gearboxes featured at each corner of the car, along with a revolutionary braking system capable of producing more braking torque than a GT3-Spec racing car.

NIO EP9

Helping the NIO EP9 reach this staggering lap time from a company with no motor racing heritage is of course aerodynamics. The EP9 is a car that features a 3-stage rear active wing and a full-length floor diffuser meaning it can produce twice the downforce of a current F1 car and has the ability to corner with 3g’s of lateral force.

NIO EP9

This type of technology means a 0-200 km/h time of just 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 313 km/h. The EP9 has a claimed range of over 400 km with an interchangeable battery system taking only 8 minutes to swap. One battery has a charge time of 45 minutes. This is all very impressive, but we doubt one would achieve 400 km range while doing 0-200 km/h runs…

There are currently 7 EP9’s that have been produced with NIO planning to produce another 10. Cost: $1,4m – I told you it was premium.

Visit the NIO website here

NIO EP9

Rich Kids Club – Audi Q2 Review

Audi Q2 Review South Africa

Audi Q2 Driven Review

If the Q2 was a person, it would be ‘that guy’.. You all know that guy and if not, you are that guy. The guy who has a sneaker option for everyday. The guy who has all the latest music on his latest mobile device. The guy with the latest car, you know this guy. He is the guy that is uber annoying, yet, is kinda liked and secretly, you want to be that guy. The millennial who has wealthy parents who have made sure that he will go through life on his yacht down-stream.

That was the first impression of the Audi Q2. It left me wondering that, if a crossover SUV with a 1.4 TFSI motor and DSG with all of the cool extras costs R778 000, what I’m a doing with my life in general and where can I apply for a re-do? You see, the Q2 is one of those trendy cars that are, as it’s known in the African Culture as “for control”. This isn’t a “we have a baby now, let’s be wise and get a spacious vehicle”. No, this is a “we need an extra car that the kids will use as I don’t want them driving any of our cars as I don’t trust them, and the Q2 is safe enough”. You see, “for control”. Being based on the A3, it’s not the biggest compact SUV and its closest competitor is the new Mini Countryman which has a more palatable price, relatively speaking.

So, what do you get for the price of both kidneys and your right lung? You get, as per our test car; Bang and Olfusen sound, Navigation, Panorama Sunroof, LED headlights with daytime running lights, sweeping indicators, fancy Tron/iRobot lighting on the dashboard as well as the awesome Virtual Cockpit. The list goes on. All of this does suggest that if you scale back on the optional extras, you can end up with an affordable Q2. It’s still one that went to a semi-private school and speaks to its grandparents in English, as it doesn’t speak any vernacular. The car does drive very well and it feels very modern and chic. Audi never gets interiors wrong and they weren’t about to start on this one. We need to make special mention of the Apple CarPlay feature.It’s something that works stupendously well and it’s nearly impossible to fault. From voice commands, to the navigation and music outlay, it’s near perfect. I sincerely hope that other manufacturers can look at this example and take note on how to use systems like this that integrate so well with a mobile device.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

I will nit-pick and point out that the car has a “dead spot” on take off. This was remedied by adjusting the vehicle’s throttle response to Dynamic instead of Comfort via the Drive Select module. As much as it worked, I would have liked a bit more poke from the turbocharged four-pot. The S-Tronic gearbox works like a hot knife on butter once it’s out of the first gate. The steering is also positive and does communicate well, especially in Dynamic mode. Overall the car works well on the city and on the open road.

So our week went well in the latest and trendiest Audi. We did get a wave in Hyde Park from a fellow Q2 driver who came out of a home that literally took up half of the block. That’s quite the indicator as to who this car will appeal to. Perhaps it may have the Range Rover Evoque appeal? Truth be told, it’s a nice little car and it has all the modern gizmos to keep you entertained. One can imagine some money will be taken out of various trust funds to buy this car.

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