Month: November 2018

The new Porsche 911 992 Specs and Improvements.

992 Porsche 911

Meet the new Porsche 911 992.

For all of us, there’s one car that we always relate to our childhood. Whether it be from an early experience, or just out of raw appeal, we told ourselves as kids “that’s what I will drive when I grow up.” For me, its always been the Porsche 911. I even had a pet rabbit named “Porsche-e”.

Porsche 911 992 Front

15 years on from my childhood dreams, the 911’s appeal as the ultimate sports car hasn’t faded, I still don’t own one – and they seem to be getting better and better with each new variant. My first driving experience came from the magnificent 911 GTS. Now I look forward to getting behind the wheel of the 992.

Design

One needs to look closely to see major differences on the Porsche 911 992 from the front. Porsche’s Iconic bug eyes stare into your soul, albeit with a new LED setup – while a slight bonnet recess throws back to early 911 models. Go around with a measuring tape and you will find the 992 911 to be 45mm’s wider on the front. A full-width elegant light bar is the most striking element on the rear, which has been designed to give a much bolder look and feel. The license plate placement is also a notable change, creating a cleaner look in the rear.

Porsche 911 992 Rear

While plenty of new technology has been integrated into the interior, it’s still very much “Porsche”. A central rev counter remains, whilst two digital screens on either side provide the driver with relevant information. Porsche’s main interface has now been increased to 10,9 inches and is now easier to use. A range of new services and features result in permanent connectivity with online navigation and Porsche Connect Plus as standard.

Porsche 911 992 Interior

Inline with technical enhancements, a range of safety elements have been provided on the new 911. This includes a world first, “wet-mode” which detects water on the road and prepares the vehicle’s setup to handle it, as well as warn the driver – who can then activate the safer setup with a touch of a button.  Oh, how many 911 drivers could have done with this in the past? Plenty, if you ask me. Brake Assist is standard, while Night Vision, Adaptive Cruise Control and Autonomous Emergency Assist function are available.

Porsche 911 992 Side

Carrera S and 4S. Performance.

An increase in power from the turbocharged flat-six motor results in an output of 331kW, which is an increase in 22kW. Translating this to the road means that 100km/h is completed in 3.7 seconds for the Carrera S and 3.6 seconds for the four-wheel drive Carrera 4S. That’s not all, with the addition of the Sports Chrono Package this time can be reduced by 0.2 seconds. As we know, driving a 911 isn’t really about how fast you can get to 100km/h, but rather about the entire experience. Improved injection processes, along with new turbo layouts improve the 911’s drive efficiency. On top of that, power delivery to the rear or all wheels depending on variant is done via a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hyundai’s latest SUV: The Hyundai Santa Fe.

Hyundai Santa Fe Front

4th Generation Hyundai Santa Fe

Meet the new Hyundai Santa Fe. This fourth generation model, features more tech and Hyundai’s new design language. Here’s what you need to know:

Design

We can safely say that the Koreans outdid themselves with this model. It’s not only worlds apart from the previous one, but it can also stand its ground against other premium rivals, when it comes to looks alone. Slim headlights and a large front grille emphasize its sporty nature, whilst there’s nothing to complain about at the rear either. It may look a bit “Soccer mumish” at the back, but at least it looks good.

Hyundai Santa Fe Front

Interior

From the images I’ve seen, interior quality looks decent. However, in the world of bigger screen sizes, I feel Hyundai could of added a few more inches to the 7-inch LCD display.

More space for rear passengers is also something to take note of, with a 38mm increase in legroom for the second row, and a 22mm increase in headroom for the third row. I look forward to a visit to my local Hyundai dealer to experience it in the flesh.

Engine and Gearbox

The Hyundai Santa Fe is powered by a 2,2-litre CRDi engine that produces 142kW and a tidy 440Nm of torque.  A newly developed 8-speed auto box transfers this power to all four wheels, using technology that controls and adjusts torque distribution between front and rear wheels. In sport mode, up to 50% will be sent to the rear wheels for ” better acceleration”, with 35% in comfort mode.

Safety

I’ve been impressed which some of the safety tech on recent Hyundai vehicles including the I30 N.

Being a family car, safety is a priority for the Santa Fe. 6 air-bags are installed, along with a 15% increase in high-strength steel over any other Hyundai vehicle (57%)

Contributing to the Hyundai Santa Fe’s best-in-class safety, includes systems such as, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist and Rear Occupant Alert – which notifies the driver when rear passengers leave the vehicle. Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, which will monitor and also apply braking if a vehicle approaches from the rear side when reversing. Safety Exit Assist is one of the coolest features, which prevents the rear doors from being opened when a vehicle approaches from behind. Best demonstrated here:

Tech

Standard in all models is a 7-inch LCD touchscreen display which is Apple Carplay and Andriod Auto enabled. From looking at the specs of the infotainment system, it doesn’t seem as state-of-the-art as Hyundai suggests it is. It does however, seem to do everything you need and a USB port and Aux jack are included.  If you opt for the Elite model, a 7-inch TFT display is also featured in the centre of the instrument cluster.

Elite models also include a panoramic sunroof, electronic rear hatch, heating and cooling front seats, keyless-start and Rear-door retractable side curtains.

Hyundai Santa Fe Pricing in South Africa

  • Premium automatic – R599 900
  • Executive automatic – R659 900
  • Elite automatic – R749 900.

All prices include Hyundai Automotive SA’s 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty (consisting of the standard 5-year/150 000 km warranty plus the additional 2-year/50 000 km drivetrain warranty extension).

An additional part of the package is a 5-year/90 000 km service plan, and roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km.

Learn More here:

 

5 New changes on the Mercedes-AMG G-Class

Mercedes-AMG G-Class Driving

5 important changes on the new Mercedes-AMG G-Class.

The Mercedes-AMG G-Class is probably one of the most outrageous vehicles on the road. Entertained by sports stars, celebrities and the like, the “G-Wagon” is known for its attention-grabbing, rugged style.  Believe it or not, if you ignore all the chrome, you’ll find out that this car can climb dunes and help you traverse war zones. Instead, however, this epic box simply burbles around the streets of Sandton, Camps Bay and “Umshlaaanga”.

Whether you’re a lover or a hater, we can all agree that the G-Class makes a statement. Nothing has changed with the latest model, and it’s still a “G” in more sense than one.

Mercedes-AMG G-Class

Styling

While receiving a modern facelift, the new Mercedes-AMG G-Class stays true to its roots by keeping core elements, such as the boxy square appearance, external door hinges and round headlights. Under the bold exterior, much work has been done to improve the structure. The body shell consists of various grades of steel and aluminium and Mercedes have used the latest tech to increase rigidity, reduce noise and weight, whilst still retaining the quality and strength needed for off-road antics.

Engine

Falling in line with other AMG’s across the range, a 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine replaces the 5.5-litre of old. The new engine produces 430kW and 850N.m, pushing the G-Class to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds – like I said, outrageous. The driver can also enable the AMG Cylinder Management Deactivation System by driving in comfort mode. This system shuts down 4-cylinders  to aid in fuel saving.

Mercedes-AMG G-Class rear

AMG 4-Matic

Will the new G-Class slide? Just maybe. The AMG 4-Matic system is no longer a 50/50 split but rather 60/40. Which means there may just be some tail-happy times in on of the boldest performance SUV’s out there. Mercedes have also improved off-road ability with a change in the reduction gear. Now working at a ratio of 2.93, compared to 2.1 on the previous model.

Mercedes-AMG G-Class Rear

AMG Ride control is standard equipment and features adjustable electronically controlled damping. On-board systems adjust the suspension individually at each wheel to suit the current driving requirements. This ties in with Dynamic Select, a system allowing the driver to choose up to 8 driving modes. On-road modes include Slippery, Comfort, Sport , Sport+ and Individual. If you fancy going offroad, you have Sand, Trail and Rock modes available.

Interior and tech

It’s exciting to see that despite the new G-Class retaining its rugged appearance, modern technolgy is not left behind. The interior has undergone a wealth of change, with a total redesign bringing about a much more modern appeal. One immediately notices the fully digital 12.3 inch Widescreen Cockpit – a first for the G. Ambient lighting, Mercedes Me System, CarPlay®, Android Auto, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Road Sign Assist are amongst the tech list. Massage functioning, climate-controlled and fast seat heating with electronic lumbar support are also available with the Active Multicontour Seat package.

The interior cabin also benefits from more space, with space being increased by 101 millimetres in length, 121 millimetres in width and 40mm’s in height.

Mercedes-AMG G-Class Interior

G63 Edition One

As if the G-Class isn’t special enough, you may opt for the Edition One variant. It’s available In ten colours, with four of them being a different kind of black. 22-inch Matte black alloy wheels tie in with the black features from the AMG Night package, while glimpses of red can be seen around the exterior.

Mercedes-AMG G63 Edition One

This unique styling continues on in the interior, with red stitching in various places and red highlights in the carbon-fibre trim. The tastiest item is the flat bottom steering wheel in DINAMICA microfiber with red stitching.

Mercedes-AMG G63 Edition One Interior

Mercedes-AMG G63 Edition One Carbon Fibre

The new Mercedes-AMG G-Class still retains the classic and rugged look we all love or hate it for, but has now evolved and included new technology in all aspects of the vehicle.  If you originally were a hater of the G-Class, this new model will probably only infuriate you even more. Mercedes have done a great job of not ruining what the G-Class is all about. I was a big fan of this vehicle before, and nothing has changed.

Mercedes-AMG G63 Pricing in South Africa

G63: R2,591,000

G63 Edition one: R2,891,000

 

New Ford Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend Driven Review

New Ford Fiesta

New Ford Fiesta Driven Review

The Ford Fiesta has been around for as long as I can remember. In my college days, the “Festa” as it was affectionately known in the UK, became a very popular car among new drivers, especially the “ST” variant. Naturally, it was quite popular among boy racers, particularly the Mk4, which went under the knife in more ways than one. Some were modified tastefully, others appeared to been butchered by your local yob. Having now driven the new “Festa” in South Africa as an adult,  it’s safe to say as I have grown up and so has the car.

Ford Fiesta Mk4

The new model brings a much curvier design to the fore. The “all-new” attire would suggest it’s had a job promotion. It looks more professional, more sensible and grown up. Unfortunately, it’s similar to your best friend at work making it to management. The days of paper aeroplanes and slapping backsides are over.

New Ford Fiesta Rear

Ford’s 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine added to the overall sensible experience. This is the engine to opt for if you find yourself heading to your boring job. Sorry, I meant a sensible job which requires a lot of driving and fuel economy is a top priority. There’s plenty of torque for overtaking in higher gears and there’s also range for days, 700Km’s plus per tank to be exact. This is something to be desired with the current fuel prices in South Africa.

The suspension has also been tweaked with improved damping, which makes for a comfier ride on a smooth surface. Around bumps, the new Fiesta is quite firm, but that adds some excitement in the corners. On the inside, more tech, more safety and a better infotainment interface are all good improvements over the previous generation. In line with this, cabin layout and design has also been improved for a much more modern feel.

New Ford Fiesta Interior

So far so good right? Maybe, but I can’t stop drawing similarities to Ford’s new Fiesta and vanilla ice-cream.

You see, If I was to ask you what your flavour of ice-cream is, I’d be surprised if you told me vanilla. I mean, that’s a pretty boring option in my opinion. In the hipster era we live in, there are so many flavours to choose from.  While your friends are going wild over mint chocolate chip and kale, Oreo brownie and Crem Brûlée – you’re going to feel a truck load of FOMO if you opt for plain Jane vanilla.

Vanilla Ice Cream

As an ice cream, vanilla does the job, you know what to expect. I bet you could probably get some very creamy, home-made vanilla ice cream made by someone’s grandma’s cousins friend – available at your local farmers market of course. Even so, that doesn’t make it any less plain, and who wants plain in 2018?

While the Ford Fiesta has undergone many changes and has improved technology, it still reminds me very much of vanilla ice-cream – it’s a bit too conservative. I battled to find any chocolate chips, nothing that jumped out at me and said: “wow, that amazing.”

Ford Fiesta ST

You may be thinking the ST variant of the new Ford Fiesta will be its saving grace, with its much more performance orientated demeanour. It features a new turbocharged 1,5-litre three-cylinder engine with 147 kW and 290 N.m on tap. With a front-wheel-drive setup and a 0-100km time of 6.5 seconds, this would be the Fiesta to feed the desire of those wanting a little more from the Ford hatch. Due to South africa’s low fuel quality, however, the Fiesta ST won’t be making its way to our beautiful country. How tragic.

Do all cars need to have an exciting flair to them?

The answer to that question is purely down to opinion.  Whilst many car buyers in South Africa view the vehicle they drive as an expression of their personality, others don’t. Some motorists just want an affordable, easy and reliable way to get from A to B. The new Ford Fiesta excels in that department. Yes, there are other hatches that have more excitement to them. This may be in the form of looks, tech, or performance, but there’s no doubting that Ford’s new Fiesta is very good at just being a great car designed to be economical and safe. If you do purchase a Ford Fiesta, at-least order it with some sprinkles and make it pop.

New Ford Fiesta Front

Alternate Options:

If you are looking for a modern hatch In this segment, there are other options you can consider, such as the Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Hyundai i20 and the list goes on. An even cheaper option could be the new Suzuki Swift which also arrived in South Africa in 2018.  It’s light in price and on fuel, but lacks the tech featured in both the Polo and Fiesta.

New Ford Fiesta Pricing in South Africa

 

Fiesta 1.5 TDCi Trend 6MT                                       R292 500