Month: January 2019

Lamborghini Huracán Evo

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

Lamborghini Huracán Evo

Anybody who knows a thing or three about ‘cars’ (very broad, I know) will know that Lamborghini started off manufacturing tractors, and it’s no secret that a particularly high profile journalist received a lot of flak for stating that the original Huracán handled just like that – a tractor.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

While that might have been a slight exaggeration, he did have a point in that the Huracán never quite had neither the dynamism of the then already aged Ferrari 458 nor the ballistic precision of McLaren’s then fresh but not really 650S. Did that really matter? Well, no, because V10.

So while some may have considered the original Huracán to have been a bit of a flop. It gave birth to two pretty decent machines in the form of the Huracán RWD and the highly praised Lamborghini Huracán Performante. What this meant was that there was a Huracán for everyone – the standard one for those who don’t care, the RWD for the ‘purists’ and the Performante for those who think high-tops constitute formalwear.

Meet the Lamborghini Huracán Evo

A little long in the tooth, however, the Huracán will now receive quite the update. This will give it what it needs to take the fight to Ferrari’s blitz 488 GTB and the terrifyingly competent McLaren 720S.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

Engine and Chassis

Boasting the Huracán Performante’s more powerful V10 motor, adaptive chassis technology from the Aventador SVJ and a huge focus on aerodynamics, the Lamborghini Huracán Evo is essentially a polished Huracán. A lot of polishing has gone on here, particularly in the chassis department. As in the Aventador S, Lamborghini’s LDVI (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata) monitors and controls four key elements within the chassis – the four-wheel-drive system, traction control, a new torque-vectoring system and the new four-wheel steering which was developed using components from the Aventador S’s 4WS system. It can supposedly predict within 20 milliseconds how the chassis components should react to any given situation by calculating how much grip is available and reading your throttle, gear change, steering and braking input.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

The Lamborghini Huracán Evo’s four-wheel steering system is pretty trick, but also rather complicated. All you need to know is that it doesn’t feature that ever so slight split second lag between steering input and the rear wheels actually turning. This is something that is pretty evident in other 4WS systems when pressing on. For every 10 degrees of input on the front axle, the rear wheels turn by 1 degree, up to a maximum of 3 degrees positive or negative. In order to incorporate this new four-wheel-steering system, Lamborghini’s divisive Dynamic steering system is mandatory.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

Aerodynamics

While the new aerodynamics are nowhere nearly as Brakpan/Brackenfell as the Performante’s, downforce has increased sevenfold which is rather remarkable, while drag has also decreased.

The upper section of the new slotted spoiler creates more downforce while the middle section creates a venture effect which accelerates air through the spoiler. The underfloor of the Evo has also been updated which works in conjunction with the diffuser to improve airflow. The front intakes and splitter welcome 16% more air into the radiators. This aids in cooling the brakes before the air is channelled into the rear intakes just fore of the rear wheels.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

As you would expect in this league, ceramic brakes, active dampers and a mechanical slip-differential also feature.

The Lamborghini Huracán Evo’s 5.2-litre V10 comes straight from the Performante and produces a healthy 470 kW and 600 N.m, good enough to hurtle the raging bull to 100 km/h in 2.9sec.

The most notable interior update is the 8.4-inch touchscreen which can display all sorts of nerdy telemetry information. This really goes a long way in updating the Huracán’s interior.

Lamborghini are dead set on this being a very serious car indeed, and it seems as though a lot of time, money and effort has gone into what is not ‘just a facelift’ and has certainly shaken the stigma of the Huracán just being an R8 in drag.

Lamborghini Huracán Evo in South Africa

Expect to see the first Huracán Evo’s in South Africa during the first half of 2019.

 

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS Driven

Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS Driven

You are old enough to remember the first GT3 and that impact that it had in the Porsche brand, but you are also too young to have driven it in its hay-day. The iterations after that, before the current one, have also escaped you but because you have been in the motoring game for some time and while you have had the opportunity of being in the passenger’s seat – sometimes in the drivers seats but being a privateers vehicle – there were no real opportunities to connect with the vehicle and hear the iconic flat-six motor ring out to the redline.

 

Fast forward to a hot and sunny day in the Cape winelands. The thirty-three-year-old version of yourself has the keys to a 991.2 GT3 RS PDK, with the additional Weissach package, and you have the ingredients for what turned out to be the best drive of 2018 and a vehicle that has shot up to the top-five vehicles that I have ever driven.

From the first time that I laid eyes on the Lizard Green Porsche GT3 RS, touched its paint and looked at those “thin as elastic bands” 20/21” wheels and tyres, I knew that it was going to be one of those special vehicles that I was going to remember for a very, very long time. As is customary for me, I opted to be a passenger for the first drive, just so that I can fully revel and be engulfed in the experience of the noises, the smells and the feeling that will be the lasting, tracing image that will be etched in my minds eye. But as I sat in the heavily bolstered racing seat, I ran into a problem. What most manufacturers won’t tell you, is that for you to fully be immersed into a vehicle with this sort of pedigree you also need to carry some sort of pedigree yourself that you get at your local Virgin Active. New dads like me with sympathy pregnancy weight need to stay far, far away from the optional five-point harness fitted to this vehicle, affectionally named “Lizard” not only because of the Paint code name, but because of the registration plate as well, LIZARD WP. This green monster fortunately had the normal three-point seatbelts too and after the cold startup, we were off.

From exiting Porsche Centre Cape Town, you feel like you are sitting just centimeters off the ground, which is the case, but without visibility ever being compromised as seeing out the GT3 RS is no issue whatsoever. After clearing morning traffic and not even getting a chance to see five thousand revolutions from that monster four-litre six-cylinder motor, we get on the freeway and head deeper into wine country. Finally, we get a chance for the GT3 RS to sing us the song of its people and, in a time where everything with four wheels and a combustion engine has some sort of forced induction, to hear a flat-six rev all the way to its red line at a fraction over nine thousand revs. It’s a noise to behold and one that we as the motoring public deeply thank the ladies and gentlemen from Stuttgart for giving us goosebumps from head to toe in 2018. We salute you. Soon after what feels like forever, we get to a coffee stop to which my co-driver and myself opt out of as we would rather be in the cockpit of the Green monster. It was my turn to tame the beast.

From the driver’s seat, even though the five-point harness does get in the way, the driving position is near perfect and the steering wheel, being not too thick or thin, comes right up to your chest. You really do have a position that you wish you could replicate in all cars. From the get-go, the steering comes alive and you often wonder what steering systems felt like before the electronic wizardry took over but being Porsche, the feeling is one of the best out there and you confidently place the front wheels where you want to as the front axle communicates every road surface change to the palms of your hands and you are finding grip in places where it shouldn’t exist.

Off into the winding horizon, the flat-six just hanging out on the rear axle, you are taken a back with the amount of mechanical grip from the rear as the front never feels nervous or that it’s about to take off, and what you have is a racing car for the street that strokes your ego. The GT3 RS makes you look like such an accomplished driver. Keeping the driving experience at eight tenths, you actually feel the GT3 RS looking back at you and coaching you, “we could have done that corner faster”, “Trail brake into this hairpin so we can blast it out”, “I won’t oversteer here so you can bury the throttle, I’ve got this”. This is one vehicle that you feel part of, and not like other supercars that want to kill you at every corner. This is the most communicative and visceral car I have driven in recent years and was sad to hand back the keys when we stopped for lunch.

Now that we had had time to take the whole experience in, grab a bite to eat and have the vehicle swarmed by on-lookers, we looked back at the vehicle and felt that we, the drivers, are in good hands with Porsche. Belonging to the motoring scribe community and having read all that was said about the first version of the 911 GT3, it was quite obvious for me to see that the people yearned for a manual. After some tweaks, Porsche, the manufacturer, remember, listened and gave the public what they wanted. This is the same manufacturer that when developing this glorious motor decided to keep it naturally aspirated so as to keep it the most involving, rewarding and confidence inspiring vehicle amongst its siblings. And to add the cherry on the cake, we hear that the new one has a great chance of keeping to this current recipe! I know that I don’t count for much, but thank you Porsche. Thank you for continuing to make cars for the petrolhead in all of us, we appreciate you!

After lunch, we were, give or take, three hundred kilometers away from our rendezvous point from Porsche Centre Cape Town and took the opportunity to go hunt for the Huguenot tunnel on our way back. The Porsche 991.2 GT3 RS obliged and there we were, in outskirt Western Cape roads chasing a tunnel just to amplify the noise from the 368 kW motor before we had to give ‘LIZARD WP’ back to be readied for the next couple of journalists who would do the same for the next week. The GT3 RS is a vehicle that needs to be celebrated. It’s a vehicle that fully envelopes you in the driving experience and leaves you wanting more and more. Yes, it’s not perfect, but besides the price tag – R5,2 Million as ‘LIZARD WP’ is specced – and the fit racing driver seatbelts, I couldn’t put my finger on any ‘faults’ as it were, especially when one takes it for what it is. Even after almost two months since this epic vehicle was returned to safety, in the quiet parts of some night, my ears still hear that sonorous flat-six ringing all the way to nine thousand revs a minute – what an experience! #GoFundRichardForaGT3RS

Here’s what you need to know about the new BWW 7 Series

New BMW 7 Series

New BMW 7 Series

One might have thought that it’s a bit soon for BMW to be face-lifting their flagship model – you see; the 7 Series is not something that comes around every 5 minutes. When revisions are made to the model, they are never too drastic as one might argue that the ‘cream of the crop’ should not be fiddled with, but the facelifted BMW 7 Series, due in South Africa in the second quarter of 2019, has received quite the refresh. Here’s the low down on BMW’s rejuvenated flagship.

BMW 7 Series rear

At the time of its introduction in 2016, the G11/12 7 Series caused quite the stir thanks to its lightweight construction, exceptional driving dynamics and class-leading technology. World firsts such as being able to park the car remotely with the car key and a third-person 360° parking camera were just two of the dazzling array of features The 7 offered in 2016. Offered in both standard and long wheelbase forms, South Africa will only be getting the long wheelbase 7’s, perhaps in a response to market research and consumer trends. Total length of the new 7 Series has increased by 22 millimeters to 5 260 millimeters.

New BMW 7 Series front

Styling

BMW’s kidney grille is perhaps one of the most defining features of any of the Bavarian automakers vehicles, along with BMW’s signature four-eyed face, both of which have now been resized with the kidneys now being significantly larger than before, and the headlights notably smaller. LED headlights are standard across the range with BMW’s Laserlight featuring as an optional extra. The BMW roundel on the 50 millimeter higher bonnet is now larger, too.

New 7 Series rear

Slightly larger integrated tailpipes and sleeker and sculpted LED taillights make up the rear which now features a distinctive 6 millimeter thin LED light strip which spans the width of the new 7 a la Porsche. It’s all very handsome and while it brings the new 7’s looks more in line with those of the all-new 3 Series, it is still unmistakably a 7 Series.

New 7 Series Interior

Interior and Tech

Additional interior options such as extended quilting on the door panels tie in with more trim options to make the cabin all that you would expect from the best of the best. There’s a bit more space for passengers too and a considerable amount of work has gone into reducing exterior noise within the cabin.

New 7 Series Rear Interior

“Hey BMW” will prompt BMW’s new Intelligent Personal assistant to, well, assist you in whatever you may need with voice-activated functions ranging from seat ventilation, heating and massage functions, to ambient lighting, air conditioning and window blind operation. BMW’s new digital instrument cluster now features as standard, too. Dubbed BMW Live Cockpit Professional, it comprises a 12.3-inch fully digital, high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a 10.25-inch iDrive Display. This package of equipment also features an adaptive navigation system and a hard-drive-based multimedia system with 20 GB of memory. 10-inch full HD touchscreens now feature in the back too, with integrated Blu-ray player and version 7.0 of BMW’s Operation system, capable of remote software updates.

The local lineup will consist of two petrol, one diesel and a plug-in hybrid derivative, badged 750Li xDrive, M760Li xDrive, 730Ld and the 745Le respectively. It’s nice to see the 745 moniker making a return for those who remember its significance in the South African market…

Engines

The 750Li xDrive features a newly-developed twin-turbocharged petrol unit with a stonking 390 kW and 750 N.m available from just 1 800 rpm. The big daddy of the range is the ballistic M760Li with its exquisite 430 kW turbocharged V12.

The 745Le will boast a specially tuned six-cylinder inline petrol motor mated to an advanced high-voltage battery and an 83 kW electric motor which come together to return fuel consumption as little as 2.1 l/100 km, yet will be capable of 0-100 km/h in less than 5.3 seconds. Combined power outputs of the petrol and electric motor are 290 kW and 600 N.m.

The 730Ld will be propelled by a single-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six diesel motor with outputs of 195 kW and 620 N.m, returning an average fuel consumption of as little as 5.3 l/100km.

Unfortunately, the all-new quad-turbocharged variant, the 750d/Ld hasn’t been confirmed for our market. This sublime piece of engineering features multi-stage turbocharging with four turbochargers and direct injection operating at over 2 500 bar. This straight-six diesel motor can propel the luxo-barge to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds with its 294 kW and 760 N.m of torque, available from as low-down as 2000 rpm.

BMW 7 Series Facelift Pricing in South Africa

There’s no news on local pricing at this stage which will be confirmed closer to launch in Q2 2019.

McLaren 600LT Spider Released.

McLaren 600LT Spider

McLaren 600LT Spider                                                                                                                      

 Surprise surprise, McLaren has launched another model as a part of its Track25 plan which promises 18 new cars to be launched by 2025. That’s no mean feat, so it comes as no surprise that the fifth McLaren to carry the LT name is one that we’ve already seen, but without a roof. Meet the McLaren 600LT Spider. 

McLaren 600LT Spider

Don’t be surprised if they launch a 600SW (stationwagon) and 600SR (school run) to make up production numbers before 2025. Do be surprised though, if the 600LT spider is vastly different to the 600LT Coupe. One thing that McLaren is very good at is manufacturing Spiders that are no-less engaging or dynamic than their roofed counterparts.

McLaren 600LT Spider

Headline numbers for the McLaren 600LT Spider are 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds (identical to the Coupe) and 0-200 km/h in 8.4 seconds, just 0.2 seconds slower than the coupe. Top speed is 324 km/h and these astonishing numbers are all courtesy of McLaren’s twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 with outputs of 442 kW and 620 N.m and a weight penalty of only 50 kg over the 600LT Coupe and 100 kg less than the McLaren 570S Spider upon which its based with the optional MSO Clubsport pack fitted. This features Super lightweight carbon fibre racing seats from the P1 (as standard) or the Senna (optional), Carbon Fibre Interior Upgrade; MSO Defined Gloss Visual Carbon Fibre front fender louvres and Titanium wheel bolts. South African pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but you can expect the MSO Clubsport pack to add around another R500 000 to the price of your 600LT Spider.

McLaren 600LT Spider

McLaren Automotive CEO, Mike Flewitt, said; “In addition to our weight advantage over competitors, we have also retained the top-exit exhausts that debuted on the coupé – and I’m pleased to report that they sound and look even better with the roof or rear window of the Spider lowered.”

McLaren 600LT Spider

The 600LT Spider will be a limited run vehicle with build slots scheduled around other Sports and Super Series models.

Available to order from McLaren South Africa, we can expect to see the first units on local shores within the coming months.

The new Toyota Supra has arrived.

New Toyota Supra

New Toyota Supra

Toyota unveiled the long-awaited new Toyota Supra today at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Anyone that was around in the 80’s and 90’s will remember what an icon the Supra was, giving 911’s and Ferrari’s big frights the world over. And for those who weren’t around then, they’d have undoubtedly come across the mighty Supra in the Need For Speed, Midnight Club or Gran Turismo computer and console games. Paul Walker then cast in stone the cars legendary status in the first Fast and The Furious movie and while that particular example was rather distastefully modified, its something that no true motorhead would pass up the chance to own!

You can only imagine the hype, then, when Toyota announced that they were to revive the Supra name. Not only this, but it was rumored that they were going to partner up with one of the best names in the industry – BMW – a surefire recipe for a dynamically brilliant and involving sportscar…

17 years since the last Toyota Supra rolled off the production line, the all-new Gazoo Racing Supra is here. Silly name, yes, but it’ll likely just be known as ‘the Supra’ so no need to worry there.

We’ll hold off on all of the finer details until we have a proper go in one, but here are the hard facts that you need to know right now – the teasers if you will…

New Toyota Supra

Co-developed with BMW, it shares its architecture and many components with the all-new BMW Z4. This isn’t a bad thing, as BMW has also admittedly repositioned the new Z4 as a more driver-oriented vehicle, so you can rest assured that the new Supra certainly has the good bits beneath its svelte and curvy lines.

New Toyota Supra

The Powerplant

A great deal of attention has been paid to ensuring that the new Toyota Supra is balanced, so it’s no surprise that it benefits from a 50/50 weight split. Featuring the same turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder motor as the Z4 M40i, the top spec RZ is capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds with its 250 kW and 500 N.m. The rest of the range is pretty quick too with both the SZ-R and SZ models being powered by the same 2.0-litre in-line 4 motor boasting outputs of 190 kW/400 N.m and 145 kW/320 N.m and 0-100 km/h times of 5.2 and 6.5 seconds respectively. For now, ZF’s 8-speed automatic does duty in the Supra but who know’s what the future may bring. At this stage, we don’t have any word on South African specification either but the usual array of technology and safety systems that you can expect to find on the latest premium vehicles will likely be available, too.

New Toyota Supra

Anybody with eyes will see that the interior is a mishmash of the BMW parts bin, new and old, and you know what? I’m fine with that. If there’s a parts bin that one should take advantage of, it’s BMW’s and I think that Toyota engineers and designers have done a nice job of differentiating the Supra’s interior from that of the BMW Z4.

New Toyota Supra Interior

Quality will likely be top-notch as you can expect from a German/Japanese partnership but the decider will be whether or not the Supra lives up to its name in terms of driver dynamics and sheer seat of your pants excitement – no pressure, then!

New Toyota Supra in South Africa

Expect to see the Supra on South African roads mid-2019. It’s not likely to be particularly cheap, so let’s just hope that it has the driving fizz to match both the hype and its looks!

McLaren 720S Spa 68 Collection

McLaren 720s Spa 68 Collection

McLaren 720s Spa 68 Collection

Back in 1968, Bruce McLaren won the first-ever Formula 1 victory for his team at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Driving none other than a McLaren M7A racecar, gracing Papaya Orange livery. This win, the first ever for McLaren and opened up a motorsport history that many other teams would love to claim their own. interestingly, this was Bruce’s fourth Formula One victory, but his first with a vehicle of his own design and construction. This was a marked era in McLaren’s history, and what better way to pay tribute than commissioning bespoke three 720S vehicles.

McLaren 720s Spa 68 Collection

Adorned in MSO Bespoke Anniversary Orange paint, similar to that of the 1968 racecar, the McLaren 720S Spa 68 Collection really is a wonder. MSO Bespoke Satin Black 5 Twin-Spoke Lightweight wheels draw more attention to the striking paintwork while the dark interior trim is contrasted by orange thread in places such as the headrests, where the 1968 Spa-Francorchamps track is outlined.

McLaren 720s Spa 68 Collection interior

This isn’t the only place outline of the 14km track is also noted on the vehicle, as it will also be found in silver, placed just in front of the rear wheel arch. Finally, the ignition key also graces the bespoke orange color, and features the lettering ” SPA 68″.

While the McLaren 720S Spa 68 Collection may come across quite simple, I personally feel this is the beauty of the project. Being simple allows for the striking color to stand out and is a spectacle in its own right. Three have only been made, and two are already sold.  Many who are lucky enough to see this on the streets probably won’t know what this vehicle resembles, but as the saying goes, if you know, you know.

 

 

 

 

Porsche 911 992 Cabriolet

Porsche 911 992 Cabriolet

Porsche 911 992 Cabriolet

What is a superlative – well, while some kettles are better than others and all Hoover’s might be vacuum cleaners, not all vacuum cleaners are Hoovers… Rolls-Royce, for example, has become the superlative for the best of the best, peerless if you will. How often have you heard someone describe their brand new ultra-sonic vibrator 5000 toothbrush as being “The Rolls-Royce of toothbrushes” in a misguided attempt to explain just how marvelous it may be. Nobody straightens their curlies with a “Safeway” or a “Russell-Hobbs”, they use a GHD.

The simple reasoning behind this is that as time goes by and something becomes perfected, it becomes the benchmark in its segment, right from awful shoes – Crocs – to elderly walkers such as the Zimmer Frame.

Porsche 911 992 Cabriolet

New Porsche 911

It goes without saying that the Porsche 911 is the superlative sports car. It is to sports cars what the Golf GTI is to hot hatches and the Corolla to Ubers. One would hope then that the latest version of one of the world’s most beloved motoring icons is very nearly perfect, and while we haven’t laid hands on it, things are looking promising to say the least.

We’ve had a good few weeks to ogle over the evolutionary lines of the 992 Generation 911, but as a little new year’s gift to the world, Porsche have just pulled the covers off the 992 Cabriolet.

As with the new 911 Coupe, the Cabriolet features a wider stance across the range, traditionally reserved for four-wheel-drive versions only. This gives the new 911 Cabriolet a distinctive and muscular appearance that some may agree was lacking from the two-wheel-drive versions of the 991/991.2 911’s. The Cabriolet is exclusively available in Carrera S and Carrera 4S guises for the meantime.

Porsche 911 992 Cabriolet Rear

The new Porsche 911 Cabriolet also has a new hydraulics system which is now able to retract the roof in just twelve seconds while magnesium bows within the roof prevent it from ballooning, something which occurs as a result of the low-pressure pocket which forms above the surface of the roof when moving at high speeds. An electronically extendable wind deflector also features as standard.

Engine

Power is provided by the same 2,981 cm³ turbocharged charged six-cylinder boxer engine as the Coupe with 331 kW and 530 Nm of torque from a low down 2,300 rpm. This is mated to an all-new 8-speed double clutch gearbox. This allows the iconic drop-top to hurtle itself to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds (3.7 seconds with optional Sport Chrono Package) for the Carrera S and 3.8 seconds (3.6 seconds with optional Sport Chrono Package), both reaching top speeds of over 300 km/h.

Other features include the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) Sports suspension for the first time on a Porsche 911 Cabriolet which features more rigid front and rear anti-roll-bars, harder and shorter springs and a 10mm lower ride height. This helps to rein in the Cabriolet’s additional weight and provide a more neutral feel similar to that of the Coupe.

Adaptive cruise control and all of the new safety features found on the new 911 Coupe can be found here too. So, back to my previous point of appliances and superlatives – at what point are we going to start referring to all convertibles as 911’s?

Porsche 911 Cabriolet Pricing in South Africa

Pricing is R1 874 000 for the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and R1 964 000 for the Carrera 4S Cabriolet.
A 3 year/100 000 km Driveplan is included in that price.

Visit Porsche South Africa for more information.