Month: March 2019

Porsche Cayenne Coupé – another SUV coupé in the mix.

Designing cars isn’t an easy job, and while Mervyn in the corner complains about how he doesn’t like the look of this new station wagon or that new SUV, he doesn’t realise that neither of them are actually for him. Sharon with three kids, on the other hand, loves the idea of an SUV that looks like a Coupe, perfect for hopping from Tashas to… Tashas. Speaking to this manager and that etc. Well have we got news for you, Sharon!

Despite being an early adopter to the luxury SUV party with the Cayenne, Porsche are one of the last to the SUV Coupe thing party, but that’s okay. Rather that than rush the job, because this is an easy one to get wrong…

If you’ve got eyes, however, you’ll see that the Stuttgart firm hasn’t rushed the Cayenne Coupé at all. Gosh it’s pretty, and while we know that these sorts of cars are marmite cars (love or hate) we suspect that there will be a few more lovers than haters this time around.

Featuring all of the technical highlights of the current Cayenne, the Cayenne Coupé features a slightly more dynamic design and new technical details in order to position it as a more sporting alternative to the sells-like-hotcakes Cayenne.

Highlights of the Cayenne Coupé include either a rear bench with the characteristics of two individual seats or the comfort rear seats a la Cayenne. There’s also an adaptive rear spoiler and either a panoramic fixed glass roof or an optional carbon-fibre roof.

Courtesy of a roof edge that has been lowered by around 20 mm, the front windscreen and A-pillar are shallower than in the Cayenne, while redesigned rear doors and bumpers broaden the shoulders of the Cayenne Coupé by 18 mm.

The roof spoiler is combined with a new adaptive rear spoiler as part of Porsche Active Aerodynamics and extends by 135 mm at speeds of 90 km/h and up, increasing the contact pressure on the rear axle.

The Porsche Cayenne Coupé features a 3.0-litre turbocharged, six-cylinder motor with outputs of 250 kW and 450 N.m and sprint’s from 0-100 km/h in 6.0 seconds. The Cayenne Coupé Turbo features a four-litre twin-turbocharged V8 boasting 404 kW and 770 N.m. It will sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 286 km/h.

So there you have it, Sharon! A car, just for you but now with a Porsche badge. Jokes aside, the Cayenne Coupé is likely to be a huge success across the board when one considers just how popular the Cayenne is, as well as other vehicles in the SUV Coupé segment.

We Drive the New Toyota RAV4 in South Africa

New Toyota Rav 4

New Toyota RAV4 Driven

We sample the new Toyota Rav4   

 Life is becoming increasingly difficult for us motoring journalists. Don’t believe me? Picture this, then. We now live in a time where a “bad car” really is a rarity. Sure, there are a handful which you really should steer clear of, but for the most part, buy a new car and you’ll be fine. And so, while it may be easy to whip out my forked tongue and make a few nasty quips about the underwhelming elements of a genuinely bad car, it’s a lot more difficult to write at length about a car with which I can find very little, if any, fault.

This brings us to Toyota’s all-new and particularly wonderful RAV4. In short, its spacious, economical, rather exciting to look at and very competitively priced.

2019 Toyota Rav 4

I was lucky enough to be invited to its local media launch in mid-March which saw us exploit the RAV4’s capabilities both on the open road, as well as on gravel roads, all in the humid climes of Northern KZN.

Of course, there’s no denying that for the most part, Toyota make exceptional vehicles, but even Stevie Wonder could see that the majority of their products haven’t been the most exciting things to look at over the past two decades or so. Then, all of a sardine, the 86 arrived, and then the new Hilux, and the C-HR and then the Corolla Hatch, and now the new RAV4. And they are all impeccably built as Toyota’s always have been, as well as lovely to look at! Perhaps the word I’m looking for is exciting, and that’s a direction in which I am pleased to see Toyota going.

New Toyota Rav 4 interior

The original RAV4 was quite the exciting looking thing when it was launched in 1994, however, the models which followed it while capable, never quite had that youthful appeal of the original. It pleases me to report, then, that the all-new RAV4 has now returned to that edgy and youthful image for which it was once so loved, but in doing so hasn’t departed from its luxurious appeal for which the more recent RAV4’s were loved, too. In essence, it’s the best of both worlds, but of course, it gets better than this…

It would seem that the  Toyota RAV4 has somewhat of a universal appeal, and as such, Toyota has accommodated for this in the new Toyota RAV4 lineup. Built on their new TNGA platform, the new RAV4 is available in South Africa in 3 different trim levels with 2 different engines and the choice of either, Automatic, CVT or manual gearboxes.

GX is where the range starts off and sees niceties such as auto-leveling LED headlamps, cruise control, rear PDC and reverse camera, and driver, passenger, side, curtain and knee airbags all as standard, amongst a few others. This is available in 2WD with either a 6-speed manual with rev-matching or CVT transmission which also features a 10-speed stepped ratio function. Toyota’s new direct injection 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol motor does duty here and doesn’t disappoint with 127 kW and 203 N.m while returning a claimed consumption of 6.8 l/100km on the combined cycle. Pricing for the GX is R416 400 for the manual and R427 600 for the CVT.

Jump up to the GX-R and this is where things start looking really fresh and funky with what Toyota calls “Art-leather” available as an option – it essentially mimics the colours and patterns of a running shoe with a two-tone black and light grey interior, accented with orange stitching and rubber inserts here and there. It really works nicely when combined with the “Urban Khaki” exterior, a flat dark grey similar to Audi’s Nardo Grey. A great deal of effort has gone into setting the GX-R apart from its stablemates, with black plastic cladding and different bumper finishes supposedly appealing more to the “Active Generation Y buyers”. It also features an enlarged upper grill, as well as larger skid plates and wheel arches. The GX-R is also only available in five colours, whereas the GX and VX models are available in nine.

In addition to what you’ll find in the GX, GX-R adds leather seats, power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment, seat heating, leather steering wheel and gear-selector, keyless entry and start/stop, auto-dimming mirrors, a wireless charger, 3 x 2.1A USB chargers and dual-zone climate control. Featuring the same direct-injection 2.0-litre motor as the GX, the GX-R is only available with in AWD with the CVT transmission. Its priced at R508 100.

At the forefront of the lineup, we have the elegant VX derivatives which perhaps cater to the more mature RAV4 customer in pursuit of a brogue shoe rather than a grey and orange sneaker. The VX features chrome inserts on the door handles and a metal-finish strip the runs the width of the tailgate. It also features 19” polished alloys which really are lovely, as well as a slightly different grill design which also houses a different Toyota emblem, behind which the radar for the adaptive cruise control and front-end collision warning systems sits.

2019 Toyota Rav4 front

In addition to the specification of the GX-R, the VX features auto high beam LED headlights, Toyota Safety sense (pre-crash, lane departure warning with steering intervention, adaptive cruise control), blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, memory seats, 360 degree cameras and front and rear PDC. The VX can be had with either the 2.0-litre motor mated to a CVT transmission or a 2.5-litre direct-injection motor with outputs of 152 kW and 243 N.m, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Having had a chance to sample both engines, as well as the CVT transmission and the 8-speed automatic, I feel that if your budget only allows for one of the 2.0-litre models, that’s great – they’re perfectly capable. However, I really wouldn’t suggest trying out the 2.5-litre model if you can’t stretch to that, because its smooth power delivery, as well as how well it is mated to the 8-speed box mean that it is in fact quite a bit nicer than the 2.0-litre models.

New Toyota RAV4 Models

Featuring class-leading ground clearance and luggage capacity, a clever torque vectoring system in the AWD models and a more youthful appeal with the introduction of the GX-R model, the all-new RAV4 really does present an appealing option in its segment. That’s a good thing, then, when one considers just how tough the competition in the ‘Small SUV’ segment is. Keep an eye out for our full test review in the coming months.

2019 Toyota Rav4 Pricing in South Africa

The 2.0-litre VX CVT 2WD is priced at R505 400 and the 2.5-litre VX 8AT AWD is priced at R577 900.

Learn more here

 

 

 

Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI

The Volkswagen Touareg Just got better. Meet the V8 variant.

One could argue that the Volkswagen Touareg gained legendary status from the moment VW’s then brand new model hit the road in 2002. This was due in part to its shared underpinnings with Porsche’s also then new Cayenne, but also due to the fact that it was available with a stonking V10 TDI motor.

2002 Toureg v10

The second generation Touareg saw the much loved and mechanically troubled V10 axed for a more potent and frugal V8 TDI, which may not have had the same character as the V10, but golly gosh was it torquey and it suited the Touareg’s subtle yet attractive looks perfectly.

Fast forward 17 years from when Volkswagen’s now flagship was launched and the top-spec Touareg is back, now with VW AG’s 4.0-litre turbodiesel V8 which meets Europe’s latest 6d-TEMP emissions standards. With 310 kW and 900 N.m on tap, you can imagine the look on the face of a man who has just bought a BMW X5 M50d when you smoke him at the traffic light in your Touareg…

But of course, we don’t condone street racing and obviously, V8 Touareg’s will be more likely to be found towing caravan’s than scaring BMW’s on a Tuesday evening.

Compared to the V6 models, the Touareg V8 TDI  includes air suspension, an electronic boot lit, comfort seats, an anti-theft alarm system, stainless steel pedals and the “Light & Sight” package (including automatically dimming exterior mirrors and automatic headlights) all as standard.

The Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI is due to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, there’s no word yet on South African availability, so time will have to tell whether or not X5 M50d driver’s will need to be looking over their shoulders, for their caravan, of course.