With a price of R669,000. some are saying that this vehicle is too expensive. While 669k might be expensive for a standard Golf GTI, it’s worth remembering that there’s nothing typically normal about the TCR.
For starters, the Golf GTI TCR will be available in limited numbers, less than 300 to be exact. This alone brings uniqueness and prestige to a vehicle that demands a higher price tag. On top of this, its the last “7” GTI variant to be released, which has a certain sentimental appeal.
This is similar to when the Clubsport S arrived in South Africa and for a short while, values shot up. For all we know, the TCR could start demanding prices north of 800k on car listing websites such as cars.co.za or autotrader.co.za. This is market-driven value and if people are willing to pay for the last, limited-edition Golf 7 GTI, the prices will reflect that.
GTI TCR Performance
Another factor to include here is the GTI TCR isn’t just a superficial Golf 7 GTI. Power output is rated at 213kW and 380Nm. This is much higher than the Golf 7.5 GTI, Clubsport and on par with the Clubsport S. Before the release of the 228kW Golf R, this power output would have been on par with that model as well. With launch control, a 5.6 second 0-100 km/h time is very impressive from a FWD Hatch. The TCR has also undergone chassis and suspension tuning to increase handling performance as well. Effectively, if you’re giving more performance, you can ask for more money.
It’s also worth considering the standard spec list that comes on the GTI TCR. Dynamic Chassis Control, driving profile selection, Active Info Display, Climatronic air-con and Parallel Park Assist are all included in the price tag.
Premium Alcantara sports seats, as well as other Alcantara interior bits and bobs such as the door inserts, are also included, this is something that can’t be specced on a standard GTI!
Golf GTI TCR vs Hyundai I30 N
Now let’s talk about the competition. One vehicle stands out in particular, that’s the Hyundai i30 N that recently arrived in South Africa. The i30n has or should I say had, a unique offering here. That being a sporty front-wheel-drive 5-door hatch, producing 202kW & 353 Nm. The Golf GTI TCR not only beats the i30n on power output, but also pricing. The Hyundai i30 N starts at R679 900, R10k more than the TCR. With the GTI backed by a cult following in South Africa, have VW just null and voided any possible desire in consumers to buy a Hyundai i30 N? Maybe. The only thing the i30n has going for it is the 5-year warranty and 7-year roadside assistance.
So there you have that, that’s why we think the VW Golf GTI TCR is not too expensive in South Africa. Considering the GTI Clubsport’s were selling for north of R600k ( spec depending) when launched in SA. We feel the more exclusive, more powerful and finely tuned TCR justifies it’s price tag. However, sometimes when you fiddle too much, you break it. Will the TCR live up to the Clubsport’s fantastic driving experience? time will tell.
A while back we announced that the VW Golf GTI TCR will be coming to South Africa. Much anticipation has been drawn around the final edition of the current Mk7 range and the TCR aims to usher the next-generation Golf 8 in with a serious bang. The TCR will provide just 300 owners with a chance at Limited Edition Golf bragging rights and the most powerful GTI ever. The exodus for the Mk7 Range serves as a reminder to the 40 128 Units sold in South African Markets, with 13 230 or 33% making up GTI sales. Long Story short, we South African’s love our Golf’s and even more so the now cult icon that the GTI nameplate has become.
VW GOLF GTI TCR
The Golf TCR muscles its way to the top of the range with 213kW and 380Nm driven through the front wheels. Power is delivered via a 6-Speed DSG gearbox and with the launch control active should be good for 5.6Seconds to 100Km/h. South African spec vehicles will feature the 264Km/h increased top speed. At launch, the choice of one of 3 paints: Pure White, Pure Grey and Torando Red will serve as the only spec option available. As Standard, the spec is as follows: Panoramic Sunroof, Alcantra TCR embossed Seats, Dynamic Chasis Control, Park Assist, and Active Info Display. Matte black mirrors, front splitter, a larger TCR rear spoiler and diffuser hint to the rapidness the hatch promises. South Africa will receive only a 5-door version.
GOLF TCR VS GOLF R
How does the Golf GTI TCR compare to a Golf R? A quick look at the stats should help you understand the TCR is not the fastest accelerating Golf, given the FWD grip limitations, but the lighter chassis and increase in power aims at a more driver-focused vehicle. The steering and spring rates have been sharpened, and a front locking differential aims to reduce understeering and directness at the nose. The TCR serves as a GTI base with the GTI bit turned up as high as possible. The TCR is a much sharper and more dynamic with the lighter chassis and revisions to the front-end grip. Will the TCR live up to the standards set by the Clubsport? Only time will tell!
Golf GTI TCR Pricing in South Africa
The VW Golf GTI TCR costs a reasonable R669 000, and orders to begin in May, with the cars scheduled to arrive at dealers in July. The TCR will come inclusive of a three year 120 000km warranty and 5-year 90 000km Volkswagen Service Plan. All 300 owners will get special model demarcations on each car and ownership certification.
The Ford Ecosport has been with us for in effect for seven years at this point, with the facelifted version we know now coming in 2018. The Segment that is now the highly contested Compact SUV market that makes for some outright better competition but the tried and trusted formula that is ‘bang-for-buck’ value spec-heavy justification that still suggests its capabilities.
The main update comprises of the Automatic 6-Speed addition of the 1.5Litre Trend. Other range updates include the specification updates to Both the Trend and Titanium model, through Collision Mitigation that brakes the vehicle and provides the driver with warnings to alert of danger. Other small updates include the Crusie Control with speed limiter on the Trend and front Park Distance Sensors on the Titanium.
Specs, interior & release date for the new 2020 Audi A3 Sedan
With the March debut of the latest generation Audi A3 Sportback being forced online due to the cancellation of the Geneva Motorshow. Following the fierce competition from BMW’s freshly launched 2-Series Grand Coupe and the double-entry from Mercedes through A-Class sedan and CLA. The scheduled September launch may create some issues for the main German rivals if the same ‘New Era’ Audi DNA carries through.
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
The Audi A3 Sedan in its latest form grows in size (4.5metres) over its predecessor and gains 15cm over the latest Sportback model. While boot size remains the same as the model it replaces at 425Litres, the overall design is distinctly Audi with sharp angular lines that of its clear Ingolstadt origins.
2020 Audi A3 Sedan Interior
Internally the cabin makes use of a 10.1Inch version of Audi’s intuitive New-look MMI infotainment touch display with the 10.25Inch Digital Display instrument cluster. With the option to upgrade to the larger 12.3Inch display – dubbed Audi virtual cockpit plus. South African Spec has yet to be announced but the new A3 can feature Audi’s top of the range MMI Navigation Plus, which is 10 times more powerful than the previous model. This means features such as In-car wifi connectivity, Andriod Auto and Carplay connectivity, Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, SmartKey integration, and Car-to-X services are all available.
Audi A3 Specs:
The 2020 Audi A3 Sedan Lineup at launch makes use of a 1.5Litre 4-Cylinder Turbocharged petrol and a 2.0Litre Turbodiesel. The former offered as the 35TFSI 110kWs and 250Nm, mated to either a 6-Speed Manual or a 7-Speed S-tronic automatic. The choice of the auto will feature a 48Volt Mild Hybrid system that provides 50Nm of Torque and engine off coast and operation. The 35TDI produces 110Kw and 360Nm and is paired with the 7-Speed S-tronic exclusively. The current A3 ’35’ range is claimed to accurate from 0-100 in 8.4 Seconds and have a 232Km/h Top Speed.
The suspension on the new A3 Sedan has been tuned to be slightly more precise than the previous model, and Audi’s central dynamic handling system is largely responsible for this by ensuring optimal interaction between all suspension components. As you may expect, sports suspension is available, along with an option that includes electronically controlled dampers which will be controlled by the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. This system won’t just adjust handling dynamics, but also throttle response and fuel efficiency depending on the mode.
2020 Audi A3 Sedan release date & Pricing for South Africa
Audi has yet to confirm launch dates and specifications but has confirmed an expected Q2 2021 local launch.
No pricing has been announced but with fellow German rivals BMW with its 218i Grand Coupe starting at R515 000 and Merc’s A200 Sedan at R 544 840, one can expect at least R550k before options.
In December 2019, the Hyundai Venue came on sale in South Africa. This is the first-ever compact SUV produced by Hyundai. They hope to leverage off the success of the Creta and compete in the ever-growing market of small SUVs, with models such as the VW T-Cross & Ford EcoSport.
From the outset, the Hyundai Venue’s fun appeal is evident in the design. Sleek curves and bulky wheel arches give the Venue a very cute, but adventurous feel. The color of our test model was Fiery Red, it suited the car well and contrasted nicely with the greenery of the Durban landscape and the 16″ alloy wheels.
Hyundai Venue Price in South Africa
The pricing for the Hyundai Venue range in SA is as follows:
Venue 1.0 Motion (manual) R 274 900
Venue 1.0 Motion (DCT) R 304 900
Venue 1.0 Fluid (manual) R 309 900
Venue 1.0 Fluid (DCT) R 339 900
Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT) R369 900
Included in the prices are Hyundai’s 7-year / 200 000 km warranty, 7-year / 150 000 km roadside assistance, and a 3-year / 45 000 km service plan.
Hyundai Venue Interior
The interior of the Venue isn’t anything partially special. The layout is clean, simple, and focused around the 8 inch LCD screen which features Apple Carplay & Android Auto. From a personal perspective, I really enjoyed this, connectivity is more important than ever and a simple interior with a great infotainment system is a great way to go. Unlike other brands, the infotainment system is designed very well, it’s easy to understand and navigate. Less is more, except when it comes to USB ports, we all need more of those. The Venue features dual USB ports. Thank you Hyundai.
Hyundai Venue Specifications
The Venue has three specification options, the entry-level model Motion, the middle of the range Fluid and top of the range Glide.
The Venue Motion comes Standard with Two airbags – front passenger and driver, whilst the Fluid and Glide models have 6 airbags. Seatbelt pre-tensioners, Isofix child seat attachments, Electronic stability control, ABS, and Hill Start Assist are standard across the range.
The body colors available are Phantom Black, Star Dust, Denim Blue, Typhoon Silver and Fiery Red. For a more sporty and quirky look, A contrasting roof is also offered with two colors – polar white with phantom black, and lava orange with phantom black.
The Venue models pack a host of tech and convenience features as mentioned further down in this article, where we compare the Hyundai Venue with the VW T-Cross.
To get a good relation for size, the Hyundai Venue is just short of 4 meters with a length of 3.95m, a width of 1.77 and a height of 1.59m.
Hyundai Venue Boot Space
As the Venue is a compact vehicle, space won’t be as generous as a typical SUV. The Venue offers a solid 350l of boot space, which should be good to fit most essentials, a pram or even a couple of suitcases. The Venue’s boot space is on par with the Ford EcoSport, but slightly lacking the 380l offered by the VW T-Cross – which features a sliding rear bench seat to increase boot space to over 450l.
VW T-Cross v Hyundai Venue
A close competitor to the Venue in this segment is the well-received Volkswagen T-Cross. The T-Cross comes in at a higher pricing bracket, with the starting price of the base model, the 1.0 TSI 85kW Comfortline DSG®, coming in at R334 600 compared to R 274 900 for the base Hyundai Venue. As we go through the model range, pricing becomes closer, with the T-Cross Highline starting at R365 000, and Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide with DCT gearbox coming in at R 369 900.
Both the T-Cross Highline & Venue Glide offer a decent range of standard options. Comfort Sports Seats, Inductive Wireless Mobile Charging, Driving Profile Selection, Climatronic Aircon, LED Headlights, Composition Media with App-Connect and 18-inch ‘Cologne‘ alloy wheels are the included features on the T-Cross Highline, above and beyond other standard features such as leather multi-function steering wheel with multi-function display, Park Distance Control (front and rear), cruise control, LED daytime running lights and Rest Assist.
The Venue offers comforts such as glovebox cooling, rear air condition ventilation ducts, automatic cruise control with buttons on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system, and rearview camera, with options such as premium LED headlights.
There is a strong argument that the VW T-Cross is the more premium vehicle of the two, one way this is proven by the wider range of options available such as the Active Info Display – a digital cockpit that replaces the analog dials and is unique to this type of vehicle.
Both the T-Cross and the Venue are powered by 1.0 turbo-charged, 3 cylinder petrol engines, a setup becoming very common to smaller vehicles. The T-Cross produces 85kW and 200Nm of torque, while the Venue produces 88kW and 172 Nm of Torque. In smaller cars like this, Torque is probably the more important figure as this is the cars “ pulling power” and makes a big difference when overtaking and pulling off from a standstill.
From a driving perspective, both cars drive very well and are pretty nippy. The engines put out good all-round performance and it’s pretty hard to tear them apart from a performance point of view. The Venue was a pleasure on my usual pre-lockdown routine which normally compromised of both town and highway driving, tight parking at the coffee shop and a good amount of music while sitting at a standstill.
I was always comfortable and would be happy to run the Venue for my morning commute every day.
The T-Cross comes standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, a 3 year/ 45 000km Volkswagen Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. This is sub-par when compared with the 7-year / 200 000 km warranty, 7-year / 150 000 km roadside assistance that Hyundai offers with the Venue.
Hyundai Venue Ground Clearance
We know many of you are interested in the ground clearance of small SUV’s such as the Venue, as it gives a good idea of how much exploring the vehicle can handle. The ground clearance of the Hyundai Venue is 195mm, which is plenty enough to handle dirt roads and mild off-road tracks with ease. The ground clearance of the Venue is more than the Hyundai Creta, which offers 190mm and the VW T-Cross which offers 180mm.
DCT & Manual Gearbox
The Venue can be specced with either a manual gearbox, which our test vehicle featured, or a double-clutch automatic gearbox. The automatic gearbox is inherently more expensive, but if you’re planning on spending longer trips and commutes in the Venue, it may be worth the additional cost to improve driving comfort.
Overall, the Hyundai Venue offers a great all-round package for those looking for a compact SUV in South Africa. The Venue looks really cool, has a good amount of tech and comes in at a good price point – with a fantastic warranty and service plan. If you’re not too worried about the premium feel, the Hyundai Venue may be much better suited to you than competitor models.
The Longtail developments made by Mclaren and inhouse specialists MSO speak for themselves. Examples clear, with the sheer understanding of track-focused unrelent. This time with the supercar Brutus that is the Mclaren 720S as a base.
A tuned version of the same 4.0Litre V8 Twin-turbo from the 720S, enhanced with the strengthened internals from the Senna, produces 563kW’s and 800Nm to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like with any LT version the track-focused nature creates the need for extensive carbon fibre redesign to the aerodynamics. Larger front air venting, larger front spoiler, active rear wing. The 1339Kg Curb weight and incredible power propel the 765LT from 0-100 in 2.7 Seconds and on the lower 330Km/h in the high drag configuration.
The revised dynamics make for a 6mm addition to the track and a 5mm reduction in the ride height, through significantly updated suspension revisions to the Proactive Chassis Control systems. The Carbon Ceramic Brakes are lifted from the Senna once again and can be Speced with a more forgiving road bias compound.
Internally the 720S on which the LT is based shares its interior is identical with a lesser finesse and focus on refinement given the weight reduction subtractions for sound insulation, carpets, and the no-cost option for the radio and aircon delete.
Mclaren 675LT In South Africa
The English carmaker will only make 675 of this version of the LT Coupe for 2021 with a likely Spyder to follow afterwards. It’s still too early to tell if there will be a South African allocation, but LHD USA sales are scheduled for a September release. With other focused supercars like Ferraris F8 Tributo with its 530kW matching nicely the next generation of halo mid-engined on the way, the 765LT should have most shaking in there 20-inch boots.
Having been scheduled for its global debut at the Geneva Motorshow, the new fast Touareg with the full-cream R treatment has some interesting indications towards the VW electrification plans of the future. Power is provided not from the expected VAG 4.0Litre V8, but instead a smaller V6 TSI engine with the Plugin-Hybrid system.
Externally the R gets some additional blacked-out vents, grill and trimming and the R-Line visual package in combination with Range Optional, Black style package with the combination of 20-inch Suzuka wheels, finished in black with the optional 22Inch Estoril alloy in either black or burnished black.
The Focus behind the R distinction is the Performance focus and The R promises some Serious numbers. The Turbocharged 3.0Litre V6 producing 250Kw engine is combined with a 100Kw electric motor for a combined 340Kw and 700Nm, driven to all four-wheels via 4-Motion permanent AWD. Not forgetting its SUV routes drive is through an 8-Speed automatic with a centre locking diff with what VW has dubbed asymmetrical torque distribution which can split power 70/80 front to rear. The Hybrid motor and battery system feature an E-Mode which allows for speeds up to 140Km/h (dependant on charge) in a full EV mode.
The key internal differences with the Performance variant of the Touareg is specification through both through the options list and as standard. Finished in the standard black leather with contrasting crystal grey stitching, with “R ” insignia on the head restraints denoting the exclusivity that is R’s interior equipment treatments.
The use of aluminium in the door inserts, high gloss Black finishes to the centre console and the optional Vienna leather for the comfort seat option. A redesigned heated Multi-function steering wheel, and the aluminium door sills with more ‘R‘ insignia, function as constant reminders to the understated presence the ‘R‘ treatment has given it. Specification remains mainly unchanged from the standard model with the Innovision Cockpit featuring the 12-Inch Digital instrument panel, 15-Inch TFT touchscreen Infotainment System, standard Light LED matrix headlights, panoramic sunroof and 4-zone Climatronic climate control.
Premium SUV is always an exhibition of the latest tech and the list of Active, Dynamic and passive safety is long and inclusive. Adaptive Travel assist or Cruise control up to 250km/h driver autonomy, self-parking aids for trailers, 4-Motion permanent AWD, lane keep assist, sign recognition, the list is extensive. The critical difference between top-spec Toureag R and the rest of the range being the Hybrid Drivetrain has created the need for some changes to the car as a whole and the addition of features. The access to displays on the energy reserves, flow and supply to the drive train as this changes via the digital cockpit.
VW Touareg R
The R promises serious performance contention and Hybrid electrification benefits that make the R an exciting prospect in the highly contested fast SUV market.
With the current 8th Generation 992 911 range being the ultimate epitome of what is the modern 911 still is, even the purist arguments that endlessly rant on about electric steering, turbocharging and water cooling have been humbled now. The 991 and 992 have proven to be thunderously focused drivers cars with very little to wish for even in more plebian entry-level models. A statement not so true of 911s of old. These days even a standard Carrera is suitable for a sub 3.5 Zero-100 time. The modern view of the Stuttgart manufacture, with a specific focus on the ‘Turbo‘ element, is more indicative of trim levels in Porsche speak given the whole Carrera range has a turbo, and the EV Taycan doesn’t even have a combustion engine. This may all sound a bit doubtful and anti-climatic for the 1980s 930 Turbo nostalgia, but the Wider body and the historic rear-arch mounted intercooler intakes make the distinctions very clear.
Mounted in the rear is an all-new 3.8Litre Twin-turbo Flat-Six engine with 478kWs and 800Nm, Through Porsche Traction Management AWD system via an 8-Speed PDK gearbox. With launch Control Active 0-100 will be dispatched in 2.7 Seconds and 200 in less time than it takes to read about the drivetrain or 8.9 seconds, with a 330Km/h top speed.
The Turbo S model benefits from the revisions to the aerodynamics and enhanced track characteristics; the front axle is 42 mm wider and ten at the rear. Porsche Active Suspension Management with a 10mm drop in ride height and Sports Chassis comes standard with active cooling air flaps which channel air into and underneath the car. Like the rest of the range, a staggered wheel set up featuring 20/255/35 in the front and a healthy 21/315/30 at the rear.
The Cabin gains a new PCM infotainment centre with a 27.6cm screen, GT sports Steering wheel, Carbon trimmings and accents. The Sport Chrono Package comes standard with the Track Precision app and Bose Surround System standard.
Porsche 992 911 Turbo S pricing in South Africa
Prices starting just over R3.5Million rand for the Turbo S Coupe without options and inclusive of a 3/year Drive Plan. Deliveries South Start in early May.
Alfa Romeo has looked into their deep pockets of racing prowess to create what is dubbed to be the return of the Gran Turismo Alleggerita moniker. Translated from Alfa speak ‘GTA’ means lightweight and carries some severe weight in its near 110 years of the carmaker’s existence. The Guilia Quadrifoglio exudes this lustful super salon-like aura. Almost five years after its initial introduction, the F1 Race Engineering Team has donated some of its greatest minds with the promise to make this a rival to the likes of the most hardcore. This anniversary gift complete with the option to drop the rear seats for harness’ and a roll cage comes set with carbon fibre right-hooks with BMW’s M4 GTS and Jaguar’s Project-8 in its Crosshairs.
The GTA and GTAm’s focus on lightweight antics is to the tune of 100Kgs, the extensive use of aerodynamic splitters and wings in composite materials is rather apparent. The Sauber F1 team’s hand in the development has resulted in the use of an Active front splitter set in carbon-fibre, with tweaks to the aerodynamics via their ‘aero kit’ that places canards and gussets in the revised bodywork to channel air to increase downforce. An Akrapovič Titanium exhaust system, integrated into the carbon fibre rear diffuser now standard, with the centre-locking 20-inch wheels. The tweaks have resulted in a further 50mm addition to the vehicle track, new shocks, springs and stiffer bushings for the suspension. The GTAm gains a Carbon Rear wing for additional downforce and larger adjustable active carbon front splitter, creating a far more purposeful look to the exquisite and sculpted lines of the standard model.
Importantly for the Alfa is the increase in power from the Ferrari sourced 2.9 Litre V6 Bi-Turbo. 375kW by no means meant this was a car that felt underpowered-in fact, RACE mode where all the safety nannies are put to sleep; requires a vigilant driver with the rear often seeking mischief when taking on a more tooth and nail approach to driving. The GTA revisions have resulted in 397kW through increased turbo pressure, more durable pistons and rods and significant cooling upgrades.
The interior benefits from the uses of Alcantara trimmings on the door panels, dashboard, side pillars, glove box and seats. The GTAm gains a more hardcore approach to weight savings which the option to ditch the rear bench and rear door cards and racecar-like additions. A rearseat mounted harness bar complete with 6-point Sabelt harness’, Lexan side and rear window frames, carbon fibre and aluminium pannel substitutions. All of which have resulted in 100Kgs in weight savings total and 3.6 Seconds to the 100km/h sprint, from what remains ultimately a full-sized rear-wheel-drive saloon car. The Standard GTA model gaining the dynamic enhancements but remains less compromised with rear seats and a smaller front splitter for daily driving.
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA in South Africa
With only 500 models set for production, the GTA and GTAm will be a hell of a thing and offers an uncompromised approach to the standard model. Even with the limited run, a few examples have been destined for our shores, South Africa’s passionate relationship with the Alfa name will gain another piece of history. But more importantly put broad, terrified smiles on the faces on a lucky few, complete with a ‘personalised experience package’ available with races suit and helmet on delivery.