Month: Jun 2020

Lexus enhances and advances the IS range

The Lexus IS range has always proved to be a formidable alternative to the more typical executive sedan options, now with the updated Lexus family face and image will the perceived image gap grow insignificant?

2020 Lexus IS Specs

The Sporty muscular look is said to hint at Lexus’ Driving Signature of performance, ethos that integrated the extensive engineering process that has resulted in the high focus on driver engagement and control. Lexus claims these will be the standards to which all new vehicles will be subject to, and thusly the change in focus should result in some interesting alternatives to key rival brands. The ‘New Look’ Lexus family face synergy carries through with the combination of a newly revised Spindle three-dimensional front grill, L-Shape LED lighting and angular lines that carry throughout the entirety of the bodyline of the vehicle. This beefer look is carried through the wider rear and new 19-Inch alloy wheels, that has created the necessity to widen the track 45mm in the front and 50mm in the rear. An updated version of Lexus Saftey Sense Plus will provide for driver autonomy through Dynamic Radar Cruise Control; Emergency Steering Assist Pre-Collision Systems, High Beam Assist and Lane Tracing Assist.

The focus on smooth “Linear vehicle operation”, hints to the overall refined drivability of the vehicle with the extensive development at Toyota’s Shimoyama Technical Centre, which focused on the behavioural dynamics of the vehicle. Retaining the rear-wheel-drive platform this should in-effect create a better-mannered vehicle.

2021 Lexus IS Drivetrains

The IS range will now feature both a 2Litre turbo-petrol and a hybrid electric 2.5Litre 4-cylinder to serve as the entry-level IS200 and 250h respectively. The IS300 derivative will feature a more powerful version of the same turbo 4-pot and with the option of the more adaptive approach to the driving experience, or the Combination of a hybrid System orientated for better throttle inputs and economy. The F-Sport flagship will feature the 3.5litre V6 and around 230kW. The transmission will be the 8-Speed ZF found in almost anything these days but with good reason given its versatility.

2021 Lexus IS Interior

The major benefactor of the new Lexus approach to vehicle design and ergonomics should prove to be the interior. The update brings a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with the now obligatory Andriod Auto and Carplay. A 360-degree camera with parking support that will break and steer the vehicle. Updated accents and climate control interface and the touchpad that allows main control over the interface. Door trims are embossed, and interior decorative elements finished in Ash or Black Geometric Film. F-Sport models get a more illustrious Satin Chrom finish and the option of a Flare Red.

2021 Lexus IS range in South Africa

With the set arrival for the first quarter of 2021 the IS range currently starts of pricing at R747 800 and with the entry-level models this is likely to fall, Considering the current economic climate and rising new car prices even an entry point of sub-R600k will make this a pricy car, but it should argue its value and worth vehemently.

The IS range will be sold standard with a maintenance plan and 7-Year Lexus Warranty.

Volkswagen T-Roc set to arrive in time for summer

With an expected arrival for later this year, the Volkswagen T-Roc is poised to cause the same stir that it has in Europe since its October 2019 launch. Set as the big brother to the ever-popular T-Cross, but still, to be smaller than the larger Tiguan full-sized SUV, the Sub -Compact SUV serves as a rival to the likes of the Mazda CX-3, sister car Audi Q2 and Nissans ageing Juke.

2020 VW T-Roc Spec

The T-Roc will be offered with to trim levels, namely Design and the traditional ‘R-line’ nomenclature as the range-topper in terms of spec. The design comes standard with VW’s 8-inch Composition Media Radio, with the obligatory Carplay and Andriod Auto connectivity options. We Connect Go which is VW’s vehicle information App, Voice control and dual-zone Climatronic again standard, with the LED rear taillights and PDC topping the generous list.

In addition to these safety features, VW’s new I.Q Drive technology systems are available on the T-Roc. I.Q drive tech aims at supporting the journey to fully autonomous driving and represents a range of driving assistance systems. On the T-Roc, the list of I.Q Drive technologies are as follows:

The I.Q Drive technologies included in the T-Roc are Park Assist, Emergency Assist, Front Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist.

The I.Q Drive technologies included in the T-Roc are Park Assist, Emergency Assist, Front Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist.

Emergency Assist: This is standard on the T-Roc and uses a range of system s in the vehicle to assist the driver when they are unable too.

As soon as the sensors detect no steering, braking or acceleration activity on the part of the driver, the system activates various escalation stages.

Initially, the system attempts to wake the driver by steering jerks and finally, an emergency stop is initiated. The hazard warning flashers are activated automatically, and the car completes some slight steering manoeuvres to draw the attention of other road users to the hazardous situation.

ACC prevents collisions with the traffic ahead. Finally, the system brakes the vehicle continuously to a standstill.

Traffic Jam Assist: This system also utilises from other tech such as the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist. Using these other systems, Traffic Jam Assist allows for safe and convenient stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic situations.

Front Assist: A conventional assistance system on vehicles today. Front Assist utilises sensors to determine the distance to the vehicle ahead. When this distance it dramatically closing and the driver is not yet applying the brakes, the system will help shorten the stopping distance and alert the driver with visual and audible signs.

Pedestrian Monitoring: This is a new offering that works as an extension and in conjunction with Front Assist. It uses sensors located at the front of the vehicle, which aids in looking for pedestrians and obstructions. If necessary, the vehicle will alert the driver using audio and visual systems, as well as applying the brakes if needed.

Lane Assist: This system is pretty straight-forward, literally. Lane Assist aids the driver is keeping the vehicle between the lanes on the road and has various levels of escalation. It can warn the driver through audio, a vibration through the steering wheel, and even provide steering intervention.

2020 VW T-Roc R-Line

The R-Line T-Roc adds impressive levels of standard equipment, previously exclusive to an options list are now standard on this model. With Safety a clear priority, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Front Assist area Monitoring with pedestrian recognition and City braking.

The R-Line T-Roc adds impressive levels of standard equipment, previously exclusive to an options list are now standard on this model. With Safety a clear priority, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Front Assist area Monitoring with pedestrian recognition and City braking.
Externally, the front end in combination to the R-line treatment gets LED daytime running lights with dynamic cornering lights, Keyless entry and 19-Inch Suzuka alloy wheels. The cabin gains Active Info display, Mobile Phone induction and Vienna leather.

The R-Line T-Roc adds impressive levels of standard equipment, previously exclusive to an options list are now standard on this model. With Safety a clear priority, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Front Assist area Monitoring with pedestrian recognition and City braking.

Externally, the front end in combination to the R-line treatment gets LED daytime running lights with dynamic cornering lights, Keyless entry and 19-Inch Suzuka alloy wheels. The cabin gains Active Info display, Mobile Phone induction and Vienna leather.

2020 VW T-Roc Drivetrains

Powering the T-Roc will be the choice of two petrol engines at launch, with more engine options to follow later into early 2021. A 110kW 1.4Litre TSI producing 250 Nm and linked to an 8-Speed Automatic or a 140Kw 2.0Litre TSI producing 320Nm and through a 7-Speed DSG gearbox and suitable for a 7.2 second 0-100 Sprint time, and 216Km/h Top Speed.

VW T-Roc Pricing in South Africa

The T-Roc will go on sale in November of 2020 with the 2.0 TSI design model joining at the dawn of the new year. At this stage, pricing has yet to be confirmed but expect an R500k plus entry point for the 1.4 TSI Design with the more illustrious R- Line climbing further and likely to crest of the R600k mark.

The Volkswagen T-Roc comes standard with a three year/120 000km warranty, five year/ 90 000km Volkswagen Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.

Mazda’s New BT-50: It’s also an Isuzu now

With the move for Mazda and there BT-50 bakkie away from the Ford Ranger base of old, The Move to fellow Japanese brethren Isuzu could revitalise the demand that made the Toyota Hilux and the now VW Amarok competition question their sales leadership positions.

2021 Mazda BT-50 Drivetrain

With the new Isuzu D-max underpinning, the new BT-50 will benefit from the revised version of the 3.0Litre 4-Cylinder Turbo Diesel, into states of tune, a lower output 130kw/430nm or a 140kW/450Nm higher output will likely be the range-topper.
Transmission choices are either a 6-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic transmission, linked to either 4×2 or 4×4 with a rear locking differential. The new engine and transmission pairing linked to the new re-designed platform should return lowered fuel consumption over the 2.2 and 3.2Litre Ford engines it replaces. The new BT-50 Passes the current braked towing and payload capacity with the 3500 and 1000kg haulage capacity it provides.

2021 Mazda BT-50 Styling and Design

The Signate ‘Soul of Motion’ Kido Philosophy is evident in the frontal design, with the Large Mazda Family grill and softer cues more fitting of the CX5 Family cross-over translating well onto the new melded face. The Bakkie lines and proportions remain faithful to the feelings of power and beauty wish conceptualised Kido and fitting and completes ‘understated brut’ look. The rear tailgate section makes use of a set of taillights which incorporate the Mazda Circular design and revised tailgate. 

2021 Mazda BT-50 Interior and Spec

Along with the Mazda specific revisions to the exterior, the cabin gains the same treatment with additional safety and specification not familiar to most bakkie markets. Winning a Touch of D-Max influence the 9-Inch Touchscreen infotainment features the wireless variation of Carplay and Andriod Auto and in-built SAT-NAV. Dash surfaces are soft-touch, and the instrument cluster gains digital functionality. Internally the available specification is plentiful, offering electrically adjustable and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start., auto headlights and wipers and finally Full PDC and reverse camera. The rear importantly gains ISOfix and rear air vents. In terms of safety, the addition of Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Sport Monitoring and Rear Cross- Traffic Alert linked to Auto Emergency braking completes the standard safety list.

2021 Mazda BT-50 in South Africa

With the local confirmation still pending its difficult to tell is the BT-50 will return to the South African market, with the arguments of pricing likely leading the decision. It’s highly likely to be profoundly affected by the new car market slump even in its 2021 projected arrival but should offer good value to the Toyota Hilux & VW Amarok- read about our review here – https://themotorist.co.za/we-drive-volkswagens-amarok-canyon-v6-its-fast/

We’ll keep you updated on the happenings of the BT-50, and if South Africans scream loud enough, Mazda may head to the cries of bakkie lovers. 

Ford adds Freestyle to the Figo Range

With the growing popularity of the Compact Crossover Suv market, the demand for a vehicle that fits a more SUV style approach has beckoned the Figo Freestyle. Serving a rival to the Polo Vivo Maxx and Renault Sandero Stepway the Freestyle is raised and offers the same look and aesthetic to hint at the gravel road intent.

2020 Ford Figo Freestyle Spec

Offered as both a Tred and top Spec Titanium Model, the central and critical differences to the Figo are the Roof rails, underbody protection sills, wheel arch cladding and increased ride height. 15-inch anthracite wheels, rear PDC and a painted front grille. The Titanium models additionally gain auto wipers and headlights, keyless entry, climate control, 6.5-inch infotainment screen, linked to Carplay and Andriod Auto and Reverse Camera.

2020 Ford Figo Freestyle Drivetrain

Powering the Figo is the same 1.5Litre naturally aspirated Ti VCT engine as the standard model. Power is rated as 91kW and 150Nm, with this ultimately an economy car, the focus on performance is not blistering, but the numbers provide for nippy in city performance on the standard model. The Freestyle has identical 0-100 times as the standard model and is dealt with in 11.5Seconds and has a top speed of 175Km/h and should return 5.5L/100.

2020 Ford Figo Freestyle in South Africa

Standard with a 4-year/60 000 service plan and 4-year/120 000Km warranty. The Freestyle is available in 6 colours, and metallic paint option is an extra R990

Ford Figo Freestyle 1.5 Trend R 226 700

Ford Figo Freestyle 1.5 Titanium R 247 500