Category: Discussion

The New 911 GT3 Sets a very fast lap around Nürburgring

911 GT3 Nürburgring Lap time

The new 911 GT3 Nürburgring lap time.

The Porsche 991.2 911 GT3 may look very similar to its predecessor but under the skin much has changed. This is proven by the official lap time set by the 991.2 GT3 around the legendary Nürburgring. A track which seems to be proving ground for fast cars. “If you can drive fast on the Nordschleife, you can drive fast anywhere in the world”, Frank-Steffen Walliser commented.

The new Porsche GT3 set a lap time of 7 minutes and 12 seconds. That, my friends, is 12.3 seconds faster than the previous generation 991 GT3. That is a very fast time and a big improvement which shows the changes to the GT3 really do make a difference. Read about the changes here: The New Porsche 991.2 GT3 Has Changed More Than You Think.

It’s worth noting this time was set on Michelin Sport Cup 2 N1 tyres which come standard with the  Porsche 991.2 GT3.

There is currently no official time for the GT3 RS, Although some have rumored it set a time of 7 minutes  and 20 seconds, in the wet. The official time set by the GT3  has also sparked rumors suggesting a sub 7 minute lap time from the upcoming Window Maker – the GT2.

This could mean a production car lap record if it beats the claimed time of the time Lamborhini  Huracan Performante – 6 Minutes and 52 seconds, which many are saying never happened…

 

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A million Rand golf and a Ferrari priced BMW M4 GTS: The price of exclusivity.

Quite a few manufacturers have dabbled in the game of limited edition vehicles, especially those who already produce coveted cars. BMW for instance has been doing this for years, remember the M3 CSL? Or even the M3 GTS? We didn’t get the latter in South Africa but we did get the former. If my memory serves me correctly, the CSL retailed for R965 000. In 2004 that was a heap of cash, hell in 2017 that price is still not cheap.  The M3 GTS was around the R1.7mil mark when converted into Rands, so it too was not a cheap car. Manufacturers can justify this though as these special editions are often faster, better and most importantly very exclusive. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that you’ll pay around R1.2mil for a used CSL (if you can find one), because these cars have become collector’s items.

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Of late though, something quite interesting has been happening. With many special editions coming in to SA, we’ve seen prices sky rocket with certain cars. This is not the manufacturer charging these prices though, but rather the dealerships, independent ones for that matter. See what usually happens is this, when a special car is offered to the public, those in the know have already put their names on the list. Some have even paid for their car in full. As a result before you know the allocation has been spoken for and the cars are sold out. This has been the case with the Volkswagen GTI Clubsport S. In the case of the new BMW M4 GTS,  specific customers were invited to purchase the cars, no one could simply say they want one. The interesting thing though is that as these cars arrive, the inevitable happens and you see them advertised on a private dealer’s lot for a ridiculous premium. Of course the accredited retailers hate this because since they are regulated by the manufacturer, they cannot sell the car for more than the recommended retail price.

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Going back to the VW Golf GTI Club sport S and the BMW M4 GTS, there are currently one of each available at a dealership. The GTI is selling for R999 000 and the M4 for R3.5mil. Yikes. The question is though, is it wrong for these dealerships to do this? Some may say so but if you think about it, it’s business. We as car lovers will lament and say this is hurting the market but from a business perspective it’s a simple case of supply and demand. Have you ever been stuck in traffic on a hot day? We all have. Chances are you’ll notice a man selling cans of Cokes and other fizzy drinks, you’ll also notice that he’ll be selling those beverages for around R20.00. That price can get you a two litre coke and some change, but when it’s hot and you’re literally stuck you’ll probably buy it. Can you blame the man for selling the drinks at that price? No, he saw that there will be a demand of cold beverages in a congested road and he supplied at the price he saw fit to sell it to you. He may be selling it for double what Pick and Pay sells it but since you’re the one dying of thirst, he’s got the power and at the same time he isn’t forcing you.

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The same goes for these cars. We may look at those prices and say “this is day light robbery”, but it’s only a robbery if there’s a gun to your head. If there’s no gun, it’s just business, good business at that. We forget that most of the people who can afford the likes of a BMW M4 GTS, have gotten to that position by taking opportunities and maximising their profit. The difference now is that they’re doing it with things we are passionate about, so we tend to feel very strongly about it. Chances are that the Clubsport S and M4 GTS will not sell for that price, but profit will still be made. The person buying those cars at those prices may seem like a fool to most of us, but for that buyer it was a hot day and he really wanted that Coke. It’s all relative after all, for multi-millionaires spending a couple hundred thousand more, or even a million for what you really want, is the same as us spending R12 more for the coke. So next time you see a limited edition car at a used car lot selling for double the price it should, remember that it’s all business and the price you pay for exclusivity.

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The practical choice: Suzuki Ertiga

The practical choice: Suzuki Ertiga.

Truth be told, there isn’t much in terms of appeal when it comes to people carriers. Cars that are built to fit as many individuals as possible normally look like taxis, and they’re often beige in colour too. Think of the Toyota Avanza, I haven’t seen a single one of them in any other colour besides beige and not once have I seen a happy family going on holiday in one. Instead, looks of fear and dismay are the expressions of occupants in an Avanza, purely because the taxi driver is normally attempting a life-threatening stunt.

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The smaller seven seating market is not one full of competition, though. If you were looking for something along those lines and you didn’t want the taxi driver stigma of the Toyota, you could choose a Suzuki.  The Ertiga is a car that can fulfil all your needs and the test car we received also happened to be beige. If I must be honest, when the car arrived at my offices I didn’t care much for it. The timing worked out that I had a fancier sports car with much more power at my disposal. Being young, you want to maintain a particular image, and the image of a crèche owner versus that of a successful businessman didn’t appeal to me. But it was only after a day of using all the fuel in my suave sports car, did the motor journalist in me kick in, and I did what all of us do…find the vehicle with the most amount of fuel in it. My personal car never has fuel in it because as mentioned, I am but a lowly journalist. So just like that, I had to swallow my pride and drive the Uber van.

Like any modern Suzuki, the Ertiga doesn’t scream excitement when you enter. What it does do is offer an ergonomically friendly setup. A radio that works easily, an air-conditioner that doesn’t require a degree and a Bluetooth system that easy to operate. After pairing up my phone and buckling in, I was set to find passengers, something the Ertiga needs for it to make sense. Naturally, I tried to find occupants that wouldn’t judge the fact that my social status had dropped immensely from the sports car driver to the delivery man. So I fetched my mother and siblings and off we went. The Ertiga’s 1.4-litre engine is not underpowered, but nor is it spritely. It’s around the middle where it’s just enough not to annoy you. It only has 70kW after all. The ride quality is as good as my couch, you don’t really know what’s going on under you, but you don’t care because it’s comfortable. Besides who wants to race around in a people carrier besides taxi drivers?

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The two most notable aspects of the Suzuki Ertiga is the practicality of the car and the fact that it runs on smiles and laughter. No seriously, in the week we had it, the car barely used any fuel. In fact, it’s so good on fuel I decided to park the sports car and use it every day because fuel savings over power win every day in the minds of cheap journalists. It’s not just journalists who think this way, though; the average person does too. This is where you see why this car makes sense for the person looking for its attributes. Some need a seven seater for business, others because of endless procreation. Whatever your reason is, surely you’ll want the car to be fuel efficient too. In the case of the Ertiga it’s fortunate to be more visually appealing than the Avanza, but maybe not as nice looking as Honda’s new BRV. The point we’re making is this, if you need the space and a measure of reliability at a reasonable price, the Ertiga is not a bad choice, it’s a practical one. You can also have it in another colour besides brown.

Prices:

Ertiga 1.4 GA: R189 900

Ertiga 1.4 GL: R215 900

Ertiga 1.4 GL AT: R231 900

New MINI too mature for its own good?

Up until now, nearly every single one of my pieces on here has been a review or repost of some sort mostly cars, occasionally tech. Today, however, I write a desperate plea, a plea which I am 100% sure will go completely unnoticed by the group of people to whom it is directed…anyway!

Cult cars – people love them.The Jeep Wrangler, the Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500, Land Rover Defender, Mini Cooper, every single Saab, ever – the list goes on. Some of these vehicles disappeared into the abyss, only to make a retro and snazzy comeback 30 years later, except for the woeful New Beetle, while some just carried on and on and on with a bit of plastic being added to the dashboard here and there. They’re great, all of them, and each ‘cult car’ appeals to a different type of person for various reasons.

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I am a huge fan of Mini’s, and I even have one. It’s black, and his name is Sebastian, and yes he may have been made by the German’s but anyone with half a motoring brain will realise that modern MINI’s are great. Well, sort of… The original resurrection of the MINI name by BMW in the early 2000’s was a shot in the dark for them, but couple German engineering with a cheeky brand identity and you’re sure to find success. Part of this success, however, is down to how great MINI’s are at many things – they’re cute, fun to drive and have loads of appeal.

The original new MINI, the R50/R53 was BMW’s first attempt at this, so they played it safe and borrowed bits from other manufacturers. It was nippy and little and rattled a lot but golly it was a sweet looking thing and reminded us of why we loved the original Mini so. Engines from Chrysler were probably not the best idea but huge success meant that the next model, the R56, would see more BMW and less…not BMW.

Horrendously unreliable, plasticy, expensive to maintain, expensive to buy and, not to mention, VERY unreliable were certainly not the reasons why the R56 was such a success, but nobody cared. And to this day, nobody cares and R56’s are still regarded amongst MINIacs as MINI’s hay day.

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Francisco drives one too, it’s also black, and we both love how boosty and unassuming our cars are. They’re properly quick and just the right size to be thrown around, gripping in the corners just like MINI’s do., with a throaty growl and street-cred to match.

But now we arrive at the bit where I beg and plead. In my opinion, the new MINI Cooper S is too soft. The F56 is fast and reliable and finally has a BMW motor so it won’t break but it’s so big and too refined and to be honest, nowhere nearly as fun as an R56. There’s very little about the F56 that’s actually MINI and it’s a shame. As an everyday car, it’s great but having recently had the new Fiat 500 on test, I found myself lamenting in the fact that the new MINI is just too much. It’s too big, too expensive and too much (I never thought I’d ever say this) of a BMW.

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The time has come for MINI to make the Rocketman Concept – a little runabout with a punchy turbo motor, cheeky looks and MINI handling, not 1 Series handling. The 500 with its grumbly two cylinder motor, diminutive proportions and the reasonable asking price is an incredibly sensible town car. If your name is Fiona and you run a florist. I certainly do not fit that description, though and look ridiculous in a Fiat 500, especially in the sort of blue your gran would describe as ‘soothing’.

So please, MINI, make us a manly and sensible city runabout?

Our New Mobile Application & A Free Copy of Edition 06.

There has been much happening in TheMotorist offices recently, our goal is to provide our readers and viewers with great motoring content which can be accessed and viewed easily.  In helping us to do this, we have released our Motorist mobile application! This is exciting times and will allow our readers to get The Motorist digital magazine directly on their mobile device, in an easy to read format.

To celebrate this, we are giving away our latest edition 06 magazine for free, for a limited time. Our featured article this month involves a crazy trip with Isuzu through Namibia, so why not give it a read. Head over to this link ( Get your issue here)  and fill in the details, we will send you over an email with everything you need.

Have an awesome weekend Motorists!

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6 Reasons why N/A is better than a turbocharged setup.

In 1962 the first ever turbocharged passenger cars came to the market, some of you might remember them. The Chevrolet Corvair Monza and the Oldsmobile Jetfire. These vehicles didn’t last long due to reliability, over coming years after their release turbocharged cars would come and go and many manufacturers went down the turbo route. This came to an end though because they were not yet as efficient as naturally aspirated engines and turbo lag was also very prominent.

Things started to change when the first Turbo Diesel came to the market In 1978, the Mercedes- Benz 300 SD, followed later by the turbodiesel VW golf in 1981.  Since then, turbocharged vehicles have steadily become more popular, especially in performance based cars as it is much easier to produce more power. In more recent times as technology has improved, turbocharging is now being used as a way to reduce emissions in our everyday vehicles.  Smaller engines can be utilized, and exhaust gasses provide a way to spool turbos.

Even with the turbocharged setup producing more power and becoming increasingly popular, here are six reasons why the naturally aspirated engine is still a much better choice :
 

  1. Noise – To this day, there is nothing better than the sound of a naturally aspirated performance engine. It’s generally louder and quite frankly sounds better. With the addition of individual throttle bodies, the sound gets even better. Turbocharging reduces the noise and brute of an engine; Formula 1 is a prime example. Give me an naturally aspirated  V8,V10 or V12 engine any day!
  1. Revs – N/A engines can rev much higher and produce power much higher up in the rev range, meaning longer gear ratios and less time spent shifting. Only very recently with the improvement of technology have we seen turbo engines starting to rev a little higher. The noise of a V8 at over 10,000rpm is something dreams are made off.
  1. Throttle Response – even with the reduction of turbo lag is recent times, you cannot beat the throttle response of an N/An engine, it gets even better with a fly by wire system!
  1. Fastest Nurburgring lap time – the fastest ever production car lap time was set by an N/A car – the Radical SR8 LM. Its peak power comes in at 10500rpm and hit the limiter at 12500rpm.
  1. Fewer things to go wrong – With turbocharged setups comes more technology, more moving parts, more pipes, more sensors and more complex electronic mapping. More chance of things breaking and going wrong!
  1. N/A is special – There may have been a time when a turbocharged car was special, but times have changed. Everything nowadays is being turbocharged, and it’s just not unique anymore, it’s common. No one likes common, hence why Porsche built the 911 R, a truly special N/A vehicle. Stick a turbo on it and It kind of loses its mojo.

 

There you have it, some of my  reasons as to why naturally aspirated engines trump the turbo setup.

N/A  all the way folks.

 

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