Category: Latest News

Updated Kia Soul arrives in South Africa

Kia Soul released in South Africa

South African Car News: Updated Kia Soul

In September 2016 we saw the unveiling of the updated Kia Soul, a unique looking vehicle in the crossover segment. The updated Soul receives some minor updates which include a re-styling of the front and rear bumpers. There are also changes to the front headlights and rear fog lights. The updates to the interior the Soul are also minimal with a few different trim options and designs

The bigger news is that there is a new entry-level variant in the Kia Soul range – the Soul 1.6 CRDi START which  features a turbodiesel engine producing 94 kW and 260 N.m of torque. Deputy Managing Director Gary Scott claims that the new turbodiesel Soul 1.6 START is “probably the best-built, most spacious and well-specced diesel crossover below R400,000”

This a bold statement, but the Kia Soul START does feature a good host of options as standard, such as Bluetooth connectivity, six speakers, central locking, a rear-view camera and electric windows front and rear just to name a few – not bad for R329 000.

Full Kia Soul Range

There are six variants in the KIA Soul range with three petrol and three diesel models on offer. At entry level and accompanying the START diesel is a petrol version, also featuring a 1 600cc motor producing 91 kW and a mere 151 N.m of torque – this model does however come with the option of an automatic gearbox for R13 000.

If you fancy a little more spec for your Soul, then the STREET option could be something to look at. It features such things as glovebox cooling, a Smart Key with push button start, leather upholstery, Electronic Stability Control, Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control and Vehicle Stability Management. Further to this, the STREET models are also available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine providing a decent 116 kW and 192 N.m.

If you really want to push the boat out, KIA have the top of the range SMART models on offer. Park Distance Control, HID Headlamps and LED daytime running lights, Cruise Control and electric seats are some of the fancy extras one can have.

An automatic gearbox is also as standard on both the 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines in the SMART range. The diesel engine also has an increased power output of 100 kW and 300 N.m thanks to a more capable 7-Speed dual clutch gearbox.

With the top of the range petrol Soul SMART coming in at R391 000, it really is good value for money. We feel that the SMART diesel variant is a little too much, though, at R431 995.

Full pricing is as follows:

Soul 1.6 START Manual                                 R 309,995

Soul 1.6 CRDI START Manual                    R 329,995

Soul 2.0 STREET Manual                           R 347,995

Soul 1.6 CRDI STREET Manual                    R 376,995

Soul 2.0 SMART Auto                                    R 391,995

Soul 1.6 CRDI SMART DCT                          R 431,995

 

Is the glorious noise gone? Jaguar F-Type now comes in 2.0 litre variant.

South African Car News: Jaguar F-Type 2.0 

So by now you would’ve heard that the F-Type will feature an entry level 2.0 litre engine. For those of you who love cars, you may be worried. The thing about a sports car like an F-Type is that the silly things are often what matters most. So yes the car may be lighter and yes it may love the trees a bit more, but will it still sound like you’re a superhero each time you plant your foot down? Let’s hope so. The F-Type was part of the cars that made the “pop and bangs” popular. Some call it “fake noises” but we really don’t care, because a screaming F-Type on overrun is as aurally pleasing as a Jimmy Hendrix solo.

Performance Figures

As much as noise counts though, we have to give credit where it’s due. The 2.0 litre F-Type still offers great performance credentials, as it produces 221kW/400Nm. As a result it’s good for a 0-100 time of 5.7 seconds. The fact that the car is lighter also means that it will be more dynamic which generally means more fun. The introduction of this power-plant makes sense, as it makes the vehicle more accessible. By accessible we don’t mean from a monetary aspect, but rather from a drivers perspective. Sometimes less is more and in the case of the F-Type 2.0 litre, this perhaps could be the reality. Not everyone can man-handle a V6 or V8 F-Type with the grace of a Top Gear presenter, in fact majority people aren’t too interested in lap times and going sideways. The sledge hammer performance offered by the top of the range F-Type can be a bit intimidating, especially for someone who simply wants something the stylish and sporty. As a result the 2.0 litre variant may just be the car that client is looking for.

Jaguar insists that vehicle still sounds great and from the small clips we’ve heard, it still has the pops on overrun. Joy. The F-Type’s new Ingenium engine has some smart technology which aids performance and fuel economy. This includes a specialised exhaust manifold, a clever valve system, a twin scroll turbocharger and centrally mounted fuel injectors.  The changes don’t stop with the engine, as subtle front and rear end tweaks have been made, giving the F-Type a fresher face.

Overall this new model can be viewed as “the people’s Jag”. One can also expect to pay less for this model but we  have yet to receive formal pricing on the car in South Africa. Until we drive it and hear how sounds, we’re holding thumbs. We smell a Porsche 718 Boxter/Cayman dual happening soon with this car. Stay tuned.

 

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Volkswagen strikes back: Volkswagen Amarok V6 launched in South Africa

Volkswagen Amarok V6

Volkswagen Amarok V6 launched in South Africa

Back in 2010 when Volkswagen announced that the Amarok will only feature 2.0 litre engines, bakkie lovers were up in arms. “We need more power! We need more displacement!” the angry hoards and picketers screamed, forming a mob and carrying flaming objects whilst protesting toward their local VW dealers. Well that’s what we assume happened in certain parts of town where anything under 3.0 litres is an insult to someone’s manliness. This burning issue however was not really about power, because despite the Amarok 2.0 TDI producing 132kW and 440Nm, what people had a problem with was the size of the engine. So much so, the Amarok didn’t really take off as well in South Africa as VW had hoped it would. People are still buying the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger in droves, don’t forget the Isuzu KB as well. As a result Volkswagen have seen the need for change, drastic change at that. What, then, could be more drastic than a bakkie that produces 165 kW/550 N.m? How about a bakkie that produces 180 kW and 580 N.m on over-boost? Yes the new Amarok V6 is in a different performance league when it comes to pick-ups available in South Africa.

Bakkie SUV?

To be honest, the Volkswagen Amarok has always had a few advantages over its rivals, but it seems as though those advantages weren’t ever enough. Take for example the cabin and ride quality, there is nothing agricultural about the car. Instead, the Amarok is arguably the best dual purpose lifestyle bakkie out there. People don’t care however, people want power. That is why the combination of the updated cabin and the engine are a match made in bakkie heaven as you get the best of both worlds. A large touch screen infotainment is now offered in the Amarok, giving you features like Apple CarPlay as well as Bluetooth and other smart features. Ergonomically you feel like you’re in a Golf up front, of course the rear seats are still more “truckish” but purely because you have a load bin behind you and nothing’s going to change that. The overall interior and comfort levels in the V6 are fantastic, you’d swear you’re in an SUV, especially without the rackety noise of the 2.0 TDI.

 

Is all that power necessary?

No. There is no real need for all that power, unless you plan on ploughing the fields in the morning or towing your mobile home with you. Quite honestly, the power offered in the 2.0 TDI is sufficient for the average bakkie owner. The thing is though, once you put your foot down in the V6 and you feel the surge of torque – you realise that this is not power you need, it’s power you want. Once you’ve experienced it, you don’t want it to go away. The powertrain offered in the V6 Amarok can be best described as a very rich dessert, a chocolate mousse even. If you’re not a lover of chocolate mousse, you need to rethink your entire life and maybe even see someone about that.
Oh by the way, it’s not only power that’s changed in the Amarok, the front end looks different too…slightly. The entire range has been face-lifted, with minor changes giving the car a fresher face. The choices are as follows: Comfortline, Highline, Highline Plus and Extreme. The engines range from a 103kW 2.0 TDI to the 132kW 2.0 TDI and then of course, the V6 we’ve been crushing over. If money is no object and you only want the best, the top of the range Extreme model is available. This will equip your Amarok with Satellite navigation, 20 inch wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights and even 12 way adjustable “ergoComfort” seats as some of the standard features.


All these features sound like items you would get in an SUV, but that’s what the bakkie market wants. Thankfully you can still go into Africa and see the dusty sights in your Amarok. The car features an Electronic Differential Locking system for great traction but a diff lock button is still available for those really sticky situations. An Off-Road button can be selected for hardcore terrains and this allows for features like hill descent control to be activated and other nifty features such as off-road ABS as well.
If your Amarok is equipped with ESC, you get a feature called Electronic Trailer Stabilisation which assists when loss of traction occurs whilst towing. Speaking of towing, you’re good for 3300kg, which is great especially for those who enjoy a spot of caravanning. Depending on which Amarok you get, there is the choice of a 6 speed manual gearbox for the 103kW and the 132kW, but the V6 is only offered with the 8 speed automatic gearbox and only in 4Motion as well. The 2.0 TDI’s can be opted as RWD or 4Motion, with the 4Motion being the best off road choice, as it uses a Haldex system to utilise all four wheels for better traction.

Best bakkie out there?

Answering that question with a yes or no depends on your needs. As a lifestyle bakkie for the city and open road, the Amarok has always been a leader when it comes to comfort and trim levels. For the real hardcore off-roaders, some still prefer the likes of a Toyota Hilux. You can’t blame them because there are very few bad bakkies out there. The addition of the V6 engine has made the Amarok the best bakkie in terms of its powertrain. The new Nissan Navara still has one of the best chassis out there but again, it’s all subjective. The biggest problem facing bakkies today is cost and the Amarok V6 is not cheap. Nor is any other top of the range pick up either. An asking price of R748 600 for the Extreme is a hard pill to swallow. If it makes you sleep better at night, think of these fancy bakkies this way: if you own one of them, you don’t really need an SUV anymore. You have all the creature comforts of an SUV but the off road attributes of a bakkie, giving you a car you can do more with. Who would’ve thought that one day this segment would be so demanding? The fact that Volkswagen actually went ahead with the development of this car proves that if people complain enough, eventually they get what they want.

 

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Released: BMW M550d & M550i X Drive – The Models Which South Africa Won’t Get.

BMW M550i South Africa

South African Car News: BMW M550d & M550i Xdrive

BMW M550i X Drive South Africa
It’s True. BMW have just released both the M550d and M550i – very exciting indeed, or not… As of yet, we have no news on exactly if or when these stinkingly powerful 5 Series variants will be heading to our beautiful country.

BMW M550d

First to be released by BMW was the M550d xDrive, which if you didn’t know has the most powerful 6-cylinder diesel engine ever in the automotive industry. It’s 3-litre displacement is aided by four turbochargers. This is a fairly complicated setup with two low pressure turbochargers helping with low down response and two higher pressure units for power. It is worth noting that both low pressure turbos and one high pressure unit will always be running, with the second high pressure charger kicking in above 2 500 rpm. This makes sure that the M550d xDrive will hit 100 km/h in around 4.5 seconds. Mighty fast for a diesel, but with 294 kW and 760 N.m on tap, what else could one expect?

BMW M550i X Drive South Africa

Handling all this power will be BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system which does not spoil all the fun as BMW say that the front axle only comes into play when needed, meaning this puppy may still be able to get a little sideways. That’s if you can break traction on the 275/35 R19 rear wheel tyres needed to control all that juice.

BMW M550D South Africa

The BMW M550d xDrive will also have some unique visual elements, such as the Exterior mirror housings, radiator grille frame, bumper design elements and side air breathers all in Cerium Grey. A purchaser of this vehicle can expect M Sport Suspension, integral active steering, M aerodynamics package, M Performance exhaust system and M sport brakes finished in blue as standard.

If this isn’t exciting enough, there is also the option of the now ranging topping 5 Series variant -the M550i xDrive.

M550i xDrive

You won’t find 6-cylinders here but instead a 4.4 litre turbocharged V8 Motor producing a blustering 340 kW and 650 N.m. In conjunction with the 8 speed sports auto transmission and rear bias xDrive, the M550i will hit 100 km/h in just 4 seconds. My question is, then, how fast is new BMW M5 going to be?!

BMW M550i South Africa

This model features the same design and styling characteristics as the M550d with the M aero package and Cerium Grey details.

BMW M550i X Drive Interior South Africa

Both models will be available with the connected drive features and technologies available in other 5 Series variants such as the remote parking feature. You can read more on the current 5 Series range from our launch article here.

BMW M550D South Africa

Will these models be coming to South Africa?

Sadly, probably not. This could be for many reasons and in terms of the M550i that reason would be pricing. The M550d on the other hand might not even make it to the UK and will just be a european model. If it’s not going to the UK, it’s definitely not coming to South Africa and they will probably keep it as a left hand drive model only. These models are available from June, so there still may be some time for them to change their mind, but we doubt that’ll happen.

BMW M550i X Drive South Africa
We should however be receiving the new BMW M5 which purportedly also features a rear biased xDrive system – no news on that either, though.

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A Lotus for race and road: The Lotus Exige CUP 380

South African Car News : Lotus Exige Cup 380

South African Car News: Lotus Exige Cup 380

For me, Lotus vehicles have always reminded me of mini race cars for the road. As an adolescent, they had always been appealing to me because of their aggressive design and small dimensions – they looked fast! They don’t just look fast though, they are fast. Thanks to their lightweight build and punchy engines, Lotus cars produce supercar figures without supercar price tags.  We can’t forget their sharp and nimble handling either – they make for a great track day car.

Lotus’ new addition to the range is built for more than the odd track day, though, it’s a competition race ready vehicle which one can also use on the road.  The Lotus Exige Cup 380 is based on the Exige Sport 380, which was the fastest Exige ever made when it was released in late 2016 – but its not the fastest anymore…

 

The Exige Cup 380 will reach 100 km/h  in a mere 3.6 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 282 km/h. This is thanks to its 375 bhp and 410 N.m  from the familiar 3.5 – litre supercharged V6. These are impressive figures, but are just a smidgen better than the Sport 380 which will hit 100 km/h 0.1 seconds slower while producing the same power.

The difference between the Sport and Cup models comes down to two things: Weight and Aero. The Exige 380 has a dry weight of 1057 kilograms, meaning it weighs around 9 kilograms less than the Sport 380 and has a power to weight ratio of 355 bhp/ton. Weight saving becomes very difficult with an already light vehicle and drilling large circles in the bodywork just won’t do. The big weight saver is the new one-piece carbon fibre tailgate which sheds 6.5 kg straight off the bat. Further to this, the removal of gas struts save 1kg, new carbon fibre side pods also shed half a kilo and optional carbon fibre interior components will lose another 1 kg.

The biggest difference in terms of performance comes down to aerodynamics. The Cup 380 will produce up to 200 kg of downforce at speed which is a 43% percent increase over the Sport 380 – meaning grip and cornering speeds are greatly increased. This has been achieved with dramatic body changes and great attention to detail. Even the main windscreen wiper now rests in a vertical position to minimise the disruption of airflow.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said “…Unlike some rivals’ cars, this is something that really can drive to a track, set the fastest lap and take the win, before heading home. It’s supremely usable, yet outrageously fast.”

As standard, the Lotus Exige Cup 380 is fitted with a T45 stainless steel roll cage, an expensive choice in return for a reduced weight over other options. Also as standard are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (285/30 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front) needed to cope with the extra aerodynamic force, and a close-ratio six speed manual gearbox.

Optional extras are available, such as a full titanium exhaust system (reducing weight behind the rear axle by 10 kg) FIA compliant roll cage (should be standard?) full race harness, fire extinguisher controls and airbag deletion. There are no 100 speaker Bang and Olufsen sound systems and the like here.

In terms of technology, the Lotus features four ESP modes: Drive, Sport, Race and off. Apart from providing reduced traction, Race and Off modes also increase throttle response and utilise an engine exhaust bypass valve which reduces exhaust back pressure at higher engine speeds. Further to this, a variable traction control function has been introduced which only works when the system is in OFF mode. This variable mode is controlled by a six-setting rotary switch and allows different percentages of wheel slip ranging from 1% 0 12% across five modes, with the sixth mode simply being OFF. So thats OFF OFF then, sounds fun…

It’s worth noting that their is only 60 models available and pricing will start at £83,000. That’s just under R1.4M at the current XE rate of 16.7.

Although you can purchase  Lotus vehicles in South Africa through Pearl Automotive, they are currently not importing any stock. However, a request can be made. Here is a link to their website and contact details: http://www.lotuscars.com/pearl-automotive-pty-ltd

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This is the new Dodge Challenger Demon and it’s been banned from the drag strip!

South African Car News: Dodge Challenger Demon

Meet the car which has been banned from the Drag Strip: Dodge Challenger Demon

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. American vehicles in South Africa have always been niche and I personally think that that is a good thing, but with this new Dodge Challenger Hellcat, it’s proving to be somewhat difficult for me to digest. As a spiritual man, the word Demon has bad connotations. You see, no matter how you spin it, in my world, a demon can never be a good thing, even if this demon has a rumored figure of 804 hp that’s 617 kW in South African!

American vehicles have a reputation of being fast in a straight line and lacking in the corners. The new crop of muscle cars seem to negate that but the scales are still prejudice to the straight-line side. This is a muscle car that is rumored to destroy the oh-so American quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at an exit speed of 224 km/h! 0-100 is blitzed in 2.3 seconds and 0-160 km/h in 5.1 seconds. This is courtesy of a stupendous torque figure of 1 043 N.m, and it’s the first road legal vehicle to lift its front axle on take-off. Rears are shod with 315 rubber to make sure that your “11s” can been seen from the international space station.

This ridiculous amount of power comes courtesy of a supercharger that’s bigger than your Golf 7 GTI’s motor at 2.7 liters which is then bolted onto a 6.2 liter V8 motor, resulting in 1.8 Gs on launch. That’s guaranteed to blur your vision while making sure that your eyes are securely lodged at the base of your skull.

All this power and numbers come from the wizardry of computers and you see this in the technical specifications. The de.. Hellcat has specific software to shift weight to the rear to optimize launches, all the while playing with how much torque it lets the rear wheels – yes no four-wheel-drive here – have to minimize wheelspin. The induction process has liquid to air induction to keep that air going to the intake manifold cold and to make sure that you can take on Vin Diesel in the next Fast movie, it re-routes the air-conditioning air to the charge cooler to reduce temperature by up to seven degrees Celsius. I told you a lot of wizardry has made this car into what it is!

I can go on forever as to what the car will bring but the only way I can make this make sense to you is to urge you to click on the link at the end of this article and see for yourself what we are talking about. This is a street legal drag car which was the idea when the team at Dodge decided to do a marathon omnibus of all the race movies ever made including Fast and Furious. Ironically and for what it’s worth, it’s been banned from the drag strip by the American NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) as any vehicle that can complete the quarter mile in under 9.99 seconds would need a roll cage as well as some other safety measures that could be done in house, but I’m sure that Dodge is enjoying the “banned” status that it currently has.

If this is what ‘Merica is bringing to the table in terms of what can be done with some trick computers and some raw power, to the other manufactures across the Atlantic, your serve!

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vD6A6NxySQ

 

 

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Can’t afford the R1.4M Alfa Romeo Gulia QV? There is another option

South African Car News: Alfa Romeo Gulia Veloce


Anyone with functioning eyes will agree that the Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the prettiest cars on sale at the moment. Its proportions are delicious and its interior finish far better than anyone had expected from an Alfa Romeo. Overall, it’s a good quality product and while the Giulia Quadrifoglio may have been a bit finicky in our recent showdown ft. the BMW M3 Competition Package and Mercedes-AMG C63 S, it’s still a fine piece of engineering, if a bit clinical for a 375 kW Italian super saloon.. But let’s get serious, very few people are actually going to be spending R1.4 million on a QV, so the rest of the range also needs to be sassy and desirable.

Enter the Giulia Veloce – it won’t be taking the fight to the BMW 340i or Mercedes-AMG C43, but it sort of bridges the gap between those and their lesser 330i and C300 siblings. With 208 kW and 400 N.m, it’s no ambling Giusseppe. This comes courtesy of an exclusive 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder motor which is mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Apparently unique to the Veloce (but actually the same 2.0-litre unit as the rest of the range) this motor is an all-aluminium unit featuring electo-hydraulic valve activation, direct injection and a “2-in-1” turbocharger which is just “twin-scroll” badly translated from Italian.

Thanks to a snazzy body kit and Misano Blue paintjob exclusive to the Veloce, it looks as tit as it’s likely to drive. Along with the sports bumpers, it gets a rear sports diffuser, dual exhausts, 18-inch Turbine alloy wheels and black brake-callipers, although they seem to be yellow in the pictures…

Standard fitment includes front and rear parking sensors, headlamp washers, upgraded brakes with larger diameter discs at the front and rear, dual-zone climate control, Alfa DNA Driving Mode selector and an 8.8-insch Alfa Connect infotainment system. The usual array of active and passive safety systems can also be found here which all play a part in the Giulia’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

There’s no word yet on local pricing so why don’t you just look at it until we know a bit more on that front?

 

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Is This The Hottest BMW M4 Yet? The BMW M4 CS

The Hottest BMW M4 Has Arrived in South Africa: The BMW M4 CS

Since the beginning of the compact sports coupe, the BMW M3, now called the M4 in its Coupe variant, has been the yardstick and the go to car for all that is good in that segment. Over the years, it’s faced competition from Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar and now recently, Alfa Romeo but it’s still widely regarded as the king in this segment.

The gap, though, between the BMW and its peers has shrunk in recent times and upon seeing this, the Bavarians have launched a special, limited and rare as an honest politician version, and it’s headed to South Africa. This new or updated M version, dons the name M4 CS. Not CSL, CS. This car is meant to slot in between the M4 Competition Package and the GTS, of which there are only 25 units in South Africa. So for all intents and purposes, this will be the hottest M4 that you can now buy in South Africa. That’s discounting the rare GTS DTM Champion Edition which is due in SA imminently. Can BMW make up their minds already?!

Power comes from the same 3.0 litre twin-turbo straight six, delivering no less that 339 kW and 600 N.m of torque. This translates to a 3.9 seconds 0-100 km/h and a top speed of 280km/h. Visual changes will be easy to spot for the BMW die-hard fans. From the revised rear spoiler and rear diffuser at the rear to the classic mix of leather and alcantara in the cabin with M colours adorning to seat belts, seats and steering wheel, you’ll know that this M4 is special. The biggest change is found at the rear where the OLED lights from the GTS form part of the CS standard equipment. The CS gets special light weight alloys that are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Cup 2 semi slick tyres which no doubt, will help set a blazing time around “the green hell” of 07:38”, a full 14 seconds faster than a standard M4, and we all know that in the world of track driving, 14 seconds is a lifetime.

So in our opinion, BMW has made sure that it has enough variations of the M4 to ward of attacks from different manufacturers for the Sports Coupe title which it so deservedly owns, and from what we are reading, it seems as though they have bought themselves more time. Question is though, how long can they keep this up?

 

 

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The Future Is Electric: Audi E-Tron Sportback Revealed

Audi is starting to take electricity very seriously: Audi E-Tron Sportback revealed.

Manufacturers fascination with electricity was not just a phase, it’s happening and getting better and better. So much so Audi plans to launch five electric cars in the next five years. Yikes. The one everyone is talking about now is the Audi E-Tron Sportback, a sleek looking electric crossover of sorts. We know concept cars rarely look the same when going into production but Audi has surprised us before. The R8 for instance looks a great deal like the concept car it came from. If that’s going to be the case with the E-Tron Sportback, we’ll be in for a visual treat. The car looks very space age, almost like the it came out the movie Tron.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

It will be powered by a 95kWh battery with a predicted range of approximately 500km. So imagine being able to make it to Pietermaritzburg in your E-Tron Sportback? The trip won’t be a boring one too as the car will be able to do 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds. That’s properly quick for a car that’s going to be silent, or any car for that matter. Of course the main target market for a car like this in China, as electric cars are booming that side. For us South Africans however we may wait a while until this car comes our side. Thankfully the likes of BMW and Nissan have paved the way, so by the time fully electric Audi’s come this side we may have the infrastructure we need.  

 

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

In theory, fast SUV’s make no sense. A high-riding AWD vehicle capable of 0-100 km/h in 4.0 seconds and top speeds well north of 250 km/h yet incapable of traversing more than a pavement makes as much sense as a mid-engined supercar that can only go off-road with the performance figures of a Land Rover Defender, but alas, there seems to be a market for these. Back when the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was first launched in 2006, it was the fastest SUV money could buy, right up until every manufacturer under the sun put over 300 kW in one SUV or another.

11 years later, Jeep have done it again by plonking the Dodge Challenger Hellcat’s 6.2-litre supercharged V8 into the Grand Cherokee. The numbers are truly remarkable – 523 kW and 881 N.m. To put that into context, a BMW X5 M produces 423 kW/750 N.m and anyone who has ever experienced the sheer shock of launching the 2.5 tonne behemoth to 100 km/h and beyond can attest to the g-forces experienced. So how would you feel, then, if I told you that the Trackhawk is faster?

A snazzy Torque Reserve pre-positioning the supercharger bypass valve to generate boost and minimize manifold filling time while cutting fuelling to individual cylinders and managing spark timing in order to provide improved engine torque response and quicker vehicle acceleration in Launch Control. In short, this generates a reserve of torque that can be instantaneously delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.

At 14 600 rpm, 2,380cc of air pass through the supercharger per revolution which comes with integral charge-air coolers. What this means is that the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will out accelerate an Audi RS6 and keep going all the way to 290 km/h. 3.5 seconds to 100 km/h is quite a cool number to flaunt around the lawyer’s office or whatever professional workspace you might commute to in your ‘murican monster.

As with most performance cars these days, endless configuration is possible and a few design queues such as quad-exit exhaust pipes and carbon fibre remind you of the grunt under your bonnet. Aside from this, the Trackhawk isn’t as lary as one might expect. All that torque is fed through a modified TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission, as well as a strengthened transfer case. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk goes on sale in the USA in the 4th quarter of 2017 but there is no word yet on local availability or pricing.