Category: Latest News

Audi Q4 & Q8 Announced For Future Production

Audi Q4 & Q8 Released

Audi recently announced the extension and future production of the Q Range. With the extremely competitive SUV segment growing, Audi wish to increase their global competitiveness in this market.

The first of the new Q vehicles we can expect is the Audi Q8 which will be produced in Bratislava- the same plant in which the Q7 is produced. Production will start in 2018 and we can expect the Audi Q8 to be a premium coupe styled SUV, bringing competition to the likes of the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe.

In 2019, we will see production start of the Audi Q4. This will be Audi’s first vehicle in the CUV ( Compact Utility Vehicle Segment) and will be positioned between the Q3 and Q5 as expected. The Q4 will also feature a coupe-styled design and will be produced in Hungaria.

We have no information on pricing or specs as of yet – stay tuned and read about Audi’s latest Q2 Here.

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

 

 

 

The Isuzu KB X-Rider In South Africa

Isuzu KB X-Rider

The Isuzu KB is what I would describe as a decent bakkie, in the same way that Pepsi is a decent alternative to Coca-Cola – there are many things I dislike about it, but overall it seems to do a good job in relation to its purpose.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

For me, the KB never had an appeal to a younger or even an adventurous audience, however, and came across as being a little boring. It needed a little something extra and by little, I actually mean a lot. We’ll now we might have it, in the shape of X-Rider.

X-Rider is a variant of the KB which was previously available as a limited option only, but has now been added as a permanent fixture to the KB range.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

What’s different with the Isuzu KB X-Rider?

Firstly, this model is based on the 4×2 KB 250, which features a strong 2.0-litre diesel producing 100 kW and 320 N.m.

From a visual perspective, the X-Rider features black accents on many areas of the vehicle such as the front bumper, side bars and sports bar, b-pillar and the 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

Further to this, the Isuzu KB X-Rider features a heavy duty tow bar as standard which provides a braked towing capacity of 2100 kg.These are the main adjustments to the exterior and after looking at the images, it does look a lot more exciting.

The interior follows the same direction with a full leather appointment, including the steering wheel, and red accents found in the stitching and logo embroidered into the seats. A piano black finish can also be found amongst the trim to aid this less “workhorse” and more “twerkhorse” look and feel.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

In terms of Tech, the Isuzu KB X-Rider will come with keyless entry, steering wheel controls, projector headlights and air conditioning – nothing too fancy then, but then again, who turns to the bakkie segment when looking for “fancy”?

Overview

The X-Rider is definitely a more exciting version of the KB and does distance itself from the trusty workhorse feel that the Isuzu KB has come to own.

Although this vehicle will appeal to a younger more adventurous audience with it’s appearance, I feel that it’s missing one thing, 4- wheel drive.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

Currently only available as a 4×2 and with low-profile tyres as standard, it’s obvious that this vehicle will not be so suited to the Kingsley Holgate amongst us…Hopefully this is something Isuzu is considering for the future and will release an X-Rider based on the 4×4 KB 300.

The benefit of no 4×4 is the price, however, and the X-Rider is available from just R382 500 in the crew-cab variant. Not bad if you consider what you’re getting, but from a purpose point of view, it doesn’t really make much sense.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Goes 63

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Gets The 63 Treatment

Do you remember that one tough guy at school? Yes him. The one that had six or seven brothers and all of them were untouchable! The brothers that were tighter than industrial super glue and if one of them got into trouble, you had to deal with all of them.

Well in a modern sense, that is what has happened to the Mercedes AMG brothers. All of them are a force to be reckoned with but together, they form the vehicular equivalent of the Avengers. The latest of the Mercedes brothers to get the in-house horse power treatment is the GLC and before you say, “but hang on we know that this variant has the uber smooth V6 270K 520 NM 43 version”, you would be mistaken! Mercedes AMG has now come out with a 63 version of the GLC. Yes, the motor that sounds like Zeus coming down from Mount Olympus, has now being shoehorned into this this Midrange Mercedes SUV. Claimed figures from the 4.0 liter V8 twin turbo is quicker that your five-year-old daughter asking, “Daddy (mommy in my household) is that a Ferrari?” That’s four seconds just FYI.

The “regular” version will get the “standard” 350 KW and 650NM and the S version will get then 375KW 700NM upgrade. In this vehicle, little Hannah won’t even get to finish her sentence at 3.8 seconds. This torrent of power and torque will be send through the familiar 4Matic system, aided by a rear limited slip differential, guaranteed to make those trips to the shop VERY entertaining.


With the GLC 43 starting at R 1 070 900.00, we estimate that you won’t get much change for your R1.7M. Competition will be tough with direct opposition from the Porsche Macan Turbo, Jaguar SVR and the upcoming Zebra stripe wearing BMW X3M. With SA’s economy hitting junk status, the older brother GLE might be out of range so this will be a steal under R2M!!

 

Aston Martin Vanquish S Released In South Africa

South African Launch of the Aston Martin Vanquish S

For as long as humans have lusted over motorcars, the question of whether or not a car can be considered to be art has existed. Silly as it may seem, many an art aficionado has gazed upon such beauties as the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB  and E60 BMW M5 (a personal favourite) and have thought, “Psh, this is not art.” What these dreary individuals seem to completely miss, however, is that these vehicles are but three examples of a pool of cars we consider to be greater than the sum of their parts.

Similarly, there has been ambiguity as to whether photography can be considered to be art ever since it became commonplace in the 19th century and arguments such as “photography is too literal to compete with works of art” and that it is “unable to elevate the imagination” do not help the cause. Thankfully, then, a charming fellow by the name of Clint Strydom has gone off, armed with his camera and an Aston Martin One-77, and much like a naughty child skipping Physical Education on a Friday afternoon, stuck it to the man. Commissioned by Aston Martin Lagonda to capture the essence of their iconic brand, what Clint has come up with is truly remarkable.

 

Apt then, that Dr Ulrich Bez, Chairman of Aston Martin once said that “The true value of a work of art lies in the unique relationship between the art itself, its creator and ultimately its owner.” He then goes on to relate this to the cars which Aston Martin produce, noting that each vehicle reflects the personality of its owner in its unique specification – unless it’s second-hand, of course.

The local unveiling of the Aston Martin Vanquish S took place in Melrose Arch on the High Street, between the Daytona Melrose Arch Dealership and The Melrose Gallery where an exquisite exhibition of both Clint’s Inspired by Aston Martin series and a series of Esther Mahlangu’s works were on display. The significance of this was noted by few as Esther Mahlangu is one of the very few artists in the world to have been commissioned by BMW on two separate occasions to create a BMW Art Car, another amalgamation of the automotive and artistic spheres. The presence of these two visionaries was a fitting setting, then, for the local debut of Gaydon’s latest masterpiece and the halo vehicle of the Aston Martin brand.

The differences between the Aston Martin Vanquish and Vanquish S

Very similar to the “standard” Vanquish, only the eagle-eyed will notice the subtle differences between the Vanquish and its S counterpart. Most notable is the new aerodynamic package with its extended front splitter and rear diffuser, both fashioned from exposed carbon fibre and designed to reduce front lift with a minimal increase in parasitic drag. New quad exhaust pipes also emphasise the Vanquish S’ performance oriented character, as do the subtle changes to Aston Martin’s signature grille and side strakes.

Carbon fibre bonnet louvres, forged rims and various graphics packs can also be fitted to the Vanquish S.

Inside the vehicle, options with long and confusing names can be had such as “Bridge of Weir Caithness” leather and a Chopped Carbon Fibre finish which again suggests the overtly sporty nature of this flagship model.

Most notable changes are found beneath the skin in the form of all carbon fibre bodywork and recalibration of the 8-speed Touchtronic III transmission which now delivers faster gearshifts and is more refined at low speeds. Alterations to the inlet manifolds ups the power of the sonorous AM29 6.0-litre naturally-aspirated V12 from 424 kW/630 N.m (2014 onwards) to 444 kW/630 N.m. The larger volume inlet manifolds allow for a greater volume of air to flow into the engine at high rpm’s, creating stronger pull all the way to the redline as well as notably improved throttle response. 0-100 km/h is dealt with in 3.5 seconds and top speed is 323 km/h if you’re the sort of person who is concerned with those figures.

All of these aspects combine to create a GT which offers a distinctly different experience to the DB11, yet one that is still notably a product of the Aston Martin marque. The question is, do you feel that the Vanquish S is a work of art? If looking at it as a piece of art, some would say that at its starting price of R4 950 000, it’s a steal, but those who see it as just a motorcar might argue that that is quite a lot of money…

I leave you with this sentiment, then – you can gaze in awe at the lines, craftsmanship and attention to detail found in an Aston Martin, but you can’t drag race a painting.

 

Another Ford Recall In South Africa : The Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST South African Recall

It would seem that Ford’s baby hot-hatch is quite a lot hotter than we had originally anticipated, with the recall that affected 4 556 Ford Kuga’s making use of the 1.6-litre GTDi EcoBoost motor now trickling down to the Fiesta ST which makes use of that very same motor. This comes mere moments after Ford issued a press release noting that 63% of the affected Kuga’s have been tended to.

The expansion of the recall affects some 1 078 Fiesta ST models, produced between September 2012 and December 2014. This makes one wonder, then, what change was implemented to models produced from December 2014 onwards and, more importantly, for what reason these changes were put in place…

In their statement, Ford SA said: “a lack of coolant circulation could cause an engine to overheat, resulting in a crack in the cylinder head. A cracked cylinder head can result in a pressurized oil leak. Oil that comes into contact with a hot engine surface increases the risk of a fire in the engine compartment.”

To resolve this, affected vehicles will receive hardware and software upgrades, consisting of the fitment of a coolant level sensor with supporting hardware and software changes, free of charge to customers. These parts will, however, only be available by the fourth quarter of 2017 which could mean a toasty winter for many a ST charna. Boets will all be informed as soon as they are able to book their cabbies in for repairs.

Ford say that these vehicles are safe to drive, however, at the first signs of overheating, be it warning lights or rising coolant temperatures, the vehicle should be pulled to the side of the road, debussed and the engine compartment left closed.

Owners are also urged to conduct regular inspections of the cooling system and should endeavour to maintain a 50:50 coolant-water ratio as an added precaution.

In the event of an emergency, emergency services should be contacted immediately, followed by Ford’s Roadside Assistance (0861 150 250) a service which is available 24/7.

Lets get excited: Formula One 2017

There is always lots of talk in the months and weeks leading up to the start of the F1 Calendar and for the past 3 years, the talk always seemed to focus on Mercedes-F1 – will they dominate again and who can stop them?

Sadly for the sport, over the past few years this question was answered at the first weekend and resulted in another season of Mercedes’ domination.

In the build up to the 2017 season though, the same sort of questions floated around the media  but this time, they had a little more backbone. This was as a result of some major technical changes to the cars which meant that all teams had the same starting point, when it came to aerodynamics at least anyway.

A brief overview of the changes including much larger tyres – 25% percent larger to be correct. Added to this, the cars are wider, more aggressive and lower, changes which mean that the 2017 Formula One cars should be able to lap up to 4 seconds quicker.

Ferrari were very fast in testing prior to this season, but they were also very fast during testing in 2016 so we can never really get a full understanding of who is performing and who isn’t. The cars might be running lower power settings or higher fuel loads, perhaps even both, often in order to bluff their competitors.

 

Qualifying, however, is where we can start to see who is performing and as expected, Ferrari has really upped their game for the 2017 season. It seemed as though Mercedes still lead the way in terms of outright pace with the team taking two places on the grid, but Ferrari were not far behind, a 300th of a second behind to be exact.

This past Sunday’s race was a clear indication as to which manufacturers have improved and which have fallen behind, qualifying is one thing  but race pace is something totally different, something which the Melbourne GP demonstrated.

Ferrari’s woes of last season seemed long forgotten as Vettel followed hamilton around the Albert Park circuit for around 25 laps with a gap of less than 2 seconds, only then for Hamilton to try the undercut, but on his return to the track, he found himself stuck behind Max (the hooligan) Verstappen. Those few laps until Verstappen pitted proved vital as Vettel closed the gap, pitted and exited the pit lane a few car lengths ahead in front of both the Mercedes and Red Bull.

From then on it was pretty simple, Vettel cruised ahead in what looked a very comfortable car while hamilton struggled to generate enough pace from his soft tires and at one stage even had his new team mate clipping at his heels.

What happened this weekend may have just saved Formula One, I am a big fan of Lewis Hamilton, but I have to admit that watching that Ferrari cross the line in 1st place for first time since 2015 made me very happy for the sport. It seems once again that we have two legendary teams competing for the Driver’s and Team World Championships.

At times, the Mercedes seemed like it was less comfortable while driving in the turbulence of other vehicles, while the Ferrari seemed to make Vettel’s life very easy. So, we have a championship battle on our hands and four drivers with the chance of winning it. Red Bull Doesn’t seem like they are in a position to compete unless they make some drastic changes and bring big upgrades – they have a strong driver partnership and it would get fans frothing at the mouths to see 6 drivers all aiming for the world title. For now though, many seem excited with the prospect of a 4 time world champion in the shape of Sebastian Vettel and a three time world champion by the name of Lewis Hamilton battle it out with cars that seem on a very similar level. Lets not count Raikkonen and Bottas out though, they could cause a bit of a stir!

New Ford Fiesta ST in South Africa

2018 will see the arrival of the all-new Ford Fiesta ST aka the Ultra Mobile and if you listen carefully, you can already hear all the boets fist-pumping in anticipation of this auspicious occasion!

2018 Fiesta ST

Big news is that this new model is the first ever Ford Performance vehicle to make use of a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder motor and, while sharing a platform with the model it replaces, is the first Fiesta to feature selectable drive modes, enabling steering, engine and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track modes. Yoh boet!

Unfortunately, along with the drive modes, we’ll have to put up with Ford’s nauseating and quite frankly miserable Electronic Sound Enhancement Technology which, in short, makes a dreary and depressing come through the vehicle’s speaker system in order to artificially enhance the sound of the engine. We have already been unfortunate enough to endure this in both the 2.3 Ecoboost and 5.0 V8 Mustangs and there’s not much to say really other than no. Just no.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST

Outputs of 149 kW and 290 N.m. are hugely impressive from a 3-cylinder motor and if you are able to block out Martin Garrix and the shocking sound enhancement, you might even be able to hear a fruity and characterful 3-pot thrum coming from within the engine bay on your sprint from 0-100 km/h which will take 6.7 seconds. A clever little motor, it is also able to shut off one of its cylinders during low-load conditions in order to save fuel, an industry first in a 3-cylinder motor, and thus resulting in emissions as low as 114 g/km.

The current generation Fiesta ST met much praise when launched in 2013 and was even crowned as Top Gear’s Car of the Year 2013. Unsurprisingly then, it still sells in droves to this day thanks to its loyal following of tank top owners and rave-goers. It also has one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis’ money can buy so it’s a good thing then that this will be carried over to the new model.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST

There is no word on pricing yet but we can expect to see the first units in South Africa during the first half of 2018.

Land Rover Discovery 5 Spotted in Cape Town

We spotted the new Land Rover Discovery 5 in Cape Town. See the images below, it looks fantastic.

The car will feature new technologies such as Activity Key (Let’s you lock the car with a water resistant bracelet), Intelligent Seat Fold, (Allows you to fold the seats using an App) and other nifty things.

We were slightly unsure of its proportions but seeing it in the flesh changes that as it looks good. It still maintains its large presence, but now looks more modern and stylish. It’s sad to see the iconic “box shape” gone, but it looks like there’s a good future ahead.

 

 

Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI & TDI – First Drive

 

Introduced in 2007, the Volkswagen Tiguan was an instant success and as many had anticipated, VW’s foray into the crossover segment most certainly paid off with nearly a million units having been sold globally in its first 3 years of production. There was no reason for the Tiguan to do anything but excel, especially in the South African market where Volkswagens are so highly regarded and crossovers outnumber station wagons 9 to 1, but despite all this the Tiguan wasn’t all smiling toddlers and glitter, or was it…

For many, the biggest issue with the first generation Tiguan was that it may have been envisioned as a more rugged and capable Golf, but you’d sooner find a man named Terece pulling into a Sorbet Man than the great outdoors. It was great, but more likely than not a mum’s car thanks, in most part, to its looks.

In 2016 the Second Generation Tiguan was launched in South Africa and as it’s based on VW Group’s MQB Platform, we already knew that it was going to be a meticulously engineered vehicle. Having been on sale for a couple of months now, demand is higher than supply which is a good thing and everyone is clambering for a Tiguan from rugged execs to chic fashionistas, and this comes as no surprise. It’s also a finalist in the Wesbank SAGMJ South African Car of The Year 2017. Whether in R Line, Highline or Comfortline trim, the Tiguan is a handsome and sophisticated thing and adds some character to an otherwise bland and predictable segment. For Francisco’s long-term review of the Tiguan at launch, click here.

At launch, the only derivatives available were the 1.4 TSI motors in 90 kW and 110 kW guises. The rest of the range has now made its way here and along with the 2.0 TDI and 2.0 TSI motors, 4Motion AWD is now available. From launch, the Tiguan has offered an impressive package and that’s no different here with LED Headlights and Taillights, Sport-comfort seats, 3-zone Climatronic Climate Control, Ambient Lighting, 6.5” Composition Media, Silver anodised roof rails and 18” alloy wheels all featuring as standard fitment on 4Motion models. In terms of off-roading equipment, hill-descent control accompanies the usual ensemble of driving modes, namely ECO, Sport, Comfort and Individual. 4Motion Live has three 2 modes, Snow and Off-road mode, as well as an automatic setting which will select the most appropriate of the two depending on road conditions.

The R Line Package adds a sport suspension system, 20” alloy wheels, R-Line bumpers, side sills and wheel housing flaring, a body coloured rear spoiler and black headlining.

We were afforded the opportunity to sample both diesel and petrol models, each of which have a differing appeals and are all welcome additions to the Tiguan range.

With 162 kW and 350 N.m on tap, the 2.0 TSI model really is a wolf in wolfs clothing and unlike the previous generation Tiguan’s 2.0 TSI derivative now has the looks to go with the performance. Sprinting from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, this model exhibits impressive straight line speed, but where we were most surprised was in the bends where minimal body-roll and spot-on damping make for a truly thrilling and engaging driver’s car, something which we didn’t quite imagine from the Tiguan when we initially tested the 1.4 TSI models. Claimed combined average fuel consumption is 7.8 l/100km and pricing for the Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI 162 kW starts at R542 200.

The two diesels on offer are the more sensible options, both displacing 2.0-litres with outputs of 105 kW / 340 N.m and 130 kW / 380 N.m. with claimed consumption figures of 6.1 l/100km and 6.4 l/100km respectively. While you might not be surprising any GTI’s at the lights in the 2.0 TDI’s as you would in the 2.0 TSI, you will be impressed by how little engine noise enters the cabin, NVH is an area where VW has always excelled and the Tiguan benefits from this. In both states of tune, the 2.0 TDI motor offers maximum torque from just 1750 RPM which is useful for those who have large things to tow such as caravans, if you’re into that, and boats. Prices for the 2.0 TDI 105 kW Comfortline start at R523 800 and R549 500 for the 2.0 TDI 130 kW Highline.

The cabin is impeccably put together and is difficult to find fault with, and the same can be said for the 7-speed DSG to which all of these motors are matched. In fact, it is difficult to find fault with most of the vehicle, not even pricing as it is slightly cheaper and significantly nicer than all of its competitors.

A job well done to VW, then. Not only is the Tiguan the capable car that it always was, it is now one of the most desirable on the road.

More Torque, More Tech and Fewer Cylinders – Audi’s New RS5

In my mind, Audi’s RS5 has always had a unique appeal in the very sporty small coupe segment. While BMW’s M3 has always been the nimble and dynamic youth in a hoody and Mercedes-AMG’s C63 the grandpa in All Stars, the last generation RS5 suffered from an identity crisis and was neither supremely comfortable nor tekkie squeaking fast, but it was one of those cars that you wanted and preferably without a roof.

The same could be said for each of the above’s fan bases with the Audi, again, sucking hind-teet while the C63 and M3’s were scooped up by young millionaires and old folk recapturing their youth. Every time I see an RS5, I struggle to place its driver into a category and be mean, but is this such a bad thing?

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


Stereotyping aside, the RS5 was great when it launched 7 years ago, a time when the E92 M3 reigned supreme and grandpa sported a 6.2-litre masterpiece in his AMG All Stars. The RS5’s 4.2-litre V8 was a meaty and burbly unit and as a whole, the RS5 was the weapon of choice for those who preferred to be discreet, yet dashing. Unfortunately, on the performance front at least, the RS5 has been left behind in recent years by the turbocharged F82 and W205.


Fast forward to 2017 and the new RS5 has again befallen the recently tabooed fate of all engines – downsizing. Harkening back to the days of the B5 RS4, the all-new RS5 sports a 2.9 litre doubly force-fed V6, putting out an M3/4 Competition Package matching 331 kW and 170 N.m more than the old naturally aspirated V8 at 600 N.m. This should be good for a 3.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint, accompanied by one of motoring’s all-time favourite soundtracks, an Audi V6. The motor is in fact the same unit found in the new Porsche Panamera, and will undoubtedly blend performance and economy in a typically Germanic and clinical fashion.

While the engine is big news, the indistinguishable crowd of people who buy RS5’s will perhaps swoon over its blacked-out LED headlights, beefy bumpers and oval holes that house the exhausts. It’s actually 17 mm wider than the model it replaces yet 60 kg lighter which is about as much as a fat child. Accompanying the reduction in weight is a multi-link suspension set-up at the rear which replaces the trapezoidal-link from the previous model.

Consumption is also vastly better than before with a claimed combined average of 7.2 l/100km.

There’s no word yet on local availability or pricing but a good guess would be the first quarter of 2018 for a million and a bit.

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