Category: Latest News

Mercedes-AMG GT updated range

We recently posted an article about the new Mercedes-AMG GT R setting a fantastic lap time around the infamous Nurburgring, well you will be pleased to know that the AMG GT R and other new AMG GT models have been added to the South African range.d304452

Apart from the Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupe, which produces a staggering 430Kw ( 576BHP) Mercedes have introduced two roadster models, the first being the AMG GT Roadster, which features the same 4.0 V8 powerplant but power is limited to 350KW(469BHP) which is 10kw more than the entry level Coupe model.

The second addition comes with the title of AMG GT C Roaster, the difference? Another 60kw, bringing the total power output to 410KW(549BHP). This model slips in between the lower powered AMG GT S which has 375kw (502BHP) and the newly released AMG GT R. The Roadster models also features slightly different designs from the Coupe’s, with the AMG GT C even more aggressively styled than its younger brother. Both models come standard with Nappa leather, the AMG performance steering wheel and the extra driving program entitled ” RACE”.16c822_003_d323397

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If your mind is a little flustered with all of the AMG GT variants, there are now five models in the range, listed below.

AMG GT Coupe – 340Kw (455bhp) – R1 776  000

AMG GT S Coupe – 375kw (502bhp) – R 2 142 600

AMG GT Roadster – 350kw (469bhp) – R 2 199 900

AMG GT C Roaster- 410kw (549bhp) – R 2 599 000

AMG GT R Coupe – 430kw (576bhp) – R 2 689 900

The Mercedes-AMG GT R sets a very fast lap

The greenest car in the world has just lapped the ‘Green Hell’ in 07:10.9 minutes – that’s what us motoring scribes would call ‘very fast’ and I’m sure you’re all delighted by this news!

Many a motoring journalist will bang on about how useless Nurburgring times are to the everyday motorist, and yes that is the case for most, but there’s definitely no denying the gruelling test that this track puts cars through. So while Mr Discovery and Mr Vodacom won’t really notice the hundreds of man hours that have gone into the chassis, it’s still there and golly does it show should they decide to stray from the Sandton traffic and onto a circuit. After all, you’re not just paying funny money for a green jobby with an OTT spoiler. It all works, and well at that.

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So, thanks to its impressive aero, obsessive weight reduction and a stonking 430kW 4.0l turbo motor complete with dry sump lubrication and turbos nestled within the ‘V’, the AMG GT R has gone straight for the Porsche 911 GT3 RS’s jugular and smashed its Nurburgring time of 07:20.00.

The question needs to be asked, then. Which of Stuttgart’s street-racers would you buy, a thoroughbred, track-tuned Porsche – one of the last properly fast cars with an NA motor – or a rip-snorting brute from the folk who brought you best-sellers such as the A-Class and CLC! Either way, you need neither, but you’ll want both.

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Opel MOKKA X: In tune with it’s siblings.

To be honest, I was not the biggest fan of the previous Opel Mokka. There was nothing particularly wrong with the car; it just felt much older than the current offering by Opel, which is very technology driven. Opel’s recent rebranding has completely changed the face of the brand. Cars which were beginning to become irrelevant have all of a sudden become the some of the smartest and best looking in each segment they operate in. The Adam, for instance, is a car that rivals more premium products and offers even more features than its competitors. That is why when I first drove a Mokka a year ago, I felt underwhelmed because I had already sampled the new Opel’s.

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Upping the standard:

The updated MOKKA X looks similar to the first model regarding body shape, but the front end has been completely redesigned. The design language used in the current Opel Astra can be clearly seen on the car. Edgy lines make the exterior modern and more in tune with its siblings. The interior has also been revamped, adding optional nifty touch screen infotainment systems that can be integrated with an Apple or Android device with ease.  The seating position in the MOKKA X is perfect for a family orientated car, which it is. It also offers plenty of space bags, groceries and of course, babies. The rear 60/40 split also make it easy to load larger objects in the car, so it makes a great deal of sense from a practicality perspective.  As much as the car looks more like an MPV, Opel claims the car to be a compact SUV. The “X” in MOKKA X will be seen more in the future in other SUV models to be launched by Opel.

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Tech it out:

Opel has become famous for packing premium technology in cars aimed at the masses. Again this was seen in cars like the Opel Adam and Corsa. The MOKKA X now joins the team. Like the current Opel Astra, lighting technology is one of the most prominent changes in the car. The optional system features full LED beams that are adaptive and 30% brighter than the halogen system. The system is similar to that used in premium SUV’s, whereby it can selectively illuminate specific things. It also features eight different modes for whatever driving scenario you’re in. Features such as Tourist Mode, Country light and Town light make for a versatile system for long distance trips and city driving. When it comes to media, the top of the range IntelliLink system, available on the Cosmo derivative features navigation and Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto integration.

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Same engine, different models:

Throughout the entire range, the MOKKA X features the 1.4 turbocharged engine that’s been doing the rounds in some of the newer Opel’s. It features 103kW and 200Nm which can be selected in either manual or automatic for both the Enjoy and Cosmo models. The average claimed combined fuel economy of the range sits around the 5.9l-6.5l range between the manual and automatic. The responsiveness of the engine is more than adequate for the target market of this car. I personally preferred the automatic over the manual, something I didn’t enjoy about the previous Mokka. The power delivery is smooth and gear changes are clean and quick. Comfort levels remain very similar to the lower specification Enjoy with smaller wheels, versus the higher specification Cosmo with its 19-inch wheels. The Cosmo is definitely the more visually appealing model, but the Enjoy can also hold its own.

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As a whole, the refreshed Opel MOKKA X is a welcome improvement. The car is sharper concerning look and feel, and it offers great features that are functional for drivers and passengers. At a starting price of R317 500, it’s also great value for money. For that price, you get a five year 90 000km service plan as standard throughout the range. Well done Opel, your nose powdering should go a long way to impress current Opel customers, as well as attract new ones.

 

Pricing:  

New Opel Mokka X Retail price incl. VAT
MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy 6MT R 317, 500.00
MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy 6AT R 328, 400.00
MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo 6MT R 357, 400.00
MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo 6AT R 368, 100.00

 

Mercedes GLC Coupe – The Sportier GLC.

Mercedes are pumping out cars like hot cakes at the moment, and I must admit, its hard to keep up. The latest German machine to hit the shelves in the Mercedes GLC Coupe.

By the sounds of it, Mercedes wanted to bring more of a sports coupe element to the mid-sized Suv, The GLC Coupe will feature none optional sports suspension, in the form of DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL which features classic steel springs, or the AIR BODY CONTROL, which features multi-chamber air suspension. Both providing electronically controlled characteristics, for example, In Sports + mode, the vehicle is lowered by 15mm to give a “sports car” feel.  A permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive is standard along with Mercedes 9 Speed automatic transmission.

The design is similar to the standard GLC, with headlights that resemble the shape and style found on the latest C and E class vehicles. The GLC Coupe is also 8cm longer and 4cm lower, but features mainly the same design features.

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Standard to all GLC Coupe models is 18”wheels, chrome exterior pack, EASY-PACK tailgate, 20 CD multimedia system ( strange one, who uses CD’s anymore?) keyless-go and man-made leather interior. Further to this, Mercedes include a lot of their assistance systems, such as collision prevention and crosswind assist.

Diesel Variants : The Mercedes GLC Coupe will feature six variants, with three diesel engines included. The range will start with the GLC 220 d Coupe, producing 125Kw and 400Nm of torque, with a price of R735 900. From here we go to the GLC 250 d – 150kw and 500Nm for a price of R754 900. Finalising things in the diesel range is the GLC 350 d with 190kw and a hefty 620Nm. The price is also hefty to at R894 900.

Petrol Variants: The GLC 250 will be the baseline petrol model with 155Kw and 350Nm, rising to the GLC 300 with 180kw and 370Nm, priced R739 900 and R794 900 respectively. The final petrol model will come in the form of a Mercedes-AMG  GLC 43, 270Kw on tap with 520Nm to back it up.

As always, when we get our hands on one, we will provide a full, driven review in our Motorist Digital Magazine.16c106_038_1800x1800

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet : Only 300 available.

A Mercedes S-Class is a car limited to a minority of people. It’ one of the most comfortable and luxurious vehicles you can buy, with technology that’s streets ahead. If you have ever owned, driven or being a passenger in one of these cars, you will know what I’m talking about. As you go up in the range and into the AMG Class this luxury increases, along with horsepower and torque.

Ever since Maybach announced that they are back in the game, we have expected very special things, and this is one of them, limited to a minority of people who own an S-Class. Yes, the brand new Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is available to just 300 humans, as that is the number of models being built.  It’s worth mentioning the Mercedes-Maybach S650 will retail at around 300,000 euros or R4.5 Million.

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What is so special about it?  Firstly the Mercedes-Maybach features its pinnacle engine, a V12 with a twin turbo setup and a displacement of 5980 cc – 6 litres. ( in case you didn’t know) This produces 463kw and a staggering 1000Nm of torque at 2300rpm! Mercedes-Maybach has probably limited the torque as well. As was the case with the SL65 Black. In fairness, though, you can get this engine in a Mercedes-AMG s65.

The exterior features some design changes to identify this as a Maybach, with the main changes coming in the form of a new front bumper, chrome highlights around the vehicle, including the Maybach badge and a set of unique forged Maybach wheels. The Interior is an even higher standard, as expected, with features like diamond quilting, nut brown magnolia and the fact that the trim elements are commissioned individually based on colour and grain. Further to this, every optional extra available on the standard S-Class Cab is a standard feature on this vehicle.

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The small things : Also included in your many Rands is an exclusive travel luggage set, this set is made out of the original leather and coordinated with the interior of the vehicle. A nice touch. Along with this, the owner will also receive a high-quality car cover, in the same colour as the soft top roof of his vehicle.

Mercedes – Maybach says that they”stand for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality for status-orientated customers”. This is certainly the case with this vehicle, the attention to detail and quality is above and beyond.  For me, even though this vehicle is out of reach for almost everyone, it is nice to see beautiful cars like this being made, stretching the boundaries of luxury and tech. When you look at the images, this car screams class, there are many small changes which make the Mercedes-Maybach stand out, but not over the top. So, Who do I call to place my order?

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Good Made Better: Audi’s New A3 Range Updated

Good made better: Audi’s new A3 range updated.

If you stood next to the first generation Audi A3, you would be shocked to know that it was introduced to the market nearly twenty years ago. Yes, it’s been almost two decades, and it’s been an excellent run for the brand. Locally, a total 51 400 units have seen themselves into the homes of new owners. The car has also grown from the simple days of the 90’s to a very refined product. The A3’s refinement has been its major selling point for years now. With competitor brands marketing a more sporty persona and others selling a more “people’s car”, the Audi has always retained a certain level of class. That class though has often made the brand seem a bit blander compared to similar products. For those who have driven Audi’s though, they tend to stick with the brand for a very long time. The question is why?

We had the opportunity to answer that question for ourselves when we were reacquainted with the latest iteration of the A3 hatchback and sedan. Subtle changes make for a more streamlined look,  but the same shape remains. New front headlights and taillights make the car look modern, and its refreshed looks are welcome as this segment is very competitive.

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Internal changes: The most notable changes in the new A3 range are the engines which have been overhauled to produce more power and be more fuel efficient. Naturally, petrol-heads will gravitate toward the 228kW Audi S3 but more on that later in another article. What interested us most was the entry model to the range, which now has a 1.0 TFSI three-cylinder engine powering it. With 85kW and 200Nm, the baby A3 offers enough torque to drive happily. For any city dweller, this configuration makes the world of sense.

On the other hand, if you’re worried that the 1.0 litre is too small you can have the 1.4 TFSI with features 110kW and 250Nm. Again if you feel that configuration is too little power, you can then have the 2.0 TFSI which shares the same power output of the new A4 at 140kW and 320Nm. A personal favourite of ours was the 2.0 TDI variant which only has 103kW but features 340Nm; that surges you wherever you need to go. It also only consumes 4.5 litres/ 100km on average while doing so.

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Comfort throughout: Whatever A3 hatchback, Sportback or sedan you choose, you’ll be happy to know that the entire range feels as solid as Audi’s reputation. There’s a distinct level of silence that you experience while driving the new A3 and it creates a rather soothing feeling. The standard dynamic suspension does well to soak up bumps while not also feeling to “couchy” on the road. The interior may not be the most inspiring to sit in, but it cannot be faulted in terms of quality.

There is a wide array of options to choose from, but many features come as standard on each model.  Things such as Xenon headlights, cruise control and Audi’s MMI plus system are features that you don’t have to pay for.  The most notable new feature in the updated A3 range is the option of Virtual Cockpit, something we have all loved to use in the A4 and Q7. This digital dashboard is probably the most intuitive system out there and it’s a “must have”  for any tech-loving driver. If you want to make your Audi A3 more visually appealing too, you’ll be happy to know that you can still specify your car with the S-Line package which gives it a more aggressive look and some larger wheels.

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To answer why many Audi drivers remain loyal to the brand. We personally believe that it’s about assurance. Yes, excitement is great and it always nice to drive something that sets your hair on fire. The reality though is that our day to day lives are not exciting unless you’re a race car driver. What Audi offers then is the option of excitement in cars like the S3 and RS3, but for the everyday person the updated A3 is a car you would love to wake up to every day and live your life.

 

 

Hyundai Increase Tucson Range with Diesel Models

The Hyundai Tucson has proven to be a very popular car in 2016 and was also recently named a finalist for the SGMJ Car Of The Year 2017. The Tucson may now appeal to an even broader market as Hyundai have introduced a further two models in the Tucson range.

The first of these new diesel models is the Tucson 1.7 executive turbodiesel producing 85kw and 280Nm of torque, which will peak between 1250 – 2750rpm. The 1.7 Executive is fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox and will have a starting price of R439,000.

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The second model is the Tucson R2.0 Elite, featuring a 2L turbodiesel producing 130kw and 400Nm of torque, peaking low in the rev range between 1750-2750rpm.  This model will feature all the standard options which are supplied with the Elite petrol variants, including 18″ alloy wheels. The R2.0 Elite model will feature a six-speed automatic gearbox and will start at R519,000.

Hyundai’s 5-year/150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, enhanced by the additional new groundbreaking 7-years/200 000 km drivetrain warranty, comes standard with the all-new Hyundai Tucson package, as well as roadside assistance for 5-years or 150 000 km.

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MAXterclass In The Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Brazilian GP has always provided a spicy race, so why would the 2016 Grand Prix in Sao Paulo be any different?

The Mercedes pair headed into this race knowing that Nico Rosberg could finish second at this event and in the final event at Abu Dhabi, and still win the world championship. All that Lewis could do is win, and hope for the best. Maybe a Red Bull thrown into the mix would help. It would certainly give the last race a bit more energy.

Because I can be rather stupid at times, I messed up the race start time and before I realised, the race was red flagged at 21 laps, which is when I started watching.  As always, I blamed the wife, a massive Rosberg fan. What I can tell you is that in the first period of racing, Raikkonen spun and ended his race, Along with his Ferrari teammate who luckily avoided the wall, Ricciardo was handed a 5-second penalty and a few others fell victim to the extremely wet racing conditions.   After a red flag, the race started again behind the safety car for a number of laps before it was red flagged, yet again. This was displeasing to not only a number of drivers, but also to the booing grandstands.

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Finally, the race was underway. Hamilton burst away from the start and being such a Ninja when it comes to wet racing, had no issues from the challengers behind. To the delight of Hamilton fans, young Max Verstappen passed Rosberg who seemed to be struggling in the rain, or maybe he was just playing it safe. Max then had a scary moment as he dropped his Redbull on the white line, sending the vehicle into a 90-degree slide, only for him to hold it, avoid the barrier and carry on in second place.Brilliant.  His second place didn’t last long though as Redbull pitted both their drivers onto Intermediate tyres, a brave move which resulted in1 fast lap, more rain, and a legend by the name of Felipa Massa hitting the wall and blocking the pit entrance, him also on the intermediate tyres.

This was Massa’s last ever home race and as the safety car removed the damage, Massa was given a Guard of honour by the Mercedes and Ferrari team as he walked down the pitlane, greeted halfway by his wife and young son resulted in a lot of tears. A touching moment amongst fierce competition.

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The MAXterclass

The safety car unified Hamilton’s advantage and allowed Ricciardo and Max to get back onto full wets, putting them both near the back of the grid, with 10 laps remaining.  This is when the magic happened. Verstappen caught his team mate with tremendous speed and passed him around the outside as he struggled to overtake the vehicle in front. But that was not an issue for Max, as he quickly discarded of him also. Max continued to shed up the track and fellow drivers with some wonderful outside overtaking moves using lines reminiscent of Karting in the wet. He soon approached his arch nemesis Vettel and after gaining the inside line, passing him Also. As always, Vettel was unhappy and claimed he was forced off the track, boohoo. Time was ticking as Max continued to pass with sublime driving. With 3 laps remaining, Max was hunting down Perez in 3rd place, and although Perez fought hard, there was nothing stopping the young man who has really spiced up F1 this season.

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The Red Bull has always been a fantastic car in the wet, but this was a driving masterclass by Verstappen, something which could not be replicated by his teammate. Many are calling it one of the best drives ever in Formula 1. Hamilton finished the race in 1st, winning by 11 seconds from Nico Rosberg.

Conclusion

Hamilton has brought this championship down to the wire, both drivers have now won 9 races each, with the mechanical failure to Lewis being his downfall this season. The last race in two weeks is at THE Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. If Hamilton wins there, he will need Rosberg to finish 4th or lower, a massive ask.  The Brazil GP was defiantly Hamilton’s chance to gain a little more advantage, and with the Redbulls speed and Nicos slide, it nearly happened. If Rosberg wins the championship, I will be happy for him, he probably deserves one after trailing to Lewis his whole career. The fact remains, though, If Hamilton did not have the engine failure after leading the Malaysian GP with 15 laps to go, he would be in the driving seat. Rosberg has been graced with 100% reliability this season, which looks like it could decide the championship, for me, that’s not how it should go.

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Images Courtesy of F1.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Our own award winning motor Journalist!

The Steve Dlamini award was created in  memory of the man himself after the young motoring editor died in 2008 in a motorcycle accident. The award, sponsored by Bridgestone SA represents excellence in the motor journalism field and is awarded to young, upcoming motor journalists who have stood out over the past year.

This year, it was our very own Francisco Nwamba, who deservingly won this award. Francisco has been the face of The Motorist from day one and has played a major role in putting us on the map. So, on behalf of the Motorist team, we congratulate our main man Francisco! A big thank you also goes out to those who have followed and supported us up until now.

If you would like to congratulate Francisco yourself, you can hit him up on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/francisco.nwamba?fref=ts14947881_10154511946956071_2273683550005722735_n