Category: Latest News

MSO’s McLaren 650s Spider Al Sahara 79

McLaren’s Special Operations 650S

The phrase “Special operations” gets us rather excited, especially when it comes from McLaren. If a standard McLaren supercar isn’t  exciting and special enough for you, you can always have one from “MSO” – McLaren Special Operations. MSO Creates cars around an owners’ precise tastes. They can either provide subtle bespoke customisations or even build you an ultra-exclusive limited edition one-off model. How awesome?

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Recently MSO released a custom 650S at the Dubai Motor Show, inspired by the style that Dubai encompasses. This custom 650S features a carbon fibre front splitter,rear diffuser and side intake vents. The vehicle also features a unique white gold paint finish, this is achieved with the addition of 24 carat particles added to the paint. True Dubai style right?

Just in case you forgot what the fancy paint looks like whilst seated inside, this finish continues on the interior with a body coloured steering wheel, centre console and door panels. Complimenting those bits is black and almond white upholstery, leather, of course. Dark gold switch-gear and heating vents add the finishing touches to this middle eastern styled vehicle. The name of this highly customised car? It’s called the 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 (write that down before you walk into the showroom if you’re looking to get one).

When you start adding any form of gold to a car it has the risk of becoming over the top, a bit “rapperish”, but McLaren got this one right. Clean and simple with a touch of class. This vehicle is missing one thing though to give it a true Middle eastern theme, that is the addition of 24 carat gold rims. Maybe. The 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 now joins its other siblings from the special MSO factory, ranging from custom McLaren F1’s to custom P1’s. We love special versions of already special cars.  Cars like these are aimed at the type of customer who thinks owning a “plain old supercar” as just too common. Most of us won’t ever have the opportunity of ordering a personalised McLaren, but at least we can dream…or look. And with gold bits in your paint job, look we shall.

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Citroen South Africa’s C4 Cactus: A proper hipster car

Citroen South Africa’s space aged plant.

If there’s one thing we can give Citroen, is that over the years they’ve been the one car maker that couldn’t give anything about what the average person considers as the norm. As a result, to say they have created bold designs would be an understatement. Think of all the cars that Citroen South Africa has brought here. For instance, remember the Citroen DS? Yes the car almost everyone’s grandfather owned. It looked like a large roach that had self-levelling suspension. Yet today, you look back at the design of the DS and the inner *hipster (see footnote) in you comes out, urging you to source one, restore it and drive it around with a large beard on your face.

Many will agree that Citroen’s designs have always been somewhat ahead of the times. Nothing has changed with one of their new cars, the C4 Cactus. Need we say more? With a name like Cactus for a car, one can’t expect anything less than a ridiculously interesting design, perhaps with protective Airbumps on the doors so no one scratches your Cactus in a parking lot. Oh wait, that’s exactly what Citroen did with this car. On first impressions, we looked at it and thought “yuck”, then after some time we realised that the only reason why we gagged was because we were in shock. After some more time we even started to think the C4 Cactus was oddly good looking. “Are we losing our minds?” we thought, as the character of the Cactus charmed us to the point where we couldn’t believe that a car named after a plant could induce such big grins behind the wheel.

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This is mainly due to the fact that upon entering a Citroen C4 Cactus, you feel like you’re in the future. The cabin is flat, wide and so very space age that they may as well throw in R2D2 to ride shot gun with you. Everything in the car is controlled by one screen. This includes the air-conditioning, the radio and the central locking too. And then there’s the driving experience, it feels very light behind the wheel, and not in a bad way. You almost feel like you’re gliding around, possibly the same feeling our grandfathers had in their DS’s. The model we had was the top of the range Shine Puretech with the 81 kW 1.2 litre turbocharged engine.

 

One would think that because the engine is quite small, the Cactus would be as fast as its namesake, but it’s the complete opposite. That little engine must’ve eaten all its vegetables because it packed a small punch enough to make us burst out in laughter at just how ridiculously quirky this car is. The Cactus is the best laugh R294 900 can buy you in this segment. How can you not smile when telling people you’re meeting up with to look out for a white Cactus approaching?

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As good as the Cactus is as an experience, and as good as it is to drive on a long road and in town, the only frustrations we have with it, was the fact that the steering wheel is not reach adjustable, and at high speed, the roof racks tend to get noisy. Besides that, the car is a very unique blast to drive. No wonder it’s a finalist for the 2016 SAGMJ Car of the year. Citroen South Africa must be very pleased about that. The fact that the small engine sips fuel is another aspect that really impresses. At the end of the day all these little things about this car come together to encompass what Citroen has always strived to be, which is to be different.

Who knows, perhaps a few decades from now our children will be looking for old Cactus’s/Cacti to restore so they too can embrace their inner hipster. Till then, if you want something otherworldly, spacious and scratch resistant, then the C4 Cactus may just be up your ally. For me information on the car, click here.

*Hipster: “Artistic” men and women who detest the “mainstream”. They’re generally identifiable through their vintage clothing, round wooden glasses and large Asterix and Obelix-like beards.

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Opel South Africa’s new Adam: Does it really Rock?

Opel South Africa’s new Adam Rocks

Since Opel’s transformation, they have released some great and innovative cars. One of those cars being the ever so fun Opel Adam, a car that has been a big hit for Opel South Africa. The slick and hip city car which is unique to the driver. The Adam has done fantastically well in a short period, selling over 1200 cars in South Africa. Everyone likes their cars to be personable to them, and Opel hit the nail on the head in that respect. The Adam can be customised in so many different ways that it’s possible not to find another Adam like yours on the road.

So we have the Adam, Adam Jam and Adam Glam but now it’s time for these current cool cats to welcome their new sibling to the world, The Adam Rocks. The car does rock, and it boasts the same three-cylinder turbo engine found in the Jam and Glam which is perfect for city driving. It’s also packed full of useful features such as Blind Spot Assist, Advanced Park Assist 2, auto-wipers and City steering. What separates the Adam rocks from its brothers and sisters, is very much a difference in its visual appearance. For starters, the vehicle has been raised by 15mm, and there is added exterior cladding to the wheel arches, fenders and bumpers. This immediately gives the Rocks a more bold, tough, off-road crossover look, which I think is great.

Another standout feature of the Adam Rocks is its canvas roof which opens up with the touch of a button, giving you that airy feeling. This is one very cool car; it has got the whole “image is everything” look just right.

After driving the Rocks, you realise that nothing has changed regarding the ride quality. You still get the feeling that this is a very well built car, small and nimble for city streets but with enough oomph for highways and longer drives. The 7-inch Intelli-Link system is simple but smart; you can even set the rear wiper to flick once when you select reverse gear.

The Adam Rocks start at R270 000. We know, it’s not cheap, but you’re not buying something cheap when you buy any Opel Adam. You’re buying a stylish, unique, German engineered vehicle packed full of features and fun. If the Adam Rocks is out of your price range, don’t fret too much, you can check out the other Adams in the range with prices  starting at R190,000. If the small 1.0-litre engine is too soft for you and you’re looking for the Adam style but with a bit more performance, don’t worry the Adam S is just around the corner with Opel South Africa launching it soon. Stay tuned.

Audi South Africa has launched the RS3. It’s here to make noise.

Audi South Africa’s RS3: It’s here.

So the Audi RS3 has been for sale in South Africa for the last month or so and it’s causing quite the stir. It is the only super hatch available that features a five-cylinder engine. As a result, the noise that comes out of the exhausts is rather delicious and unique.

The RS3 is up against Mercedes’ A45 bruiser which has been recently tinkered with to create more power, 280 kW to be exact. BMW seems to be on the back-foot this time as their M135i only pushes 240 kW while the RS3 produces a hefty 270 kW. The Bavarians at BMW do have the long awaited M2 coming soon, and even though it’s a coupé, it will be compared to the Audi and the Mercedes. There’s more; Ford also has a hyper hatch waiting to be unleashed in South Africa, the Focus RS, so it seems like 2016 will be quite the showdown.

For now, though, we celebrate Audi South Africa’s stunning hatchback that can catapult you to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds thanks to the Quattro drivetrain fitted as standard. For a measly R710 000, you can give a new RS3 a loving home. Chump change indeed.