Category: Sports Car

Driven: BMW E90 M3- Bavarhian Muscle…Works!

Being a motoring scribe sometimes proves to be an exciting gig; the sea of mom inspired crossovers does grow cumbersome, with the copy-paste rhetoric of This is better than That, ISOFIX and CarplaySometimes this fades away, and you get to drive the cars you properly enjoy, driver-focused thoroughbred designed for the petrolhead at heart. So after a week of careful work-from-home solace, a drive in one of these would be much welcomed. Thankfully an exciting call from what I later learned was an utter manic allowed for such bliss. 

The Subject – A present-day rarity a 2010 Manual M3 E90 Sedan fitted with some Mastercard sponsored choice mods that are eye wateringly expansive. The European influence of BMW modifications apparent through, Eventuri Carbon Fiber Plenum with the optional Carbon Intake and Airbox Lid, a Supersprint Catback exhaust and a stage 1 EvolveUK tune. Sitting on a set of 20-inch Vossen HF-5 forged alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber. A pristine example and merely loved and enjoyed by its now second owner, sitting at a 120k on the clocks. Having driven to the prescribed meeting point in a borrowed ‘daily diesel’ C250d Merc. I cherished the fact that not only would I have three pedals to sample for the first time in the E9x- Series M3 combination but also, easily one of the memorable reviews I’ve conducted.

Arriving in the parking lot and after a quick phone call to declare arrival, I began forgettingly filling the air Joe Crocker – ‘Woman to woman’ lyric that echoed in the parking basement. It utterly enveloped my mood and brought a grin to my face slowly turned to an ear-to-ear smile as I saw her. Finished in Interlagos Blue with the Tan Nappa Leather option and rather obviously polished and spit-shined for the occasion. Climbing inside the older generation BMW interior, it offers little frills and electronics almost to remind of the car’s age. But this is not the focus of the review, and after sorting out seating and A/C, the owner climbed in and handed me the Key fob which after slotting into the dash and stabbing the Push-Start button, it was now a gruff roar to life that echoed as the owner expressed he wanted me to “Hit” the car, in a crude translation. Unsure of what this meant, he proceeded to clarify as he turned the DSC past MDM and fully off and instructed to engage “M” mode.

Driving him out of the Westrand and towards to open roads and allowing the car to warm up the induction noise sends chills down your neck even at low speeds, the gear shift if notchy and fells a bit wooden but with some engagement allows for rapid shifts up the ratios. The ‘get in and be quick‘ feeling takes over your body as the rev’s climb, and once the S65 warms up it becomes somewhat fruity and once you open up the throttle, snarls at you as it comes onto the Double-VANOS, cam profile. The constant reminder to “Hit” the car meant the games were over and the first opportunity to begin the trashing had dawned. 

Driving impressions 

Holding the RPM steady at 3000Rpm, and dumping the clutch with minimal mechanical sympathy, and the rear tyres light up, wheels scrabbling for grip and the rear in a controlled tank slapper, The tach rapidly increasing, and on past four, five, six up to the raised 8500Rpm rev limit. The wide-open 1-2-3-4 pull, only ended when I bounced off the limiter at the top of forth and remembered the speed infringement tier that JMPD would classify this mischief, and that I would be in the news later that evening like our Audi friend. The combination of raw snarling induction noise and this visceral grunty flat-plane V8 at high RPM’s is just addictive, and the manual box makes the experience immersive. The constant battle of keeping it sane back hard and the caution become a distant memory.

This thing responds well to aggression responding with restraint yet still feeling ferocious. Heal-toe into corners and the balance and precision of the front end dives in the direction you ditch it. At the base of the corner, you can feel and play with balance the car by feathering the loud pedal. Throwing it at the apexes, mashing the throttle and letting the rev’s climb to 5000Rpm; your bum communicates the rear pivoting with the most predictable communicative grace. As you increase the angle, squeezing the thick wheel and throttle on towards the redline as you gain wheel speed and dance in huge powerslides -This is what M cars should feel like. For the first time, my passenger got off his phone and began to shout me on into each corner. Entry speeds began to increase, as you wonder in amazement at the levels of grip, and how quickly you can turn that all into full-on tongue out funny faced drifts like you know what you are doing. 

The Standard car makes 309kWs at 8300Rpm and 400Nm at 3900Nm, but this car with the few mods pulls like a train from around 3500 to redline and with snap shifts its like you sit in power, and it keeps screaming more. It’s just amazing how it’s so much more alive and seems to have so much mid-range punch, with an estimated 340-350Kws now. The acceleration is more of an unrelenting shove into the seat that an outright blast like the new F30 M3. With a draggy handling timing, I managed a few sub-5second launches which were impressive. Little finesse is needed to pull off in a blaze of glory, its more straightforward to launch than the new car that seems to be very tricky even with very light throttle inputs simply more orthodox, less delicate and when you kick it in the teeth its shows a bloody smile and asks for more. 

Stupidly the conclusion of drifts and slides was the trip back, and on the freeway onramp, the lack of caution and lunatic in the passenger seat that only responded in thrill (much like his car) to very uncivilised behaviour resulted in the 50odd seconds of my life. I should apologise to my partner, but well it just was, because after joining the freeway flat-out and only backing off when the very top of sixth @ 8000Rpm. This thing is one of the best drivers cars that I’ve driven and it being an M3 reminds of what Bimmer can do when they apply themselves. The DCT just doesn’t feel this good, and with a few choice mods, this is a proper weapon. Raw and free from nonsense.

BMW E9x M3 in South Africa

E9x generation M3’s start pricing at around the R300k mark with clean models climbing up into the high R600’s for low milers. The Frozen edition will likely cost a bit more but isn’t the one to buy really.
-Watch out for the lengthy list of things that can go wrong with the famed rod bearing engine killer topping the list, throttle body actuators, Idle control valves and ignition coils being the most problematic. Smaller issues like high oil consumption and leaks are common so finding an example with a good history and extensive service records is enough to ensure your garage is kept warm for a very long time, by something with a heart rather than an engine.

2021 Porsche Panamera Range

Almost 11-years after its initial introduction, the Porsche Panamera in its latest form, has to compete with some serious contenders as the ultimate four-seater grand coupe. With the launch of the Taycan EV, the new Panamera gains the latest in tech and performance- see our Taycan review here –https://themotorist.co.za/silent-but-violent-new-porsche-taycan-driven/

What’s new?

The 2021 model gains slight tweaks to the look of the vehicle with some slightly larger air intakes and newly revised front and rear lights with LED matrix lighting at the front and signature full length LED light bar at the rear. Three new 20 and 21-inch lightweight alloy wheels are available, in addition to the new spec’able colour options.


Internally the range benefits from the updated version of Porsche’s Communication Management (PCM) touch screen command centre, Advanced Cockpit control concept with a heads-up display and the new generation steering wheel lifted from the 911. The PCM unit has been updated to feature the latest in connectivity and has better Online Voice control, Wireless Carplay and AndriodAuto and Risk Radar sign recognition systems.

2021 Porsche Panamera Saftey and Spec 

The updated range now features the latest in Porsche active safety systems including the full range of Lane Keep Assists, InnoDrive adaptive cruise control, with automated braking and acceleration capability, Night Vision Assist, Park Assist and Surround-view 360-degree camera.

2021 Porsche Panamera Drivetrains

The new range is powered by either a 2.9Litre Twin-turbo V6, in the Panamera and Panamera 4 producing 243Kw and 450Nm, capable of a 5.6 and 5.3second acceleration times relatively, with a 268Km/h top speed.
The 4S E Hybrid sees the 2.9litre V6 married to a 17.9kWh battery system that boosts power to 412Kw and 750Nm and will dispatch of the 0-100 sprint in 3.1 Seconds and will top out at 297Km/h.


The Panamera GTS features a V8 Biturbo motor with 353 kW and 620 Nm, which is 15 kW more than the predecessor, and interestingly less than the hybrid and with the 3.9second 0-100 and 299Km/h top speed will be an exciting alternative to the E hybrid as the traditional performance offering.
The range-topping Turbo S will feature the full-fat version of the same V8, this time producing 463kW and 820Nm. The Turbo S will match the E Hyrbid to 0-100 but top out at 315Km/h.

2021 Porsche Panamera in South Africa

With the launch, local specification or announcement unknow at this stage it’s likely the new Panamera will arrive next year, given the German launch in October of 2020. We look forward to sampling the Panamera locally.

2017 Honda Civic Type R Nürburgring Record

2017 Honda Civic Type R Nurburgring Record

2017 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R SETS NEW FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE LAP RECORD AT NURBURGRING

When we were given the chance to sample the Honda Civic Type R last year, we were all completely astounded by how engaging and raw it was. What Honda had created was a sheer masterpiece in front-wheel drive performance and bore little resemblance to Nora, Albert, Rita and the rest of the bridge club’s favourite runabout – the Honda Civic. Sure you could spot a Civic somewhere beneath the garish wing and blacked out wheels, but these two cars really could not have been further apart. Not only did this vehicle find favour with just about everyone who drove it, it also set an astounding lap time around the Nordschleife, beating the previous FWD champion and setting a blistering time of 07:50.63.

2017 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R SETS NEW FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE LAP RECORD AT NURBURGRING

Here we are in 2017 and having had its trophy snatched away by the Golf GTI Clubsport S in 2016, the Type R has returned with a vengeance. Featuring the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor found in the previous generation Civic Type R, the unit now produces 236 kW but the same 400 N.m as before, all this thanks to a bit of an ECU tune and a snazzy new exhaust which actually makes it sound a bit like a 5-pot, mmmmm. You can have a listen to that at the end of this video.

2017 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R SETS NEW FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE LAP RECORD AT NURBURGRING

The new chassis also means an increase in torsional rigidity of an impressive 38% and the torsional beam rear setup of the old Type R is gone, having now been replaced by an independent, multi-link system. What this brings to the tea party is much improved stability and control at speed, as well as a lower, wider and longer wheelbase.

Having set a record time of 07:43.80, it is clear that all of those little upgrades have done their job – it shaved some 3 seconds off the time of the Clubsport S.

Now all that’s left to do is wait for it to arrive in South Africa which should be during the course of 2018. So, in what colour will you be having yours, then?

 

 

What we can expect at the 2017 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb

2017 Jaguar Simola Hill Climb

Jaguar Simola Hillclimb 2017

Where there is a hill to be climbed, someone at some point will endeavor to climb it. Humans do this, it must be in our nature to choose a thing that’s bigger than us and then scale it, only to poke a flag in it once the summit has been reached. One step further than this, though, is racing another human to the top, conquering not only the hill, but your competitor too!

2017 Jaguar Simola Hill Climb

Now in its eighth edition and the fourth to be sponsored by Jaguar South Africa, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb 2017 promises to be the ultimate showcase of people racing up a hill, as we like to do. Considered by many to be the most prestigious motorsport event in South Africa, the Hillclimb has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings back in 2009 to the local equivalent of the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed, having had over 14 000 motorsport fans grace the hill in 2016.

2017 Jaguar Simola Hill Climb

The cream of the motorsport crop are to be found at the Hillclimb with legends such as Ian Scheckter, Mike Briggs, Deon Joubert, Leeroy Poulter and Sarel van der Merwe having taken part over the past 7 events. Of course, the cars are important too – nobody would fly all the way to Knysna to bear witness to a running race between Mike Briggs and Franco Scribante…

Porsche 917 and 956, Ariel Atom, various Lotus’, countless Ferraris and the usual brigade of supercars such as the McLaren 650S, Lamborghini Aventador and Jaguar F-Type have all taken part, as well as a handful of Formula 1 cars from a bygone era.

2017 Jaguar Simola Hill Climb

The 2017 programme sees a slight tweak with the King of the Hill event being split into three categories – SuperCar Shootout, Sports Cars and Single Seaters and Modified Saloons.  This ensures that competition is fair and that each competitor stands a chance against the other hillclimbers. The fastest cars in each category will then go head to head in a shootout to crown the King of the Hill.

2017 Jaguar Simola Hill Climb

We look forward to seeing all the action from the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb – if the hype and success of the previous years is anything to go by, this year’s event promises to be quite the spectacle!

The New 911 GT3 Sets a very fast lap around Nürburgring

911 GT3 Nürburgring Lap time

The new 911 GT3 Nürburgring lap time.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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If Idris Elba doesn’t want to be James Bond, maybe the Aston Martin DB11 will convince him.

Aston Martin DB11 review in South Africa

We drive the Aston Martin DB11

Besides being one of the coolest people in Hollywood, Idris Elba is also a petrol head. If you don’t believe us, Google it. The fact that he is a car lover gives the makers of James Bond an even better reason to make him the next 007. If I were in the unique position to be considered for that role, I’d have a specific request though, besides being made to look taller – I’d want the lead car to be an Aston Martin DB11. We don’t need to explain why this car would be perfect for the next James Bond movie because Aston’s have long been synonymous with the 007 brand.

Old man gets some work done:

Let’s be honest, the Aston Martin brand was always the car for the “mature”. You know, the expensive cigar smoking, trench coat wearing types that look you up and down as you approach them. With technology and innovation making leaps and bounds, many manufacturers are looking to appeal to a different target audience nowadays. The internet has made many younger people wealthier so a sports car for the refined gentleman won’t appeal to that rich kid who swears by his Adidas sneakers and hoody from college. What that guys wants is something smart and powerful, something the Aston Martin DB11 is.

The new car has learned from its older siblings in terms of style and pizzazz, but its packaged in a different way. The DB9 and Vanquish for instance feel old school with their sonorous naturally aspirated V12 engines. Having driven a Vanquish recently, I can confirm that it’s quite an event-nothing beats the raw nature of the engine. The power delivery is a build up, giving you an exquisite crescendo at the end of the rev range. The only problem with that, is that in everyday traffic, you’ll barely reach that crescendo because of a little thing called traffic.

This is where the Aston Martin DB11 comes in, since it’s turbocharged it has boost very early in the rev range – allowing you to access the power easily. The car is a GT vehicle, meaning that it’s meant to be driven a lot. It’s not meant to be a Sunday car, but for it to be an “everyday car” it needs everyday features. The modes in the DB11 were made specifically for that purpose.

GT mode is the one you’ll use to go to the office,  Sport mode will be used by those who still want to go to the office but very loudly. Sport Plus mode will be used by those who still want go to the office but loudly and less comfortably. In whatever mode the Aston Martin DB11 is in, it’s never terrible though. It’s always good. Underneath it all, the car is basically a Mercedes-AMG GT and the people at Merc know a thing or two about comfort. The surprising thing is that the Aston drives better as an everyday car than the AMG GT. The engine is also nicer. A unique 5.2 litre V12 Twin Turbo is the life of the party and with 447kW/700Nm at your disposal, you won’t get bored easily. This engine makes any other Aston seem slow, but it still has soul.

Driving the DB11 teaches you that you don’t have to drive fast for you to enjoy a car with so much power. With your cell phone paired and the engine in its most docile mode, you often forget you have a weapon under your right foot. The 8 speed automatic gearbox adds to this as it can feel non-existent, but in Sport mode it changes quicker than you’d expect. The seating position also doesn’t make you feel like you’re in a long car, as does the Vanquish. Instead you’re surrounded by luxury and technology and you don’t feel like you’re driving “daddy’s car”. The Aston Martin DB11 has done well then to appeal to younger guys.

Sure it’s not as exciting as a super car but it’s not mean to be. It’s meant to offer everyday thrills nestled in luxury and sophistication. If I was a wealthy 35 year old, the DB11 would be a very tempting car to own. Better yet if I were Idris Elba, I think it would add to the James Bond swagger I would already bring to the role. Imagine the scene, Idris driving up to a lavish hotel, pulling up in the Aston Martin DB11 with a gorgeous girl. As the valet approaches he says, “park the old girl won’t you, but keep it running, I won’t be long…”    

 

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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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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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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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The Launch of the New Audi A5 in South Africa

Update: Watch Our LaunchDrive Video of the New Audi S5 Here

Hermanus is a beautiful seaside town with a vast mammal filled ocean on one side and  towering mountains on the other. Between us at Cape Town International Airport and Hermanus, though, was a driving route that involved great sections of tar, with long swooping bends, twists and turns. A fitting location, then, for the launch of the all-new Audi A5 and S5 Coupe.

The original A5 launched back in 2008 and it had a unique look with its tornado line running down the full length of the vehicle. The 2017 Audi A5 is still very recognizable as an A5, but does feature very nice enhancements in the design area. The Tornado line for example, is more defined and the headlights feature a sharper design with the “four eyes” to represent quattro. These headlights sit above a larger, flatter grill and below a bonnet which has large grooves, emphasizing its sportiness.

Audi have a new design philosophy which is inspired by the Audi prologue concept car. We have seen elements of this being introduced in recent models such as the Q2 and now the A5. One nod to this design language is flared wheel arches and larger rear shoulders, and we can see this in the 2017 models.

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

The interior has also undergone some refinement. I have always enjoyed Audi’s simplistic and uncomplicated style with regards to interior design and this is no different with the new A5.  The dashboard features a horizontal design which gives the cabin a very spacious feel and as always, the centre console features controls for audio, navigation and the like.  This console also features the drive selector, which one can only describe as looking like the thrust control in a jet – its large, bulky and fits in the hand nicely, giving a very commanding feel.

View 360 Images of the interior below. We apologize for the quality, as the light was extremely poor.

Audi S5

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Audi A5

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

In the design area then, the Audi A5 has undergone many refinements resulting in a big improvement. Another area in which the 2017 A5 has improved is in the powertrain department, with the latest engines now producing 17% more power with a 22% reduction in consumption, impressive.

The A5 coupe has four engines on offer with the S5 currently leading the way, producing a healthy 260 kW and 500 N.m. Following this is the 2.0T FSI Quattro producing 185 kW and 370Nm. We then have two 140 kW power plants, coming in the form of a 2.0T FSI which puts out 320N.m and a 2.0 TDI producing 400 N.m.

You would probably expect me to say that the S5 was my favorite variant but actually, the 185 kW A5 quattro was a car that really stood out. This car really shifts and has lots of torque from low down in the RPM range. It was just so enjoyable to drive through the twisty mountain passes but was then also very comfortable and quiet when driving in a relaxed manner.

The S5 is sharper, firmer and faster with 260 kW and 500 N.m but the difference is not night and day. It does give you a little more confidence in all aspects, though, such as high-speed cornering, as the S5’s suspension is firmer which can be felt quite a lot in the rear.

If you want more performance and styling, the S5 is a good option but it is by no means a “monster”  like an RS variant would be. What sold me on the Audi S5 is the song it sings from that beautiful 3.0-litre V6 Twin Turbo motor – wow!  It sounds absolutely fantastic throughout the rev range and this means that the S5 has a driving experience which is hard to match in its segment. It goes from being a car that is a little faster and sharper than the quattro, to a car that really makes you feel warm inside when driven – It’s not always about sheer acceleration and performance and this reason alone could mean the S5 pips the BMW 440i and Mercedes C43 to my top spot out of the three.

The higher powered A5’s are impressive, but we must not forget the smooth cruisers, the 140 kW T FSI and TDI models. These variants are very refined and easy to drive and while both cars were very nice, I feel that out of the two, the TDI is the one to go for. Power delivery is linear and it just feels like a smoother, calmer experience. Although not the most powerful variants, these two models should not be under estimated as they can really hold their own on some of the Cape Town passes against the bigger boys and are by no means boring. You can still have a lot of fun in these models and we can vouch for that.  If your main aim when looking at an A5 is not so much performance based but rather directed towards a quiet, comfortable and smooth vehicle, either of these two are the ones to go for. The  14kW T FSI comes only as FWD, but the TDI variant is available with quattro.

Which model would I personally choose? Well this decision for me is all about which rules first, the head or the heart. My consumer brain tells me that the 185 kW quattro is the vehicle to go for – it gives performance just a little short from the S5, but has the comfortable benefits of the T FSI and TDI Models and is also R170 000 cheaper. However, from a performance enthusiast’s point of view, my heart wants to hear that singing V6 whenever I drive to work in the morning, although I’m sure my wife would have something to say about that!

Its also worth noting that the A5 is available with its new driver assistance system -Traffic Jam Assist. This is Audi’s first step in the direction of autonomous driving. In conjunction with Adaptive Cruise control, the vehicle will accelerate, brake and steer the car up to speeds of 65 km/h.

Pricing

The A5 will comes standard with a range of equipment including  Audi Drive Select, Xenon Plus Headlights and Rear LED lights, 17” Alloy wheels and cruise control.

The A5/S5 Sportback will be following the same model and pricing structure below and will be available from May 2017. In June we can expect the arrival of the A5/S5 Cabriolet – we have no information on pricing as yet.

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T FSI 140kW S tronic: R 589,000

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T FSI 140kW S tronic Sport: R 623,000

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI 140kW S tronic: R 619,000

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T TDI 140kW S tronic Sport: R 653,000

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TDI 140kW quattro S tronic: R 652,500

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T TDI 140kW quattro S tronic Sport: R 686,500

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T FSI 185kW S tronic: R 723,500

Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T FSI 185kW S tronic Sport: R 757,500
Audi S5 Coupe 3.0T FSI 260kW quattro S tronic: R928,000

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