Category: Sports Car

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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TheMotorist digital magazine – Edition 05

Edition 05 of TheMotorist digital magazine is here!

Our latest digital magazine has arrived. This month we have great motoring  content for our readers, including a driven feature on the BMW M4 GTS.You can access and subscribe to the digital magazine at this link: https://goo.gl/XDDL2m

Have a great read Motorists!

 

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The rebirth of TVR.

Utter the words Griffith, Cerbera, Tuscan, Tamora, Typhon and Sagaris to any common or garden human and they’ll ask why you’re listing the ingredients of a McDonalds burger patty, but say even one of those within earshot of a petrolhead and they’ll pucker up like a nipple in Nepal.

Founded in 1947 by a fellow by the name of Trevor, TVR quickly became renowned for their bespoke and typically British sports cars, and by typically, we mean unreliable. So much so that the company closed down in 1965. And then reopened in that same year under new ownership. And then changed ownership in 1981, and again in 2004. Despite all the chopping and changing, though, TVR still managed to be the third-largest specialised sports car manufacturer in the world at one point or another.

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Long story short – owner number 4, a fellow by the name of Nikolay, half-heartedly left the brand chugging along until he sold it in 2013 to a little syndicate, led by a TVR owner and, most importantly, an outright petrolhead, Les.

So now that we’ve all been schooled in the history of Trevor (see, I put the vowels back) what you need to do is sit up and take notice. TVR is back and set for a 2017 unveiling and Les says the new TVR will bring back everything that we loved about their cars of yore – outrageous styling and brown pants performance. The key to this, however, isn’t big Les himself (he made his money in gaming) but rather the team he’s put together…Cosworth and Gordon Murray are to the automotive world what the

Cosworth and Gordon Murray are to the automotive world what the Zimmer frames and grasshoppers are to the Toyota Camry. Making use of Gordon Murray’s carbon fibre chassis and clever aero, the reborn TVR will be both strong, light and efficient. Once production gets up to pace, the carbon chassis will become an option with the standard models making use of an aluminium tub and fibreglass panels.

Cosworth are the crafty wizards in charge of the powerplant and word is that they’ll be using Ford’s tried and tested Coyote V8, with a bit of a fettling of course. A good old manual gearbox is the order if the day and buyers can expect this midway point between Lotus and Aston Martin to be a well thought out blend of luxury, technology and simplicity so as to guarantee reliability. But don’t be fooled, this is going to be one seriously lairy rebirth.  Are you excited because boy oh boy are we! Trevor, we’re ready for you.

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At last BMW’s M2 driven.

“The most anticipated BMW this year” is the term thrown around for Bavaria’s latest introduction to the family. As glossy as that phrase is, it’s true, an entry level M model is exactly what BMW has needed since their current offerings in the M stable have been slightly out of reach for many. Leveraging off of the popularity and cult culture around the 1M, BMW’s new M2 has big shoes to fill and new shoes to fill too. Maintaining the excitement of the current M cars whilst trying to create an “affordable” one aimed at new clients is a tough ask indeed. Have they succeeded in doing this? Have they created a future classic?

Frankenstein’s four wheels:

The M2 is basically a hybrid creature made up of majority M235i mixed with stolen body parts from the BMW M3/M4. Items such as the pistons, braking system and most importantly the M-Differential have all been morphed into this car to create a faster and more focused vehicle. To add to this a new exhaust system has been fitted, that adds both power and decibels to the beefy bruiser. The result is a 272kW/465Nm car with an over-boost function that spikes the torque figure to 500Nm when needed. A sonorous in line 3.0 litre six cylinder engine is welcome, especially in a segment that is primarily dominated by four pot’s making the same GTI-esque sound.

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Bag of chips?

Let it be known that the new BMW M2 is not an M4 rival, it’s disposition is not the same as its older brother. Whilst it shares some components with the M3/M4, it’s a car that you can really enjoy without the fear of being punched in the face by its brutish attitude, something the M4 does. That being said, the new BMW M2 is powerful, exciting and manageable behind the wheel. It’s the right combination of a non-intimidating yet highly intuitive compact sports coupe aimed at a new audience of M car drivers.

This car comes at the right time because the M4 has progressed from a car that could be somewhat “disrespected” to a car that can be lethal in the wrong hands and that’s not necessarily a good thing if you’re a younger buyer lacking experience. Interestingly the M3 (before the confusing name changes happened) was the car aimed at younger to middle-aged executives. Ever since the new generation of M3/M4’s came into production that changed, creating a gap for BMW in that segment, a gap that the Mercedes Benz A45 and Audi RS3 operate in. So to claw those clients back, this new M2 was created and from that perspective, BMW has succeeded in creating a car for that market.

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Purist car or not?

Another big question is if the new M2 is a true successor to the first BMW Frankenstein creation, the 1M? It must be noted that BMW’s focus has shifted between creating these cars. The 1M was a limited edition once off, manual only, enthusiast orientated car. Whereas the M2 is not a limited edition hardcore car, it’s a full production model that gives the buyer much more options than the 1M did. As a result the car may not have the same future appeal that the 1M has due to its limited numbers, but it may be remembered by many as their first M car instead.

If the M2 is remembered in such a manner, those will be good memories indeed. Memories of how exciting the car is to drive and how rev happy the engine is. Memories of how much grip the car has through tight corners and how controllable it is at high speed. Lastly for those really enthusiastic drivers, those memories will be documented through video shot by the GoPro app that allows you to film your lap time and share it with your friends. Yes the M2 may not be as wild as all the current M’s available, but it sure is wild enough for its potential target market. Visually, it forces onlookers to look twice and take in its wide stance, large intakes and quad exhausts, something young successful people will enjoy.

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At a starting price of R791 000 some may complain that this price is still too high, but looking at what you pay for super hatches such as the Mercedes A45 and the Audi RS3, you soon realise that the M2 is priced very similarly. If you are a purist, the manual version of the M2 would be something to consider as it’s the only car in this league to offer a third pedal. For everyday use and for incredibly fast gear changes, the M-DCT gearbox is the best option. Whatever guise you buy an M2 in though, guaranteed will be the smile on your face each time you open the garage and each time you get behind the wheel.

 

What would your “One Car For Life” be?

Choosing one car for the rest of your life is a daunting exercise.

If you could own any ten cars in the world, what would they be? Most of us car nuts have probably been asked something along those lines before. Maybe even your top five or even top three.

As a lover of cars, you will soon realise that is a tough question. What would you use as a daily drive? Or would you even have a few regular drive vehicles? Will you allow one or two spaces for your other half’s cars of choice? Questions like these will plague your mind; you will mentally scratch out and swap vehicles until finally, you have your own personal golden list.

 

But what if we told you that you could only choose one vehicle for the rest of your life? It could be anything your heart desires but would need to suit your own personal circumstances. This is where it gets tough. If you have kids, then it’s probably best to avoid a two seater. Maybe you spend a couple of hours a day stuck in rush hour traffic, so it would be a good idea to rule out a track ready beast. You would soon miss that soft air-conditioner breeze as the South African sun hit you, and the bucket seat and harness will probably crease your business suit. This is the part where the rational part of your brain comes into play, and you are going to have to make sacrifices you don’t want to make. I love old classics; I am also a massive fan of Japanese tuners, and I adore fire-breathing supercars. Fortunately (or unfortunately, whichever way you see it) I am to be married this year. I love road tripping, exploring, power, speed and comfort. I’ve also got a small soft spot for Dachshunds, which my fiancé has too.

So right now, if I had to go and purchase my “One Car For Life” I would head to the Audi dealership and buy myself an RS6 Avant. You may think this is strange, but I have my reasons:

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Firstly, it has five doors which are something my fiancé would demand. It also saves a lot of hassle when travelling with passengers or future children (maybe). The RS6 has tonnes of space, whether I’m road tripping with five people or going away to photograph landscapes, I don’t need to worry about space for people or gear. I also know my soon to be wife would be relatively safe if she were ever driving this vehicle, something I wouldn’t be so sure about in an 80’s classic with no traction control and ABS. Secondly, the RS6 Avant looks excellent. With many complaining that station waggons have a “mum’s taxi” appeal, this isn’t the case with this car. It also sounds pretty mean and to top it all off; it produces 447kW (600bhp) from a twin turbocharged V8. That’s more than enough performance and power to keep me smiling.

The RS6 Avant would allow me to enjoy everything I love doing without me compromising on a lot, which makes it my O.C.F.L. What would your O.C.F.L be? Let us know via social media and state your case.

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Zooped up: Hyundai i20 Sport

Remember the time guys would buy ordinary hatchbacks and slowly but surely turn them into something more radical? Most car lovers have gone through a time where a go faster kit, bigger wheels and a loud exhaust pipe was all you wanted. Well Hyundai have realised that this is an inevitable phase in a car lovers life and as a result they have created something to appeal to this market.

What happens when you take an i20 and give it some boy racer treatment? You get what they call the Hyundai i20 Sport. A set 17 inch alloy wheels, a sports kit and a cat back exhaust later and you’re ready to hit the streets. By hit the streets we don’t mean that you’re going to go out there and win races, after all you only have 85 kW/ 160 Nm coming out of that 1.4 litre engine, even though the car has been given a performance chip. So don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a powerhouse, it’s not.

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How does it drive?

The Hyundai i20 Sport is solid in terms of ride quality. The lower suspension and firm damping means that it corners well too. Even though that little engine is not that fast, it’s not terrible slow either, but with the exhaust screaming along, you feel like you’re going much faster than you are.

What does it cost?

This is where the Hyundai i20 Sport will face a challenge, because it costs R 253 900. That puts it up against the Suzuki Swift Sport and the Opel Corsa Sport. The Suzuki is an exciting little car but the Opel Corsa Sport is the most appealing in this segment because unlike its normally aspirated competitors, it has a turbocharger and much more power. The Corsa Sport is also more refined than both the Hyundai and the Suzuki.

Verdict.

If the Hyundai i20 Sport cost less, it would be a much more appealing package. Unfortunately, it’s price is going to hinder it against the competition. On the bright side, though, at least it has a loud exhaust and some shiny wheels.

 

 

Finally: Honda’s new Civic Type R driven.

It’s arrived: Honda’s new Civic Type R

For many years  VW, BMW and even Mercedes fans have had to hear about the new Honda Civic Type R that’s on its way and how this car is destined to annihilate anything that challenges it. We all awaited this car and the hype behind it, the first ever turbocharged Civic Type R. Car magazines from around the world published concepts of it, later Nurburgring times were announced with video evidence, and some journalists even drove the car. Yet we kept waiting and waiting for this car to be released on our South African soil. Eventually after many years of threats, the car arrived and we finally had the chance to drive it.

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Now here’s the thing about hyping a car too much, for those doing all the talking, they put themselves in a position to look very stupid if the car fails to deliver. Even we were sceptical about all the figures, “228 kW’s and 400 Nm’s on the front wheels? This was surely deemed to be a torque steer machine” we thought.

Well crunch time arrived and just looking at it in the pits sparked a fire of excitement in us. The sharp lines on the outside and the blood red bucket seats inside added to the suspense. So what’s it like behind the wheel? After a few laps around Killarney raceway, all we could think about was the smug look that all the Honda lovers would have, after we all had to admit that they were correct.

You see there is a simple factor that determines the reception of a hot hatch. Speed is important obviously, handling too, but one factor is the deal breaker, fun factor. This is where the Type R outshines the competition because there is fun everywhere in this car. From the bold design, to the short-throw gearbox, to the ludicrous induction sounds it makes. The character of this car is like that of an ADHD child, it wants to play all the time. The difference is that an ADHD child will set the house on fire but the Honda will set your emotions on fire.

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Not only is the new Civic Type R fun, it is very capable on the track. The way that differential works and how the car uses its power and how it grips through corner after corner is something that makes it really stand out. Yes the competition may have faster cars but there is something so special about this car that getting beaten on a straight line is not on your mind when you’re behind the wheel.

 

The combination of turbo charging and V-Tec technology is remarkable, because the high revving nature of the car is still there. Only this time it’s accompanied by torque, torque and more torque. The “R” button further adds to the hooliganism in the car by sharpening the throttle response and firmness of the suspension.

The Type R is not flawless though, the ride is still quite hard on the road and it’s not exactly discreet. So if you’re in the type of industry that doesn’t welcome large spoilers and protruding diffusers, you may be in trouble if your order is already in. That being said, if you didn’t buy a Type R for whatever reason you had, we don’t think Honda would care really. They didn’t mean for this car to be the ultimate all rounder, they developed it to be fast and to excite and to show-off what Honda can do. Based on the finished product we can say they did their job.

 

The biggest pill to swallow is the price of R586 400. Then again when you were a little boy, you didn’t worry too much about how much that toy you really wanted cost, did you? You were willing to spend all your savings on it. The same applies for those in the market for cars like these. The reason for purchasing one will not be about price, it will be about want. Hence why despite the hair raising price of a Mercedes-Benz A45, you still see a good amount of them on the road.

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The competitors in this segment play a different game to the one that Honda is playing though. For instance, The VW Golf R is a massively impressive car and it is practical as well. It is probably the best all-round hot hatch money can buy. It is an everyday car that can be a hot hatch when you want it to. Whereas the Honda Civic Type R is a hot hatch all the time that can be used as an everyday car, if you don’t mind all the stares. As a result, the Type R’s direct competitor in terms of its purpose is probably the Renault Megane RS. These two cars share the same interests, that of making grown men feel like little boys again, and boy oh boy the new Civic Type R made us want to play. After many years of waiting, we’re happy to say we weren’t disappointed.

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The low-down on the new Porsche 911

What’s changed with the new Porsche 911?

When you hear the three digits 9-1-1, a few things may come to mind. Sadly it’s the date of one of the worst terrorist attacks the world has ever seen. It’s also a popular emergency services number. For some though, the numbers mean something good, something exciting.

The best thing that I personally relate these three digits to, is the Porsche 911. Interestingly Porsche had originally named the first vehicle the “901” but Peugeot complained because of their numbering system which had a 0 in the middle, so Porsche replaced the 0 with a 1 and a legend was born.

My earliest memories of a Porsche 911 was my father squeezing me into the front boot space and closing the lid to show our neighbour that it could actually hold some kind of capacity. From a young age the 911 was my favourite, I even named my first pet rabbit “Porsche” but sadly it escaped and then got eaten by a fox.

I digress, the 911 have been produced since 1963 and the 911 Turbo since 1975. It is agreed that this range of sports cars is up there as one of the greatest of all time.  Since the start, the core of  the “911” has never changed, a rear engine setup with 6 cylinders. There was a time in history where I lost a little love for the 911, I felt like they could not get the design of the front end right, I didn’t like it. In recent years though, with the return of the classic round headlights, the design stole my heart again.  Now in 2016 Porsche have updated its current 911 range and the changes are as follows:

What’s new?

The new Porsche 911 is as beautiful as ever, and the rear end has an even sharper and more aggressive look. From a design point of view, these vehicles haven’t really changed much over time. They’ve evolved in small ways but as always the 6 cylinder horizontal engine is stuck right in the back where the boot normally is. Besides subtle design changes, the engines are where the biggest changes lie with turbochargers adding extra boost to the car. Many enthusiasts have been in two minds about this move since many loved the razor sharp nature of the normally aspirated car.

Options have not changed with two variants being available in the Carrera range. The normal Carrera is the baby and the S is the upgrade. The standard 911 Carrera will push 272 kW (380 Bhp) and the Carrera S supplies 309 kW (420BHP).  Another change has to do with the drive-train options available in the new 911. A client has the option between rear wheel drive and a four-wheel drive setup. All these updates will definitely change the way the new car handles on the road and more importantly, how the car put’s its power down.

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Wait, there’s more.

Another new option is the Sports Exhaust System which apart from allowing the twin turbo motor to shout a little louder, the two twin tail pipes are replaced by two single pipes located in the centre of the vehicle with a small space in between. One more noteworthy point is that the Porsche Active Suspension Management, (an electronic damping control system called “PASM”) is now fitted as standard on all models. It’s evolved a little, but definitely for the better.

How much will it cost?

A 911 Carrera will set you back at least R1.2 Bar, whereas the Carrera 4S Cab will start to hurt you at a minimum of R1,6 Million. You can double that figure for the top dog 911 Turbo S. It may sound like a lot, but it’s all relative. Some may even say it’s a small price to pay for one of the most iconic sports cars ever built. Long live the Porsche 911.

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