Tag: Car News South Africa

More Innovation than an S-Class? All-New Audi A8 Released

Audi A8

New Audi A8 Released

Audi A8

Rewind to the advent of the big, luxury saloon and copious amounts of expensive and shiny or woody materials was the order of the day. With more chrome than Brakpan and more wood than Hot House, you certainly knew who was boss, riding in the back of his supercharged Mercedes-Benz or winged Cadillac. The focus then shifted to turning the back of your mini-limo into a mirror image of your lounge, not the greatest idea in the velour-crazed 70’s where brown was considered to be chic. Sies. Say what you will, however, because despite the questionable taste and thirsty engines required to lug your lounge around, the segment continued to soldier on with executives flocking like sheep to the voluptuous comfort of their S-Classes, 7-Series’, LS’ and later on, Audi A8’s.

The S-Class was always the king of CoriCraft in your car, with a good smattering of safety and innovation to remain current, but it would seem, in recent years, that Audi has now taken the baton from Mercedes-Benz in the innovation race, with the segment now overtaking your living room as a whole, exhibiting more technology than you will ever need in the comfort of your home.

Take the previous generation Audi A8, for example, while it may have looked like an elongated A4, it was one of the first cars to feature a high-speed fibre-optic data network connecting multiple data processors and was also the first vehicle top feature a static adaptive front lighting system – in 2002! It also featured fingerprint recognition, snazzy pop-up B&O speakers in the dash and received adaptive cruise control in 2007. And if that wasn’t enough for you, you could even have it with a Lamborghini derived all-aluminium V10 in the form of the Audi S8.

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

Audi A8
The current generation features noise cancelling in the cabin, which obviously wowed the world, so if that was anything to go by, the all-new Audi A8, unveiled today at the Audi Summit, will take the fight straight to its competitors with some serious tech. We actually know this, already, with Audi saying that this new (D5) generation features artificial intelligence and is the first production car in the world to have been developed for “highly automated driving.” It also has matrix reading lights. Yes, you read that correctly – you can adjust the brightness, size and position of your reading light in the rear seat!

Audi A8

Another first for Audi, the new A8 features Audi AI active suspension which works in a similar way to Mercedes-Benz’s ABC (Active Body Control) making use of a forward facing camera to read the road ahead before increasing or reducing the load individually on all four of the wheels. In the event of a side impact, this system is also able to raise the body on the side of the impact by up to 80 mm within 0.5 seconds, thus exposing an even more resistant part of the body to the impact zone, clever…

Other notable features include Audi’s 48 v electrical system across the range – making all derivatives “mild hybrids”, capable of coasting along without the use of the combustion engine for up to 40 km. – active noise cancellation, 4-wheel steering and one of the most advanced lighting systems ever seen on a motor vehicle.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!
Audi A8

Powering the Audi A8 is a range of 6 powertrains, two 3.0-litre motors, a TDI (210 kW) and TFSI (250 kW), two 4.0-litre units, a TDI (320 kW) and TFSI (338 kW), a twin-turbocharged W12 unit in the A8 L (430 kW) and a plug-in-hybrid featuring the 3.0-litre TFSI unit and an electric motor, integrated into the gearbox with its own clutch, which produce a combined 330 kW and 700 N.m.

Audi A8

Audi A8 Pricing in South Africa


With no word yet on which derivatives we’ll be receiving, expect to see the all-new Audi A8 on South African roads within the next year or so with pricing likely to start just below R2 000 000.

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

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Released in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S

About a year after the release of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German automaker has brought the fire back into the range through the introduction of the big power, big engine performance variants of the new model – The Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S models.

Mercedes-AMG E43

Taking the position as the entry level performance E-Class is the E43, with headline figures of 295 kW delivered at 6100 rpm and peak torque at 520 N.m, heralded from just 2000 rpm through to 5000 rpm. All this power is produced from the 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 we first saw in the C43 AMG.

Mercedes-AMG E43

In line with the new AMG mantra of rear bias AMG 4Matic, the drive is to all four wheels and will provide for a 31:69 split of power. The new attitude towards drivetrain dynamics is good for a 4.6-second 0-100 sprint and the obligatory 250km/h German car speed limiter. Drive will be through a new 9-speed G-Tronic Automatic gearbox.

The preeminent act being the E63S AMG model and dubbed ‘The most powerful E-Class ever’, it delivers a colossal 450 kW between 5750-6500 rpm from a twinturbo 4.0 Litre V8 and 850 N.m of torque, from 2500-4500 rpm. The employment of the 4Matic system aids in the 3.4 second 0-100 km/h scurry, smashing the likes of the RS6 Avant and F10 M5 for a best in class time. Top speed is again pegged at 250km/h with the option of a higher 300 km/h limit with the AMG Driver’s package. A beefier 9-speed MCT dual-clutch box helps to translate all the power into movement, along with rather evocative noises.

Both models employ the Sporty Air Body control in the pursuit of agility and neutrality in the twisties. This system works in tandem with the Adaptive Dampening systems that allow for the selection of three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, as a means of adaptation the vehicle to the conditions and requirements of the driver.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Based on the E-Class, the list of technical wizardry tricks and electronics is long and vast. Features such as Connected Me and Remote online are available, which allow for phone integration through an app that allows vehicle data to be viewed remotely along with a Vehicle Tracking and a Parked Vehicle Locator system with remote unlock and locking.

With the E63S taking the fight directly to the new M5, much debate and kafuffle will surround these rivals, all while still offering a milder option for the less brave, or endowed given the almost R2 million rand price.

Mercedes-AMG E63S

Mercedes-AMG E43 and E63S Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC: R1 165 800

Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+: R1 868 400

All vehicles come with a 6-year/100 00km PremiumDrive maintenance plan. Visit Mercedes-Benz for more details.

 

 

Khanye Ngwenya

Junior Writer

Is the BMW 8 Series Concept the best looking BMW ever?

BMW 8 Series Concept

BMW 8 Series and M8 Concept

Any BMW collection worth its weight in myrrh has to consist of at least one 8 Series, in whichever shape or form. 840Ci’s are of course the more common one’s while 850CSi’s are just about as rare as a ham sandwich at a Jewish wedding. Regardless of derivative, though, the 8 Series is as timeless as ever and is heralded by many as one of the greatest BMW’s ever built, nearly thirty years on.

Designed using CAD, as well as being the first car to feature CAN bus – now an industry standard – the BMW 8 Series was somewhat of a technical masterpiece. It was also BMW’s first car to make use of a multi-link rear axle and the first road car to offer a V12 mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The 8 Series was the cream of the BMW crop and their flagship model, ad obviously we have been waiting with bated breath since its production ceased in 1999 for a successor…

Few things could have prepared the world, then, for the unveiling of the BMW 8 Series Concept, first shown to the public at the Oscars of the car world, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Sure we were teased with the silver squiggle in the dark you see below, but that squiggle didn’t allude to the fact that this car is properly beautiful. While this isn’t the finished product, one can expect the production version to look very similar with this now ushering in a new era in BMW’s design language.

No word yet on motors but we do know that it shares its chassis architecture with both the G30 5 Series and G11 7 Series which means it can be fitted with anything from a 2.0-litre 4-pot to a 6.6-litre V12, delicious. We also know that 825, 830, 835, 845 and 850 have all been trademarked by BMW, so kudos to you if you can figure out how those numbers correlate to displacement. Clue: they don’t.

Aimed square at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, BMW have done a good job in avoiding what Mercedes-Benz did – make a 2-door S-Class. They could have easily made a 2-door 7 Series but instead, what we have been presented with is an automotive icon, reborn.

Production is set to start soon, so brace yourselves for the most beautiful and expensive BMW, ever.
Now watch this video and feel the goosebumps.

But wait, there’s more! Is the prospect of a big BMW Coupé not enough for you? Are you rearing to get your wallowy, fat aunt into those running shoes that she probably be wearing at all? Well then the upcoming BMW M8 is just what you need! This is exciting stuff as there has never been a production M8. Initially, BMW intended on putting the E31 M8 into production as a Ferrari competitor. Unfortunately, this was a project which never made its way into showrooms. They made one and it sported 410 kW from its modified S70 V12, a version of the M70 V12 that had been bored out from 5.0-litres to 5.6-litres.


Fast forward a decade and a bit and the M8 is back and nearly ready for production!

Likely to have more than 450 kW from the very same S63 4.4-litre unit found in the new M5, it’s set to be the fastest ever BMW road car. It doesn’t sound half bad either, with BMW clearly listening to fans who have bemoaned the current M Range’s raspy exhaust notes. Uprated brakes and suspension are obvious additions, as well as slicker aero all-round the car. Are you excited, because goodness gracious are we!

New BMW M5 will feature xDrive!

New BMW M5

End of an era? New BMW M5 xDrive

Anybody who knows me will know what I think of the BMW M5 – it’s flipping marvellous! With each generation, BMW has managed to wow the world with one marvel or another, be it the fastest saloon in the world, a V10 for the whole family to enjoy or independent throttle butterflies for each cylinder. If none of this enough, one just has to look at the past 5 M5’s, each of which has had a completely different appeal but with the same core ingredients – four doors, lots of power, delicious balance and rear-wheel drive.

New BMW M5

So you can imagine the absolute chaos amongst the M5 die-hards when BMW announced that the F90 generation would feature all-wheel drive. Cue the pitchforks. But not all is lost…

Dubbed M xDrive, it works in conjunction with the DSC system to allow for 5 different setups when combining either DSC on, MDM and DSC off with 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. Yes, you can have 2WD only #relief.

Connected to whichever assortment of wheels you choose is the latest version of the now familiar S63B44 twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, now churning out over 450 kW and 700 N.m. All this power to all four wheels should result in 0-100km/h in the region of 3.5 seconds and brutal in-gear acceleration. Controversially, and there’s always controversy with an M-car, the F90 will only come with a ZF 8-Speed automatic. Yes, that’s right, a torque converter. Automatic gearboxes are so slick these days that the added production and maintenance costs of a dual-clutch system are no longer necessary in order get the required performance. M-DCT systems are known for overheating after a few full-bore launches but there’s no need to worry now thanks to the inherent strength of a torque converter setup.

What will it look like? A 5 Series with a big chin and four exhaust tips. What will it cost? Many many of your Rands. Will it be worth it? You bet your aunt Felicia.

 

Details on the limited edition Ford Fiesta ST200 in South Africa

Limited Edition Ford Fiesta ST200 available in South Africa

The Ford Fiesta is a very popular car among the younger generation in South africa and this can also be said for the sportier and faster ST variant. The Fiesta ST is a very rewarding hot hatch to drive, producing 134 kW in a fantastic chassis, making it a very good option for many a racey South African.

If you own or are thinking of buying a Fiesta ST, part of the reason for that purchase is that you want to be a little different and stand out amongst a sea of Polo GTI’s but still enjoy a rewarding drive. Unfortunately the Fiesta ST is also a very popular car, so you’re not going to be doing much standing out, then…

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

This isn’t necessarily the case with Ford latest hot offering, the Fiesta ST200. This is a Fiesta one would definitely stand out in as Ford are only selling 160 of these units in South africa.

The Ford Fiesta ST200 gets a little bit more of everything over the standard ST. It has different styling, more power and and even better handling. It is also more expensive at R339 900 but for a car that’s more rare in South Africa than a VW Clubsport S, it may be worth the money.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

In the performance department, the Fiesta ST200 receives an increase in power from 134 kW to 149 kW or 200 bhp exactly. Torque also increases with an extra 50 N.m, bringing the total to 290 N.m. If that’s not enough, 20 Seconds of overboost is also available which produces an additional 11 kW and 30 N.m. That’s a total of 160 kW and 320 Nm – nice!

The additional power means a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 230 km/h. Helping you get to that speed, in a safe environment of course, is a shorter 6th gear ratio.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

The suspension receives updates as well with revised damper specs, increased stiffness in the rear twist beam and a bigger diameter front anti-roll bar. New settings have also been included for the Electronic Power Assisted Steering to improve vehicle response. All in all, a fantastic handling hot hatch has been improved even further.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

We can’t forget to tell you about the unique exterior and interior design elements either. The Fiesta ST200 is only available in Storm Grey, a colour which has been specifically introduced for this model. This is offset by Matt Black 17” Alloys, Red brake calipers, LED rear taillights and ST200 badging.

Stepping inside, one will find heated Recaro sports seats, dual-tone seat belts, illuminated scuff plates and privacy glass from the rear windows.

Ford Fiesta ST200 South Africa

From the images, we can see that the Ford Fiesta ST200 is still quite understated and would not be easily recognizable to everyone. It is definitely a unique Fiesta ST and isn’t too badly priced when one considers that it will be scaring Golf GTI’s at the lights!

New Audi R8 Spyder – Now you can hear your V10 scream better.

New Audi R8 Spyder V10

New Audi R8 Spyder V10 released in South Africa

Let’s be honest, as much as pure petrol heads lament the lack of rigidity in a convertible, the look and feel of a drop top is badass. This is especially the case when it comes to supercars. The Audi R8 is already a fantastic vehicle, offering ridiculous performance figures and an amazing soundtrack. This soundtrack will be even more audible now that the New Audi R8 Spyder gives you the choice of driving around without a roof.

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

The same V10 engine we’ve come to know and love has been used, featuring 397kW and 540N.m. This figure may seem strange because more press has been given to the R8 Plus model, which has 445kW. The Spyder however pushes out the exact same power as the non – Plus variant, but we’re sure Audi will make a Plus available at some point. That being said the car now dashes to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds which is still a monumental time considering that the Spyder variant will be heavier than the coupe. Heavier doesn’t mean heavier though as the new R8 Spyder uses technology called Audi Space Frame. This a multi-material frame that combines aluminium and Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic. The convertible top also only weighs in at 44kgs, so a lot has been done to keep the car light on its feet, ensuring dynamic handling characteristics.

Another thing many people have enjoyed about the R8 is the way the Quattro system works. Unlike other four wheel drive systems, it’s less prone to nose diving provided you give it the respect it deserves coming into corners. In fact the system in the New Audi R8  Spyder can send up to 100 percent of its power to the rear wheels, depending on the situation. Whilst most people won’t exploit their R8’s to this point, it’s good to know that fun can be had for those who’ve watched too much Top Gear.

 

Besides the lack of a roof, the R8 remains mostly the same – just much better looking. The car comes standard with a host of technology such as Navigation, Virtual Cockpit and front and rear LED lights. Although, you do expect those kind of creature comforts if you’re paying approximately R2.9million for a car. We love it’s look, we love how it sounds, now it’s a matter of seeing if we love how it drives. Judging by the coupe, it should be very exciting.

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

Mercedes-Benz GLA powders its nose.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift South Africa

South African Car News: Mercedes-Benz GLA Facelift

The GLA has been a love/hate car since its launch in 2013. Some didn’t know how to place it, is it an SUV? Or simply a larger A Class? Mercedes can confirm that it is indeed a compact SUV, positioning itself in a competitive market since sedans are “so yesterday”. So what are the notable changes in the new GLA?

Of course exterior changes have been made. However subtle they are, the new look makes the car have a more aggressive presence. Lighting systems have a come a long way and the new GLA is an example of that. There is a choice of what Mercedes calls LED High Performance head lamps. This lighting system replaces the Bi-Xenon headlamps and is meant to replicate daylight in terms of temperature, helping the driver alleviate stress on the eyes at night. The rear taillights are also brightness adjustable, brighter in the day, dimmer at night and dimmest at standstill so as to not fry the eyes of other drivers.

Other technology included in the new GLA is a 360 degree camera and an 8 inch infotainment system. Chrome accents have been added to certain interior items, making things look bolder for those who have a hawk eye. Three lines are available, Style, Urban and AMG. Different packages can also be chosen in the car, making your GLA unique.

Under the bonnet there is the choice two petrol engines, the 200 and 250 4MATIC. As well as two diesels, the 220 d and the 220 d 4MATIC.This obviously excludes the range topping Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC. This variant now features the upgraded 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which produces 280kW/ 475Nm. Adding to the power-plant are options which make the GLA 45 more sporty. For instance, the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package comes with a host of features to aid performance and grip. A locking front diff,  AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension and a RACE program ensure that the driver remains thrilled and confident behind the wheel. Aiding convenience, all GLA models can be fitted with a HANDS FREE ACCESS  system. This system gives you keyless access into the car, making it better for those days when you’re hands are full. For the longer drives, a standard feature called Active Brake Assist is equipped. If you’re tired and don’t notice that you’re about to rear end someone, the car will use sensors to do it for you. This of course comes in very handy to avoid accidents and black eyes.

Overall the updated GLA looks good. It was the one of the older cars in the stable, so a facelift is welcome. As previously mentioned this segment continues to boom, so consumers now have another toy to play with. Pricing for the car is as follows:

GLA 200                                                   R485 400

GLA 250 4MATIC                                  R654 700

GLA 200 d                                                R513 000

GLA 220 d 4MATIC                              R592 500

Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC    R856 700

 

 

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Volvo V90 Cross Country released in South Africa

Volvo V90 Cross Country in South Africa

 South African Car News: Volvo V90 Cross Country

Volvo V90 Cross Country in South Africa

We at The Motorist love a good wagon and the only thing we love more than a wagon is a wagon that can do more than just carry things and look cool. Take the Audi RS6 for instance – not only does it look tit, it’ll also give many super car owners a serious fright, all while carrying a moth eaten lamp and a hound or two – it’s brilliant! Unfortunately for us wagon lovers, South African buyers seem to have a penchant for crossovers and as a result, there are very few wagons on sale here. Motoring journalists left, right and centre can’t praise the station wagon enough, but hey, what do we know?

Volvo V90 Cross Country in South Africa

Luckily for us, the king of wagon makers has decided that while there might not be much of a market in South Africa for the V90, the Cross Country variants have always seemed to do quite well here and as such, the V90 Cross Country will be on sale here. Both Mercedes-Benz and Audi make raised versions of their big wagons, namely The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain and Audi A6 Allroad, but the E-Class will not be making its way here and the A6 Allroad is no longer on sale in SA. So what does that mean for the V90 Cross Country?

Well, it doesn’t really have any competition in its own segment…but even if it did, it would have little to worry about. It’s gorgeous. Like, properly good looking and for some reason, the black plastic bits and rugged additions to the 90 Cluster’s sleek and luxurious lines come together really nicely. You get the feeling that rather than jacking up the ride-height and forgetting to paint a few bits, the V90 CC’s designers have thought long and hard about what the buyer wants, and how they can provide them with this in a typically Volvo fashion.

Volvo V90 Cross Country in South Africa

The first crossover to be based on Volvo’s SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, the V90 CC promises a blend of off-road capability, but, in a “most elegant, sophisticated, tailored wagon suit.” The very words of Thomas Ingenlath, the man responsible for the recent spate of automotive pornography coming out of Sweden.

Interior trims differ to those on offer in the rest of the 90 Cluster with trim options such us Black Walnut for that manly and rugged look. Grrr.

A nice option to tick is the unique Adventure Pack which has been created especially for South African Buyers and offers a host of lifestyle-oriented extras, bristling with value. Included in the Adventure Pack are, amongst others, the panoramic 360-degree surround view camera, auto-dimming mirrors all-round, integrated compass, powered folding rear seats, air suspension and the 230V power outlet – all geared towards improving those out-of-town weekend adventures and typical holiday drives through the country.

Volvo V90 Cross Country in South Africa

Pricing for the Volvo V90 Cross Country starts at R770 900 for the T5 Geartronic AWD Momentum and stretches to a not too heady R921 300 for the T6 Geartronic AWD Inscription. All models come standard with a 5-year/100 000 km vehicle warranty, full maintenance plan and roadside assistance, as well as ant-smash and grab glass and Tracker connect as standard.

The new Volvo V90 Cross Country range begins at R770 900 for the T5 Geartronic AWD Momentum, and ends with the T6 Geartronic AWD Inscription at R921 300.

Volvo V90 Cross Country in South Africa

Keep an eye out for an in-depth review of the Volvo V90 Cross Country in the coming month.

All models come standard with a 5-year/ 100 000 km full vehicle warranty, full maintenance plan and roadside assistance, as well as laminated glass and Tracker Connect as standard.

Full pricing is as follows:

  • Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 Geartronic AWD Momentum           R794 800
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 Geartronic AWD Inscription            R825 200
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country D5 Geartronic AWD Momentum            R839 500
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country D5 Geartronic AWD Inscription             R869 900
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country T5 Geartronic AWD Momentum             R770 900
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country T5 Geartronic AWD Inscription              R801 300
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 Geartronic AWD Momentum              R890 900
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 Geartronic AWD Inscription                R921 300

 

 

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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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Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

In theory, fast SUV’s make no sense. A high-riding AWD vehicle capable of 0-100 km/h in 4.0 seconds and top speeds well north of 250 km/h yet incapable of traversing more than a pavement makes as much sense as a mid-engined supercar that can only go off-road with the performance figures of a Land Rover Defender, but alas, there seems to be a market for these. Back when the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT was first launched in 2006, it was the fastest SUV money could buy, right up until every manufacturer under the sun put over 300 kW in one SUV or another.

11 years later, Jeep have done it again by plonking the Dodge Challenger Hellcat’s 6.2-litre supercharged V8 into the Grand Cherokee. The numbers are truly remarkable – 523 kW and 881 N.m. To put that into context, a BMW X5 M produces 423 kW/750 N.m and anyone who has ever experienced the sheer shock of launching the 2.5 tonne behemoth to 100 km/h and beyond can attest to the g-forces experienced. So how would you feel, then, if I told you that the Trackhawk is faster?

A snazzy Torque Reserve pre-positioning the supercharger bypass valve to generate boost and minimize manifold filling time while cutting fuelling to individual cylinders and managing spark timing in order to provide improved engine torque response and quicker vehicle acceleration in Launch Control. In short, this generates a reserve of torque that can be instantaneously delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.

At 14 600 rpm, 2,380cc of air pass through the supercharger per revolution which comes with integral charge-air coolers. What this means is that the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will out accelerate an Audi RS6 and keep going all the way to 290 km/h. 3.5 seconds to 100 km/h is quite a cool number to flaunt around the lawyer’s office or whatever professional workspace you might commute to in your ‘murican monster.

As with most performance cars these days, endless configuration is possible and a few design queues such as quad-exit exhaust pipes and carbon fibre remind you of the grunt under your bonnet. Aside from this, the Trackhawk isn’t as lary as one might expect. All that torque is fed through a modified TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission, as well as a strengthened transfer case. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk goes on sale in the USA in the 4th quarter of 2017 but there is no word yet on local availability or pricing.