Category: New Release

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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Released: BMW M550d & M550i X Drive – The Models Which South Africa Won’t Get.

BMW M550i South Africa

South African Car News: BMW M550d & M550i Xdrive

BMW M550i X Drive South Africa
It’s True. BMW have just released both the M550d and M550i – very exciting indeed, or not… As of yet, we have no news on exactly if or when these stinkingly powerful 5 Series variants will be heading to our beautiful country.

BMW M550d

First to be released by BMW was the M550d xDrive, which if you didn’t know has the most powerful 6-cylinder diesel engine ever in the automotive industry. It’s 3-litre displacement is aided by four turbochargers. This is a fairly complicated setup with two low pressure turbochargers helping with low down response and two higher pressure units for power. It is worth noting that both low pressure turbos and one high pressure unit will always be running, with the second high pressure charger kicking in above 2 500 rpm. This makes sure that the M550d xDrive will hit 100 km/h in around 4.5 seconds. Mighty fast for a diesel, but with 294 kW and 760 N.m on tap, what else could one expect?

BMW M550i X Drive South Africa

Handling all this power will be BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system which does not spoil all the fun as BMW say that the front axle only comes into play when needed, meaning this puppy may still be able to get a little sideways. That’s if you can break traction on the 275/35 R19 rear wheel tyres needed to control all that juice.

BMW M550D South Africa

The BMW M550d xDrive will also have some unique visual elements, such as the Exterior mirror housings, radiator grille frame, bumper design elements and side air breathers all in Cerium Grey. A purchaser of this vehicle can expect M Sport Suspension, integral active steering, M aerodynamics package, M Performance exhaust system and M sport brakes finished in blue as standard.

If this isn’t exciting enough, there is also the option of the now ranging topping 5 Series variant -the M550i xDrive.

M550i xDrive

You won’t find 6-cylinders here but instead a 4.4 litre turbocharged V8 Motor producing a blustering 340 kW and 650 N.m. In conjunction with the 8 speed sports auto transmission and rear bias xDrive, the M550i will hit 100 km/h in just 4 seconds. My question is, then, how fast is new BMW M5 going to be?!

BMW M550i South Africa

This model features the same design and styling characteristics as the M550d with the M aero package and Cerium Grey details.

BMW M550i X Drive Interior South Africa

Both models will be available with the connected drive features and technologies available in other 5 Series variants such as the remote parking feature. You can read more on the current 5 Series range from our launch article here.

BMW M550D South Africa

Will these models be coming to South Africa?

Sadly, probably not. This could be for many reasons and in terms of the M550i that reason would be pricing. The M550d on the other hand might not even make it to the UK and will just be a european model. If it’s not going to the UK, it’s definitely not coming to South Africa and they will probably keep it as a left hand drive model only. These models are available from June, so there still may be some time for them to change their mind, but we doubt that’ll happen.

BMW M550i X Drive South Africa
We should however be receiving the new BMW M5 which purportedly also features a rear biased xDrive system – no news on that either, though.

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This is the new Dodge Challenger Demon and it’s been banned from the drag strip!

South African Car News: Dodge Challenger Demon

Meet the car which has been banned from the Drag Strip: Dodge Challenger Demon

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. American vehicles in South Africa have always been niche and I personally think that that is a good thing, but with this new Dodge Challenger Hellcat, it’s proving to be somewhat difficult for me to digest. As a spiritual man, the word Demon has bad connotations. You see, no matter how you spin it, in my world, a demon can never be a good thing, even if this demon has a rumored figure of 804 hp that’s 617 kW in South African!

American vehicles have a reputation of being fast in a straight line and lacking in the corners. The new crop of muscle cars seem to negate that but the scales are still prejudice to the straight-line side. This is a muscle car that is rumored to destroy the oh-so American quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at an exit speed of 224 km/h! 0-100 is blitzed in 2.3 seconds and 0-160 km/h in 5.1 seconds. This is courtesy of a stupendous torque figure of 1 043 N.m, and it’s the first road legal vehicle to lift its front axle on take-off. Rears are shod with 315 rubber to make sure that your “11s” can been seen from the international space station.

This ridiculous amount of power comes courtesy of a supercharger that’s bigger than your Golf 7 GTI’s motor at 2.7 liters which is then bolted onto a 6.2 liter V8 motor, resulting in 1.8 Gs on launch. That’s guaranteed to blur your vision while making sure that your eyes are securely lodged at the base of your skull.

All this power and numbers come from the wizardry of computers and you see this in the technical specifications. The de.. Hellcat has specific software to shift weight to the rear to optimize launches, all the while playing with how much torque it lets the rear wheels – yes no four-wheel-drive here – have to minimize wheelspin. The induction process has liquid to air induction to keep that air going to the intake manifold cold and to make sure that you can take on Vin Diesel in the next Fast movie, it re-routes the air-conditioning air to the charge cooler to reduce temperature by up to seven degrees Celsius. I told you a lot of wizardry has made this car into what it is!

I can go on forever as to what the car will bring but the only way I can make this make sense to you is to urge you to click on the link at the end of this article and see for yourself what we are talking about. This is a street legal drag car which was the idea when the team at Dodge decided to do a marathon omnibus of all the race movies ever made including Fast and Furious. Ironically and for what it’s worth, it’s been banned from the drag strip by the American NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) as any vehicle that can complete the quarter mile in under 9.99 seconds would need a roll cage as well as some other safety measures that could be done in house, but I’m sure that Dodge is enjoying the “banned” status that it currently has.

If this is what ‘Merica is bringing to the table in terms of what can be done with some trick computers and some raw power, to the other manufactures across the Atlantic, your serve!

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vD6A6NxySQ

 

 

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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 Future Is Electric: Audi E-Tron Sportback Revealed

Audi is starting to take electricity very seriously: Audi E-Tron Sportback revealed.

Manufacturers fascination with electricity was not just a phase, it’s happening and getting better and better. So much so Audi plans to launch five electric cars in the next five years. Yikes. The one everyone is talking about now is the Audi E-Tron Sportback, a sleek looking electric crossover of sorts. We know concept cars rarely look the same when going into production but Audi has surprised us before. The R8 for instance looks a great deal like the concept car it came from. If that’s going to be the case with the E-Tron Sportback, we’ll be in for a visual treat. The car looks very space age, almost like the it came out the movie Tron.

It will be powered by a 95kWh battery with a predicted range of approximately 500km. So imagine being able to make it to Pietermaritzburg in your E-Tron Sportback? The trip won’t be a boring one too as the car will be able to do 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds. That’s properly quick for a car that’s going to be silent, or any car for that matter. Of course the main target market for a car like this in China, as electric cars are booming that side. For us South Africans however we may wait a while until this car comes our side. Thankfully the likes of BMW and Nissan have paved the way, so by the time fully electric Audi’s come this side we may have the infrastructure we need.  

 

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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.

 

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Goes 63

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Gets The 63 Treatment

Do you remember that one tough guy at school? Yes him. The one that had six or seven brothers and all of them were untouchable! The brothers that were tighter than industrial super glue and if one of them got into trouble, you had to deal with all of them.

Well in a modern sense, that is what has happened to the Mercedes AMG brothers. All of them are a force to be reckoned with but together, they form the vehicular equivalent of the Avengers. The latest of the Mercedes brothers to get the in-house horse power treatment is the GLC and before you say, “but hang on we know that this variant has the uber smooth V6 270K 520 NM 43 version”, you would be mistaken! Mercedes AMG has now come out with a 63 version of the GLC. Yes, the motor that sounds like Zeus coming down from Mount Olympus, has now being shoehorned into this this Midrange Mercedes SUV. Claimed figures from the 4.0 liter V8 twin turbo is quicker that your five-year-old daughter asking, “Daddy (mommy in my household) is that a Ferrari?” That’s four seconds just FYI.

The “regular” version will get the “standard” 350 KW and 650NM and the S version will get then 375KW 700NM upgrade. In this vehicle, little Hannah won’t even get to finish her sentence at 3.8 seconds. This torrent of power and torque will be send through the familiar 4Matic system, aided by a rear limited slip differential, guaranteed to make those trips to the shop VERY entertaining.


With the GLC 43 starting at R 1 070 900.00, we estimate that you won’t get much change for your R1.7M. Competition will be tough with direct opposition from the Porsche Macan Turbo, Jaguar SVR and the upcoming Zebra stripe wearing BMW X3M. With SA’s economy hitting junk status, the older brother GLE might be out of range so this will be a steal under R2M!!

 

New Ford Fiesta ST in South Africa

2018 will see the arrival of the all-new Ford Fiesta ST aka the Ultra Mobile and if you listen carefully, you can already hear all the boets fist-pumping in anticipation of this auspicious occasion!

2018 Fiesta ST

Big news is that this new model is the first ever Ford Performance vehicle to make use of a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder motor and, while sharing a platform with the model it replaces, is the first Fiesta to feature selectable drive modes, enabling steering, engine and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track modes. Yoh boet!

Unfortunately, along with the drive modes, we’ll have to put up with Ford’s nauseating and quite frankly miserable Electronic Sound Enhancement Technology which, in short, makes a dreary and depressing come through the vehicle’s speaker system in order to artificially enhance the sound of the engine. We have already been unfortunate enough to endure this in both the 2.3 Ecoboost and 5.0 V8 Mustangs and there’s not much to say really other than no. Just no.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST

Outputs of 149 kW and 290 N.m. are hugely impressive from a 3-cylinder motor and if you are able to block out Martin Garrix and the shocking sound enhancement, you might even be able to hear a fruity and characterful 3-pot thrum coming from within the engine bay on your sprint from 0-100 km/h which will take 6.7 seconds. A clever little motor, it is also able to shut off one of its cylinders during low-load conditions in order to save fuel, an industry first in a 3-cylinder motor, and thus resulting in emissions as low as 114 g/km.

The current generation Fiesta ST met much praise when launched in 2013 and was even crowned as Top Gear’s Car of the Year 2013. Unsurprisingly then, it still sells in droves to this day thanks to its loyal following of tank top owners and rave-goers. It also has one of the best front-wheel-drive chassis’ money can buy so it’s a good thing then that this will be carried over to the new model.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST

There is no word on pricing yet but we can expect to see the first units in South Africa during the first half of 2018.

Chic and slick: Facelifted Audi A3 Sedan Driven.

A sedan version of a hatchback? The A3 Sedan seemed like a strange concept when it was first released. A few years later, consumers have come to enjoy the car as it makes sense for those not looking for the space an A4 offers. You wouldn’t be wrong to assume then that this car can be considered the “Young man’s A4”. The range recently went to the bathroom for a nose powdering session and has emerged sleeker and smarter.

Engines and technologies:

The most interesting addition the range has been the 1.0 litre turbocharged engine. This produces 85kW/211Nm which is a healthy number considering the size of the engine. Having driven this car we can confirm that any scepticism about the size of the engine can be laid to rest as it does a sterling job to get the car going. We however had the 2.0 TDI on test which has ample torque for the city and open road with a figure of 340Nm/105kW. The model we had on test also featured new technology for the A3 range, virtual cockpit. Let it be known that Audi and Volkswagen have some of the most intuitive digital dashboard systems, so it’s great that this option is now available in the A3. There is a catch though, in order to get the dashboard, the car needs to be specified with navigation. So a R7 250.00 option needs a R24 000 option to be selected, which can hike up the price quite a bit.

Silence is golden:

You would think a diesel would be noisy and clunky and that the noise would spill over into the cabin. This is not the case with this car, the noise levels are very low, creating a peaceful atmosphere. The overall ride quality is very good, despite the lack of an S-Line kit, which makes things firmer but nicer. This specific model did have optional Sports Suspension, but members of the youth would probably prefer the S-Line for aesthetic reasons. The elegance of a standard model fitted with a good set of wheels is also visually appealing. Is the 2.0 TDI the pick of the bunch? The engine delivers torque almost instantly and the S-Tronic happily obliges. The Drive Select option is a good thing to tick in the options list, because it allows you to give your car different “moods”. In Comfort the car ticks over as usual, in the Eco mode the car is less responsive but more fuel efficient (best for highways). Dynamic mode is for when you’re in a hurry and the car in my opinion is at its best here, simply because it’s always awake. When in Comfort the car tends to take things easier, I call it “Cape Town” mode but Dynamic is “Johannesburg” mode, which is good to go all the time.

Same Same but different:    

The facelifted Audi A3 sedan is the same car we’ve come to know, only better.  New headlights and different bumper designs are what set the new car from the old one, as well as a nicer steering wheel. The subtle exterior changes aren’t enough for older specification owners to lose sleep over though. The additional engine compliment the range well and the option of Virtual Cockpit is awesome but expensive. Speaking of expensive, the 2.0 TDI starts at R499 000 which is tough pill to swallow. The model we drove retailed at R583 490 and it didn’t even have leather seats. It was quite a strangely specified car in fact, because the big ticket items were Navigation (R24 000), Adaptive Cruise Control (R15 300), Panoramic glass roof (R11 100), 17 inch wheels (R12 000) and Virtual Cockpit (R7 250). The smaller items such as Drive Select, Audi Sound System and Sport Suspension were all in the region of R3000.00 per option. The moral of the story is this, pick the necessary options and you’ll be okay or tick the wrong boxes and you’ll pay.  

More Torque, More Tech and Fewer Cylinders – Audi’s New RS5

In my mind, Audi’s RS5 has always had a unique appeal in the very sporty small coupe segment. While BMW’s M3 has always been the nimble and dynamic youth in a hoody and Mercedes-AMG’s C63 the grandpa in All Stars, the last generation RS5 suffered from an identity crisis and was neither supremely comfortable nor tekkie squeaking fast, but it was one of those cars that you wanted and preferably without a roof.

The same could be said for each of the above’s fan bases with the Audi, again, sucking hind-teet while the C63 and M3’s were scooped up by young millionaires and old folk recapturing their youth. Every time I see an RS5, I struggle to place its driver into a category and be mean, but is this such a bad thing?


Stereotyping aside, the RS5 was great when it launched 7 years ago, a time when the E92 M3 reigned supreme and grandpa sported a 6.2-litre masterpiece in his AMG All Stars. The RS5’s 4.2-litre V8 was a meaty and burbly unit and as a whole, the RS5 was the weapon of choice for those who preferred to be discreet, yet dashing. Unfortunately, on the performance front at least, the RS5 has been left behind in recent years by the turbocharged F82 and W205.


Fast forward to 2017 and the new RS5 has again befallen the recently tabooed fate of all engines – downsizing. Harkening back to the days of the B5 RS4, the all-new RS5 sports a 2.9 litre doubly force-fed V6, putting out an M3/4 Competition Package matching 331 kW and 170 N.m more than the old naturally aspirated V8 at 600 N.m. This should be good for a 3.9 second 0-100 km/h sprint, accompanied by one of motoring’s all-time favourite soundtracks, an Audi V6. The motor is in fact the same unit found in the new Porsche Panamera, and will undoubtedly blend performance and economy in a typically Germanic and clinical fashion.

While the engine is big news, the indistinguishable crowd of people who buy RS5’s will perhaps swoon over its blacked-out LED headlights, beefy bumpers and oval holes that house the exhausts. It’s actually 17 mm wider than the model it replaces yet 60 kg lighter which is about as much as a fat child. Accompanying the reduction in weight is a multi-link suspension set-up at the rear which replaces the trapezoidal-link from the previous model.

Consumption is also vastly better than before with a claimed combined average of 7.2 l/100km.

There’s no word yet on local availability or pricing but a good guess would be the first quarter of 2018 for a million and a bit.