Category: Style

Aston Martin Vanquish S Released In South Africa

South African Launch of the Aston Martin Vanquish S

For as long as humans have lusted over motorcars, the question of whether or not a car can be considered to be art has existed. Silly as it may seem, many an art aficionado has gazed upon such beauties as the Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB  and E60 BMW M5 (a personal favourite) and have thought, “Psh, this is not art.” What these dreary individuals seem to completely miss, however, is that these vehicles are but three examples of a pool of cars we consider to be greater than the sum of their parts.

Similarly, there has been ambiguity as to whether photography can be considered to be art ever since it became commonplace in the 19th century and arguments such as “photography is too literal to compete with works of art” and that it is “unable to elevate the imagination” do not help the cause. Thankfully, then, a charming fellow by the name of Clint Strydom has gone off, armed with his camera and an Aston Martin One-77, and much like a naughty child skipping Physical Education on a Friday afternoon, stuck it to the man. Commissioned by Aston Martin Lagonda to capture the essence of their iconic brand, what Clint has come up with is truly remarkable.

 

Apt then, that Dr Ulrich Bez, Chairman of Aston Martin once said that “The true value of a work of art lies in the unique relationship between the art itself, its creator and ultimately its owner.” He then goes on to relate this to the cars which Aston Martin produce, noting that each vehicle reflects the personality of its owner in its unique specification – unless it’s second-hand, of course.

The local unveiling of the Aston Martin Vanquish S took place in Melrose Arch on the High Street, between the Daytona Melrose Arch Dealership and The Melrose Gallery where an exquisite exhibition of both Clint’s Inspired by Aston Martin series and a series of Esther Mahlangu’s works were on display. The significance of this was noted by few as Esther Mahlangu is one of the very few artists in the world to have been commissioned by BMW on two separate occasions to create a BMW Art Car, another amalgamation of the automotive and artistic spheres. The presence of these two visionaries was a fitting setting, then, for the local debut of Gaydon’s latest masterpiece and the halo vehicle of the Aston Martin brand.

The differences between the Aston Martin Vanquish and Vanquish S

Very similar to the “standard” Vanquish, only the eagle-eyed will notice the subtle differences between the Vanquish and its S counterpart. Most notable is the new aerodynamic package with its extended front splitter and rear diffuser, both fashioned from exposed carbon fibre and designed to reduce front lift with a minimal increase in parasitic drag. New quad exhaust pipes also emphasise the Vanquish S’ performance oriented character, as do the subtle changes to Aston Martin’s signature grille and side strakes.

Carbon fibre bonnet louvres, forged rims and various graphics packs can also be fitted to the Vanquish S.

Inside the vehicle, options with long and confusing names can be had such as “Bridge of Weir Caithness” leather and a Chopped Carbon Fibre finish which again suggests the overtly sporty nature of this flagship model.

Most notable changes are found beneath the skin in the form of all carbon fibre bodywork and recalibration of the 8-speed Touchtronic III transmission which now delivers faster gearshifts and is more refined at low speeds. Alterations to the inlet manifolds ups the power of the sonorous AM29 6.0-litre naturally-aspirated V12 from 424 kW/630 N.m (2014 onwards) to 444 kW/630 N.m. The larger volume inlet manifolds allow for a greater volume of air to flow into the engine at high rpm’s, creating stronger pull all the way to the redline as well as notably improved throttle response. 0-100 km/h is dealt with in 3.5 seconds and top speed is 323 km/h if you’re the sort of person who is concerned with those figures.

All of these aspects combine to create a GT which offers a distinctly different experience to the DB11, yet one that is still notably a product of the Aston Martin marque. The question is, do you feel that the Vanquish S is a work of art? If looking at it as a piece of art, some would say that at its starting price of R4 950 000, it’s a steal, but those who see it as just a motorcar might argue that that is quite a lot of money…

I leave you with this sentiment, then – you can gaze in awe at the lines, craftsmanship and attention to detail found in an Aston Martin, but you can’t drag race a painting.

 

Is the Rolls Royce Dawn Worth Its R10 Million Price Tag in South Africa?

The creme de la creme of motor vehicles, you don’t get better than a Rolls-Royce. It falls into the same category as the private jet in air travel or the luxury yacht that parks off at Clifton beach. So when TheMotorist was offered the chance to sample the best that money can buy in the ultra luxury segment, we looked forward to experiencing what it feels like to be part of the one percent.

The Rolls-Royce Dawn was the variant we had the keys to and that said vehicle has an approximate price tag of R10m. Yes, for that kind of money expectations are high. A buyer of such a car demands the best in comfort and quality on the road. That buyer expects unrivaled luxury and prestige, but even then, does all that which comes with owning such a car justify the cost?

For starters, there certainly isn’t anything like this on the road. It’s distinctively long bonnet and large square face, (all centered by the Spirit of Ecstasy) give the Dawn a look that’s hard to miss. When driving this vehicle or even being a passenger, you feel like you own every square cm of tarmac that you grace with your presence. You will have no problem then committing minor road offenses, such as cutting in front of people in traffic. When you do, no one even questions your actions. The rich really do have it good. It’s quite a pleasant experience really, because instead of the usual middle finger protruding from the driver’s side window, many attempt a wave similar to that of the Queen herself. Charming.

The exquisite exterior styling and design of the Dawn is rather elegant yet simple. It doesn’t shout with crazy lines, noises or colors like a supercar, because it doesn’t need to. It’s like a work of art – the epitome of class.

The team discussed the fact that whatever car parks next to the Dawn at a traffic light, be it a Ferrari or even a Maybach, the Rolls-Royce trumps it, every time. It would have to be a very special car to take attention off the Dawn. In terms of luxury, not much comes close.

The interior really is a sight to behold, soft cream leather covers most surfaces and the Rolls we drove had an optional wood finish called “Canadel”. It was designed to give the effect that you were aboard a luxury yacht. The result is a very modern and chic appearance, created by merging metal, leather and wood. The subtle trimmings in the vehicle are sublime, from the glass numbered buttons used for selecting radio stations, to lambswool carpets so thick that you can run your hands through them like a L’oreal shampoo advert.

Our favourite feature on the Dawn however is the doors. They open in the opposite direction to a normal vehicle, meaning that the hinges are behind the passengers, rather than in front of them. Closing the doors happens at the touch of the button, with motors bringing the doors in and closing them for you as you maintain a blasé look as if it’s the norm.

This design of the doors is actually ingenious. We all know that when exiting a vehicle one sometimes knocks the lower door panels or sills with their feet. With this design though, that problem is totally eliminated, thus leaving your perfectly chromed door-sills unscuffed. Entering and exiting the car is a much easier experience.

Driving

From our personal experience, we have never felt road comfort like we did in the Rolls-Royce Dawn. It felt like the suspension had been replaced with large bubbles as we floated merrily on our way. When the throttle was applied, one doesn’t think that powering the vehicle is a 6.6L V12 engine because the throttle response isn’t sharp, it’s not supposed to be. The power is fed in smoothly, allowing the car to comfortably gain speed. If you think the V12 is a loud, gurgling, fuel eating monster, you would be wrong. It’s a silent fuel eating monster. When the taps are opened from standstill, the Dawn will hurry along from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds, which is impressive for a 3 tonne car.  The same goes for the braking system, it feels different to other luxury vehicles. Whatever the speed, it comes to a completely smooth stop, almost as though it is tempering the brakes for you. Performance is not the reason why you buy a Rolls though, you buy a Rolls for luxury, heritage and status.

The transmission has a feature which is definitely worth noting, it uses satellite maps to read the road ahead. For example, If a sharp hill is upcoming, the Dawn recognises this and automatically selects the lower gear just in time. It will then save this information for the next time the car travels on that route. The benefit of this is a seamless ride at all times, with reduced lag in engine and gearbox response.

The transmission has a feature which is definitely worth nothing, it uses satellite maps to read ahead. For example, If a sharp hill is upcoming, the Dawn recognises this and automatically selects the lower gear just in time. The Rolls-Royce Dawn will then save this information for the next time the car travels on that route. The benefit of this is a comfortable and pleasant ride at all times, with no lag in engine or gearbox response.

So, is the Rolls-Royce Dawn worth its price tag?

In short, yes. Don’t get us wrong, the Rolls-Royce Dawn is not perfect. For example, the rear seats of the vehicle. The seating position and seats themselves are not as comfortable as the front seats and are noticeably firmer. Understandably, this is not a Ghost so rear seating is not a priority. The infotainment system is based on the BMW system and it feels a little dated compared to other luxury vehicles. But these minor things won’t deter someone looking for a car like this because from the driver’s perspective, it’s difficult to fault.

A Rolls-Royce client is not just paying for an ultra-luxury car, they are also paying for the brand and the exclusivity that comes with it. Only the wealthiest own Rolls-Royces, and they are priced accordingly.

In recent times with the Mercedes-Maybach revival, those cars may one day step on the toes of the fabled British brand. For now, though, very few cars are at the level of a new Rolls-Royce. The brand stands on its own, a level above everything else.

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.

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

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.  

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

Space With Your Pace – Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Many moons ago, if you wanted space for your things, you needed a shooting-brake. Designed to cart Archibald, Terence the rest of the yoohoo brigade and all of their guns and dogs to and from their shoots, the shooting break was the epitome of utilitarian coolness with its space and pizazz. Then, for some odd reason, an unfortunate turn in the history books lead to the uprising of the station-wagon.  For those of us fortunate enough to have been given the gift of sight, though, the station-wagon was a bit of a conundrum because while it had all the space in the world for hoarders to return from antique fares with things that they didn’t need, they also had an aesthetic appeal somewhat akin to that of a hoarder. Dogs, guns and the idle rich were quickly replaced by Julia Roberts in waist-high denims and 2.4 vomiting children with the appeal of practical motoring just a glimmer on the horizon.

Right through all of this, though, hunting folk still needed to cart their hounds and rounds around so while numbers of shooting-brakes seemed to dwindle, coachbuilders, in the UK in particular, kept the art alive. Fast forward to the 21st century and now we are utterly spoilt for choice!

Station wagons are no longer ugly but, more importantly, the shooting brake is well and alive and Porsche have just pulled the covers of their much anticipated Panamera Sport Turismo.

Essentially a Panamera with a big booty, literally, the Sport Turismo shares its underpinnings with its rakish counterpart but now with added practicality. Not to say that the Panamera wasn’t already an appealing and practical thing, but now with an additional 20-litres of loading space, you can carry up to 1 390-litres of, well, anything really. The first Panamera to offer seating for 5 humans, the Sport Turismo boasts a 4+1 seating configuration which means that 4 adults and 1 smaller adult/child can experience one of the finest interiors ever to be found within a Porsche.

For those unable to manage their luggage compartments, a luggage compartment management system is available which comprises two rails integrated into the loading floor, four lashing points and a luggage compartment partition net.

A segment first, the Sport Turismo’s spoiler is of the adaptive kind and can be extended depending on the driving situation, generating up to 50 kg of additional downforce on the rear axle. Above 90 km/h when in Sport or Sport Plus, the roof spoiler automatically assumes the “performance position” which is a cool way of saying it moves by 1 degree. If not in either of these modes, “performance position” will automatically be assumed above 170 km/h. Cleverly, the roof spoiler is also able to alter its angle by anything up to 26 degrees in order to minimise wind noise when the Panamera’s panoramic sunroof is open – try saying that fast.

Five motors are available at launch with outputs ranging from 243 kW in the Panamera 4 Sport Tursimo to 404 kW in the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo. Aside from the sea of test-units we have recently been spotting all over South Africa, expect to see the first units on our shores towards the end of 2017.

The New Abarth 595 is here!

The Abarth 500’s have always been rapid cars. Mainly due to the very little weight and peaky 1.4 turbo motors. A while back, a good friend of mine owned one of these, complete with a tuning box to add a little more spice. We have no trouble sticking to the rear end of the Audi A6 – 3.0 Quattro. That little car was immense, it flew in 2nd and 3rd, sadly the tuning box had to be removed as it very nearly destroyed the turbo.

The new Abarth 595 is here, and with power produced by the Competizione, it really won’t need any sort of tuning box to upset the bigger boys.  Everything you need to know about the new 595 is below.

Performance

The new Abarth will feature three engine specifications. All Engines will remain 1400cc T-Jet and have the option of a manual or sequential transmission.

Abarth 595 : 106Kw  (142bhp) – 206Nm

Abarth 595 Turismo: 121kW (162bhp) – 230Nm

Abarth 595 Competizione: 132Kw (176bhp) – 250Nm

The latter in the range has the optional Performance Pack available, which features a mechanical limited-slip differential, 17” Supersport wheels, carbon fibre shell seats with a leather/Alcantara trimming and an aluminium carved 595 badge on the roof. That’s a strange one.

Exterior:

The new Abarth 595 will be available in 15 exterior colours, with the option of bi-colour schemes, mirror covers and decal sets.  Further to this, you have the option to choose from eleven alloy wheel choices, in either 16” or 17”.

The Abarth 595 also features new front and rear light clusters and LED running lights.

Interior:

A black fabric interior is standard on all models. with the option of seven trim levels, including leather and Alcantara options.  Also as standard is Air- Conditioning, electric windows, 7” Display with advanced sport mode, Bluetooth integration and steering wheel controls.

Also, an optional extra on the 595 Turismo and Competizione is the BeatsAudio system, which first featured on the VW Polo Beats. This system has a total output of 440 watts and will surely be an impressive system in the small 595.

 

Pricing

Abarth 595 – R299,950

Abarth 595 Cabrio – R339,950

Abarth 595 Turismo – R369,950

Abarth 595 Turismo Cabrio – R409,950

Abarth 595 Competizione – R443,950

Abarth 595 Competizione Cabrio – R483,950

Honda Civic

Honda Civic Driven Review

Motorist Digital Magazine – Edition 08

There are few things in this world which are more reliable than a Honda. I have often said that not even a playschool teacher could rival Honda’s sterling reputation for trustworthiness, and that is quite a statement to make! In the same breath, though, one may argue that aside from their fast cars, of which there aren’t very many, Honda’s are a bit pedestrian. This is something which has traditionally been mirrored in their buyer base aka the zimmer-frame brigade. Granny and Grandpa love a good Honda and that’s not a bad thing! You see, unless your mum or dad were begotten of a rock and roll legend or drug abusing good for nothing, grandparents tend to be rather sensible people, and we all know that a sensible motorist is a clever motorist. Motoring is not a cheap exercise, so why not buy a car that’s both practical and reliable?

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Sensible and petrolhead are very seldom uttered in the same sentence and that can be attributed to the fact that you’d sooner find a turbocharger or a new intake in my Christmas sock than a Christmas cake or whatever normal people like as sock-fillers. I am, then, the very last person you’d ever expect to see smiling in a sensible Honda so you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see my pearly whites gleaming back at me in the rearview mirror of the all-new Honda Civic.

The new Civic is a very good looking car with its swoopy headlights and sloping roofline – thankfully the drive is as pleasant as it is to look at. The model range is made up of three models, namely Comfort, Sport and Elegance. The Comfort model is powered exclusively by a 1.8 litre NA motor delivering 104Kw and 174Nm. It’s a powerplant with which we’re familiar and while you won’t be winning any post-bowls drag races, it does a god job in the Civic. The Elegance model can be had with the same 1.8-litre motor or Honda’s new and much praised 1.5 litre turbo unit. The Sport model is only available with this motor and what a powerplant it is. 127kW (170bhp) and 220Nm are the figures and when provoked, it’ll hustle the Civic from 0-100km/h in a not too shabby 8.2 seconds, yet return a claimed fuel consumption of just 5.9l/100km. I managed an average of 7l/100km during my week with the car which isn’t terribly far off.

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The only gearbox available is a CVT and while I generally liken CVT’s to a trip to the dentist, the low-down torque and linear power delivery of the 1.5 litre turbo-four lends itself well to the droning CVT’s efficient nature. In fact, you hardly notice that it’s a CVT while pottering around and when you floor it, you’re rewarded with a continuous surge of acceleration without the changing of gears, just like in a Koenigsegg Regera. Sort of.

What I liked most about the new Civic wasn’t its punchy motor, eye-catching looks or technology-laden interior, what got to me was just how easy it is to like. My first car was in fact a Honda. Sold as a Civic overseas and a Ballade in South Africa, the SR4 in code speak, was a real crowd pleaser in Luxline trim with its grey leather and electric windows. The new Civic reminded me of this, as well as why people buy them. My gran bought hers because she said it had “nice lines” and after she shuffled off it was passed down, eventually finding itself in my garage.  I still have it and it’s as good as new, barring a few bumps and dents from when Rosemary went blind and started driving by sound.

What I hope for this new Civic, though, is that not only the elderly and sensible will take to it, but everyone shopping in its segment. It really has come a long way from the previous generation model which was wonderful all on its own. Not only is the new Civic reliable, practical and sensible, it’s now exciting!

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Pricing:

Civic Sedan 1.8 Comfort – R330 000
Civic Sedan 1.8 Elegance – R370 000
Civic Sedan 1.5T Sport – R430 000
Civic Sedan 1.5T Elegance – R460 000

 

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Lexus LC & IS updated models

20 years ago, Lexus (plural Lexii) were little more than dreary Toyota’s covered in a veneer of luxury which was clearly lost in translation. Very little was wrong with the products bar the fact that they made you feel old and miserable, because you and your grey shoes were not driving around in a German.

Since then, though, Lexus has come a very long way and now the average motorist will be hard pressed to actually find Toyota bits in a Lexus. In more recent times they even decided to have a performance division like the big boys, complete with a letter of the alphabet and shouty noises. The letter they chose was ‘F’ which can mean either fast or something else but regardless, the IS F, LFA, GS F and RC F gave the Germans a proper scare with their left-of-field design and stonking performance.

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The grey shoe brigade will no doubt be elated then at the news that not one but two whole new Lexii will be making their way to South Africa! One of them is already here, in fact. It’s the updated IS and it comes with a re-fettled face, now with standard LED headlights, as well as new wheel designs, new colours and interior finishes and a big, fat 10.3 inch multimedia screen. The engine line-ups remains the same which isn’t a bad thing and consists of the IS200t (180kW/350Nm) and the IS350 (233kW/378Nm). Both power plants are silky smooth and while the 3.5l V6 might feel slightly asthmatic on the reef, especially when pitched against its turbocharged rivals, its induction noise will have your hair stand up. This, of course, is incredibly important when on the daily toil…

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The second of the two, the LC is due in South Africa in the first half of 2017 and from the looks of things, we’re in for one cracker of a cruiser. Look at it this way – if ever there was a recipe for success, a 351kW N/A V8 motor, Lexus interior and rear wheel drive was that recipe. And if that wasn’t enough to touch you where you wee, just look at it! Hubba hubba. It also has a 10-speed transmission but that’s silly.

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There will also be a hybrid model with a similar setup to the RX450h but unfortunately/fortunately we will not be afforded the opportunity to save the earth one LC at a time.

Expect prices of around R1 million for Lexus’ SL/6 Series rival, although you can be guaranteed that it will be a lot more exclusive than those two.

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

Peugeot 308 GT-Line Automatic

A few months back I was in the driving seat of the Peugeot 308 GT-Line Manual. I really enjoyed that vehicle, it looked great with the GT-Line styling, the interior was simplistic with extremely comfortable massaging seats (Even my wife mentioned them ). My only issue with this car was that infotainment system is finicky. Through this digital screen is also the only way to control A/C, which can be a hack to control when driving. Apart from that and the fact that the Tachometer needle travels in the wrong direction, all was good.

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Last week wasn’t much different, apart from that this time I had the Automatic model, in Ruby Red. Please don’t buy this car in Ruby Red, it looks awful and does not accentuate the exterior styling of the GT-Line at all, which I think looks great on the car. I was intrigued to drive the Automatic model, for one main reason. A few months back I drove the 208 Automatic was deeply disappointed, (you can find that article in 04 of our Digital Mag) The Automatic box was not up to standard in that vehicle, and I had a slight worry I would experience the same in the 308. I acknowledged that the 308 is a much more expensive car and all should be okay. Indeed, it was, the Auto box is pretty decent on this vehicle, its smooth and works well with the 96kw/230Nm 1.2 Turbo, an engine I am very fond of and has also just won International Engine of the Year, for the second year running. Do note that if you opt for the 308 Active line, power in this model is reduced to 81kw/205Nm.

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If I am picky I would say that there needs to be more resistance between Park and Reverse to stop little mishaps happening, it is very easy to push right through. Below the gear lever you will even find a little Sports button, but like all sports buttons on most nonperformance based cars, the difference Is hardly noticeable. John Whittle has a full in-depth review in the November edition of our Digital Magazine.

Peugeot 308 GT-Line
1.2 3 Cylinder PureTech Turbo
96 kw/230Nm
4.8l/100km
Starting from R357,900

 

 

 

 

 

VW Polo Beats – Great sound for your travels

The VW Polo is probably one of the most popular cars on South Africa roads, especially with the young generation.  It’s a small hatch, its German – which makes it extremely reliable and its reasonably priced.

A problem that I find with these little hatchbacks is that the audio quality is never great. The majority of people that drive these cars are young adults, many young adults love music, especially when cruising around and on road trips. Whether it’s hip-hop, Jazz, Pop, Dubstep, Classical ( everyone has room for a little bit of classical), there is nothing worse when you pump up the volume and with that increase comes distortion, crackle, and hiss. You wanted to listen to your favourite tracks on your way to work. Instead, it sounds more like firework show on New Year’s Eve, not great.

VW have fixed this issue by teaming up with Beats Audio. You know, those bright pink, red, yellow, orange, black, and white colored earphones you see the hip kids and “cool Dad’s” wearing. Beats Audio knows their stuff when it comes to sound and in conjunction with VW, has introduced the Polo Beats – a VW Polo with seven speaker – 300 Watt sound system.

Here is the not so good part, The Polo Beats differs from other Polo’s with different 16” wheels, red door mirrors, dark red tail lights, beats side film and a beats badge on the b-pillar.  After looking at the images, it doesn’t look as bad as first thought. The interior also has changed with  Beats sports seats and a few other bits such as a leather steering wheel and coloured seatbelts. In fairness, it looks pretty good.  Personally, this should have also been available as an option extra rather than a sperate model; I’m sure the whole Beats branding might put a few people off.

It will, however, be an optional extra in the new VW UP released later this year. We may see it as an optional extra in future Polo models. Not everyone wants red wing mirrors.

 

The Polo Beats comes in at R260,700

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