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APEX 07

In issue 07, we revel in the soundtracks of two RS models, testing the latest Audi RS3 and dialling up the volume even further, driving the new (992-generation) Porsche 911 GT3 RS on Silverstone Circuit, indulging in its sonorous, atmospheric flat-six. Back home, we strapped into the grin-inducing Toyota GR 86 at Aldo Scribante raceway. In addition, the new Golf R and first-ever Tiguan R cleared their throats, saying “hello” with a vrrpha as soon as we pressed the blue “R” buttons on their tillers. We then step up (quite literally) into the cabins of two luxury SUVs, taking a seat behind the steering wheels of and testing the bonkers Aston Martin DBX 707 — a masterclass in performance SUVs — and the opulent yet capable box-fresh Lexus LX. In addition, the new Grand Cherokee L aims to make its Jeep luxury SUV ancestors proud during a test. We stay in vehicles of the taller-riding irk, sampling the next-generation Ford Everest, commendable new Kia Sportage and fresher-than-ever, updated Hyundai Venue.

In issue 07, we revel in the soundtracks of two RS models, testing the latest Audi RS3 and dialling up the volume even further, driving the new (992-generation) Porsche 911 GT3 RS on Silverstone Circuit, indulging in its sonorous, atmospheric flat-six. Back home, we strapped into the grin-inducing Toyota GR 86 at Aldo Scribante raceway. In addition, the new Golf R and first-ever Tiguan R cleared their throats, saying “hello” with a vrrpha as soon as we pressed the blue “R” buttons on their tillers.

We then step up (quite literally) into the cabins of two luxury SUVs, taking a seat behind the steering wheels of and testing the bonkers Aston Martin DBX 707 — a masterclass in performance SUVs — and the opulent yet capable box-fresh Lexus LX. In addition, the new Grand Cherokee L aims to make its Jeep luxury SUV ancestors proud during a test.

We stay in vehicles of the taller-riding irk, sampling the next-generation Ford Everest, commendable new Kia Sportage and fresher-than-ever, updated Hyundai Venue.

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PEX

THE PEAK OF SOUTH AFRICAN MOTORING

NEW HYBRID-MODEL

MERCEDES-AMG C63 DRIVEN!

MERC(URY)

RISING

+

Lap of luxury

Box-fresh Lexus LX

tested

RS revelry

We strap into the new Audi

RS3 & Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Cape Town, electrified

We preview Formula E

in the Mother City

07

NEWS BMW 3.0 CSL • Porsche 911 Dakar • Volvo EX90 • Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato LAUNCH PAD VW Amarok • Ford

Everest • Toyota GR86 • Nissan X-Trail • Haval H6 HEV • Hyundai Venue DEEP DRIVE Aston Martin DBX707 • BMW iX3 • Audi

RS3 Sportback • Jeep Grand Cherokee L • Kia Sportage FEATURE Winged wunder: Porsche 911 GT3 RS • Press ‘R’: VW Golf R &

Tiguan R BIKE BMW R18 LIFESTYLE Fitness watches • Pots, Pans & Potjies • Riding shotgun with Siv Ngesi • Reading room

9 772710 519004

22005

ISSUE 7

R59,50


NEW ALFA ROMEO TONALE HYBRID.

LIVE UNPREDICTABLY

Visual for illustrative purposes only. Ts&Cs apply.




THIS IS FOR YOU.

A luxury sedan that is built to impress: the all-electric EQS

with an elegant One-bow design, a luxurious interior space

and cutting-edge technology that leads the way.

More information at mercedes-benz.co.za






CONTENTS

ISSUE

07

54

LAUNCH PAD

Volkswagen Amarok

18 NEWS

BMW 3.0 CSL 44

COVER STORY

Mercedes-AMG C63

S E Performance

98

DEEP DRIVE

Lexus LX

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FEATURE

APEX

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CONTENTS

16 FIRST WORD

NEWS

18 BMW 3.0 CSL

20 Porsche 911 Dakar

22 Volvo EX90

26 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato

FEATURE

30 Table torque Formula E in SA

38 Winged wunder Porsche 911

GT3 RS

44 Hybrid DNA Mercedes-AMG

C63 S E Performance

78 Press ‘R’ VW Golf R & Tiguan R

58

LAUNCH

PAD

Ford Everest

LAUNCH PAD

54 Multi-purpose pick-up

VW Amarok

58 Peak potential Ford Everest

60 Great 86 Toyota GR86

64 Tailored X-Trail Nissan X-Trail

66 H6 surge Haval H6 HEV

67 Fresher than ever Hyundai Venue

38 FEATURE

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

116

DEEP DRIVE

Kia Sportage

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FEATURE

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CONTENTS

COLUMN

74 Are you not infotained? by

Papi Mabele

77 Why not buy an old-school BMW?

by Justin Jacobs

LIFESTYLE

52 Dress to impress

68 Fitness watches

84 Pots, pans & potjies

120 Riding shotgun with Siv Ngesi

137 The reading room

60

LAUNCH PAD

Toyota GR86 120 LIFESTYLE

Riding shotgun with

Siv Ngesi

DEEP DRIVE

92 Aston Martin DBX707

98 Lexus LX 600 F Sport

102 BMW iX3 M Sport

106 Audi RS3 quattro Sportback

110 Jeep Grand Cherokee L 3.6 4x4

Overland AT

116 Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDi GT Line DCT

LONG-TERMERS

126 Ford Ranger BiT 4x4 Stormtrak 10AT

127 Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL MT

BIKE

128 BMW R18

FINAL WORD

138 Mat Watson on cars

78

FEATURE

VW Golf R &

Tiguan R

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FEATURE

APEX

15 ISSUE 7


FIRST WORD

Taylor Swift recently released a brand-new album, Midnights. My girlfriend was elated,

and when I heard one of the tracks features indie-rock songstress Lana Del Rey, I

was intrigued. I adore Lana’s voice. I remember the first time I heard it, a decade

ago. The song was Blue Jeans. To truly appreciate Snow on the Beach, we took the RS3

(p. 106), with its crisp Bang & Olufson sound system, for a day trip. When the last

chorus ended, I indulged in the hyper hatch’s five-cylinder swansong, a tune worthy

of making a greatest hits album for engine sounds. The same can be said of the howling soundtrack

provided by the naturally aspirated flat-six sited below the rear wing of the latest 911 GT3 RS (p. 38).

Sound undoubtedly plays a significant part in how we perceive motor cars – some might even argue

it signifies their souls – whether reminiscent of a high-pitched guitar solo of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy

Page or that of seeming silence, not Sound of Silence. The electric sound, that shoosh, that will be

played by increasingly more vehicles as manufacturers move towards an electric future.

Hybrids of the two do exist and I’m not talking about only the mashups of rock bands collaborating

with electronic-music artists; but back to cars. I’m talking about the one on this issue’s cover: the

new-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 S, which now dons the E Performance moniker. Much has been

said about the sound of Affalterbach’s plug-in hybrid performance sedan, which has ditched its

forebear’s V8 for an electrified four-pot. The jury is still out on its sound. After seeing and hearing a

pre-production version of the PHEV C63 at Benz’s local production facility, although not a burbling V8

tune – one undoubtedly worthy of making a greatest hits album – it didn’t sound bad at all … not so

much that I would skip the track. There’s no denying the performance it will put but you can read all

about it on page 44. Pity pages don’t come with sound.

Skipping through the tracks of Midnights, there were some other admittedly good tunes. However,

considering the car we were driving, it seemed paradoxical. And that was just fine. There is another

new album that’s arguably more suited to the RS3’s soulful exhaust note: Ozzy Osbourne’s Patient

Number 9. Best go for another drive. Before starting the engine and pressing play, I would like to thank

our talented contributors. It’s been a joy compiling these pages.

Enjoy the

issue

Marius

MB

mariusboonzaier

apexmag.co.za apexmag.co.za @apexmagza apexmagza

THE TEAM

Publisher: Vann van Staden Editor: Marius Boonzaier Art director: Bianca-Leigh Nagel Lifestyle editor: Lauren Zuidema

Contributors: Thea Beckman, David Donde, Ian McLaren, Jennifer Campbell, Melinda Ferguson, Justin Jacobs, Papi Mabele, Juliet

McGuire, MotorMagnet, Kumbirai Mtshakazi, Mark Smyth, Mat Watson, Vann van Staden

Proofreader: Margy Beves-Gibson

Advertising and editorial queries: 021 712 3842 / vann@apexmag.co.za

Published by: APEX Exchange (Pty) Ltd Distributor: On The Dot / Media Support

APEX

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FEATURE

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17 ISSUE 7


NEWS

Billed as a masterpiece of engineering embodying the essence of

racing passion, the new BMW 3.0 CSL is an emotional homage to

the original ‘Batmobile’.

In issue 06, we celebrated BMW M’s

50th anniversary, sampling an array of

the company’s new and classic models.

However, as the end of the automaker’s

50th anniversary year came to a close, it

lifted the covers of one last celebratory

model, the most exclusive special edition

it has ever produced. Meet the new 3.0

CSL. Only 50 examples will be made.

According to the German marque, the

latest 3.0 CSL was developed to combine

the best of five decades of racing

expertise from BMW M in an automobile

with a highly emotional aura.

The original 3.0 CSL’s rear wing was

arguably its most distinct design cue.

That, and its sculpted bodywork. The

new generation is no different. A newly

designed grille dominates the front end.

Together with the diamond-structure

kidneys, two recesses in the front apron

direct cool air to the drive system and

six-piston 400 mm fore and singlepiston

380 mm rear brakes, housed in

gold-coloured 19- and 20-inch forged

light-alloy wheels. Of course, a modelspecific,

fixed rear wing is also present.

The most powerful road-legal sixcylinder

model ever created by BMW’s

motorsport department, the 3.0 CSL’s

3.0-litre inline-six produces 412 kW

and 550 Nm of torque. The engine

revs until 7 200 r/min. And it must be

noted that the powertrain is coupled

with a six-speed manual transmission,

transferring power to the tarmac via

the rear axle. Purists rejoice!

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NEWS

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911

NO LIMITS


NEWS

PORSCHE, S ALL TERRAIN

NEUNELFER SHOWCASES

THAT THERE ARE

HARDLY ANY LIMITS TO

THE 911.

Evoking the first overall victory by

Porsche in the 1984 Paris–Dakar Rally, the

992-generation 911 Dakar is a Carrera

reimagined for all-terrain adventure. Indeed,

compared to the latter (when equipped with

a sports suspension set-up), the tall(er)-

riding 911 has 50 mm more ground clearance,

which can be lifted by a further 30 mm at the

front and rear thanks to the standard-fitment

lift system. According to the Stuttgart-based

brand, the 911 Dakar’s ramp angle rivals that

of conventional SUVs.

Although, this increase in ground clearance

isn’t merely for tackling obstacles at a slow

pace. The German marque says the ‘high

level’ setting is available for ambitious

drivers who wish to travel off the beaten

track at speeds of up to 170 km/h. Adding to

its sporty off-road attributes are two driving

modes – Rallye and Offroad – and specially

developed Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain tyres

measuring 245/45 and 295/40 fore and aft,

respectively. The chunky rubber (the tread

pattern is 9 mm deep) is wrapped around 19-

inch front and 20-inch rear wheels.

A 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six

transfers 353 kW and 570 Nm of torque to

the tarmac, or, in the 911 Dakar, the roads

less travelled, via an eight-speed dualclutch

transmission. This all-wheel-drive 911

completes the obligatory 0-100 km/h sprint

in 3.4 seconds. The top speed is electronically

governed to 240 km/h.

APEX

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Got

APEX

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NEWS

Guiding

g

henburg

Signifying the start of something new for Volvo, the EX90 is a statement of

where the firm is heading – fully electric and climate neutral by 2030 and 2040.

Safe and sound

According to the Swedish marque, the standard safety

in the EX90 is higher than any car it has ever built.

The systems are designed to understand you and the

vehicle’s surroundings. In addition, the set-up becomes

smarter and, as a result, safer over time, learning from

new data and updating. The EX90’s ‘invisible’ safety

shield comprises state-of-the-art technologies.

Exterior sensors respond when the driver’s inputs

are a fraction too slow. Lidar senses the road in front,

no matter the time of day or speed. Inside, sensors

and cameras gauge eye-gaze concentration. When

this system picks up the driver is drowsy or inattentive,

it alerts them with a subtle nudge, and when they fall

asleep or become ill, the car will stop and call for help.


NEWS

Computing companion

The EX90’s core functions are powered by a system comprising NVIDIA DRIVE AI Xavier and Orin,

Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms and in-house-developed software. Volvo maintains this provides

a more responsive and enjoyable experience inside the car. “Your Volvo EX90 won’t be just a new

car; it will be a highly advanced computer on wheels,” added the Gothenburg-based brand. “[It is]

the first Volvo to be truly defined by its software and part of a wider ecosystem, connecting to your

home and your other devices. The Volvo EX90 is the start of something new for Volvo Cars in many

ways,” said Jim Rowan, chief executive.

The automaker says the EX90’s 14.5-inch portrait-orientated touch-enabled display is a gateway

to one of the best infotainment systems. Google is built-in. Thus, several apps, including Google

Assistant and Maps, are available from Google Play. Not an Android user? Not to worry, the set-up

is also compatible with Apple CarPlay. Music is streamed through a new reference-quality Bowers

& Wilkins sound system with Dolby Atmos. Headrest-integrated speakers provide immersive sound.

APEX

24 ISSUE 7


Emissionfree

shoosh

Based on a brand-new platform, the EX90

will initially be available with a twin electric

motor arrangement and all-wheel drive.

The former is coupled with a 111 kWh battery.

The permanent magnet electric motors

produce a combined output of 380 kW and

910 Nm of torque. The company claims its

emissions-free flagship SUV can travel up to

600 km on a single charge (WLTP test cycle).

A 10 to 80 per cent recharge takes around

30 minutes.

In addition, the EX90 is the firm’s first

car to offer bidirectional charging. This

technology allows you to use the battery as

an extra energy supply. so you can power

your home, another electric Volvo or devices.

According

to Volvo, the

EX90 contains

approximately

15 and 25

per cent of

recycled steel

and aluminium

and 48 kg

of recycled

plastics and

bio-based

materials.

Around 15 per

cent of plastic

is used in

the car.


ALL-TERRAIN-HO

Billed as the first supercar designed for maximum

driving pleasure on loose or dirt surfaces, the

Huracán Sterrato delivers a new degree of thrills.

APEX

26 ISSUE 7


NEWS

NED HURACÁN

“Breaking new ground in driving

sensations”, the Raging Bull brand says

its all-terrain supercar “belongs in the

world’s most dynamic and exciting

driving environments”. The Huracán

Sterrato achieves this with an updated

version of Lamborghini’s Integrated

Vehicle Dynamics (LDVI) system. The

set-up features specific Strada and

Sport calibrations and a Rally mode

for enhanced low-grip conditions.

In addition, the Sterrato’s fore and

aft tracks are 30 mm and 34 mm

wider than its EVO stablemate’s. The

ground clearance is up by 44 mm “to

ensure greater suspension travel”.

The suspension arrangement is of

the independent double-wishbone

variety. MagneRide electromagnetic

damper control is also present.

Adding to its all-terrain capability,

the front end features aluminium

underbody protection. The sills have

been reinforced and the air intake

intake at the rear supplies clean air to

the engine when driving on dirt roads.

The Huracán Sterrato is equipped

with the brand’s 5.2-litre V10 petrol

powertrain, producing 449 kW and

565 Nm. A seven-speed dual-clutch

transmission directs power to an

electronically controlled all-wheeldrive

Haldex system.

“With the high-speed all-terrain

concept of the Sterrato, we have

uniquely combined the driving

experience of a true super sports car

and the fun of driving a rally car,” said

Rouven Mohr, Lamborghini’s chief

technical officer. “The Sterrato delivers

a new degree of driving thrills.”

0-100 km/h

3.4 seconds

0-200 km/h

9.8 seconds

Top speed

260 km/h

APEX

27 ISSUE 7




T

TO


FEATURE

ABLE

RQUE

After a COVID-19-related false start in 2022, the ABB FIA Formula E

World Championship is finally set to power into South Africa’s Mother City.

Contributor Ian McLaren takes a closer look at what we can look

forward to.

Words: Ian McLaren

IanMcLaren76

APEX

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FEATURE

postcard-inspiring coastline often

touted as an ideal venue for a

Monaco-mimicking motorsport

event. Despite recurring

annual headlines suggesting

Formula One might be

poised to race around Cape Town’s Green Point

precinct, any number of logistical challenges

– including costly infrastructure upgrades and

a notably vocal local homeowners’ association

– dictates this is never likely to be greenlit.

Yet, devised in 2011 to introduce a more

sustainable, cleaner and quieter form of worldclass,

single-seat racing to the streets of some

of the most famous cities in the world, the ABB

FIA Formula E Championship heads into its

ninth season and the Mother City is confirmed

as the third stop on its 2023 calendar. Hosted

by South African promotor e-Movement, the

first Formula E race to be held in Southern

Africa will be the main event of a week-long

festival aimed at creating awareness and,

ultimately, excitement around what’s possible

when it comes to our necessary, sustainable

future.

Of course, as South Africans grapple with the

prospect of up to eight hours of staged power

outages per day, the idea of a racing formula

that relies solely on electricity visiting our

shores has drawn plenty of scepticism. Such

has been the evolution of Formula E since its

first race in Beijing in 2014 – where a midrace

car change was required for a driver to

complete the distance – this FIA-status series

now travels with its own biofuel-powered

generators capable of delivering 100 per

cent of the energy needed to run a full race

weekend.

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

As a series monitored closely by most of the world’s

largest car manufacturers, while brands like Mercedes-

Benz, Audi and BMW have since turned their respective

attentions to other motorsport categories as alternative

testbeds on which to develop future electrification plans,

Formula E remains home to some of the biggest names

in the industry. Joining brands like Porsche, Jaguar,

Nissan and Citroën for the 2023 season are legendary

racing names like McLaren and Penske, while Maserati

returns to a starting gird for the first time in 60 years.

An outlier when it comes to notable racing heritage,

Mahindra Racing has been a member of the Formula E

paddock since its inaugural season, hosting several of

the series’ fastest drivers during this time.

APEX

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FEATURE

The significant news regarding Season 9 of Formula E is the introduction of its third-generation

racing car. Noted for mimicking the profile of a paper aeroplane, this sleek new racer offers more

power than its predecessor but now also features a second, 250 kW electric motor on its front

wheels. Propulsion to a top speed of 320 km/h comes from a 350 kW motor powering the rear

wheels and the secondary unit is designed to harness regenerative braking energy that the driver

can access during the race. Such is the effectiveness of this set-up that up to 40 per cent of the

energy required to complete the race distance is sourced via this new system.

The juxtaposition of a Formula E race weekend compared to other more traditional forms of

motorsport is that the absence of the alluring soundtrack associated with a highly tuned internal

combustion engine is one of the reasons these nevertheless lightning-fast cars can race – and

entertain – within the confines of a city centre.

A market of motorsport enthusiasts can now imagine a time when Formula 1 returns to the

immaculately refurbished Kyalami Racing Circuit, with the allure of a Cape Town-hosted Formula

E street circuit offering yet another world-class sporting spectacle to this part of the world. A

APEX

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INGED

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FEATURE

WUNDER

The new GT3 RS is an uncompromising piece of engineering

and, around Silverstone circuit, a true showstopper…

Words and photos: MotorMagnet

motor_magnet

APEX

39 ISSUE 7


FEATURE

T h e

term

race car

for the

r o a d

g e t s

t h r o w n

around

quite

l o o s e l y

t h e s e

days.

But I can’t think of a better

phrase to put the new

GT3 RS into context. It is

purpose-built, extreme

and uncompromising on

performance. It pushes

the envelope and sets the

benchmark for what a roadlegal

race car truly is.

The formula is simple. The

new GT3 RS is powered by

an optimised version of the

high-revving 4.0-litre naturally

aspirated boxer-six found in

the standard GT3 (if ‘standard’

can ever be used to describe

a car from Porsche’s GT

department). Power has been

increased to 386 kW, with peak

torque down to 465 Nm. The

engine howls to 9 000 r/min.

This is primarily achieved

through new camshafts.

The RS model’s seven-speed

PDK has shorter overall gear

ratios than the dual-clutchequipped

911 GT3. The result

is a 0-100km/h sprint time of

3.2 seconds.

The central-radiator concept

has been carried over from

motorsport. It is positioned

where your luggage would

typically be in all other

911 models, with the front

active aerodynamic elements

integrated into the space. It

keeps hot air from flowing

into the engine intakes at the

rear with the help of roofmounted

fins.

Aerodynamics is what

truly puts the 992-generation

GT3 RS in another league.

The introduction of active

aerodynamics on a Porsche

GT car for the very first time

is historic. And while the

giant rear wing with DRS is

instrumental, aerodynamicist

Mathias Roll points out what

makes it truly effective is that it

works in tandem with the active

aero flaps underneath the front

bumper. The two-piece front

wing increases downforce by up

to 80 per cent on the front axle,

bringing the overall downforce

to 860 kg. The fully panelled

underbody includes 30 fins for

targeted airflow and downforce

generation.

The new RS is undoubtedly

made with clear intentions,

but how does it all transfer to

reality? Fortunately, we had the

entire Silverstone F1 circuit to

find out.

Falling into the carbon-fibre

bucket seats, with the roll cage

(also fashioned from the latter

lightweight material) right

behind you, certainly sets the

tone. You are presented with a

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FEATURE

1 2 3

1. A quartet of dials on the tactile steering wheel to adjust several settings.

2. No luggage space here, just the central radiator. Note the bonnet fins.

3. Grippy Michelin rubber, which, in addition to the active aero elements, keeps

the new 911 GT3 RS firmly on the track.

new steering wheel with four

different dials to adjust the

suspension, torque vectoring,

traction control and, of course,

the driving mode. It’s very

handy on a wet and cold

Silverstone.

Start it up, and the familiar

flat-six exhaust note envelops

the cabin, resonating through

a somewhat sparse interior.

Set off, and immediately the

car feels eager to breach the

30 km/h pitlane limit.

Driving onto the Silverstone

circuit, you can't help but

feel a tingle in your spine.

There isn’t a single car I

would rather have been in

right then. I gingerly steered

it through the first few

corners, trying to get some

heat into the Michelin Pilot

Sport Cup 2 tyres before

unleashing it on the first

straight. The shorter gear

ratios are instantly noticeable

as you come up quickly onto

the first braking point. Hard

on the brakes, the car sucks

itself down to the point

where the tarmac may crack.

Turn-in. The mechanical grip

is remarkable. Immediately

you’re instilled with absolute

confidence in the car. And

with each corner you push it

that little bit harder, it takes it

all in its stride and pushes you

on to exploit it further.

I believe a good car flatters

the driver. The GT3 RS

pushed me beyond what I

thought I was capable of. It

is a truly impressive piece of

engineering and takes you

right to the cusp of what a

road car is capable of. A

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FEATURE

R S A N C E S T O R S

996.2

Engine: 3.6 L, flat-6, petrol Transmission:

6-spd MT Driven wheels: R Power/Torque:

280 kW/385 Nm 0-100 km/h: 4.4 seconds

Top speed: 306 km/h Weight: 1 360 kg

997.1

Engine: 3.6 L, flat-6, petrol Transmission:

6-spd MT Driven wheels: R Power/Torque:

305 kW/405 Nm 0-100 km/h: 4.2 seconds

Top speed: 310 km/h Weight: 1 375 kg

997.2 3.8

Engine: 3.8 L, flat-6, petrol Transmission:

6-spd MT Driven wheels: R Power/Torque:

331 kW/430 Nm 0-100 km/h: 4.0 seconds

Top speed: 310 km/h Weight: 1 370 kg

997.2 4.0

Engine: 4.0 L, flat-6, petrol Transmission:

6-spd MT Driven wheels: R Power/Torque:

368 kW/460 Nm 0-100 km/h: 3.9 seconds

Top speed: 310 km/h Weight: 1 360 kg

991.1

Engine: 4.0 L, flat-6, petrol Transmission:

7-spd dual-clutch Driven wheels: R Power/

Torque: 368 kW/460 Nm 0-100 km/h: 3.3

seconds Top speed: 310 km/h Weight: 1 420 kg

991.2

Engine: 4.0 L, flat-6, petrol Transmission:

7-spd dual-clutch Driven wheels: R Power/

Torque: 383 kW/470 Nm 0-100 km/h: 3.2

seconds Top speed: 312 km/h Weight: 1 430 kg

Aerodynamics is what

truly puts the 992-

generation GT3 RS in

another league. The

introduction of active

aerodynamics on a

Porsche GT car for the

very first time is historic.

992

Price: R4 153 000 Engine: 4.0 L, flat-6, petrol

Transmission: 7-spd dual-clutch Driven

wheels: R Power/Torque: 386 kW/465 Nm

0-100 km/h: 3.2 seconds Top speed: 296 km/h

Weight: 1 450 kg

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FEATURE

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YBRI


D DNA

FEATURE

Mercedes-AMG has replaced

the V8 in the C63 with a

hybrid powertrain, but as

we discovered in Spain, the

new generation is about way

more than just its engine.

Words: Mark Smyth

Motorscribe


FEATURE

BILBOA

BARCELONA

MADRID

VALENCIA

CORDOBA

SEVILLE

MALAGA

GRANADA

The Mercedes-AMG C63 is a car that’s all about

noise, brute force, raw performance and that

constant fear that one day you’ll discover its bite

is worse than its bark. For years its heart has been

a roaring V8, hand built by dedicated technicians

in Affalterbach, Germany, but those days are

gone. Now we have the C63 S E Performance,

and beneath the famous power bulges on the

bonnet sits a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.

Not surprisingly, the news of the decision to

go with a four-pot did not go down well with

enthusiasts but there is more because the engine

is mated to an electric motor. Yes, the C63 has

gone hybrid; although, before you run off to

drown your sorrows at the demise of the C63, this

is no Prius, as we found out when we drove it at

its international launch in southern Spain.

The electrified C63’s design language harks

back to the original wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing

days of pre-W204 versions. The power bulges are

still there, now flanking a cooling duct; there are

quad pipes at the back, a discreet boot spoiler

and the front track is 76 mm wider than a regular

C-Class’, but it’s all a bit more subtle.

That’s not the case inside, though, where

there are digital displays galore as well as the

usual AMG bucket seats, swathes of Alcantara,

leather and carbon fibre. As well as the central

touchscreen, there’s a digital instrument cluster,

which can be personalised with different themes

and, at times, looks like you are in a racing sim.

Add to that a massive head-up display that can

easily dominate your view of the road ahead, and

it’s all a bit gaming console, a bit over the top.

It is very comfortable, however, with the

engineers retaining the premium everyday

drivability of the latest-generation C, which, of

course, is proudly built in East London, South

Africa. There might be many buttons, a million

menus and sub-menus, but most of the time,

you’re not going to do much more than change

the music.

You’ll be able to hear your favourite tracks

better, too, because here’s something you

probably never thought you’d get in a C63…

electric mode. The 6.1 kWh battery will allow you

to drive up to 13 km in silence, but this isn’t the

new model’s party trick.

The sound might be gone, replaced by

amplification of the four-cylinder in the cabin,

but this is a new breed of C63. The P3 hybrid

combination creates 500 kW – 350 kW from the

engine and 150 kW from the electric motor – and

there’s a massive combined torque output of

1 020 Nm, all of which enables a 0-100km/h sprint

time of 3.4 seconds.

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FEATURE

For the first time, the C63 has 4Matic+ all-wheel drive and

rear-wheel steering. There are eight AMG Dynamic Select Drive

programmes, each of which provides varying levels of power,

plus it gets a drift mode, with the ability to send 100 per cent of

the power to the rear wheels.

The new C63 isn’t about the numbers, though, and it’s

definitely not about the sound. Instead, it’s about the dynamics.

René Szczepek is the head of driving dynamics development for

AMG, and he told us the decision to switch to hybrid was made

six years ago. At the same time, they realised they needed to

develop not just a new car but a whole new driving dynamic

for AMG.

“We have never changed the character of the C63 so much,” he

says. “Our tasks were to make the car as drivable and predictable

as possible in every situation.” Szczepek focused on the

dynamics, taking the damping system from the AMG GT Black

Series and creating a new rear sub-frame, increasing torsional

stiffness and adding more strut bracing to provide a more direct

steering feel.

The team also wanted to create a car that’s as quiet as possible

in Comfort mode but can switch its character instantly when the

driver wishes. Ultimately, he says, the aim was to create a “daily,

drivable sports car”.

It didn’t take long behind the wheel to realise they’d nailed

that aim superbly. It’s a little eerie to pull away in electric mode,

although the neighbours will be happy. Still, the electric motor

provides instant torque, and while Comfort mode delivers just

25 per cent of the battery’s power, engaging full kick-down gives

you access to it all.

That’s for when you get out of town when it’s time to play

with the driving modes, where even the ESP has been tuned to

leave you alone and let you get on with it. There’s a bit of noise,

but this is no longer what the C63 is about. Instead, it’s about

unexpectedly sharp handling, phenomenal levels of adhesion

and an ability to get on the power and keep pushing through

every twist and turn, rapidly building up confidence in the

engineering and understanding the work that Szczepek and his

team have put in.

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The C63 has

gone from

being a sledgehammer

to a

razor-sharp

performance

sedan

Once upon a time, it would have had to give way to the BMW M3 or a Porsche 911

in a really twisty mountain pass, now it matches them turn for turn. On the technical

Ascari race circuit, driving behind multiple DTM champion Bernd Schneider, the C63

held its line every time, where previously, we might have been waiting for the back

end to step out. Its Race Track mode contains telemetry on various world tracks, and

it even includes a Boost mode, complete with ‘Boost’ flashing on either side of the

instrument cluster at pre-programmed points. It felt a bit Fast and Furious but hey,

boost is boost.

The gimmicks are not the focal points here, nor, surprisingly, is the hybrid system.

Yes, it delivers in terms of power and efficiency, adding something different to the

C63’s arsenal, but the complete change in character impresses. The C63 has gone from

being a sledgehammer to a razor-sharp performance sedan. It hasn’t just had a heart

transplant; its entire DNA has been rewritten. A

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Volkswagen Amarok V6

Words: Vann van Staden

winewheelsandwatches

Multi-purpose

pick-up

The new Amarok means business and comes to the party in the

wilderness. We attended the international launch in Cape Town.

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W

e often

joke about

the mullet

hairstyle… Business in the

front, and party at the back.

The same applies to the

new Volkswagen Amarok.

It’s a remarkably refined

leisure bakkie that can easily

transition from traversing

the roads less travelled in

the wilderness to prancing

around in the concrete

jungle. As VW South Africa

puts it: it’s a bakkie that acts

as a multi-tool.

We attended the

international launch right

here on local shores. Yup,

you read that right. The

German marque thought

the best place to host it would

be here. And it’s appropriate,

as South Africa is where the

latest iteration is built. It was

the perfect opportunity for

the Wolfsburg-based brand

to showcase how the Amarok

shines in the city and off the

beaten track in some of the

most picturesque environments

in the Western Cape.

The Amarok has been a

hit since it was introduced in

2010. It was arguably the first

premium double-cab bakkie,

offering the practicality of a

pick-up but with the comfort

of an SUV. Globally, VW sold

over 830 000 units of the first

generation. Locally, the V6

turbodiesel variant of the

German-built bakkie proved

most popular. It was rather

appropriate, then, that it was

the V6-powered Aventura and

PanAmericana versions of the

latest model we sampled at

the launch.

The second generation,

although having a load bed, is

more SUV-like than ever. This

applies to its exterior design,

comfortable interior and

more advanced technologies.

In the Aventura guise, it

looks luxurious and in the

PanAmericana guise, ready

for off-road adventures. Its

large footprint lends to its

imposing looks. Locally built

alongside the new Ranger at

Ford’s Silverton production


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facility in Pretoria, the latest Amarok

measures 96 mm longer than its

forebear at 5 350 mm and 1 910 mm

in width. The wheelbase has been

stretched by 173 mm.

The cabin oozes comfort. The

seats give you that hug you didn’t

know you needed. A 12.3-inch digital

instrument binnacle is situated in

front of the driver, while the centrally

sited 12.0-inch portrait-orientated

touchscreen infotainment system

incorporating screen mirroring is

within easy reach. The dual-zone

climate control system came in handy

during the launch, as temperatures

hit a scorching 36 degrees Celcius.

So, to business, then. On

the road, the Amarok fared

commendably. The suspension

felt supple and the handling

couldn’t be faulted. However,

the Aventura’s 21-inch alloy

wheels did relay some vibration

to the steering wheel when

travelling at speeds over

110 km/h. There was slight

turbo lag when overtaking

manoeuvres were required.

But once you are on the

move, there’s no stopping you.

The same can be said when

travelling off-road. So, to the

party, then…

The four-wheel-drive system

incorporates 4H and 4L settings.

It was a boon when leaving

behind the tarmac in the rearview

mirror and piloting the

Amarok off-road. The approach

and departure angles are 30

and 26 degrees, respectively,

and the wading depth is rated

at 800 mm. The Amarok proved

its worth on the 4x4 route. A

AT A

GLANCE

The new-generation Amarok builds on its predecessor’s premiumbakkie

prerequisites. It’s a bakkie you can use for business and comes

to the party in the wilderness. However, pricing and spec, which will

be released in Q1 2023, will be paramount, especially considering the

asking price for its Blue Oval-built brother, the Ranger Wildtrak V6,

effectively its direct competitor. Only time will tell.

Price: TBC Engine: 3.0 L, V6, turbodiesel

Transmission: 10-spd AT Driven wheels: 4 Power: 184 kW

@ 3 250 r/min Torque: 600 Nm @ 1 750-2 250 r/min

0-100 km/h: n/a Top speed: n/a

Fuel consumption: 8.4 L/100 km CO 2

: 222 g/km

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Ford Everest 3.0 V6 4WD Platinum AT

Words: Juliet McGuire

Julietmc

Peak potential

Now positioned as a more premium offering, will the new Everest summit its segment?

ew cars in

F

the market

legitimately

have enough

space for a family. Let’s not

kid about it (pun intended).

If you have more than one

child, a five-seater with a

measly boot will not cut

it. And if you’re a family

who enjoys a little bit of

adventure, a run-of-the-mill

SUV will also not quite be

your vibe. You need a sevenseat

adventure SUV, much

like the Ford Everest. Before

this new generation arrived,

I would have suggested the

Toyota Fortuner and Isuzu

mu-X in the same breath.

Although, things have

changed at the Blue Oval’s

offices. According to the

American marque, the new

Everest has its sights set on

the Toyota Land Cruiser

Prado.

One has to acknowledge

this is a pretty bold move.

I am not sure how many

current Everest drivers will be

too happy that their family

(and previously somewhat

budget-friendly) adventure

SUV now hangs around the

million rand mark. That’s

right; the new Ford Everest’s

pricing kicks off at just under

R1 million for the Sport

derivative while the Platinum,

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which, let’s face it, is probably

the one you’d want, comes in

at R1 113 100.

To be fair, the Platinum

comes quite well specced. You

can expect a 12-inch portraitorientated

touchscreen

with the latest Ford SYNC4

system. As much as it is

comprehensive, can feel

somewhat overwhelming,

and it will take some time

to get the hang of. There

is also a 12.4-inch digital

instrument cluster; 10-

way electrically adjustable

front seats with memory

functionality; heating and

ventilation; second-row seat

heating; power outlets for all

three rows; and a 360-degree

camera, to name but a few

features.

The Platinum also houses

the biggest engine in the

Everest family. The new

3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine

produces 184 kW and 600 Nm.

The oil-burner is mated

with a 10-speed automatic

transmission. Power delivery

is smooth and the overall

refinement is impressive, as

is the urgent punch it has

when overtaking. It will have

no problems fully loaded,

either. However, it doesn’t feel

blisteringly quicker than the

2.0-litre twin-turbo four-pot

in the Sport. I would say that

if you aren’t into the featureladen

Platinum derivative, you

might as well save a buck or

two and opt for the Sport.

Where the Everest cannot

be faulted is its off-road

capabilities. A shift-on-thefly

system enables you to

switch between 2H, 4H and

4L with absolute ease. The

range-topping Platinum has

a permanent four-wheeldrive

system with automatic

torque across the axles. Both

variants boast a wading depth

of 800 mm. We didn’t splash

through any rivers on the

launch, but we tackled some

hair-raising obstacles, and

the Everest ate them up for

breakfast. It felt as if there was

nothing it couldn’t do but I

felt like that in the secondgeneration

model as well. If

you’re a caravanning family,

you can tow up to 3 500 kg,

which is 400 kg more than its

predecessor . A

AT A

GLANCE

There is no denying the new iteration is better in every way, shape

and form than the outgoing model. However, I am not convinced

positioning it in a premium segment is the best tactic. I wonder if it

would have been a better move to rename this product.

Price: R1 113 100 Engine: 3.0 L, V6, turbodiesel Transmission:

10-spd AT Driven wheels: 4 Power: 184 kW @ 3 250 r/min

Torque: 600 Nm @ 1 750-2 250 r/min 0-100 km/h: n/a Top

speed: n/a Fuel consumption: 8.5 L/100 km CO 2

: 224 g/km

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Toyota GR86 MT

Words: Vann van Staden

winewheelswatches

Great 86

Staying true to its forebear’s fun-to-drive formula,

the new GR86 encapsulates driving enjoyment.

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I

need to

start with a

disclaimer: this

was my first time in Gqeberha;

as per the locals, the friendly

city (apparently, they don’t

like us out-of-towners to refer

to it as the windy city). But

windy it was. Before hopping

into the whirlwind of thrills

provided by the GR86, I was

chasing down my cap on

the tarmac. Yet the friendly

city it now is. And I like that.

Getting behind the wheel of

the GR86 instantly makes you

happy. I’m not the biggest fan

of using the word ‘fun’. It's so

predictable. But with the GR86,

driving it on Aldo Scribante

raceway, it’s the only word that

can encapsulate what I had

there: a tonne of fun!

This is the second generation

of the beloved 86, Toyota’s funto-drive

sports car (not that the

GR Supra isn’t). The difference

between the latest iteration of

Toyota’s atmospheric two-door

sports car and its forebear is

significant, and in the best way.

The previously employed

2.0-litre has been ditched in

favour of a 2.4-litre flat-four

producing 27 kW and 45 Nm

more. This allows the six-speed

manual model to hit the

100 km/h marker from a

standstill 1.2 seconds quicker

than its forebear at 6.4 seconds.

The gearbox is slick, allowing

for sharp gear changes. There


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is, of course, also a derivative employing an

automatic transmission. This variant has a

0-100 km/h sprint time four-tenths of a second

slower than the manual. Sprint times aside,

the manual is undoubtedly the model to go

for. Why? Again, although I don’t use the word

often, the three-pedal model is oodles of fun

and – no surprise here – far more engaging to

drive. The handling is sharp and the chassis

taut. It’s a true purist’s sports car. A

AT A

GLANCE

Toyota describes the GR86 as an analogue car for the digital age.

We couldn’t agree more. For the purists in us, the GR86 ticks all

the boxes. Its effortless transition from track to town complements

its Waku Doki fun-to-drive formula. Unadulterated driving

pleasure now has a name, and it’s GR86.

Price: R698 100 Engine: 2.4 L, flat-4, petrol Transmission:

6-spd MT Driven wheels: R Power: 174 kW @ 7 000 r/min

Torque: 250 Nm @ 3 700 r/min 0-100 km/h: 6.4 seconds

Top speed: 226 km/h Fuel consumption: 9.5 L/100 km

CO 2

: 217 g/km

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Nissan X-Trail

Words: Mark Smyth

Motorscribe

Tailored X-Trail

The new Nissan X-Trail arrives in SA early in 2023, and we’ve driven it in Slovenia.

hereas the

W

Qashqai can be

held primarily

responsible for

kickstarting the boom in the

crossover and SUV market,

it’s the X-Trail that has taken

Nissan’s success in this genre

worldwide, and 2023 will

see the arrival of the fifth

generation in SA.

The X-Trail was introduced

in 2001. Since then, the

Japanese automaker has sold

over 7.8 million, including

three million units of the

third generation, launched in

2014. It’s massively popular

in countries like the United

States – where it’s called the

Rogue – and in China. Which

is why the new one, built on

the CMF-C platform from the

Renault Nissan Alliance, is so

very important.

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We travelled to the

beautiful country of Slovenia,

a place full of incredible

scenery, wonderful people and

the promise of adventure, to

sample the X-Trail.

Available as a five- and

seven-seater, the latest X-Trail,

of course, is larger than the

Qashqai. It also boasts more

technology. But back to the

dimensions ... compared to the

previous iteration, it measures

20 mm more in width and is

15 mm taller, but interestingly,

it’s 10 mm shorter, even with

the allowance for the third

row of seats.

The X-Trail is part of

Nissan’s plan to electrify its

models, with 75 per cent of

all its sales expected to be

electrified by 2026, rising

to 100 per cent after that.

Within that will be pure

battery-electric vehicles. No

surprise then that the X-Trail

gets Nissan’s new e-POWER

technology and its e-4ORCE

all-wheel-drive option, but

it’s not an EV. Essentially

e-POWER means a 1.5-litre

petrol engine that acts as an

electricity generator in the

same way that BMW did

with its range extender on the

i3. Front-wheel-drive versions

get 150 kW and 330 Nm,

while the e-4ORCE models

add a 195 Nm motor on the

rear axle.

Before you get excited about

experiencing all that e-POWER

and e-4ORCE, they aren’t

coming to SA, unfortunately.

Instead, we will get a 1.5

turbopetrol, replete with 12 V

mild-hybrid tech, pushing out

120 kW and 300 Nm. We’ll also

get only front-wheel drive, but

there will be a choice of five or

seven-seat versions.

It will have all the fresh

design, though, with the

X-Trail now looking very

different to the Qashqai as it

did with the early generations.

That’s true inside, too, with

a more premium interior, a

quality finish to the materials

and tech that includes

12.3-inch screens for both

the instrumentation and the

infotainment system. It all

feels way more upmarket

than the last one and more

spacious, too, although the

third row of seats is still really

for the kids or the friends

you’ve offered a lift home to

after a night out and who

are just grateful they aren’t

walking. There’s loads of

safety stuff, from airbags to

intelligent lane intervention

and Nissan’s Pro Pilot driver

assistance systems.

It all feels family-friendly,

which translates into its

ride on the road. It was

composed both on the tarmac

and gravel. The ride was

comfortable, the controls

were all well placed, and the

visibility was good. The tech

is not overdone. There are

still some physical controls,

and the new X-Trail seems

properly thought out by a

team that understood the

assignment. A

AT A

GLANCE

Why can’t SA have the nice one? Nissan told us that the e-POWER

model would be too expensive compared to rivals like the Hyundai

Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. But if you’re in the market for a spacious

five- or seven-seater family SUV, you might want to get on this trail.

Price: TBC Engine: 1.5-litre, 3-cyl, turbopetrol + electric

motor Transmission: CVT Power: 120 kW Torque:

300 Nm 0-100km/h: 9.6 seconds Top speed: 200 km/h

Fuel consumption: 7.1 L/100km CO 2

: 161 g/km

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Haval H6 1.5T HEV Ultra Luxury

Words: Marius Boonzaier

mariusboonzaier

H6 surge

The first-ever locally available Haval hybrid adds more sophistication

and an electrical surge to the H6 line-up.

S

ince Haval’s

introduction to

South Africa, the

Chinese company

has piqued the interest of

many. Now, for those seeking

to add some electrical surge

to their motoring: enter the

H6 HEV, the firm’s first-ever

hybrid vehicle available in SA.

Once you enter the premiumfeeling

cabin (a highlight of

the package) and set off, you’ll

be pleasantly surprised with

the new-energy newcomer’s

overall refinement. Why?

Allow us to explain…

Available in only Ultra

Luxury level of specification,

the H6 HEV is, like many

hybrids, features several

model-specific exterior design

cues, and is equipped with a

10.25-inch digital instrument

cluster and a crisp 12.3-inch

touchscreen infotainment

system. This displays hybridspecific

functions, such as

how electricity is directed

to the wheels and battery.

A head-up display and a

surround-view 3D camera

system are included.

Speaking of the transfer

of electricity between the

front wheels and the battery,

the electric motor is coupled

with a 1.5-litre turbopetrol

four-pot, which produces

113 kW and 233 Nm.

Interestingly, the electric

motor has more power

(139 kW) and torque (300 Nm)

than the internal combustion

unit. In total, 179 kW and

530 Nm are on offer. These

figures make the H6 HEV the

most powerful Haval available

in SA. The powertrain is

coupled with a state-of-the-art

Direct Hybrid Transmission.

Our biggest gripe in the past

with Haval models is their

fuel consumption. However,

owing to the petrol-electric

arrangement, the HEV, the

most fuel-efficient model in

the firm’s local line-up, sips

a claimed 5.2 L/100 km/h, a

figure we nearly matched. This

enables you to travel more than

1 100 km on a single (60-litre)

fuel tank. Thanks to this H6’s

subtly sprung suspension, the

journey should be comfortable.

However, it does have

a few drawbacks – one in

particular – so let’s return to

the cabin. With only a couple

of analogue controls, you have

to operate most functions via

the infotainment system. And

navigating this system when on

the move isn’t as user-friendly.

Owners will arguably become

accustomed to the set-up.

However, it is probably best to

navigate the system while you

are stationary, before setting

off. A

AT A

GLANCE

Before the launch of the HEV variant, in issue 06, we

recommended several petrol-electric cars. The H6 HEV is worthy

of making this list. So, if you’ve decided to bridge the world of

electrification, Haval’s hybrid H6 is undoubtedly worth a look.

Price: R669 950 Engine: 1.5 L, 4-cyl, turbopetrol + electric

motor Transmission: E Driven wheels: F Power: 179 kW

Torque: 530 Nm 0-100 km/h: 8.5 seconds Top speed: n/a

Fuel consumption: 5.2 L/100 km CO 2

: 121 g/km

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Hyundai Venue 1.0 T-GDi DCT

Words: Marius Boonzaier

mariusboonzaier

Fresher than ever

The updated Venue line-up boasts bolder looks, several spec enhancements

and a new N Line model.

M

any manufacturers,

especially tech companies,

strive to keep abreast with

the latest trends. Take Apple,

for example: how many times has it

happened that you just got your hands

on a box-fresh iPhone (following an

extensive wait) and, a couple of months

later, a new one is launched? In the

world of crossovers, automakers have to

do the same, fortunately not always at

such a staggering lack of pace. To remain

relevant in this booming segment,

carmakers frequently introduce new or

additional models to their line-ups or

hand the current variants some muchneeded

updates. Speaking of the latter …

enter the fresh-faced Hyundai Venue.

Arriving at the same, ahem, venue

where the pre-facelifted model was

launched, the underground parking

garage was packed with the revised

model range, all dressed in different

shades. We hopped into a Fiery Red

example and set off to Glen Carlou

winery in Klapmuts, Cape Town. The

bright hue complemented the redesigned

bodywork, which now features a bolder

front grille.

The model we sampled was equipped

with the South Korean firm’s 1.0-litre

turbocharged three-pot, coupled with

a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission

(the turbo-triple can also be had with a

six-speed manual ‘box). Producing 88 kW

and 172 Nm of torque, the latter available

from a mere 1 500 r/min, the engine felt

spirited, though the DCT sometimes

held onto a lower gear for a longer time

than required when stomping on the

throttle for quick overtaking. Other than

that, the compact crossover’s drive was

comfortable on the well-maintained

tarmac.

Although with a ground clearance of

195 mm, the same didn’t apply when

travelling on a stretch of corrugated

gravel. It was bumpy but the small frontwheel-drive

SUV should fare fine on wellkempt

gravel roads. In the city is where it

is at its best ... at home.

As standard, the revised model line-up

(the former range-topper, the Glide, has

been ditched for the sportier-looking N

Line, pictured here) comes with an 8.0-

inch touch-enabled infotainment screen

with all the favourite features, such as

screen mirroring. LED lamps, a rear-view

camera and parking sensors are included

in some variants, while artificial leather

upholstery and a sunroof are exclusive to

the N Line. A

AT A

GLANCE

Thanks to several updates and together with Hyundai SA’s

seven-year/200 000 km warranty, the new Venue should

continue to be a best-seller for the brand, despite facing

some stiff competition.

Price: R394 900-R449 900 Engine: 1.0 L, 3-cyl, turbopetrol

Transmission: 7-spd dual-clutch Driven wheels: F Power: 88 kW @

6 000 r/min Torque: 172 Nm @ 1 500-4 000 r/min 0-100 km/h: n/a

Top speed: 187 km/h Fuel consumption: 6.9 L/100 km CO 2

: 138 g/km

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HUAWEI WATCH FIT 2

Available in two editions, Active and Classic, and with

a durable battery life of 14 days (or seven days for

heavy use), the Huawei Watch Fit 2 is perfect for active

people who tend to forget to charge their devices. It

comes with a 1.74-inch Huawei FullView Display and

a suite of healthy living management tools, including

a nine-axis IMU, optical heart rate sensors, an audio

companion for fitness, and 50 m water resistance.

UTILITY

WRIST CANDY

From tracking fitness goals and staying in touch with contacts to using AI to prove yourself

right in trivia disputes with mates; like futuristic tech from a seventies science fiction movie,

you can do it all with the simple tap of a smartwatch. Here’s what you need to know about

today’s best brands and models.

Words: Thea Beckman

SAMSUNG GALAXY

WATCH 5

Sleep tracking, health and wellness monitoring,

13 per cent better battery for everyday usage

and, get this, even the ability to see your body

fat percentage; the Samsung Galaxy Watch

5 touts itself as “the smartwatch for everyday

wellness goals”, allowing you to literally keep a

finger on the pulse of your health and fitness

goals. How did you sleep last night? Get a

breakdown of your sleep score.


LIFESTYLE

TAG HEUER

CONNECTED CALIBRE

E4 PORSCHE EDITION

If it’s the functionality of a fitness watch you’re after,

but with the sophisticated, classic style of a high-end

wristwatch, this special-edition watch is the spoil of

the century for you, especially if you’re also a diehard

Porsche fan. The love child of these two iconic

houses, this fitness watch epitomizes the luxury of the

TAG Heuer Connected experience but with advanced

controls for Porsche owners. You can’t argue with that

colour, either, coming in the same iconic frozen blue as

the electric Porsche Taycan.

APPLE WATCH ULTRA

If you, like everyone else with an Apple Watch, are tired of guarding

your wrist more viciously than a mother bear, lest you accidentally crack

its delicate face, the Apple Watch Ultra delivers that sexy upgrade on

durability, ruggedness and battery life we’ve all been waiting for. With a

robust titanium case, precision dual-frequency GPS, and up to 36 hours of

battery life, this is the fitness watch of choice for Apple-orthodox athletes

who like to hike Mount Everest on weekends.

GARMIN INSTINCT ®

CROSSOVER SOLAR

Bold and rugged, with infinite battery life, the

Garmin Instinct® Crossover Solar is like that oke

on the cover of romance novels with the bulging

muscles and the indefatigable appeal. Except

this rugged hybrid does the opposite of making

us feel inferior. It boasts a dual-layered bezel,

a high-resolution digital display with smart

functionality, and all the fitness features you want,

with the added benefit of being water resistant to

100 m and thermal- and shock-resistant.

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ANOTHER

ONE BITES

THE DUST

Second consecutive Dakar victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver, Mathieu

Baumel, successfully defended the Dakar title they won for

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) in 2022, when they brought

their GR DKR Hilux T1+ over the finish line of the final stage of

Dakar 2023 on 15 January. The pair lost 5min 41sec to the stage winners,

but that hardly mattered, as they sealed the overall victory with a

winning margin of 1hr 20min 49sec.

The final stage of Dakar 2023 was a 136km-long test that started from

the bivouac at Al-Hofuf. Competitors had to complete a short liaison of

167km before taking on Stage 14, which was then followed by a final

liaison of 100km to the finish podium in the coastal city of Dammam.

For Nasser, this was his fifth win in the Dakar Rally, while Mathieu’s

tally is now four victories. The pair have won three times for Toyota, with

the latest victories coming in a back-to-back display of quality, durability

and reliability for the Japanese manufacturer. The pair took over the lead

of the event on Stage 2, and never relinquished that position.

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “This in amazing feeling! I have to

thank so many people, starting with every member of

our team. It was a tough two weeks, but to be able to

come back and defend our title is fantastic! I’m really

proud of our Toyota Hilux T1+, and to win the race three

times with Toyota is truly something special.”


PROMOTION


PROMOTION

Giniel de Villiers, who completed his

twentieth consecutive Dakar Rally when

he crossed the finish line near Dammam,

ended the rally in 4th place in the overall

standings. This result brings his total

number of Top 5 finishes to 15, including

one victory in 2009. The South African has

only finished outside the Top 10 on one

occasion, and his performance in the 2023

Dakar Rally underscores the toughness and

tenacity of one of the Dakar Rally’s true

veteran racers. Together with co-driver

Dennis Murphy, Giniel finished this year’s

45th edition of the rally in fine style, posting

a Top 10 time on the closing stage.

Giniel de Villiers: “The Dakar is always full of

challenges, and we certainly had our share

of challenges this year. Of course, it could’ve

been better for us, but then many competitors

can probably say the same. It would have

been nice to be on the podium, but overall,

as a manufacturer, Toyota has every reason

to be proud. I think this result has just proven

the reliability of the Hilux once again, and we

again managed to showcase this amazing car

in Saudi Arabia this year.”

Dakar 2023 will long be remembered by Henk Lategan and

co-driver Brett Cummings as a race that could have turned out

very differently for them. They moved as high as 2nd place in

the overall standings, before two setbacks pushed them down the

order. The pair showed great pace throughout the rally, and will

be hoping for a truer reflection of their speed in future editions.

Even so, they finished in 5th place overall, less than 5min behind

their teammates in fourth.

Henk Lategan: “Dakar 2023 has been a

rollercoaster for us. It has been a tough two

weeks for us, with some extremely good days;

but also some disappointing ones. It does feel

good to be in the Top 5 after such a tough Dakar,

and I think they’ve thrown everything at us this

year. With that in mind, it feels fantastic to be

at the end of the race, and while we’ll always

wonder what might have been, we are very

happy to bring the car home in a good position.”

Toyota dominated the Dakar 2023 results, with the works TGR

crews finishing 1st, 4th and 5th. A privately entered Toyota Hilux

T1+ in the hands of the young Brazilian, Lucas Moraes, added

to the Japanese manufacturer’s tally, by finishing in third place

overall. This was Lucas’ first attempt at the Dakar Rally, though

he had an experienced co-driver in the form of Timo Gottschalk

beside him in the car.


PROMOTION

Glyn Hall, TGR Dakar Team Principal: “What a day for our entire team!

Winning Dakar is something memorable, but winning the world’s

toughest race twice in a row is simply extraordinary. My sincere thanks

to every member of our team, every one of our sponsors and, of course,

our drivers and co-drivers, who delivered a stunning result. I’m really

proud of our GR DKR Hilux T1+, which has proven yet again that it is

reliable and durable enough to not only complete the world’s roughest

automotive race, but to do so two years in a row.”


COLUMN

Are you not

infotained?

As several automakers and software companies enter the in-car tech arena, a war is brewing for

your vehicle’s infotainment system.

Words: Papi Mabele

PapiMabele

For the longest time, the most

intriguing and, dare I say,

complicated part of your car’s

dashboard was trying to figure

out where to hang your furry dice. That

was the dilemma for my dad, at least,

in his legendary Dark Red Mica metallic

Toyota Cressida. Things have changed

since then, however. These days, larger

screens have infiltrated vehicles’

cabins, paving the way for a new era

of interior tech.

I really started paying attention

to in-car software with the uptake

of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Back

then, even now, the ability to plug in

your smartphone and have a similar

interface projected on the car’s

infotainment system became a musthave.

The truth, though, is that Apple

and Google would never be content

solely with projection. For starters,

it’s a barebone execution as the

smartphone doesn’t connect any

deeper with the vehicle and no rich

data is processed between the two.

Think of it as plugging a second screen

into your computer.

The idea of running your software

on the car seems far juicier, and that’s

KD

Papi

Mabele

Papi is a broadcaster and

writer. He has been hooked on

the science behind tech and

motoring ever since he tried

his hand at Lego sets when he

was five. He can sometimes

be coaxed to express

opinions, invariably his own.

the situation we find ourselves in.

Fortunately for Android, they are

no strangers to this. Enter Android

Automotive. Unlike Android Auto,

Android Automotive is the native

system. Here, Google can take its fill

of the car’s core data. It knows the

status of the battery, whether the

lights are switched on, and the speed.

It can control almost everything from

navigation and climate to driver

assistance and safety systems.

While all these innovations may seem

forward-thinking, consumers want

more phone-like experiences. Yet there

is a complexity in building systems that

run like smartphones. They need to be

open to third-party apps and services,

which automakers are grudgingly

starting to recognise.

In the end, what remains to be seen

is whether all these systems will play

together in the long run. While Volvo

has pioneered Google’s solution, several

others have climbed aboard. It’s only

a matter of how long before more

manufacturers embrace this. For the

most part, the ‘smartphonicifaction’ of

the infotainment system is still in its

infancy stages. A

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COLUMN

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COLUMN

Why not buy an

old-school BMW?

With automakers set on an electrified future, contributor Justin Jacobs argues now might be

the time to buy a petrol car that makes you feel special. In his case, it was a BMW.

Words: Justin Jacobs

Thejustbin

Forget about crypto; I think you

should buy an old BMW instead.

As is the case with many car

manufacturers, BMW is spending

all of its time, energy and resources on

electric vehicles. While that’s fun and all,

it tends to increase the value of the older,

petrol-powered models.

Think about something you have,

maybe something you want. Now imagine

if there were a limited number of those

things. The value should increase, right?

It boils down to supply and demand. The

big question, however, is what is being

supplied ... in this case, a BMW.

Some BMWs have been known to be

true driver’s cars. Mercedes supplied the

luxury, Audi provided the safety, and

the Bavarian firm delivered the thrills.

Nowadays, the lines are so blurred as all

of the German Big Three companies have

vehicles that fall into these categories.

But for me, BMW offered some pretty

good cars back in the day, but not all

were desirable.

While I love a good E46 320d, I doubt

you will see any returns on that anytime

soon, or ever, to be honest. Instead, you

must naturally look at the M cars. Have

you seen the prices of E36 M3s lately? If

you can find one for sale, some examples

of the twenty-six-year-old compact

JJ

Justin

Jacobs

A motoring content creator and

writer for over a decade, Justin

believes a car has a personality

and needs to be discovered,

learnt and understood.

sports sedan carry a price tag equal to a

modern hot hatch.

The E46 M3 is enjoying a growing

interest and, as we learnt earlier, the

more people who want one, the higher

the price. These cars could be found all

over online listing sites for

peanuts just a few years ago. Today,

even the questionable ones are sold

for significant amounts.

I’m not going to sit here and

tell you to go out and buy an old

BMW without following the same advice.

In 2016, I bought a rough, unloved

E39 M5, the best M5 and one of the best

M cars, according to many experts. After

a bit of hard work and a decent yet not

exorbitant amount of money to freshen

it up, I now have a car worth five times

more than what I paid six years ago.

I also think the automotive industry’s

new direction is making cars like the

older (internal combustion) BMW M,

Mercedes-AMG and Audi RS models

more desirable.

Here’s the thing ... you don’t need

to go out and buy an old BMW M car,

slowly fix it up and wait until it doubles

or even triples in value. You could just

as well get something that is enjoyable

to drive, something that makes you feel

special (here’s talking to you Mazda

MX-5 drivers). There will be even fewer

petrol-powered cars on showroom floors

in a few years. Why not preserve a bit of

automotive history. You never know, your

decision might be pretty profitable one

day. A

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PRESS

A letter that has been revered since it first adorned a VW,

we press ‘R’ on the apex Golf and Tiguan’s steering wheels

and enjoy the ride.

Words: Marius Boonzaier

mariusboonzaier

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FEATURE

SINCE IT FIRST adorned a Volkswagen, the

iconic ‘R’ badge has been revered; for 20 years,

to be precise. Indicating the German marque’s

pinnacle performance cars, Wolfsburg’s R-badged

models have achieved cult status worldwide and

locally, the Golf especially. And it’s no wonder

why; the opening gambit to VW’s R portfolio was

the now-cult-classic Golf R32.

However, since 2002, this moniker has adorned

not only the firm’s apex hot hatchbacks. VW has

also handed the R treatment to the Passat (R36),

Touareg (R50), the Estate and Cabriolet versions

of the Golf R, Scirocco and, more recently, the

T-Roc, Arteon and Tiguan. And alongside its

new-generation R-badged hot-hatch sibling, the

latter model finally arrived in South Africa, a

country enthused over the letter R. So, with

these models at our disposal, what else is there

to do but press the blue R button on these

steering wheels and relish what’s arguably the

last internal combustion R models?


Golf R

THE EA888 UNIT IN THE

MK8 R PRODUCES

235 KW/400 NM, MAKING

IT THE MOST POWERFUL

PRODUCTION GOLF EVER.

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FEATURE

Before I started the Golf R, colleague Vann

blasted off around the mountain pass in the

Tiguan R and I took a moment to acquaint

myself with the latest iteration. The first Golf

I drove was a seventh-generation R. I couldn’t

help but wonder whether this would be the

last time I sampled a traditionally powered

Golf R. It’s a car that’s been renowned in

the automotive world since the first model

introduced a dual-clutch gearbox to production

cars and sported the illustrious VR6 engine.

There was no time to reminisce. Rain clouds

blanketed Cape Town’s blue sky. It was time

to drive.

The engine-start button ignited the 2.0-litre

turbocharged four-pot, the same powertrain

found in its forebear. It felt familiar. However,

the EA888 unit in the Mk8 R produces 235

kW/400 Nm, making it the most powerful

production Golf ever. I pressed the blue R

button on the steering wheel. With Race mode

activated, the standard-fitment, chrome-tipped

exhaust sound was enhanced. Yet something

was missing. And that something was the

(optional) Akrapovic system equipped with

the Mk7. Like its predecessor, this set-up is also

available on the new model and is undoubtedly

a must-have item.

We set off in search of Vann. With each passing

corner, the Golf R egged me on to drive faster. The

grip levels were astounding, thanks to the all-new

all-wheel-drive system, also found on the Tiguan

R. The 4Motion set-up features R-Performance

torque vectoring, capable of shifting power

between the fore and aft axles and between the

left and right rear wheels. Specifying the Black

Performance package adds a drift mode to the

Golf R and lifts its electronically governed top

speed of 250 km/h to 270 km/h.

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In a straight line, the Golf R completes the

obligatory 0–100 km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds.

But, like its tall-riding stablemate (0–100 km/h

in 5.1 seconds), it felt quicker than the claimed

figure. This is thanks to the torque distribution

and the slick-shifting seven-speed DSG. The

dual-clutch ’box’s shifts are rapid. As we entered

the corner, I planted my right foot firmly on

the brake pedal and the brakes bit hard. The

handling is pin-sharp. And then, it started to

rain. However, that didn’t halt its stride. It only

revealed just how capable it is in dry and wet

conditions. The same can be said of the Tiguan.

Tiguan R


FEATURE

THE TIGUAN R MAKES A

GOOD CASE FOR A FOUR-

PERSON FAMILY

We finally caught up

with Vann and it was

my turn in the Tiguan

R, which we now call,

“the Tiguan made fun”.

And it was. Although I

preferred the low-slung

seating position and cabin

layout (bar the capacitive

controls) of the Golf, it felt

good to sit in VW’s sports

SUV. It felt taut for a car

of this ilk (the R-badged

Tiguan rides 10 mm lower

to the ground than its

standard stablemates).

Revered for generations,

the Golf R continues to

make its mark on the

motoring world. It forms

a neat balance between

a daily driver and a

mountain-road carver.

Regarding the former, the

Tiguan R is even more so,

considering its practicality,

without sacrificing

dynamism.

Which one would I take

home? Undoubtedly the

Golf R. I will admit the

Tiguan R makes a good

case for a four-person

family. No matter which

model you choose, and

whether this will be the

last of the EA888 (or any

internal combustion R,

truth be told), it’s best to

hit the R button and enjoy

the ride. A

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LIFESTYLE

POTS, PANS

& POTJIES

Popular thanks to television’s Ultimate Braai Master, brothers-in-law Greg Gilowey and Karl

Tessendorf have released their second cookbook, Beer Country’s Pots, Pans and Potjies. The duo’s

lust for cooking, potjie and beer stand out among the pages of tasty recipes and beer pairings.

Here are a few recipes to enjoy from Beer Country’s

Pots, Pans and Potjies by Greg Gilowey & Karl Tessendorf.

Next Day Potjie Nachos

Potjie is always tastier the next day, so

why not throw that goodness over some

crunchy corn chips? It sounds crazy, but

trust us, it’s so worth it.

INGREDIENTS

1 tub (250 ml) sour cream

Small handful of chopped fresh chives

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 big bag of proper corn chips

Any leftover potjie, warmed up

200 g gouda cheese, grated

200 g mozzarella cheese, grated

3–4 pickled jalapeño chillies, sliced

Mix the sour cream, chives, lemon zest and juice in a

small bowl and season to taste.

In today’s insta-everything world, cast iron reminds us of a

simpler time. A time when things were built to last, not break

within a year. A well-seasoned pan is a cooking Swiss Army

knife. A solid flat pot is the ultimate campfire jack-of-all-trades,

and the humble potjie pot is more than just a pot. It’s our version

of low and slow, with some important lessons to teach. It forces

you to relax, enjoy the ride, and realise the best things are worth

waiting for. It’s a delicious goal for friends and family to come

together and work towards over the course of the day: prepping

the ingredients, starting the fire, building the flavour layers and

watching the potjie’s bulging belly whisper away.

Bang your corn chips into a large cast-iron pan and

spread the warmed leftover potjie evenly over the

chips. Mix the two cheeses and sprinkle them over

the potjie. Top with pickled jalapeños for kick, then

season with salt and pepper and pop the pan under

the grill until the cheese has melted. Serve with

dollops of the sour-cream mixture .

Beer Pairing

Lager If you wanna get fancy with the

pairing here, it’s all about what was in the

potjie. That said, chances are it’s full of

fat, flavour and next-day deliciousness;

so, reach for a well-balanced beer with

good carbonation and a clean finish.

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LIFESTYLE

Feeds: 4–6 Prep: 10 min Cook: 10–15 min

APEX

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LIFESTYLE

Feeds: 6 Prep: 20 min Cook: 30 min

+ standing time

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LIFESTYLE

Hot Sticks Potjie Party

It’s a hot sticks party and you’re invited. Buckle up and bring

some beer to cool those taste buds because after a drumstick or

three you’re going to need it.

THE MARINADE

1 cup Gochujang paste

½ cup lager

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup honey

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp sesame oil

A knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Zest and juice of 3 limes

THE CHICKEN

20 free-range drumsticks

Marinade for brushing

The potjie

Oil for frying

Knob of butter

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

Remaining marinade

1 cup lager

Braaied chicken

TO SERVE

A handful of sesame seeds, toasted

2 spring onions (green part only),

chopped

3 limes, quartered

To make the marinade, put all the

ingredients into a small pot and whisk

over medium heat to melt and combine.

To make the chicken, score the

drumsticks with a sharp knife and brush

them with marinade. Don’t go crazy, just

brush to coat evenly. Braai the drumsticks

in a flip grid over hot coals to char and

caramelise the marinade, then set aside.

The drumsticks will not be cooked, but

they will finish cooking in the potjie.

To make the potjie, preheat a number

3 potjie over medium-heat coals. Add

a splash of oil and the butter and fry

the onion until it softens and browns.

Add the marinade and beer and mix

to combine. Add the drumsticks to the

potjie, put on the lid and simmer for

30 minutes. Check the pot every now

and then to make sure the sauce isn’t

catching. Take the pot off the heat and

allow it to stand with the lid off for 10

minutes. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and

spring onions into the potjie and let

your guests get stuck in. Serve with the

quartered limes.

Beer Pairing

New England IPA It’s all about balance with the fruity hop hit to the

head in the pairing. It is best mates with the sweetness in the dark

and sticky sauce, and medium to low bitterness means it just gets

better and better with every swig.

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LIFESTYLE

Stacked Mustard and

Cheese Potato Bake

This is everything you know and love in a good ol’ potato bake, but stacked

instead of layered. Not only does stacking look fancy, but it gives all the exposed

edges a chance to get crispy and lekker.

THE POTATOES

2 kg large potatoes, sliced into 2 mm rounds

Olive oil for drizzling

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

THE MUSTARD CREAM

1 cup fresh cream

1 tbsp prepared hot English mustard

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

5 sprigs of fresh thyme,

picked and chopped

Small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

THE TOPPINGS

Large handful of grated mature cheddar cheese

Small handful of fresh chives, chopped

To make the potatoes, drizzle the slices with

olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Stack the slices vertically into a large flat pot in

whichever pattern you choose, as long as they

are stacked up against each other.

To make the mustard cream, pour the cream

into a small pot over a medium heat. Add the

mustards, thyme and parsley and whisk well

to combine. Bring the cream to a boil while

whisking, then remove it from the heat.

Pour the hot mustard cream over the potatoes.

Pop on the lid and use a spade to create a clear

circular space in the coals for the pot. Place

the pot into the space, then surround it with

medium-low-heat coals, ensuring no coals

touch the pot (see Baking on the Braai p. 48).

Bake with the lid on for 45 minutes, then place

a few coals on the lid to brown the top for

another 10–15 minutes. Or, bake uncovered

in the oven at 180 °C for 45 minutes. Add the

cheese and grill with the lid off for another 10

minutes to brown, but keep an eye on it.

Top with chopped chives and season with salt

and pepper.

Beer Pairing

Stout This comfort food dish is the

perfect vehicle to showcase stout’s

roasty, toasty flavours. The bitter

malt bill is best mates with the rich

mustard cream and amps up the

umami hits from the cheese.

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LIFESTYLE

Feeds: 8 Prep: 10 min Cook: 1 hour

APEX

89 ISSUE 7


If you’re looking for something

that’s dressed up, casual or

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DEEP DRIVE

APEX

92 ISSUE 7


DEEP DRIVE

ASTON MARTIN

DBX707

An SUV like no other? Aston Martin

says so. So how is the apex DBX?

Words: Marius Boonzaier

Photos: Timothy Throne

mariusboonzaier

itstimooo

on-road presence; balance between comfort and dynamism

dated infotainment

APEX

93 ISSUE 7


DEEP DRIVE

B

illing your

product as an

SUV like no

other is a bold statement

to make. To live up to this

claim, the DBX707 has to

outgun performance SUVs

like the (more comfortable)

Lamborghini Urus S and

(more focused) Performante

with their devilish 666 ps

(490 kW) and (471 kW)

Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT,

the fastest SUV to lap the

Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The apex DBX’s power and

torque outputs of 520 kW

and 900 Nm overshadow

that of these rivals. If you

consider the Purosangue

an SUV (Ferrari seemingly

doesn’t), the DBX707 is the

most powerful of its kind.

The DBX707 has the Urus S

beat at the 0–100 km/h stakes

at 0.2 seconds quicker to the

three-figure marker from a

standstill. If ever the DBX707

were lined up against the Urus

Performante and Porsche’s

first-ever GT-badged SUV, the

trio would reach 100 km/h

simultaneously if they were to

accomplish their claimed sprint

times of 3.3 seconds. Maintain

acceleration, and the Brit will

keep pace to 310 km/h, a top

speed slightly higher than that

of its competitors.

But what’s the pinnacle DBX’s

lap time around the Green Hell?

Don’t bother asking. Although

more powerful, it has a higher

top speed and has been tested

around the 20.832 km northern

loop, Aston hasn’t attempted


DEEP DATA

Price: R4 800 000 Engine: 4.0 L, V8, turbopetrol Transmission: 9-spd AT Driven wheels: 4 Power: 510 kW @ 6 000

r/min Torque: 900 Nm @ 2 600-4 500 r/min 0-100 km/h: 3.3 seconds Top speed: 310 km/h Fuel consumption:

14.2 L/100 km CO 2

: 323 g/km Length: 5 039 mm Height: 1 680 mm Width: 1 998 mm Wheelbase: 3 060 mm Weight:

2 245 kg Luggage capacity: 638 L Fuel tank: 85 L Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km Service plan: 3 years/unlimited km

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a record-breaking run …

yet. And that’s perfectly fine

(though we will admit it

would be interesting). Why?

In true Aston fashion, the

DBX707 is blisteringly quick,

that’s been established, but a

sophisticate at heart; its heart

beating beneath a chiselled

body, specifically tailored to

allow optimal airflow to its

breathing apparatus.

Compared to the standard

model (internally named

DBX550), the DBX707 is

115 kW and 200 Nm more

powerful and it’s front grille

is 20 per cent larger to allow

more air to reach the largest

(ball-bearing) turbochargers

ever fitted to a Mercedes-AMG

4.0-litre V8. Here it has been

specifically calibrated and

directs power to the fore and

aft axles via a nine-speed wetclutch

automatic transmission

instead of a traditional

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torque converter. The rear

spoiler and diffuser have also

been enlarged for enhanced

aerodynamics.

Engaging launch control,

the rear haunches squatted

over the test unit’s 23-inch

alloy wheels (22-inch items

are standard fitment) as the

the revs rose, along with the

burble of the V8. The Brit

took a deep breath ... it’s

best you do, too. Lift your

left foot off the brake pedal.

Set off. The DBX707 felt

staggeringly quick. If not quite

accomplishing the 3.3 seconds

to 100 km/h, it didn’t feel far

off its claimed sprint time.

Where the Aston truly

shone was on sinuous

back roads. Set to its most

performance-orientated

driving mode, the DBX707’s

steering firmed up, allowing

for sharper handling. The

suspension became more

dynamic but not so much

as to render the drive an

uncomfortable experience.

The DBX707’s Aston Martinmade

architecture (remember,

some of its competitors share

platforms) felt taut on the

winding stretches of tarmac.

There was little body lean in

the bends.

The DBX707’s bodywork

measures 5 039 mm bow to

stern, 1 998 mm in width and

1 680 mm in height (when

its adaptive air-suspension

arrangement is in its standard

setting). The ride height can

be adjusted from 190 mm to

235 mm. Aston’s 2 245 kg

performance SUV was

seemingly composed, not only

for a vehicle of its ilk but for a

motor car in general. Reining

in speed is a set of 420 mm

front and 390 mm rear

ventilated brake discs.

The DBX707 is most at home

in the urban environment and,

whereas it hides its dimensions

and mass well around corners,

its sheer size was felt in the

city. Fortunately, it ships with

all the necessary parking aids

to make manoeuvring a cinch

in tight spaces. However, its

exterior proportions became

favourable when seated inside

the opulent interior, which, of

course, can be personalised to

your heart’s extent. The front

headroom was ample, as were

the rear head- and legroom.

The boot compartment

swallows a generous (claimed)

638 litres of luggage. Together

with its potent powertrain and

pliant ride quality in its most

comfortable setting, this makes

the DBX707 a commendable

grand tourer.

Myriad standard

convenience and

entertainment items are

present. Three-zone climate

control keeps the cabin cool,

while Apple CarPlay screen

mirroring relays tunes over

an 800-watt 14-speaker sound

system. Aston Martin Music

by Rick Ross ft. Drake and

Chrisette Michele, anyone?

Depress the throttle for quick

overtaking, and the exhaust

note will soon muffle the

THE VERDICT

hip-hop tune. Activate the

adaptive cruise control, sit

back, and enjoy the ride.

Long-distance journeys are

where the DBX707 excels. A

4/5

On paper, paging through the DBX707’s

absolute power, torque and performance

figures, the British brand’s performance SUV

seemed bonkers. To a certain extent, it is.

However, once getting behind the steering

wheel, the thought faded. Overall, the apex

DBX makes sense. Yes, it has more power

than you’d ever need (and probably don’t

need in a car of this kind) and performance

figures that will leave you awestruck. Aston’s

engineers were firmly focused on extracting

maximum dynamism but never lost sight of what

makes a modern SUV great. Whereas some

manufacturers have sacrificed comfortability

at the altar of performance, Aston Martin

remained committed. The DBX707 forms a neat

balance between the former and the latter. This

makes it a performance SUV like no other.

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LEXUS LX 600

F SPORT

The latest Lexus LX majors in luxury

yet retains its off-road credentials.

Words: Marius Boonzaier

mariusboonzaier

opulent cabin; solid construction; supple ride quality

not as dynamic as its rivals

O

ver the past few months, my girlfriend and I

started searching for a new apartment to rent,

browsing the classifieds, and heading to viewings,

but to no avail. We’ve yet to find a place in Cape Town that is

large enough, has ample parking and falls within our budget.

Considering we’re planning to stay in Cape Town, finding one

with all these prerequisites is difficult. It’ll take some time but

the search continues. Recently, I headed to a viewing, driving

the box-fresh Lexus LX. The 360-degree surround-view camera

made it a breeze to park the large SUV in a tight side street.

I met the landlord and headed to the apartment. I couldn’t

help but start measuring it in LX terms. How many units of

the Japanese firm’s luxury SUV could fit into the apartment?

In truth, not that many. The LX is massive, measuring 5 090

mm bow to stern and 1 990 mm in width, or 10.1 m 2 of floor

space. Although, you cannot drive an apartment (in this case)

to the shops or your weekend destination. I hopped back into

the Lexus and headed home.

So, how does it drive? Tested here is the LX 600 in – a

first for an LX – F Sport guise. Under this variant’s sculpted

bonnet is the the Japanese manufacturer’s 3.5-litre V6 petrol

engine, switched on via an engine start/stop button featuring

fingerprint recognition. Coupled with a 10-speed automatic

transmission, the twin-turbocharged unit produces 305

kW and 650 Nm, the latter available from a lowly 2 000 r/

min. There was a naturally aspirated feel to the powertrain.

The engine’s response to throttle inputs was immediate,

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DEEP DATA

Price: R2 314 400 Engine: 3.5 L, V6, turbopetrol Transmission: 10-spd AT Driven wheels: A Power: 305 kW @ 5 200 r/

min Torque: 650 Nm @ 2 000-3 600 r/min 0-100 km/h: n/a Top speed: 210 km/h Fuel consumption: 11.3 L/100 km

CO 2

: 272 g/km Length: 5 090 mm Height: 1 895 mm Width: 1 990 mm Wheelbase: 2 850 mm Weight: 2 680 kg

Luggage capacity: 1 109 L Fuel tank: 110 L Warranty: 7 years/100 000 km Maintenance plan: 7 services/100 000 km


thanks to the well-calibrated self-shifter. Although the power

and torque outputs were sufficient, it’s not the last word in

performance. However, this is not what the LX was built for, even

when donning the F Sport badge. It was made to transport its

occupants in comfort and sheer opulence in which it majors.

The ride quality is exceptionally smooth. The adaptive

variable suspension with active height control (standard ride

height is 210 mm and setting include Low, Normal, High1 and

High2) soaks up road scars with aplomb, even with the F Sport’s

22-inch alloy wheels. In addition, the suspension arrangement

automatically adjusts when detecting sharp steering inputs

to reduce body roll by 25 per cent. Considering the LX’s

dimensions, body lean was still present but less noticeable in

the bends. Overall, the steering was light.

Off the beaten track, ride quality felt equally supple. Rest

assured, if you were inclined to take the LX off-road, it should

fare well. Whereas some luxury SUVs have all-wheel drive purely

THE VERDICT

4/5

We’ve had to wait 14 years for the latest LX. It

majors in comfort and opulence and, like its

forebear, should withstand the test of time. It’s

well built and it has been, and will be, around

for years. The wait for the new LX has been

worth it. We would argue that the LX 500d (also

available in F Sport guise), with its 3.3-litre V6, is

well worth a viewing. It’s the model we’d choose.

for the peace of mind of safety, the new LX has retained its 4x4

prerequisites. There are several off-road driving modes, courtesy

of Lexus’ Multi-Terrain Select system, and the 10-speeder

features a low-range transfer case. The F Sport boasts a Torsen

limited-slip differential and the approach and departure angles

are 21 and 21.7 degrees, respectively. The water fording depth

is rated at 700 mm. All of this should allow you to reach some

of the most desolate environments in the world. And you’ll be

doing so in luxury.

The F Sport’s Lexus-solid cabin sports model-specific seats

replete with heating and ventilation functionality. The pews

are lounge-like – exceptionally comfortable – with the captain’s

chair electrically dialled into the preferred position, it provides

a commanding view of the road. Owing to the wide centre

console, the space for the driver and front passenger is not as

large as the exterior dimensions might suggest. Passengers at

the rear, though, enjoy an expansive seating area. The luggage

capacity is rated at 1 109 litres.

The LX’s dual-stacked touchscreen arrangement comprises

12.3- and 7.0-inch displays, the former used for infotainment.

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Screen mirroring relays tunes via

a Mark Levinson surround sound system. Fortunately, not all

functions are operated via touch. For its flagship 4x4, Lexus has

retained physical controls to adjust the volume and climate and

engage the off-road modes. A

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BMW IX3

M SPORT

The X3 has embraced electrification.

Donning an ‘i’ next to its moniker,

BMW’s emissions-free premium

midsize SUV aims to make its popular,

traditionally powered kin proud.

Words: Marius Boonzaier

mariusboonzaier

palatable pricing; standard spec; familiar BMW feel exterior design may be

too traditional for some; lacks the performance and all-wheel drive offered by rivals

I

n September, the BMW Group announced it was

on track to double its global electric-vehicles

sales figure in 2022. In the first nine months of

the year, the firm sold 128 196 units of fully electric BMW and

Mini vehicles, amounting to a sales increase of 114.8 per cent.

Together with the i4 and the iX (both tested in issue 05), one

of the cars driving the growth was the iX3. But how will the

Bavarian brand’s battery-powered X3 be received in South Africa,

where the petrol- and diesel-powered X3 models are so adored?

If you were to place the iX3 in the internal combustionpowered

X3 line-up, in terms of pricing, it slots in between its

(all-wheel drive) xDrive30d (from R1 214 340) and M40i

(R1 459 046) siblings. (See how the iX3 compares to these models

in Internal combustion kin.) If you think about it, in terms of the

cost of EVs, the electrified X3 is not badly priced for a premium

midsize electric SUV. Not yet convinced? Consider the German

Big Three and the iX3’s rivals: the Audi e-tron 55 quattro and

Mercedes-Bez EQC 400 4Matic. The former is priced from

R1 745 000, and the latter at R1 679 000. It’s worth noting that

both these models boast more power and torque (and, as a

result, better performance figures) and all-wheel drive, the latter

of which contributes to on-road driving dynamics (we say onroad

because it’s unlikely these vehicles will ever get their tyres

dirty on anything but a stretch of gravel).

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In contrast, the BMW’s

(210 kW/400 Nm) single

electric motor exclusively

drives the rear wheels. That

said, the iX3’s power and

torque outputs seemed

sufficient. It’s all you need

in an SUV in this segment

with peak torque – although

less than the EVs mentioned

above – available as soon

as you depress the throttle.

Where the iX3 lords it over its

German rivals is in the range

stakes. BMW claims the iX3

can travel up to 460 km on

a single full charge, which is

20 km more than Audi and

Mercedes. When charging is

required, plugging the iX3 into

a 150 kW DC fast charger adds

100 km of range in 10 minutes.

To clarify, suppose you were to

load up the 510-litre luggage

compartment and set off from

Cape Town for a vacation

road trip along the Garden

Route to Plettenberg Bay. You

will be able to reach Mossel

Bay (depending on how you

drive, of course), where one of

these fast chargers is located,

and continue the journey

in a few minutes. Although,

we would argue it’s best to

keep it plugged in until the

74 kWh (net) battery pack

is fully recharged, costing

around R435. Then, the iX3

should complete the trip

effortlessly. It’s worth noting

that recharging the batteries

DEEP DATA

Price: R1 290 000 Battery capacity: 80 kWh (gross)/74 kWh (net) Engine: single electric motor Transmission:

1-spd AT Driven wheels: R Power: 210 kW Torque: 400 Nm 0-100 km/h: 6.8 seconds Top speed: 180 km/h

Electric consumption: 18.9-18.5 kWh/100 km Range: 460 km CO 2

: 0 g/km Length: 4 734 mm Height: 1 668 mm

Width: 1 891 mm Wheelbase: 2 864 mm Weight: 2 185 kg Luggage capacity: 510-1 560 L Warranty: 2 years/

unlimited km (8 years/100 000 km for battery) Maintenance plan: 5 years/100 000 km

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costs significantly less when

doing so at home. However,

replenishing the batteries here

takes much longer than using

a DC station. BMW also offers

free charging (for a limited

time) at dealerships.

Range covered, how did

the iX3 fare in town? Thanks

to the regenerative braking

system, one of the best we’ve

experienced in an EV, no range

anxiety was present during

the daily commute in traffic

and shopping trips throughout

the week. Although sitting

on 20-inch, designed-forenhanced-aerodynamics

alloy

wheels, the iX3 soaked up

any road imperfections. The

suspension is subtly sprung.

The steering felt similar to

that of a non-electric X3. It

was very BMW SUV-like and

well weighted.

Available in only one level

of specification, BMW’s M

Sport package, the emissionfree

midsize SUV boasts

numerous standard features.

These include the firm’s

Live Cockpit Professional

digital instrument binnacle,

touchscreen infotainment,

a Harman/Kardon sound

system, automatic climate

control and heated front

sport seats. Ambient

lighting is also present.

Like the interior, the

exterior resembles that of

the traditionally powered

X3 derivatives. However,

as this is a BMW i variant,

the iX3 features several

model-specific items, the

most notable is the closedoff

front grille and blue

detailing. Some may argue

that more futuristic styling

would have been refreshing.

Yet maintaining a similar

look to its siblings won’t

lead to divided opinion. A

THE VERDICT

4/5

In a country where the X3 is arguably one of

the best in its segment, iX3 presents owners of

BMW’s popular premium midsize SUV with the

opportunity to step into a car that feels familiar

yet embraces a new-energy powertrain.

Internal combustion kin

X3 xDrive30d

X3 M40i

R1 214 340

3.0 L, 6-cyl, turbodiesel

8-spd AT

4

195 kW/620 Nm

6.6 L/100 km

68 L

1 030 km

R1 476.28

Price

Engine

Transmission

Driven wheels

Power/torque

Fuel consumption

Fuel tank

Range

Cost per tank*

*At November 2022

R1 459 046

3.0 L, 6-cyl, turbopetrol

8-spd AT

4

285 kW/500 Nm

65 L

730 km

8.9 L/100 km

R1 538.55

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AUDI RS3

SPORTBACK

QUATTRO

Likely singing its swansong, the Audi

RS3, in concert with its sonorous

five-cylinder, is as impressive as ever.

Words: Vann van Staden

Photos: Timothy Throne

winewheelsandwatches

itstimooo

dual (comfort/performance) personality; solid build quality

five-cylinder Audis?

the last of the

W

hen is a hatchback classified as hyper?

The design has to be considered, but, more

importantly, the way it drives – handles –

and, arguably, the main factor, performance. Audi teased

us with the local arrival of the new iterations of its RS3

siblings for far too long. Our interest was piqued and

we were finally handed the keys to possibly one of the

ultimate hyper hatchbacks. This is why…

First, let’s take a minute to appreciate the striking

design of the new RS3. Dressed in Daytona Grey

Pearlescent, it gives the impression of a sharply dressed

businessperson. The bodywork oozes style yet remains

assertive. Bold. It makes its presence immediately known,

especially when it plays its sonorous five-cylinder tune

over the (standard) RS sports exhaust system.

The cosmetic changes comprise a more pronounced

front grille flanked by LED matrix headlamps with the

firm’s ‘dynamic light’ design, an Audi staple. A neat feature,

the items found on the RS3 put on a unique lighting show.

When unlocking the car, R, S and then 3 are displayed

before changing to a chequered flag motif. The broader

stance adds to the bold look. Extra attention to detail was

paid to the rear roof-mounted spoiler. The test unit was

fitted with (standard) 19-inch, 10-spoke, Platinum Gray

alloy wheels draped in Pirelli rubber.

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The interior is adorned with

various materials, creating

a multi-sensory experience.

The contoured front sport

seats, replete with contrast

stitching, are well bolstered.

It’s supportive yet comfortable.

A neat detail, the RS insignia

is embossed on the front

seatbacks. A honeycomb motif

can be found fore and aft. The

pews are trimmed in Audi’s

Dinamica microfibre material

and synthetic leather. Nappa

leather upholstery is available

for R18 200. The standard

specifications include the

Ingolstadt manufacturer’s MMI

touchscreen infotainment

set-up, a Bang & Olufson 3D

sound system, dual-zone

climate control, and a reverseview

camera. Cruise control is

present, too.

Now, to get to what we are here for: the 2.5-litre five-pot. The

petrol engine is endowed with 294 kW and 500 Nm of torque,

20 Nm up from the previous-generation version. The turbocharged

unit is mated with Audi’s slick-shifting seven-speed S

tronic transmission.

The rule of thumb to be classified as a hyper hatch is the ability

for a car to hit the sub-four seconds mark when accelerating to

100 km/h from a standstill. The new RS3 Sportback completes the

obligatory sprint in 3.8 seconds, making it one-tenth of a second

quicker to 100 km/h than its rival, the equally thrill-inducing A45

S. Interestingly enough, Affalterbach’s hyper hatch produces 16 kW

more than the RS3. However, the Audi weighs approximately

100 kg less. As standard, the top speed is 250 km/h but this can be

lifted to 290 km/h when ticking the correct option box.

The proverbial show stopper, or more like show starter, is the RS

torque splitter. In short, this system uses AI tech in the form of an

electronically controlled multi-disc clutch set-up that allows torque

distribution on the rear axle. This will enable you to lean hard into

corners and thus hit the apex. And did we remember to mention

the drift mode? We kid you not.

In addition, we love the RS3 Sportback as much as we do because

of its ability to transition between ripping apart the tarmac and

being a commendable daily driver. Although fitted with 265/30

front and 245/35 rear tyres, the ride was pretty smooth.


DEEP DRIVE

DEEP DATA

Price: R1 215 000.00 Engine: 2.5 L, 5-cyl, turbopetrol Transmission: 7-spd dual-clutch Driven wheels: A

Power: 294 kW @ 5 600-7 000 r/min Torque: 500 Nm @ 2 250-5 600 r/min 0-100 km/h: 3.8 seconds Top speed:

250 km/h Fuel consumption: 9.0 L/100 km CO 2

: 206 g/km Length: 4 389 mm Height: 1 436 mm Width: 1 851 mm

Wheelbase: 2 631 mm Weight: 1 529 kg Luggage capacity: 282-1 104 L Fuel tank: 55 L Warranty: 1 year/unlimited km

Maintenance plan: 5 years/100 000km

THE VERDICT

The biggest pitfall is possibly its seemingly unquenchable

thirst. Audi claims a fuel consumption figure of 9.0 L/100km. We

didn’t come close to this. The RS3 wants to be driven and, as a

result, we managed to get an average of 11.2 L/100km over the

test period, which included urban and open-road driving. This

isn’t ideal with today’s hefty fuel prices. However, this can easily

be ignored by submerging yourself in the metal heaven that is

the RS3 and ignoring your fuel problems like you ignored 2022’s

new year’s resolutions to drink less and exercise more. A

4.5/5

This will likely be the last Audi Sport model

fitted with the company’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder

engine. 2026 will see Audi going 100 per cent

electric on all models. So this is ultimately the

swansong for the five-pot powerhouse that is

the RS3.

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JEEP GRAND

CHEROKEE L

3.6 4X4

OVERLAND AT

With the new Grand Cherokee L, Jeep

aims to build on its luxury-SUV heritage.

Will it make its ancestors proud?

Words: Kumbirai Mtshakazi

IamKumbi

bold looks; plush cabin; comfortable ride

no diesel option; thirsty engine

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I

In the annals of automotive history, the words

‘luxury’ and ‘SUV’ were seldom associated. In fact,

according to Jeep, the word SUV became a part of

popular speak in only the 1980s – 1986 to be precise – when it

was first used according to Merriam-Webster. Interestingly, an

Internet source noted the word ‘SUV’ was used in the 1974 Jeep

Cherokee SJ brochure, though the term didn’t quite stick. So,

when did the luxury SUV originate? Although not known as

it at the time, with the increase in popularity of luxury SUVs,

many have delved into the archives and have established a car

of this ilk. There are some who maintain the first luxury SUV

originated in the ’60s in the shape of the Jeep Wagoneer.

Jeep is thus undoubtedly no stranger to SUVs or their

more opulent counterparts. In its latest Grand Cherokee,

the automaker has its sights set on making proud the

vehicle that probably started this trend.

Although the L in the locally and, as yet, only available

Grand Cherokee signifies it has a long wheelbase, in

the fifth iteration, it can be used to describe the luxury

accompanying it. We were left wholly impressed at the

launch. However, it was time to add some mileage to Jeep’s

large SUV to see how it fares in a test.

DEEP DATA

Price: R1 479 900 Engine: 3.6 L, V6, turbopetrol Transmission: 8-spd AT Driven wheels: 4 Power: 210 kW

@ 6 400 r/min Torque: 344 Nm @ 4 000 r/min 0-100 km/h: n/a Top speed: n/a Fuel consumption: 10.6 L/100 km

CO 2

: 243 g/km Length: 5 204 mm Height: 1 816 mm Width: 2 149 mm Wheelbase: 3 091 mm Weight: 2 270 kg

Luggage capacity: 1 328-2 396 L Fuel tank: 87 L Warranty: 5 years/100 000 km Maintenance plan:

5 years/100 000 km

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WEAR EPIX.

BE EPIC.

EPIX

THE PREMIUM ACTIVE SMARTWATCH

WITH A BRIGHT AMOLED DISPLAY

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© 2022 GARMIN LTD. OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES.


DEEP DRIVE

There was ample legroom in the second row. While we didn’t

spend much time in the third-row seats, there was sufficient

room during short drives. Nonetheless, we still reckon that, like

many other seven-seater SUVs, the third row is reserved for the

family’s younger members.

The Grand Cherokee L offers peace of mind with its numerous

safety features including active lane management, adaptive

cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alert. We did find the

warning sounds intrusive and sometimes unnerving, especially

the lane-keep assist system.

The seven-seater is outfitted with Jeep’s familiar 3.6-litre

naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine, mated with an eightspeed

automatic transmission. The self-shifter was seamless

in its workings. The Pentastar motor produces 210 kW/344 Nm.

However, we thought a diesel unit would be more suited to the

Grand Cherokee L, as it should return improved fuel economy

and boast a touch more torque. It was challenging to get close to

the claimed average fuel consumption figure of 10.6 L/100 km.

The best we managed was 14.5 L/100 km. This included both

highway and city driving.

The steering feel had a good weight to it and NVH levels

were commendable. The air-suspension configuration made the

ride feel composed and enabled the driver to lift the ground

clearance to 277 mm, which is helpful when taking less-travelled

paths. Furthermore, the Jeep Grand Cherokee L includes Jeep’s

Selec-Terrain driving modes and four-wheel drive with a lowrange

transfer case. A

In terms of its looks, the L can also be used to signify large.

The Grand Cherokee L is nearly impossible to ignore. It

measures over five metres in length and two metres in width.

It’s imposing. At the front, the chrome-trimmed signature Jeep

grille is bold, while the bodywork makes the stylish LED headand

taillamps look more tapered than they are. In short, the

styling is classic American.

Climbing inside, you are welcomed by arguably one of the

most luxurious SUV interiors. Jeep has risen above and beyond.

The cabin’s fitment and features reflect the price tag. The midrange

Overland derivative tested here comes in at R1 479 900.

For the pricing, you get a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, a

10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment and a 10.3-inch front

passenger-side item. The driver cannot see or be distracted by

the latter display, not because the dashboard is so broad, but

because the pixel technology makes it impossible. The front

passenger can access navigational information, camera views,

and visual and audio entertainment. However, only the driver

can see the head-up display. The front seats offer heating (the

second-row pews do, too), ventilation and massage functionality.

There are two traditional USB ports and two USB Type-C

ports. This will ensure charging is never an issue, as will wireless

charging. Audiophiles will adore the 19-speaker McIntosh

sound system. The speakers in the boot did rattle a bit when we

cranked up the volume, though.

THE VERDICT

3.5/5

The new Grand Cherokee felt opulent,

comfortable and spacious. Couple these with

four-wheel drive, and you have a luxury SUV

that should make its ancestor proud. The

Overland is our model of choice.

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KIA SPORTAGE 1.6

T-GDI GT LINE DCT

The most striking Sportage to date, the fifth

iteration aims to continue its track record as

Kia’s global bestseller.

Words: Melinda Ferguson

melsmacked

drop-dead aesthetics; superior safety systems; excellent entry-level offerings

no diesel engine

I

t’s hard to think of

the Kia Sportage

without associating

it with automotive designer Peter

Schreyer. Although the South Korean

manufacturer’s midsize SUV debuted

in 1993, looking a lot like a bulletproof,

ungainly station wagon, the third

generation made the world sit up

and take notice. The Sportage was a

game changer for Kia and is regarded

by many in the industry as one of

Schreyer’s finest works. New customers

flocked to the brand, which had

hitherto been regarded as somewhat

of a poor cousin to more popular Far

East offerings. With its iconic tiger nose

grille, the 2010 Sportage became a

multi-design-award-winning vehicle.

Combined with an impressive

drivetrain and a rep for reliability, the

Sportage’s aesthetic heritage continued

into the fourth generation, which

debuted in SA in 2016. This model set

a world record for the World’s Longest

Test Drive Relay in a drive that covered

3 291 km through six SA provinces over

seven days with 520 test drivers at

the wheel.

The fifth generation was launched

locally in September this year. It’s

arguably the most beautiful Sportage

to date. In my books, it’s the finestlooking

mid-size SUV in its segment,

which comprises a string of handsome

hotties, including the Mazda CX-5,

Toyota RAV4, the VW Tiguan and

Hyundai Tucson.

With five derivatives in the line-up

– the LX, EX, GT-Line, GT-Line Plus and

GT-Line S – even the so-called entrylevel

is packed with many goodies.

These include automatically activated

LED headlights, fog lamps, selectable

drive modes, a leather-clad steering

wheel and transmission lever, a reverseview

camera, and an attractive, curved

12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment

system compatible with Bluetooth

and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

There are also 40:20:40 split-folding

rear seats. The higher-specced EX and

GT models are graced with a bunch

of additional premium features like

heated seats, an electric tailgate, a

panoramic sunroof, steering wheelmounted

paddle shifters, and more

upmarket upholstery.

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DEEP DRIVE

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Then there is the host of safety systems, ,

which is a key consideration in this preciouscargo-carrying

family-vehicle market. With its

six airbags and semi-autonomous technologies,

including lane-follow assist, lane-keep assist,

intelligent cruise control and forward-collision

avoidance assist, it’s easy to see why the

new Sportage claimed top honours when it

underwent the stringent Euro NCAP safety

testing. All derivates also come with electronic

stability control, hill-start assist, downhill brake

control, blind-spot collision warning, trailer

stability assist and ABS with electronic brakeforce

distribution (EBD).

But how does the new Sportage drive? Its

turbocharged engine felt spritely, assisted

by a praiseworthy dual-clutch gearbox that

did its job without any sign of lag. We were

impressed by the whisper-quiet cabin, at speed

on highways and the overall drive comfort over

various surfaces. While it’s not supposed to be

a speedster, it proved to be an eager accelerator

and particularly wowed when it came to its

agility and road holding. Of course, there’s

always a degree of body roll in most SUVs, but

the Kia felt solid and surefooted. A

DEEP DATA

Price: R649 995 Engine: 1.6 L, 4-cyl, turbopetrol Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch Driven wheels: F Power:

131 kW @ 5 500 r/min Torque: 265 Nm @ 1 500-4 500 r/min 0-100 km/h: 8.8 seconds Top speed: 201 km/h

Fuel consumption: 6.5/100 km CO 2

: 149 g/km Length: 4 515 mm Height: 1 650 mm Width: 1 865 mm Wheelbase:

2 680 mm Weight: 1 497 kg Luggage capacity: 591-1 780 L Fuel tank: 54 L Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km

Service plan: 6 years/90 000 km

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DEEP DRIVE

THE VERDICT

4/5

Kia has become synonymous with relative

affordability, well-specced quality and creative

design, and the new Sportage ticks all the boxes.

Having sold close to six million units globally, the

Sportage has unsurprisingly been Kia’s top seller

for years. With an SUV portfolio that kicks off with

the compact Sonet, the slightly bigger Seltos, the

mid-sized Sportage and the massive Sorento, the

South Korean brand has an excellent line-up that

should satisfy a variety of consumers’ insatiable

appetite for SUV/crossovers.

Under the eye of Schreyer

In 2006, Kia Motors managed to seduce young

German wunderkind Peter Schreyer away from

Audi. The hiring was inspired. Design became

the brand’s cornerstone; over the next 14 years,

Kia would win over 200 motoring accolades,

including 20 highly coveted Red Dot design awards. Suddenly,

formerly forgettable Korean cars were being regarded with newfound

respect, making Kia’s success one of the most significant

turnarounds in automobile history. Under the eye of Schreyer,

there have been a host of beauts like, of course, the gorgeous

redesigned 2010 Sportage, the speedy Stinger and the funky Soul.

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LIFESTYLE

SHOTGUN

SIV

WITH

Ngesi

RIDING

SIV

I

Hand of the king, or a king himself? We catch

up with the sometimes funny, sometimes

controversial, but always lovely guy, Siv Ngesi.

V

Words: Vann van Staden winewheelsandwatches

Photos: Brandon Jacobs snapchangemedia

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LIFESTYLE

I have wanted

to catch up

with Siv Ngesi

for the longest time, but our schedules

never allowed this. So when our stars

eventually aligned, we had a date.

Now to find the perfect car to match

this giant of a personality. It wasn’t

challenging; I knew exactly what I

needed to do. A quick call to Herman

at Ford Tygervalley, and all was set. I

went to collect a current-generation

Ford Mustang GT. I’m not sure who

turned the most heads, Siv or the

Mustang, but once he got in the car, it

didn’t matter anymore because heads

were turning non-stop.

Brother, finally! Jislaaik,

this took long enough.

SIV In my defence, the previous car

you wanted to put me in looked like a

keychain. So this was worth the wait.

Ja flip, almost like 18-yearolds

with their Polos here.

SIV But here, we have a far greater

appreciation for them.

You have been hella busy!

I watched a trailer for The Woman

King. I haven’t had goosies like that

in years just from watching a trailer.

That must have been quite the vibe.

SIV It was great. A truly fantastic

experience working with such a great

cast. Almost as great as driving this car.

(Siv clearly digs a Mustang.)

You have been super busy,

and I have followed you for years.

You are still one of the funniest guys

out there. Are you planning anything

new on the comedy front?

SIV I am busy writing a new

comedy show. I want to take it on tour

internationally and locally. It’s mostly

about masculinity, femininity, drag and

pole dancing, the new things I’m into.

I am trying to learn new things and

unlearn old things. We learn so many

things growing up, and now it’s about

unlearning them. I’m all about that.

I fight injustices. I fight for equality. I

have a voice, and I need to use it.

SIV I’m just playing around with

the vegans. No one gets upset anymore

with me; they know I’m just messing

around. I make light of most things, and

veganism is one of them. But it's all in

good fun. I respect everyone and their

decisions. I strut around in high heels,

so I’m all about respecting decisions.

I saw a clip of you pole

dancing in heels. You have got

some pretty sick moves!

SIV I am blown away at the

response I get every time I put on heels

and do my thing. People are fascinated

by it. They try and place me in a box of

“he must be gay” or something along

those lines, but in actual fact, I’m just a

person who wants to live and let live. I

don’t wear heels to be different. I just

love wearing them. My view on life

is that I just want to be what I want

to be! As long as I don’t hurt anyone.

I’m just about people living. Life is too

short to be judgmental. Do what you

want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone;

that’s the golden rule. There is no

growth in the comfort zone.

We parked the ’Stang and said our

goodbyes. Love him or hate him, Siv

Ngesi is here to stay, take people out of

their comfort zones, and challenge us

to be better and do better. I salute you

for that, my brother! A

(A little awkward chuckle

ensued) Like they say, good things

come to those who wait. I hope you

approve of the wheels today.

SIV I do! The first time I came across

Mustangs was in the States.

They are so common there. You see

16-year-olds driving them around.

At 2022’s EatOut Awards,

you said, “Everyone must enjoy their

food other than the vegans.”

SIV How do you know someone

is vegan?

They’ll tell you.

Price: R1 084 900

Engine: 5.0 L, V8, petrol

Transmission: 10-spd AT

Driven wheels: R

Power: 330 kW @ 7 000 r/min

Torque: 529 Nm @ 4 600 r/min

0-100km/h: 4.8 seconds

Top speed: 250 km/h

Fuel consumption: 12.3 L/100km

CO 2 : 279 g/km

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122 ISSUE 7


Special thanks to Herman from Tygervalley Ford

for lending us one of their gorgeous Mustangs.


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LONG TERM

Ford Ranger 2.0L

BiT 4x4 Stormtrak 10AT

CHAPTER 1/2

FUEL CONSUMPTION

10.2 L/100KM

DISTANCE COMPLETED

1500 KM

Words: Vann van Staden

winewheelsandwatches

You always have

questions when

a long-term test

unit arrives in

your driveway. One of the first

checks I do is how much it

has on the clock. I was pretty

stoked to get handed the keys

to the Ford Ranger Stormtrak

after finding out it already

had well over 20 000 km.

It has been driven in, ready

for the taking.

Now in my first-month stint

with the Ranger Stormtrak, I

have added another 1 500 km.

I drove it like I wasn’t paying

for the fuel it guzzled (I don’t

know what dream world I

was living in, as I knew full

well I was footing the rather

large fuel bill).

In any other car, this

distance wouldn’t have

seemed like a big deal, but I

felt the impact of this gentle

giant on my wallet. I got an

average of between 9.5 and

10.7 L/100km. The claimed

(emphasis on claimed) figure

is 8.4 L/100 km.

Nonetheless, its thirsty

drinking habits aside,

the Stormtrak was a

commendable daily driver.

I towered above most people

in traffic, so this sense of a

dominating presence follows

you, and you get used to it.

Parking, on the other hand,

was a challenge. I spent most

of my time in Sea Point, so if

and when on-street parking

spots became available, I had

the task of fitting a largerthan-life

car into a small

parking spot but the reverse

camera and parking sensors

did come in handy here.

Another cool thing on

the Ranger Stormtrak is the

Mountain Top power roller

shutter that locks with the

car, so whatever is left behind

in the loading bay is kept

safe. A massive leap forward

from those traditional canvas

covers that could easily be

sliced open. A

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LONG TERM

Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GL MT

CHAPTER 1/2

FUEL CONSUMPTION

5.8 L/100 KM

DISTANCE COMPLETED

226 KM

Words: Marius Boonzaier

mariusboonzaier

Suzuki has a knack

for building small

cars, from the firm’s

city hatchbacks to its

capable compact off-roader,

the Jimny. I recently hung up

the keys to my Jimny. In their

place is a set belonging to

the box-fresh Celerio, my first

long-termer since starting as

editor of APEX. I was excited.

Over the years, I’ve grown

fond of the Japanese firm’s

compact cars. Of course, they

have cons – most cars do –

but they remain endearing

despite their drawbacks. I aim

to unearth its shortcomings

during the long-term test

period. The Celerio is an

honest little hatchback and, so

far, the, the scales have tipped

towards the pros.

Starting with the first

chapter of my time with

the Celerio, it’s been a boon

travelling about town. The

diminutive dimensions and

this top-tier GL model’s

standard-fitment rear park

distance sensors made

parking a cinch. I believe this

variant (in five-speed manual)

is the model to go for. Usually,

the mid-spec derivative in a

line-up offers the most value.

However, I’d argue that, with

Suzukis, the top-tier model is

well worth the extra money.

Priced at a hair below R200

000, the GL features a 7.0-inch

touchscreen infotainment

system with Apple CarPlay/

Android Auto and manual

air conditioning, among

other items.

Whereas these items have

become a common sight

on budget cars, the Celerio

outshines them regarding

safety. It’s the first car in its

segment with an electronic

stability programme (ESP).

There are also two airbags,

Isofix, ABS and EBD.

Memories are made on

adventures in long-term

vehicles and they tend to win

us over. The Celerio should be

no exception. A

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Rocking& &

Rocking&

BIKE

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If a music genre, the BMW R18 B is pure

rock ’n roll. Cue ZZ Top’s La Grange…

riding

Words: David Donde

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BIKE

It’s best to

describe the

motorcycle

I have been

riding as a

piece of music.

And this one was more Bach than Brahms, that's for sure. No

Toccata and Fugue in D-minor, either. No, not this one. This

BMW R18 B, with its beautiful pinstriping and Marshall speakers

and sound system, is heavier than that. No, this bagger-style

motorcycle required a genre that needs driving guitars and a

bit of a kick and, let's face it, a heavy dose of redneck.

The engineering masterpiece that BMW produced went all

ZZ Top on my posterior. Yes, this bike is personified by

La Grange. An intoxicating thrum at idle and warm up, leading

you astray into all kinds of hooliganism as things get going.

With its three riding modes, I left it in ‘Rock’, with ‘Roll’ a bit

too mild-mannered for this 1 800 cc bike and ‘Rain’ reserved

for the one time it rained during a nighttime ride. I foolishly

trusted the weather report. The low screen and exquisitely

crafted analogue instrument panel glowed jewel-like above the

digital display. But those caricature-like and way over-the-top

protruding cylinders kept me relatively dry. The heated seat

and grips kept me toasty, too. It is the first time I have needed to

turn down the latter’s setting on a cold ride because they were

so darn hot through my thick gloves. With five modes, I found

that toasty was precisely halfway to melting off my paws just

below the wrists.

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BIKE

The massive digital screen is a delight,

displaying the fuel consumption and

tyre pressure, estimated range and the

like. I still cannot get to grips with BMW’s

clumsy computer controller experience, a

combo of a twist ring with left and right

pushes and a menu up-and-down button

that conspire to thwart quick access.

Though they are a treat with gloves, other

brands have solved the user interface far

better and far more simply.

So with ZZ Top’s La Grange playing over

the delightfully thumping notes of the

drivetrain, if you need to get somewhere

effortlessly with a huge smile on your

mug, the adaptive cruise control is flawless

from 30 up to 160 km/h. The radar system

handled traffic efficiently and proved

helpful on longer rides and in traffic

that doesn't warrant lane splitting. The

handling was excellent for a big heavy

bike with almost too much power. It is

surprisingly easy to counter-steer the

nearly half a tonne of rider and steed

rapidly from one side to another. It was

quite playful ... until the footpegs began

issuing sparks that let you know you are

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BIKE

reaching the limits. Having said that,

the foot pegs scraping was less of an

issue on this particular version of R18

than those I have had on previous tests.

Regarding handling, the R18 needs

comparison with its peers, Triumph

Rocket and bigger Harleys, I guess. I

found it more settled, less likely to lose

composure on bigger bumps and lumps

mid-corner, and downright predictable

while being on the firm side of plush on

the freeway. In my humble opinion, it is

class-leading in its segment.

With two side bags that lock

electronically with the keyless go, it was

excellent during the commute. I wish

there was somewhere to store a helmet, however. Ridden with

care, it returns a fuel consumption figure under 4.5 L/100 km. I

got 5.5 L/100 km, mostly. With a low seat height, the bike is quite

manageable at low speed, with its reversing gear and all, but it is

a handful if you lose its balance. It is the one time it feels like it’s

just under 400 kg.

The attention to detail on this deco-looking masterpiece is

incredible. There is cooled storage for your phone and the BMW

Motorrad Connected app enabled me to pre-programme routes

and gave feedback on the bike.

Things I didn’t quite like? Well, mostly just those useful

saddlebags block the glorious view of the exposed driveshaft

and its jewelled knuckle. For the rest, I could get used to a bike

that isn’t my usual. It just makes you happy riding it. At

R418 750, it is a heavy investment. Is it worth it for its style,

chrome, heritage and performance? I’d say so, yes. A

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LIFESTYLE

THE

READING

ROOM

Enjoy some downtime this season with

our selection of good books.

Words: Jennifer Campbell

/ 02

THE STORY OF PORSCHE

Porsche has been synonymous with

luxury and race car manufacturing

for over 90 years. This tribute to the

legendary manufacturer by Luke Smith

studies and celebrates the brand’s

story and success. The book features

insightful text, as well as striking photography. The reader is

invited to learn more about the journey of the brand – from its

turbulent beginnings to its ascent to the summit of car design.

Cover price: R290 | Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

/ 01 / 04

POLITICS

Written by Aristotle and translated by William Ellis, this

is a timeless study of politics and society by one of the

world’s most well-known and respected thinkers. Politics

is a reflection on the role of government, as well as the

individual’s role within it. His philosophies remain as

relevant today as when they were written in the fourth

century. This newly translated edition forms part of a

boldly designed series of classics, which aims to introduce

a selection of the most celebrated works of the last

thousand years to a new audience.

Cover price: R335 | Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

/ 03

LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE:

HOW YOUTUBE DRIVES

GOOGLE’S DOMINANCE AND

CONTROLS OUR CULTURE

Written by Mark Bergen, this is the

story of YouTube and how the global

phenomenon upended traditional

media and transformed Google into one of the world’s

most profitable companies. As a Bloomberg tech journalist,

Bergen delivers the definitive account on YouTube,

explaining how it started, how it actually works, and how

it drives Google’s success.

Cover price: R350 | Published by Penguin Random House

DIDDLY SQUAT: ‘TIL THE

COWS COME HOME

Jeremy Clarkson takes us back to

another year of life on his farm Diddly

Squat. At the end of his first year of

farming, Clarkson had made a profit

of £144 (around R3 000), and he had

certainly mastered the art of moaning.

Now, challenges continue to abound. Expect plenty of laughs

as Clarkson tells tales from life as a farmer and the ups and

downs that come with it.

Cover price: R350 | Published by Penguin Random House

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MW

MAT

WATSON ON

CARS

matwatsononcars

That’s it – I’m done. I’ve driven many

quick cars: Bugattis, Rimacs, McLarens,

Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Now,

thanks to the McMurtry Spéirling,

they are all officially slow. This little

£2 million (R41 494 367.66 at the

time of writing) single-seater electric

hypercar uses a huge fan to suck to

the ground so it can deploy all its 746

kW despite being rear-driven only. I

timed it at 0–60 mph (96 km/h) in

just 1.4 seconds and 7.97 seconds for

the quarter mile, despite hitting its

241 km/h limited top speed after just

5.0 seconds. Bonkers! No wonder the

British firm calls it the wildest electric

car ever to wear number plates ...

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FEATURE

DRIVE INTO A SMART NEW WORLD

THE HAVAL H6 HYBRID

The All-New HAVAL H6 Hybrid combines the power of a petrol engine with the fuel savings of an

electric motor to give you lower emissions and enhanced performance. The petrol engine

charges the battery while driving, ensuring that there is never a reliance on traditional grid

power.

Experience next-gen performance and fuel efficiency. Experience the All-New HAVAL H6

Hybrid.

100 000km WARRANTY

60 000km SERVICE PLAN

APEX

8 YEAR 150 000km BATTERY WARRANTY

139 ISSUE 7


WINNER

2022 | 2023

FIRST PLACE VICTORY

TWO YEARS AND COUNTING

Helmets off to team Toyota Gazoo Racing for leaving their rivals

in the dust and defending their title for the second year in a row.

The competition was tough but driver, Nasser Al-Attiyah and

navigator, Mathieu Baumel came out on top.

And that’s not all – the Toyota Gazoo Racing team came through

and dominated the top five with Giniel de Villiers and navigator,

Dennis Murphy fortifying fourth place, and Henk Lategan and

navigator, Brett Cummings flying into fifth.

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