The 2020 World Car Person of the Year is Carlos Tavares – the CEO of Peugeot, Citroën and Opel. Now the merger between his company – the second largest manufacturer of vehicles in Europe and Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Alfa, Tavares has got an even bigger job on his hands to get the thinking of Portuguese, French, German. Italian and Americans to go in one direction.
A new motorsport series, the Turbo Direct SA sponsored Time Attack ZA Challenge started this year with 80 owners of turbo charged cars going on the dyno of Turbo Direct went to Isando at the end of February. The loving care and attention all the owners give to their turbo charged cars is outstanding. The highest horsepower ever recorded on the Turbo Direct dyno was 2200 HP from a dragster. Chris Kambouras, MD of Turbo Direct is just right for this Time Attack Series which is held all around the world.
It will be a long time before we see masses of all-electric vehicles sold in South Africa. 2019 saw just 407 battery/electric cars sold in this country.
Lamborghini let the press sample both the Huracan sports car designed like a fighter aircraft and the Urus (the name is Taurus without the ‘Ta’) SUV. The Huracan has a V10 640 HP motor with 600mm of torque. The 440 mm front discs must be the biggest ever fitted to high performance cars.
The Urus with an 8-speed box also puts out the same HP from its V8 motor and the same amount of torque. When you floor the accelerator pedal it gives you a kick in the back, the likes of which is only experienced by world sports car and Formula 1 drivers. Prices are R3.5m for the Urus and R5.7m for the Huracan.
Not to be outdone the new Porsche 911 Turbo S with a 3.8 litre flat 6 twin turbo charged engine also puts out 650hp and 800NM of torque. It gets to 100kmh in 2.7 seconds. Top speed is 330 kmh.
In the meantime Porsche announced their sales figures for 2019 which were 10% up on 2018 at 280 800 vehicles. Sales revenues were up to €28.5bn. The work force at Porsche grew 10% to 35 429 employees.
The Middle East, African region saw 7% increase on sales with RSA the largest market in this region. 27% up on 2018.
It seems like Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta nameplate is over. Due to the big drop in sales in Europe last year Alfa is stopping production at the plant in Cassino owned by Maserati. It is also where the Giulia and Stelvio are produced. The Giulietta assembly line will be taken over by a Maserati D-SUV.
It looks like the new VW Amarok will be based on the Ranger when it arrives in 2022.
Sixty special Land Cruiser Namib models were earlier this year. Toyota has decided to build more of these and add a single cab to the range. They come with a 4.5 litre turbo diesel engine and a 3-year 100 000 km warranty. Single Cab is R845 200 and the Double Cab is R905 000
The Toyota Corolla Hatch has done well since launch in 2019. It has had its spec level upped in all three variants to include the Toyota Safety Sense.
Suzuki has just brought out an S-Presso Urban SUV which will be cheapest car on the market. Full of features, prices start at R134 000. It has a 50 KW engine and 90 NM of torque. A five year hot 200 000km warranty is given with 3-year roadside assistance.
Ian Schofield achieving his first win racing Formula Fords in 28 years was beside himself with joy. Not only as he has sponsored the series for years but a sole National win so far was the icing on the cake. Well done, Ian.
Hyundai is getting into the performance stakes with a new i30N. (N is their racing indicator). An enormous press corps enjoyed the launch of this performance car at the Franschhoek Motor Museum’s racing circuit and around the mountain passes of Franschhoek.
I can’t believe it. Land Rover has bought 30 new different model Land Rover Defenders to our shores. Full of features, prices start from R948 000 up to R1 408 400. You can get them in petrol or diesel. And all the time I thought the Defender was a cheaper no-nonsense basic 4×4 that could go anywhere. Not anymore.
Motorists can now report minor accidents and obtain a case number on line free of charge by a legally binding system on the NaTis website. You still have got to report the accident within 24 hours. You can’t report this if anybody is injured or killed or involved in a hit and run. Or if there are five or more vehicles involved.
Suzuki Auto, well established now in South Africa, sold 1690 vehicles in February breaking their January record of 1631. They are set to break even more sales records in the coming months with the range that they offer.
Toyota has brought out an all new Corolla Sedan. The new car is full of features and is priced from R372 700. With 1.8 litre engine and CVT gearbox it features every known safety feature and every electronic display available.
A 2 litre manual and CRT are offered from R412 300 and R425 200.
The Peugeot 2008 was named Car of the Year in 2020 by 60 European journalists recently. The engine range includes electric, petrol or diesel . It is the 6th Peugeot to be named “Car of the Year” over the years.
Motus Motors that imports Mitsubishi have extended the warranty and service plans of their cars by 21 days thanks to the Corona lock down.
Bosal Africa has invested R25m in new manufacturing of emission control systems exhausts in Pretoria.
Don’t forget to listen to Roger McCleery to hear more inside stories every Tuesday afternoon on his Motoring programme on Radio Today (1485 AM) or on DSTV Audio Channel 869, on social media and podcast around the world.
By Roger McCleery