2022 Ford Ranger: What You Need To Know

About 11 years has passed since the T6 platform came into play in 2011 and now finally after so many updates and special editions, we have a new Ranger. This new look is influenced by its American cousins which is in fact the ideal solution to introduce a new and different design language that will certainly stand out, especially on South African roads when it sits side by side with the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max.

Depending on the trim level, the aesthetic looks will change more especially on the newly designed radiator grille carrying on its centre area, a proud Ford blue oval logo. The new frontal fascia is inspired by a blend of the Maverick and F-150, which would make sense since the Ranger sits between the two in the model line-up. The C-shaped headlights house either incandescent bulbs on lower spec models or full Matrix LEDs with LED daytime running lights on higher spec models.

And speaking of trim models, three have debuted and the first in line is the XL model carrying 16-inch alloy wheels, black grille and a 10-inch infotainment screen. Next up is the XLT which increases the wheel size to 17 inches, gets a black grille with the upper part having a central chrome bar and C-clamped LED headlights. The top of the range Wildtrak model boasts a more premium, unique front end; larger 18-inch alloys and a 12-inch touchscreen plus an 8-inch digital instrument cluster.

The wheelbase has been extended by 50 millimetres and it contributes to a better approach angle, better passenger legroom, a longer side profile which sports the traditional air vent on the front fender and body creases on the lower part of the doors. The rear track has increased by 50 millimetres creating a more spacious load area that even accommodates a sheet of building plywood or a full-size pallet. There is a dedicated side step to climb into the load bed and on the surface is a plastic-moulded bedliner and tie-down points to secure cargo items.

The official towing capacity and payload figures have not been revealed yet but Ford says they are way higher than the previous generation. At night, the bakkie can illuminate a 360-degree lighting with light sources coming from the headlights, side mirrors and door handles.

Premiering for the first time in the Ranger is Ford’s portrait-style infotainment display with SYNC4 system and the screen sizes vary from 10.1-inch to 12-inch and alongside this new setup it boasts a digital instrument cluster. The gear selector looks premium, the handbrake has been switched for an electric one plus the interior is said to feel upmarket with all the soft-touch material. Tech features include a 360-degree camera and trailer assist. There is a choice of two four-wheel-drive setups, either an electronic shift-on-the-fly system or a full-time 4×4 system.

Variations of engines announced do not have the official power figures but the good news is there is a new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine for the higher spec model and that is courtesy of Volkswagen. The partnership between the Germans and the Americans sees a possible 200 kW V6 engine introduced alongside two 4-cylinder petrol engines, two 2.0-litre diesels with one being single-turbocharged and the latter twin-turbocharged. These engines will be mounted to either a six-speed manual gearbox or the updated and better calibrated 10-speed automatic transmission.

More information will be revealed next year towards the official launch.

Source: 2022 Ford Ranger Press Release

Porsche Unveils The Extreme Cayman GT4 RS

The Cayman GT4 now bears the RS badge which can only be a step towards insane performance or even just enter that arena. With this release, the question would be which cars will this GT4 RS dance with since it levelled up into a prime league. Let me put it this way, it has the same engine from the 911 GT3, a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six, it’s 20 kilograms lighter than the PDK spec 911 GT3 and it is about R600 000 less than the aforementioned Porsche model. On top of that, it set a nurburgring lap time of 7:04.511, which is just shy 5 seconds off the 911 GT3.

Straightaway, the Cayman GT4 RS establishes itself as a hardcore track weapon when you take a first glance at it. On the front is an exposed carbon fibre hood with cooling inlets for the brakes, on the bottom is a front lip that is connected to the side air curtains and this almost looks like a beard with sideburns. The front wheel arches have vents, the front diffuser is manually adjustable, there is underbody aero, a rear diffuser and a large fixed rear spoiler. All of these components contribute to a 25% increase in downforce over the standard GT4.

The suspension was not spared at all because with all that downforce requires specific RS shock absorbers, bespoke anti-roll bars and springs, plus ball joints that stiffen the car to be closer to the chassis and increase rigidity.

It is even significantly lighter than the standard Cayman GT4 with the replacement of the windshield for a thin Gorilla glass, there’s a titanium roll cage that comes with the Weissach package, a titanium exhaust system, lighter door panels, door storage nets and less insulation. All of this makes it 34 kilograms lighter in comparison to its standard self.

The engine is not just a tad more powerful but it produces 79 hp (59 kW) more power than the GT4, 493 hp (368 kW) to be exact and 450 Nm of torque. The engine revs all the way up to 9000 rpm and it has the 7-speed PDK transmission for company, no manual gearbox option available. It manages to do a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 315 km/h.

We were wondering why it took so long for Porsche to even consider an RS model for the baby 911 and this creation is thanks to factors that included customers bidding for it to made and the silencing of engines by this phase called electrification. You might find it interesting how the Taycan is mimicking the Panamera by having the same model variants as it, which might lead to the replacement of the ICE car anytime in the near future. So an RS model is a form of a send-off by the manufacturer and it is quite touching.

Source: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

Audi And BMW In Talks To Purchase McLaren Group

Reports have surfaced that Audi and BMW are both interested in acquiring a piece of the McLaren Group. According to Automobilwoche, Audi wants to purchase the McLaren Formula One team division after discussions were reported sometime this year about them and Volkswagen having an intent to enter the sport in 2025 when new engine regulations are introduced. It’s a fact that the McLaren F1 Team suffered financial constraints during the pandemic and this has granted Audi an opportunistic move to join the pinnacle of motorsport.

The McLaren F1 team improved from a dismal performance back in 2017 when they had Honda engines powering the car but quickly moved from Renault to Mercedes and drastically climbing to the top with the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. The timing for this acquisition comes at a sweet time for Audi as they will manage to not only develop efficient ICE engines for their road cars, but also staple their name in multiple motorsport championships through innovation and technology.

On the other hand, BMW is said to purchase the Automotive division which would make sense given their strong history with McLaren. They once supplied a V12 engine for the McLaren F1 car, not the race car, and that has automatically made it an icon in the industry. So what would it mean for McLaren if BMW manages to take control? New engines would be introduced in the supercar lineup and probably we could see the first-ever McLaren SUV.

It looks like this would be a split agreement between the three companies and each will benefit worthwhile. However, some reports suggest that Audi might just buy the whole lot if BMW backs down at some point but we will just have to see in the near future.

Source: Automobilwoche, Automotive News

The New Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster Unveiled

There she is, the new SL blossoming in new skin and looking rather gorgeous with it. This 70 year old nameplate with its livid Grandad, the 1955 300 SL, manages to showcase a strikingly beautiful persona. The 300 SL is still gorgeous by classic design standards and we still appreciate its creation in the modern era, which means the new SL has a lot of expectations to meet. The key differences here are it is now a soft top and it has incorporated an unusual design approach. An SL is defined as a luxury sports car and that is evident with the interior. However, the exterior speaks a different language, one may say it leans towards sportiness rather than luxury, therefore suggesting the fascia balance has been broken. But you can still argue that present-day Mercedes Benz designs must follow one specific path to achieve aerodynamic efficiency and match the model line-up.

Design

Did Mercedes have a change of heart to ditch the design language of the SL Roadster? Well, apart from the hardtop they haven’t really shifted far from it. If anything, they made it even sexier than before. Firstly, as you glance at the front, the long bonnet and the intimidating look due to the angular, razor-sharp headlights that house Digital LED headlamps still embodies a premium level look. Between the lights is an AMG grille with vertical struts. After all, this is a Mercedes-AMG model and what is even more evident that it really is, are the sporty side air intakes and a high-gloss black radiator opening.
The side profile shows that it is a long-wheelbase just like the previous generations but the wheel arches have been “voluminously sculpted”, that’s what they said. The wheels start at 19-inches in size and they are AMG multi-spoke alloys and optional wheels range from 20 to 21 inches with different designs and some aero purpose designs to pick from.

The soft top can fold down in just 15 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h. It is lighter which means the car’s centre of gravity is lower and the way the roof is shaped gives the car a coupe-like look when it slopes beautifully towards the rear windshield and boot lid. At the rear you’ll find slim LED taillights, trapezoidal quad exhaust tailpipes and an active retractable rear spoiler.

The chassis is a lightweight aluminium structure designed to increase the torsional rigidity by 18% and the whole structure is optimized to provide a sporty driving experience. Overall, the design gives a dynamic appearance and yet maintains a “I am rich” image.

Engine

There is only one engine for the two models that have been announced, a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with launch control and as standard both models get 4Matic+ all wheel drive with variable torque distribution to the front and rear wheels.

The entry-level SL 55 boasts 469 hp (350 kW) and 700 Nm of torque delivering a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 295 km/h. The SL 63 pushes 577 hp (430 kW) and 800 Nm of torque which propels it from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds and manages a top speed of 315 km/h. They have announced that a plug-in hybrid will follow later on, probably wearing the 63e badge.

The SL comes as standard with AMG Ride Control steel suspension, aluminium shock absorbers and lightweight coil springs. Installed for the first time in an AMG model is a multi-link front and rear axle. The active hydraulic anti-roll stabilisation guarantees precise handling and ride comfort, and rear-wheel steering is there to reduce the turning circle and improve cornering at high speeds.

Interior

Being part of the ‘S’ monarch, it’s bound to have the best interior look and tech by Mercedes Benz and that should come directly from the S-Class. The 12.3-inch instrument panel with augmented reality is included and the 11.9-inch portrait-style infotainment touchscreen which can tilt forward, plus there is a heads-up display. The 2+2 seating allows the driver to have passengers at the rear but only if they are 1.5 meters tall or less. As standard, there are electronically adjustable AMG sports seats with vents built into them for heating and cooling or optional AMG Performance seats for a bit more sportiness. The whole interior can be covered with extensive carbon fibre as seen on the centre console and the steering wheel plus there is alcantara and leather on some parts of the interior.

Prices and arrival for the South African market have not been announced yet.

Source: Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster

The New Range Rover Unveiled

The fifth generation of one of the most recognizable vehicles has landed and it retains the iconic discernible shape. You won’t mistaken it for anything else because like a Porsche 911, its all about an evolutionary design and entering the second decade of the 21st century with a classic iteration but modernized and simplified to still carry the heritage and meet expectations. It comes packed with new technologies and improvements done over the previous generation that pushes it further in the competitive luxury segment.

Design

As aforementioned, the new Range Rover takes a modernist design philosophy with a pebble smooth influence on the surface. Seriously, there are no major body creases or contours and that is part of the reason why it achieves a drag coefficient of 0.30. The trademark side profile, the subtle sloping roofline and detailed design aspects like the front fender are not only part of the silhouette look but contribute to aerodynamic efficiency.

The front looks more or the same as the previous Range Rover generation but the upper and lower grille are flush, again for aero purposes. The radiator grille on the bottom houses sensors, the radar sensor, cameras and LED fog lights. The digital LED headlights with adaptive functionality have a construction of lights that consist of 1.2 million individual controlled digital micro-mirror devices to give the headlights a crystal-like design.

From those lights is a shark line that connects with the waist line which literally runs towards the rear D-pillar. The roof may be painted in a different colour through the SV customization options and it is 10 millimetres lower than before plus it still looks as if it is floating. Part of the reason are the A-pillar, B-pillar, C-pillar and D-pillar are all painted in black and the windows seem as if they have a continuous pattern running from the front to the rear. The door handles now automatically retract when the car locks and unlocks.

The rear dawns a boat tail look with redesigned diffused LED taillights and indicator lights that are hidden and only appear visible when they are lit. Overall the design is more than satisfying and the more you look at it, the more you appreciate the artistry that went into the development. Wheels are standard in 20 inches size and vary up to 23 inches for the top spec model. There are 12 different paint colour options and 14 extra special SV colours to choose from.

Platform and Suspension

It sits on the MLA-Flex Architecture that delivers a torsional stiffness of up to 50% more than the predecessor. The platform also provides 24% lower noise and vibrations than the predecessor and a noise cancellation system further assist with a 1680 watts Meridian Signature Sound System that includes speakers on the headrests.

The ride is said to be way more cushioned and glides on the road thanks to the improved suspension that consists of a fully independent suspension with a five-link rear axle that acts in concoction with twin-valve damping on the air suspension. The Integrated Chassis Control contributes to help keep the car level when cornering and reduces body roll. For the first time ever on a Range Rover, there is four-wheel steering that turns the rear wheels by up to 7.3-degrees and reduces the turning circle to under 11 metres or just shy 11 metres on the long-wheelbase model.

The new generation Terrain response 2 system has modes for normal road conditions which include Comfort, Dynamic and Eco while for the rough terrains there is Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand, Rock Crawl and Wade modes. Basically, this Range Rover is up for any task and will absolutely dominate. You can still pop it into Auto mode and what that does is it automatically detects and selects the ideal mode for the terrain.

The system works in hand with the Electronic Active differential and can raise the height of the car through the Intelligent Electronic Air Suspension and the suspension also lowers itself by 16 millimetres when travelling at speeds above 105 km/h to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Interior

One big change in the cabin is the floating-like, curved glass 13.1-inch touchscreen with JLR’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system which features haptic feedback, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Amazon’s Alexa voice control. In front of the driver, apart from the lovely leather wrapped four-spoke steering wheel, is a 13.7-inch instrument panel in a semi-floating glass panel.

There are variations of materials and colour palettes to pick from for the interior pieces like the dash, seats, armrests, the pillars and the roofline. These materials include textile and tactile Untrafabric, open pore wood and leather. You can choose either a fixed glass roof or a tilt & slide panoramic glass roof.

The Range Rover will now be available with a third-row seating or just opt for the standard five-seater option or the luxurious individual captain chair seats that can be adjusted automatically. This option also includes two rear entertainment screens, an 8-inch center control touchscreen and a 1600-watts 35 main speakers cabin system.

Engines

The drivetrain is standard with all-wheel drive and a smooth 8-speed ZF transmission on all models. There are three petrol options to choose from and kicking off the range is the P360 with a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine producing 355 hp (265 kW) and 500 Nm of torque. Next up is the P400 with the same engine but it produces 394 hp (294 kW) and 550 Nm of torque. The top spec petrol powered P530 utilizes a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine courtesy of BMW and it produces 523 hp (390 kW) and 750 Nm of torque.

The three diesel variants all are powered by a 3.0-litre turbodiesel six-cylinder. The D250 has 245 hp (182 kW) and 600 Nm of torque, the D300 has 296 hp (221 kW) and 650 Nm of torque and finally the D350 has 345 hp (257 kW) and 700 Nm of torque.

There are two plug-in hybrid models and both offer a 38.2 lithium-ion battery and a 105 kW electric motor with a 50 kW DC rapid charging capability that can go from 0% to 80% in just an hour. It can drive up to 80 kilometres of real world range and reach speeds of 140 km/h in pure EV mode. The two PHEV models are a P440e with a 3.0-litre engine and a P510e with the same engine and it produces 503 hp (375 kW) and 700 Nm together with the electric motor.

The new Range Rover will start from 95 000 pounds which is about R2 Million. It is yet to be announced when it will arrive on SA shores.

Source: Range Rover Press Release

Three New BMW Models Coming To SA With Prices Comfirmed

Three BMW models have been confirmed by BMW South Africa and each have a price tag attached (confirmed). Two of these models are facelifts for the current generation X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition sporting more aggressive frontend redesigns. The X3 LCI landed in SA a few weeks ago and it provided a glimpse into the new 10.25-inch infotainment screen and system. The M Variants bring more to the table such as new colours like Sao Paulo Yellow and M Marina Bay Blue metallic. They are both still powered by the S58 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six engine with 510 hp (375 kW) and an increase torque figure of 650 Nm. The acceleration to 100 km/h is therefore improved by 0.3 seconds taking only 3.8 seconds on the facelifts.

The third model that’s coming is the four-door version of the 4 Series G22, the Gran Coupe (G26). On launch there will be three engines including the high powered M440i xDrive. The other two are the petrol 420i with a 2.0-litre 184 hp (135 kW) engine and diesel 420d with a 2.0-litre 190 hp (140 kW) engine, and both are rear-wheel driven only. The four-wheel drive M440i comes out at top with the brilliant B58 3.0-litre turbopetrol straight-six engine under the hood and it’s producing 382 hp(285 kW) and 500 Nm of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 0-100 km/h is dealt with in just 4.7 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

The models are expected to land in South Africa by the end of the year with more details to be revealed by then.

Pricing

BMW X3 M Competition – R 1 970 562

BMW X4 M Competition – R2 070 562

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe range

420i – R937 452

420d – R984 830

M440i xDrive – R1 312 696

Lexus Removes The Covers Off The New LX 600

The flagship Baddie of Toyota’s luxury brand has been revealed and straight away all the details laid out about it ties it directly with the Land Cruiser 300 Series. This includes the engine, safety systems and off-road system but that doesn’t mean it’s an out-the-box copycat. Since it sold 500 000 units worldwide from its introduction year of 1999, it has stapled itself as a prominent large SUV rival against the Germans and hasn’t gone unnoticed in the market. Largely because of its rather interesting design but for the new one, it has shifted away from that game stance.

Design

It looks much like the previous generation model but a bit more organized. I’m not implying that it was not appealing to the eye but it had slight design elements that were out of place and were unnecessary. The new one sports the huge signature ‘hourglass with seven sets of floating bars’ grille without a frame. The L-shaped LED headlights are joined into the grille and directly below them are large side air intakes to improve engine cooling.

While the frontend screams presence, that cannot be said about the side profile. It is compensated by the enormous body size and the varying 18 to 20-inch wheel sizes but it’s on the side of subtlety. That can be switched from ‘down the low’ to a more ‘in your face’ look when the F-Sport spec is optioned which comes with 22-inch forged aluminium wheels and additionally an F Mesh design spindle grille with jet-black chrome grille frame and other sporty goodies in the interior and technical parts.

The body sits on a frame, the GA-F platform to be exact and it is the same one found on the Land Cruiser. Not only is it ideal for off-roading, it has also been optimized to provide a smooth and comfortable ride thanks to a 20% increase in body rigidity. It also contributes to a weight loss of 200 kilograms from the previous generation.

Interior

Stepping inside the LX you’re met with two screens: a 12.3-inch upper touchscreen for the navigation, audio and Multi Terrain Control, and a 7-inch lower touchscreen for the climate control. Integrated into the infotainment system is something Lexus calls the Human Interface Machine (HMI) which is said to provide user interaction through sight (clear display graphic), touch, and voice, being the Voice Assistant system to help control stuff like inputting destinations on the navigation, operating the media functions and other vehicle control settings.

The driver can also set his/her preferred user settings through the Interface User Profile features and it has over-the-air updates for the infotainment system.

Lexus offers what is called the Ultra Luxury package which mainly consists of the captain chair seating for the second row, and normally there would be three seats in the middle row making it a seven-seater with this option. The captain chair seats can recline up to 48 degrees, revealing a 43-inch of maximum legroom space and a footrest deploys behind the front passenger seat for maximum comfort. The seats have curved headrests, cushions and seatbacks that gently hug the head, hips and lower body of the passenger. There are two screens mounted on the rear of the front seats and the center control panel has all functions to select like massaging, wireless charging for the smartphone and it has cupholders.

Engine

Under the bonnet is the new 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo engine replacing the naturally aspirated V8. Before reliability is questioned, Toyota has stated that this engine is frugal and will be as reliable as their 5.7 litre V8, plus it boasts 409 hp (305 kW) and 650 Nm of torque and it can be located in the LX 600, the only model available at launch. It is mated to a Direct Shift 10-speed automatic transmission.

There is other techy equipment included like Electric Power Steering, Electronically Controlled Brakes, Active Height Control and Adaptive Variable Suspension. The F-Sport doubles on the equipment with things like a Torsen LSD, tuned performance dampers and a rear stabilizer. In the off-road department, the Multi Terrain Select has six modes for different driving conditions: Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock. This works hand in hand with the Multi Terrain Monitor which uses four cameras to help the driver to see around the vehicle.

Like every other modern Lexus vehicle, it comes as standard with the Safety System+ 2.5 and it includes safety features like Pre-Collision System, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) which can be activated above 30 mph and can resume from a stop, and it can accelerate, decelerate and change lanes for the driver. There is Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist to keep the car in the lane at speeds above 32 mph. Other safety systems include Intelligent High Beam Assist and Road Sign Assist.

Source: 2022 Lexus LX 600 Press Release

New BMW 2 Series Active Tourer: Larger, Packed With Tech And Hybrid Engines

Seems like the 2 Series MPV was adored by customers that BMW decided to produce a part two which looks questionable at first glance. The Active Tourer, is what the prefer to call it, belongs to the 2er family where it sits alongside the Coupe (G42) and the Gran Coupe (F44). The previous model never got a likable reaction for its appeal from most BMW fans, including myself and I’m not sure if the new one makes the cut due to its loaf-like design caused by the front-wheel drive platform. However, there are notable things to like about it such as the new interior and new curvature display.

Design

They say, “the clean, reduced surface treatment exudes sporting prowess and absurd presence”, keyword ‘absurd’ and in my own opinion that points directly to the enlarged kidney grille that looks, you’ve guessed it, absolutely absurd. It’s huge, dazzled in chrome and commands presence but not the attractive type. Although, the buck teeth are horrendous, the slim headlight design compensates for it. And the light module is not compromised because LED’s are standard whilst the Adaptive LED headlights with cornering light function is optional.

The side profile is much more composed with the contour lines making it look masculine and streamlined with the dainty creases. The wheels are sized either 16-inch or 17-inch as standard while the light wheel alloys up to 19-inches are optional. The wheel design will vary according to the trim lines which include Base spec, Luxury line and M Sport. The rear looks neat with the L-shaped taillights that are similar to those of the BMW X5.

It is significantly 32 millimetres longer sitting at 4386 millimetres and the rear tracks widened by 25 millimetres. The active grille improves the drag coefficient which is now 0.26.

Engines

Not much to talk about with the powertrains except that there are various options that have been dropped from the previous generation like the 216i, 225i, 216d and 220d. The surviving bunch all get a 19 hp (14 kW) electric motor integrated with the gearbox which is now a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s standard across the range.

The first two in the lineup are powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine and in the 218i it produces 136 hp (100 kW) and 230 Nm of torque, whilst the 220i manages 156 hp (115 KW) and 240 Nm which is down by 24 hp (17 kW) from the previous 220i because it chopped off one cylinder in the name of efficiency. Not to worry because the 223i has all four cylinders with a displacement of 2.0-litres and a turbocharger and it produces 204 hp (150 kW) and 320 Nm.

There is only one diesel engine on offer and it is a 2.0-litre turbodiesel 4-cylinder in the 218d producing 150 hp (110 kW) and 360 Nm of torque and it manages 4.8L/100 km according to the manufacturer. Two plug-in hybrid models are expected to debut late 2022 and one of them is the 230e with xDrive.

Interior

This cabin looks very different from other current BMW models because it is vastly dominated by BMW’s tablet-like displays for both the 10.25-inch instrument cluster and 10.7-inch infotainment screen. This new design is called BMW Curved Display and it first debuted in the electric iX and the 2 Series Active Tourer is the second BMW model to be revealed with it. It houses the new BMW iDrive system that introduces new graphics, Augmented Reality on Navigation, intuitive touch control and improved voice control.

The far-left edge of the infotainment screen is shaped in a hexagonal manner and that theme continues to the new steering wheel design, the digital speedometer and rev counter, and even the brake pedal. The curve and hexagon shapes add on to a futuristic ambience and speaking about futuristic stuff, the centre console seems to be floating as it does not join the dash. On it is an integrated control panel, push-to-start engine button, a small gear knob, hazard light button and a volume control function.

Creature comfort features include four USB-C ports, two-zone climate control, ambient lighting, panoramic glass sunroof and a Harmon Kardon sound system. Those are optional features with others to choose from like Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Head-up Display.

Since the 2 Series Active Tourer exited the South African market earlier than expected, it’s unlikely that the new one will come to our shores when it launches on February 2022.

Source: BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

210% Increase In EVs Searches In SA

With the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) fast increasing in leading markets across the world, it’s worth exploring how South Africans feel about battery-powered cars. Handily, an updated study conducted annually has done exactly that, capturing fascinating insights into what local buyers think of this increasingly important segment of the market.


The 2021 South African EV Buyers Survey, by AutoTrader and in partnership with Smarter Mobility Africa, shines a spotlight on the discrepancies between consumer perception and industry assumptions regarding the use and ownership of EVs.


AutoTrader CEO George Mienie released the results of the survey during his keynote address at the 2021 Smarter Mobility Africa Summit. He pointed out that data from SA’s largest digital automotive marketplace was proof that local EV appetite had grown significantly year-on-year.


“South African shoppers are actively looking for opportunities to buy electric vehicles, though the major challenge is still the initial purchase price. According to AutoTrader’s data, there has been a 210% increase in searches for available EVs in South Africa,” he revealed.

This is echoed by the number of respondents in the survey stating they were likely or very likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle in the future, which increased to a significant 70% in 2021. Still, as Mienie pointed out, cost remains one of the chief barriers to broader adoption, with the survey indicating such vehicles are still out of financial reach of around two-thirds of consumers. Interestingly, almost half of the respondents indicated they would consider purchasing a used EV over a new one, listing lower prices as the key motivating factor.


The perceived lack of national charging infrastructure, meanwhile, was again the most cited disadvantage of EV ownership, though the percentage encouragingly fell two points from 2020’s figure to 59% in 2021, just ahead of charging time (likewise down two points to 58%) in second and initial cost of purchase (55%) in third.


Despite being often anecdotally cited, range anxiety (26%) was fascinatingly way down the list of the perceived largest drawbacks of running an EV, behind the potential impact of load-shedding (38%) and inconvenient charging options (34%).


Though 75% of respondents identified BMW as a brand with an EV option in its line-up locally, Tesla intriguingly remained top of mind in terms of product availability, despite its wares still not being commercially available in SA. It’s a similar case when it comes to the most trusted EV manufacturer, with 52% of respondents selecting the Bavarian firm and an astonishing 40% opting for Tesla.


“One of the major insights identified in the report is the fact that consumer perception, sentiment and expectations have not shifted markedly in the past year. This indicates the automotive industry needs to do more to educate the consumer, as many potential buyers are simply not aware of the EV products and infrastructure available in SA. For instance, while BMW is highly rated, South Africans place their highest trust in Tesla as a brand – even though it’s not available in South Africa,” concluded Mienie.


Ben Pullen, Chairman of Smarter Mobility Africa, added “it’s great to see that many of the key metrics from the EV buyers survey are heading in the right direction, despite not a huge amount of activity around electric vehicles in South Africa during 2021. There haven’t been many new electric vehicle launches or announcements, neither have there been physical events which showcase the vehicles, yet the results are heading in the right direction. That is positive! I look forward to seeing how the results develop over the next 12 months, especially knowing that there will be new electric car launches in South Africa in 2022, we as Smarter Mobility Africa will once again run the electric vehicle road trip Africa across South Africa in April 2022, and Cape Town has officially got the first Formula E race in Southern Africa in the race calendar!”

The Defender Landmark Edition By Chelsea Truck Co.

The Chelsea Truck Company is obsessed with the Land Rover Defender as they have done various modifications to the model just because the look presents endless customization possibilities. What they focus mostly on is the enhancement of the surface look and that is evident at first glance with the Eiger Grey Metallic livery, black front and rear bumper design, 3-piece front bumper lower valance, 2-piece front bumper vents and a vented grille mask.

An eye shadow-like look, Satin Black look if you may, has been applied on the headlight surrounds of the Defender, sort of like a tactile approach. Moving to the side, you’re met with 22-inch Mondial Heavy Duty RS alloys and they are rather subtle yet stylish enough to sell the look.
Just like the Defender V8, there are Quad Performance Exhaust tailpipes but it’s not a V8 engine under the bonnet, only a 2.0-litre 300 hp (223 kW) block. And on the back is hard wheel cover with ‘Chelsea Truck’ lettering so that everyone know that this is not a Defender fresh from the dealership floor. Inside is just the colour Red, including the seats and if a part of the interior is not exactly Red, then I promise you it’s something else that’s close to that colour.

They also offer optional features to order with this special Defender and that includes: 6 seats, 360 surround cameras, heated seats, panoramic glass roof, interactive digital display, rear tinted privacy glass and Clearsight Digital Interior Mirror.

All the exterior and interior upgrades that have been mentioned are valued at £15 000 (R304 000) and the purchase price of the vehicle is £76 999 (R1 560 000). It’s only available in the 90 edition with petrol and diesel versions, and it can be ordered in either left-hand or right-hand drive.

Source: Chelsea Truck Company Landmark edition Defender

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