Saturday, 13 December 2008


Ford has expanded the Ford Ranger line-up with the introduction of an automatic transmission to the 3.0TDCi Double Cab XLE 4x2 and 4x4. The 3.0-litre turbo diesel model produces 115kW at 3200rpm and has a torque peak of 380Nm at 1800rpm.

Ford says the Ranger offers a no-nonsense approach to getting the job done. It’s a rugged workhorse at heart but with all the modern conveniences and practicalities associated with passenger cars.

The electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission has closely spaced ratios that keep the engine in its power band to produce better acceleration under full throttle. Its wide overall ratio provides a combination of good off-the-line performance and efficient highway fuel economy.

The Ranger 3.0-litre's power and performance are achieved by the fuel being injected directly into the combustion chamber multiple times per cycle under extremely high pressure (1600 bar) from a common-rail pump. The technology ensures the best possible mixture of fuel and air in the cylinders, resulting in efficient combustion for high torque and good fuel economy while also reducing engine noise and vibration.

Combined with a variable geometry turbocharger that reduces turbo lag, the system increases power and torque across the driving range, ideal for powerful acceleration, carting heavy loads and negotiating treacherous off-road conditions.

The Ranger 3.0-litre XLE automatic is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 guise and comes well equipped with a variety of comfort and convenience features. The Ranger also offers a comprehensive safety package including ABS brakes, single-stage driver and passenger front airbags and driver and front passenger side airbags.

“The Ford Ranger line-up is very comprehensive and with the introduction of the new automatic offerings there really is something for everyone in our line-up,” explains Ben Pillay, Ford Marketing Manager.

Service intervals on all models are every 10 000kms, with a 5 year / 90 000km Service Plan standard across the range. Customers will also benefit from 3 years of Roadside Assistance as part of the Ford Ranger package. A 4yr / 120 000km comprehensive warranty is standard, as is a 5 year corrosion warranty.

The 4x2 XLE is priced at R310 990 while the 4x4 version costs R350 990.

Friday, 12 December 2008


The Toyota Yaris now has a new flagship, the Yaris TS. Toyota says while the flagship car is not a hot hatch, it nevertheless showcases impressive performance characteristics, especially when it comes to handling. My opportunity to test these abilities arrived just as Bainskloof Pass appeared down in the Cape where the media launch took place.

In case you don’t know, Bainskloof is one of the tightest passes around; narrow as a hosepipe, not very well-looked after as a road but great scenery and safety barrier walls. They say it has 260 turns. It is the perfect road for a small spikey performer like the Yaris TS whose suspension has been tweaked to rival the best in the business.

Powered by a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated engine, the TS produces 98kW and 173Nm of torque. While these figures are dwarfed by competitors such as Polo GTI and Clio RS, Toyota was at pains to explain the TS is not a hot hatch per se, but a range-topping Yaris that provides fans of the car more power than they’ve had before. That it looks sporty is an added bonus.

Mated to the Yaris TS is a 6-speed manual gearbox that allows the car to sprint from 0 – 100km/h in just over 9 seconds, with a top speed of close on 200km/h. This is a swift little Yaris.

A sweet package for Yaris TS buyers is the inclusion of such comforts as Bluetooth connectivity, aircon, power steering, 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, front fog lamps and seven airbags for piece of mind.

The new Toyota Yaris TS is available only in 3-door type and in only two colours, red and black. It sells for R198 900.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Ford Focus RS. Bam! That’s as quick as this car gets from 0 – 100km/h, a stated 5.9 seconds according to Ford. Finally revealed in production form after its 2008 British Motor Show appearance, the Focus RS is powered by a 2.5-litre five cylinder turbo engine, same one as found in the Focus ST/ Volvo S40 T5 but instead of 166kW, it makes a hefty 221kW and 440Nm of torque. That compares with Subaru STI’s own 221kW. Thus the RS is Ford’s most powerful hatch ever! Its top whack is limited to 250km/h.

But the Focus RS is front-wheel driven, which means as you pull off you might find a lot of wheel-spin on the front wheels, something commonly known as torque-steer. Ford insists this is not the case, that the Focus RS pulls off quite smoothly.

The car comes with a rear wind diffuser (seen under the rear bumper), 19-inch wheels, a large rear spoiler to keep it on the ground, Recaro sports seats inside, carbon fibre trim and an aluminium gear lever as well as other alumimium fittings.

Ford has not yet decided if the RS is coming to Mzansi or not but in the UK the car is priced at the equivalent of R377 000 in today’s money. Even if it came in at R477 000 it would still undercut the R499 000 the Impreza STI.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Mercedes-Benz wasn’t planning on releasing these pictures of their 2009 E-Class, but there they are! The brand new generation E-Class was supposed to be revealed only in January 2009 in pictures, with the car appearing in the metal for the first time at Geneva 2009 in March. Alas, the Internet, a place of leaks and freaks.

This time we have the leaks, for these pictures were sent out by a Mercedes-Benz employee (who remains anonymous – thank you anyway!) to show what the car looks like.

It is expected the E-Class is bigger and wider, also longer than the current model it replaces. A lot of C-Class has gone into it as well, as seen from its sharper lines and more sporty look. S-Class plays a role too, especially at the back. The new thing of LED headlights is introduced into Mercedes-Benz via E, as well as rectangular exhaust pipes nicked from the Lexus LS 460.

Engines will comprise of petrol and diesel, naturally aspirated as well as force-fed (turbo and superchargers). The E-Class AMG will carry more than 430kW of power and could be a turbocharged 6.2-litre V8 capable of 0 – 100km/h in about 4 seconds. That is the one to do battle with Audi’s new 426kW RS6 (due in Mzansi first quarter 2009) and BMW’s next M5. Variations of the E-Class are also coming, including a wagon Estate version as well as Coupe and Cabriolet body types.

The brand new E-Class should be in Mzansi at the beginning of the year 2010.



You saw the new Audi R8 V10 when the story broke. Now check out more stunning pics of this supercar. Looks rather good in red doesn’t it?

All these pictures are available on our FaceBook pages.