Friday, 2 January 2009


Volkswagen’s next Polo is due out in a couple of years time and a new wave of speculation is gaining momentum on its GTI version.

Now we know the current Polo GTI’s 110kW isn’t exactly a firecracker off a performer, especially compared to its natural rivals the Renault Clio RS and Opel Corsa OPC, both of which produce over 145kW.

According to Auto Express, the 2011 Polo GTI will use a 1.8-litre TSI to make 132kW, which of course falls way too short of high expectation. The UK leaf of VW launched a Cup Edition Polo to counter these concerns and it produced 132kW. Isn’t the SEAT Ibiza Cupra already making this kind of headway?

We truly hope this is wrong and that the 2011 Polo GTI finally lives up to the GTI badge.

Thursday, 1 January 2009


“We're proud of the many enhancements that were developed jointly by the Ford and Shelby Automobiles team last year that we've now incorporated into the new 2010 Shelby GT500. Building on what we learned to create the Shelby GT500KR, this new car offers a great combination of power, handling and braking. It is truly a special car that is a great deal of fun to drive.” - Carroll Shelby, founder of Shelby Automobiles.

In so saying Mr Shelby introduces to us one of the most powerful Ford Mustangs ever built. The car, based on the upcoming 2010 Mustang, will be revealed officially at the North American Auto Show in Detroit next week. It is fitted with a potent 5.4-litre V8 with a supercharger. Shelby produces a pounding 402kW (540bhp) from it.

No performance figures were mentioned so we’ll have to wait a week to unpack this beast a little further.

A few pictures to tantalise you in the meantime.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Jaguar is not messing around this time. For far too long the leaping cat has been playing fifth fiddle in the race for supremacy as far as styling, power, after-sales service and residual values. Lagging its German counterparts in these areas for the better part of 20 years, Jaguar has suddenly become hot property again thanks to the XF.

The year 2009 will see an additional two models added to XF alongside the existing naturally-aspirated petrol 3.0-litre V6, 4.2-litre V8 and supercharged 4.2-litre V8 SV8. First off the line is the pictured XF Diesel S with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel of not one but two turbos for a maximum power output of 202kW (271bhp) and mammoth torque rated at 600Nm! Its nearest competitor is the twin turbo diesel BMW 535D (not sold in Mzansi) that produces 580Nm, 20Nm short on the snazzy kitty. On take-off Jaguar claims a 0 – 100km/h time of 5.9 seconds for the British diesel saloon.

First driving impressions on the Jaguar XF Diesel S and hopefully the superformance XF-R will come in March 2009 after we put the two through their paces. These are some of the highly anticipated Jaguars expected in 2009, including the all-new, radically-designed super executive sedan, the XJ.

Monday, 29 December 2008


Autistic children who attend Quest School in South End, Port Elizabeth, are travelling safely to and from school every day, thanks to Hi-Q Walmer Park’s donation of new tyres for their bus.

Quest School Principal Joan Jorritsma requested assistance this year when the bus was due for a roadworthy test and desperately needed a new set of tyres if it was to pass the requirements. The bus is also used to transport the children to outings and to run errands. Quest is the only school of its kind in the Eastern Cape province. It receives a limited government grant and many of its 61 learners cannot afford to pay their fees.

“I have recommended the Goodyear G22 as it is an extremely popular design that has been used extensively within the taxi industry over many years. The G22 has a history of delivering good mileage and has a superb safety record,” said Pieter Bienedell, owner of Hi-Q at Walmer Park.

Indeed, after the fitment at Hi-Q, Joan said the school bus was running “like a dream again”.

“The vehicle’s last set of Goodyear tyres covered 54 807 kilometres over a period of three years and seven months.

“We thank Hi-Q for the new tyres. Your caring for our learners and gesture of goodwill is highly appreciated. It is concerned businessmen or individuals like you who make all our efforts and hard work, on behalf of very special children, worthwhile,” said Jorritsma.

The school’s 61 learners are divided into ten classes with six children per class receiving very intense and individualised attention. Not to mention lots of love.


Tata is facing what cannot be described as “nano” challenges. After an extensive land dispute with farmers in Singur, India, over what they described as unfair compensation given for their land, Tata abandoned the US$350 million Nano manufacturing factory.

Then in October 2008 at the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) we were told that the US$2 500 Tata Nano would be built and keep its promise as the world’s most affordable motor car.

At JIMS, Tata said production would move to Tata’s existing factory in Pantnagar in the north. But because of the factory delays, the company will fall far short of annual production target of 100 000 units, meaning deliveries will also be late in India, Africa, Asia and South America where the car was meant to start selling before elsewhere. Tata will have to expand its production facility in order to accommodate Nano production.

Hopefully there is no more holding back production.