Saturday, 10 January 2009


Leaked! These are pictures of the new Jaguar XFR, the superformance Jaguar XF that wants to dethrone cars like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E 63/ CLS 63 AMG. It will be shown to the world officially during this week’s Detroit Motor Show.

The XFR uses a 5.0-litre V8 engine with a supercharger to churn out a massive 380kW and 625Nm of torque. It’s claimed it will run from 0 - 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds, reaching a top speed of 250km/h limited. An SV8 produces 306kW and the previous generation S Type R made 298kW.

Although 380kW is very close to what the M5 (373kW) and E63/ CLS 63 AMG (378kW) produce, this we think is a good sign of Jaguar reclaiming its past sporting and racing heritage. Plus, judging from the normal XF's abilities, the XFR should prove to be a great handler.

Differences with the XFR are evident from the first glance. You’ll notice a different front end from the normal XF which is sportier and more aggressive. The bonnet even features louvers that act like scoops for air that helps power the engine. Kit includes wider side skirts, a rear boot spoiler, 20-inch alloy wheels and larger brakes.

Inside Jaguar has kept the wilderness to a minimum. The dash is made of a square-block dark aluminium design with the “R” badge featuring on the steering wheel, on the dash as well as door sills and leather seats.

We expect to see the Jaguar XFR in Mzansi by June.

Friday, 9 January 2009


Cristiano Ronaldo crashed his red Ferrari 599 GTB yesterday morning. As you can see from the pictures, it is totally messed up and will probably not run again. The Manchester United FC and Portugal star apparently came out unhurt from the incident which happened inside a tunnel not far from Manchester Airport.

It appears Ronaldo was driving alone in the car when it crashed into a barrier in the tunnel. Police were talking to him after he managed to get himself out and reported no major injuries. He is scheduled to play this Sunday against Chelsea but we don’t know how the accident has affected him both physically and mentally. Police plan to question him regarding the incident.

The Ferrari 599 GTB has a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 457kW and is able to go as fast as 330km/h. It's one of the world's most powerful production road cars ever built. This one though, ain’t going nowhere but the scrapyard as a US$300 000 pile of metal.

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Plans are at a very advanced stage at Jaguar for the launch of its brand new completely redesigned XJ. The days when all XJs looked the same since 1968 are over. The new XJ promises to be quite a radical departure for Jaguar’s design team, led by maestro Ian Callum who designed the successful new XF. Jaguar is aiming to attract those who are currently driving cars like the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 or the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

According to Jaguar MD Mike O'Driscoll, the new XJ 'takes, we believe, the luxury saloon to new heights in terms of its technical enhancements'. Head of Marketing at Jaguar SA Tania Cleary has confirmed that the XJ is well underway and will make its public debut as early as June 2009. What we aren’t sure about is whether it will shown first at the Detroit Motor Show or in Geneva.

In terms of the XJ’s design, Jaguar is expected to have taken styling cues from the XF but make the XJ even more elegant and sportier at the same time. That has resulted in the car looking more like a coupe than a sedan. The picture you see is an artist rendering from AutoExpress.

Engines will comprise of petrol and diesel derivatives, V6 and V8 configurations. A supercharged, top of the range XJR worth over 400kW will be sent to run after cars like the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and the upcoming BMW M7. We expect it to dash from 0 – 100km/h in just under 5 seconds.

The XJR promises to truly live up to Jaguar’s new mantra of “beautiful, fast cars”.


Renault will unveil the new performance model Renault Sport Mégane at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show in a few months time. The car is based on the new Mégane which Renault revealed in 2008.

Currently the Mégane RS R26 makes a respectable 165kW and maximum torque of 310Nm from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. But most rivals have moved the game on. For instance, see how a Ford Focus ST makes 166kW, the new Focus RS has 224kW, or an Opel Astra OPC that produces 177kW and the Mazda3 MPS’s 190kW.

So it would make sense for a new Mégane RS to give us at least 190kW.

Disappointed as we were not to see it at the 2008 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS), we think, although Renault won’t confirm it, that the new Mégane hatch will land in South Africa during the mid part of 2009. It will be just in time as the new VW Golf 6 will also be arriving at just about the same time.


Audi AG has achieved its objective of selling a million vehicles by the end of 2008. Last year the company sold 1 003 400 cars around the world, a brand new record for the VW-owned brand. It is the first time in its history that Audi has surpassed the 1 million units mark.

Buoyed by healthy sales of the new A4 sedan and Avant models as well as the Q5 mid-sized SUV (launching in South Africa in 2009), Audi broke its own sales records for the 13th year in a row.

"We’ll continue to draw on this strength in the difficult year of 2009,” stated Audi board chairman Rupert Stadler. “We have ambitious long-term goals: we want to make Audi the most attractive premium brand worldwide.” Audi currently trails BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively in world sales, but it is fast catching up to its German rivals.

This year Audi of South Africa will introduce models like the facelifted A6, TTS, Q5 mid-size SUV, the 5.2-litre R8 V10 and the mighty 426kW RS6. Some of these depend on the prevailing economic climate though so they may end up being canceled.