Friday, 30 January 2009


Tell me about the features.

Although the XS nomenclature doesn’t buzz with excitement as the XT turbo, this variant is equipped extensively. I counted, that great wind blower, easy-touch window operations, a steering wheel with remote control for the radio/ 6 CD combos, reclining rear seat, cruise control, which didn’t really impress as it lacks a brake function. This is something you should consider Subaru as straying to the wrong side of the national highway limit in road declines under cruise lock is not on. There’s an options list for those who like to splurge and this can include an electric glass-sunroof, leather interior, a more powerful sound system, and more that I can’t fit in here.

This is a Subaru. How’s the drive quality?

Yet another spot of improvement has gone into the ride. Whereas the old Forester rode well, at times, on uneven caber roads, you’d swear the car was riding on stilettos with a good dose of toeing in and out. This is no longer an issue in this car. It feels planted to the road at all times and add to that, a Germanic type of cushiness over bumps or road irregularities. Being AWD ensures good levels of grip permanently regardless of road condition and once on a hurried drive through a Kwazulu-Natal village, the dense gravel tracks proved powerless to throw the Forester towards a wooden fence or a herd of cows. It just bounced into corners and curves at speeds not recommended, or witnessed by those humble souls living in territory that is very suited to this car. It’s the same story on the tarmac. Drive in a relaxed mood, eating away kilometers at leisure, you feel as if the car is with you, and not against you. Change tack and pretend you are Solberg and the effect is repeated.

Next week we conclude our 3-part feature on the Subaru Forester 2.5 XS with a look at performance. Same place, same time. Don't miss it!



Ford Motor Company headquarters in Michigan, USA, has called a loss for the third quarter of 2008. The loss amounts to US$5.9 billion which is more than the losses reported for the same period in 2007. Ford says although it is suffering heavy losses, it’s not gonna ask for the government bailout recently afforded to its compatriots Chrysler and General Motors.

Ford employs 245 000 people worldwide and owns brands such as Ford, Mercury, Volvo and Lincoln. Only recently did it sell Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors of India. Ford is currently worth US$6.3 billion which means if Patrice Motsepe sold all his assets he could buy a 33% of the company.


World Car of the Year finalists have been announced. In addition a World Performance Car of the Year list has been issued. These two awards are judged by a jury of 59 motoring journalists from around the world in a secret ballot. Interestingly the Nissan GT-R has made it into both lists. The finalists for WCOTY are:

- Audi A4 / Avant
- BMW 7 Series
- Citroen C5 Sedan / C5 Tourer
- Fiat 500
- Ford Fiesta
- Honda Jazz / Fit
- Jaguar XF
- Mazda Mazda6/ Atenza
- Nissan GT-R
- Toyota iQ
- Volkswagen Golf VI

The 2009 World Performance Car of the Year finalists are:

- Audi RS 6 Avant
- BMW 135i Coupe / Cabriolet
- Corvette ZR1
- Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
- Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG
- Mitsubishi Evo X / Evo MR
- Nissan GT-R
- Porsche 911 Carrera
- Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The top 3 finalists will be announced on the 9th of March 2009 and winners made public at the New York International Auto Show exactly a month later.


MotorAuthority have rendered these pictures of an Audi Q1. The Q1 is a small SUV based on the Audi A1, which in itself is a small car set to compete with the MINI and Alfa Romeo MiTo. Audi needs a car like the A1 in order to overtake BMW as the world’s biggest maker of premium cars, a goal it has set itself for 2014. First European customer deliveries of the A1 will take place in December 2009.

The Q1 then is a high-riding 4x4 SUV which will feature Audi’s patented quattro 4WD system. We think cheaper models may even be fitted with front-wheel-drive. A range of engines would power the Q1 including a 1.4-litre petrol TSI with power figures of 65kW, 90kW and 125kW. Diesels will also be fitted accordingly.

The earliest we think a Q1 would go on sale is in 2012 because a bigger SUV called the Q3 will have to come to market first. Q1 should take on the MINI Crossover and Q3 is a direct rival to BMW’s upcoming X1 SUV.


Thursday, 29 January 2009


Porsche will unleash the uprated GT3 at the Geneva International Motor Show in March. The new car will use a normally aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six boxer engine to produce some 320kW (435hp) which is up (15kW) 20hp from the previous model. Porsche claims a 0 – 100km/h time of 4 seconds for the GT3 and a top speed of 312km/h (194mph).

Features include PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management), updated bi-xenon headlights, more powerful brakes and traction control. This facility can be deactivated completely by drivers who are totally confident in their car control abilities.

Changes made include a new front bumper with a lower spoiler, LED lights at the back, and larger air intakes with a mesh insert. The car’s minimum price is €98,100, in the UK it’s £81,914 and America can expect to pay at least $112,200 MSRP. South African prices will be announced closer to the launch.

Check out the Porsche GT3 on video HERE or HERE.