Friday, 24 April 2009


TOPCAR SAYS: SA’s punchiest motoring magazine, topCar, is now just a click away for web and mobile users with the launch of their new website On the modern site, petrol heads, car seekers and enthusiasts alike will find a world of automotive information, entertainment and opinion on an easily navigable, interactive platform. Visitors can also catch up on the latest breaking model news, design, concept cars and classics as well as motorsport coverage ranging from behind he scenes Formula One news to local circuit racing and rallying.

The May edition of Topcar, which is currently on sale, also includes an exclusive first drive of the Volkswagen Golf 6 GTI and a 5 600km test drive through South Africa in the most anticipated car of 2009, the four-door Porsche Panamera.

There is also a comparison between the new Merecedes-Benz E-Class, Audi's A6 and the BMW 530i, while Fernando Alonso talks about his rivals and a possible future with Ferrari.

Topcar is available nationwide at select news agents, supermarkets and service station quickshops.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


MERCEDES-BENZ SAYS: Ten 4x4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vehicles, bought in a multi-million rand deal by the Electricity Division at Ethekwini Municipality in Durban for use in the maintenance of high voltage lines, have lightened the local authority’s load…. in more ways than one!

Previously the division’s teams travelled into rough terrain in old-style utility vehicles towing trailers with technicians and workers often bouncing around with the equipment. Not only was this uncomfortable, it was also potentially dangerous considering there were no safety belts at the back of the vehicles

The advent of the converted Sprinters has changed everything - now there is a sealed, separate compartment for the equipment while team members sit buckled up in the comfortable seven-seater passenger section enjoying air-conditioning!

Manager of the High Voltage Lines section, Thokozani Kunene, said the vehicles had been in operation for a few months ferrying staff who service the lines and structures in the Ethekwini Municipality’s area which extends from Tongaat in the north to Illovo in the south and inland to Cato Ridge.

This involves a total of about 650km of high voltage line which has to be maintained on an almost continual basis to ensure power failures are kept to a minimum. This often entails physically clearing the lines of rust, corrosion and the replacement of high voltage line equipment.

Kunene explained that when they started searching for new vehicles the Sprinters had immediately impressed them. “But we needed more than a mini-bus type of vehicle so several modifications were necessary including 4x4 conversions (done in Johannesburg), individual seats, a separate compartment for tools and equipment, a bull bar, a tow bar and a roof rack for our step ladders.

“There was also a requirement for the vehicle to handle a load of three tons and more.

“We told Mercedes-Benz what we wanted and they said it was all possible. The deal went ahead and we ordered 10 of the converted Sprinter 4x4 315 CDi vehicles which are serving us handsomely today,” said Kunene.


Renault has refreshed the Clio Renault Sport which is a small car that smokes hardcore tobacco with the big boys. The car is drawing more inspiration from the brand’s Formula One outfit. Its new exterior kit includes a front splitter, front wing air extractors and a rear air diffuser that redirects the flowing air underneath the car to create more driving stability. Wheels are 17-inch wide with 215/45 tyres that help widen its stance. Twin exhaust pipes on either side complete the rear view.

When it comes to the inside Renault partnered with Recaro to make the sporty bucket seats with integrated headrests.

Powering the car is the naturally aspirated 2.0-litre 16V engine. Power is upped to 147.5kW at 7100rpm and max torque is 215Nm at 5400rpm. Renault says the new Clio RS will accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 6.9 seconds and top off at 225km/h. Average fuel consumption (town and open road) is claimed to be 8.2 litres per 100km and C02 emissions are 195g/km.

There’s no word on when Mzansi will get this new facelifted Clio RS yet but it could be before the year is over. It will replace the

Clio Renault Sport R27 Special Edition.