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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

GENERAL MOTORS POSTS BILLIONS IN PROFIT



General Motors has announced third quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $1.5 billion (about R13 billion), or $0.89 per fully diluted share including the impact of special items, which reduced net income by $0.1 billion and diluted earnings per share by $0.04.  In the third quarter a year ago, GM’s net income attributable to common stockholders was $1.7 billion (R14.8 billion), or $1.03 per fully diluted share.  


Net revenue in the third quarter of 2012 was $37.6 billion (about R326 billion) compared with $36.7 billion a year ago.  Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) adjusted was $2.3 billion (almost R20 billion) compared with $2.2 billion a year ago. 

“GM had a solid quarter because customers around the world love our new vehicles and we’re also seeing green shoots take hold on tough issues like complexity reduction, pensions and Europe,” said Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.  “We are going to keep playing offense with growth products like the Chevrolet Onix, Opel Mokka and Cadillac ATS and continue to systematically address business risks.”   

Senior Vice President and CFO Dan Ammann added, “While we still have a lot of work to do, especially in Europe, it is encouraging to see our results begin to reflect the discipline we are bringing to bear on the overall business.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

AUDI S4s CLOSE SEASON WITH CHAMPIONSHIP




A very wet Kyalami race closed the 2012 season for the Audi S4 quattro competitors. With fading light and rain falling ever-harder, Michael Stephen, Melvill Priest, Tschops Sipuka and Gennaro Bonafede contested race three of the day, driving hard for the final chequered flag of the year.

The action in the Bridgestone Production Car championship races was its usual intense pace, with drivers doing battle in an effort to dominate proceedings on the day.

For Stephen (A1 – Engen Xtreme / Tsogo Sun) the last race meeting of the year was a formality as he had already clinched the championship at the penultimate round of the season. That didn't stop him from aiming to produce one of his best performances this year.

“I'm glad we wrapped it up in Cape Town,” says Stephen. “There were a couple of jump starts behind me in that first race and I fell back to eighth but fought back to fifth when a tyre delaminated and I went into the pits. The second race I started at the back and had an enjoyable race, picking off the drivers one by one to finish third.“

“The final race; rain; four-wheel drive; it was my territory – but on the warm-up start I broke a sideshaft so it was a bit treacherous with three-wheel drive. We have wrapped up our second championship in a row now, so it is still a good race weekend.”

Stephen is not the only one of the Audi S4 quattro racers with reason to celebrate. For Bonafede (A32 – Ferodo Racing) the Kyalami event saw him deliver his best result of the season – after overcoming initial setbacks.

“We qualified as the second-fastest Audi S4 quattro here this weekend,” says Bonafede. “The first race was a bit of a bad start and we only finished in eighth. The car wouldn't start for the second race and we diagnosed a broken fuel pump – which we replaced thanks to Michael Stephen.”

“Obviously we missed the second race, and I had been keeping an eye on the sky all day, just hoping for some rain. In the end the conditions were so bad I was aquaplaning everywhere, even with four-wheel drive. When I went off in Sunset I just kept my foot down and skated through the kitty litter and caught the race leader within that lap.”

Bonafede not only caught the race leader, he passed him to claim the race victory – his first in the Audi S4 quattro and a positive step in his move to a full championship season in 2013.

For Tschops Sipuka (A2 – Engen Xtreme / Tsogo Sun) the final round of the championship saw him fighting for position, with a third place in race three – the most challenging of the races – his best result of the day.

For Melvill Priest (A7 – Mueller Sports Medicine) the last round of the season also proved to be a tough event. With a strong performance at the penultimate round he was aiming for another good showing at Kyalami. Things did not go as planned though and he had to settle for a fourth place in race three as his best performance of the weekend.

With a long championship campaign behind them, the Audi S4 quattro teams return to the workshop and prepare for another exciting season in 2013. Competition amongst the Audi S4 quattro racers for who will claim the next title will make the coming season a nailbiter.


STORY BY AUDI

JAYDE KRUGER IS 2012 FORMULA VOLKSWAGEN CHAMP!




Jayde Kruger is the Formula Volkswagen champion for 2012. Kruger wrapped up the championship at the penultimate round, with the final event of the season serving merely to cement his dominance this season.

For Kruger and his team this is the third time they have won the title and victory this season make it a consecutive title as they have won the 2011 and 2012 season. Kruger's championship title is made all the more significant as the season started slowly while the team worked on finding sponsors.

“By mid-season we got the car sorted out and also the standing starts,” says Kruger. “We didn't realise how important the start issue was. Just our first race at this event showed that a good start is even more important than a good qualifying.”

“My first season in Formula Volkswagen we only finished about eighth, but in season two we won it. A combination of the team and driver confidence is important,” says Kruger. “You also need to understand that when you race a series like this you are racing the best single-seater racers in the country – you're not going to go somewhere else and find better.”

For Kruger a consecutive championship victory has not been easy, but has been especially rewarding.

“Consistency and the reliability of the car have been important this season,” says Kruger. “It has been a good season, any time you win it is a good season, but we've done well as a team and achieved for our sponsors as a result.”

In the qualifying session at the final round it was Simon Moss (38 – Southern Sun / Terry Moss Racing) who proved fastest. Moss has claimed second in the championship fight and set the pace at the finale with a time 0.56 of a second faster than the champion.

The racing between Kruger and Moss on the day was no less intense than usual with Moss claiming the first race victory, followed by Kruger and Nicholas van Weely (87 – Anglorand) in second and third. Moss was, however, penalised a finishing position for overtaking under yellow, handing the victory to the champion.

Race two saw the defending champion penalised for a jump start so Kruger finished in sixth, leaving the race victory to Moss with Van Weely second and Tato Carello (24 – Lindsay Saker Edenvale) in third. These results gave Moss the overall victory for the day with Van Weely claiming second and Kruger in third.

With the season complete the Formula Volkswagen racers will enjoy an off-season that will provide the opportunity to assess their results for the year and provide an opportunity for some extended time in the workshop getting their single-seater race cars up to spec for their 2013 campaign.


STORY BY VOLKSWAGEN

SUBARU'S HENNIE GROENEWALD TAKES OVERALL VICTORY



Hennie Groenewald took overall victory at the final round of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship at Khayalami, bringing a fitting close to the Subaru WRX STI hatchback’s racing career.

The Sasolracing driver claimed a dominant win, adding a 5th and 2nd place overall to his scorecard for the day. Richard Pinard had his most enjoyable race meeting of the year in the second Sasolracing Subaru but his efforts were not reflected on the results sheets.

The team was hopeful of retaining second overall in the Production Car Championship.


“It was a difficult race”, explained Hennie on Race 3.  “The car was aquaplaning down the main straight.  I could hold Gennaro off for most of the lap but I fell off the road down the mineshaft and could hear in my mind how Carel was chastising me for losing second in the championship”, he laughed.  “It was risky out there but it paid off for the team”.

Reflecting on the season, SP Race Engineering Team Principal Carel Pienaar said: “The highlight for me was the Zwartkops meeting in May when we achieved a clean sweep of pole, all the fastest laps and all the race wins, which is something that has never been achieved in Production Car racing before.  Our sheer consistency kept us in the championship hunt at the start of the year as we got to grips with some strange technical situations with the car.  Hennie had the most number of wins this year, crossing the line first on 8 occasions compared to Michael Stephen’s 7 and the BMW drivers with 5 each”.

“My low point has been the rather sinister deals done in production cars and the rules that are not adhered to.  As team principal, I am going to force the administrators to clean up the series”, he warned. 

“We are building two new Subaru WRX STI sedans for 2013 so there will be no rest for SP Racing”.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SUZUKI SA UPDATES BIG DADDY GRAND VITARA






Suzuki Auto South Africa has announced a series of updates to its popular Grand Vitara compact SUV. The Grand Vitara has already established an enviable reputation for is authentic, low range-based 4x4 capability, combined with robust quality and reliability.
 

The updates are aimed at augmenting the cosmetic appeal of the all-terrainer, while also adding greater value by offering two distinct specification levels – Dune and Summit - with pricing adjusted accordingly.

FRESH NEW APPEARANCE
The most obvious changes are to the front end of the Grand Vitara, where a revised grille adds a stronger contemporary flavour to the compact SUV’s styling. Also new is the front bumper, which incorporates revised fog lamps and a more aggressive lower air intake.

The latest Suzuki Grand Vitara also rides on new, stylish alloy wheels, executed in 17-inch and 18-inch sizes, depending on model, while Gaia Bronze pearl metallic is being introduced as a new exterior colour. Inside, a new black fabric now adorns the seats and the door panel inserts.

The result is a cleaner and more distinctive visual appearance, while retaining the Grand Vitara’s poised and powerful presence

TWO SPECIFICATION LEVELS
The changes to the Grand Vitara coincide with the introduction of two new
specification levels. The new Grand Vitara Dune retains all the technical and dynamic benefits of the legendary compact SUV, but at a value-added price.

Standard on the Dune are the new 17-inch alloy wheels, with a disc-type half wheel cover for the tailgate-mounted full size alloy spare wheel.

The Dune’s comprehensive standard equipment array features a FM Stereo/AM CD receiver with MP3 playback function and speed-sensing volume adjustment, electric windows front and rear, remote central locking, automatic air-conditioning and cloth seat upholstery.

On the safety front, the Dune comes equipped with all-disc ABS brakes, front, side and curtain airbags, front and rear head restraints, and five inertia reel seatbelts, with the front belts featuring pre-tensioners and load limiters. Isofix rear child seat anchors are standard.

The more upmarket Grand Vitara Summit is even more comprehensively equipped. It rides on 18-inch alloys, and the full size alloy spare wheel gets a full cover adorned with the Suzuki logo. A sunroof and chrome side mouldings are also part of the standard execution.

The Summit benefits from the auto-sensing HID headlights with headlight washers and automatic headlight levelling, while front fog lamps are standard, too.

The interior specification includes cruise control with steering wheel-mounted switching, keyless starting and a six-dix in-dash CD receiver with MP3 playback and speed-sensing volume control. Leather seat upholstery is standard.

TRIED AND TRUSTED DRIVETRAIN
The Grand Vitara 2.4 models feature a four-cylinder, 2 393 cc powerplant with twin overhead camshafts and VVT variable valve timing to produce 122kW of maximum power at 6 000 rpm. The torque peak of 225Nm is achieved at 4 000 rpm. Both trim levels offer a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions.

In manual transmission trim, the Grand Vitara accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a brisk 11.7 sec, and achieves a 180 km/h top speed. The automatic version covers the 0 to 100 km/h dash in 12.0 sec, while top speed comes to 170 km/h.

Combined-cycle fuel consumption figure for the manual and automatic Grand Vitara models comes to 8.9 litres/100 km and 9.9 litres/100 km respectively, with associated CO2 emissions ratings of 212 and 234 g/km

Unlike most compact SUVs, the Grand Vitara is a true 4x4 all-terrainer, with an advanced all-wheel drive system that incorporates a low-range transfer case and convenient, electronic switching between 4x4 modes.

The system employs a torque-sensing centre differential that can vary power between the front and rear axles depending on road conditions and driving style. For more challenging terrain, the centre differential can be locked to further boost traction and stability.

In extreme off-road conditions, the transmission's transfer case can be used to select low-range mode, to further boost all-terrain tractability, climbing capability and overall traversability.

Also contributing to the Grand Vitara's legendary all-terrain talent is its 200 mm ground clearance, short front and rear overhangs, long-travel suspension, and rugged integrated ladder frame monocoque chassis.

The chassis isn't only tough and durable, but provides a rigid platform for the Suzuki's all-independent suspension. The latter sees a front MacPherson strut configuration, with coil springs and anti-roll bar, coupled to a multi-link rear system.

The suspension provides a perfect mix of control and comfort, with controlled and smooth responses to a wide variety of driving conditions. Ride comfort remains impressive, even on uncompromising terrain, while the overall rigidity of the chassis ensures close and satisfying communication between car and driver.

PRICING
The retail pricing of the updated Suzuki Grand Vitara range has been revised to reflect the changes in specification, and the two new model derivatives.

Grand Vitara Dune MT (R298 900)
Grand Vitara Dune AT (R313  900)
Grand Vitara Summit MT (R358  900)
Grand Vitara Summit AT (R373  900)



STORY BY SUZUKI

AUDI S6 AND S7 SPORTBACK BLAST INTO MZANSI









Audi’snever-ending quest for the top spot in premium brands in South Africa got a boost recently with the release of their entry-level Sports cars, this time in the C and D segment. They’re not as fast, bespoke or terrifying as the iconic Audi RSs, but the new S6 and S7 won’t disappoint either.


As Audi put it, the S range is one up on their S-line cosmetic range, throwing in for extra dough a bespoke and faster engine. But do the number Series of BMW or the consonant Classes of Mercedes-Benz need to be worried?

Audi S6
Off the bat, this car is comfortable, quick and easy to live with. It’s easier to live with at least than the monstrous S8 which we’ll get to in another article.

While there is no direct competitor for the S6, you’ll no doubt have a BMW 5 Series or an E-Class of some description in mind when buying, but here’s what the S6 offers.

Firstly they’ve added some new bumper treatment to go along with the familiar S model’s pronounced sille. In the back there are 4 tailpipes to ward off any would-be robot racers, and an integrated rear-spoiler

The engine in both the S6 and the S7 is a monstrous V8 Twin Turbo producing 309kW and 550Nm. That’s good for a 0 – 100km/h in the S6 of 4.8 seconds, according to Audi.

Getting in to the S6 is a pleasant enough experience, albeit a bit predictable and plain, that is of course if you’ve already owned or sat in an Audi. Everything’s quite commonplace and recognisable, and for that we can’t commend or criticisethe German brand. Don’t expect any shocks in the cabin is all.

The drive is comfy, while the steering is a tad light, but the balance on the S6 can only be matched by its much bigger brother, the S8.

AUDI S7
Immediately as you get in to the S7, the differences between it and the S6 are stark. Surprising since they both enjoy the same V8 Twin Turbo engine.

Two things will immediately jump out at you: the steering on the S7 is much, much heavier than the S6, and you’re treated to a symphony of V8 throat exercises which you don’t get in the S6.

The steering’s not too heavy, it just means that you’re going to be working a lot harder while driving at pace in the S7. It’s a good feeling. Like you actually matter to the cars desire to run off the road in to oncoming traffic.

The soundtrack of the S7 is amazing, and you’ll find yourself accelerating in short bursts just to show off the lungs on the car. Even more impressive is that Audi have their Cylinder on Demand system at work in these models. The system deactivates four of the eight cylinders at low load and certain driving situations, reducing fuel consumption by up to 10 percent (its 9.7 litres in the S6 and S7). When in V4 mode, the active noise control system (ANCS) is activated, which counteracts unwanted noise by broadcasting targeted cancellationsounds into the vehicle interior via the sound system’s loudspeakers. Bleh! That last bit was a bit of a mouthful, but you get the idea.

But it’s the slope of the S7 that turns men into swoony Shakespearean actresses. The appeal of the Sportback is as unexplained as why George Bush got two terms in office. And the fact that it nestles itself home in a rear spoiler that pops up at over 120km/h? Well that’s just gravy.

Pricing
Audi S6: R834 600
Audi S7 Sportback: R919 600

Sunday, October 21, 2012

VOLVO V40 LAUNCHES IN MZANSI






I believe it was one hit wonder Mika who sang that big girls are beautiful. Well the new Volvo V40has plenty of cushioning for the pushin’ – especially for those on foot, thanks to Volvo’s world-first pedestrian airbag. We drove it its Mzansi launch.


Curvaceous, sleek and striking, the new V40 is a far cry from its insipid predecessor of the 1990s which might have scored high for occupancy safety, but not much on the excitement scale. It’s a transformation akin to the taciturn girl from primary school who blossomed into the bombshell every boy wanted to take to the matric dance in high school.

Volvo has their sights set on the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class; although the latest generations of those models have already been released abroad, they’re taking some time to arrive locally – the Volvo certainly has time on its side, for now. But apart from that, the newcomer is competent in most areas and there’s no doubt that it has the substance to give its German counterparts a real fight.

Since the demise of SAAB, Volvo has been tasked with being the bastion for Swedishautomotive engineering and even though they’ve been adopted by Chinese conglomerate, Geely, the V40 holds onto that ineffable Scandinavian charm. Inside you’ll find a “floating” centre console with an uncluttered, user-friendly layout. Tasteful surface materials and trim pieces are successful in achieving the premium ambience buyers in this segment expect.

Rear space is adequate, but if you’re a family of four about to embark on a holiday trip, boot space is going to disappoint. We were enamoured by features like the digitized instrument panel and special cabin lighting; allowing you to “get the mood right” like Johnny Gill, with a choice of ambient colours including a very porno purple and a cheerful yellow.  

Buyers more attune to driving dynamics are going to be pleased with this one. It feels incredibly balanced and doesn’t shy away when the road gets twisty. A responsive, accurate steering and clunky short-throw gear-shifts contribute to an immersive driving experience. The V40 is available with a standard six-speed manual transmission or the Geartronicautomatic ‘box, which dispatches shifts with immediacy and smoothness.

There’s an engine to suit a variety of tastes and budgets in the range; all are turbocharged. This scribe’s top picks are the T3 (110kW), T4 (132kW) and the diesel D3 (110kW). They’re effusive and more importantly in these austere times, they’re economical. If you like a bit of go, steer clear of the entry-level diesel D2 derivative. This 84kWpropels the V40 with the enthusiasm of a chain-smoker running the Comrades Marathon. The hot 184kW T5 model will be launched in 2013.

Prices start at R281 200 for the entry-level T3Essential model. The T4 Elite; with greater specification comes in at R330 700. It’s reasonable when you consider who the V40 is competing against, although we doubt the potent T5 model will be much of a success, with a hefty price tag of R373 300 – there’s just more value to be had with a Volkswagen Golf GTI or the new Ford Focus ST.

An array of extras and customisation options are available; but you do pay the price of course: features like the pedestrian airbag are not standard.

Certainly, it’ll ultimately come to brand preference, yet Volvo has always offered competent alternatives to the Germans – and it’s no different with the V40, which satisfies the criteria of excellent build quality, refinement, an engaging drive and aesthetic charisma– rather excellently.

STORY BY BRENWIN NAIDU

FORD FIESTA SHOULD PULL LIKE MAGNET






The sleek and stylish Ford Fiesta just got an extra dose of flair with the introduction of the Limited Edition Fiesta Magnet. Just 75 models will go on sale in November, but dealers will already start taking orders for the special model.

The Fiesta Magnet stands apart from the crowd with its up-rated performance credentials, unique interior and exterior styling elements and connected mobility features.

Powered by a 1.6-litre Duratec Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) petrol engine, the Magnet boasts improved performance credential with power increasing from 88kW to 99kW and torque output up from 152Nm to 160Nm. The racier hatch also features a specially designed sports suspension to complete the dynamic package.

With looks to match its performance intentions the Magnet sports body-colour front and rear bumpers with side-skirts and aerofoil, rocker-panel mouldings and a sporty rear spoiler, available in any colour you want, as long as it’s black. Further details unique to the Magnet’s exterior appearance are a unique front grille surround, painted fog lamp rings, halogen projector headlamps with black bezel and privacy glass on rear side windows and tailgate glass. To complete the look, it rides on black 17” alloy wheels.

Inside the cabin the exclusive treatment continues with the addition of black leather sports seats with silver stitching and seat heaters in the front seats. The steering wheel, with gloss black spoke shells, is similarly finished in black leather and silver stitching, while alloy pedal capping’s, front and rear Magnet door mats and a heated windshield complete the stylish interior atmosphere.

Already equipped with impressive features including heated power mirrors with integrated indicators, remote central locking, , power windows, cruise control and  Electronic Air Temperature Control (EATC), the Magnet offers all the creature comforts one would desire together with an impressive In Car Entertainment (ICE) system. The Magnet’s ICE system features Bluetooth with Voice Control, in combination with steering wheel, audio and cruise control buttons, giving one the freedom to connect on the go.

As with all models in the Fiesta range, the Magnet is equipped with exceptional safety features. An Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard across the entire Fiesta range. EBD automatically varies the amount of force applied to each of a vehicle's brakes based on road conditions, speed and loading to maximise stopping power while still maintaining control of the vehicle.

The Magnet also comes equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Traction Control, seven airbags consisting of dual-front, dual-side, curtain and driver knee airbags, Driver and Passenger belt minders and Seatbelt pre-tensioners. Additional convenience to the safety package extends to rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and automatic headlamps.

The Ford Fiesta range is offered with a 4-year / 120 000km warranty and 4-year / 60 000km service plan. Service intervals are staggered at 20 000km intervals for this petrol derivative. Customers will also benefit from 3-years of Roadside Assistance and a 5-year corrosion warranty.
The Fiesta Magnet will go on sale for R229 000.


STORY BY FORD

Sunday, October 14, 2012

MINI DROPS WRC EFFORT


MINI has officially become the first team to bite the European recession bullet by announcing its withdrawal from the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at the end of the 2012 season. This was MINI’s second year at WRC under the BMW stable.


“MINI will abandon its works involvement in the WRC at the end of the 2012 season,” said Dr Kay Segler, Senior Vice President MINI Business Coordination and Brand Management. “By the end of the season WRC Team MINI Portugal will have competed in every rally in 2012. As such, in accordance with FIA regulations, we will have achieved the WRC homologation for the MINI John Cooper Works. In doing so, we would have achieved the prerequisites to allow those interested to continue to run the car in the WRC on a customer rallying basis.”

Segler says MINI will continue working with Prodrive, its WRC partner, to develop its 1.6-litre turbo engine

Saturday, October 13, 2012

2013 PORSCHE CAYENNE TURBO S BREAKS COVER






Porsche announced the availability in Europe of the 2nd-generation Cayenne Turbo S, based on the Cayenne range. The new car is the most powerful SUV on Porsche’s menu, putting out more power than the 368kW “normal” Turbo through the same 4.8 twin turbo V8. As a consequence it goes even faster than before.


Exactly how much power are we talking here? Well, there’s the kiloWatt version, which is now 410. Then there’s Newton metres, measured at 750. All this goes to all four wheels via the 8-speed Tiptronicgearbox with paddleshifts behind the steering wheel. In the end, power says it will scoot off in an away direction, reaching 100km/h in a time of 4.5 seconds. This being a Porsche means it doesn’t have the burden of a speed limiter, and can thus go as high as 282km/h. Dare you to try that on Mzansifreeways…at the same time, they say it returns only 11.4 litres per 100km.

Lookswise the Cayenne Turbo S runs on 21-inch alloy wheels that are unique to this car. You also see half high-gloss black side mirrors, different air inlet grilles, and a special roof brake light cluster.

Interior features a leather package in combos of either black & Carrera red, or something called black & Luxor Beige. Carbon fibre and brushed aluminium bits are also evident around the cabin, thus accentuating the SUV’s extra sportiness.

In Mzansi the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S will arrive in early 2013, possibly in January or February. Price is unknown at this point, but we’d advise a cheque for R2 million. Just in case.

SPIED: 2013 BMW M6 GRAN COUPE




It was always inevitable that the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe would spawn an M version. It was only a matter of time. Now confirmation has come through in the form of these spy pictures snapped by the okes at Bimmerpost. The four-door coupe, BMW’s first, is apparently set to hike power up from the normal 412kW.


Using the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol to thrust forward, the M6 Gran Coupe is speculated to wield over 430kW, with a suitable 0 – 100km/ time of just 4.2 seconds or so. Quite impressive if you consider its size and the fact that it carries four or five people, depending on configuration and their body sizes. Comparatively speaking, the Porsche Panamera Turbo does same in 4.0 seconds, while the Panamera Turbo S is even quicker.

We’ll be seeing the BMW M6 Gran Coupe in South Africa in 2013. Prices have not been set yet, but we reckon put aside something around R1.5 million.

GOLD USAIN BOLT SPECIAL EDITION NISSAN GT-R ANNOUNCED


The world’s fastestman and one of the world’s fastestcars have formed a partnership. The NissanGT-R Bolt edition was announced as a once-off special piece created in honour of a new marriage between Nissan and Usain Bolt. Bolt, the World 100m and 200m record holder and reigning Olympic champion in both events, used to drive a BMW M3 bought for him by his sponsors Puma.


We aren’t sure where the M3 is now, but GT-R doesn’t seem like a bad replacement at all to us, especially given its 405kW of power and a claimed 0 – 100km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds. Bolt on the other hand, goes from 0 – 100 metres in 9.58 seconds, faster than any other athlete has ever gone on two tekkies before.

The car will be auctionedoff, with the proceeds going to the Usain Bolt Foundation charity in Jamaica. In terms of making it worth the winning auction’s while, Nissan bolted on (see what I did there) Bolt’s signatureand bespoke interior fittings finished in real gold. Later on apparently, another special edition GT-R will start production to go on sale in markets where the car is sold, like South Africa. No details on that car yet.

Friday, October 12, 2012

CHEVROLET SA UPDATES LUMINA AND UTE V8









General Motors South Africa has introduced an upgrade to the Chevrolet Lumina sedan and Lumina Ute. The refreshed Lumina package for these two iconic V8 muscle cars that occupy a unique slot in the South African market provides for enhanced ride and handling as well as improved braking.

First up on the list of improvements is the introduction of the latest Performance Sport Suspension package for the Lumina. Stiffer stabiliser bars are utilised with this package together with dampers that have been fine tuned to offer improved vehicle ride and handling.

The front brakes are revised with four-piston, two-piece Brembo aluminium callipers now fitted. These work together with massive 355mm diameter pillar-vented discs for improved cooling and durability.

To improved handling package is topped off with 19” high-strength alloy wheels. Ultra high performance low profile tyres provide an exceptional connection with the road with an outstanding level of grip available.


A minor cosmetic change is the addition of a chrome belt line on the sedan variants.

The Chevrolet Lumina’s muscle car reputation is derived from its 6.0-litre V8 all aluminium engine that produces a maximum of 270kW and a massive 530Nm of torque. This is achieved with reasonable economy thanks to the advanced electronic control of the multi-point fuel injected engine. Drive is via either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Where the automatic transmission is specified power is limited to 260kW.

The ample power and torque of this flagship model in the South African Chevrolet range is matched by impressive specifications. Full executive level trim on both the sedan and Ute includes: leather seats; dual zone climate control air conditioning; power windows and side mirrors; sports contoured seats with 4-way electronic adjustment and lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat; and sports type alloy pedals. A driver information centre provides instant trip information for the driver.

Safety features include a six-airbag system, including roof airbags, on both the sedan and the Ute as well as ABS braking with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). Traction control and cruise control are fitted across the range. Handling is enhanced by the advanced linear control suspension system.

Central locking with auto-lock is a standard feature as is an alarm immobiliser system. The alarm system includes a panic alarm.

The Lumina and Lumina Ute are covered by a 5 year/120 000km warranty with Roadside Assistance.

A 3 year/60 000km Service Plan is included in the purchase price. Service intervals are set at 15 000km or 1 year.

STORY BY CHEVROLET
//PART 2