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topCar April 2015

Topcar provides unmissable coverage of the wide world of cars in a monthly magazine loaded with beautiful images, in-depth analysis and unbiased opinion by a passionate team of experts.

South Africa
Media 24 Ltd
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access_time3 min.
editor’s welcome

IF YOU’VE EVER driven around Cape Town’s city streets you’ll no doubt have spotted many an old-generation Ballade, Corolla and even the odd CitiGolf with their bonnets painted black. The intention, more often than not, is to mimic the carbonfibre engine covers mostly synonymous of the aftermarket tuning company Spoon. This JDMstyle (Japanese domestic market) culture has also spread as far as Jozi and KZN. Just what is it about this far-off Asian island that has local petrolheads in such a spin? The sport of drifting, along with movies such as Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift has further romanticised Japanese car culture among SA’s youth. I too remember the first time I took a friend’s dad’s first-generation MX-5 very sideways around Midvaal raceway, enjoying the untainted purity of its chassis and…

access_time4 min.
ferrari 488: is there life after 458’s death?

‘YOU HEAR THAT, Mr Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound of your death.’ So says Agent Smith in sci-fi movie The Matrix, at the pivotal moment when he attempts hero homicide via subway train. Is the naturally aspirated, high performance engine facing a similar threat of extinction? For the Ferrari 458 replacement is here, and it’s powered by a downsized turbocharged engine – in the same way that the heralded engines in BMW’s M3 and Honda’s Civic Type R made way for forced induction. The 488 GTB is not an all-new car, but it is extensively reworked. The name refers to the individual cylinder capacity of the fresh 3 902cc twin-turbo V8 – a trait shared with the 250 GTO – and references the 308 GTB,…

access_time3 min.
focus rs plumps for all four

GENUINE DOWNFORCE The new RS may look less of a caricature than before but there’s still an outsized wing and diffuser combo at the rear. Global development boss Raj Nair says it creates big downforce with minimal drag RACY ON THE INSIDE Interior boasts a flat-bottomed wheel, RS-specific instrument graphics, alloy pedals and Recaro seats as standard, with racier, shell-backed buckets an option. Gearbox is a six-speed manual RIP REVOKNUCKLE The Mk2 RS’s clever but pricey and heavy front suspension strut layout is gone. Going four-wheel drive means there’s less torque steer to quell, and there’s no need for an RS-specific wide-arch bodyshell MUSTANG ENGINE WITH MORE PONIES 2.3-litre Ecoboost four-pot from the new ’Stang has been heavily breathed on for a more free-revving power delivery. Ford won’t announce a definitive power output until final tinkering’s done…

access_time4 min.
the great le mans revival!

Then: Ford GT40 The original Ford GT40 made its race debut in 1964, won its first event in 1965 and took its first Le Mans victory in 1966 – with a one-two-three finish. And you’re still surprised Ford is planning to launch a new GT supercar to commemorate it next year? 1966 was far from the end of the story, as the GT40 went on to take three more winner’s trophies in consecutive years. It’s also responsible for podium champagne-spraying, after teetotal racer Dan Gurney covered the crowd following his win in 1967. Now: Ford GT The 2016 GT is a carbonfibre and aluminium blend of the old – the form is deliciously-updated GT40 – and the new, with Ford’s anniversary supercar featuring active torsion bar and pushrod suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, digital dials…

access_time2 min.
gt4 cayman gets 911 power

PORSCHE HAS finally done what legions of tuners have been doing for years – put a 911 engine in the back of a Cayman. As a result the Cayman GT4, Porsche’s newest GT family member, will lap the Nürburgring as quickly as a 911 GT3. Admittedly that’s a 997 GT3, rather than the latest 991 model, but 7mins 40sec is still a sensational time. And besides, in a move that will have purists in raptures, Porsche has elected to sell the Cayman GT4 exclusively with a manual transmission. Balm to many for the hurt caused by the decision to PDK-only the most recent 911 GT3. Mid-mounted partner to the GT4’s six-speed stick-shift is the 3.8-litre flat-six from the 911 Carrera S. Although detuned to 283kW (from 295), this is enough to launch…

access_time1 min.
spider: a 4c with even more light

JUST 10KG HEAVIER The 4C’s carbon structure and the Spider’s weight-saving measures, including thinner glass, mean that the Spider is a paltry 10kg heavier than the Coupe. LOSES A ROOF, GAINS A HALO The Coupe’s glass engine cover is replaced by rear buttresses and a body-coloured deck lid. Both the windscreen surround and the ‘halo’ that hides the roll-over structure can be specced in carbonfibre. LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES We’ve seen the concept, here’s this summer’s production 4C Spider with optional Akrapovic titanium exhaust, designed to liven up the droning 177kW1750cc turbo. Here’s hoping... SHINE A LIGHT ON ME Conventional headlights replace unloved segmented units, while Giallo yellow paint is new. 0-100kph in 4.5sec and 257kph means Spider matches Coupe for speed.…