Media 24 Ltd

Cars & Motorcycles

topCar May 2016

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
Back issue only
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R 35,50

in this issue

2 min.
and the car of the year is…

Huisrivier is earmarked as the 1.6T Sport’s handling Damascus Moment, sink or swim, pass or fail OBVIOUSLY I don’t mean South Africa’s Car of the Year, I don’t even mean TopCar’s Car of the Year. Rather I refer to Europe’s 2016 Car of the Year winner, which is of course our cover car, the new British-built Opel Astra. Every year 58 journalists from 22 different European countries vote for their favourite cars. Two of our international correspondents are on the pageant’s jury, and this year the wealth of metal vying for their kudos and ultimately the title included the new Audi A4 and Jaguar XE (both engaged in a larger local battle on page 54, don’t miss it), BMW 7 Series, Mazda MX-5 and Volvo XC90 – all of which were…

2 min.
shape shifter

It’s constructed from composites, including carbonfibre. BMW suggests that steel part presses will become obsolete at some point in the future, with rapid manufacturing and ‘4D printing’ taking a wider production role. By 4D printing, BMW means adding a moving function to 3D printed components, integrated with the car’s electronic control systems. BMW is adamant that ‘in the future, BMW drivers will still want to spend most of the time they are in their car at the wheel.’ Replacing conventional instruments and screens, the entire windscreen becomes a giant display. Parts of the interior architecture are designed to change shape, using 800 moving triangles set into the instrument panel. Likewise an intelligent mesh of triangles shift and change the shape of the body as the wheels turn. The BMW Vision Next Concept can drive…

5 min.
four stories that shook geneva

1 DS’s surprise supercar Everywhere you looked in Geneva lurked the biggest names peddling the fastest cars: Bugatti! Lamborghini! McLaren! Pagani! Pininfarina unveiled a fuel-cell-powered supercar capable of exceeding 300kph, Koënigsegg showed the 1500hp (1119kW)hybrid Regera. But the supercar from the most unlikely source was the E-Tense concept from Peugeot’s upstart premium brand DS (above). The company hasn’t let its lack of eight- or 12-cylinder supercar engines hold it back: the E-Tense is pure electric. It’s built on a carbonfibre monocoque, housing lithium-ion batteries low to drop the centre of gravity, suspended via double wishbones. The electric powertrain produces 300kW and 515Nm of instant shove, said to propel the DS from stop to 100kph in 4.5sec. The zero emissions range is up around 322km. Think this concept is all claim and no game?…

7 min.
four head honchos face the music

Wolfgang Dürheimer CEO, Bugatti and Bentley ‘Reaction to the Speed 6 was positive. I would like to do it’ We saw an ‘extended wheelbase’ new Mulsanne at Geneva. Will there be a long-wheelbase Bentayga? ‘A dealer from the Middle East has asked for a long wheelbase version. But a coupe version with the same wheelbase is our priority. The current Bentayga is already a big car!’ What’s the next major new Bentley? ‘Two possibilities. One is a production version of EXP10 Speed 6 – the concept we showed at Geneva last year. The reaction to it was overwhelmingly positive. The other option is a second version of Bentayga [the coupe]. We are defining a new segment for luxury SUVs and we know competitors are close behind us. So we want to keep setting the pace.…

2 min.
bentley sa takes on new crew

What prompted Toby Venter to acquire the Bentley distribution rights? Well, Bentley has been bracketed with Bugatti and Porsche under the VW group which certainly helped Toby make his final decision. These three brands have some degree of parts sharing and synergies so it made absolute sense. Will this acquisition have any impact on Porsche SA in terms of cannibalisation of sales? No. Our current Porsche customers also own Bentleys. As a premium brand Bentley starts where Porsche stops. The two brands complement each other. What can we expect from Bentley SA this year in terms of growth and sales? We’re essentially still a start-up business, a Greenfields operation if you will. So there’s no real expectation in terms of growth just yet and our main goal for now is to offer superior service to…

2 min.
could you just save us from oblivion?

Rakish good looks Tiny, sloping rear window helps the Levante look more like a sports car. There’s plenty of space inside: the Levante measures a whopping 5m long Definitely not a Jeep Maserati CEO Harald Wester proudly claims Levante is ‘100% Maserati’. Styling certainly is, with a trio of gills on the flanks, arcing feature lines over the rear haunches and prominent ‘Saetta’ logos on the C-pillars Sound foundations Squint and you’ll see 2011’s Kubang concept, but that had to fit around the hard points of the Grand Cherokee – since abandoned for a modified version of the Ghibli/ Quattroporte’s floorpan IT’S NOT A sports car, yet this is the most significant new Maserati in years. The Levante, Maser’s first SUV, is the car tasked with safeguarding the 101-year-old firm’s future, with some serious heavy lifting…