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category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

topCar November 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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the lofty quest for car-dom

I REMEMBER THE DAY as if it was yesterday. 1998, I was young and impressionable, and when I asked my art director at the time, a youngish guy himself, why his personal vehicle of choice was an Isuzu KB (in beige) his reply seemed so insightful. ‘Why would I buy a bakkie from a company who makes cars when I can buy one from a truck manufacturer?’ Of course I knew nothing about the modern motorcar at that point in my life, but his reply brought about a revelation, an epiphany. I’m cloudy on what it was exactly, I only recall it now because I think it is morbidly ironic since today every single bakkie on the market has grown increasingly into a saloon on stilts, with the added perks…

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porsche on an electric mission

THE MISSION E is a 448kW all-electric 800-volt four-door sports car – a bit like a squashed Panamera, but with a stealthy swagger that turns heads. Especially in its matte-white paint job with white and black carbon alloys and neat detailing such as a full-width LED lighting bar for rear lights. And those rear doors are suicide hatches, revealing a 2+2 cabin. But don’t go mistaking this for a 911 (despite that echo in the rear window line)... this is an entirely new kind of Porsche, one to challenge Tesla and other EV upstarts. This is no econo-box: it’ll lap the Nurburgring in less than eight minutes. Porsche claims the Mission E will pass 100kph in ‘less than 3.5 seconds’, dashing past 200kph in just a dozen seconds. Top speed meanwhile…

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tiguan dressed for success

THERE ARE hardly ever any outright surprise debuts at a motor show these days, but the all-new Volkswagen Tiguan came pretty close. The first images appeared online just hours before the newcomer was driven onto the stage at the VW Group’s multi-brand extravaganza on the eve of the show. Sandwiched between the batty Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept and Porsche’s spectacular Mission E, the second-generation Tiguan was a welcome dose of reality clothed in perfectly reworked proportions and sophisticated style. Clock that shorter bonnet, fuller surfaces and planted stance. On looks alone it stands every chance of at least matching the success of the original, of which 2.64 million units were built. New Tiggy is the first SUV to ride on the group’s MQB platform as enjoyed by Golf 7. This…

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meet the new prius

1 Major chassis upgrade When it comes to B-roads, the Prius has always been firmly Z-list. To change that, the new one will be first Prius to be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture Platform. It delivers a lower centre of gravity and 60% increase in rigidity thanks to the use of high-strength steels. The claim is tight handling without having to suffer brutally stiff suspension. 2 Double wishbones! Building on the TNGA chassis, Prius 4 ditches its boring old torsion-beam rear end for sporty-sounding double wishbones that produce ‘one-third the level of shock when driving on uneven roads compared to the current Prius’. Also promised: reduced body roll in corners and better straight-line stability between them. Not promised: Caterham-catching ability. 3 Next gen hybrid power Toyota hasn’t released power and performance figures yet…

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we hear

BENTLEY should smash the 15000 units barrier next year, thanks to the Bentayga SUV’s 3600 projected sales. While it launches with a W12 (read more on p70), we hear three other powerplants will grow volume further: 4.0 V8 petrol and diesels, plus a plug-in hybrid mated to a V6 or V8. In 2016, the facelifted Mulsanne arrives, with an enhanced grille, restyled headlamps and bumper intakes. Just 50 to 100 Gran Cabrios may follow in 2017. But the main event is the next-gen Continental GT, to be unveiled in 2017. Adopting the Porsche-engineered MSB platform does wonders for the handling, with its front/mid-engined layout. Weight, rigidity and crash protection all improve. The engine line-up will grow with the Bentayga’s diesel and plug-in options. It should be a looker too, styled…

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into the future what nissan’s z-car did next

REMEMBER THE Nissan iDX concepts from 2013? A pair of accessible rear-wheel-drive coupes so perfectly formed they spoke deeply to the petrolhead of the soul. Sadly, despite a wildly positive generation-bridging reception, there’s no buisness case, as there aren’t enough potential buyers to justify the bespoke platform required. Since Nissan likes to think of itself as a sports car company, this has left it in a bit of a jam. Enter the Gripz aka, ‘get the kids interested in cars again, round two’. Another concept, but one that builds on the stupendous success of Qashqai and Juke, and thus could get a free platform ride from the second-gen version of the latter. That’s a could; is there a should? The premise takes high-riding 2+2 crossover practicality, with all the access and visibility…