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topCar October 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_time2 min.
there’s design at the heart of the suv

I REMEMBER THE MOMENT clearly, a group of us staring at the pre-production Jaguar F-Type at its international reveal some three years ago, muttering our comparisons between it and the Ferrari California, the Corvette and other random supercoupes. All within earshot of Mr Ian Callum, he who himself penned it, being the Director of Design for Jaguar. His is an impressive and long CV, so when he then strode over to mingle with the misguided Zaffer journos there was an air of tension so thick you could bludgeon it with a brick. Ian chuckled, then agreed with us saying ‘it’s human nature, we pick up lines of familiarity in a design, it’s how we evaluate every new shape or surface we come into contact with.’ Well I wonder how he…

access_time5 min.
dino v6 stars in new ferrari generation

A NEW WAVE OF Ferrari sports cars are coming, with new chairman Sergio Marchionne having sanctioned a compact, mid-engined ‘Dino’ powered by an all-new V6 engine. The Dino will be the newcomer to the re-energised prancing horse stable, which will be built on an all-new components set and share a revamped engine line-up. Having bent Fiat and Chrysler to his will, Marchionne will lose no time streamlining the complex and in places inefficient Maranello operation. Critical to this will be the new modular vehicle architecture, which will cater for all future models bar LaFerrari-style carbonfibre hypercars. This flexible architecture will continue Ferrari’s aluminium spaceframe approach, and will likely be introduced with the second-gen California in 2017. Thanks to advanced bonding techniques and a cleverly re-engineered body in white, weight will come down…

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from ferrari’s blu period

PERHAPS THE most surprising thing about the new 488 Spider is Ferrari’s choice of a nuovo Blu Corsa reveal livery, rather than a traditional red. That it is faster, stronger and more efficient – both aerodynamically and petrochemically – than the 458 Spider it replaces goes without saying. Though the degree to which it achieves these things certainly earns some appropriate gasping. The new 493kW twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 is 74kW more powerful than the 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 it replaces – resulting in 0-100kph in 3.0sec, 0-200kph in 8.7sec and a 327kph top speed. The structure is 23% stronger, which means it now exactly matches the torsional rigidity and beam stiffness of the 488 GTB coupe. Yet the Spider is 25kg lighter than before, produces 15g/km less CO2, and is being…

access_time3 min.
in the moment piloting a gt3 car through eau rouge

01 ‘Stay as close to the wall as you can’ This is the start of the Blancpain 24 Hours of Spa. I qualified in second, 0.017sec off pole position. Despite the rain I made a good start and passed the leading Audi R8 for the top position. On the run down towards Eau Rouge you run as close as you dare to the old pitwall, to set yourself up for the corner. 02 ‘Your line and timing are critical’ You turn left, then right, then run up the hill. You have to be aggressive with the first turn, the left, and use a lot of kerb. Now the most important part; the transition. Turn too early and at the crest the car will understeer, you’ll run out of racetrack and you’ll have to…

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the next big things by jaguar’s research director

‘JAGUAR WAS first to introduce Active Cruise Control. Our cars will offer increased autonomy, but we don’t want to offer a robotic device. We want to use Active Driver Assistance features to take the tedious jobs away. Trust the technology and you have more fun – when stability control was first introduced, everyone turned it off; now everyone is an F1 driver because they can carry 30 per cent more speed through a corner. > It’s a minimum of five years until we see a fully autonomous car on sale from Jaguar Land Rover, but by 2025 our cars will be able to manage chaotic traffic situations and have full contextual awareness – not just from a map, but by looking around. An autonomous car needs more than two eyes; it…

access_time5 min.
phoenix rising

DETROIT IS STILL healing. Six years after the catastrophic subprime meltdown that claimed much of the manufacturing heartland of the USA, Motor City bears the visible scars. Whole suburbs still stand empty, stray cats the only inhabitants because there are more empty homes than squatters. Skyscrapers still empty (how do you restart a skyscraper?), parts of downtown a wasteland devoid of people or businesses. When they tell you we South Africans missed the real meltdown, believe them – 30 per cent of Detroit’s population packed a car and left town, most of them within a single month. It’s a sobering experience, walking the ghost streets of failed capitalism. Yet in the Midwest a silver lining; out of those ashes rose a new industry, or at least an industry with a new…