Cars & Motorcycles

topCar October 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.
‘get the balance right’

The time Honda rocked the supercar establishment THAT WAS THE name of Depeche Mode’s 1983 hit track and it opened with the line: ‘There’s more besides joyrides.’ Obviously that’s debatable, my entire life being a case in point. But it’s not even my favourite thing to have come out of 1983, for example I much prefer my own joyride device, the Toyota Supra I snuck into this issue on page 108. The message however remains relevant in the motoring industry and indeed in TopCar magazine. We love to fill it with exotic stints in provocative metal such as we did on page 58. But we also focus on arguably more relevant consumer-oriented pieces on cars people actually buy, such as the feature on page 42, focusing on what you could put…

5 min.
mercedes-amg’s f1 dominance hits the road

Aesthetically the AMG is reminiscent of an LMP1 racer Carnival of carbonfibre To stand a chance of achieving its power-to-weight target the R50 will use a carbon monocoque. AMG’s marketeers will delight in making the link to the tub Lewis and Nico call home Wing commander AMG’s F1 car is an aero miracle, delivering crushing downforce for little drag. R50 road car will boast active front flaps and a multi-role rear wing capable of optimising the aero balance and stalling in a low-drag DRS position Where’s my F1- derived V6? Since lobbing the F1 engine in a road car just won’t work, AMG is planning a 745kW 2.0-litre turbo four boosted by up to three electric motors for Bugatti Chironesque output MERCEDES-AMG IS looking to bring some of its track magic as F1 world champions to the…

2 min.
ferrari’s 350kph hairdryer

‘OPEN-TOP’ LAFERRARI 350kph+ You’d think all they’d need at Maranello was a tin opener from the canteen – after all, the carbonfibre structure of the LaFerrari is part of a package that represents the pinnacle of Prancing Horse engineering. But it turns out lopping the roof off comes with the same consequences here as it does with any other car, and Ferrari says ‘significant and extensive modifications’ were required to bring the roadster’s chassis up to the coupe’s levels of ‘torsional rigidity and beam stiffness’. Maranello isn’t saying much about the open-top LaFerrari at this stage, except to confirm that it will have the same powertrain and performance figures as the fixed-roof variant, while featuring a carbonfibre hard top or removable soft top. Look really closely and you might spot the visual…

2 min.
in the moment ‘flux capacitor’ charges into the record books

01 Who needs a Veyron? ‘We’ve just set a quarter-mile time at Santa Pod of 9.86sec at a 195kph average, the fastest yet recorded for an EV. The car is a 1974 Enfield 8000, originally used as a pool car for the Brighton electric board. Original top speed was 64kph. I fully expect people to laugh at it but we’re in the 9sec bracket, which is as quick as a 918 Spyder!’ 02 Road legality remains ‘It runs in a drag racing class called the Street Eliminator series, for road-legal cars. There’s a 40km mandatory cruise on the road before racing, and slick tyres aren’t allowed. This is the first EV in the series. Most of the other cars have twin-turbo V8s, some with 1500kW. The Enfield originally had 6kW. Now we have…

1 min.
new car debrief > nissan bladeglider

1 Uh-oh – it’s that arrowhead again! Yes, three years on from the Tokyo show car of 2013 Nissan’s back with its weird pointy three-seater, this time punted as ‘an exciting real-life study into the potential of advanced EV performance – an EV for car lovers.’ 2 So it’s electric, then? Power comes from a 220kW battery feeding two 130kW electric motors, each powering one of the rear wheels. Williams Engineering supplied the drivetrain, and it’s pretty fruity, with 0-100 in 5.0sec and a 190kph max. 3 Fun to drive? They say so. The narrow front track/wider rear is said to offer superb stability. It packs adjustable torque vectoring, with three modes including ‘agile’ and ‘drift’. So Nissan’s making the right noises, even if the car doesn’t. 4 Looks theatrical! Those rear-hinged dihedral…

3 min.
why the next french revolution will be electric

Lighter EMP2 platform is 70kg lighter than its predecessor. Compatible for cars and crossovers; five wheelbases with a variation of 220mm in 55mm steps by inserting strips between the ‘B’ posts and heel board. Four rear units for saloons, estates and 5- or 7-seaters. Further Next-gen heat pump operates to -30°C for air-con and 6kW heating system; doesn’t drain electric power, gives extra 50km range. Uses thermodynamic exchange between air-flow and refrigerant fluid. Braking Contactless braking: 90% of the time uses electric motor’s resistance to slow the car. Brake pads are only employed in an emergency, thereby regenerating electricity for the battery. Faster All-new eight-speed auto ’box with integrated 80kW/270Nm electric motor. Allows engine-off coasting with a clutch disconnecting the engine from the transmission; re-start within 200ms. Capable of 225kph in EV mode. Cleverer Next generation lithium-ion batteries develop…