Few of Merc’s models carry as much history and prestige as their famed G-class, otherwise known as the Gelandewagen (cross country vehicle). Its boxy construction is iconic and quite unmistakable, as is its durability and comfort on pretty much any terrain one can imagine.
The G-class has received an aesthetic and functional rework, particularly the range-topping G63. There’s no denying the striking cosmetic makeover it’s undergone, but the most prominent change is what’s featured under the bonnet.
The 5.5-litre V8 Biturbo, that’s been a mainstay in several of the AMG models over the last few years, has been significantly updated. The 5.5-litre displacement has been changed to a 4-litre that delivers 430kW and 850Nm of torque, with its optimal power delivery lying between 2500-3500RPM. By placing the turbochargers within the V of the cylinder configuration, the engine is more compact, and the AMG Cylinder Management system makes the engine more efficient when operating in the partial-load range.
Its interior has also been given an upgrade, with many of the visual cues from the exterior having aesthetic analogues inside the cabin. Like many premium vehicles, the centrepiece is a 12.3-inch widescreen display in the cockpit where most of the cabin settings can be controlled from, making the G-class interior look more home to a pilot rather than a driver.
As has always been the case with the G-class, there’s very little that’s too loud or ostentatious, the look and execution of the car prioritises distinguished quality and practicality above all else. It was initially a car made to perform, and if the specs on the G63 AMG are anything to go by, that’s precisely what it will keep doing.
As for pricing, the base model starts at R2.6 million with the limited ‘Edition 1’ retailing for R3 million.
New VW Taigo SUV Heading to SA: Local Specs, Details Revealed
Here’s what you need to know about the VW Tiago hitting SA in 2022.
The new Volkswagen Taigo (pronounced ‘tie-go’) will join the Volkswagen T SUV model range in South Africa from June 2022.
The Volkswagen Taigo, which is manufactured in Pamplona, Spain, will join the T-Cross and T-Roc as Volkswagen’s trio of compact SUVs in the A0 SUV segment. Volkswagen’s T SUV range currently consists of five models namely the T-Cross, T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg.
With the new Taigo, Volkswagen has produced its first SUV coupé in this segment. Highlights of the new Taigo include high-quality equipment features, raised seating position and unrestricted suitability for everyday use. The technical basis of the new Taigo is provided by Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB). The MQB platform offers a range of advantages: tight proportions are combined with a high level of body rigidity, excellent crash properties and a low body weight.
The 2022 Taigo will be available with the 1.0 TSI engine with 85kW of power and 200Nm of torque. The Taigo’s three-cylinder engine is paired with the 7-speed DSG transmission. Fuel consumption is 5.4 litres / 100 km and it takes just 11.3 seconds to go from 0 to 100km/h.
The design of the Taigo is characterised by powerful proportions and particularly striking is the coupé silhouette, with its strongly forward-sloping C-pillar. The side view is also characterised by very precise and sharp lines, which, together with the large wheels and offset wheel arch cladding, emphasise the crossover character of the Taigo. The overhang at the rear has been extended to underscore the vehicle’s functionality.
The Taigo has a long roof line which slopes towards the rear, merging into the roof spoiler at the level of the rear window. The window line, surrounded in black, visually lowers the centre of gravity of the Taigo. Among the iconic details is the long band of side windows, including the third side window integrated in the C-pillar and the window line rising sharply towards the rear. It opens up into the precisely cut C-pillar and gives the new SUV coupé a dynamic feel.
The Taigo is flatter and longer than the T-Cross and has a ground clearance of 137 mm. The striking design of the front and rear bumpers also underscores the highly distinctive nature of the new Taigo. The long wheelbase of 2 566 mm gives all passengers a comfortable and slightly elevated seating position. As compared to the Polo and T-Cross, the distance between the axles has been increased by two and three millimetres respectively. Measuring 4 266 mm in length, 1 515 mm in height and 1 757 mm in width, the Taigo has short overhangs that give it a powerful and sporty appearance.
The luggage compartment volume is an impressive 440 litres and offers almost as much storage space with full seating as the T-Cross with its sliding rear seat (385 to 455 litres). All exterior lighting elements from the headlights to the rear lights feature LED technology as standard
The entire dash panel of the new Taigo features a horizontal design. This design is largely defined by the modules that the dash panel contains: the standard Digital Cockpit in the Taigo Life or the Digital Cockpit Pro in the Taigo Style and R-Line, as well as the new generation of infotainment systems. The new Taigo is available with a choice of three different infotainment systems: Composition Colour with a 6.5-inch display (standard in the Life), Composition Media with an 8.0-inch display (standard in Style and R-Line) and the optional Discover Media with an 8.0-inch display format.
The 2-zone climatronic air conditioning (standard in the Style and R-Line) has a new, digitalised mode of operation: touch panels and sliders now perform the functions of rotary knobs and buttons. Located below the air conditioning module are two USB-C ports and, as an option, a compartment for inductive smartphone charging.
The Taigo also features progressive lighting and driver assistance systems, including what VW is calling the IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist, Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Side Assist, Lane Assist, Park Assist and more.
The Taigo is available in Life, Style and R-Line versions, which with different aesthetic trimmings, all of which come standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, 3 year/ 45 000km EasyDrive Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. The service interval is 15 000km.
The Taigo is available in eight exterior colours – two solid paint finishes, five metallic paint finishes and one pearl effect finish. All body colours except Deep Black Pearl can be combined with a contrasting black roof. Customers can choose wheel sizes from 16 to 18-inch alloy wheels.
Retail pricing of the Volkswagen Taigo will be announced closer to the launch date.
Ferrari 296 GTB Launches in SA: Price, Details Revealed
Ferrari drops its new V6 hybrid sports car in SA.
Ferrari has launched its brand-spanking new Maranello mid-rear engine two-seater berlinetta, the 296 GTB, in South Africa.
The Italian brand says that “the 296 GTB redefines the whole concept of fun behind the wheel, guaranteeing pure emotions not just when pushing the car to its limits, but also in day-to-day driving situations.”
The 296 GTB ushers in an authentic revolution for Ferrari as it introduces a new engine type to flank the marque’s multi-award-winning 8 and 12-cylinder power units: a new 663 cv 120-degree V6 coupled with an electric motor capable of delivering a further 122 kW (167 cv). This is the first 6-cylinder engine installed on a road car sporting the Prancing Horse badge; it unleashes its massive 830 cv total power output to deliver previously unthinkable performance levels and an innovative, exhilarating and unique soundtrack.
The car’s name, which combines its total displacement (2.992 l) and number of cylinders was chosen, with the addition of the GTB (Gran Turismo Berlinetta) acronym in the finest Ferrari tradition, to underscore this new engine’s epoch-changing importance to Maranello. It is not simply the living, beating heart of the 296 GTB, but it also ushers in a new V6 era that has its roots deep in Ferrari’s unparalleled 70-year-plus experience in motorsports.
The very first Ferrari V6, in fact, featured a 65-degree architecture and debuted on the 1957 1500 cc Dino 156 F2 single-seater. This was followed in 1958 by bigger displacement versions on the front-engined sport prototypes – the 196 S and 296 S – and F1 cars, such as the 246 F1 which powered Mike Hawthors to the F1 Driver’s Championship title the same year.
The 296 GTB’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system guarantees it is an incredibly usable car as well as cutting pedal response times to zero and delivering a 25km range in all-electric eDrive mode. The car’s compact dimensions and the introduction of innovative dynamic control systems as well as meticulously honed aero ensure that the driver will instantly experience its astonishing agility and responsiveness to commands. It’s sporty, sinuous design and extremely compact dimensions also visually underscore its exceptional modernity, brilliantly referencing the likes of the 1963 250 LM, the perfect marriage of simplicity and functionality.
As was the case with the SF90 Stradale, for clients who want to exploit the car’s extreme power and performance to the upmost, particularly on the track, the 296 GTB is also available with the Assetto Fiorano package, which includes lightweight features and aero modifications.
The Ferrari 296 GTB is priced at R6,380,200.
Opel’s Eye-Catching New Mokka SUV Unveiled: SA Price, Details
Opel showcases and prices its new SUV heading to South Africa.
Opel has confirmed that its new Opel Mokka will be heading to South Africa, along with some more details about the newly-unveiled SUV entry.
The Opel Mokka boasts the iconic design inspired by the GTX Xperimental Concept Car and is one of the first Opel models to feature the new Vizor design. As part of a revitalized model range, the Mokka arrives in SA hot on the heels of the Opel Zafira.
Two models of the distinctive Opel Mokka are set for the South African market: the Mokka Elegance and Mokka GS Line, both powered by the same turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The silhouette of the new Opel Mokka stands out thanks to the compact five-seater featuring Opel’s Vizor design. As on a full-face helmet, a protective visor covers the new front face of the Opel, combining in a single element the grille, the LED headlights, and the new logo with the Opel lightning bolt.
The model name appears in the center of the tailgate with a specific font that forms the word “Mokka” in a technical, fluid and lively way and is stretched in a wide landscape format, spaced to emphasise the width of the car.
The interior incorporates two large screens, and unlike dashboards overloaded with information and controls, the Pure Panel displays an original and refined line. Opel designers have placed great emphasis on digital detox, and in order to avoid distracting the driver, they have ensured that the system works intuitively. The buttons still control the most important functions without having to navigate through menus.
The headlamps of the new Mokka feature the Opel’s iconic ‘wing’ design and is modern and elegant in its appearance. Eco LED are headlamps standard on the Elegance model, while the GS Line offers the Full-LED Matrix headlamps.
Under the hood
The Opel Mokka’s award-winning petrol engine is both lively and economical, offering high efficiency and good dynamic performance. The 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivers 96kW at 5,500 r/min and thanks to low internal friction and responsive turbo technology, allows the delivery of high torque at low revs.
Despite its power, this all-aluminum engine with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with particularly smooth shifts offers an impressive fuel consumption of 5.3- and 6.1 l/100 km on the extra-urban and combined cycle respectively with just 139g/km of CO2.
The Rüsselsheim engineering team has worked hard on mass reduction: the new Mokka is up to 120 kg lighter than the previous generation. They took the opportunity to also improve the rigidity of the body.
The new Mokka continues the Opel tradition of bringing the innovative technologies that until recently were only available in the luxury car class to a wide range of buyers.
Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection on GS Line models work at speeds above 5km/h. When the Mokka approaches a vehicle or pedestrian too quickly, the system emits a warning signal and displays a message in the driver information centre. If a collision is imminent, the braking system is prepared and, if necessary, emergency braking is initiated to minimise the effects of a potential collision. Below 30km/h, the system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop. If the speed exceeds 30 km/h, the speed is reduced and the driver must brake hard.
Adaptive cruise control (also on GS Line models) maintains a set safe distance between the new Mokka and the vehicle in front, using radar sensors and cameras. It works between 30km/h and 180km/h. Vehicle speed increases or decreases to follow the vehicle in front, but never exceeds the set speed. With automatic transmission, the system offers an additional stop and go function. It is thus able to brake the car to a standstill and follow the vehicle in front in traffic jams.
Opel is at the forefront in the field of lighting. All versions of the Mokka are equipped with the latest generation LED lights, ranging from daytime running lights bearing the Opel signature to front fog lights. At the rear, the choice to always have lights with LED technology has allowed the designers to opt for very thin and stretched lights, which reinforces the feeling of precision and quality.
The GS Line offers a bigger 10-inch high-definition IntelliLink colour touchscreen with the addition of built-in navigation. The navigation system provides the driver with information on various destinations, traffic alerts, local weather, and embedded voice control.
Pricing and maintenance
- Opel Mokka 1.2T Elegance — R 469,900
- Opel Mokka 1.2T GS Line — R519 900
The Opel Mokka comes with a standard three years/120,000km warranty and Roadside Assistance. Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km but covered by the Mokka’s four years/60,000km service plan.
Suzuki Celerio Launches in SA: Price, Details
Suzuki showcases its new Celerio hitting South Africa.
Suzuki has introduced its newest entry into the Japanese company’s fleet of vehicles, the Celerio.
The Celerio debuts Suzuki’s 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine with DualJet engine technology, along with bringing a new fuel-efficient, five-door, petrol, hatch option to the market.
Exterior & design
The 2022 Suzuki Celerio is a brand-new model from the tar up and as such it features a newly fledged exterior and interior design, a new platform and a new DualJet engine. Suzuki’s designers have replaced the bold and angular style of the previous Celerio with a new, more rounded and more refined body.
The new Celerio has a deep oval grill with large S-emblem and chrome highlights that stretch beyond the grille to the teardrop headlamps. This brightwork also disguises the fit lines of the lower moulded bumper, which help to create a bold and unified look. The lower black and body colour bumper houses the fog lights (on the GL specification level).
From the side, the Celerio has a more accentuated hip line and at the rear, the droplet tail lamps and high-level third brake light round off the picture. From the outside, the GL specification – the highest in this range – is distinguished from the GA specification by its 15” darkened alloy wheels (as opposed to 14” steel wheels with modern wheel covers) and body-coloured door handles and side mirrors.
The 2022 Celerio now rides on a new version of Suzuki’s renowned HEARTECT platform, which is present in other Suzuki models such as the Swift and the upcoming new Baleno.
In the Celerio, this platform allowed Suzuki to move the wheels to the outermost corners for better road holding and to lower the starting weight of the Celerio to 805 kg. All this was done while improving body strength, ride and handling performance as well as crash-test safety.
The new engine technologies also combine to give the Celerio an average fuel consumption figure of 4.2 litres per 100 km (in the AMT version). This makes the Suzuki Celerio South Africa’s most fuel-efficient five-door petrol hatchback.
In the front, the dashboard has been redesigned for visibility, a sense of space, and to integrate the new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system (standard on the GL specification level).
As this model traditionally spends most of its time in the city commute, Suzuki also redesigned the centre console to integrate all the main controls, including electric windows (GL), door locks (GL) and the standard air conditioning to be
close at hand for both the driver and front passenger.
As mentioned, the Celerio GL is fitted with a new-generation version of its touchscreen infotainment system. This system is equipped with a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. It also features a host of smart vehicle notifications, alerts and information, such as instantaneous and average fuel consumption, fuel range and information from its integrated rear parking sensors.
The GA model is also equipped with rear parking sensors, but the guidance is audio-only. This model has, however, also been pre-equipped with a roof-mounted antenna, two speakers and integrated wiring for the easy fitment of a Suzuki audio system. All models have Bluetooth and audio controls on the steering wheel.
Celerio 1.0 GA MT — R174,900
Celerio 1.0 GL MT — R194,900
Celerio 1.0 GL AMT — R209,900
Maintenance & service
Lastly, the entire Suzuki Celerio range will be sold with Suzuki’s 5 year / 200 000 km mechanical warranty and a Roadside Assistance programme for the same period. A 6-year / unlimited anti-corrosion warranty is also included as standard. All models also receive a 2- year / 30 000 km service plan as standard.
Ford Next-Gen Ranger Raptor Revealed, Set for SA Launch
What does Ford have in store for the 2022 Ranger Raptor?
The next iteration of the Ford Ranger Raptor has been revealed and set for a South African launch, bringing the second iteration of the company’s beloved rugged and sports-ready bakkie.
More Power to Play
The biggest news for performance fans is the introduction of a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 producing 292kW and 583Nm tuned by Ford Performance.
The twin-turbo 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 engine boasts a compacted graphite-iron cylinder block, which is around 75 percent stronger and up to 75 percent stiffer than the iron used in traditional castings. Ford Performance ensured the engine delivers immediate response to throttle inputs, and a race-bred anti-lag system enables rapid delivery of boost on demand.
The Ranger Raptor’s anti-lag system, available in ‘Baja’ mode, keeps the turbochargers spinning for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the throttle, allowing for faster resumption of acceleration out of corners or between gears when the driver gets back on the accelerator.
Merged to a 10-speed automatic transmission – each gear programmed with its own boost profile. And, with an electronically controlled active exhaust system that amplifies the engine note in four selectable drive modes (Quiet, Normal, Sport and Bajaii), the Ranger Raptor’s vocal character ranges from mild to wild.
Drivers can choose their preferred engine sound by pressing a button on the steering wheel or by selecting an accompanying drive mode.
Hardware for the Heavy Hitters
The next-gen Ranger Raptor has a unique chassis when compared to the next-gen Ranger. A series of unique mounts and reinforcements, for elements including the C-pillar, load box and spare wheel, as well as unique frames for the jounce bumper, shock tower and rear shock bracket all combine to ensure next-gen Ranger Raptor can handle punishing off-road conditions.
A high-performance off-roader like the Ranger Raptor needs the running gear to match, and Ranger Raptor’s suspension is completely redesigned. All-new tough, lightweight aluminium upper and lower control arms, long-travel front and rear suspension and refined Watt’s link rear end have been designed to deliver more control across rough terrain at high speed.
For the first time, Ranger Raptor gets an advanced permanent four-wheel drive system with an all-new electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case, combined with front and rear locking differentials, a feature that hardcore off-roaders will appreciate.
Seven different selectable drive modes also adjust a number of elements from engine and transmission to ABS sensitivity and calibration, traction and stability controls, exhaust valve actuation, steering, throttle response and even the instrument cluster and centre touchscreen. And depending on the mode, the colour scheme of the digital displays changes to match the mode.
Ford’s next-gen Ranger Raptor also comes with Trail Control, which is like cruise control for off-roading. The driver simply selects a set speed (less than 32km/h), and the vehicle manages acceleration and braking while the driver concentrates on steering through difficult terrain.
Inside, the theme continues to emphasise the off-road performance and high-energy nature of the exterior. The cabin features all-new, jet fighter-inspired sports seats – both in the front and rear – that are not only more comfortable but more supportive during high-speed cornering.
The Ranger Raptor boasts a fully digital cabin, with high-resolution 12.4-inch digital cluster and 12-inch centre touchscreen boasting Ford’s new-generation SYNC 4Av connectivity and entertainment system, which offers both Apple and Android wireless smartphone connectivity. A Bang & Olufsen sound system provides the soundtrack to your next adventure.
The 2022 Ranger Raptor will begin production in South Africa later this year, with availability to follow shortly. Prices of the models are still to be announced.