Festival launches at Kyalami

Aside from all the automotive hardware worthy of ogling and the superb racing activity on the track, the Festival of Motoring at Kyalami at the weekend offered visitors a look at some of the new models making their way to market locally.

In no particular order:
SUZUKI JIMNY

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The radically restyled Jimny fills the very big shoes of its predecessors, which were responsible for creating a new market segment for compact, affordable, capable and – most importantly – fun, off roaders. In fact, this ladder-framed, low-range vehicle made Suzuki so iconic and loved that this is only the fourth all-new model since the LJ10 was launched in 1970.

The new Suzuki Jimny includes the most iconic signature elements of each of its predecessors.

Styling elements include:
• An overall angular design that is reminiscent of the first LJ and second generation SJ model ranges;
• The round headlamps and separate round orange indicators of the LJ10, the first generation;
• Side bonnet slits and an angular front windscreen from the SJ series;
• Steel wheels similar to the SJ series on the GA spec level;
• A clamshell bonnet and upright grille like the SJ and previous generation Jimny;
• A moulded rear bumper with lights in the furthermost corners, like the SJ series.

The new Jimny adds some features of its own, which include a full drip rail around the roof, which is both functional in rain and off-road conditions and which allows for the easy fitment of a number of roof rails and other accessories.

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Inside the cabin, Suzuki’s designers have also added hints of the new Jimny’s forebears, such as exposed painted metal window frames at shoulder height, a speedometer and tachometer in separate square binnacles and the fit-for-purpose dashboard with many storage binnacles and three-layer design.

The new model is built on a new ladder-frame chassis with a patented ‘X’ member between the two rigid axles for 1,5 times the torsional rigidity of its predecessor. Both axles remain rigid, a boon in sand and mud driving; and with the addition of new coil springs and shock absorbers the Jimny now has a 210 mm ground clearance, 20 mm more than before.

The ladder frame benefits from Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), which uses modern design, high-tensile steel and an integrated cabin and chassis system to provide greater collision protection.

The new ladder frame and TECT-enabled body has left the Jimny’s wheelbase unchanged at 2 250 mm, but has increased the front and rear track by 40 mm and the vehicle width by 45 mm. The overall vehicle length has been shortened by 50 mm, thanks in part to the new moulded bumpers.

Under the bonnet, Suzuki has fitted a 1,5 litre four cylinder unit that replaces the 1,3 litre M13A engine of the previous model and delivers 75 kW at 6 000 r/min and 130 Nm at 4 000 r/min.

The new K15B-engine is 15% lighter than unit it replaces. The lighter weight, higher compression ratio and overall improvement in efficiency mean that this engine uses more than 14% less fuel than both the manual and automatic versions of its predecessor.

The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and an optional four-speed automatic gearbox in GLX specification.

All new Jimny models are fitted with a 4×4 system called AllGrip Pro, which allows the driver to comfortably switch between 4×2 (rear-wheel drive), 4×4 high and 4×4 low range with a secondary gear lever. This system is supported by both the vehicle stability control (ESP) and a new Brake-enabled Limited Slip Differential system.

The Brake LSD and ESP-systems are further enhanced by the integrated Hill Hold Function and Hill Descent Control.

The Jimny’s approach angle has improved from 35 degrees to 37 degrees, the breakover angle is up to 28 degrees from 27 degrees and the departure angle has improved significantly from 46 degrees to 49 degrees.

The front seats are 55 mm longer than before, have wider seat cushion frames and an improved sliding range of 240 mm to accommodate longer drivers. Front occupants have 30 mm more legroom than before and the rear passengers have 40 mm more space and a higher hip point, for greater comfort.

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To widen the appeal of the all-new Jimny, Suzuki South Africa will introduce both a GA and GLX specification level.

Both specification levels will have a full-sized spare wheel, anti-lock brakes, brake assist (BAS), electronic stability control (ESP), ISOFIX anchors for child seats and dual SRS front airbags. Both models will also have the AllGrip Pro 4×4 system with low range transfer gear and the Brake LSD traction control system.

The GLX specification – available with the choice of manual and automatic gearboxes – include features such as a leather-covered multi-function steering wheel, power windows, colour coded door handles and mirrors, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED projector headlamps, remote keyless access with central locking and front fog lights.

GLX models also have the 7” touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and Bluetooth hands-free operation, cruise control and the 50:50 split rear bench with two headrests.

The all-new Jimny will be available to customers from November 1.

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PEUGEOT 5008 7-SEATER

The all-new Peugeot 5008 SUV includes the latest version of the Peugeot i-Cockpit, Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2), and high-tech features that enhance comfort and safety.

The new Peugeot 5008 SUV is the third SUV to be unveiled by the Peugeot brand within a two-year period. So why make the new Peugeot 5008 an SUV, thereby abandoning the C-segment seven-seater people-carrier niche?

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The answer is, firstly because the people-carrier segment is almost exclusively a European phenomenon, while with the 5008 SUV PSA are looking at a worldwide market, and secondly, the incredible success of the C SUV appears to have been compensated by a reduction in demand for traditional saloons and people-carriers.

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Inside is the innovative, almost futuristic Peugeot i-Cockpit, which offers a compact steering wheel (the smallest on the market, across all segments), an 8-inch touchscreen, and a spectacular 12,3-inch high-resolution digital head-up instrument panel.

The seven central satin chrome dashboard toggle switches offer quick access to the main passenger comfort and safety functions: radio, air conditioning, satellite navigation, vehicle settings, telephone, apps, and hazard warning lights.

The vehicle offers occupants two predefined sensory environments: ‘Boost’, in tune with a dynamic driving style, and ‘Relax’, for a mellower ambience. Both can be fully customised, to accentuate the pleasure of driver and passengers alike, and guarantee a unique on-board experience.

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The 2,84-m wheelbase of the all-new Peugeot 5008 SUV is specified with a wheelbase 16,5 cm longer than the new Peugeot 3008 SUV, and is 11 cm wider than the original 5008, and second-row passengers, have 60 mm more knee room.

The new Peugeot 5008 SUV offers a third row of two extra seats that fold down into the boot floor. The two covers of the boot floor form a perfectly flat surface when folded down, and they can also be easily tucked away behind the third-row seats when these are in use.

Controls on the top of the second-row side-seat backs facilitate access to the third-row seats. In just one movement, the second-row side seats tilt and slide forward for easier third-row entry.

The vehicle’s design inspired Peugeot engineers to make these extra seats easily removable. Their modest weight (<11kg) and a single control make them easy to extract, so users can expand boot volume when needed. Each third-row seat that is removed yields 39 dm3 more space.

This makes for a huge boot capacity – 780 and 1 080 dm3 / litre. In 5-seat configuration, the boot is 100 dm3 larger than the original 5008. Its flat, uncluttered volume and low boot sill (676 mm), in combination with a foldable front passenger seat, allow the all-new Peugeot 5008 SUV to carry especially long loads (potentially up to 3.20 m).

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The all-new 5008 SUV engine is a 2.0 HDI 110 kW six-speed, Co2 at 124g/km on Auto, and 125g/km on

RENAULT DUSTER

With more than two million cars sold globally, the Duster remains entrenched as a flagship model within the Renault Range.

The All-New Renault Duster builds on and reinforces the Duster’s existing strengths, but the renowned DNA of the Duster remains at the core wrapped an all-new exterior styling.

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The Duster’s rugged stance is emphasised by its bold, more horizontal lines, new 17-inch wheels, new aluminium roof bars that are more prominent, and front and rear skid plates.

The New Renault Duster now has even greater off-road capabilities with enhanced ground clearance of 210 mm, the higher approach and departure angles, and the introduction of Hill Descent Control in the 4X4 model.

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The vehicle offers a step-up in quality with an upgraded interior for a more comfortable and user-friendly cabin experience. The dashboard has been totally redesigned thereby presenting a more status-enhancing and ergonomic interior.

Travelling comfort is also further heightened by the newly designed and more enveloping seats, numerous easily accessible stowage spaces and improved accessibility of controls, and amongst others, an enhanced Multimedia experience.

The new Duster offers drivers a multi-view camera; Blind Spot Warning; Automatic Climate Control; Hill Descent Control and Keyless Entry.

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The New Renault Duster will be available from October 1 in both petrol and diesel engines, with the diesel engines in Manual, EDC and 4X4 options.

HAVAL H9

Joining the South African range of its two-wheel drive small SUV derivatives, the 1,5-litre H1, H2 and H6, the large 7-seater H9 is powered by a 180 kW 2,0 Litre petrol turbo also found in the H6C.

“Haval arrived in South Africa back in May 2017 and we started 12 months ago with just three Haval dealers,” says Charles Zhao, Managing Director of Haval Motors South Africa. “By the end of June 2018 we had no less than 29 Haval dealers’ countrywide thanks to full factory back-up from our parent company in China.”

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The H9 is the fifth luxury SUV model in the Haval range to be launched in South Africa in less than 18 months.

“Our objective is to have 35 Haval dealers across the country by the end of this year,” says Zhao. “The arrival of our long awaited H9 is the latest addition to our powerful SUV range and will certainly assist us in expanding into the local market.

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The H9 is powered by the 180 kW version of the brand’s own 2,0-litre petrol engine with double-channel turbo-charging. The exhaust gas flow is transferred to the turbine via two channels, boosting engine power and torque delivery as well as improving fuel economy.

The engine delivers its maximum power output at 5 500 r/min, with maximum torque of 350 Nm at 1 800 r/min all the way up to 4 500 r/min, which allows superior pull-away and acceleration performance.

The 2,0-litre petrol turbo offers 90 kW of power per litre, achieving peak performance in all driving conditions with little input.

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Although the engine is an in-house development, Haval reached out to German engineering for the H9’s ZF 8-speed 4WD transmission. The transmission boasts Paddle Shift for precision off-road driving, allowing the H9 to tackle the toughest terrain with comfort and elegance.

The driver can select the most appropriate real-time road mode from 6 options (Auto, 4L, Sport, Sand, Snow, and Mud) via the multi-functional display knob on the secondary instrument panel so that the system can automatically control the driving and braking force to achieve the best performances.

The rear axle offers a limited slip differential where the driving force of the wheel at the traction loss side is distributed to the wheel at the other side via the electro hydraulic control unit, which maximises the vehicle’s ability to utilise traction effectively, greatly improving the vehicle’s driving stability and enhanced ability to get out of difficult conditions in complex on- and off-road conditions.

The engine, transmission, suspension, and body are installed on a high rigidity frame and multi-link rear suspension and independent double-wishbone front suspension ensure the wheels remain in contact with the road and deliver a smoother ride.

Active safety features include all-round ‘all-directional’ air bags, seat belt pre-tensioners, ISO-FIX child seat anchors, a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and driver status detection system.

Electronic driver aids include anti-lock braking, BA (brake assist) and ESP, HAC (Hill-start Assist Control), RMI (Roll Movement Intervention) and HAC (Hill-start Assist Control) as well as CTA (Cross-traffic alert) and LCA (Lane-change Alert).

From the leather seats in three rows, including an 8-way electrically adjustable driver seat with lumbar support and memory function and 4-way electrically adjustable front passenger seat with ventilation and massage, manually adjustable second row of three seats and the electrically foldable twin seats in the third row, to a long list of features including three-zone climate control air-conditioning, an advanced multi-media system with an 8-inch touchscreen and integrated satellite navigation, the H9 is, well, fully equipped.

The second row of seats have a 60/40 split while the twin seats in the third row can be divided 50/50 and folded into the floor to increase luggage space. With the rear seats folded down, the H7 boasts a luggage volume of 747 litres under the removable trunk cover.

The H9 boasts AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System) which meets all illumination needs, including focusing the headlights around bends to improve safety.

The H9 has a 5-year/100 000 km warranty, a 5-year/60 000 km service plan, and 5-year/unlimited km roadside assistance.

FIAT 500 S

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The Fiat 500 S boasts a race-inspired spoiler, mags, red brake calipers and sports steering wheel. Further enhancing its visual appeal is its Italian Blue metallic paintwork that means drivers will certainly not go unnoticed on South Africa’s roads and parking lots.

Under the bonnet resides an 875 cc two-cylinder powerplant that churns out 77 kW at 5 500 r/min and 145 Nm of torque at just 2 000 r/min. This is enough for the car to hit 100 km/h in 10 seconds and go on to achieve a top speed of 190 km/h.

All this, while keeping fuel usage down to a mere 4,2 l/100 km.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) South Africa’s new CEO Graham Eagle, says: “We are incredibly proud to be showcasing our brands at this year’s largest and most exciting motoring and lifestyle event.”

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Author: Colin Windell

Colin Windell is an apprentice retiree, petrolhead, rock music addict, lover of fine food and has been writing about cars for more than 40 years.

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