Smart trucking with Quester

Smart trucking is the name of the game UD Trucks Southern Africa is working on in the process of refining its line-up in order to give logistics and transport operators the best route tyo tackle industry challenges and to sweeten the bottom line using smart logistics.

To this end it has added eight new Quester derivatives to its extra heavy commercial vehicle range, bringing the total number of Quester options to 18.

UD Trucks New Quester

“Quester highlights UD Trucks’ unwavering commitment of ‘Going the Extra Mile’ for our customers’ businesses,” says Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “Building on the range’s proven robustness and reliability in the region, Quester introduces key features that are set to help fleet’s fuel efficiency, productivity, safety and uptime.”

These new features include ESCOT automated manual transmissions, engines with higher horsepower and user-friendly telematics as standard across the range.

During the launch, Håkan Karlsson, president, Group Trucks Asia & JVs, said Quester comes from the best of three worlds: UD Trucks’ strong Japanese heritage and craftsmanship, the Group’s innovative technology, as well as quality local manufacturing and customer support.

“UD Trucks is recognised for pioneering new innovations within the Japanese trucks segment, and Quester is testament to our global industry leadership,” says Karlsson.

Since 1995, UD Trucks has delivered more than 80 000 trucks with ESCOT automated manual transmission around the world.

“We are humbled by the tremendous confidence and recognition the Quester line has earned since it was originally introduced in South Africa in 2015. With the game-changing Quester, we believe we are reinforcing the legacy of being the truck brand that our customers want to partner with,” says Swanepoel.

Being part of one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world, UD Trucks was able to utilise the company’s global resources, as well as design, technical and manufacturing expertise from across the globe in order to develop the Quester range to exacting standards.

Quester is on the forefront of UD Trucks’ global aspirations of being a modern smart truck supplier, which excels on the essentials while retaining its inherent Japanese heritage.

“Globally, we have spent 1,5-million engineering hours and 65 000 test hours to ensure Quester delivers on its promises in actual operating conditions,” says Swanepoel. “Our local engineering division undertook numerous hours of local testing to ensure Quester is Africa-tough and performs according to regional fleet owners’ business requirements.”

Fuel costs typically constitute 40% of operating costs for fleet operators.

To boost productivity and profitability for business owners and logistics companies, Quester achieves enhanced fuel efficiency of up to 10% compared to the current Quester with the 12-speed ESCOT automated manual transmission, lighter tare weight and optimised driveline, depending on the operating condition, driving behaviour and vehicle maintenance.

ESCOT includes specific software that optimises gear shifting according to engine rev, vehicle speed, loading weight and even road gradient. This smart system also includes a sensor that will select the optimum gear automatically instead of assuming a first gear selection.

Quester’s enhanced fuel efficiency also aligns with an increased focus on environmentally-friendly regulations to curb fuel consumption. Quester achieves fuel economy and quality standards for Extra Heavy vehicles of Euro 3 to Euro 4 according to local regulations, effectively reducing its overall carbon footprint.

Quester increases overall drivability and safety for drivers with features that focus on increasing their comfort levels and reducing driver fatigue. In addition, to combat the global driver shortage challenge, Quester makes the driving experience more seamless and comfortable, which is key to enticing more drivers into the industry and retaining them for longer.

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“This is a major obstacle for transport companies around the world. In South Africa, it is estimated the country needs an additional 15 000 new truck drivers each year, but this target continues to be woefully unmet,” says Swanepoel.

A game changer in the transportation business, Quester with ESCOT automatically selects the optimal gear at the right time, based on the specific operating conditions. This takes away the need for manual gear shifting, which depending on the transportation operations, happens 1 000 to 1 500 times a day.

Automatic gear selection also ensures every driver on Quester can focus on the safe operation of the vehicle.

Driver fatigue continues to be a serious industry challenge, contributing up to 20% of road accidents in the world. To address this, Quester is developed with an air suspended cab and ride comfort package with reduced cab vibrations up to 18%. A driver’s comfort is also enhanced with ergonomic seats and lumber support for long-distance assignments.

In line with elevating business success through Smart Logistics, Quester supports effective fleet management and driver performance with innovative customer telematics such as real-time vehicle tracking and geofencing for better fleet visibility and optimisation.

Such smart connectivity features support the increasing trend of new logistics delivery solutions that are offered by technology and local start-up companies in South Africa.

Quester trucks are equipped with UD Telematics, which has the capability to connect directly to UD Trucks workshops to monitor and detect each vehicle’s condition and service needs before a potential emergency occurs. Preventive maintenance analysis guides customers with monthly driving behaviour and fuel consumption reports, ensuring higher uptime and more optimal fuel economy over time.

Owners of Quester also enjoy increased uptime with a 2,5 to 3 times longer clutch life span under ESCOT automated manual transmission, compared to fully manual transmissions’ clutch replacement depending on the operating condition, driving behaviour and vehicle maintenance.

UD Trucks’ three power options (370, 390 and 440 hp) are designed with fuel-efficiency and performance in mind. The engines were specifically developed with wide torque bands to adjust to all operating conditions such as high-traffic scenarios, as well as for operations on tarred and gravel roads, and of course for cruising conditions.

The 11-litre GH11E is a fuel-efficient engine with high capacity. As a result, it is among other things suitable for tanker, bulk goods, regional long-haul distribution and light construction where both performance and fuel economy are crucial factors.

Driveability is excellent thanks to the broad torque range. The engine timing mechanism is at the rear of the engine, which leads to less vibration and permits a rear-mounted power take-off.

The engines’ various functions are controlled entirely electronically by EMS (Engine Management System), which contributes to low fuel consumption and low exhaust emissions. The system also offers advanced scope for diagnostics and fault-tracing. The GH11E is available with UD EEB (Extra Engine Brake) as an option. This provides considerable braking moment, which improves safety and reduces wheel brake wear.

Fleet owners are constantly looking for new ways to transport more cargo on every run, without the worry that the added capacity will compromise the truck’s safety.

The chassis frame forms the backbone of Quester as it is dimensioned to provide stability, payload capacity and long-life performance. The frame is made from cold-formed steel and produced in a rolling form process that gives the chassis extended strength and flexibility.

By having a wide product range and many available wheelbases, Quester can maximise the payload depending on the application and business needs of fleet owners. Due to the robust design and axles, Quester is intended to operate at high Gross Combination Weight (GCW) to give it a competitive load carrying capacity.

The potential of Quester lies in its versatility. The range offers customisation for a variety of adaptions that will suit varied transport requirements. For example, Quester is designed for ease of superstructure installation with comprehensive bodybuilder instructions and drawings. The parallel side members, designed bodybuilder mounts and a range of power take-offs add to the ease of installation.

Ultimately, Quester addresses the top concerns every fleet owner may have, namely fuel consumption, durability, productivity and maintenance in a smart and modern fashion,” says Swanepoel. “Quester will take UD customers that extra mile every time.”

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Road Review – Hyundai vs Kia

Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2D Executive                                Kia Sorento 2.2CRDi EX
R 659 900                                                                              R 609 995

 
Doing a back-to-back comparison of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento brings a reminder of a schoolboy joke that asked “What is the difference between an ostrich?”, the answer (amidst childish hysterical giggles) “One leg is both the same.”

Both vehicles, both kitted with 2,2-litre CRDi engines, vie for attention in the same premium SUV class with the Hyundai, perhaps, edging the Kia in terms of luxury feel, reinforcing the fact although both brands fall within the same company, there is a difference in stature.

 

For the Santa Fe, this is the fourth generation model and is “ambassador for the brand’s new design language”, according to Hyundai Motor Group’s new design chief Luc Donckerwolke.

The exterior design is characterised by a powerful wide stance and an athletic, bold look. Its refined lines reinforce the car’s status at the top of Hyundai’s SUV line-up. The front introduces the Cascading Grille that is complemented by the Composite Light – a design comprising LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the headlights. The Elite and Executive have full LED headlights, while the Premium derivative is equipped with halogen lights. The Elite’s headlights have dynamic bending into a corner as an added feature.

The dynamic character of the side is enhanced by a sleek roofline and the bold side character line running from the headlights to the taillights to form a fluid design. The rear creates a confident and stable stance with unique tail lights, a striking bumper design and twin exhaust pipe outlets. The Elite is equipped with LED taillights.

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The current generation Kia Sorento made its global debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and was introduced in South Africa in June 2015.

The enhanced Kia Sorento retains its SUV proportions, but thanks to its mid-life update now sports a tighter, sharper exterior design. The revised front-end features a more artfully detailed radiator grille, flanked by a new headlamp configuration featuring projection headlamps and revised LED Daytime Running Lights on higher specification models.

The front revamp is complemented by a newly sculpted bumper design, incorporating projection-type fog lamps, that assists in giving Sorento a more aggressive overall expression. Enhancements to the rear design also include a new bumper design, sleeker tail lamps, and a subtly revised tailgate.

The power for both vehicles comes from the 2,2-litre CRDi engine that delivers 142 kW maximum power and 440 Nm maximum torque for the Santa Fe and 147 kW and 440 Nm for the Sorento.

Linked to the newly developed 8-speed automatic gearbox (on both vehicles), which is engineered with a transversal layout, it delivers enhanced fuel efficiency of 3% to 4%.

Designed in-house by Kia and launched in 2016, the transmission boasts 143 patented technologies and requires fewer control valves, enabling a more direct mechanical link to the engine.

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At this point for any prospective buyer, the choice will boil down to one of pure aesthetics, since there is little to choose between the two.

While both brands offer high levels of safety equipment, the Santa Fe introduces Rear Occupant Alert (in the Elite derivative) that monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car. The Elite also comes with an Electronic Child Safety Lock.

The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist – a standard feature in the Executive and Elite derivatives – is a Hyundai first too. When reversing out of areas with low visibility, the system not only warns the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side – it also applies the brakes automatically. The Executive and Elite also boasts a Blind Spot Detection system.

The Safety Exit Assist, also standard in the Executive and Elite derivatives, prevents accidents when vehicles approach from behind by temporarily locking the doors before being opened, so that passengers will exit the car safely.

Sorento features a full complement of safety and driver assistance systems, including anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), six crash bags and ISOFIX child seat anchors. The all-electric windows also have a safety function that automatically halts the window closing if an obstruction – like a child’s hand – is detected.

Drivers also benefit from Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill-start Assist, while all models feature Park Distance Control at the rear, linked to a reverse camera displayed on the 8-inch colour touchscreen.

 

Santa Fe derivatives have an anti-lock braking system, ESP (Electronic Stability Program); DBC (Downhill Brake Control) and HAC (Hill start Assist Control) and it was awarded with a 5-star certification in the Euro NCAP crash test.

So, still nothing in it as far as choices are concerned.

Drivers and front passengers in the Santa Fe get the support of the electric extendable seat cushions offering 10 different positions.

In the second row, legroom is increased by 38 mm and the seat is 18 mm higher. The new one-touch walk into the third row eases passenger access to these seats. Headroom in the third row has been improved by 22 mm.

Standard luggage capacity is increased by 31 litres to 547 litres behind the second row of seats, and can be extended to 1 625 litres with both the third and second row of seats folded down.

The 7-inch infotainment system in the Santa Fe – which is a standard feature in all three derivatives – integrates all media and connectivity features, allowing connectivity with smartphones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Passengers can also use the navigation applications of their smartphone, to be displayed on the touch screen. The system recognises the passenger’s voice allowing them to dictate messages or to make phone calls. The Display Audio also features an integrated rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines.

Inside Sorento, upgrades and enhancements include a new, more tactile steering wheel, a new gearshift lever and a revised instrument cluster with improved graphics. The redesign also includes alterations to the air vents and the centre console design.

All model derivatives offer seating for up to seven passengers, with leather upholstery as standard across the board. Featuring 40/20/40 second row split folding seats for improved versatility, with a higher folding centre armrest, these seatbacks can be ‘remotely’ folded by conveniently located levers in the side of the cargo bay.

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The third row seats fold away flat in the luggage compartment; ensuring luggage space is not compromised when the seats are not in use. When the seats are folded flat, Sorento offers 605 litres of luggage space, and features an under-floor tonneau cover storage compartment and integrated cargo net to secure loose items.

The Santa Fe Elite derivative is equipped with a panoramic sunroof; electrically operated rear hatch door (with adjustable height and opening speed), driver and passenger seats with option of heating or ventilation and paddle shifts on the steering wheel for manual gearshifts.

The development strategy for the fourth-generation Santa Fe’s suspension and steering was to improve responsiveness and vehicle stability while also enhancing comfort and overall quietness.

The suspension, consisting of McPherson struts at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, delivers a smoother ride feeling by reducing the impact and vibration when driving on rough roads. The suspension has been stiffened and placed vertically to give a longer travel length for more ride comfort.

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External vertical shock absorbers optimise responsiveness and stability while improving noise, vibration and harshness levels during driving. Road noise is reduced by reinforcing the floor panel and incorporating more materials in the carpet.

While fitted with a similar suspension setup, the test route did favour the Hyundai in terms of overall long-haul comfort both from a driver and passenger perspective, with the ride quality of the Kia seemingly set a little on the hard side.

I did enjoy the Kia Drive Mode Select that adapts the weight of the rack-mounted power steering system, for more relaxed or immediate, engaging steering responses.

The new Smart Mode anticipates the driver’s steering preferences, automatically switching between Eco, Comfort and Sport modes. This enables the Sorento to adapt to the driver’s steering behaviour as road conditions change, pre-empting the driver’s preference for different speeds and driving environments.

In the comparison the Santa Fe was somewhat heavier on fuel use at 7,8 l/100 km compared to the 6,3 l/100 km for the Sorento, which is a little unusual considering the kerb weight of the Santa Fe at 1 805 kg is lighter than the 1 823 of the Sorento.

The Sorento also has lower CO2 emissions being 164 g/km versus the 200 g/km of the Hyundai.

The Hyundai comes with a 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty (consisting of the standard 5-year/150 000 km warranty plus the additional 2-year/50 000 km drivetrain warranty extension).

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An additional part of the package is a 5-year/90 000 km service plan, and roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km.

All Sorento models have an unlimited kilometre, five-year warranty, as well as a standard 5-year/100,000 km service plan and 3-years of roadside assistance.

And still, the choice comes down to looks and personal feel behind the wheel.

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Biking thrills at South Coast Bike Fest

Stunts, tricks and smoking tyres will all be part this year’s South Coast Bike Fest with an array of talent performing their signature moves during the show that gets under way in Margate on April 26.

Bruce and Brent Le Riche

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South African motorcycle trials’ champions, Bruce and Brent le Riche, will be putting on a high-impact, interactive show with a series of new tricks – including the 3,7m-high undercut ledge.

“This is a coastal event with a great track record… who wouldn’t want to perform at such a show, let alone such a dream location!?” says Brent. “KZN spectators always get right into the vibe and are always ready for some daredevil motorsports!”

King Donut

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Yamaha South Africa’s brand ambassador, Alfred Matamela – AKA King Donut – will put on a must-see performance burning rubber in his signature smoking style.

“Last year, I rode the Yamaha MT10, and this year spectators will get to watch me on the incredible Yamaha R1,” he says, explaining this is the bike ridden by Yamaha Moto GP racer, Maverick Vinales. “I enjoy participating in the annual South Coast Bike Fest because it’s such a great place to watch upcoming talent. It’s a festival I look forward to every year! The past experiences of performing here has been life changing and I am honoured to be able to work with such amazing people.”

ShredBettys

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The country’s top all-female biker crew will return to this year’s South Coast Bike Fest to showcase their off-road racing skills. Audiences can look forward to a high-energy performance by stunt rider, Skinny van Skalkwyk, as well as demo rides by top female riders in the motorsport’s industry.

Nicole Salt of ShredBettys, says: “The South Coast Bike Fest has been a great platform to represent women riders in South Africa and we’re looking forward to another impactful show.”

ShredBettys will be accompanied by Airworx, a company specialising in virtual reality. Visitors will get the surreal experience of riding motorbikes and surfing – all using virtual reality equipment!

Powasol EnduroX

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Spectators will be treated to high-energy impact racing at its best as top EnduroX riders put on a quality performance.

“It has become a recurring action-packed weekend and, for three years running, we have successfully hosted the EnduroX event overlooking the amazing KZN coastline,” said Klint Mills. “With the help of Upfold Construction, we assemble a world-class EnduroX track the night before the main event – it’s insane but nothing beats the adrenaline of the impossible!

Mills said that he hopes to wow audiences with international superstars – the likes of Wade Young, Blake Gutzeit, Travis Teasdale and Kyle Flanagan – battling it out. There will be 50cc Micromini Classes, 65cc Juniors, 85cc Pro Mini, 125cc Highschool, Hobby, Experts and Pros classes.

Visitors to the South Coast Bike Fest can also look forward to:

• 6 Beachfront Boulevard-Themed Bars
• Village Market and Expo Zones
• Food Courts
• The Pals in Paradise Mass Parade (leaving from C-Bali Restaurant at St Michael’s Beach on Saturday, 28 April
• KwaXolo Biker Extreme Festival
• KwaNzimakwe Biker Extreme Festival
• Soweto Riding Academy – Learn to Ride

There will also be an official South Coast Bike Fest shuttle service for all attendees, running from The Hibiscus Mall to the venue.

Bikers and pillions wanting to access any of the bars or stages (Budweiser Beach Stage, Village Pier Rock Stage, Sunset Beach Party, Full Throttle Entertainment Zone, and Jazz Bar) must pre-register online (www.southcoastbikefest.co.za) and purchase a South Coast Bike Fest pin for R35. Bikers and pillions will need to purchase a pin each. Bikers must be accompanied by their pillion to collect the pre-purchased pin at the Sasol Garage, Margate – bike licences must be shown.

 

Mitsubishi range realigned

With the launch of the Mitsubishi ASX ES, the company has completed the alignment of its compact sports utility vehicles, all starting at below the R500 000 mark.

“Our new strategy will emphasise the value for money offered by our SUV product range, all coming in at under the R500 000 mark,” says Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa.

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The line-up of the Compact SUV range, excluding the full-size SUVs in the range (Pajero, Pajero Sport) is:
• ASX ES M/T
• ASX ES CVT
• Eclipse Cross 2WD CVT
• Eclipse Cross AWD CVT
• Outlander AWD CVT.

“The latest addition to the range, the Eclipse Cross, is a cross-over that fits neatly in a Compact SUV sandwich with the ASX at the bottom and the Outlander on top,” says Campbell. “From a price point of view, our Compact SUV range is quite comprehensive in terms of covering the needs of our customers.”

Incorporating Mitsubishi’s new Dynamic Shield Design for the ASX, the complete Compact SUV range now boasts the same design language and the brand-new ASX ES focuses on easy, everyday use and the equivalent value-for-money specification similar to the rest of Mitsubishi Motors’ products, combining adventure with practicality.

In terms of safety the ASX is fitted with seven crash bags, side-impact protection bars, whiplash injury reduction seats, collapsible steering column, ISOFIX child seat anchors, anti-lock braking system, EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), BAS (Brake Assist System), DRL (Daytime Running Lights), rear park distance control, rear view camera and electronic traction control on the CVT derivative.

The 2,0-litre MIVEC engine offers 110 kW of power at 6 000 r/min and 197 Nm of torque at 4 200 r/min and is fitted with an EVI Multi-point fuel injection system driving through a 5-speed manual transmission or 6-speed CVT.

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Inside, it features an electric power steering with reach and rake adjustment, multi-function leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control, Bluetooth with hands-free voice control, multi-information display, touch screen radio/cd and MP3 player, full automatic air-conditioning, power windows and USB and accessory sockets

The boot space (normally 442 litres) can easily be transformed into 1 193 litres, simply by folding the seats forward.

“Both these units are packed with practical, easy-to-use equipment needed on a daily basis, and can be upgraded with a host of accessories available from any of our dealers nationwide,” says Campbell.

Pricing:
ASX ES M/T R359 995
ASX ES CVT R379 995

Warranty and service:
The ASX is covered by Mitsubishi’s Manufacturer’s Warranty of 3 years or 100 000 km, a 5-year / 90 000 km Service Plan and a 5-year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance. Service intervals are every 15 000 km.

Wind-in-the-hair options from BMW

BMW South Africa has made wind-in-the-hair motoring and sports tourer choices a lot more complex, albeit desirable, with the simultaneous launch of the 8 Series Coupé and Convertible alongside the Z4 roadster with both cars offering adrenalin junkie performance as well as the stuff pavement poser dreams are made of.

 

The new 8 Series came through its baptism of fire in the guise of the BMW M8 GTE at the FIA WEC endurance races and in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) held in North America.

Heading the model range is the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé, which is powered by a newly developed 390 kW V8 petrol engine.

The exterior design of the BMW 8 Series Coupé lives up to all the expectations created by the BMW Concept 8 Series. The car’s low-slung design, an elongated silhouette with a slim window graphic and a roofline flowing elegantly into the rear with distinctive ‘double-bubble’ contouring, a long wheelbase and a wide track are the defining elements of the BMW 8 Series Coupé’s proportions.

With exterior dimensions of 4 843 mm in length, 1 902 mm in width, 1 341 mm in height and a wheelbase of 2 822 mm, the two-door car adopts an extremely powerful stance on the road.

The low-down BMW kidney grille is hexagonal in shape, with its elements framed by a single-piece surround. The LED headlights are the slimmest of any BMW model to date and BMW Laserlight with variable road illumination and Selective Beam is optionally available.

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At the rear, the interplay of horizontal and diagonal lines emphasises the car’s width and low centre of gravity. The LED taillights add to this effect by extending deep into the flanks.

An almost fully sealed underbody, active air flap control and Air Curtains including Air Breathers help to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the new BMW 8 Series Coupé’s streamlined body. Narrow exterior mirror bases also help smooth the airflow.

On the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, an additional front spoiler further minimises lift at the front axle at high speeds.

The modern and minimalistic exterior design language is continued inside the new BMW 8 Series Coupé and the newly developed sports seats are upholstered as standard in Vernasca leather. Thanks to the low seating position of both rear seats, it has been possible to design the head restraints as an integral part of the backrests. The rear backrest can be split 50 : 50 as standard and folded down to increase the capacity of the 420-litre luggage compartment.

As usual with BMW, there are a legion of optional extras including the BMW Display Key, telephony with wireless charging, climate seats, the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, as well as glass applications for selected controls. Moreover, there is a choice of model-specific options from BMW Individual.

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The debut 4,4-litre V8 engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology offers a 50 kW increase in output with no impact on weight compared to the engine it replacesand generates 390 kW, which is on tap between 5 500 r/min and 6 000 r/min.

Maximum torque of 750 Nm is available over a wide rev range from 1 800 r/min to 4 600 r/min and the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3,7 seconds.

The engine transfers power to a new, improved version of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, whose increased ratio spread, new transmission management and optimised hydraulic control produce sportier gear shifts while also enhancing its efficiency and smoothness. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are included as standard for manual gear selection.

The BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system maximises traction and handling stability even in highly dynamic driving situations. The electronically controlled rear differential lock fitted as standard on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé gives the car an even sportier edge.

Torsion struts on the double-wishbone front axle and a shear panel fitted to the five-link rear axle optimise stiffness and the chassis components’ connection to the body.
The standard equipment for the new BMW 8 Series Coupé includes the Adaptive M suspension with lectronically controlled dampers. The standard specification for the BMW M850i xDrive Coupé also includes M Sport brakes along with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with high-performance tyres.

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Numerous driver assistance systems are available including Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, the Steering and lane control assistant, the Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning systems, the Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision protection and evasion aid, BMW Night Vision, as well as the Crossing traffic warning,

The BMW Connected personal mobility assistant is available for seamless connectivity between the vehicle and digital devices and the services available for use in the new BMW 8 Series Coupé include hazard warnings obtained from interconnectivity with other BMW vehicles, ‘over-the-air’ software upgrading, the integration of Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as the BMW Digital Key, which allows customers to unlock the vehicle and start the engine using a smartphone.

The new BMW Z4.

The two-seater has been systematically designed for maximum agility, thrilling dynamism, plus supremely precise steering characteristics with instantaneous response. The new BMW Z4 combines its sporty on-road prowess with a wealth of highly advanced, top-class equipment features on the driver assistance, operation and connectivity fronts.

The car’s proportions provide the most striking evidence of how the classic roadster concept has been reinterpreted. Compared to its predecessor, the new BMW Z4 has grown in length by 85 millimetres to 4 324 millimetres, is 74 millimetres wider (now 1 864 millimetres) and 13 millimetres taller (1 304 millimetres).

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The shortening of the wheelbase by 26 millimetres to 2 470 millimetres serves to sharpen agility, as do the notably wider tracks – 1 609 millimetres at the front (+ 98 mm) and 1 616 millimetres at the rear (+ 57 mm).

The body structure and chassis mountings both have high rigidity, while the new design of the front and rear axles gives the car a far sportier edge at the same time as guaranteeing high levels of comfort.

The Paris Motor Show hosted the show premiere of the new BMW Z4 in October 2018. Market launch starts this month with a choice of two model variants, including a BMW M Performance option.

The new BMW Z4 M40i is powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine delivering 250 kW. The BMW Z4 sDrive20i takes to the stage with a four-cylinder unit producing an output of 145 kW.

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With its new-look mesh-design BMW kidney grille and – for the first time – a vertical headlight arrangement, the car is equipped with LED headlights as standard, while the optional Adaptive LED headlights add a matrix function for the non-dazzling high beam and cornering lights.

Inside, both driver and passenger settle into model-specific sports seats with integral head restraints and boot capacity is 281 litres whether the soft-top is open or closed – an increase of more than 50% compared to the outgoing model.

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The 250 kW engine generates peak torque of 500 Nm and propels the roadster from 0 to 100 km/h in 4,6 seconds. The line-up of engines is completed by the 2,0-litre four-cylinder unit. In the new BMW Z4 sDrive20i, maximum output of 145 kW and peak torque of 320 Nm translate into a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6,6 seconds.

The chassis technology comprises a newly designed double-joint spring strut axle at the front and a five-link rear axle that is making its debut in a BMW roadster.

The Adaptive M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes and electronically controlled M Sport differential (all part of standard specification for the new BMW Z4 M40i, together with high-performance tyres) elevate the car’s sporty handling abilities to even greater heights.

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Driver assistance systems include Collision Warning, Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function and Lane Departure Warning system all as standard. The list of options includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, distance information, the Lane Change Warning System, Rear Collision Prevention and the Speed Limit Info system with No Passing Info display and – for the first time in a roadster – the BMW Head-Up Display.
Pricing

8 Series

M850i xDrive Coupé R1 872 900
M850i xDrive Convertible R1 994 300

Z4

sDrive20i R755 900 (standard) R779 100 (MSport)
M40i R1 030 500

Ready to rock round 1

Caledon is in the spotlight this weekend as the opening round of the South African National Rally Championships gets under way on the Cape Overberg Grand Prix Rally.

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle are all set for the upcoming event that is well-known for its high speeds and flowing stages and is a staunch test to start the season.

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“We are looking forward to the event, as the roads in the Overberg offer some of the best rally stages in the country,” said Botterill of the upcoming rally. “With that said, the season promises to be an interesting one, and we would really like to get it off to a strong start.”

Two new-generation Volkswagen Polos, each equipped with a one-litre turbo-charged engine, will be joining the fray this year. And while they conform to the rules of the NRC, their engines offer significantly more torque than that of the normally aspirated Toyota Etios 1600, campaigned by Toyota Gazoo Racing SA.

“This is obviously a concern for us,” explained Botterill, “but we are confident that our highly reliable, proven Etios is up to the task.”

Even so, the team has fitted a new engine and transmission to the Toyota, in order to give the crew the best possible machine with which to take on the new challengers.

The Cape Overberg Grand Prix Rally marks a return to the Western Cape for the NRC, which has not had an event in the province since 2017. This is Round 1 of the eight-round South African National Rally Championship, which Botterill and Vacy-Lyle have won twice on the trot, with multiple Class S1600 championships prior to that.

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The town of Caledon will play host to the rally, with the ceremonial start taking place at Rola Ford at 14:10 on March 30, before the crews take on six timed stages – four on gravel and two on mixed surfaces. Day two of the rally comprises eight stages, all run on the fast, flowing gravel roads for which the event is famous.

More to Carrying

Chinese automaker, JMC (Jiangling Motors Corporation), has grown its local range with the addition of a 4-tonne version of the Carrying, priced under R300 000 in dropside configuration including a 3-year/90 000 km service plan and a 5-year/150 000 km warranty.

Longer, larger and safer than the Carrying, the Carrying Plus sits on a 2 800 mm or 3 360 mm wheelbase and has a dual-tyre rear axle, enabling it to comfortably manage a four-tonne payload. Two cabin widths are available: the standard 1 880 mm version or 2 050 mm.

JMC 1a

With a forward-control layout the cabin is nonetheless designed to be aerodynamic and safe. Large headlights are stacked alongside the grille, above which there is a wide, curved windscreen, giving the driver excellent forward visibility. The same approach has been taken with the side glass where the window line slants downward to ensure front three-quarter and side visibility. Large exterior mirrors stand wide of the cab, maximising rear visibility.

Driver and passenger comfort includes power steering with height adjustment and – on Lux versions – air-conditioning and power windows.

Standard features include a radio, reverse warning alarm, front foglamps, dual sunvisors and generous cabin oddment space.

Interior

Powered by an Isuzu-derived 2,8-litre turbo-diesel mustering 84 kW and 210 Nm, the all-new JMC Carrying Plus is primarily designed with long days and short nights in mind and an 83-litre fuel tank maximises operating range.

A heavy-duty braking system includes anti-lock and an exhaust brake and drive is to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

The Carrying Plus has a tare weight of 2 480 kilograms and has a gross vehicle mass of 6 500 kilograms for a payload of 4 020 kilograms thanks to the dual tyre rear axle. It can be ordered in three configurations: dropside, box van or tipper and all are built in Nanchang, China

JMC 1ba

When fitted with a dropside body the extended wheelbase (3 360 mm) Carrying Plus boasts a cargo area of 4 155 mm by 1 940 mm, with a depth of 380 mm. The latter number increases to or 2 050 mm in wide-cabin guise. With a box body, dimensions are 4 080 mm by 1 910 mm/2 050 mm (normal and wide-body respectively) and a height of 1 930 or 2 050 mm.