Tweaks for Suzuki Vitara

There is a completely new look – but same price – for the Suzuki Vitara for 2019 with new headlamps and a redesigned grille contributing to a fresh a more modernised look for the off-roader that has sold some 1 700 units locally since its introduction in 2015.

In front, new clear headlamp clusters flank a redesigned grille with horizontal slats and a large Suzuki S badge. Lower down, the bumper features a trapezoidal air intake with deep-set fog lamps (on certain models). For the GLX specification level, the main driving lights are LED.

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The vertical LED daytime running lights are enclosed in a new J-shaped chrome insert (black on the GL spec level), which extends from the edges of the black number plate housing to the top of the fog lamps and the optional silver scuff plate and side mouldings now integrate with the new bumper design, both in front and at the rear.

At the rear, the new combination lamp is fitted with LED lights that mimic the daytime running lights in the front and on the GLX, the front and rear bumpers are fitted with flush mounted parking sensors.

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Inside, the upper instrument panel is now made from soft touch materials and on the GLX specification level there is a new seat trim material that is both more luxurious and hardy. On the GL+ model, the designers have replaced the black stitching on all seats with contrasting white stitching and on the GLX specification level, the seats are covered with a combination of luxury suede and synthetic leather.

For the driver, Suzuki has fitted the GL+ and GLX models with a new 4,2-inch full colour LCD information display and a 3,5-inch monochrome LCD on the GL specification level. This screen displays information such as driving range, average speed, outside temperature, a gear shift indicator and, on AllGrip models, the selected Driving Mode.

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Suzuki added a second large screen in its new Smart Linkage Display Audio system, which replaces the more traditional analogue system on the GL+ and GLX models. This new touchscreen system features smartphone integration, built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity. It will display the reverse camera image in full colour.

Standard features include power windows (front only on the GL model), central locking, air-conditioner with pollen filter, power steering and foldable rear seats.

For the GL+ and GLX spec levels, Suzuki added climate control, cruise control, a multifunction steering, all-round power windows and chrome detailing. The GLX model gets a unique instrument panel trim, keyless access with push-button Start/Stop and an electric tilt and sliding panoramic sunroof flanked by chromed roof rails.

All models come with seven crash bags (including one for the driver’s knees), electronic stability control (ESP) and anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assistance.

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Powering the Suzuki Vitara is the 1.6 VVT petrol engine, which delivers 86 kW at 6 000 r/min and 156 Nm at 4 400 r/min and it is mated to the choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox and offered either as front-wheel drive or with the AllGrip all-wheel drive system.

The refreshed Vitara will be sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000 km / 5-year vehicle warranty. It also has a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and roadside assistance for the duration of the vehicle warranty.

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Suzuki Vitara GL (manual): R281 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (man): R318 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (auto): R337 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX (auto): R359 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX AllGrip (man): R374 900

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Cape Town show revs up

It is motor show time again with the Cape Town Motor Show (CTMS) ready to open its doors at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment Worl from March 2 to March 3.

Here are just 10 of the awesome reasons to get to the Cape Town Motor Show.

1. Dare a Drift flip or Go With a Pro at Driftkhana
The highly-specialised skill of drifting will be on full-throttle display with all the spectacular action hosted by XS Promotions. For those who want to do more than to simply watch the wheel-spinning and tyre-smoking, there’s the opportunity to take a drift flip, or even go with a pro as passenger at the Driftkhana event, where obstacles are added into the mix. Tickets to both can be purchased separately via Computicket or at the show.

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2. View and Test the New Models in The Grand Arena
The Grand Arena is the place to see the very best new models and concepts from the top manufacturers in South Africa. Joining us this year are Maserati, BMW, Shelby, Lexus, Mazda, Toyota, Suzuki, amongst others. Best of all, several of the brands will offer test drives on-site. What are you still even thinking about?

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3. Rock with Dusty Rebels and The Bombshells and The Miss Bombshell Betty Pageant
After their wildly popular debut at CTMS last year, Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells will be back, offering visitors an experience of the good old days of vintage 40s, 50s and 60s Rock n Roll style. Check out the cars, the fashion and the music of the era, and make a point of attending the Miss Bombshell Betty pageant, hosted by the always-delightful Blue Haired Betty on Sunday 3 March at 2pm.

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4. Challenge the 4×4 Challenge Tracks
The Wildebeest 4×4 Challenge Club hosts the ever-popular 4×4 track on both Saturday and Sunday, built for all classes of vehicles to challenge technical skills as well as different vehicle capabilities. Saturday’s highlight will be the Extreme 4×4 Challenge, so come and see how these extraordinary 4x4s ramp and jump their way through the highly technical course, or join as a passenger to experience the thrill first-hand.

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5. Kit up in The Sun Exhibits Hall
There are lots of extras that go with being a car owner. And it will pay to visit the Sun Exhibits Hall, where all the dealers and suppliers that make motoring such a personal pleasure will be offering deals and discounts on products like insurance, parts, accessories, apparel, collectors’ items and gear.

5. Sun Exhibits Hall

6. Get the Full VIP Zone Experience
The much-desired VIP ticket gets you some special treatment this year. Besides access to the exclusive VIP area in the Sun Park, you receive a light lunch, drinks vouchers, a drift ride from the folks at XS promotions, a 4×4 drive experience from the Wildebeest Challenge Club, a CTMS cap and shirt, with an entry to win the amazing custom MG build by Cape Kustoms. A great all-round CTMS experience for just R950 via Computicket.

7. Enter the Show & Shine Stancewars
Leading audio experts Soundmatch will deliver a world class Show & Shine event called Stancewars on Sunday 3 March, with a wide range of the finest cars showcasing custom builds. Anyone can enter their pride and joy at any Soundmatch branch around the city. Prizes on offer include Best Wheel, Best Classic Car, Best Interior, Best Race Theme, and others.

8. Join the Sound Off Competition and World Record Attempt
Soundmatch will also host an internationally recognised Sound Off audio competition in association with IASCA (the standard by which mobile electronics performance is measured). The louder the sound, the greater the chance to win, and the aim this year is to beat the world record for collective volume. There are limited entries, though, at R200 per car. Enter at any Soundmatch branch around Cape Town.

9. Time Travel in the Market Hall Nostalgia Zone
The Nostalgia Zone has been so popular with visitors, it has been given the entire Market Hall this year. Join the Crankhandle Club for a trip down automotive memory lane, with its vehicles dating as far back as the early 1900s. Check out some of the most rare and unique motor vehicles in the world, including beautifully restored models and the products that make it possible for these classics to be brought back to their original or showroom conditions.

9. The Nostalgia Zone

10. Enter the Ultimate Classic Car Giveaway
A highlight for true classic fans is the opportunity to drive away with a custom rebuild of a 1970s era MGB GT. This special project boasts a complete rebuild, some unique Cape Kustoms elements and a 3,9-litre Rover V8 motor. Enter to win by purchasing some CTMS merchandise at the MG display, and look out for the additional bike giveaway, details of which are yet to be revealed.

10. MG build by Cape Kustoms

Opel celebrates 120 years

To help celebrate 120 years of Opel production, Unitrans (the Opel distributors in South Africa) is bringing the Opel Corsa Special Edition to market in March.

The Opel Corsa 120Y Special Edition is based on the Corsa Enjoy but boasts many extra styling and specification features including the New Tech Pack III with Front/Rear Park-Assist and Rear-View Camera; Window Side Lower Beltline with Chrome Moulding; ‘Opel’ Door Sill Plate; Up-market ‘Allure’ Jet Black Cloth Trim and Velour Floor Mats (Black with ‘120 Years’ Stitching).

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The Opel brand has a reputation spanning well over a century of pioneering high-tech advancements and quickly bringing them to series production. This approach to vehicle manufacturing makes mobility affordable for many and Opel cars safer, cleaner, more comfortable and more practical.

The 120 years advertising campaign, ‘Opel. Born in Germany. Made for everyone’ is based on this philosophy. Today this philosophy matches the Opel Corsa more than any other model in its category.

More than 13,5-million Corsas have been produced worldwide since 1982. The Opel Corsa thus plays a leading role in Opel’s 120 year anniversary.

The Opel Corsa in general and the Corsa ‘120 Years’ in particular, show it is a core Opel brand characteristic to always offer customers more than they expect in the respective vehicle categories in which Opel competes.

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Opel has been in South Africa for more than 80 years and has the positive reputation of always offering luxury level specifications that stamps a German-engineered punch high above their price category.

Motorists again hit by taxes

Yet again the South African motorist has been made the ‘coffer-filler’ to provide revenue lost by a wrecked Government through its own corruption, greed and ineptitude – the 2019 Budget announced by Minister Tito Mboweni hiking fuel levies.

The chronic failure of State Owned Enterprises (SOE) and the dismal failure of Government to stop state capture, theft, looting and pillaging of tax payer money – in addition to having no success in holding the perpetrators accountable – means the motorist remains the ‘go-to’ target for revenue.

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The changes to the fuel levies will be implemented along with any fuel price adjustments on April 03, the first Wednesday of April 2019.

“Even though the increases to the General Fuel and Road Accident Fund levies are lower than expected, we remain concerned these levies are seen as the ‘go-to’ taxes for easy increases by government. Now, with the addition of the Carbon Tax on fuel, this ‘easy’ tax collection method is being further exploited, thus adding another line of tax to the fuel price,” says the Automobile Association.

Consumers currently pay R5,34 towards indirect taxes on every litre of petrol bought, and R5,19 on every litre of diesel. This is comprised of R3,37 (petrol) and R3,22 (diesel) for the General Fuel Levy, R1,93 for the RAF levy (for petrol and diesel) and four cents for customs and excise taxes (petrol and diesel).

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With the increases announced in the Budget Speech, these levies will now increase by a combined 29 cents for petrol and 30 cents for diesel which include a nine and 10 cent addition for the Carbon Tax on petrol and diesel respectively.

From April the total cost of the levies (General Fuel, RAF, customs and excise and the new Carbon Tax) will amount to R5,63 for petrol and R5,49 for diesel.

“These increases will comprise anything between 40% and 42% of every litre of fuel bought depending on the type of fuel used and where it is purchased (either inland or coastal). This represents a substantial portion of the fuel price and, in our opinion, adds to the burden especially poorer consumers carry directly through paying these taxes, and indirectly through the costs passed on to them by manufacturers and retailers who also have to pay these taxes,” says the AA.

Of particular worry to the Association is the inclusion of the new Carbon Tax announced by the Minister.

“Besides being an additional line of tax on the fuel price, the inclusion of a Carbon Tax is grossly unfair by government given the fact South Africans will now be paying an emissions tax on inferior quality fuel despite not having access to higher quality fuels which are available in many other markets in the world,” notes the AA.

Government has consistently failed to ensure the Petroleum industry in South Africa moves forward and modernises to be able to provide the same quality fuel as used elswhere in the world – meaning motorists are also deptived of access to some of the more modern and ‘greener’ engines available from motor manufacturers.

This means the current Emissions Tax is – and always has been – a farce, since it has nothing to with actual emissions but put in place merely to generate more revenue, as is the case with the Carbon Tax.

“Fuel is a volatilely-priced commodity; geo-political developments affecting international oil production and supply, and the value of the Rand against the US dollar both play a major role in its monthly determination.

“While 2019 has begun relatively smoothly in terms of the fuel price – especially compared with the extreme variations seen in 2018 (which included record highs of over R17/l for some fuels) – there is no guarantee prices will remain as flat as they are currently. In fact, forecasts for March already show a more than 50 cents increase, perhaps even higher,” states the AA.

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Against this backdrop, the Association notes, the increases to the fuel levies will have a deep impact on the fuel price for the months ahead, placing consumers on the back foot before any price adjustments for the rest of the year are even made.

Another factor the AA believes is important is any increases to the fuel price will come at a time when government is appealing to citizens to tighten their financial belts.

“Setting an example in this regard may prove more successful in the short and longer terms than simply adding yet another layer to taxes,” concludes the AA.

Edox joins WRX

Time is ticking away to the start of the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship, presented by Monster Energy but, will have a whole new level of Swiss precision with watch brand, Edox, on board as the new official timing partner.

The partnership with the FIA World Rallycross Championship extends Edox’s long history of involvement with motor sport.

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As Official Timing Partner, Edox will have significant trackside branding and put its name to the fastest lap at each round of the championship. Additionally there are plans for a FIA World Rallycross-themed timepiece collection.

In welcoming Edox to the fold, Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of IMG Motorsports, the series promoter, said: “We are delighted Edox is joining our stable of commercial partners as Official Timing Partner.

“Edox has a rich heritage in motor sport and we are privileged it has chosen the FIA World Rallycross Championship as the ideal environment for continuing that association.”

The 135-year old family-owned company combines traditional hand-assembly with innovative materials and functionality at the company headquarters in Les Genevez.

The Chronorally collection has been developed to withstand the most extreme racing conditions and will be the assigned watch for World RX.

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Alexandre Strambini, CEO says: “At Edox, we attach great importance to the world of motor sports and to the values it represents. We have been repeatedly the Official Timing Partner for some of FIA’s prestigious competitions in the past years and we are now very proud to start this new partnership with the FIA World Rallycross Championship.”

Tech heavy Micra added to range

Nissan has tweaked its Micra offering with the addition of the Acenta Plus Tech that incorporates Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) technology.

One of the features are the four 360-degree cameras around the car connected to the large screen on the dashboard, giving an Intelligent Around view monitor.

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There is also Moving Object Detection which keeps an eye around the car and warns about moving things – trolleys, pedestrians – detected nearby.

Blind Spot Warning boosts vision by alerting the driver if there are vehicles in the blind spots diagonally behind the car, while Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking monitors the vehicle in front and beeps loudly if the gap narrows too much. If the driver does not react to that, it will slow the car down to avoid collision.

The new Nissan Micra Acenta Plus Tech model is compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and, once connected, allows access to maps with turn-by-turn navigation, music, telephone services and other apps such as Audiobooks and Spotify – and, it comes with a dedicated Siri button on the steering wheel.

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Driving tech includes Hill Start Assist which holds the vehicle when stationary, Intelligent Trace Control which delivers confident handling around corners as it adjusts the brake pressure on individual wheels to help keep an optimal line through turns and Intelligent Ride Control, which applies subtle braking to prevent unpleasant upper body motion over bumps and enhance the overall comfort of the ride.

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The Nissan Micra Acenta Plus Tech comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and an Energy Orange interior. It also includes, like the rest of the Micra vehicles in the new range, daytime running lights, front power windows, a manual air-conditioner, cruise control, automatic headlights, six crash bags and much more.

As with all other Nissan vehicles, the Nissan Micra is covered by Nissan Assured and comes with a 6-year/150 000 km warranty; a 3-year/90 000 km service plan; and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Nissan Micra Acenta Plus Tech: R299, 900

Penta backs SAGMJ

With less than a month to go to the final evaluation of the models nominated for the 2019 AutoTrader South African Car Of The Year competition, the Penta Motor Group has joined as a second-tier sponsor.

The South African Car Of The Year has never had any restrictions other than that no second tier sponsorship must clash with the headline sponsor regarding the sponsorship of the competition. The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) welcomes Penta, the first sponsorship by a multi-franchise dealership.

The Penta Motor Group had humble beginnings when Philip Botha and Roelof Janse van Vuuren decided they wanted to strike out on their own in 2011. In 2012 Penta started off with a Suzuki dealership in Rustenburg with Suzuki Klerksdorp being added in 2013.

This was followed by a Suzuki and Mahindra dealership Montana and in 2014 Mahindra Klerksdorp was completed. By 2016 Nissan Standerton joined and the official name was changed from North West Motor Group to Penta Motor Group.

In 2017 Suzuki Menlyn became the newest member and in 2018 Penta has grown into Limpopo with Mahindra Polokwane that encompasses Volvo, Peugeot and Mahindra Mokopane.

Penta motor Group has a number of brands in itrs stable being: Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Suzuki, Nissan, Datsun, Peugeot and Mahindra.

“We look forward to a fruitful relationship between Penta, the SAGMJ and 2019 AutoTrader South African Car Of The Year,” says Guild Chairman, Rubin van Niekerk.