Great news if you are a true petrolhead — although you will have to be a wealthy petrolhead because Pagani is coming to SA.

Daytona, the company that distributes Aston Martin, McLaren and Rolls-Royce, has announced it has secured the distribution rights for Pagani, the Italian manufacturer of exotic supercars, for SA and Africa. The first Pagani Huayra will arrive in the country in 2018, but Daytona says its allocation for the next two years is already sold out. Damn.

G-Class not dead yet

There have been numerous reports that Mercedes’ iconic G-Class or Gelandewagen is dead. It’s probably not surprising, given that the company has released the G-Class Final Edition.

But fear not G-Class fans, a new G is on its way.

Sources have told us that it will launch internationally before the end of 2017 for introduction in 2018 and will be wider but lighter. AMG models will also follow for those who want the real brute.

No word on the introduction of the baby G-Class yet, which we know will look similar but be built on the A and B-Class platform.

Still with Mercedes and the company is putting the final touches to the new C-Class coupe which should get its international introduction before the end of 2017. Most of the exterior changes are minor, including new headlights similar to those on the E-Class, revised bumpers front and rear and new chrome detailing on the sides. Bigger changes will come inside and are also expected to appear on the facelifted C-Class sedan.

Our sources suggest there will be a new dual-screen infotainment system, again similar to that on the E-Class. Expect new sedan and coupe models in SA in 2018.

Japanese black cab

Toyota has unveiled a new taxi which it has, rather uncreatively, called the JPN Taxi (Japan Taxi).

It might look a little familiar because to us it looks like a close version of the iconic London black cab.

Unlike the famous London cab, the JPN Taxi has MPV-style sliding rear passenger doors, perfect for the densely populated streets of Tokyo.

At the moment, the company says it has no plans to produce the vehicle for markets outside ofJapan.

Celebrating the ocean

The Volvo Ocean Race got under way with the racing yachts leaving the Spanish port of Alicante on the first leg of a 45,000 nautical mile journey.

Along the way the crews are expected in Cape Town around November 27.

Over the years Volvo has released a number of vehicles to mark its sponsorship of the race and this time is no exception, with a special edition of the V90 Cross Country. Initial production is 3,000 models with each car contributing €100 to the Volvo Ocean Race science programme which aims to address the issue of plastics in the ocean. The car is equipped with carpet mats made from Econyl, a 100% recycled nylon fabric that includes abandoned fishing nets.

Chinese safety

We often criticise the Chinese automotive industry for making vehicles that lack basic safety equipment, but Chinese car makers representing 85% of the market in China have agreed to fit electronic stability control (ESC) as standard on new models from 2018.

Manufacturers include Besturn, Changan, Dongfeng Fengshen, Geely, Haval, Hongqi, Lynk and Co, MG, Trumpchi, Roewe, Senova and Wey. The announcement was made as part of Global NCAP’s Stop the Crash campaign in Shanghai.

ESC is regarded as a key piece of life-saving technology and has been compulsory in the US and Europe since 2012. It is unclear whether the decision applies only to models built for the Chinese market or whether we can expect all Chinese models in SA to also be equipped with it.

The announcement again shows that road safety is being taken seriously in China and we can only hope that the South African government will follow suit when Global NCAP holds its first Safer Cars for Africa event later in November.

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