RUMOUR HAS IT...
Supra reveal imminent
Toyota will finally pull the camo from its new Supra at Geneva
Toyota will be the first to reveal its new sports car on a platform shared with BMW when it unveils the new Supra at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Both the Supra and the new BMW Z4 will be built in Austria by Magna Steyr. Toyota’s car is a smaller coupe with shorter overhangs and more sharply sloped roofline compared to BMW’s side of the jointly-developed project, the Z4 roadster. Prototypes also show a fixed rear wing and a dual exhaust system, similar to the one on the GT86.
Judging by the camouflaged shapes at the front, the production Supra will borrow the FT1 concept’s strong centre nose, flanked by large air intakes. The long bonnet could be hiding a turbocharged BMW-sourced six-cylinder petrol engine. However, some reports also say the Japanese engineers could install a hybrid system, as a new hybrid turbo engine is under development at the company.
Lexus adds another X
Lexus will reveal yet another crossover in Geneva when it pulls the covers off its new UX, which is heading to SA later in 2018.
It is expected to feature design that is slightly toned down from the concept, but will retain many of the creases that first debuted in the NX.
Set to rival smaller SUVs like the Mercedes GLA and upcoming Jaguar E-Pace it should feature petrol and petrol-electric hybrid powerplants. Sitting below the NX in the hierarchy, some sources suggest the UX could also replace the ageing Lexus CT hatchback.
Luring car makers
Legendary Italian design and engineering house ItalDesign will celebrate its 50th birthday by taking the roof off its Zerouno sports car at the Geneva Motor Show.
It released a sketch of the Zerouno Roadster at its headquarters near Torino and plans to put five of the cars into private hands for at least €1.5m each.
It won’t be the only car concept ItalDesign will show in Geneva, though, with plans to deliver an evolution of its Airbus collaboration, the Pop.Up, with its passenger cell that attaches to either a detachable rolling chassis or a drone-style aircraft.
The Zerouno’s frantically busy design polarised opinion when it debuted at the same show in 2017. The entire point of the car was to draw attention to ItalDesign’s engineering and ultra-low volume production capability.
ItalDesign CEO Jörg Astalosch insists the Zerouno (Zero one in English) brought a raft of interest and new customers to the Volkswagen Group-owned organisation. It also sold all five of its €1.5m Zerounos to private collectors and Astalosch expects to move its five roadsters.
Like the coupe, Astalosch expects the Roadster to attract more car makers to ItalDesign, while its development and production is completely paid for by its five collectors.
The radical-looking Roadster will, like its hard-topped predecessor be based around the core spaceframe aluminium/carbon-fibre chassis and powertrain of the 5.2l, V10 Audi R8.
Founded by design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro and engineering lynchpin Aldo Mantovani in 1968, ItalDesign has designed or engineered (or both) cars like the original Volkswagen Golf, the Fiat Panda, the Alfa Romeo Alfasud, the BMW M1, the Lancia Delta, the Lamborghini Gallardo, Alfa’s 159, the 2008 Mini hatch and the Audi Q2.
Isuzu mux in
Isuzu Motors SA has revealed its new MU-X seven-seater SUV. The new model will go on sale towards the end of 2018 and the company has no plans to produce in SA.
The MU-X is based on the architecture of the current KB bakkie and the company says it is hoping to recreate the success of the original Isuzu Frontier with the new model.
Motors SA marketing boss Dominic Rimmer is adamant that it is not a new generation of the Chevrolet Trailblazer which disappeared in the local market along with General Motors.
However, there are similarities in the exterior design and more so in the interior, which apart from the addition of a tablet-style infotainment screen on the dash, looks almost identical to the Trailblazer.
Subaru SA has introduced updated versions of its Legacy and Outback models to the local market.
The focus for both is on enhanced quality and refinement with a number of exterior design changes and the use of higher quality materials in the interior. Both models also now get the company’s Eyesight driver assistance technology.
In other news …
It is prototype season with hundreds of new models being tested around the world, including in SA.
Spies have spotted the new BMW Z4, X5, 8 Series and 1 Series testing in the Western Cape. Further afield, the new Porsche Cayman GT4 and 911 GT3 RS have been testing in winter conditions.
Both models are set to arrive in SA in 2018, along with the new Boxster Spyder.
It’s about time Bentley replaced its ageing Flying Spur and so it will come as no surprise that a new model is undergoing testing that will take design cues from the new Continental GT.