RUMOUR HAS IT...
Porsche turns 70
Porsche revealed the Speedster Concept as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations
Many happy returns
Porsche celebrated its 70th anniversary at various events around the world last weekend, including at Kyalami in SA.
Local owners and enthusiasts gathered in droves at the circuit which saw a vast number of iconic Stuttgart models on display, including a replica of the very first Porsche, the famous 356 No1. Surprisingly, Porsche did not use the anniversary celebrations to reveal the next generation of its 911 though, instead choosing to pull the covers off the Speedster Concept, which should be the swan song for the current generation.
The company says that the concept forges a link to the original No1 from 1948 and is being considered for production in 2019. The concept has been developed by the Porsche Motorsport Centre and develops around 373kW.
Fiat Chrysler Group used the recent Turin motor show to reveal the next generation of its Jeep Renegade model, which is likely to only arrive in SA early in 2019.
The second generation gets small revisions to its exterior styling with the big changes being to the interior.
Inside the company has kept some of the trendy fashionable colours and trim items but has also given the Renegade even more of a Jeep look. There is also a new touchscreen infotainment system.
In addition, the model gets new engines although local specifications have yet to be confirmed.
Take it to the maxx
Volkswagen recently launched the new Polo Vivo but already it is expanding the range.
The introduction of the Polo Vivo Maxx means those people who want that pseduo-SUV look should be happy. The Maxx features suspension raised by 15mm, lots of black plastic cladding, aluminium roof rails and a sporty-looking exhaust. Inside it also gets sporty pedals, coloured centre console trim, multifunction steering wheel and an infotainment system that features App Connect.
Priced at R225,000 it will certainly give the Renault Sandero Stepway and Toyota Etios Cross a hard time.
Worthy of award
We don’t often mention that a car maker has won an award, not unless it’s a big one like a local or world car of the year accolade, but we love the Honda Urban EV concept and think it deserves every award it gets.
The latest is Best Concept Car which was bestowed on it by a panel of judges in the Car Design Awards, announced at the Turin motor show.
"The Honda Urban EV Concept is a wonderfully judged piece of design which brings a much-needed sense of personality to the EV space," said the joint statement from the Car Design Award jury. "Its clever blending of both retro and futuristic aesthetics gives it an undeniable desirability that few can compete with."
We completely agree — now can you please build it already Honda.
Better late than never
Not surprisingly, Volkswagen plans to update its Passat sedan shortly, three years after it was launched.
Like the Passat CC, the Arteon is basically a four-door coupe version of the Passat, even if it does differ in many significant ways. The most significant is the exterior design which is why VW will update the Passat with similar looks to the Arteon up front as well revisions at the rear.
The facelifted Passat is expected to make its debut later this year with VW boss Herbert Diess, saying that it is already "on the starting blocks".
Merc responds to X5
It is no surprise that Mercedes has been working on a response to BMW’s unveiling of its new X5 for some time. It will come in the form of an updated GLE that could go on sale at the end of 2018, about the same time as the new X5 arrives.
Like the X5, expect only minor exterior styling revisions with the big changes in the areas of engine enhancements to reduce consumption and an overall reduction in weight.
Our sources also tell us that there could be a big improvement in aerodynamics, probably also to contribute to improving consumption.