The month of August was not short of car releases and reveals, not to mention epic car events such as the SA Festival of Motoring. On several occasions, car manufacturers teased a car and then revealed it moments later. There were many likable cars revealed in August from top manufacturers such a Mercedes Benz and Audi. Here are our top 10 cars in August.
- 2020 Hyundai Grand i10
City cars have become essential as the first car a person can own and the Grand i10 has always been the perfect recommendation for a small, economical hatchback. The new one spots a more aggressive face with a revised headlight design and dual round LED lights for a funky look. That front design is complemented by the two-tone exterior colour scheme which many car manufacturers are adapting to their entry-level small cars. It is 20 mm wider and 20 mm lower than its predecessor, which improves interior spaces and the shape of the car.
The tiny 1.0 liter 3 cylinder petrol engine makes do with 67 hp (50 kW) and 97 Nm of torque but if that is not enough for you, a 1.2-liter engine produces a much better 83 hp (62 kW) and 118 Nm of torque. Both engines come with a 5-speed manual transmission as standard and an optional auto transmission with the same gear ratios. There’s an Eco pack variant that includes small 14-inch wheels, four seats, and adjusted gear ratios to improve fuel efficiency. The new improved interior design has the infotainment screen conjoined by a tablet-like surrounding with the instrument cluster. It is an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is a lot to like about the new Grand i10 and we hope South Africans will love it when it launches soon.
- BMW X6 Vantablack
BMW has never been a boring face to the public and they’ve released something out of the ordinary, it’s not a car but what is on it. Say hello to the new BMW X6 wearing the blackest colour in the world, Vantablack. The colour has been developed by Surrey NanoSystems and what they have done here is create a coating or substance that absorbs visible light and shows no reflection of it whatsoever. The company that made it has chosen the new X6 because of its shape but I believe they did that because it has an illuminated kidney grille which I think will look spectacular at night.
At night, you will only see the BMW Laserlights and the illuminated kidney grille which is a cool gimmick by the way. On some videos posted on Instagram of the BMW X6 Vantablack, the car looks as if it was computer-generated onto the screen and looks a bit animated and unreal. We applaud BMW for showing the automotive industry something unusual but yet interesting and they have stated that they won’t offer the colour to customers as it would be dangerous driving a car that is invisible to the eye at night.
- Volkswagen Amarok Canyon
Volkswagen’s success with the Amarok in South Africa has seen an introduction of a special edition of the bakkie which is good on the eye. The exterior receives a more rugged look thanks to the flared wheel arches, black and chrome grille finish, chrome-effect strips and unique 17-inch “Aragua” alloy wheels. You will immediately notice that this Amarok is the Canyon edition as the body spots Canyon decals on the paintwork.
The engine is 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine chunking out 221 hp (165 kW) and 550 Nm of torque while on overboost it adds 15 kW more to the 4Motion drive system for an incredible burst of acceleration. It costs R799 000 and that gets you standard features such as bi-xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera. Add an extra R20 579 for the Discover Media infotainment system which includes navigation.
- 2020 Lexus LX
The Japanese are taking the fight to the Germans with the updated 2020 Lexus LX. Like the BMW X7 and Mercedes Benz GLS, the Lexus LX is the SUV of the Lexus LS which is Lexus rival to the 7 Series and S-Class. Since its introduction 13 years ago, the 7 seven-seater luxurious SUV has gained a reputation of being a modest full-size SUV that didn’t show off but now the design has become lavish. It meets all the criteria for a full-size luxury SUV which includes a huge shiny front grille, 21-inch wheels on the sport package and a ridiculous long wheelbase.
The Lexus LX is infested with a lot of gadgets to impress anyone and if you go for the luxury package, it amps up the interior look of the LX. This includes four-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front/rear seats and a lovely wooden steering wheel. Don’t panic that you have to pay extra for the cool gadgets because as standard the LX has a 19 speaker “Mark Levinson” Sound System, heads up display, a wireless charging pad and a whole lot more.
- Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Finally, Porsche has joined the SUV Coupe segment and did they impress with their latest offering. The Cayenne Coupe is based on the outgoing Cayenne SUV but it has a more stylish appeal thanks to the sloping roofline. The range kicks off with the normal variant which has a 3.0 L turbo six-cylinder with 335 hp (250 kW) and 450 Nm of torque. Then when you step up to the Turbo model, you get a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 541 hp (403 kW) and 770 Nm of torque. You can still go the extra mile and get the Turbo E-hybrid model which has an electric motor integrated with the V8 engine and in total it produces 680 hp.
The exterior is what the Cayenne Coupe is all about with the roof lowered by 20 mm coupled with the biggest retractable rear spoiler which lifts up at high speeds for improved downforce. The Cayenne Coupe comes with the lightweight package to reduce the weight of the car by fitting a carbon fibre roof which also helps with the low center of gravity. The Cayenne Coupe is a pretty SUV to many and it should give the BMW X6 and Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe a very tough competition in terms of performance and looks.
- 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe
The SUV that I have said was ugly in the past has gotten a complete makeover and now looks way sexier than ever. The front takes the face of the GLE SUV and when you start to move to the back, that is where things start to get interesting. The shape is nowhere different from the previous generation but there are some minor changes to the design cues like the updated rear lights and it is said to be more aerodynamic.
The model variant which was showcased on the reveal is the GLE 53 AMG which has a 3.0-liter straight-six engine assisted by a mild hybrid system with a power output of 429 hp (320 kW) and sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds. The engine is mated to a 9-speed TCT automatic with 4Matic+ driving all four wheels. The new GLE Coupe looks much better and I think Mercedes Benz is ready to tackle this segment of SUV Coupes.
- 2019 Audi A1
Audi has finally launched the new version of its smallest model and it looks very promising. One issue I need to clear out first is the options of this car take the price high if you go crazy with them. The car is reported to cost over R600 000 with all the options included, that’s the same price as its fairly spec’d big brother the Audi A3. On launch, there is the 30 TSFI with a 1.0-liter turbo-petrol 3 cylinder with 85 kW and 200 Nm of torque. It’s followed by the 35 TSFI with a 1.5-liter turbo-petrol 4 cylinder with 110 kW and 250 Nm of torque. Then the range-topping 40 TSFI has a 2.0-liter turbo-petrol 4 cylinder with 147 kW and 320 kW.
There are 10 exterior colours to choose from and also there is a black roof offered as an option. There are three trim levels to choose from Standard, Advanced Line, and S-Line. The interior has been heavily updated and as standard, you get a 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come with the optional Audi smartphone interface. Prices range from R359 900 to R488 000.
3. Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR
Our outcries have finally been acknowledged and Volkswagen made a surprising reveal at the 2019 Festival of Motoring by announcing that the Golf GTi TCR will finally be sold in South Africa with only 300 units coming in November. The inspiration behind the Golf GTi TCR comes from the TCR series racing car and as a result, the road-legal version has adapted a more powerful 213 kW 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine with 380 Nm of torque driving only the front wheels. The front differential has been tuned to cope with all the power ensuring that the Golf GTi TCR can handle the power on the front axle.
The 7-speed DSG ensures that the TCR hits 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds and flat out it can do 260 km/h but that top speed comes as an option. The exterior of the car standouts and makes it easy to tell it apart from the normal GTi. It has TCR inspired decals on the back doors, 18-inch “Belvedere” forged alloy wheels, black mirror caps, front splitter, TCR roof spoiler, and a rear diffuser. The car got some attention at the reveal and it draw more attention when it was announced that it will be priced below R700 000.
- Mercedes-AMG GLB 35
Mercedes-AMG has done it again and took a newly introduced model in the Mercedes Benz SUV range and gave it the 35 AMG badge alongside a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged 4 cylinder with 302 hp (225 kW) and 400 Nm of torque. It can do 0-100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds with a limited top speed of 250 km/h. This is the first-ever Mercedes Benz 35 AMG SUV and it having that title means it’s the only 35 AMG model with the Panamericana grille.
The small SUV carries 7 people but the 3rd-row seat will struggle for legroom but the headroom should be alright thanks to the box shape of the GLB and a high roofline. The suspension has been stiffened to make the handling more agile. There is an option of the AMG Ride Control suspension which electronically controls damping at each wheel for a more comfortable ride over bumps. The 19-inch wheels are standard for the GLB 35 AMG and there are optional 20 and 21-inch wheels. Expect the GLB 35 to arrive sometime next year alongside the A35 AMG and CLA 35 AMG.
- Audi RS6 Avant
The most admirable estate is back and mind you it looks even more aggressive and beautiful than ever. The RS6 Avant has been around for quite a while now and it was time to change the looks for the 2020 year model and we are very happy that it looks very different from the normal A6 estate. It has a deeper front bumper with a new Matrix LED light design similar to the A7 Sportback. It has sporty side skirts, a rear diffuser, and RS oval-style twin exhaust pipes.
It is powered by a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 assisted by a mild-hybrid system and makes do with 600 hp (447 kW) and 800 Nm of torque. Thanks to Quattro, it can do 0-100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds but we suspect that it can do it less than that. The top speed is 250 km/h but can be raised to 280 km/h with the Dynamic Package and can be raised even further to 305 km/h with the Dynamic Package Plus. Being an estate it should be practical as well and it’s good news because the boot capacity is 565 liters. The interior comes with a dual-screen set up for the Audi MMI infotainment screen and climate control with the aid of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. This car is fantastic and Audi has done a great job with the C8 version.