ASTON MARTIN DSB SUPERLEGGERA
“Superleggera” means “superlight”, although in the automotive context it refers to lightweight. The famous coachbuilder term has been revived at Aston Martin for the new DBS Superleggera. The DBS, which replaces the Vanquish, offers more dramatic looks than the last generation. This means a feisty V12 under that long bonnet generating 533kW and 900Nm, enough to give it a claimed 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds and a top end of 340km/h. It is expected in South Africa in the third quarter of this year.
FLY THE UNION JACK
The latest Mini has arrived in South Africa, and with it even more Britishness than ever. We know it’s German-owned, but it’s Mini: it will always be British. And what makes the new one more British? Union Jack flag emblems, and lots of them. You can have it on the convertible’s fabric roof, another can light up on your dashboard, and you can still have it on your wing mirrors. But the real showpiece is the LED rear lights, which are available in a Union Jack design.
Jeep has a new Wrangler, Land Rover is working on a new Defender, and Mercedes has a new Gelandewagen. Soon Merc will have a baby version in the form of the GLB, but it will have to be quick, because, it’s the new Suzuki Jimny that steals the title of baby-G. The Jimny has always been affordable, capable, and practical. It had a cool factor before, but the new one elevates it into the super-cool league. It will have a better interior too, with a touchscreen infotainment system and a manual lo-range selection lever for those who actually want to go Jimnying around in the bush.
PORSCHE JOINS THE SUV COUPÉ GANG
When BMW launched its X6, people sniggered. Many still do, but these days it’s BMW that is laughing. For years most car makers avoided the coupé-like sports utility vehicle (SUV) styling, thinking BMW would never make it successful, but then Mercedes did it, and now even Lamborghini is doing it. Porsche is getting into it too, by sloping the roofline of its Cayenne to produce the new Cayenne coupé in 2019. The interior will be similar to the regular SUV, the engines similar too, but it will look a bit different, and that will, of course, be its appeal.