So, two infamous icons of the South African motoring industry have finally been laid to rest, but that doesn’t mean we’re left wanting for new models next year, as the December issue of CAR magazine plays host to all the newcomers destined for our shores in 2010, as well as the replacements due for the Fiat Palio, and more importantly, the CitiGolf.
With the Palio saying its goodbyes after a 10-year run in South Africa, it really will be interesting to see how Fiat plans to replace the distinct budget-beater. Apparently the Grande Punto has been punted as the next entry-level Fiat, with a choice of 1,2-litre and 1,4-litre engines.
There are also rumours that 500 could be re-launched on our market, with the prospect of much-needed pricing drops thanks to the possibility of lower specification models being made available, with the same extensive customising options still available to spice it up.
But the biggest news by far has to be the replacement of the CitiGolf. Apparently called the Vivo, the Citi’s successor appears to be a much lower spec version of the current generation Polo (which is due for replacement by the beginning of the new year), basically much along the lines of what Volkswagen South Africa has done with the first generation Golf and constantly resurrected over three decades. Despite its unmatched popularity and fun-to-drive feel, safety features have been the biggest vice for the Citi, especially with the emphasis on occupant safety in recent times. Will the Vivo cure that unsafe stigma? You can see a picture of what we expect the Vivo to look like in the December 09 issue of CAR, on sale November 16.
But these only make up a few of the 75 new models headed our way next year. From the bizarrely-styled Bentley Mulsanne, to the hybrid offerings from Honda and Land Rover, and everything in between, the updates section includes a detailed report from all the local players.
A trio of supercars have bustled their way into the December issue as well – read about our first encounters with the munch-anticipated McLaren MP4-12C, Porsche 911 Turbo and Bentley Continental Supersports. Meanwhile a trio of different sorts duke it out in a comparative test as the Nissan NP200, Ford Bantam and Opel Corsa Utility battle for “half-ton” pick-up glory.
Motorsports icon Sarel van der Merwe remixes the Parlotones latest hit, Push me to the floor, the only way he knows how – by taking it to the track against some hot sportscars at the helm of a limo, while out road test section includes the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 3,2 DI-D GLS, the new Toyota Corolla Verso 2,0D TX, Mercedes-Benz S350, Kia Cerato 1,6 EX, and the hot Subaru Impreza WRX Saloon.
We also continue to keep you abreast of our progress with our hard-working fleet of long termers, while technical guru Jake Venter takes a look at the issues surrounding engine mountings and the potential for nasty surprises when replacing catalytic converters in part three of our six-part maintenance survey. There are also many prizes up for grabs, including a Volvo S40, Parlotones hampers and a Chevrolet Cruze.