There may be plenty of new crossovers heading to our shores (be sure to check out 10 of the most significant plus five additional high-performance versions), but that doesn’t mean traditional luxury cars are a thing of the past. No, there are a few super-premium models coming to South Africa in 2018. And we’ve listed five below…
1. Audi A7 Sportback
Boasting a far sharper design than its predecessor, the fresh-faced A7 Sportback will come standard with a new mild hybrid system that boasts a “recuperation performance” of up to 12 kW when braking. At launch, a 3,0-litre V6 TFSI producing 250 kW and 500 N.m (allowing a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 5,3 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h) will do duty, mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Expect a local arrival in the second quarter of 2018.
2. Rolls-Royce Phantom
The new, eighth-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom is scheduled to touch down in SA in the second quarter of the year, running on new aluminium “spaceframe” underpinnings. Powered by a “completely new” (are you seeing a theme here?) 6,75-litre V12 engine, linked to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission, that now employs two turbochargers contributing to a low-end torque output of 900 N.m at just 1 700 r/min (up from the old car’s 720 N.m) and peak power of 420 kW (again, up from 338 kW), the Phantom should sprint to 100 km/h in about 5,3 seconds.
3. Lexus LS
Also expected in the second quarter of 2018, the fifth-generation Lexus LS shares its underpinnings with the LC 500 coupé. The Japanese brand’s flagship sedan draws its urge from a new 3,5-litre twin-turbo V6 that delivers 310 kW and 600 N.m of torque to either the rear or all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The result is a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4,5 seconds (in all-wheel-drive models, that is).
4. Mercedes-Benz CLS
The third-generation CLS is the first Mercedes-Benz to adopt the Stuttgart-based brand’s “new design idiom”, but also shares much with the E-Class on which it is based (and even gains some S-Class tech). Initially, just a trio of 3,0-litre six-cylinder mills will be offered, with each sending their oomph to all four wheels: the CLS 350d 4Matic (210 kW and 600 N.m), CLS 400d 4Matic (250 kW and 700 N.m) and electrified CLS 450 4Matic (270 kW and 500 N.m). Bank on an arrival in SA in the final quarter of 2018.
5. Audi A8
The fourth-generation Audi A8 is due on local shores in the second quarter of the year, sporting a fresh design and a bunch of semi-autonomous technology features. All models will ship standard with quattro all-wheel drive, with a 210 kW 3,0 TDI and 250 kW 3,0T FSI on the cards. Later, we can expect a 320 kW 4,0 TDI and 338 kW 4,2 TFSI to be added to the line-up, with the flagship 6,0-litre W12 likely hot on their heels. A plug-in hybrid variant has also been developed.
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