Cover stories INSIGHT: Ready to rumble. From a hypercar to SUVs and hatches: the new challengers stepping into the ring. TECH FEATURE: Auto ‘boxes: how they break (and get fixed). We visit an automatic-transmission specialist to learn what can go wrong and how problems are fixed. TEST: Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic Power 7G-tronic vs. VW Amarok 3,0 TDI V6 4Motion Highline Tiptronic. Until recently, the Amarok V6 was SA’s brawniest lifestyle bakkie … then the 190 kW X350d landed and kicked up a froth at braais across the country. DRIVE: BMW X3 M Competition M xDrive M Steptronic. The X3 M is the performance-SUV segment’s most focused offering but will its stealthy approach deter buyers? TEST: Mazda3 2,0 Astina AT. The new Mazda3 has all but closed the gap between it and the Golf but there’s some work to do.
Also in this issue FEATURE: Classic drive: 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Vantage. It is almost 50 years to the day the DB6 Mk2 was unveiled. We headed to the UK to drive a pristine example from the company’s heritage department. TEST: Opel Corsa 1,4T GSi. The GSi badge returns to South Africa in the form of a tweaked Opel Corsa as a range-topping warm hatch. SPEED: Drag race: Mercedes-Benz X350d vs. VW Amarok. Both bakkies have powerful V6 turbodiesels and permanent AWD. One’s much heavier, though. CONSUMER FEATURE: Stripped or snapped? No sweat. What may seem a DIY mechanic’s worst nightmare – stripped threads and snapped bolts – can be fixed in minutes. DRIVE: Maserati Levante 350. Maserati embraced the SUV but not without a rocky start. Will this newly added model broaden the Levante’s appeal?