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Land Rover South Africa has whipped the covers off a special Range Rover Sport SVR conceived as a “tribute” to the Springbok rugby team.

The British automaker, of course, is a Rugby World Cup 2019 partner and sponsor of the Springboks.

The local arm of the Whitley-based firm says it worked “hand in hand” with the Special Vehicle Operations team in the United Kingdom (with a little help from the South African Rugby Union) to “demonstrate the bespoke commissioning capabilities” of the division.

The one-off Range Rover Sport is finished in the South African rugby team’s green hue, with the “exact Pantone colour match” applied to the bare shell at the start of the build process. Custom Springbok logos and bespoke yellow brake callipers finish off the exterior’s visual overhaul.

The circular plaques on the B-pillars and front and rear treadplates, meanwhile, now feature Springbok insignias and script. Inside, you’ll notice the gold-coloured shift paddles and contrast yellow stitching on the seats and door panels. The interior mood lighting, too, features a green glow.

“We entered the process of designing this vehicle with Land Rover some months ago, and SARU is delighted to have played a part in the result. This project is the first of its kind for the Springboks and I’m sure there will be many excited conversations among the players who will get the opportunity to drive it,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

The Springbok-inspired Range Rover Sport SVR will makes its public debut at the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb at the start of May 2019. Under the bonnet, nothing has changed, which means the 5,0-litre supercharged V8 still churns out 423 kW and 700 N.m.

CAR magazine’s distinguished annual Top 12 Best Buys were presented at a gala dinner in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening. Look out for our upcoming April 2019 issue for the full article and rationale behind each decision.

Top 12 Best Buys is our definitive guide to the very best cars in South Africa. As a reminder, here is our judging criteria:

Only vehicles that the majority of the eight-member CAR editorial team has driven: We factor in the findings of road tests and driving impressions we’ve published up until this March issue. Don’t see your favourite in the running? The CAR team might not have driven it yet, with a number of important vehicles (such as the new BMW 3 Series and the fresh Mercedes-Benz GLE) launching locally just too late to meet the deadline.

Ranges, not individual models: Except in the Budget and Performance Car segments, we consider an entire range, not merely one outstanding example. Also, remember that we measure cars against their direct rivals in their classes and then rule on their relative levels of excellence.

We consider all the facets: We look at package, personality, performance and, most importantly in the more value-led categories, price.

The bun fight … and then the vote: We set aside a day for the team to debate, argue and arm wrestle over the contestants. Then we draw up a list of six finalists per award and vote.

So, here are all the winners…

Budget car (under R170 000): Suzuki Swift 1,2 GA
2nd: Kia Picanto 1,0 Street
3rd: Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GA

Small car: Volkswagen Polo Vivo/
2nd: Ford Fiesta
3rd: Volkswagen Polo

Midsize car: Volkswagen Golf

2nd: Audi A3
3rd: Toyota Corolla Quest

Premium midsize car: Audi A4
2nd: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
3rd: Volkswagen Arteon

Luxury car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
2nd: BMW 5 Series
3rd: Porsche Panamera

Performance car: McLaren 720S

2nd: Ferrari 488 Spider
3rd: Porsche 718 Cayman GTS PDK

Small SUV/crossover: Renault Duster

2nd: Ford EcoSport
3rd: Honda BR-V

Midsize SUV/crossover: Volkswagen Tiguan

2nd: Kia Sportage
3rd: Mazda CX-5

Premium midsize SUV/crossover: Volvo XC60

2nd: BMW X3
3rd: Audi Q5

Large SUV/crossover: Kia Sorento

2nd: Ford Everest
3rd: Toyota Fortuner

Luxury SUV/crossover: Range Rover Sport

2nd: Volkswagen Touareg
3rd: BMW X5

Double-cab bakkie: Ford Ranger

2nd: Toyota Hilux
3rd: Volkswagen Amarok

Company of the year: BMW Group South Africa



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