Page 1

KSH200 USH11000 TSH8000

Issue No. 6

LION ROARS BACK Peugeotseekstoreclaimitskingdom TO W HO YOUR KE STER A M FA CAR

CAPTION CONTEST: Super Leggera or super legs? Tickle us and win cash!

DRIVE: Just how good is the new Freelander 2?

Why Mercedes still TOPS class


MARCH, 2011

Contents REGULARS LOCAL NEWS GM overtakes Toyota as biggest local seller Page 4-7

INTERNATIONAL NEWS World Car of The Year 2011. Will VW extend its dominance? Page 8-13







TECH COUNSEL How to boost your vehicle performance Page 26-27

ASK THE MECH What are the 10 things that’d most probably go wrong with your car? Page 28-29

FEATURES THE LION ROARS BACK Peugeot, once the lion of Kenya’s roads seeks to reclaim its kingdom through a new franchise dealer. Page 16-19

ANTI-CHRIST? NO MORE The Freelander 1 was trouble-prone with repair bills so high, they’d make the Pope cringe. But how is the new Freelander 2? Page 20-24

UGLY BUT PRACTICAL It looks like a salt water crocodile. And it seats seven. But the Toyota Gaia is not about aesthetics. It is function over form. Page 30-31

20 1 MARCH, 2011

Feedback Where’s the Jaguar XJ?

Reliable garages

Your coverage of the Jaguar XF was commendable. I saw this car, (in a shiny, torquise colour) going up Mbagathi Road and I almost caused an accident as I slowed down, agape! It is a sleek piece of machinery and I don’t think there’s a car with such pulling power on Kenyan roads today. Not even the venerated Range Rover Sport. But wait a sec! The XJ, its sister plate has etched up several design awards since its launch in the international markets. Please give us more info on this Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series slayer, and let us in on when CMC might bring it over. Kangangi A.K Via Email

I drive a 1999 Mitsubishi Galant. When I bought this car a few years ago, it was a marvel. Great to drive, smooth, comfortable, powerful and with very good fuel economy. But nowadays, the car has become the complete antithesis of this. It is jerky, tiring, stiff, weak, consumes fuel by the barrel and simply, a headache to own. I’ve been through a dozen mechanics and they all seem to have no clue what could be ailing the car. One says its service overdue, another substandard parts. Simba Colt (the local Mitsubishi dealers) won’t touch it. Do you have any contacts of a reliable garage you can refer me to? Can you please profile garages in your magazine and detail which type of car each is good at? Jennifer Mueni Nairobi

We’ve a story on the XJ in the current edition. In addition, we’ll keep you posted on exactly when the XJ lands - EDITOR

Write to us: Motor Trader PO Box: 21824, 00400 Email:


Thank you for your correspondence. Sure, we will write about garages in future. We’ll also track down a reliable Galant specialist and publish his contacts in the next edition. - EDITOR

CAPTION CONTEST Are you a wordsmith? Can you tickle a stone-faced buccaneer through mirth and clever play of words? Well, jot us a note on this perfect nuptial between super legs and a Lamborghini Super Leggera. If we like it, we’ll reward you with Ksh2,000. Email your caption to info@motortrader. or text 0738 135889


MARCH, 2011

From the cockpit PUBLISHER Motor Trader Co. Ltd PO Box: 21824, 00400 Tel: 020 8079558/9 Nairobi Email:

EDITOR Joseph Murai


HR & ADMINISTRATION Abdallah Basweti

SALES & MARKETING Ismael Nyamache Maureen Kimani Fred Omari Catherine Mwai



PRINTING Advance Litho Ltd.

DISTRIBUTION Jondika Company Ltd.

Motor Trader magazine is published monthly by Motor Trader Co. Ltd. While utmost care has been taken to ensure accuracy both in the published articles and prices of listed cars and equipment, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any omissions and errors arising. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Readers are advised to verify the authenticity/safety of the products/services advertised herein by independently contacting the advertiser. No part of this publication including artworks, photographs and articles may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior, written permission from the publisher.


elcome to our first editorial-driven edition of MotorTrader, your favourite source of all local and international motoring news. Our gradual gear shift from a classifieds-only magazine to a fullyfledged motoring publication has been inspired by the feedback we receive from you. Quite rightly, it is never enough to assist you in sourcing your dream car. As many of you have written in to request, we now have content that covers various aspects of car purchase and ownership, from news to advice-packed reviews. These have been put together in light language, and complemented by mouth-watering pictures. Through the Local News section, you will get the hottest and latest exclusives from the local motoring arena. The International News sections drives you into what’s happening outside there, with content carefully filtered to reflect what’s relevant for the local motoring industry. Of course, not to say we won’t throw in a story or two about Ferraris and Lamborghinis - fantasy world really. As a matter of fact, we’ve introduced a regular column titled just that: Fantasy World. But keeping in our editorial theme of communicating to you, we’ll pit these super cars against what’s available locally. See how a Toyota Probox would measure up against a Lambo Sesto Elemento. Did you know that Marshalls no longer has the Peugeot franchise? Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Read about the new Peugeot dealer, Urysia Ltd and the plans the company’s CEO has for the future of this iconic brand. We were Down South recently testing the merits -and otherwise- of the new 2011 Land Rover Freelander 2. Has Land Rover learnt from the mistakes of the Freelander 1? Buying a car is always the easy part. Keeping it running everyday efficiently is the challenge. And it is not always that money is the issue. Sometimes, there’s a dearth of expertise in handling various types of engines and suspension systems. Do you have a nagging car problem that your mechanic can’t fix? Write to us. We’ll dredge up contacts of various experts to ensure you get appropriate assistance. Finally, we’ve introduced a regular column on used cars in Kenya. This month, we review the Toyota Gaia, whose snout our correspondent equates to that of a salt water crocodile. But is the Gaia as versatile as its simile? Which other used cars would you also consider in purchasing a seven-seater? Read and let us know what you think. Your feedback is invaluable. Happy reading!

Joseph Murai EDITOR

MARCH, 2011



GM overtakes Toyota locally As General Motors continues to take a beating from Toyota in the international market, things are the exact opposite locally. Last year, GM overtook Toyota East Africa as the best selling new motor vehicle dealer, according to figures from Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI). The boost in sales for GM was as a result of increased demand for buses. Toyota does not deal in buses (apart from the Hiace van), though speculation has been rife that they could be bringing Hino buses and trucks. And with the recent directive by the government that public transport operators phase out their 14-seaters for buses, prospects are getting better for GM. GM’s market share increased to 26.2 per cent in 2010, while Toyota’s dropped to 23.2 per cent from 23.7 per cent. GM is best known for the Isuzu brand, ubiquitous in the public transport sector. The most popular ones come in 29, 33 and 37-seater configurations. The saloon car market has in the past three years come under serious threat from imported second hand vehicles, increasing the pressure on Toyota and CMC Motors whose market share dropped to 13.7 per cent from 15.4 per cent in 2009. Simba Colt Motors that sells the Mitsubishi brand grew its market share marginally to 18.4 per cent from 18.3 per cent.

Borrow, drive now a reality


MARCH, 2011





Thanks to availability of cheap credit and flexible employee retention schemes that incorporate car loans, the number of motor vehicles registered last year increased by over 10%. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the number of fresh vehicle registrations as at November 2010 was 178, 878, up from 161, 813 last year, a 10.5% increase. The number of private cars registered over the same period was 47,227, an increase over the 44,529 recorded over the same period last year. “The growth means that people are having more disposable incomes as the economy grows,” Dr Allan Mulengani, a director of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Strathmore School of Business is quoted by the Business Daily as saying.

Do you know that a Toyota Voltz is just but a rebadged Pontiac that died in 2004? Only 10,000 manufactured in the US (as the Pontiac Vibe) and exported to Japan (and some then exported to Kenya as used units) were produced, a sorry statistic. Tells you a lot about Kenyans’ motoring preferences. We are flagging a dodo by recharging the Pontiac!


Goodyear opens new retail store


oodyear has opened its first equity-owned retail store in Nairobi. Called the Goodyear Fitment Centre, the store is well-groomed. Managing Director of Goodyear Kenya, Jacques Nell says there is “no other tyre store like it in the country”. The store looks beautiful and we are really proud of it. Its opening created excitement – we embarked on a two-month long marketing campaign which paid off - and it has been exceptionally well received.” Nell, who has been with Goodyear for more than 25 years, has been a driving force in building the tyre import and distribution business over the last 10 years. Goodyear Kenya deals directly with its agricultural and earthmover tyre customers, while the company’s commercial arm, Tread Setters, takes care of truck tyre customers and retreading facilities. Until recently, Goodyear passenger tyres were sold only through a network of about 200 independent dealers in Kenya. “Quite simply”, he explained, “demand for Goodyear products has grown bigger than our distribution network. There are only so many independent dealers in Kenya and the two big competition groups here have their own branches. Opening our own retail store is the first step towards a bigger future for Goodyear Kenya. Along with tyre products and services, the centre also offers attention to batteries and suspension. The wheel alignment machine and other undercarriage equipment are state of the art. “The Fitment Centre’s staff of eight people have been put through their paces with both technical and customer service training. Customers should hardly have finished their free, steaming cup of coffee when they are on their way out again. This is a uniquely positive tyre retail and service experience for Kenyan customers. ”

GOOD TEAM: From left:

Carl Badenhorst(General Manager), Brian Mboga (Fitter), Emmanuel Owino (Fitter), Jayne Wangui (Customer Care), Ruksana Kassam (Branch Manager), Faith Ogutu (Customer Care), John Maina (Fitter) and Stephen Anekeya (Fitter), with Jacques Nell (Managing Director, Goodyear Kenya).

Some of the goodies at Goodyear The well-groomed Goodyear Fitment Centre. The interior is spacious, stylishly illuminated and well appointed, with touches of aluminium and light grey décor.

‘Recharging’ the Pontiac locally?

An 1794cc VVTL-i engine churns out 97kW of power and 170Nm of torque. This seems to be one of the redeeming features of the Pontiac Vibe, sorry, Toyota Voltz.

Acleverdashboardlayoutthataccords you more cabin space is soiled by those akward-looking circles on the instruments panel. A mish-mash, really. Like an Armani suit and rubber shoes.

With only two rows of seats and a snoopy C-Pillar, this Rav 4 wonna-be shortchangesitsrearseatpassengersin terms of space. Is this a soft roader? No. Is it a saloon? No. A utility wagon? No.

MARCH, 2011




Fare Thee Well, Zulfikar On the morning of 7th December last year, the local motoring fraternity lost a remarkable personality. Zulfikar Mohammed, known as ‘Zul’ to friends and family died while doing what he liked most: driving. “He brought joy and togetherness amongst us petrol heads,” eulogises his brother Amir Mohammed of Auto Art. Together, they used to run the hugely popular Hot Rides Kenya car show at Westgate Shopping Mall. “Zul will be dearly remembered for his love of STIs and unique character that set him apart from the rest.” He says though Zul was a car fanatic, his family always came first, then cars second. “He loved sharing his time with his colegues and taking drives every weekend if not at work.” Zul was on his way to the garage in Industrial Area for minor touch ups on his Mitsubishi Evolution 6 (Tommi Makinnen Edition) when the accident occurred. He was distracted by a careless driver infront who suddenly entered his lane, forcing him to swerve and lose control. Zul, whose week day job was the Country Manager in charge of IT at Samsung Electronics, will be remembered for his contribution in the field of modifying cars. He owned several relatively fast cars including a Mitsubishi Evolution, a Subaru Impreza WRX STi and a Toyota Vitz RS.

LABOUR OF LOVE: Zul’s hot Toyota Vitz RS and Subaru Impreza WRX STi. He died doing what he liked most: driving.


MARCH, 2011

Forget metallic, matt colour is the new chic You must have noticed a black BMW X6 in the streets of Nairobi whose paintwork lacks the garish shine often synonymous with flashy SUVs. (See picture, inset). That paintwork is know as ‘matt’ and is the latest fad in cars. Its foremost characteristic is that it doesn’t shine - some will say it’s dull- and has an almost rough texture. Interestingly, this apparent sand paper-like roughness is only to the eye, not the feel. If done properly, the matt paintwork is smooth and doesn’t deny the vehicle sleekness often associated with metallic (or glossy) paintwork. Matt paintwork was the headline feature of the 15day Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris (October 2 to 17) last year. was a new matte finish trend for painting cars. On the Maybachs, Maseratis and other marques that showcased this paintwork for the first time, the cost wasn’t cheap: Up to 20,000 Euroes (Sh2 million) for a single car. There are two ways of acquiring this matt finish on your car: Paint or applying wraps. Infact, the idea started with wraps, developed for advertising purposes. The wraps are basically large panels of vinyl and can be of any colour you choose. As opposed to painting, the vinyls can be torn off as often as you wish. If you have an off-roader that also doubles as your town commute, putting the vinyls just before that ‘Rhino-Charge’ encounter in the bundus will protect your original paintwork from stone chips and minor abrasions. In addition, the vinyls protect your original paintwork from paint body stratches arising from fender benders. In the event of an accident or repairs, the vinyls can be individually re-wrapped. Some more advantages of having a car wrap also include:-

* Increase your cars residual value – the vinyl protects your car from normal dayto-day damage which normally occurs from driving your car. * There are hundreds of colours and endless print designs to choose from so you are not limited by previous re-spray limitations. *Special effect wraps such as chrome, matt black and carbon can be created cost effectively. Locally, it costs about Ksh50,000 for a fully body paint for a normal saloon car. The few garages that know about

FEEL ME: Dully is the new shiny, so goes the mantra for matt paintwork, as seen here in a Maserati

photographed at the Paris Motor Show last October. This new way of painting cars is slowly inching its way into local garages. Will it replace conventional colour swatches? No, we bet, it is just a fad.

matt paintwork charge upwards of Ksh100,000. “The only problem with this paintwork is that it is merely a fad. You will spend a lot of money painting your car this way but after the fad has passed, its value will have depreciated,” opines motoring ethusiast Clifford Omondi. “It looks cool. I would describe it as stealth. But it can never really replace metallic paintwork especially in terms of value retention and prestige.” If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, here’s a five step process of achieving that matt finish, as outlined in www.

1) Using a 400 grit paper remove the clear coat from the car. 2) Remove bumpers, panels and sounddeadening material on the bonnet to ensure an even spray job. 3) Mask the car using newspaper, plastic bags, cling film and a heavy duty tape. 4) Spray a fine mist and allow an hour or so to dry and then apply a second, third fourth etc coat until the original paint colour is completely covered. 5) Go over the car with a fine grit of wet and dry. This will remove paint bobbles and specs that may have formed. Don’t apply a clearcoat and don’t wax the car. MARCH, 2011



Who will scoop the honours?


he list of cars lined up for honours in the ‘motoring Oscars, officially known as ‘World Car of the Year, is now out. Several manufacturers mainly from Germany and Japan are seeking to inherit the title from Volkswagen Polo, crowned last year. The awards are the most prestigious in motoring and were officially launched in January 2004. The first award was handed out for the 2005 model year.

The awards are a program initiated by, organized by, and conducted by automotive journalists from all over the world. The awards are administered by a nonprofit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of distinguished automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. The first Steering Committee was established in January 2004 in Detroit, USA.

The World Car head office is based in Toronto, Canada. The awards are intended to complement, not compete with those existing national and regional COTY awards, which are inherently different in scope. Traditionally, there are four categories: Overall World Car of the Year; World Performance Car; World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car.

Previous winners 2009

2010 World Car of the Year Volkswagen Polo World Performance Car Audi R8 V10 World Green Car Volkswagen BlueMotion (Golf, Passat, Polo) World Car Design of the Year Chevrolet Camaro


World Car of the Year Mazda2 / Mazda Demio World Performance Car Audi R8 World Green Car BMW 118d with Efficient Dynamics World Car Design of the Year Audi R8


World Car of the Year Lexus LS460 World Performance Car Audi RS4 World Green Car Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec World Car Design of the Year Audi TT


World Car of the Year Volkswagen Golf VI World Performance Car Nissan GT-R World Green Car Honda FCX Clarity


MARCH, 2011

World Car of the Year BMW 3-Series World Performance Car Porsche Cayman S World Green Car Honda Civic Hybrid World Car Design of the Year Citroen C4


See who’s in the running this year World Car Design of the Year Alfa Romeo Giulietta Aston Martin Rapide Audi A1, A7, A8 BMW 5 Series, Touring, X3 Cadillac CTS Coupe Chrysler 300 Citroen C4, DS3 Dodge Charger Ferrari 458 Italia Honda CR-Z Hyundai Sonata/i45, Tucson/ix35 Infiniti M, QX Jaguar XJ Jeep Grand Cherokee Kia Optima, Sportage Lexus CT200h, LFA Mazda5 / Premacy Mercedes-Benz CLS, E-Class Cabrio, E-Class Coupe, R Class, SLS MINI Countryman Mitsubishi Outlander Sport/ RVR / ASX Nissan Juke, LEAF, March / Micra Opel / Vauxhall Meriva Peugeot RCZ Porsche Boxster Spyder, Cayenne Renault Latitude/Samsung Motors SM5, Dacia Duster Saab 9-5 Scion tC Suzuki Swift Toyota Sienna Etios, Passo / Daihatsu Boon Volkswagen JettaTouareg Volvo S60/V60

World Performance Car Aston Martin Rapide Audi RS 5 Coupe Cadillac CTS-V Coupe Citroen DS3 Racing Dodge Challenger SRT8 Dodge Viper ACR Ferrari 458 Italia Lamborghini Gallardo SUPERLEGGERA McLaren MP4-12C Mercedes-Benz 63 / CL 63 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Porsche 911 GT2RS Porsche 911 Turbo Renault Megane III / Renault Sport

World Green Car BMW 320d ED Edition Chevrolet Volt Honda Fit Hybrid Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Lexus CT200h Mazda5 MZR 2.0L with iStop Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell Nissan LEAF Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Smart ed Toyota Auris Hybrid Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

General Motors East Africa market share in the new motor vehicle market in Kenya. The company overtook Toyota East Africa Ltd. who have a market share of 23.2%


Number of personal cars registered in Kenya in 11 months to November, 2010, up from 44,529 in 2009.



Overall World Car of the Year Saab 9-5 Suzuki Swift Volkswagen Jetta, Touareg Volvo S60 / V60 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Aston Martin Rapide Audi A1, A7, A8 BMW 5 Series, X3 Citroen C4, DS3 Honda CR-Z Hyundai Sonata / i45, Tucson / ix35 Infiniti M, QX Jaguar XJ Jeep Grand Cherokee KIA Optima, Sportage Lexus CT200h, LFA Mazda5 / Premacy Mercedes-Benz CLS, R Class, SLS MINI Countryman Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Nissan Juke, LEAF, March / Micra Opel / Vauxhall Meriva Peugeot RCZ Porsche Cayenne Renault Dacia Duster, Latitude Saab 9-5 Suzuki Swift

77 years

Duration General Motors held the throne as world’s largest car marker before Toyota dethroned it in 2008. The Japanese outsold the American by 5.62 million units, to sell 8.97 million cars.

MARCH, 2011



Mercedes-Benz still number one premium passenger car brand

WHO’S CLEANER NOW? A model beside a Toyota Prius at


Will hybrids survive?

ercedes-Benz Cars is reporting its best ever sales in South Africa, with a monthly figure of 1,238 units as at December 2010. This represents a 117% growth rate over the December 2009 sales of 507 units. “We are pleased to see notable growth in all model categories, resulting in an overall market share of 5,4% compared to 3,6% in 2009,” says Eckart Mayer, Divisional Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars. “2010 has been an exciting year for us, especially with the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We attribute our continued sales success to a number of factors including our fascinating range of products. Exceptional customer service, benchmark residual values and innovative financial solutions also contributed to high levels of customer satisfaction,” adds Mayer. Combined sales figures in 2010 of over 22 500 units reflects a 16% growth over 2009 (19 437), making Mercedes-Benz Cars the leading premium brand for passenger cars. “With the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class models maintaining their number one position in their respective segments, we see an impressive growth rate with these models. The C-Class grew by over 10%, with sales of 13 690 units over 2009 sales of 12 437 units. The E-Class, with total sales of 3 030 units, had its best year since 1997, when it sold 3 110 units,” adds Mayer. “In the SUV segments, we have seen consistent sales with the M-Class, GL-Class and the new-generation R-Class. The M-Class has performed exceptionally with year-end sales of 1 546 resulting in a growth of 27,2% over 2009 sales of 1 215 units”, says Mayer. “To cement our SUV offering, we will soon be introducing the G-Class with its strong heritage and loyal following in the serious off-road market,” adds Mayer. “Our high-performance brand, Mercedes-AMG has also had an outstanding performance in 2010 with sales of 675 AMG units compared to 567 units in 2009, resulting in an impressive 19% increase.


MARCH, 2011

Paris Motor Show last October. China’s move to slash export quotas on rare earth minerals - vital in a slew of high-tech products, including hybrid cars - has raised fresh international trade concerns.

China’s move to slash export quotas on rare earth minerals - vital in a slew of high-tech products, including hybrid cars - has raised fresh international trade concerns. China, which produces about 97 percent of the global supply of rare earth minerals, cut its export quotas by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 versus a year ago, saying it wanted to preserve ample reserves. The little-known class of 17 related elements is used in numerous electronic devices and clean energy technology. Wind turbines and hybrid cars are among the biggest users of rare earth minerals, which analysts say are facing a global supply crunch as demand swells. The minerals are also used in some weapons systems. World demand for rare earth minerals at present is about 110 000 tonnes a year, with China accounting for about 75 percent of total demand with the remainder split between Japan, the United States and Europe, in descending order. Demand is set to more than double to 250 000 tonnes by 2015, according to industry estimates. Prices have surged for these minerals since authorities in Beijing slashed their rare earth exports by 40 percent this summer, saying China needed them for its economic development. Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s top automotive parts maker and a major supplier to Hyundai Motor, said that the quota would have an impact on the two companies, as the minerals are used in electric motors for hybrid vehicles, and as Hyundai Motor is increasing its hybrid vehicle sales. A spokesman for Hyundai Mobis added that the two companies have been preparing measures to cope with rare earth issues, including diversifying imports. - Reuters

22,500 110,000

Number of Mercedes Benz cars sold in South Africa in 2010, more than double the total number of new cars sold in Kenya. Annual global demand for rare earth minerals, including those used in making batteries for hybrid cars.


BMW model year refresh, 2011 New models and model upgrades of BMW will be available from March 2011. The new BMW 1 Series Coupe and the new BMW 1 Series Convertible will get some carefully selected design modifications and improved aerodynamic qualities. The BMW 320d Touring EfficientDynamics Edition will make its debut, and two new six-cylinder engines and the M Sports package will be introduced to the new BMW X3. March will also see new apps from BMW ConnectedDrive to integrate iPhones, iPods and internet services. There will also be new model series-specific options and new BMW Individual features, while new xDrive versions will be added to the BMW 5 Series. BMW 1 Series Coupe and Convertible

M Sports package for the BMW X3

BMW 320d Touring EfficientDynamics Edition

The new BMW 1 Series Coupe and the new BMW 1 Series Convertible will incorporate carefully selected modifications that will make these models even more dynamic and efficient. The restyled front apron creates “air curtains� which counteract turbulence in the wheel arch area, thereby also reducing drag. Other new touches include restyled headlights and rear lights, high-grade refinements to various controls, and new exterior paint colours, upholstery and interior trim.

The BMW X3 will also be available with the M Sports package, which was specially developed by BMW M GmbH to provide an even more intensive driving experience for the new Sports Activity Vehicle. The M Sports package comprises a range of high-end suspension, aerodynamics and exterior/ interior components. These include the M Aerodynamics package, M alloy wheels and interior styling features geared to maximise driving enjoyment. All these features take the dynamic driving qualities of the new BMW X3 to new levels.

The BMW 320d Touring EfficientDynamics Edition has 120 kW/163 hp of power on tap, but has a fuel consumption of just 4.3 litres/100 km. The power plant is a latest-generation common-rail directinjection turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that develops peak torque of 380 Newton metres at just 1,750 rpm. It accelerates the five-door estate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds and provides a top speed of 223 kph.

BMW X3 With extra agility, improved ride quality and increased interior space, the newly launched BMW X3 looks set to continue the success of its predecessor, over 600,000 of which were built and sold around the world. It comes in several engines including the xDrive30d powered by a 190 kW six-cylinder diesel unit and the xDrive35i with a 225 kW/306 hp power output.

New options and new BMW 5 Series xDrive versions New optional equipment features include steering wheel shift paddles in BMW 1 Series models, BMW Head-Up Display with full-colour capability in the BMW 5 Series, and the upgraded rear telephone with WiFi hotspot function for the BMW 7 Series. New model variants, meanwhile, include xDrive versions in the 5 Series featuring the intelligent BMW all-wheel-drive system.

BMW ConnectedDrive For the first time, the BMW Group will offer selected iPhone applications in a BMW for integrated use in the vehicle. Designed to improve the integration of the Apple iPhone in the vehicle, this interface allows features such as Facebook, web radio and Twitter to be shown on the vehicle display and accessed using the iDrive Controller.

MARCH, 2011



900,000th MX-5 sets new Guinness record


Sexy - the snake is back! The snake is back - and it’s going to slinkier than ever! Main man at Dodge Ralph Gilles says the born-again 2013 Viper will be “drop-dead beautiful”, its look inspired by “a naked woman on the beach”. Gilles, who is also Chrysler’s head of design points out that the Viper has old-fashioned, classic sports-car proportions. “Where the cabin is, relative to the wheels, is unique. The Viper cabin is very rearward and the hood is very long. Few cars in the industry are designed with those proportions anymore.” Dodge needs a seriously sexy flagship car; only 392 Vipers were sold in 2010, the last production year of the original series. But Gilles says it will still be all-American; it won’t be based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, as some sources suggested, and it won’t have a Ferrari engine. It’s more likely to have a tweaked version of the previous 8.4-litre, 450kW+ V10. I want the new Viper to be a more forgiving car to drive and accessible to more people.

The Jaguar XJ has won Automobile magazine’s 2010 ‘All-Star Award’ for its part in reinvigorating the premium British brand. Jaguar executives recieved the accolade at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit recently. This latest trophy marks the third consecutive year a Jaguar has received the honour. The Jaguar XF (launched in Kenya recently) was an ‘Automobile All-Star’ for 2009 and 2010, but this year the XJ stood out among all 271 new cars in the United States that were eligible for the award. According to Automobile magazine, “The toughest part about this class is that it’s very hard for any one car to stand out in the crowd, and yet the XJ manages to do just that, in both its design and its dynamics. Both for the aesthete and the enthusiast, the all-new Jaguar XJ is an All-Star.” The XJ has won more than 20 international awards since it was launched last year.


MARCH, 2011



2004 Toyota Probox DRIVEN BY?


2011 Lamborgini Sesto Elemento



See how YOUR car compares against the best TOP SPEED



t an





The Mazda MX-5 has reaffirmed its position as the world’s favourite lightweight, open-top, two-seat sports car. On February 4, this year, total production reached 900,000 units, a milestone - achieved 21 years and 10 months. The MX-5 was initially certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s “Best selling two-seat sports car” when production reached 531,890 units in May 2000. Guinness updated the record when production passed 700,000 and, later, 800,000 units. Currently, Mazda is reapplying to Guinness World Records to have the record updated to 900,000 units During the 1960s and 1970s, numerous lightweight and fun-to-drive sports cars offered nimble handling and free-spirited open-air motoring. In the 1980s, Mazda decided to resurrect this spirit with a new roadster for the modern age. The MX-5 was a reminder that driving could still be fun despite ever-stricter safety and quality standards. To this day, the MX-5 remains the longest enduring nameplate in Mazda’s global lineup.

• 425kW 540Nm 2.5 sec. 300kph 2.5m Euroes

Those who won the fallopian tube lottery

X 109kW 141Nm 24 hrs

Those who love blood sports (like boxing, thus Pro-Box)





Is this Nissan more reliable than a BMW? The German Automobile Association thinks so


study by the German Automobile Association (ADAC) names the Nissan Qashqai as more reliable than a Porsche Boxster, a BMW 1-Series, BMW 3-Series, Audi TT and Mercedes-Benz SLK. Only the Porsche 911 and Audi A5 better the Japanese crossover, says the ADAC Gelber Engel 2011. As well as studying the statistics of more than two million breakdowns, the ADAC’s annual ‘Gelber Engel’ (Yellow Angel) Award asks owners to rate how satisfied they are with both their car and the level of service received from dealers. The results saw Nissan Qashqai receiving outstanding scores in both the reliability and the customer satisfaction elements of the survey to secure third place overall. It was the only non-German car in the top eight. Nissan Qashqai was designed and engineered largely in Europe by teams at Nissan Design Europe (NDE) and Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE). It is built in the UK by Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK). “This important award shows why Qashqai has become such a sales success across Europe,” says Simon Thomas, Senior Vice President, Nissan Europe. “It recognises the brilliance of the design and acknowledges the exceptional build quality that is engineered into all cars

built at our plant in Sunderland, UK. “The Gelber Engel award is the quality benchmark for new and nearly new cars and we are delighted Qashqai has been recognised in this way.” The ADAC survey is restricted to vehicles aged three years old or younger to exclude breakdowns caused by poor maintenance rather than inherent faults and embraces only vehicles with significant sales to ensure a realistic picture is achieved. For the 2011 award, some 150 models were investigated. The results are published in the Association’s magazine ADAC Motorwelt, which has a readership of more than 19 million.

ADAC is the second largest automobile club in the world with 17.5 million members. Nissan Qashqai was launched in 2007 as an innovative and attractive alternative to the mainstream hatchbacks that dominated the European C segment. The combination of SUV features and the qualities of a compact family car created a crossover which has appealed to buyers all over Europe. More than 740,000 units have been sold in Europe to date with 270,000 units rolling off the production line at Nissan’s Sunderland plant during 2010 alone.

AUDI aims to be number one It is part of teutonic triumvirate from Germany. But it continues to lag behind BMW and Mercedes in terms of sales. By 2017, says Audi, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, they want to be number one premium automaker in the world. And this is a realistic goal, bearing in mind that Audi has been the best-selling premium brand in Europe since 2009. Audi could attain its goal much sooner, largely because of its leading position in the world’s largest car market, China. By the first eight months of last year, China had become Audi’s number one car market by passing Germany (152,782 to 144,365). With continued success in China, more growth in the US market (sales were up 25 per cent over the same period) and sustained leadership in the European market, AUDI will attain its goal.

MARCH, 2011



Lion King Iconic French brand Peugeot appoints Urysia Ltd as new distributor of its passenger and commercial vehicles.


or almost half a century, Peugeot in Kenya was synonymous with Marshalls. So much so that the two could be almost interchangeable. It was therefore indicative of the French brand’s intention to shake up the regional market when they appointed a new franchise holder of the brand that holds an esteemed status in local motoring folklore. Mr Claude Mwende, the man behind Urysia Ltd, the new Peugeot dealer means business. His first port of call? Shake down Peugeot’s entrenched reputation as a no-frills, hard-to-break vehicle meant for retirees and octogenarians who still think auto transmission is scifi, and attract you, urbane professionals who have propelled the 21st century Peugeot into a brand to be reckoned with. Pitted against the best from Germany and Japan, the flagship French brand holds its stead in performance, looks, creature comforts, residue value, and....most importantly for the local market, pricing. “The models we will launch cut across Kenya’s diverse segments,” said Mr Mwende in an interview at the new Urysia showroom along Loita Street, Nairobi. “Competitive pricing, extended warranties and quality after sales service will be our pillars.” The new models will come in both petrol and diesel engines and will include both passenger and commercial cars. Will they aid lion king reclaim his throne in light of increased competition from the Germans, British and Japanese who’ve already established a strong footprint? Only time will tell. ▶ 14

MARCH, 2011


DON’T TURN YOUR BACK ON US: Downmemory lane with a classic Peugeot at the Paris Motor Show last October. The French brand now has a new distributor, Urysia, who’s keen on reaching the young, urbane professional.

MARCH, 2011


“We’ll offer quality at an affordable price” - URYSIA Urysia managing director CLAUDE MWENDE is a sharp, dapper man, who comes across as one who’s sure of what he is doing. Ask him a question and he doesn’t jump over to intercept you before your finish your sentence. He poses, ponders, takes his time. And when he answers, he’s so clear and eloquent that you want to transcribe verbatim. We had a Q and A with him recently. QUESTION: Uryasia. What inspired the name? Where did it come from? ANSWER: It’s just a Kenyan name with global acceptability. It doesn’t mean anything in particular. We just thought it out and settled on it. Q: I understand you were formerly working at Marshalls. What are you planning to do differently to ensure Peugeot is a success in Kenya? A: Well, I cannot comment about that but what I can say is that we recognise the role of the former importer (of Peugeot) and its good that we’ve been allowed to bring in Peugeot and we intend to serve the Kenyan market properly. Q: But is there anything different customers expect from Uryasia? A: Yes. Extended warranties on all new vehicles purchased, from one year to two years. And this is on unlimited mileage. We’ll also offer driver training to ensure our customers have the best service from these highly modern vehicles, and that they interact with them in a utalitarian and beneficial manner. Q: So, which new models are you bringing in?

NEW DEN: The new Peugeot home at are lined up in a bid to grow the brand’s

A: A whole new range of models from the new 8-Series to the variety of commercial vehicles (SEE NEXT STORY) And these will be both in petrol and diesel engines. Q: Won’t the high sulphur content in diesel sold in Kenya affect the performance of the HDI engines?

Down memory lane with Lion King;

404: Kenya was one of the last coun-

tries in the world to stop assembly of this flag bearer. The last unit rolled the assembly line in 1991, almost 20 years after it was replaced globally in 1975. That alone tells you the affection Kenyans have traditionally held for Peugeot. The 404 was first produced in 1960, in saloon, estate and pickup configurations.


MARCH, 2011

403: It run from 1955 to 1966. Its

signature design – forward leaning, angular nose underlined Peugeot’s bravery to experiment with new designs, a quality that’s present even in modern versions. The car debuted in saloon body style on 20 April 1955 at the Trocadéro Palace in Paris. It had a fiscal horsepower of 8 hp.

504: This one time European Car of the Year

is synonymous with local motoring. It was at mentioned in the same vein as lions, maasai and game parks, in terms of cultural identity. The 504 was made between 1968 and 1983, with licensed production continuing until 2006. It stood out for its styling, quality, chassis, ride, visibility, strong engine and refinement.


is likely to revolutionise the new car market? A: This is a welcome move. Forty percent of the new cars sold in this market annually are consumed by the government. That tells you of how integral it is. Leasing is a significant move for the economy since it allows for a greater participation by insurance companies, financiers etc. It also frees the government from the heavy administrative responsibility that comes with running large fleets. Q: The used car market has gravely affected new cars sales in Kenya. Comment. A: Yes indeed. We should place regulations that are not only conducive but work with members of the East Africa Community (who are also massive consumers of used cars) to determine strictures that would allow for a more robust growth of local industry. An efficient public transport system will go a long way in that regard. Q: Peugeot bicycles and motorcycles are very big in mother country, France. Motorcycles have become very popular in Kenya. Do you plan to bring any? A: We are encouraged by the quick uptake and growth and are studying this segment closely. And yes, there is a possibility of bringing in bikes and motorcycles, especially the lifestyle variety.

Urysia Ltd. Loita Street. Several new models market share locally and regionally.

Words & Photos: POCKETMEDIA

A: Peugeot engineers have carried out numerous tests and ascertained that the diesel and petrol available locally is ok for the highly technologically advanced engines. Q: The government plans to start leasing vehicles instead of buying. How do you think

but reclaiming throne won’t be easy

Rallying: Peugeot’s image locally

was steeled by success in the torturous Safari Rally. In 1963, Nick Nowicki and Paddy Cliff won the 11th East African Safari Rally in a Peugeot 404. Three years later, a 404 won the event for three consecutive years, then a 504 in 1975 and 1978.

History: Peugeot is considered to be

one of the pioneer makers of bicycles. Its first success was with the ”Grand Bi”, which appeared in 1882. It was a strange and impractical contraption. It was rigged up with two unequal wheels, and the pedal assembly was fixed directly onto the huge front wheel.

The Lion: Did you know that

Europe’s largest car maker started as a coffee mill? The company produced its first automobile in 1891, almost 40 years after Emile Peugeot applied for the lion trademark. Family discord in the initial business led to Armand Peugeot start the Société des Automobiles Peugeot in 1896.

MARCH, 2011



‘Strong Design and Emotion’ That’s what Urysia is bringing

1. Expert Some say life is too short to drink instant coffee, some say life is too short to smoke (if you must smoke) machinemade cigars. Some say life is too short to drink blended whisky, preferring to stick to single malts. Peugeot says life is too short not to travel in style, even if you must travel en mass. And thus is the spirit of the eight-seater, Expert van, aimed primarily at the hospitality industry.



This stylish and funky runabout is best suited for the fun-loving young and young at heart. It comes in tow derivatives, Urban and Trendy. It is perfect for the modern urban commuting, its zesty three-cylinder, 998 cc multivalve engine (50 kW/93 Nm) posting an incredible 21 kilometres per litre. Think about it! 21 kilometres per litre.


MARCH, 2011

2. 3008

What Car has crowned it the Crossover Vehicle of the Year for a second year in a row. With good reason. Available in several engine configurations, the 3008 provides a comprehensive array of safety, luxury and convenience features, while the raised ride height, spacious interior and versatile seating arrangement continues to offer a segment-defining crossover motoring experience.



This veritable VW Passat slayer has the style, performance and feel that can match the very best from Germany. Its a marriage between the 407 and 607, previewed by the “5 by Peugeot” Concept. Its engine line-up include a full range of VTi and THP engines. A hybrid version that will feature Peugeot’s e-HDi technology and a start/stop engine system is said to be in the works. This, we bet, will be Urysia’s bread and butter in the passenger class.



Reputed for providing an affordable, secure and practical solution to mobility needs in a compact package, its success is underlined by the fact that 1.5-million Partners have been sold worldwide since 1996. It comes with either a 1.6litre HDI or a 1.6-litre petrol powerplant, and is capable of carrying a 3.3 cubic metre volume and a payload of 850 kilograms.



0-100kph in 9.6 seconds. Top speed: 215ph. Stand still to 1 kilometre: 30,5 sec. Consumption 13 kilometres per litre. Just some of the appealing performance features awaiting drivers of the 308. It comes in either an AT6 or manual transmission optimised for efficient operation and a smooth, seamless shift action, with the added convenience of completely clutchless operation – ideal for coping with congested roads and stop/start traffic.


7. Boxer

Peugeot’s recent honours list DEC 2010: ION wins the Grünes Lenkrad (Green Steering Wheel) award in Germany.

JAN 2011: 3008 wins the WhatCar Best Crossover of The Year 2011 award in the UK. A former European Van of the Year, this is the lynchpin of the brand’s commercial vehicle line-up, with two wheelbase choices and high and low roof heights for a total of five van derivatives, as well as chassis/cab configurations with long and short wheelbases. The largest model in the Boxer range can swallow a 15 cubic metre load with a payload of 1900 kilograms, and even the smallest van in the line-up has a 10 cubic metre volume and a payload of 1400 kilograms.

MAY 2010: RCZ wins the “red dot: best of the best 2010” award for outstanding design quality. The previous year, it had won the Most Beautiful Car of the Year 2009 award. On a lighter note the RCZ was also named the European Gay Car of the Year 2011 by the website Ledorga.

And here’s the future......... Concept BB1

This “full electric vehicle that reinvents the automobile in every way: architecture, style, interior design, drive, connectivity – while all the time respecting the environment,” is only 2.5 metres long but can accommodate up to four passengers. Its powered by an electric motor placed inside the rear wheels. The unit delivers 20 hp and accelerates the BB1 from 0 to 30 Kph in 2.8 seconds, and from 30-60 Kph in 4. The power needed to turn the electric motor is provided by a lithium-ion battery pack that gives the passenger car an autonomy of 120 km.

Concept Sr1

It has been called a roadster with overtones of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. And it doesn’t look like a Peugeot. Well, not the Peugeots me and you know of anyway. With the SR1, Peugeot is said to be signalling a fresh design direction. The SR1 is a petrol-electric hybrid, showcasing the 218bhp 1.6-litre turbo up front twinned to a 95bhp electric motor turning the rear wheels. This Hybrid4 system, which is in the hybrid versions of the 3008, can operate in zero-emissions mode around town – in rear wheel drive and still return 58mpg.

Concept HR 1

This aggressive-looking car is very kind to the environment: 81 miles per gallon and CO2 emissions of just 80 grams per kilometre. The frugality comes from a new, three-cylinder 1.2-liter THP 110 gas engine that is used to power the front wheels. In the back, the HYbrid4’s through-the-road hybrid powertrain uses a 37-bhp electric motor. The HR1 is part small city car, part SUV and part coupé. It’s meant for city commute and uses scissor doors that open vertically. The HR1 is also taller than you might expect, with the driver up high in a “dominant driving position.”

MARCH, 2011



Ditch your gumboots for loafers The latest Freelander 2 is more purposeful, sportier and more sophisticated.

In the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, Andrew Steyn grapples with his it bashes the African bush with exacting abandon, where he works as Land Rover, which has gradually matured into a virtually unbreakable Land Rover; the other being the Land Rover Freelander One, a trouble again, Land Rover went back to the drawing baord and produced a been upgraded for 2011. We went to South Africa for a feel of this Crazy was filmed.


MARCH, 2011

horribly a biologi off-roade -prone ou marvel o marvel. C


bly inadequate Land Rover that he calls “Anti Christ”. Sometimes, ogist, collecting Elephant dung. Though this was the Series One oader, the Anti Christ reprents one significant learning curve of e outfit with repair bills so high they’d make the Pope cringe! But el of a car in the name of Freelander 2. And now, this marvel has el. Concidentally, this was the country where The Gods Must Be

21 MARCH, 2011



he 2011 Freelander 2 model range benefits from a new 2.2-litre diesel engine available with either 150PS or 190PS outputs, a new look exterior plus interior alterations including new instrument dials and a new Premium Pack option. Land Rover’s new turbo diesel engine is available in the 4WD TD4 150PS model featuring a manual transmission and intelligent Stop/Start technology as standard (an automatic gearbox without Stop/Start is available as a cost option), or the new SD4 model delivering 190PS (available in automatic transmission only). This new engine is quieter, more efficient and both derivatives have 20Nm more torque than the outgoing engine. This means the 2011 Freelander 2 offers improved engine response and more mid-range strength. CO2 emissions have been significantly reduced to 165g/km and 185g/km respectively with corresponding fuel economy benefits. We were in South Africa recently for the continental launch of this class topper. As we learnt, inspite of reductions in consumption and emissions, there has been no compromise in performance. The flagship 190PS Freelander SD4 accelerates from rest to 100kph in 8.7 seconds with an increased top speed of 200kph. The Freelander 150PS TD4 manual and automatic versions match the performance of their predecessors. is now water-cooled enabling it to run The exterior of the latest Freelander 2 SD4. Both produce 20Nm more torque at a higher temperature thus enabling gets a new look for 2011. Marked out by than the outgoing model increasing to a higher levels of emissions, power and a new front bumper assembly incorposubstantial 420Nm for punchy, refined torque. rating new front fog lap bezels, a new performance. Both versions have a new front grille finish, improved headlights variable geometry turbocharger and are Stop/Start technology and tail lamps, new full width tailgate re-calibrated from scratch to deliver the All manual diesel models are equipped appliqué and new 18- or 19-inch alloy new levels of power, meet emissions with Land Rover’s acclaimed Stop/Start wheel styles. There are also three new regulations and reduce CO2. The use of technology, the first such system ever to colour schemes for 2011 Kosrae Green, an Intelligent Power Management Sysbe fitted to an Baltic Blue and Fuji The Pack includes the luxurious 8/6 way electric seat plus premium carpet mats SUV. The sysWhite. Inside the cabin, Land Rovand covered centre stowage. ..At the high end of the option range, there’s a new tem closely er’s design team Premium Pack option with Windsor Leather upholstery in Ebony, Almond, Ivory controls throttle closing, have revised the inor Tan colourways. ramps down strument dials, and fuelling and there are four new tem (IPMS) provides ‘smart charging’ of turns off the alternator to ensure the enseat styles with the option of a Premium the battery by recovering kinetic energy gine stops smoothly. A detailed software Pack that includes Windsor Leather when the vehicle is slowing wherever strategy combined with the Freelander upholstery, an 8/6 way electric seat, plus possible, rather than consuming fuel by 2’s optimised engine mounting system premium carpet mats and covered centre charging when the vehicle is acceleratensures an equally smooth re-start. stowage. The upgraded direct injection ing. Developed especially for this engine, Revised transmissions boost efficiency turbo diesel is available in two forms the new variable geometry turbocharger A second generation Asin Warner - 150PS on the TD4, and 190PS on the


MARCH, 2011


‘Freelanding’ Down South


2.2 Litre TD4






Six-speed automatic with Command Shift

Unique Feature

Terrain Response

▶ MARCH, 2011



AWF21 automatic transmission helps improve efficiency and emissions with a number of improvements. The Torque converter lock-up works over a wider range improving comfort, fuel economy and driveability, while optimisation of internal components reduces weight and inertia for faster shifting. The gear train has been improved with low drag torque friction plates, taper roller bearings and optimised components for greater efficiency. Transmission efficiency is also improved by a switch to low viscosity automatic transmission fluid, while the new control system is faster and has been reduced in weight. The most significant change is the advanced neutral control logic which reduces drag when the vehicle is stationary, the engine at idle and Drive selected. While not actually selecting neutral, drive load is substantially reduced to save fuel and improve refinement. The calibration of the transmission has been revised by Land Rover engineers to reduce torque converter slip. It retains Land Rover’s Terrain Response features, CommandShift® and adaptive shifting and is available on the TD4 and SD4 Freelanders. The many functions of Terrain Response are underpinned by the high levels of body stiffness which provide the best foundation for excellent ride and handling characteristics as well as offroad performance. A structural undertray on the front sub-frame improves steering precision as well as protecting the underside of the vehicle and four point engine mounting aids engine stability and improves refinement. Design enhancements both inside and out The exterior of the Freelander 2 gets a new look for 2011 with a new front bumper assembly incorporating new front fog lamp bezels. There’s a new front grille in two finishes, Dark Finish for the 150PS TD4 and Bright Finish for the 190PS diesel. The Halogen projector headlamps are new, as are the rear tail lamps which now have a clear inner lens and a black lens surround for greater definition. The tailgate handle is now finished in body colour and the full width signature strip is finished in Noble. SD4 models


MARCH, 2011

are further differentiated by Oberon painted door handles, body-coloured mirrors, power wash jets and lower body panels. Door mirrors now have a 10 percent larger glass area and to really set off the fresh styling there are also new 18” and 19” alloy wheel styles to choose from. In the cabin, there are four new contemporary seat styles offering a greater range of choice. Covered with stylish new Tofino or Resolve cloth fabrics, Napoli leather, a combination of Napoli leather and Alcantara, or Windsor leather for the Premium Pack, these four new styles differentiate between trim levels. There’s a choice of manual, 6/4-way electric adjustment and 8/6-way electric adjustment for the Premium Pack seats. New colourways compliment the revised upholstery design with Ebony, Tan and Ivory and there are matching door casings in Ebony with Ivory stitching and Ebony with Tan contrast stitching. Four new fascia finishers come in either Element Silver, Element Black, Dark Chestnut and Piano Black lacquered finish. This lacquered Piano Black theme is also carried over onto the steering wheel switchpack. At the high end of the option range, there’s a new Premium Pack option with Windsor Leather upholstery in Ebony, Almond, Ivory or Tan colourways. The Pack includes the luxurious 8/6 way electric seat plus premium carpet mats and covered centre stowage. All 2011 Freelander 2s will benefit from a clear and contemporary new instrument pack too. The Freelander 2 provides the safest possible environment for occupants. The Command Driving Position provides good visibility of all four corners of the vehicle and narrow A-pillars ensure that forward visibility is not compromised. There are seven airbags: two curtain, two front, two thorax and a driver’s knee bag as standard. The transverse engine mounting not only frees up interior space but offers impressive crash performance, helping the Freelander 2 achieve a 5 star Euro NCAP rating for adult occupant protection.

First class accomodation

New Windsor leather interior adds more prestige. The interior has the quality and tactile ambience of a premium executive saloon. Only that this one will kick mud as well munch tarmac.

The instrument pack has been updated with clearer, more contemporary graphics. Steering wheel mounted controls are at your fingertips for ultimate ease of use.

A refreshed front grille is one of the distinctive exterior revisions. Complemented by sleek lines, it gives the car a more immediate sense of purpose and improves aerodynamics.

Everything is within easy reach. Interior aesthetics are now more integrated, with a choice of four new trim finishers on the facia, which come with matching steering wheel finishers.

Even the bard knew about us when he said.... “A dish fit for the gods”.

“Not stepping o’er the bounds of modesty”

“Can one desire too much of a good thing?”

“In my mind’s eye”.

“I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it.”

William Shakespeare - 1564 to 1616

“I will speak daggers...., but use none”.

(Greatest writer in the English language)

“As good luck would have it”.

Want proof? We’ve got it!

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25 MARCH, 2011


Want to improve your You are itching to do some improvement to your car but cannot decide on what exactly. There are several ways in which to personalize your car such as seat covers, rims, and other aesthetically pleasing items. Instead of just changing the look of your vehicle think about spending your money to improve the performance of your car.


mproving your car’s capabilities can cost you a little or cost you a lot depending on how much you want to do and want to spend. We will start out small and build up to the more expensive items. No matter if big or small you can do any of these improvements in a weekend.

Step One: Clean out your car. One of the easiest ways to get

your car to function better is to get rid of any extra weight and dirt. Less weight equals better performance. That drag coefficient is less and not only will you engine appreciate it your gas mileage should also improve. This step just takes time and no money.

Step Two: Change to Synthetic Oil. Synthetic engine oil is

designed to provide the best protection, cleanliness, and lowest friction for a gasoline or diesel engine. Synthetic oil is believed to lubricate the engine more efficiently because it breaks down at a slower rate. This provides wear protection and friction reduction as the engine operates in various conditions.

Step Three: Add additives to your coolant reservoir.There are

different additives that can be put in with your coolant but the most widely known one is called Water Wetter. This is a wetting agent, which reduces your vehicle’s coolant temperature by as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Water Wetter is a unique additive that can be used to provide corrosion and rust protection.

Step Four: Add vortex devices to your air-intake.There are

several fuel saving devices sold at the local auto parts to choose from. Though they might not return the mileage often advertised, those that tout valve-cleaning attributes go a long way in improving consumption.

Step Five: Change your spark plug wires. There are many

manufacturers of performance spark plug wires that can improve the performance of your engine. The special wiring has incredibly

DON’T SEAR IT: Improving your car performance doesn’t not mean tearing it into bits and pieces and installing extravagant add-ons. Basic, ‘do-it-yourself ’ remedies will go a long way.

low resistance without electronic interference. The after market plug wires carries a stronger signal to the spark plug. The stronger signal increases the efficiency of your vehicle’s spark plugs. Changing out the spark plug wires will take you between 15 minutes up to a one half hour.

Step Six: Replace the stock air filter. The easiest way to increase the performance of


MARCH, 2011


vehicle performance? Yes, you can make your car faster by.... ◆ Superchargers

In a nutshell, while stock engines depend on vacuum and atmospheric pressure to get the air fuel mixture into the combustion chamber of your engine, a supercharger physically compresses the air, making it denser and shoves it down your engines throat! It is kind of like a turbo charger on steroids.

◆ Turbochargers

They work by using the exhaust gasses to spin an impellor which builds a positive pressure of fresh air and forces that air into the intake to mix with the fuel.

◆ Nitrous Oxide

The principal is very simple. If you add Nitrous Oxide to your air and fuel the mixture becomes considerably more explosive and therefore greatly increases horsepower.

◆ Exhaust System

Look at ways to improve getting the exhaust out of your engine more efficiently. Removing your mufflers and adding glass packs will make your car louder, but won’t offer any real performance.

◆ Performance Chips

Electronic fuel injection is controlled by a ‘computer’ or chip of some sort. Enhance your performance by replacing or modifying the chips that control your engine.

◆ Electric Fans

On older cars the fan is mechanical. Remove this mechanical fan and replace it with an aftermarket electric fan to free up some extra horsepower.

◆ Electric Fuel Pump any engine is to improve the airflow into the engine. High performance cool air intake systems are designed to take in cold air from the outside of your engine compartment. These after market air filters are also molded to ensure the coolest air possible by blocking engine heat. With reduced heat, the engine can breathe easier, reduce power loss, and most importantly increase its horsepower. Depending on the size of the engine, you can get from an extra 5 to 20 hp. The installation only takes about 30 - 45 minutes.

A mechanical fuel pump is driven directly off of your engine. Usually powered by a lobe on your crankshaft, it robs power that should be going to your drive wheels. So, replace with an electric one.

◆ Air Induction

Your engine pulls in air and mixes it with fuel. This mixture is burned and produces horsepower. So if you can increase the amount of cool dense air that your engine is able to pull in, you will produce more power.

◆ Fuel Injection

Electonic fuel injection is more precise than the mechanical ones, offering your engine more horsepower and better fuel economy. . MARCH, 2011



Top 10 Common Car Problems It is hard to make this kind of list since the things that go wrong on the car are endless. This is not written with pessimism, but as many drivers have experienced even on new cars a thing or two can go wrong.Not to mention the older ones, an old car is a like an aging man, the older he get’s the more grumpy he becomes. Here’s a list with the top 10 car problems. Not only are they problems of mechanical nature, they are usually problems that drive you nuts:


Flat tyre: Its the most common car problem but the most easy to fix. Often happens at the least convenient time. Having the right equipment and knowledge to help yourself is crucial.


Dead battery: How many of us made that face of despair when we put the key into the ignition and... Nothing or a short click. . An easy problem to fix, but best preventing it on time by changing the old battery.


Electric and electronics problems: These kind of problems manifest themselves as if the car is possessed by an evil ghost. Various glitches, signal lamps warning about nothing, endless diagnostics and car mechanics going out of their mind are just some of the symptoms.


Bad serpentine belt: It makes that squeaky noise that gives you a bad chill down the spine. Nothing serious, if the car is properly maintained you won’t hear of it. Otherwise, it can make a lot of problems.



Various leaks: oil leaks, coolant leaks, break fluid leaks etc. In most cases (if the leak is not severe) they don’t cause big problems while driving. The moment you see them, get it fixed, it only get’s worse over time.


Car bulb failure (headlights, taillights): When your vision from the car during night driving decreases it’s either time to check your eyesight or the signalisation. The headlight bulbs are easy to spot when they burn out, the tail lights can go on not working for months (unless you have the proper dash warning). Make a check of the signalisation from time to time.

Body scratches and minor dents: looks like a little acne on an otherwise beautiful face. You look at it and say: “ wow what a beautiful face, but look at the acne....”. Can be solved with a few tricks and perhaps minor body repair.


MARCH, 2011


Ignition problems: The car will crank but won’t start. The problem can be solved on your own in a couple of minutes or it can take days and a tone of money. The list of probable causes is pretty long.


Sensor problems: A car problem that has the most fancy name.These are the eyes of the ecu unit. Since exposed to dirt, moisture, cold, heat etc, they cause the most of the electronics problems.


Cracked windscreen: You get it a second, but you usually look at it for months. When the crack happens, fix it right away or else your putting yourself and the your passengers at risk.


MARCH, 2011



Caught in a time warp! The Toyota Gaia, recently consigned to the dustbin of obscurity by the more svelte Toyota Wish has few redeeming features, writes JOE MURAI.



ny experienced used car salesman will tell you just how difficult it is to sell a car that is clearly past its sell by date in terms of engine technology, creature comforts, looks and performance. It’s as hard as selling ice to an eskimo. Or honey to an Akamba. Or ODM in Rift Valley. For Kenyan used car buyers are a savvy lot. Gone are the days when they’d make purchases on what the Njoroges are driving. Nowadays, they research prior to purchase and will often emphasis on a car with modern features. The Toyota Gaia, whose production ended in Japan in 2004 (meaning this is the last year its being imported into Kenya) represents a confusing mish-mash of both winning and defeatist features. Utility? seats seven adults comfortably. Consumption? Drinks like a fish. Driveability? Good enough for munching tarmac especially on long commutes. Looks? A camel with cataracts is prettier!

Under that croc-like hood lies the car’s link to a bygone era: a 1AZ-FSE that churns out 152hp and 200Nm of torque. Its claimed consumption is 14.2 kilometres per litre (combined) but I think thats a generous. Locally, the Gaia has been slayed proper by its Japanese counterpart, Toyota Wish. It shares a platform with the Toyota Ipsum, a class topping 2,400cc out-

Spiky Terrazzos Over the past two months or so, I’ve transversed half of the Kenyan countryside and towns in this bulky bus, from the Strabag-built macadams of Mombasa Road to the spiky terrazzos of Kitui and lunar landscapes of Western Kenya. And I can tell you one thing.... Its hard to fall in love with this car. Its like this girl in the hood who, well, has everything you can get from a woman, but no matter how much quality time you spend time with her, your heart just refuses to mellow. You can’t bring yourself to loving her. Partly because she isn’t candy in your eyes, partly because her mannerisms are well past their sales-by date.

fit and Toyota Corona Premio. It was manufactured from May 1998 until September 2004. Ever wondered where the name Gaia came from? Gaia means “land” or “earth”, in Greek. Its derived from Gea, the primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth. Quite ironical therefore than the Gaia was exterminated in 2004 and no longer has a mission to conquer the earth.

MARCH, 2011

Handling On the road, the Gaia handles pretty well on the stretches, the sharp nose aerodynamically cutting through the wind to

propel car to a top speed of 180kph in reasonable time. But negotiating corners at speed should only be tried by the suicidal. The level of body roll is so apparent you’ll feel as if you are walking (or is it driving?) on stilts. The elevated driver position accords an excellent view of the road ahead and its hard to miss potholes and other road obstacles. This is a car for people of all heights, and the layout of the instrument panel is ergonomical and easy to reach and operate. You’ll particularly like the temperature selector buttons (which have an option for outside temperature), the side column gear lever (which accords the cabin more space) and the driver and front passenger arm rests. To improve space for driver and front passenger, the other seven-seaters have a foot-compressed ‘handbrake’. Gaia is still stuck in a time warp, with a machete-looking handbrake between the driver and front passenger seats. Talking about the seating configuration, the Gaia is a veritable substitute for a bus and pick-up. The two rows of back seats (with a split formula and armrests) are foldable flat, meaning that one minute, the Gaia is a bus transporting the whole clan to the bundus, the next its a pick up ferrying your wardrobe to your next rental abode. If you like keeping up with the times, this isn’t the car for you. But if you believe cars are like wine, getting better with age, get the Gaia.


You’ll like.........

You won’t like......... The seven seats. Can comfortably accomodate seven adults. Spacious enough to carry your whole brood.

That chiselled nose that makes the car look like a croc. They say its meant to improve aerodynamics. Function over form? Alright.


Perfect driver position enables good view of the road ahead. The dashboard layout is ergonomical too.

1AZ-FSE, 1998cc


152hp @6,000rpm


200Nm @4,000rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-Speed Automatic with over drive MAXIMUM SPEED


CONSUMPTION 14km/litre

Arms rests for both the driver and passenger. Perfect for those long journeys. The air con perfectly fills the entire cabin with selected temperature setting. Of course, at the expense of a decent fuel mileage.

That 2,000 cc petrol engine is thirstier than a drunk at the onset of ‘Mututho hours’. If you don’t go easy on the accelerator, you’ll need to rob a bank to run this car. A pity really, for you must always drive very fast so that people don’t notice that chiselled nose.

Body roll. It feels bulky, heavy, long (if you can manoeuvre this in Nairobi traffic, you don’t need an extra licence to drive a bus. No, to drive a trailer. Road and wind noise are distractingly high.

If you wan’t something ‘more modern’, consider.........

TOYOTA WISH: If wishes were horses, they’d be a race (or Polo game) every Sunday at Jamhuri Park. Wait a sec.! It’s at Jamhuri Park where vehicle salesmen race for clients. This aerodynamic 1794cc VVTi will give you 132 hp and 170Nm in punch. You’ll love its light weight too: only 1300kgs.

NISSAN LIBERTY: A little freedom goes a long way in self expression. Want to stand out from the proletariat who’ve run for the Wish? The Liberty, with its QR20DE, 4 cylinder DOHC engine could be the answer. It houses 147 hp, with a torque of 198Nm. But you won’t like it dashboard and butt.

TOYOTA IPSUM: It often reminds me of its sister plate, the Nadia, which was so inadequate in the looks department I could never buy it... even at gunpoint. The Ipsum is bigger, better and with a 2400cc VVTi engine, it will give you 160hp and 220Nm in torque.

MARCH, 2011



t s u D m

Fro r Daka




eat ith d

ew c n a d ally’s

MARCH, 2011

t s u to D


British war time Prime Minister Winston Churchill once quipped that “nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result”. The Dakar Rally held last month is a thrilling extreme sport fraught with dangers that are not unlike being shot at. Often, Lady Luck takes pot shots at those testing her patience in the dusty deserts of South America, fulfilling the Biblical promise of ‘from dust to dust’ in an eerie fashion, writes JOE MURAI. 33 MARCH, 2011


They lost the man Vs machine duel !


he desert is unforgiving and un-discriminatory. Over the 32 years of the Dakar Rally, fifty eight people people have died. They include twenty five competitors, organisers, back-up personnel, spectators and people who just happenned to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. As if to prove its audacity, it even claimed the life of its originator Thierry Sabine when, in 1986, he and four passengers were killed when their helicopter crashed into a sand dune in Mali as they followed the race after the pilot became disorientated in a sandstorm. Motorcycles make up the majority with fourteen fatalities, while causes of death have been accidents, conflict (especially when the event was staged in North Africa) and medical reasons. This year, the event claimed the lives of four people. Two maintenance workers were killed after being electrocuted in separate incidents. On the opening stage, a 28-year-old female fan was killed when a competitor’s car ploughed into a group of spectators near the


town of Rio Cuarto. Another dirver involved in a collision with a competitor also died. In 2009, French motorcyclist, Pascal Terry perished as he negotiated 10,000km of dirt tracks and wilderness. Six people died in the 1988 race: three racers and three spectators, including a 10-year-old Malian girl, Baye Sibi, who was killed by a racer as she tried to cross the road. In 2003, Frenchman Daniel Nebot rolled his Toyota, killing his co-driver Bruno Cauvy, while in 2005 Spanish motorcyclist Jose Manuel Perez died and Italian motorcyclist Fabrizio Meoni, a two-time winner of the rally, was killed two days later. Also in 2005, a five-year-old Senegalese girl died when she was crushed beneath the wheels of a service lorry after wandering on to a main road. There were similar incidents in 2006 and 2007, with competitors and spectators killed. Indeed, detractors of the race claim that not all injuries and deaths among spectators and innocent bystanders are recorded or reported. Here’s some action from last January:

Hino No. 513, crewed by 69-year-old Yoshimasa Sugawara and Hiroyuki Sugiura in this year’s Dakar Rally.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz cruising to a victory stage. As a veteran rally driver, he knows the danger of pushing Lady Luck in a man-versus machine duel.

Pirelli rider Hélder Rodrigues of Portugal races on a Yamaha WR450F. He was the fastest privateer rider for 2011 and recorded the best ever result for a Portuguese rider in the Dakar.

Multi-faceted Dakar winners Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottscha. The 10,000 kilometre desert race is the most gruelling and dangerous rally event. The heat is punishing and terrain unforgiving. Not to forget the occasional scorpions.

MARCH, 2011

MARCH, 2011


2011 Rally Season is here


he 2011 KCB Kenya National Rally Championship zoomed off in Voi last month, amidst the controversy brought about by stringent rules. Dalbit Rally Team’s Alistair Cavenaugh and Adrian Cavenaugh in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 claimed the podium followed by team mates Carl Tundo and Tim Jessop in a similar machine. James Kirimi and Kimeli Korir claimed the Formula Two crown in a Komatsu-sponsored VW Golf GTi. This event was one in only eight events in a season that make up the Kenya National Rally Championship. There has been controversy arising from stringent rules specifically in rules governing Specially Prepared Vehicles (SPVs), entry fees, mode of seeding and allocation of numbers. The most hotly debated issue was the banning of the Oil Libya’s Azar Anwar and KCB Chief Executive Martin Oduor Otieno just before flag SPVs. SPVs were a cheaper, alternative off at the Voi Rally. PHOTO: KMSF to the rally-spec machines which are very expensive. However, this rule does Championship in a SPV is virtually concerned that they will isolate many not come into place till 2013, though the impossible. Rally fans might as well bid enthusiasts and future competitors, those drivers competing with such cars will goodbye to Ian Duncan’s legendary Niswatering down the popularity of the face a two percent penalty on their final san Patrol pick-up and Shazar Anwar’s sport locally. From a small entry of 15 results. Bearing in mind the slim margins Subaru pick-up. While leading drivers cars few years back, the KCB-sponsored that seperate the drivers, winning the see mischief in these rules, sponsors are series now attracts over 60 rally cars.

Another feather in Duncan’s cap


an Duncan, a dare-devil driver known for his appetite for tearing the rally rule book and pushing the limits of success if the 2010 Motor Sports Personality of the Year. The award is just another in the bulging trophy cabinet of the five-time Kenya National Rally Champion and 1994 WRC Safari Rally winner. I’m lost for words,” Duncan said upon receiving the trophy. Duncan has over the years upheld his status as the biggest rally crowd puller with his massive pick up contraptions and high-octane driving in autocross, rallying, motocross and cross country rally raid. Spectators have been waiting with bated breath to see Duncan’s performance season as he is now resorting to a Group N Mitsubishi Evolution 36

MARCH, 2011

9. Duncan had words of praise for KNRC title sponsors Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) for making the difference in rallying. I wish to thank KCB for bringing up rallying from 18 entries a few years back to 68. This is a brilliant thing for the rally sport,” said Duncan. The occasion also acknowledged the Kenya team which finished third overall at the FIM Africa Motocross Championship in South Africa in October. Assistant sports minister Kabando wa Kabando urged the Kenya Motor Sports Foundation (KMSF) to cash in on major reforms which world governing body, FIA’s Rallies Commission is considering across the globe to help Safari Rally regain its world status.

Ian Duncan and his co-driver Amaar Slatch after a successful finish in a past rally event. Duncan is the 2010 Motor Sports Personality of the year.


March Issue 6  

Welcome to our first editorial driven edition of Motor Trader, your favourite source of all and international motoring news. In this issue g...

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