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13 MAART

MARKET ‘UNFREEZES’ AFTER FIVE YEARS

Summer Club heralds sunrise for developments All 114 units in the first phase were sold out within six weeks – sure confirmation, according to the development consortium, that the Summer Club lifestyle estate in Somerset West has entered the market with the right package at the right time.

“No other development of this size has been launched in the past eight years, and there is no more land of this magnitude left in this area,” says Dave Harris, a property development and marketing veteran who is overseeing the sales and marketing of the Summer Club. The Summer Club is situated on a 42 hectare site accessed via a link road off Sir Lowry’s Pass Road. Big plans are being rolled out on this, the last of the large land holdings in the area running along the Sir Lowry’s Pass Road. Development will take place over 19 phases and across a broad spectrum of uses to meet the vision of a multi-faceted lifestyle estate. A total of 1 115 residential units will be built, with the second phase to be launched in April. Two school sites are included – one of which has already been snapped up by Curro Holdings, the successful education division of the PSG Group, for a Curro Castle pre-primary school. Two dams on the estate will provide six hectares of pristine water for fishing, swimming, sailing and rowing. A clubhouse and gymnasium will be built on the water’s edge and will include a rim-flow swimming pool. A mature forest area will form part of 15 hectares of open space offering mountainbiking and jogging

trails. All of this will be enclosed within state-of-the-art security featuring biometric access control, electrical fencing set into anti-dig foundations, and monitored surveillance cameras. Twenty-four hectares of commercial and retail land will form a buffer between the residential estate and the N2. This land includes an option

for a 6 000m² shopping centre. The consortium behind this development is made up of Investec, Omnicron and Wiehahn Properties, a national property investment and development company that locally developed Schonenberg Estate in Somerset West. The sell-out success achieved within six weeks on the first phase of the

development returned proof-positive confirmation to the developers that the market is again ready to take up new property developments. Dave Harris, who has been in the property development and marketing field for 32 years, says that no new developments have been launched in the past five years in the Somerset West area. A major constraint on ac-

From the left are Dave Harris, a 32­year veteran of the property development and marketing industry who is overseeing sales and marketing at the Summer Club; Zane de Decker, representing Wiehahn Properties, a con­ sortium partner; and Jan Bergman, representing Investec, also a consortium partner in the development.

tivity came from the sudden implementation of the National Credit Act, which banks responded to by curtailing 100% bonds and limiting the flow of finance to developments. General economic constraints kept the average household under pressure. But pent-up investment and purchaser demand for property, together with banks easing up on their previously stifling lending criteria, have opened the door for money to return into property development and investment. And the Summer Club’s release onto the market is timed just right. “Substantial funds” have already been set into the ground at the Summer Club to prepare it for development. Jan Bergman, representing consortium partner Investec, says that in his many years in the development world, he has never spent as much money prior to a development as was spent at the Summer Club. Infrastructure already paid for includes a link road to the development off Sir Lowry’s Pass Road; completed entrance buildings and security elements; 50% of the estate’s general infrastructure, and extensive landscaping fed by an on-site nursery. Zane de Decker points out that this investment is a sure sign of the development consortium’s confidence in the development. Phase II, to be released in April, will make 94 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available for purchase. Construction has commenced on Phase I’s units and occupation is set for the end of November. . Go to www.thesummerclub.co.za or phone 021 202 2200 for further details on the Summer Club.


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SOLD HELDERBERG BOLAND


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Districtmail

HELDERBERG

13 Maart, 2014

City to improve turnaround times What do you want from of building plan applications your estate agent?

From 1 April 2014, residents and development professionals will no longer have to haul heavy packs of documents to the City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department when submitting development proposals. A new management process for the submission of development applications is coming into effect, which will allow for the use of a flash stick when submitting plans and for online payments. It is further expected that the turnaround times for the development proposal process will improve significantly. In order to increase efficiency, the City’s Planning and Building Development Management Department (PBDMD) will be migrating data from the existing system to the new Development Application Management System (DAMS). Apart from improving turnaround times, the new system will allow for payments to be made through electronic funds transfers (EFTs). From July 2014, it is expected that it will be possible to submit development applications on-line, from the comfort of your home or office, to the City’s planning portal. “Although we are already proud of our high turnaround times and efficiency, we are likely to shave off days from the current submissions and rejections time frames,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Garreth Bloor. From 1 April 2014, customers will be able to enjoy the convenience of submitting their land use and building plan application forms in PDF format using a memory stick and will no longer have to produce multiple copies of the plans for submis-

sion. In addition, the new system will allow for customers to receive their plans back on their own memory stick with the comments from the officials for amendment or a copy of the approved plan. It is important to note that paper submissions will still be possible. Customers will have both the electronic/on-line and paper options. Currently, development applications, which include building plans of various prescribed sizes, in accordance with the National Building Regulations, can only be physically submitted at the PBDMD. EFTs are furthermore not possible on the current system. To this end, from the close of business on 14 March to 31 March 2014 only the submission of new applications and/or transactions requiring payment will be affected. Those who would like to submit new applications or make payments must do so before 14 March 2014 or again from 1 April 2014. In the interim, the PBDMD is still available for consultations on development proposals. Pre-consultation meetings; enquiries on the status of applications already in the system; the collection of approved/refused/amended and withdrawn plans will be possible; zoning queries can go ahead; inspection notices can be issued; general planning and building enquiries and information will be attended to and the business processes for all active applications submitted before 14 March 2014 will continue as normal. For more information, please visit www.capetown.gov.za/en/Planningportal/Pages/default.aspx Customers can also send an e-mail to DAMS.system@capetown.gov.za to be registered to receive updates.

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parable market analysis? Be wary here. The easiest way for an agent to “buy” your listing is to deliberately overprice your property. In reality this is dishonest business practice. The market will only pay market value, or less. By overpricing you will remain on the market longer than necessary The answer confirmed what we – and the longer you are listed for have always assumed – that the less you will sell for. strong business relationships are This is a tactic we see sellers fall built on trust. Trust is built by a for all the time. It’s dishonest and series of interactions between unethical. people that are honest and transIf your property has been listed parent. If dishonesty or deceit are for more than four months then suspected the trust is broken, and have your agents shared with you the business relationship is termiwhy it hasn’t sold? In most cases nated. Honesty supersedes skills there will be a reason. Do you and results. know what it is? And it’s always It’s true in all business. But it’s one of three things: your price is especially true in real estate, wrong, your marketing isn’t workwhere estate agents play a signifi- Talking Property, by ing, or both. So what’s the truth? cant role is assisting people with Steve Caradoc­Davies Sadly, we don’t live in the most the sale or purchase of what is usuhonest of worlds. We appreciate that trust ally their most valuable asset. The real estate industry has done much to needs to be earned – it’s not automatic. So alclean up its act over the past five to seven years. though it may be awkward at times, don’t be For the most part estate agents are ethical and uncomfortable about establishing your agents’ professional. But this is sadly not always the credentials at the outset. If in doubt it may be wise to ask compare more case. So just how do you know whether you can than one estate agent or agency. And if the level trust an estate agent or not? Not all estate agents are created equal. This of trust that you require isn’t there, then keep is the same in all professions: doctors, sports- on looking until you find an agent you really men, financial advisors, builders, etc. So ask believe you can trust. There are many trustworto see some credentials. Is the estate agent li- thy agents out there – you just need to find them. Sometimes when selling property emotion censed? Do they have a Fidelity Fund Certificate? What is their track record, or that of their can get in the way of logic and reason. Taking a step back and examining the facts from a discompany? If the estate agent gives you an opinion on tance can often help you see clearly what directhe market value of your property then what tion you should take. It’s your right to work is it based on? Is it just a thumb-suck? Or can with an estate agent you trust. Demand it. It’s they substantiate it with facts by way of a com- the very least you deserve. We posted the question “What do you want from your estate agent?” on our Harcourts social media platforms over a one-month period. The overwhelming response was “honesty”.


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Districtmail 13 Maart, 2014

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Eikestadnuus 13 Maart, 2014

SOLD STELLENBOSCH BOLAND


15 Paradyskloof boasts exquisite homes in the Boland BOLAND SOLD

Eikestadnuus

STELLENBOSCH

The suburb of Paradyskloof lies 3 km from the centre of Stellenbosch, and is highly sought-after by home-owners in search of a secure, family-oriented lifestyle. The community consists mainly of family homes on goodsized plots, many of them with lovely mountain views. Prices range from R2,5 million to R8,5 million. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that its accessible location and selection of high quality schools are among the key factors driving sales. PGP’s area manager for Stellenbosch, Louise Varga, says the suburb was only developed in the 1980s, which means that most homes are still in excellent condition. It lies just off the R44 highway, providing easy access to the N2, Somerset West and the Techno Park business hub. Major employers including Parmalat and MediClinic have their offices in the area. Yet the setting is one of suburban tranquillity, with the suburb surrounded by the foothills of the Stellenbosch mountains, leafy vineyards and several smallholdings. It is also particularly well-

protected from the prevailing winds. “Paradyskloof has its own convenience shopping with a Woolworths Food outlet, as well as two popular restaurants,” adds PGP agent Lizette Botha. “Nearby shopping centres include Die Boord centre and Stellenbosch Square, while the new Eikestad Mall is also very accessible, as are the Mediclinic Stellenbosch and the university. A new Superspar will be opening in Paradyskloof soon, which will only add to the convenience of living in this area. Golfers can walk to the Stellenbosch Golf Course, while the course at De Zalze is also nearby. There is also a wonderful network of mountain paths which can be enjoyed by cyclists, joggers and hikers alike.” Schools are a major draw-card, and parents in the area have a range of options to choose from in both English and Afrikaans medium, pre-primary, primary and high schools. Within a 3 km radius lie three of the top 20 schools in the Western Cape, based on the 2013 matric results – Rhenish Girls’ High, Paul Roos Gymnasium and Bloemhof High. A cycle path along

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the R44 means children can ride to school in safety, while the suburb’s central green belt has a playground for younger children as well as ample space for teens to play touchrugby or soccer. Within the suburb, one of the most highly-rated addresses is Vallee Lustre, an exclusive security complex consisting of just 14 properties. All of the erven except two have been fully developed, with work commencing on one of the final homes in March 2014. The development has a gated entrance and perimeter electric fencing, and is surrounded by farmland and vineyards, ensuring a peaceful atmosphere. PGP has the exclusive mandate to market one of these upmarket homes at R8,5 million. The home occupies an erf of around 1000 sqm, and offers around 500 sqm of living space, including four bedrooms, three of them en suite, and four spacious reception areas. There is excellent flow from the entertainment areas onto an enclosed patio with built-in braai and retractable glass doors, overlooking the swimming pool and immaculate garden. “This warm family home blends

Learn rights and obligations around lease agreements The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) will host a Lease Agreement workshop on 25 March at the The DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town from 08:30 to 16:00 The workshop is an intense full-day workshop that looks into the rights and obligations of the parties to a lease, new legislation and case law affecting lease agreements. The workshop, which covers essentials for a lease agreement, is aimed at professionals who have to implement lease agreements and/or who are responsible for negotiating, renewing, drafting, and managing leases and lease agreements. The lease agreement is one of the most

important documents in Commercial, Industrial and Retail Property from the moment you start working in property until you retire. Legislation and needs and trends change all the time and those working with lease agreements have to be aware of these changes and legal requirements. The Programme deals with the lease agreement, the rights and obligations of the parties to a lease, new legislation and case law affecting lease agreements. Tickets are R2 500 for members and R3 200 for non-members For more information on SAPOA education offerings, send an email to Melissa@ sapoa.org.za

PGP has the exclusive mandate to market this upmarket home in Vallee Lustre at R8,5 million. English country charm with European style,” says Botha. “Its topquality finishes include American walnut floors, Hansgrohe appliances, cherry-wood cabinets in the study and a modern kitchen finished with granite counter-tops and whitewashed maple cup-

boards. Other features include a wine cellar with capacity for 400 bottles, wooden sash windows with shutters, and two Morso fireplaces. The use of natural materials and stone-cladding ensure a timeless, wholesome appeal, and creates a warm family home.”


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Eikestadnuus 13 Maart, 2014

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Paarl Post 13 Maart, 2014

SOLD PAARL/WELLINGTON BOLAND


BOLAND SOLD

PAARL/WELLINGTON

Paarl Post 13 Maart, 2014

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Biggest and Best Property guide in the Boland

SOLD bied die grootste en maklikste toegang tot die mark vir eiendomkopers en -verkopers in die Boland.

021 841 4285

021 887 2840 021 870 4600


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Paarl Post 13 Maart, 2014

SOLD PAARL/WELLINGTON BOLAND


LAND ROVER: PLANET’S ULTIMATE ALL-PURPOSE VEHICLE

Fresh design for 2014 Discovery QUICKPIC The 2014 Model Year Land Rover Discovery is now in South African showrooms, ready to excite those of an adventurous disposition with the most significant round of changes to the planet’s ultimate all-purpose vehicle since its introduction. The 2014 Land Rover Discovery receives a new look, new badging, an all-new petrol engine, improved audio systems and a new range of driver assistance, comfort and safety features to further broaden its appeal. “Land Rover has always been aware of the importance of delivering performance with sustainability, and every new design and each round of improvements aim to meet this challenge,” says Kevin Flynn, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “The introduction of the supercharged V6, which supersedes the V8, is proof of this and it is a more fuel-efficient combination especially when mated to our 8-speed automatic transmission. As one of the world’s most stylish, capable and versatile SUVs, the Dis- The covery remains the perfect vehicle for people who enjoy living an active lifestyle to the full.” For 2014, the Land Rover Discovery has been given a new ‘face’ and numerous detail exterior changes. The grille, front bumper and headlamps are all new while new daytime running lights with a distinctive LED signature and a more premium execution to the fog-lamp surround further enhance the Discovery’s appearance. There are three types of headlights, vehicle grade-dependent. XS and S models use bi-halogen bulbs with a single Daytime Running Lamp (DRL) while the SE gets Xenon headlamps with Signature DRLs and flagship HSE models get the Adaptive Xenon version. To complement the design changes seen at the front of the vehicle, the rear light units receive a black mask for an especially clean look.

much of its content being userdriven. For example, in Angola it maps nearly 20 000 roads and tracks, and details more than 2 500 points of interest. For the urban environment, the mapping software of choice is Nokia HERE, which gives comprehensive coverage of over 100 cities in sub-Sahara Africa. The new range of driver assistance, comfort and safety features for the 2014 Discovery include: Wade Sensing (a technology unique to Land Rover), Blind Spot Monitoring, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection and T-junction Cameras – which give drivers a 180 degree-plus view at an intersection via the centrally-positioned TFT (thinfilm transistor) screen. Wade Sensing will be offered as an optional extra exclusively on the top-flight HSE grade, enabling drivers to use the TFT screen to monitor proximity to the maximum wading depth of 700 mm. The system is activated when water hits the bottom of the lowest Parking Aid sensor, projecting a graphic of the vehicle in profile onto the screen, with a real-time indication of the water level relative to the maximum wading depth, with warning chimes that sound as this figure approachoval Land Rover logo is now in a richer shade of green, enhancing its prominence. PHOTO: QUICKPIC es. Information to calculate Two new alloy wheel designs first time ever, the ‘Discovery’ bers of 276 kW/510 Nm and emis- water depth is supplied by sonarhave been introduced and, to give name replaces ‘Land Rover’ on the sions of 328 g/km for the V8. Im- based sensors in the mirror housvehicles a heightened level of dis- bonnet and the number 4 will be re- provements in fuel consumption ings. To align the 2014 Discovery with tinction, the optional ‘Black Design moved from the tailgate leaving just are marked with figures of Pack’ remains available for 2014 the word ‘Discovery.’ Engine badg- 12F/100km for the V6 compared to Range Rover vehicles, the SE and HSE models will now be fitted with models, featuring revised detailing ing moves from the tailgate to an in- 14F/100 km for the V8. All power plants are mated to an Meridian premium audio. The SE and a choice of 19-inch or 20-inch got mounted on each of the front eight-speed ZF automatic transmis- will have a Meridian system which black alloy wheels. New colours in- doors. The oval Land Rover logo is now sion, working in perfect harmony features 8 speakers and 380 Watts clude Corris Grey, Loire Blue, Scotia Grey, Chablis and Luxor, which in a richer shade of green, enhanc- with Terrain Response and High/ of power, while the Meridian SurLow ratios to provide the perfect round system, which produces an have also been added to the palette. ing its prominence. Underlining Land Rover’s com- combination of gear ratio and drive impressive 825 Watts output and In a change driven by form and features 17 speakers, will be fitted function, the 2014 Discovery has re- mitment to power with sustainabil- train response for any situation. A Discovery has always been the to the HSE derivatives. designed exterior mirrors. They’re ity, the 2014 Discovery will continThe Discovery’s breadth of capamore aerodynamic than before but ue to be available with the class- perfect companion for a trip into also support the introduction of leading 183 kW/600 Nm 3.0 SDV6 – ‘The Dark Continent’, and it gets bility has never been in question – new technologies: they house the with CO2 emissions of 230 g/km. even better in this regard thanks to a fact confirmed by an impressive cameras for the surround camera The 155 kW/520 Nm 3.0 TDV6 will the Extended Navigation system fit- average monthly sales figure of 185 ted as standard from MY14. In a first (and a record figure of 398 in March system, and the sensors for the all- also continue to be available. The petrol newcomer (this is the for availability as a factory-fitted 2013) since its introduction in 1989. new Wade Sensing system. In recognition of the Discovery’s first time this engine has been of- integrated system, the Discovery With the launch of the new and imestablished identity, the refreshed fered in the Discovery) is rated at comes with the latest generation of proved MY14 range, Discovery exterior design for 2014 also incor- 250 kW and 450 Nm with emissions Tracks4Africa, a suite of 16 maps of looks set to continue to go above and porates a change of identity. For the of 285 g/km versus headline num- rural areas, with impressive detail, beyond.


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Donderdag

13 Maart, 2014

Kia launches upgraded Sportage QUICKPIC Kia’s third generation Sportage was originally launched to the local motoring media on 31 August 2010 and has proven to be one of Kia Motors South Africa’s most popular models. To date, the Sportage has received numerous design awards, including an IF-design award, a Red Dot design award, as well as an award in the Automotive Brand Contest. On the international front, the Sportage has been awarded numerous Car of the Year titles, while locally it was announced as a finalist for the 2011 Wesbank South African Car of the Year competition. Its most recent accolade was awarded in December 2013 where the Sportage was crowned as the overall winner in the SUV and Crossover category in the Annual Standard Bank People’s Wheels Awards. “The third generation Sportage was very well received by both the public and the South African motoring media”, comments David Sieff, Marketing Director, Kia Motors South Africa. “The Sportage has been one of our best selling vehicles in the range and this can be attributed to its stylish looks, competitive performance, state of the art features and overall value proposition.” On 18 February, Kia Motors South Africa launched the newly enhanced and upgraded Kia Sportage. The Sportage receives small but significant upgrades to its modern exterior as well as a refreshed interior design and new ma-

terials throughout the cabin. The upgraded Sportage will be available in two engines: a smooth 2.0 D-CVVT petrol engine and a more powerful 2.0 VGT CRDi diesel engine. The petrol engine is more refined than before and is now paired with a six-speed manual and automatic transmission, resulting in improved fuel consumption. The steering on the diesel models change from hydraulic assisted steering to motor driven power steering. The enhanced Sportage is more refined than the current model, with a number of changes designed to minimise noise, vibration and harshness. Sportage will be available in three packages: the entry level Ignite model, only available in petrol, along with a 2WD package and the top of the range, full house AWD package, both available in petrol and diesel. Various changes have been made to the exterior. The front grille has been re-moulded resulting in a high-tech and stylish appearance, while changes to the front fog lamps and lower bumper amplify the vehicle’s dynamic proportions. The newly designed 17” – and 18” alloy wheels improve vehicle rigidity and contribute to a refined driving experience and enhanced N.V.H levels. The re-designed rear combination lamps are striking and add a touch of sportiness to the rear. The newly upgraded Sportage’s driver space is improved and features many enhancements. The door upper trim features soft padding with newly developed IMG (InMould Graining) processed textures and offers a higher quality fin-

The diesel 2.0 VGT CRDi engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW @ 4000 rpm and 382 Nm of torque between 1800­2500 rpm.

PHOTO: QUIKCPIC

ish. Tweeter speakers are repositioned from the door upper trim to the quadrant cover to offer better sound reproduction. The AWD models feature a new supervision cluster, newly designed centre fascia and a state-ofthe-art Infinity sound system. The supervision instrument cluster features a new 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen which provides digitally displayed vehicle information. The dot-matrix centre fascia display on the previous Sportage AWD model is replaced with a 4.3-inch TFT LCD touch screen, which doubles up as a rear-view camera display when reverse mode is activated. The In-

finity sound system has a sub woofer, external amplifier and built-in hard drive that has music storing functionality. The centre console storage binnacle now features a detachable tray which can accommodate small items. Engine line-up and transmissions The Nu 2.0 CVVT gasoline engine offers a more refined driving experience. The engine generates power of 116 kW @ 6200 rpm and 192 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. The old 5-speed manual gearbox on this model is replaced by a smoother and more refined 6-speed transmission, which results in improved fuel consump-

SOLD AUTO BOLAND

tion. The diesel 2.0 VGT CRDi engine delivers maximum power of 130 kW @ 4000 rpm and 382 Nm of torque between 1800-2500 rpm. Both engines are available in 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Improved driving experience and NVH levels The new Sportage offers a quieter and smoother driving experience thanks to multiple improvements on the core areas of the body structure. The soundproof windshield glass helps to reduce wind noise, while improvements to the core areas of the body structure, such as the bush-mounted sub-frames reduce the penetration noise caused by acceleration. The new transmission mounting brackets enhance the rigidity of the mounting system. Compared to the previous model, road noise has been improved by 1.3 dB while wind noise is improved between 1 and 4 dB. “Its always a challenge improving on a vehicle that has significantly raised the bar in the SUV space, but the areas of focus for this facelift have again pushed the Sportage into the spotlight as a great car to live with and enjoy”, Sieff concludes. At launch, the upgraded Sportage will be available in eight colours: Clear White, Bright Silver, Mineral Silver, Sand Track, Black Cherry, Vintage Blue, Signal Red and Sage Green. All models come standard with a 5-year/150 000 km warranty (up from 100 000 km), a 5-year/100 000 km service plan and a 3-year/ unlimited roadside assistance plan.


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AUTO

Donderdag

13 Maart, 2014

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Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC: the best goodies HANJO STIER Most successful people and businesses will tell you that it’s harder to stay at the top than it is getting there. That’s exactly what I tried to determine when a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, this dark grey metallic S350 BlueTEC, wafted into my life for a week. Is the best still the best? Having already made friends with the SClass’ conservative and understated new looks in my launch report, what followed was hours of fiddling with abundant buttons and settings, scouring countless menus and toying with numerous interfaces to see what the chaps from Stuttgart armed their new car

with. The S350 (190 kW/700 Nm 3-litre turbo-diesel V6) with BlueTEC fluid is the baby of the range at R1 214 000 and while its standard equipment list is extremely impressive, this press demonstrator was also fitted with an AMG kit, additional driver aids, luxury seats, lighting and rear entertainment systems. Forgive me if I don’t mention all the fitted features, for it would take a month of Sundays. Some noteworthy features and options include active cornering and massage seats, ionised and perfumed climate control, all-LED lighting, advanced adaptive cruise control and two-stage air suspension. I was a bit disappointed to discover that Magic Body Control, the system which scans

the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly, is not standard on every model. And while the air ride in our S350 was very good, those tasty low-profile AMG wheels produced quite a bit of noise and a few low-speed jolts. My advice: ignore the AMG option and use the R57 500 towards Magic Body Control with the S-Class’ regular 18 or 19-inch wheels. If you want hard damping and fast cornering, buy a REAL S-Class AMG. The level of quality and opulence in this car deserves a smooth and silky ride. Our test car’s porcelain white with black interior dropped so many jaws that I eventually fitted it with another camera to record the reactions. These came courtesy of the seven interior lighting colours, twin TFT front monitors, power climate seats, 360° cameras and rear screens; among many others. Before I fall into the same trap as most of my passengers and focus on too many goodies, I’ll quickly tell you what it feels like to drive an S-Class. Obviously it has keyless entry and ignition so you can just stroll up to any door and touch the handle to open it. Gently stroke it to reverse the process. Should your hands be full of golf bags or boutique shopping, just wave your foot under the rear bumper to pop the boot lid, then simply press a button to have it close itself automatically. You can also go into the vehicle settings menu and adjust how high the boot lid… blast it, I’ve just done it again! Apologies. The S350 drives SO smoothly that, for the first time in my career, a fuel attendant corrected me when I told him to fill it up with petrol. The start/stop function produces a small Diesel shake and the 7-speed au-

to reacts a bit harshly to kick-downs – but only for S-Class standards, you understand. Our average fuel consumption from the 78 F tank hovered between 7 and 10F/100km depending on driving styles and routes but I can’t see how an S-Class owner would be worried about consumption or range, especially with the highly-efficient V6 Hybrid and bi-turbo V8 available. I’d have one of those. If someone insisted on giving me an S350 BlueTEC though, I wouldn’t be upset at all. Cornering, steering and brake feedback are surprisingly fine for such a hefty car and the only real-world trouble can be its enormous size when driving or parking in confined spaces. At least it has park assistants to help you. An S-Class doesn’t belong in the village square or the airport’s multi-storey, it prefers VIP parking and the motorway’s outside lane. Every journey in our S350, no matter the road or time of day, was a relaxing, quiet experience. Anyone in the back whose head landed in the fluffy pillow would either start giggling or snoring. Depending on specified options, the multimedia system has multiple USB and input slots, a hard drive, Bluetooth, voice control, a six DVD changer, 3D navigation with live traffic capability, twin-view main screen and exquisite sound with extra boom from the FrontBass low frequency response system. I don’t want to get tangled in specs again so all you need to know is this: the MercedesBenz S-Class has advanced even further and while it has some very competent advisories, you wouldn’t be blamed for calling it the best. Minus AMG kit plus magic carpet ride and a petrol engine, I certainly think it is. Galimoto Media

The S350 drives SO smoothly that, for the first time in my career, a fuel attendant corrected me when I told him to fill it up with petrol. PHOTO: QUICKPIC


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SOLD AUTO BOLAND

Donderdag

13 Maart, 2014

Renault Clio RS Cup: Return of a legend?

FRANS LE ROUX

It felt like just yesterday when I had the most amazing experience in Renault’s near perfect Megane RS Red Bull edition. The Megane is a proper hot hatch which enticed my every sense when driven hard. A couple of months down the line, and here we are again. Those lunatic Frenchies released their new, slightly smaller hot hatch in the form of the Clio RS EDC. To call it dull is like referring to Dale Steyn as a slow right hand off-spinner. This new Clio RS has big shoes to fill, because the car it replaces was a true icon in every sense of the word. The previous Clio RS was a delight to drive. It featured a punchy 2.0 litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine which loved one thing in particular- that was/is to be revved like there is no tomorrow. I drove one a while back and remember how planted it felt and how good it looked when parked. In 2014 however, Renault decides to throw us all a curve ball and to tear up the rulebook they wrote back in 2007. A whole host of improvements include a smaller 1.6 litre engine aided by the help of a turbo. Two doors also found their way to the back of the car to make it more practical and gone is the workman-like manual gearbox which has been replaced by a more modern dual clutch automatic transmission. The vital statistics do not disap-

The new Clio RS has big shoes to fill. Thanks to a punchy 1.6 turbo and a slick six speed gearbox, the RS does not disappoint.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

point either. The 1.6 turbo produces a whopping 147 kW and generous 240 Nm of torque. Thanks to Renualt’s brilliant Cup chassis, limited slip diff and a revvy engine, this little pocket rocket blasts from 0-100 km/h in just 6,7 seconds. The top speed is a respectable 230 km/h. Renault claimed fuel consumption is around 7/100 km, although the RS never went below 8,5 /100 km. Aesthetically the Clio is pleasing to the eye. A brand new front and rear bumper is built around some aerodynamic diffuser trickery. For once these diffusers actually provide significant downforce, unlike competitors who purely fit them as “go-faster bits”. Daytime

running LEDs are fitted to the front while the RS logo is neatly placed underneath the company’s emblem. At the back, two beautiful square exhaust tips are placed on each corner of the bumper. Open the door with the upmarket keyless-entry system and you are greeted by a minimalist yet goal-orientated interior. When seated in the wonderfully supportive sport bucket seats, you do realize that this is not your typical small city hatchback. Red stitching on all the seats combine well with the red seat belts. Large shift paddles are neatly placed behind the leather-clad steering wheel. The same dashboard layout you

find in the Clio Dynamique has been shared in the new RS. A big LCD touch screen is the main focus point from where one can easily navigate the Sat Nav, radio and various multimedia settings. Rear legroom is ample despite the large front seats. The Clio’s boot can swallow 300 F with ease, while the rear park assist makes parking a breeze. The most important bit when driving an RS model is how it feels on the road. How it feels when pushing hard around corners or overtaking slow moving traffic. It is that grin-inducing smile you have when stomping on the accelerator or walking away just before you close the garage door. Thankfully none of the charm, courage or purpose have been lost with the latest RS. Whilst driving it for a couple of days won’t make you fully appreciate what the car is about, you do get some idea why the French built it in the first place. My normal testing route includes various mountain passes like Franschhoek, Du Toitskloof and even Helshoogte. If you are a more enthusiastic driver, these are the roads you need to be on early in the morning to get a better understanding of your Clio RS. Thanks to my test vehicle’s Cup chassis and limited slip differential, this little hatchback almost felt the same as the beloved Megane RS which I tested earlier. The Clio leaves you breathless while exiting a corner, you stare into your rear view mirror in awe of

what you have just completed. Flat cornering, a lively back-end and a beautiful exhaust note are all part of the bombardment your senses suddenly have to deal with. When you select Sport or Race mode, be prepared to clench your teeth and fists as the Clio pushes you back into its seats. The hot hatch segment is fiercely contested globally, and South Africa is no different. Two categories of hot hatches are available, namely the premium hot hatches with the likes of Golf 7 GTi and Ford Focus ST. While the Compact hot hatch segment features the Polo GTi, Ford Fiesta ST and our very own Clio RS. Seeing that our Clio has four doors, all but one competitor falls away. The Polo GTi also features a dual clutch gearbox with similar power outputs from its 1.4 turbo engine. The Polo’s styling is a bit more subdued but it does have a lovely interior. Its seven gears make its fuel economy slightly better than the Clio, but that is where the Polo’s victory ends. The Clio is much more exciting to drive, looks more purposeful and has an intoxicating exhaust note. If you are in the market, don't write the French off, visit your nearest Renault branch to sample this future legend. *Prices start at R 294 900 for the Clio RS Lux and continue towards R 314 900 for the RS Cup model. Renault offers a comprehensive 5 year/150 000 km warranty combined with a 3 year/30 000 km service plan.


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Toyota Land-Cruiser 79: for the farmer HANJO STIER The more cars I review, the more obsessed I become with their purpose. What were they built for? Are they any good at it? This inevitably leads to a few more questions. Who buys such a car? And are they using it as intended? This, as I’ve explained before, makes me appreciate cars like the Toyota Land-Cruiser 79. One look at this bulky beast leaves not a shred of doubt in the observer’s mind that this is a rugged, robust, utilitarian farm implement. Just a kilometre of driving confirms all these qualities as the half leafsprung ride is jittery, the steering is ridiculous and the cabin has a scent of permanence about it. No, you most certainly don’t want to peddle this tank between Jo’burg and Pretoria, so that’s exactly what I did. In my defence, I requested another vehicle for my little sortie around Gauteng but was happy when this monster arrived instead. “At least no-one will cut me off in traffic” I thought, and boy was I right. Built like a brick you-know-what with a softish but bulky front end and square metal bent into the shape of a load bed at the back, don’t people just get out of your way? Chunky 7.5x16 tyres on steel rims and 235 mm of ground clearance ensure that you tower above and probably scare most city commuters. That frightened look on their face

That may not sound like much but will keep pulling like a train but if that, despite not being blessed with may also be one of puzzlement though. Why would someone bring that last figure, the torque / twisting you somehow have to, the diesel the most stable ride, it happily cruisa 5,22 m long, 1,95 m high, 1,87 m power of this motor, is on full song lump will do around 4 000 rpm with es at 120 km/h and picks up speed with the slightest of provocations. wide and 2,2 ton heavy beast into from an unbelievably low 1 200 rpm a howling V8 undertone. Should you find yourself in a spot You may also want to be mindful of civilisation? In all probability, onwards. And believe me, it’s true. these cars and their noisy tyres We often coasted around corners in of bother off-road, a low-range trans- parking manoeuvres as rear visibilwould only buzz over tarmac if the third or fourth gear, then simply fer box and two differential locks ity is atrocious thanks to a small farm / lodge ran low on supplies. squeezed the throttle at an indicated will try their utmost to get you un- rear window and big spare tyre. The instrument cluster has extra stuck. Apologies again that I never As much as I would’ve wanted to 800 or 900 rpm. No fuss, no shudders, no unto- tried it but I can report that our dials like battery voltage and oil try that, time and work wouldn’t allow me to take the big Cruiser to its ward noises. The big, lazy engine Cruiser carried tons of supercar-re- pressure, something any farmer natural habitat – the veld. I can just just starts accelerating with a re- lated luggage and up to five people will appreciate. They may also enjoy the electrically adjustable aeripicture it lugging a few sheep laxed kick around 1 400 rpm. You without even breaking a sweat. Other things I can tell you are al, “idle up” button, double-layer around, trekking up a mountain (33° can change up at 2 000 rpm and it central cubby box, two-stage approach angle), wading folding rear bench, simple through a river (700 mm and air-conditioning and remote snorkel) towing a trailer central locking. (max 3 500 kg) or ploughing a I’m not too sure if they’ll field. warm to the clever touchYup, sadly I did none of screen Bluetooth DVD navithose things. Instead, this gation unit although I must Land-Cruiser 79 Double-Cab stress that it is intuitive. VX V8 was used as support There’s even a stern lady infor supercar events. As you side who tells you when can see from the photo(s), you’re speeding. Way more even the owners of thoroughimportant are the 130F fuel bred automobiles were so imtank and 11,5F/100km averpressed by it that they happiage consumption, but it rely lined up a photo-shoot for quires 50 ppm diesel. our thorn among the roses. The Toyota Land-Cruiser Next to the refreshing con79 double-cab V8 VX costs trast of such a simple tool, I R568 300 and comes with 3suspect that this VX model’s year/100 000 km warranty. beefy engine had a lot to do This may sound expensive with the compliments and but I think it’s worth every flirts which were being cent considering its size, cadished out in the general dipabilities and sensed inderection of our double cab. structability. Even if you 4 461 cc of raw DOHC V8 turdon’t use it for its intended bo-diesel muscle provides purpose. you with 151 kW (205hp) or The instrument cluster has extra dials like battery voltage and oil pressure, something Galimoto Media 430 Nm. any farmer will appreciate. PHOTO: QUICKPIC


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Donderdag

13 Maart, 2014

Subaru Outback diesel wins towcar of the year QUICKPIC The Subaru Outback 2.0D Lineartronic™ has won the 2014 TowCAR of the Year competition, in association with CAR and Leisure Wheels magazines, Campworld and Forever Resorts.

The test day also included a 15 km road section, with inclines and declines, topped off with some fast and slow stretches, and bumpy and smooth sections. PHOTO: QUICKPIC

The competition, which saw 12 automatic 4x4 vehicles tested with 1,4-ton Jurgens Penta caravans at the Boekenhoutkloof Traffic College, seeks to find the SUV which performs best in a host of towing-related categories which are evaluated in control-

led conditions. The Outback Diesel CVT, which features the world’s only Boxer® turbocharged diesel engine, Subaru’s famed Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ and Lineartronic™ CVT automatic transmission, overcame the odds after its on-paper specifications seemed to be disadvantaged against larger and more powerful automatic 4x4 SUVs. The Outback Diesel CVT took the honours a full eight points ahead of its nearest competitor. The Traffic College’s massive skidpan, where the tow vehicles’ traction and stability systems could be tested to the limits and beyond, as well as an enclosed test track, proved to be an ideal and safe base where the vehicles could be put through all the paces. The test day also included a 15 km road section, with inclines and declines, topped off with some fast and slow stretches, and bumpy and smooth sections. Eight judges decided the outcome of the towing test. The panel included professional vehicle dynamics testers, top advanced-driving instructors who specialise in towing, award-winning motoring journalists and a professional racing legend who is also a keen caravanner. The judges had to score each SUV in 10 categories. These included exterior, interior, handling, stability, engine, transmission, braking, parking, cruising ability and value for money. All the SUVs were driven over exactly the same route, in exactly the same conditions, performing exactly the same tests along the way. Says Jakes Jacobs, one of the judges and a legend of vehicle testing and racing in South Africa: “We judged these vehicles only as tow vehicles, towing a caravan designed for tar roads.” The judges cited a number of the Outback’s facets which impressed them most, including excellent handling and stability, as well as the collaboration between the two-litre turbocharged Boxer® diesel engine (110 kW and 350 Nm) and the Lineartronic™ transmission, with its simulated gearing. “The engine had almost 40 kW of power less on tap than some of the other SUVs, but thanks to the brilliant transmission, with its simulated gears and paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, the available power was always immediately accessible,” explains Jacobs. “Some of the other SUVs had almost 500 Nm of torque to play with, but thanks to less effective auto transmissions and drivetrains, much of the torque was lost in translation, so to speak. “Combine that with the Outback’s excellent handling and confidence-inspiring ride, as well as the roomy interior, and you end up with a very good, practical and safe towing package.” Subaru Southern Africa marketing manager, Ashley Lazarus, says: “This accolade is incredibly important, both to the Subaru brand and our Outback range. “Having recently shifted our focus towards lifestyle vehicles, winning a towing accolade like this reinforces our vehicles’ suitability to lifestyle applications.”


BOLAND SOLD

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Donderdag

13 Maart, 2014

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New Suzuki Swift: A streetcar named DZire QUICKPIC Suzuki Auto South Africa has added a new sedan model to its highly popular Swift hatchback range. The new, cheeky four-door sedan will be marketed under the DZire nameplate, and shares the proven platform of the Swift hatch, while adding the practicality and security of a boot and more space for rear occupants. The new Swift DZire is powered by a latest-generation 1.2-litre engine combining willing perform-

ance with excellent fuel economy. The four-cylinder, 16-valve unit is offered in conjunction with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox. Swift DZire buyers also get to choose between GA and GL specification levels, but even the GA version offers an attractive array of standard specifications, features and finishes. Particular emphasis has been placed on tactile quality, aesthetic appeal and user friendliness. As a result, the cabin provides comfortable seating for four or even five occupants, while the 300 litre

boot ensures ample luggage space. The combination of the dashboard’s dark upper surfaces, linked to the contrasting, tan-hued lower tier is a design trait unique to the DZire. Under the skin, the DZire shares the Swift’s strong and rigid chassis, with a suspension layout that combines independent McPherson struts up front with a rear torsion beam. The front disc/rear drum braking configuration is linked to ABS anti-lock control on GL versions. Depending on model, further safety and security measures include dual front airbags, remote central

The DZire 1.2 Manual is credited with a 0­100 km/h acceleration time of 12,6 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 160 km/h. PHOTO: QUICKPIC

locking, and inertia reel front seatbelts with load limiters and pre-tensioners. The DZire recognises that road conditions in South Africa aren’t always optimal, and features a slightly raised ground clearance and high-profile tyres specifically for this reason, thus allowing the newcomer to cope with rutted tar, potholes and gravel surfaces with aplomb. “The new Swift DZire adds a further, important string to the Suzuki Auto bow,” says Francois van Eeden, national marketing manager at Suzuki Auto SA. “Our Swift range has already established itself as a significant player in the subcompact hatchback segment, and now the DZire will extend that success formula into the small sedan sector.” Van Eeden points out that factors such as spiralling fuel costs, rising interest rates and the impact of etolling are placing an ever increasing emphasis on smaller, more affordable and more economical cars. “The DZire effectively takes the Swift’s exceptional attributes, and presents them in a fresh and appealing subcompact sedan format,” he added. “The keen pricing of the new DZire is proof of Suzuki Auto’s commitment to providing SA buyers with affordable, high-value models that also live up to expectations as far as quality, specification and economy are concerned.” The new Suzuki DZire is powered

by the auto maker’s latest-generation K12-series 1.2-litre engine. The four-cylinder, 16-valve design features electronic fuel injection and VVT (variable valve timing) in the interests of efficiency and performance. The new 1 197 cc power unit is credited with a maximum output of 63 kW at 6 000 r/min, combined with a torque peak of 113 Nm at 4 500 r/ min. Thanks to a minimum kerb mass of just 960 kg in the case of the manual version, and 990 kg for automatic models, the new DZire achieves a favourable power-to-weight ratio, which in turn benefits straightline performance, response and fuel efficiency. The DZire 1.2 Manual is credited with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 12,6 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 160 km/h. Combined cycle fuel consumption is a frugal 5,7 litres/100 km, with an associated CO2 emissions figure of 134 g/km. The recommended retail prices of the new Suzuki Dzire range include a two-year/30 000 km service plan and a three-year/100 000 km warranty, while a three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance package is also provided as part of the deal. Services are at 15 000 km intervals. In automatic trim, the DZire also achieves a 160 km/h top speed. Fuel consumption remains favourable at 6,3 l/100 km, linked to a CO2 emissions rating of 149 g/km.


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SOLD AUTO BOLAND

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13 Maart, 2014

Nissan Navara still SA’s most powerful QUICKPIC The Nissan Navara continues to top the power and torque charts in the South African bakkie market, standing its ground against fierce competition from newer rivals in recent years. Proving that Navara was way ahead of its time when it was originally introduced in 2005, its range of petrol and diesel-powered bakkies still offer the best performance. Product Marketing Manager at Nissan South Africa, Marinus Venter, comments: “The Nissan Navara was launched as a new-age bakkie with class-leading technology and refinement and today it continues to lead from the front in several aspects of design, engineering, style, purpose and technology. The fact that it is still proving a popular choice in 2014 shows just how innovative and engaging the Navara continues to be. It is a great embodiment of our ‘Innovation that Excites’ ethos. “This excitement is provided courtesy of the pickup’s petrol and diesel V6 engines in particular, ensuring Navara continues to be the bakkie to beat in South Africa.” The smooth and meaty 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine fitted to the Nissan Navara LE includes advanced design features like Electronic Throttle Control with secondary mapping in 4LO mode (in the 4x4 model), Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC), Nissan Variable Induction Control System (NICS), a silent timing chain, micro-finished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, molybdenumcoated pistons, a resin intake mani-

fold, a digital knock control system, high-capacity muffler and a lightweight aluminium block. Nissan produces more than one million V6 engines each year making it the largest manufacturer of V6 engines in the world. The VQ series found in Navara has been ranked among the ten best engines in the world for the last fourteen years, and is related to the earth-shattering twin-turbocharged V6 engine which powers the famous Nissan GT-R. Developed to deliver high levels of performance with outstanding fuel efficiency, competitive emissions and class-leading refinement, the 3.0-litre turbocharged common rail diesel motor fitted to the range-topping Navara 3.0 dCi 4x4 LE astounds with its 170 kW and class-leading 550 Nm – making the Navara the only one-ton pickup vehicle in South Africa to feature a diesel V6 engine. The torque is available from as low as 1 700 rpm and pulls consistently all the way to 2 500 rpm, 500 Nm of which is available from as low as 1 500 rpm. Idle speed is low at 650 rpm, with the usual NVH connotations associated with diesel engines non-existent. The results are strong low-end performance with comfortably refined power delivery and exceptional throttle response. Flipping over the coin, the strong diesel performance bestows the Nissan Navara 3.0 dCi 4x4 LE with a towing capacity of 3 000 kg. Key to its smoothness and responsiveness, a vee-angle of 65 degrees and construction from Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) ensures the benefits of a cast iron block – including high levels of stiffness and noise absorption – are maintained,

Nissan produces more than one million V6 engines each year making it the largest manufacturer of V6 engines in the world. PHOTO: QUICKPIC but without the weight penalty. Although CGI is heavier than pure alloy construction, stiffening ribs and extra sound-deadening material are no longer necessary, contributing to a comparatively modest weight gain. The class-leading torque and highly competitive specific power outputs are delivered thanks to the adoption of a comparatively large single turbocharger which is mounted within the vee of the engine, an intercooler, and the use of latest-generation Bosch common-rail fuel injection which incorporates piezo injectors operating at 1 800 bar. This combination of engine refinement, high-end packaging, excellent specifications and a “go-anywhere,

do-anything” attitude to life is what carries the Nissan Navara forward

– still South Africa’s most powerful bakkie.


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