Road te st
/ wheels of fortune
wheels of fortune
The siren call of all those new 2014 models beckons seductively. Richard Webb cuts a swathe through the myriad options for business class drivers from young hotshots and CEO’s
Also try Audi A6, Lexu
s LS, Mercedes-Be nz E-Class
Ex e c utive d e c i s i o n s If management is ‘doing things right, and leadership is doing the right things’, business consultant, Peter Drucker, who coined phrase, would probably chose the Jaguar XFR as his executive ride. It’s a crushingly competent über saloon, packing a virulent 375kW supercharged V8. Press the starter button, and the air vents
“It’s a crushingly competent über saloon, packing a virulent 375kW supercharged V8”
revolve and the engine coils into life, cracking and popping, especially in sport mode. The burley V8 drives the rear wheels through Jaguar’s sublime eight-speed automatic gearbox, reaching 0-100km in 4.7 seconds. But don’t for a moment think that this is a hardcore track day car bereft of poise and comfort. It’s
The BMW 550i is eerily quiet on the move and faster than you’ll ever need. Cabin elegance isn’t up to Audi A6 standards, but almost everything is just as good as it gets. R975,500.
Manag eme nt m ove r s New directions are familiar territory for middle management and the Lexus brand is no different. Their latest Lexus GS 350 EX
goes head-to-head with the BMW 5-Series,
The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S was
Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class and
It’s the maverick’s choice. R1 171, 700.
one of the finest sporting four-door limousines
it makes a decent go of it. With a dynamic
in the world and you can benefit from vicious
appearance like no Lexus before, the car is quite
depreciation and buy a 2009 version for less
visually pleasing with its gulping air intakes
than R400 000. Upstaging the chairman
that widen towards the tarmac. Throughout
comes as standard, so caveat emptor.
the well-built cabin, it’s intuitive to use and
hugely accomplished and billiard table smooth over all but the most uneven road surfaces.
BMW are masters at wringing more power and less consumption out of ever-smaller engines.
BUSINESS CLASS • December 2013
wheels of fortune
Also try nne, Bentley Mulsa Benz sde ce er 1964 M 600 Pullman, Range Rover
C hai r man’s’ c h o i c e The Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG 65 is a clear
/ Road te st
“The V12 S65, at twice the price is as outrageous as it is a technical masterpiece”
and present danger to a chauffeur’s livelihood. The ‘normal’ S500 is faster, more refined and more desirable than any other limo in its class, but the V12 S65, at twice the price is as outrageous as it is a technical masterpiece. It feels as special to drive – or be driven in – as almost any other car and is surely the ultimate Mercedes-Benz. Even by AMG’s prodigious standards, this fabulous car is the world’s most powerful series-production saloon. A thousand Nm of torque requires a chassis that can deal with a tsunami of twist, and the Active Body Control system does just that. It’s
unimaginable that most Chairmen of the board
It’s the S-Class that bears the title of the
Need to get to the boardroom in 14 minutes?
will be too troubled by the built-in lap timer,
‘Best car in the world’ now, not Rolls Royce.
A twin-engine Sikorsky S76 will be do.
but they will almost certainly be reassured by
However, the w is shorthand for craftsmanship
Carrying six passengers and two pilots, this
the satisfying reserve of power and speed on
and opulence regardless of price and is
luxurious craft lets you cock a snoop to the
tap. It’s the closest thing there is to a Bugatti
incomparable with anything else in the
blue light brigade for just R1m per year,
Veyron four seater, yours for R 2 411 908.
motoring world. Price Upon Application.
plus about R75 000 per month in fees.
is packed with upper management kit.
Q70 3.0 Diesel delivers top class refinement,
5.7 seconds is all it takes to reach 100km from a
with a luxurious level of standard equipment.
standstill. Electronics play a starring role with
Effortless acceleration combined with low
Adaptive Variable Suspension, Electric Power
noise levels makes it a very smooth and
Steering and Dynamic-Handling with Variable
refined long distance cruiser. R672 539
Also try VW Passat, Diesel, Honda Civic tra Hyundai Elan
Gear Ratio Steering, and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management. Genuine feel and feedback is the result. Competitively priced at R610 700, but alas, it’s not available in a diesel.
One of the best cars ever made and a real head-turner, the 1968 Mercedes-Benz 280SE is a classic, affordable limousine that will get
you noticed. They are becoming scarce, but
Still a rare sight on local roads, the Infiniti
R70 000 could still get you a decent one.
December 2013 • BUSINESS CLASS
Road te st
/ wheels of fortune
F i r st an d f r u gal These days a great small car has to be cheap to buy and offer great style, comfort and refinement – and be frugal at the pumps. The Ford Fiesta Ambiente is quite simply one of the best cars ever produced by the Blue Oval. It’s easy to drive, and laugh out loud fun. Jampacked with safety tech and high-spec goodies, it has everything going for it – ticking every ‘must have’ feature for the young business executive.
There are plenty of very good engine choices,
including the very thrifty EcoBoost petrol and
The Volkswagen Polo 1,2 TSi Trendline has
TDCi diesel engines, helping the Fiesta to
one of the classiest interiors of any supermini,
combine a class-pioneering driving experience
whilst combining a comfortable ride with
with super fuel economy. It’s more modern
predictable handling. The 1.2-litre petrol
and stylish than its obvious rivals. For those
engines are a little noisy, but it’s affordable to
with an imminent promotion due, consider
run and has exceptional resale value. R 167 800.
the high-performance ST version for those
sub-seven second 0-100km/h sprints to the last slot in the office car park. R 172 000.
Blending classic la dolce vita style with upto-date performance and refinement is what the Vespa GTV 300 Vintage scooter does best. Capable of longer journeys with ease, it will return a miserly 3.7 l/100km. Perfect if you commute through heavy traffic. R99 950.
Also try ugeot Citroen C3/Pe sa, or C l pe 208, O , lio C t ul Rena s io Et ta Toyo
“Enthusiastic drivers love them and the style conscious road-warriors will arrive to close the deal looking unruffled” R oad war r i o r s If your working hours are whiled away traveling between clients in your ‘office on wheels’ as you pile on the kilometers, you’ll need a combination of restrained prestige, class leading comfort and a stunningly economical 4.5l/100km. May I suggest the
The Volvo V40 D2 Essential holds its own
If Mel Gibson had been a traveling salesperson
against rivals like the Audi A3 and Mercedes
in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, he would
A-Class. It looks great, and is as tightfisted
have chosen the 1971 Chrysler Valiant Station
as the meanest Dickensian character at the
Wagon. Cooler than Mad Max Rockatansky
fuel pumps too – it consumes a parsimonious
himself - find a good one for R50 000 and use the
3.6l/100km. A comes in a snip at R 288 800.
money you save to buy the fuel you’ll guzzle.
BMW 320d? Through all the highs and lows of the brand, the 3-Series as been the constant jewel. It offers truly impressive performance and low CO2 emissions. The car sits on a world-class platform lighter, longer and wider than its predecessor - this grunt diesel is a benchmark car in its class for driving dynamics. BMW has moved the genre on, taking the fight to Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz in a way that can only benefit the consumer. Enthusiastic drivers love them and the style conscious road-warriors will arrive to close the deal looking unruffled. R 425 500.
BUSINESS CLASS • December 2013
Also try Audi A5 Spor
tback, Mercedes-Be nz C-Class