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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

The Joker

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

The Protagonist

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.

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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

The protagonist

The Joker

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.

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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

The Protagonist

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

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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,

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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

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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 Protagonist

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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.

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BUSINESS CLASS • December 2013

Also try Audi A5 Spor

tback, Mercedes-Be nz C-Class


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