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Now that the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class is available to order in South Africa (check out pricing here), we thought we’d have some fun with the German brand’s local configurator. Yes, we’ve set out to see exactly how expensive we could make the current range-topper.

Bear in mind, of course, that the flagship V6 model (dubbed X350d) will not be available at launch, and is thus not included in the local configurator. We were therefore forced to build the poshest double-cab we could using the X250d 4×4 Power derivative – currently the most expensive bakkie in South Africa – as a base.

For the record, the (Navara-based) X250d uses Nissan’s 2,3-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, sending 140 kW and 450 N.m to all four corners.

So, just how expensive could we make this derivative, which bears a base price of R791 315? Well, we added as many optional extras as the configurator would allow, taking the total [...]

Ford has announced plans to radically revamp its line-up, releasing teaser images of an as-yet-unnamed new small off-roader and the revived Bronco.

By 2020, Ford says it plans to replace three-quarters of its range in the United States, adding four new pick-up trucks and SUVs in the process.

“Our passion for great vehicles is stronger than ever,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO. “This showroom transformation will thrill customers, drive profitable growth and further build toward our future of smart vehicles in a smart world.”

The Blue Oval brand said that it planned to strengthen its position in the pick-up truck, SUV (including off-road and performance versions), hybrid, battery electric vehicle and commercial vehicle segments.

Interesting titbits include the confirmation of hybrid power for the new F-150 and Mustang, a plan for as many as eight SUVs (five offering hybrid powertrains and one battery electric) and the aim of growing the new range of [...]

A new report out of Europe suggests that Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller enjoyed a 40 percent increase in his salary and benefits in 2017.

According to Automotive News Europe, the 64-year-old took home some €10,14-million (that’s about R148,2-million, at the current exchange rate) in “pay and benefits” in 2017. That, the report added, equates to about a fifth more than the €8,6-million that Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche made in the same year.

In 2016, Müller reportedly earned €7,3-million. Automotive News Europe added that new rules from 2017 meant that the Wolfsburg-based brand’s supervisory board had capped total pay for its CEO at €10-million, with “perks and retirement provisions” pushing the package past that mark.

The VW Group came close to doubling its operating profit in 2017, despite the continued fallout from its emissions scandal.

The post Here’s how much VW Group’s CEO pocketed in 2017… appeared first on CAR Magazine.

Source: Car Magazine

A fresh report out of the United Kingdom suggests that Mercedes-Maybach will soon reveal a concept previewing a new flagship SUV conceived to take on the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover SVAutobiography and upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

According to Autocar, Mercedes-Benz’s ultra-luxury division – which currently bases its wares on the S-Class – is developing a super-posh version of the upcoming new-generation GLS.

The report suggested that Maybach’s SUV concept would be revealed at the Beijing Motor Show towards the end of April, with the production version to follow at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and sales to start in 2019.

Autocar said that the Mercedes-Maybach SUV would gain subtle exterior styling updates to set it apart from the standard GLS as well as a “significantly more luxurious” cabin.

“We have been quietly surprised by the sales success of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which is proving extremely popular in many key markets,” an [...]

Mitsubishi South Africa has added some extra features to the flagship of its ASX range, the GLS CVT derivative. The tweaked ASX GLS gains a handful of new exterior styling bits and a couple of extra toys in the cabin, plus an updated continuously variable transmission.

Up front, Mitsubishi has implemented a revised grille with chrome details, a sportier bumper with a honeycomb pattern and a new set of LED daytime running lights. Round back, there’s a new bumper with faux-carbon-fibre inserts, a rear diffuser and yet more chrome bits, along with LED fog lamps. A fresh set of 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels round off the new look.

In the cabin, the ASX GLS gains a redesigned centre console fitted with two USB ports and a mobile phone tray with a removable padded liner. Both the design and materials used for the facia’s centre panel, power window switch panels and CVT shift lever have been [...]

Mercedes-Maybach has revealed its new Pullman S650, giving the 6 500 mm long flagship both more power and a fresh front grille.

The twin-turbo V12 in the S650 now makes 463 kW and 1 000 N.m (the same as the new Mercedes-Maybach S650 and Mercedes-AMG S65, then), up from the 390 kW and 830 N.m of the S600 that came before it.

The Pullman’s front grille gains vertical struts, while 10-hole 20-inch wheels are also part of the package. If customers desire, they can even specify the Pullman with an exclusive two-tone paint finish.

Most of the fun, of course, happens inside the Pullman S650. Thanks to its extended wheelbase, there is an abundance of legroom for the two rear occupants. Optionally, two more seats can be added in the middle, facing the rear perches.

For a sense of privacy, there’s an electrically operated partition to separate the passengers from the driver, and a front-facing [...]

The Automobile Association says that although South Africa’s basic fuel prices are showing signs of further decreases at month end, the overall price of fuel is set to increase because of the addition of increased fuel levies in April.

“The rand/dollar exchange rate has been virtually flat since the beginning of the month, with the local currency having weakened against the dollar by around two cents,” the AA said, commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.

“Over the same period, international oil prices have retreated slightly in favour of South African fuel users.”

The Association added that petrol was indicating a likely decline of around 12 cents a litre, diesel 18 cents, and illuminating paraffin 13 cents. However, the AA said that despite these predicted decreases, the 52 cents added to the fuel levies would push the overall price of fuel at the pumps up going into April.

“Even [...]

BMW X2 sDrive20i M Sport X

CAPE TOWN, Western Cape – If there was ever a gap in a certain niche-plugging Bavarian brand’s burgeoning crossover range just begging to be filled, it was the coupé-shaped cranny separating BMW’s X1 and X3.

Lending a pleasing completeness to BMW’s alphanumeric crossover line-up – ahead of the arrival of the flagship X7 and seemingly inevitable X8, anyway – the new X2 runs on the same UKL2 platform as the X1, the 2 Series Active Tourer and Mini siblings, the Countryman and Clubman.

In the same way as the X4 is positioned as a sportier version of the X3 – and, indeed, as the X6 relates to the X5 – the latest member of the X-badged family uses the X1 as a base and adds both bolder styling and ostensibly more exuberant on-road manners.

So, is this more than merely an [...]

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing for its new X-Class range, confirming that the local line-up will comprise four derivatives at launch in May 2018.

Each of the four variants in the range at launch makes use of a 2,3-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. The unit in the X220d features a single turbocharger and sends 120 kW and 403 N.m to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, while the bi-turbo version under the bonnet of the X250d is worth 140 kW and 450 N.m.

This second, more powerful version of the four-pot diesel is offered in rear-wheel-drive form with a seven-speed automatic transmission and in 4×4 guise, fitted with a manual gearbox or an optional automatic. The V6-powered model, dubbed the X350d, will arrive locally at a later stage.

So, what sort of money are we looking at here? Well, the line-up – which features the [...]

Audi R8

Late in 2017, a report suggested that Audi had no plans to replace the current R8 once it reached the end of its second-generation lifecycle. And now a high-ranking executive at the Ingolstadt automaker has seemingly confirmed the news.

Speaking to Car and Driver at the Geneva International Motor Show, Peter Mertens, head of research and development at the brand, agreed with the suggestion that there were no plans for a third-generation version of the German supercar.

“I would say so. I always get [my PR chief] very nervous when I start talking about that stuff,” Mertens told the US publication.

However, Mertens also went on to say that the R8 flagship “has a long life, and it’s doing okay”, before adding: “Never say never; performance cars are good for Audi”.

Of course, as Car and Driver points out, Audi is expected to spend much [...]

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