Something for everyone

Despite all the networking that will occupy industry professionals at this year’s Johannesburg International Motor Show (Jims) and despite the requisite raft of guest speakers giving forecasts on our local motor industry, as well as the demonstrations, it is important not to forget that Jims is first and foremost a showcase for manufacturers and an opportunity for them to present exciting new models and concepts to the public. Motor shows are for petrolheads after all — and here is a taste of what some of the manufacturers have in store for you.

Peugeot will display its staggering 908HDi LeMans 24-hour race car. Runner-up at the last 24-hour race, it’s powered by a 5,5-litre, twin turbo V12 and develops 520kW of power. Don’t miss it because it’s said to be replaced in the coming season by the first diesel hybrid to be used in motor sport.

BMW will centre its display area on the new 7-Series sedan. Heralding a new design direction for the Bavarian motor manufacturer, the 7-Series was recently launched in Europe to much acclaim.

Alfa Romeo, after having wowed audiences at the MPH show with a Competizione 8C supercar this year, is keeping a lower profile, but still plans to show off its latest small vehicle, the MiTo premium hatchback.

Audi is keeping pretty tight-lipped, but expect to see the R and S Audi nomenclature on some very hot new models. RS5 and RS6 among them perhaps, but you can count on the new TT S and the latest S3 Sportback.

There might be some in-fighting next door at the sister VW stand which will garner the most attention because it’s claimed the newly resurrected Seventies classic, the Scirroco, will be on show for the first time. This turbocharged, GTI-derived coupé should attract a lot of attention. But what about the new Golf Mk6? Only time will tell.

Swedish marque Volvo will unveil its much anticipated XC60 crossover to South Africans, but hold on to your cheque books as it’s just a taste before its launch some time next year in the country.

You’re going to want a bit of Detroit muscle while you’re at the show, right? Well, never fear because General Motors South Africa has the 372kW, 7,0-litre V8, Corvette Z06 lined up for Jims, as well as the newly rehashed Camaro muscle car. It’s also rumoured that its daring new ”Cruze” concept might make it out in time. GMSA is coy about it, but the Mail & Guardian knows for a fact that it will be there.

Perhaps the most important new car unveiling of the year will also take place at Jims, with Ford debuting the new Fiesta replacement. This humble mini hatch has grown in size and stature and is being touted as a strong Car of the Year contender.

Honda is going to reveal its latest B segment competitor, the newly tweaked Jazz, as well as a first-time addition to the Accord family, the Accord Touring, a car that hopes to take on similar German competitors in its field.

Renault will have its work cut out to fit everything it has on its stand. After a period of inactivity in the market, it now has the new Laguna concept car, Koleos off-roader, Twingo hatchback, budget segment Logan and locally assembled Sandero to show off. Busy times indeed.

Toyota will have an elaborate 4×4 display set up for the more recent of its new Land Cruiser range. A 43° ramp will test the Land Cruiser 200, Prado and the pick-ups’ climbing capabilities. Watch out for a sneak peak of the new Hilux.

Citroen pleased the public at the Paris motor show this year with a C4 WRC hybrid concept car and the bizarre-looking C-Cactus, but unfortunately neither will make it to Jims this year, with the C5 and a new Multi-Space taking centre stage.

Mitsubishi is excited to show off a new three-door Pajero Sport SUV. It’s new to its SUV range and will no doubt be popular in the South African market, but it arguably won’t garner as much attention as the Lancer Prototype X, the forerunner to the South African arrival of the Lancer Evolution X turbo-charged, rally-derived road car.

Mercedes-Benz will occupy a large stand at Jims to cater for its commercial vehicle and truck businesses but it will also unleash its tyrannical new ML63 AMG SUV, with a show of many other cult AMG models such as the SL65 AMG Black Series.

Promising one of the biggest display sets at Jims this year is Nissan, which is unveiling the ”Godzilla”, all-wheel drive, Nurburgring blitzing, GTR supercar. Having recently announced it would be bringing the auspicious car to South Africa for sale, you can imagine the interest this unveiling will hold for both public and media. Alongside monster model expect to find an all-new electric concept car called the Nuvu or ”new view”.

If the GTR is a little too Far East for you and Italian exotica is on your mind, the cars on display from Modena will please. Unfortunately they don’t include Ferrari’s latest drop top, the California. But an F430 Scuderia, a 599 and a 612 should hold your interest.

If red is not your thing, Maserati will be right alongside sporting the latest Quattroporte S limo and the stunning Gran Turismo S with a new auto box.

When you’re ready to shake off the proletariat and head toward the uber-luxury side of Nasrec, you should find a Rolls Royce Phantom and Drop Head convertible to tempt you towards the good life.

The latest R3,6-million, hand-built Aston Martin DBS will be out in force as well. With some gentle persuading I’m sure it’ll fire up that glorious 6,0-litre V12 for you and let you experience one of the best exhaust notes in the business.

Expect some supercar and hypercar eye candy thanks to dealerships such as Daytona exotic car importers, which is going all out with a Lamborghini Murchielago LP640, a V10 Gallardo and an Audi R8 among others. Private owners of exclusive metal (or in this case carbon fibre) are involved in Jims as well. Expect to find a mad Koenigsegg CCXR steaming up Nasrec somewhere as well.

Unfortunately, fans of Porsche will be left sulking as Porsche won’t be involved in Jims this year and neither will any Stuttgart bombers such as the GT3RS or the latest Cayenne GTS.

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Ray Leathern
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