BMW, Nis­san ex­pand SA plug-in net­work

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

AF­TER a mul­ti­tude of fully re­veal­ing spy shots, Toy­ota has fi­nally taken the wraps off the eighth gen­er­a­tion Hilux. Nonethe­less we now get to see the new­est ver­sion of Toy­ota’s sales cham­pion from all an­gles in good qual­ity pic­tures, fol­low­ing Toy­ota’s si­mul­ta­ne­ous CAPE TOWN — The South African units of BMW and Nis­san will build a na­tional grid for elec­tric and hy­brid cars to ex­pand sales of ve­hi­cles that could re­duce pol­lu­tion in Africa’s top auto mar­ket.

The two com­pa­nies will roll out fast-charg­ing sta­tions from now un­til 2017 which BMW and Nis­san cars can use to power up.

Nis­san in­tro­duced its all-elec­tric Leaf in South Africa in 2013, while BMW launched its i3 and i8 mod­els in March. re­veal events that took place in Thai­land and Australia last Thurs­day.

This eight gen­er­a­tion of the Hilux has been com­pletely re­designed from the in­side out and its more elab­o­rate ex­te­rior de­sign, com­plete with flared wheel-arches and shapely

Con­sumers would charge al­l­elec­tric cars such as Nis­san’s Leaf by plug­ging into an out­let, while hy­brid ver­sions such as BMW’S i8, also has a gaso­line en­gine.

The firms said although South Africa is experiencing se­vere power sup­ply short­ages, their plans would not be af­fected.

State-owned power util­ity Eskom has been forced to fre­quently cur­tail elec­tric­ity to res­i­dents and busi­nesses in a bid to pre­serve the na­tional power grid. head­lights that sweep into a more mus­cu­lar grille, was con­ceived with the aim of at­tract­ing those who are mi­grat­ing from an SUV or pas­sen­ger car to as bakkie for the first time.

Billed as be­ing an all-new model, the 2016 Hilux is 70mm longer and 20mm wider than

“It is not ex­pected that the coun­try’s power cri­sis will af­fect this ini­tia­tive in any way.

“The com­pa­nies are also ex­plor­ing re­new­able en­ergy sources to power their charg­ing grid,” said Nis­san spokes­woman, Ver­alda Sch­midt.

Bat­tery-pow­ered cars have failed to live up to their ini­tial hype glob­ally, with driv­ers put off by the slow roll out of recharg­ing sta­tions, and limited range — de­spite gen­er­ous sales in­cen­tives in some mar­kets. its pre­de­ces­sor and comes with a slightly lower roofline and LED head­lights with day­time run­ning lights.

It adopts a slightly more re­fined ex­te­rior de­sign with a deeper front bumper, pro­nounced fen­der flares and more prom­i­nent char­ac­ter lines. The rear bumper has been re­designed while the new tail­gate in­cor­po­rates a rearview cam­era of­fered as stan­dard. Based on the trim level, the new Hilux can ride on 16, 17 or 18-inch al­loy wheels.

Of course, Toy­ota in­sists that this new model is ev­ery bit as tough as you’d ex­pect a Hilux to be, but that the re­design fo­cused on mak­ing it eas­ier to drive and cre­at­ing a more re­fined over­all driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with less cabin noise and an im­proved ride qual­ity.

To achieve that, this Hilux is built on an all-new and more rigid frame and the sus­pen­sion sys­tem has been thor­oughly up­dated.

Step­ping in­side the cabin, it adopts a more car-like in­te­rior which ac­cord­ing to Toy­ota will bring the util­ity and com­fort you would ex­pect to see in an SUV.

The most no­tice­able fea­ture is a tablet-like touch­screen dis­play for the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, along with a 4WD changeover switch, leather up­hol­stery and an LCD screen po­si­tioned be­tween the speedometer and ta­chome­ter.

As far as the en­gines are con­cerned, the 2016 Toy­ota Hilux will be avail­able depend­ing on mar­ket with a 2.4-liter turbo diesel pro­duc­ing 119 kw and 400 Nm along with a 2.8-liter turbo diesel rated at 132 kw and 332 450 Nm.

There’s also a 2.7-liter four-cylin­der nat­u­rally as­pi­rated gaso­line en­gine with 122 kw and a beefier 4.0-liter six-cylin­der with 207 kw. Depend­ing on en­gine choice, Toy­ota will be of­fer­ing a six-speed man­ual gear­box and a six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Toy­ota says the over­hauled Hilux will be able to of­fer a max­i­mum tow­ing ca­pac­ity of 3 500 kg and a pay­load of up to 1,240 kg.

Ex­pect 4x4 de­riv­a­tives to of­fer im­proved off-road abil­ity and ex­tra con­ve­nience in the form of elec­tronic 4WD switch-over at the touch of a but­ton in­side the plusher cabin.

In here we see a brand new dash­board re­sem­bling the one in the lat­est Corolla and of­fer­ing the op­tion of a mod­ern touch-screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem com­plete with a re­verse cam­era.

The bakkie’s in­creased di­men­sions also re­sult in some ad­di­tional cabin space.

— Car Ad­vice/iol.

Be­cause the bat­ter­ies, ca­bling and cool­ing sys­tems for elec­tric cars cost more than a con­ven­tional com­bus­tion en­gine, elec­tric ve­hi­cles have strug­gled to gain wide­spread ac­cep­tance among price-sen­si­tive cus­tomers, par­tic­u­larly if the same model is avail­able cheaper with a more con­ven­tional pow­er­train.

Some elec­tric cars re­quire lengthy charg­ing, re­duc­ing their at­trac­tive­ness for cus­tomers plan­ning to drive longer dis­tances fre­quently.

BMW and Nis­san said their na­tional net­work of sta­tions where ve­hi­cles can charge their bat­ter­ies will also in­clude smaller ve­hi­cle charg­ers us­ing al­ter­nat­ing cur­rent in some re­gions.

“In or­der for the in­tro­duc­tion and ex­pan­sion of elec­tric ve­hi­cles as well as plug-in hy­brid elec­tric ve­hi­cles to be suc­cess­ful in this mar­ket, we need to work to­gether,” Tim Ab­bott, man­ag­ing direc­tor of BMW South Africa said in a state­ment. — Reuters

THE new Toy­ota Hilux is set to go on sale in the first quar­ter of 2016

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