RU­MOUR HAS IT...

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PETROL­HEADS RE­JOICE

Great news if you are a true petrol­head — although you will have to be a wealthy petrol­head be­cause Pa­gani is com­ing to SA.

Day­tona, the com­pany that dis­trib­utes As­ton Martin, McLaren and Rolls-Royce, has an­nounced it has se­cured the dis­tri­bu­tion rights for Pa­gani, the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer of ex­otic su­per­cars, for SA and Africa. The first Pa­gani Huayra will ar­rive in the coun­try in 2018, but Day­tona says its al­lo­ca­tion for the next two years is al­ready sold out. Damn.

G-CLASS NOT DEAD YET

There have been nu­mer­ous re­ports that Mercedes’ iconic G-Class or Ge­landewa­gen is dead. It’s prob­a­bly not sur­pris­ing, given that the com­pany has re­leased the G-Class Fi­nal Edi­tion.

But fear not G-Class fans, a new G is on its way.

Sources have told us that it will launch in­ter­na­tion­ally be­fore the end of 2017 for in­tro­duc­tion in 2018 and will be wider but lighter. AMG mod­els will also fol­low for those who want the real brute.

No word on the in­tro­duc­tion of the baby G-Class yet, which we know will look sim­i­lar but be built on the A and B-Class plat­form.

Still with Mercedes and the com­pany is putting the fi­nal touches to the new C-Class coupe which should get its in­ter­na­tional in­tro­duc­tion be­fore the end of 2017. Most of the ex­te­rior changes are mi­nor, in­clud­ing new head­lights sim­i­lar to those on the E-Class, re­vised bumpers front and rear and new chrome de­tail­ing on the sides. Big­ger changes will come in­side and are also ex­pected to ap­pear on the facelifted C-Class sedan.

Our sources sug­gest there will be a new dual-screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, again sim­i­lar to that on the E-Class. Ex­pect new sedan and coupe mod­els in SA in 2018.

JA­PANESE BLACK CAB

Toy­ota has un­veiled a new taxi which it has, rather un­cre­atively, called the JPN Taxi (Ja­pan Taxi).

It might look a lit­tle fa­mil­iar be­cause to us it looks like a close ver­sion of the iconic Lon­don black cab.

Un­like the fa­mous Lon­don cab, the JPN Taxi has MPV-style slid­ing rear pas­sen­ger doors, per­fect for the densely pop­u­lated streets of Tokyo.

At the mo­ment, the com­pany says it has no plans to pro­duce the ve­hi­cle for mar­kets out­side ofJa­pan.

CEL­E­BRAT­ING THE OCEAN

The Volvo Ocean Race got un­der way with the rac­ing yachts leav­ing the Span­ish port of Ali­cante on the first leg of a 45,000 nau­ti­cal mile jour­ney.

Along the way the crews are ex­pected in Cape Town around Novem­ber 27.

Over the years Volvo has re­leased a num­ber of ve­hi­cles to mark its spon­sor­ship of the race and this time is no ex­cep­tion, with a spe­cial edi­tion of the V90 Cross Coun­try. Ini­tial pro­duc­tion is 3,000 mod­els with each car con­tribut­ing €100 to the Volvo Ocean Race sci­ence pro­gramme which aims to ad­dress the is­sue of plas­tics in the ocean. The car is equipped with car­pet mats made from Econyl, a 100% re­cy­cled ny­lon fab­ric that in­cludes aban­doned fish­ing nets.

CHI­NESE SAFETY

We of­ten crit­i­cise the Chi­nese au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try for mak­ing ve­hi­cles that lack ba­sic safety equip­ment, but Chi­nese car mak­ers rep­re­sent­ing 85% of the mar­ket in China have agreed to fit elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol (ESC) as stan­dard on new mod­els from 2018.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clude Bes­turn, Changan, Dongfeng Feng­shen, Geely, Haval, Hongqi, Lynk and Co, MG, Trumpchi, Roewe, Sen­ova and Wey. The an­nounce­ment was made as part of Global NCAP’s Stop the Crash cam­paign in Shang­hai.

ESC is re­garded as a key piece of life-sav­ing tech­nol­ogy and has been com­pul­sory in the US and Europe since 2012. It is un­clear whether the de­ci­sion ap­plies only to mod­els built for the Chi­nese mar­ket or whether we can ex­pect all Chi­nese mod­els in SA to also be equipped with it.

The an­nounce­ment again shows that road safety is be­ing taken se­ri­ously in China and we can only hope that the South African gov­ern­ment will fol­low suit when Global NCAP holds its first Safer Cars for Africa event later in Novem­ber.

The new Ja­pan Taxi might look fa­mil­iar to any­one who has ever been to Lon­don.

The Pa­gani Huayra will ar­rive in SA in 2018.

The cur­rent C-Class coupe seen here will be facelifted ahead of the sedan in 2018.

Volvo has re­leased a V90 Cross Coun­try Ocean Race model.

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