RU­MOUR HAS IT...

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

YOU’RE UN­DER AR­REST

The global CEO of Audi, Ru­pert Stadler was ar­rested by Ger­man po­lice early on Mon­day morn­ing. His ar­rest is the lat­est in a string of ar­rests and raids in con­nec­tion with the Volk­swa­gen Group Diesel­gate scan­dal.

Stadler was de­nied bail on Mon­day af­ter po­lice said they had ev­i­dence that he was plan­ning to col­lude with other par­ties in­volved in the emis­sions cheat­ing scan­dal that has cost the Group bil­lions and dra­mat­i­cally changed the fu­ture for diesel en­gined ve­hi­cles as well as the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try.

On Tues­day Stadler was tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended from the board of Volk­swa­gen Group with the com­pany say­ing in a state­ment that “the su­per­vi­sory board of Volk­swa­gen Ak­tienge­sellschaft ac­cepted the re­quest of mem­ber of the Group Board of Man­age­ment Ru­pert Stadler to re­lease him from his du­ties as mem­ber of the Board of Man­age­ment of Volk­swa­gen AG. The re­lease is a tem­po­rary mea­sure, put in place un­til the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Stadler’s ar­rest have been clar­i­fied.” Abra­ham Schot takes over as the tem­po­rary chair­man of the board at Audi.

NO LO­CAL NAVARA

We have been re­port­ing for the past few years on Nis­san’s plans to pro­duce the lat­est gen­er­a­tion Navara at its plant in Ross­lyn near Pre­to­ria. Now it seems those plans have been shelved com­pletely, at least for the cur­rent model.

A se­nior source within Nis­san SA told us the fac­tory is at ca­pac­ity and can­not take on the Navara pro­duc­tion.

In­stead, the com­pany is plan­ning to pro­duce the up­dated Navara in a cou­ple of years’ time which the ex­ec­u­tive de­scribed as a “big facelift”.

JIM JIMNY

Suzuki re­leased of­fi­cial images of its new Jimny this week. De­tails re­main sketchy but the next gen­er­a­tion of the pop­u­lar lit­tle off-roader clearly adopts a more se­ri­ous de­sign im­age al­though you can still see el­e­ments of the out­go­ing model in the de­sign be­hind the plas­tic cladding.

Suzuki has con­firmed that the Jimny will fea­ture a lad­der frame chas­sis, three-link rigid axle sus­pen­sion and part-time four-wheel drive with low range. In­te­rior images also show a move slightly more up­mar­ket with a touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem and what ap­pear to be bet­ter qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and switchgear.

LIM­ITED ALFAS

Alfa Romeo has in­tro­duced Nur­bur­gring lim­ited edi­tions of the Stelvio and Gi­u­lia. Badged the NRING edi­tions, just 108 of each model will be made avail­able in the Europe, Mid­dle East and Africa re­gion.

Each will be avail­able in Cir­cuito Grey and fea­ture car­bon ce­ramic brakes, Sparco rac­ing seats, unique trim items and pre­mium sound pack­ages. Own­ers will also be in­vited to take part in an Alfa Romeo ex­pe­ri­ence at the fa­mous Nur­bur­gring cir­cuit.

FORD’S NEW FIGO

Ford launched the new Figo in SA this week. Priced from R181,300, the com­pany says it fea­tures a new 1.5l petrol en­gine with the TDCI diesel no longer avail­able.

The Figo gets re­vised ex­te­rior styling as well as changes to the in­te­rior. The com­pany has also ditched the Pow­er­shift gear­box in favour of a more tra­di­tional six-speed au­to­matic while a five-speed man­ual is also avail­able.

Q8 TO GET RS TREAT­MENT

No sooner had Audi re­leased de­tails of the new Q8 than our spies spot­ted the RS Q8 be­ing tested in Europe. The RS ver­sion is likely to fea­ture a 4.0l biturbo en­gine de­vel­op­ing around 336kW, the same as the Lam­borgh­ini Urus with which it shares a plat­form.

Ex­ter­nally it will fea­ture more ag­gres­sive styling to­gether with large elliptical ex­hausts while the in­te­rior will also get the full RS treat­ment. Ex­pect it in SA in 2019.

YET AN­OTHER M4

If you thought BMW was fin­ished with churn­ing out M4 mod­els then think again. Our sources have told us that the com­pany is de­vel­op­ing an even more ex­treme ver­sion of the al­ready ex­treme GTS.

We have been un­able to get power fig­ures but ex­pect a hike over the ex­ist­ing GTS model’s 373kW.

The new vari­ant will also get ma­jor en­hance­ments to aero­dy­nam­ics in­clud­ing a big­ger front split­ter, more ag­gres­sive rear dif­fuser and a rear wing that’s even big­ger than the big rear wing on the ex­ist­ing ver­sion.

The CEO of Audi, Ru­pert Stadler, was de­tained by Ger­man po­lice this week over Diesel­gate.

Nis­san SA will not build the new Navara, in­stead it will build the facelift ver­sion in a cou­ple of year’s time.

Alfa Romeo has in­tro­duced lim­ited edi­tion Nur­bur­gring edi­tions of its Stelvio and Gi­u­lia.

The new Ford Figo is now on sale in SA.

If you thought this ex­ist­ing BMW M4 GTS was ex­treme then wait, an even more ex­treme GTS is on its way.

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