Sun, Snow & Chilled Vibes
AFRISKI WINTERFEST IN THE VOLVO XC40 D4 AWD R-DESIGN
PERCHED HIGH ABOVE THE AFRICAN PLAINS, IN THE MOUNTAIN KINGDOM OF LESOTHO, AFRISKI MOUNTAIN RESORT IS AFRICA’S MOST UNIQUE WINTER DESTINATION, AND HOST TO THE CONTINENT’S MOST DISTINCTIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL – AFRISKI WINTERFEST. BERNIE HELLBERG JR HEADED SOUTH IN A BRAND NEW XC40 D4 TO EXPERIENCE THE FUN OF THE FESTIVAL, AND THE THRILL OF THE DRIVE.
In early June 2018, ‘WinterFesters’ from across South Africa and Lesotho made their way to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, hyped-up on adrenaline from the drive up the newly-completed Mahlasela Pass, and into their choice of accommodation ranging from mountaintop chalets, apartments to backpackers, at the one and only Afriski Mountain Resort.
Driven joined in the fun, with the latest and, in our opinion, one of the greatest Scandinavian cars of the modern era.
The Volvo XC40 has not only attained critical praise the world over, here in SA it’s still a hot topic for anyone looking to buy a premium-minded compact crossover. It’s so hot, in fact, that Volvo Cars South Africa quite literally ran out of stock within two months of the car’s arrival.
Getting our hands on a test unit posed quite the challenge, but with its great looks, and considering how much we liked the car at its local launch (read our review in the May 2018 edition), we pulled out all the stops to make it happen.
Knowing that we were on our way to test the XC40 in the closest conditions on our continent, that remotely resemble Sweden, Volvo made the (almost) range-topping D4 R-Design with all-wheel-drive available for the journey.
Being right at the top of the pile (at R639,200), means that our XC40 tester was kitted out with almost every bit of Swedish safety tech and driving aides imaginable. Heated (and cooled) electrically-adjustable front seats, multiple airbags, City Safe autonomous braking, Pilot Assist, 360o cameras with birds-eye view, and an immersive Bowers & Wilkins
“AS THE TEMPERATURES DROPPED, SO DID THE BEATS, AS MUSIC LOVERS JOINED THE EVENING’S WARM-UP SESSION OVER A DELICIOUS MEAL AT SKYBAR – AFRICA’S HIGHEST RESTAURANT – WITH THE LIKES OF SIMONE GOVENDER, 4AM, AND WILL RAYZ WOOING THE CROWD.”