The 10 best?... of the Johannesburg International Motor Show

2013-10-20 10:00

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Africa’s biggest motor show is not just a mecca for petrolheads, discovers our team. It is also a meeting place for technology and cutting edge design

1. Mercedes Benz’s S-Class


The new S-Class is being touted as the finest car in the world right now. The luxurious and grandiose beauty boasts a perfumed interior, twin cameras to “see” bumps in the road ahead, mood lighting and an advanced massaging function.

It has more than 150 buttons and switches to play with. See if you can remember them all. Mercedes is going big on its new baby, launching a major ad campaign to get the word out.

2. Audi R8 V10 plus


The Audi stand would not be complete without the presence of three halo models. The Audi R8 V10 Plus series is the new flagship of the Audi R8 range.

All three of the vehicles were launched this year and have added to the high-performance assault experienced by the brand in 2013.

The design is enhanced by carbon fibre detail, from the side mirrors to the side blades and an engine compartment situated right behind the cockpit.

3. BMW i8

BMW i8

The German auto maker calls its highly anticipated new i8 a “hybrid supercar” and punts it as “a comprehensive concept car for sustainable and future-oriented mobility”.

The interior is strikingly different from mainline BMWs. It has glass cockpit all-screen instruments and very thin, light seats to emphasise the featherweight engineering that’s needed to keep the weight under 1?500kg, including the battery.

Still sleek and aggressively designed, the new i8 stresses enhanced functionality.

4. Smart car


Have wings, will fly. The SmartForJeremy is a Smart show car debuting at the motor show this year. It was conceived by fashion designer Jeremy Scott and offers electric mobility on wheels, a pure delight for fashionistas and this year’s showgoers.

The collaborative encounter between the designer and the Smart team has produced a fascinating electric car, ready for liftoff into a new era of mobility and full of lightness and joie de vivre. Of course the design will make people stop and stare.

Scott is known for his bright colours and outlandish outfits that adorn the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna and Katy Perry. He’s even designed costumes for Gaga. Unfortunately, most reviewers are reporting SmartForJeremy fares better on the looks stakes. Otherwise, it’s very small and at times impractical, they say.

5. Duster SUV/4X4 Dynamique


The new Duster SUV/4x4 Dynamique is Renault’s first global family car. It’s dubbed a spacious, go-anywhere vehicle that is budget-friendly but sexier than a B-segment sedan. It’s a no-frills, roomy vehicle.

The Duster has ground clearance and 4x4 suspension. It proved itself to be very capable off-road. It’s being hailed as the coolest car of its type and a global success story, adhering to stringent European standards, but adaptable to rugged roads.



GWM will be launching its first four-door sedans in South Africa: the C30 (B segment) and C50 (C segment). The C50 is pitched as the most sophisticated passenger vehicle introduced by GWM South Africa to date. It is powered by a 1.5 turbo petrol engine.

The new range is perfectly aligned with the rising trend towards engine downsizing, offering superb fuel economy without sacrificing power.

China’s top-selling SUV, the GWM H6 will arrive in South Africa early next year.

7. Scirocco GTS


Volkswagen is presenting the South African debut of a special edition of its sexy Scirocco coupé at the motor show this year.

The car’s styling is a tribute to the original, including the golf ball gear-shifter knob, which made its debut in the Mk.1 Golf GTI from 1982 to 1984.

Two broad stripes run from the bonnet to the boot and on each side is an additional stripe. Four colours are available – grey, white, red and black.

The interior of this inspiring little reinvention is black with red stitching.

8. iBeetle


For a year now there have been rumours of the advent of the iCar – a car made by Apple. But critics have warned that the iBeetle is not yet that car, even though it is the result of a collaboration between Apple and Volkswagen.

It features systems that integrate the iPhone, resulting in hands-free calls, music taken from the phone, and the iBeetle app that reads your Facebook messages and your SMSes.

9. Porsche’s new 911 Turbo Cabriolet


The 911 Turbo is a range-topping cabriolet set to arrive in South Africa in February next year. You can see it first at the motor show this year.

The arrival of this beauty coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 911 and the 40th anniversary of the Turbo moniker.

The cabriolets are mechanically identical to the coupé. The cars can rocket from 0-100km/h in 3.5 and 3.2 seconds, respectively.

10. Kia Cerato Koup SX


The three-door Koup is powered by a new four-cylinder 1.6 GDI turbocharged engine. At the front, the model sports new LEDs, an assertive facia and twin chromed exhausts.

Kia is planning fun activities during the show featuring giveaways and interviews with celebrities, including KMSA’s brand ambassadors – Danny K and Kabelo Mabalane – and the newly signed pop group Mi Casa.

» The show is on until October 27 at the Nasrec Expo Centre

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