February 2020 will see an influx of new vehicles to the South African market.
The vehicles scheduled for launch cater to the various tastes in the South African carpool. Ranging from bakkies to multi-purpose vehicles, and sports cars to customised vehicles, the array of options are almost legion.
In one week, three automakers will launch their new vehicles in South Africa.
For Hyundai, the launch of its new i30 N will have consumers most excited. This new model is a rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI (and upcoming GTI TCR...), and the Renault Megane RS. Kia launched its Seltos SUV in late 2019 but is now expanding the range with a diesel offering.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Rolls-Royce, who is readying for a reveal of a customised Rolls-Royce Phantom. Wheels24 will be in attendance, so keep an eye out for that!
Hyundai i30 N
Already on sale in Europe since 2018, the Hyundai i30 N will finally make its South African debut this week. The launch, set to take place in Cape Town, will see media drive the car in a variety of conditions, including a racetrack. Sporting a turbocharged engine, the i30 N makes do with 202kW (exact figures to be released at launch) and power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.
In Europe, a 'lesser' model with 180kW on tap is also available, but it remains to be seen if Hyundai SA will launch both models.
There is talk of an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel-drive joining the range in future, but whether these will reach our shores in due time remains to be seen.
2020 Hyundai i30 N. Image: NewsPress
Isuzu D-Max 250 Auto
A new D-Max may be on its way to South Africa, but that won't stop Isuzu's local arm from adding additional models to its range. This week, the D-Max 250 will see an automatic gearbox join the fray. As it stands, only a five-speed manual gearbox does transfer duties, but the auto' box will surely give consumers more choice.
The D-Max range continuously counts among the best-selling bakkies in SA and, in 2019, was the fourth best-selling bakkie in the country.
The 2.5-litre engine is good for 100kW and 320Nm of torque. Though not as refined and modern as the competition, the engine still offers reputable reliability.
2020 Isuzu D-Max 250 X-Rider Black. Image: QuickPic
Kia Seltos diesel
The Seltos joined the South African market in the second half of 2019. Initially, only two petrol engines were on offer - comprising a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre and a turbocharged 1.4-litre. Now Kia will be expanding its range with the addition of a diesel model.
While specifications for the new engine will be revealed at launch, it is expected that the diesel motor will displace 1.5-litres. Thanks to turbocharging, the motor will deliver around 85kW and 240Nm.
Hyundai, Kia's sister company, also produces a diesel engine that does duty in the Creta. It is not impossible for the Kia to borrow Hyundai's more powerful 1.6-litre motor, which, as it stands, produces 94kW and 260Nm.
Wheels24 editor, Janine van der Post, will attend the Seltos' launch, so keep an eye out for her impressions.
2020 Kia Seltos. Image: MotorPress
Now here's a vehicle that could very well rattle the establishment. Sharing many bits and pieces with the Renault Kwid, the Triber looks to attract a new buyer to the Renault brand. Boasting seven seats and ample space, the Triber sports an F1-inspired three-cylinder engine. This unit produces 56kW and 96Nm, and is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or an automated manual transmission (AMT).
The Triber may very well be a stroke of genius for Renault, seeing that it builds forth on the budget-beating credentials of the Kwid. These two vehicles will lead Renault's affordability charge in SA and could give the automaker a greater footprint that it can leverage off.
Given that the Kwid's top-model retails for just under R175 000, we'd hazard a guess and say that the Triber could carry a launch price of around R200 000.
2020 Renault Triber. Image: Renault Media
Volkswagen Premium Drive Experience
Details around this event are pretty covert at the moment, but we have an inkling of what to expect.
In 2019, news broke that VW is readying a more intense and tauter version of its GTI, called the GTI TCR. VW announced, at the South African Festival of Motoring, that only 300 of these models will make their way to local shores. Launch date: 2020 Q1.
Given that the Premium Drive Experience will be held over three days, one gets the idea that VW is preparing for something big. And what could be bigger than a 213KW/370Nm version of South Africa's favourite hatchback? Unfortunately, the GTI TCR will not make its South African debut in February, but VWSA has promised to reveal the launch date later this month.
2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR interior. Image: NewsPress
Rolls-Royce Phantom (customised)
Wheels24 got wind of a very special Rolls-Royce Phantom that's to be unveiled later this week. However, this is a private model that's been embezzled with the very special touch of Esther Mahlangu. Mahlangu, a well-known South African artist known for painting BMWs in traditional colours, was approached by both the customer and Daytona SA to paint the Phantom.
The reveal will take place on February 12.2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom. Image: PressClub