• Several new cars launched this past week, including the new Defender.
• Maserati is going the electric route and hybridised its Ghibli.
• Mercedes-AMG revealed its 537kW GT Black Series.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
This past week has been a good one in terms of new vehicle launches. Several automakers revealed all-new cars to the global market; ones that will definitely find their way to South Africa.
Locally, we saw the official introduction of the latest iteration of Land Rover's Defender, as well as the addition of a diesel model to the Kia Seltos range.
Herewith some of the new vehicles launched this past week. For all the other listings, see the list at the bottom of this article.
2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid (Maserati Media)
Land Rover Defender
We kick things off with probably the most relevant vehicle of the week, the all-new Defender. This SUV was first launched some 70 years ago, and over the following decades saw minimal changes to its design. The 2020 model, however, is a significant departure from the vehicle we last saw and is Land Rover confident that the new Defender is its most technologically advanced vehicle yet.
No wonder, because the Defender is filled to the brim with the latest cutting-edge technologies that aid not only on-road dynamics but also off-road. And for the tech-savvy among us, you can have a ball of a time scrolling through the on-board computer's menus.
If you want to watch the 100-minute launch again, click here. Alternatively, you can read our take on the Defender's off-road technologies.
2020 Land Rover Defender (MotorPress)
Short on the Defender's heels is the Ariya - Nissan's first all-electric crossover. This is an important vehicle for the Japanese automaker because it will herald the new direction and era they are headed in. The Ariya will be powered by two batteries, both in different states of tune. And, the Airya will be powered either through the front wheels or all four.
Nissan says that with the new high-power charging cable, it will only take about 30min for the battery to generate up to 375km. Maximum range is 610km, and the top model will reach 100km/h from standstill in 5.1 seconds.
In our review of the digital premier we said: "Like many other automakers, Nissan is exploring the electric SUV route. But where it has always got one up over its competitors, is with the price." If Nissan manages to position one of its new vehicles favourably, as it always does, the Ariya will be a success; for sure!
2021 Nissan Ariyah (Nissan Media)
Maserati Ghibli Hybrid
It might come to a shock for some, but Maserati is going the electric route with its vehicles. Though internal combustion engines will still form part of their product line-up in future, electrification will play just as big a role. And the Ghibli Hybrid is the first vehicle from Maserati to adopt this technology.
Revealed to a global audience, the Ghibli Hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine that is mated to a 48V battery. Total power output is rated as 245kW and 450Nm. This powertrain, says Maserati, is as fuel-efficient as its 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, but without sacrificing performance. 0-100km/h is dispatched in 5.7sec and top speed is 255km/h. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
The Maserati Ghibli is expected to arrive locally before the end of 2020.
Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
The GT Black Series is the new big daddy in Mercedes' GT range. Sporting a bi-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine, the car produces 357kW and 800Nm of torque. And, says AMG, it will reach a top speed of 325km/h and complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.2 seconds! And 0-200km/h? You'll only need less than nine seconds.
As it stands, the GT Black Series is the most potent Mercedes ever, besting the 2010 SL Black Series (500kW) and the AMG GT 4-Door 63 S (470kW). You can read more about the GT Black Series here.
We also traced the GT Black Series' heritage since 2015, when the GT first made its debut. The GT Black Series will arrive locally in 2021.
Also, check out:
2021 Range Rover Sport (MotorPress)