• New car launches are coming thick and fast.
• Honda launched two new models: WR-V and Ballade, while Toyota and Audi showed off their upgraded SUVs.
• There are several more new cars being launched in the coming weeks.
So close yet so far. That's it feels in late November 2020. The end, of what has been an unprecedented year, is drawing to a close. And while many are looking forward to putting 2020 behind us, for those in the local motor industry the opposite could be said.
Car companies, like most other industries were handicapped during the lockdown period as the government implemented restrictions on movement of people.
This meant that new cars scheduled to be launched earlier this year had to be done virtually or in some instances canceled. The past few weeks has seen a flurry of activity in the market as companies squeeze in launches before they 'shut down' for the holiday period.
We've cherry picked some interesting new cars that have debuted recently, including a completely new model from Honda as well as a name the public is all too familiar with: Ballade.
Toyota's updated Fortuner made its appearance as well Audi's refreshed Q7.
Honda WR-V - Japanese carmaker Honda released its WR-V onto the local market. The Jazz-based crossover is built in India and is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 66kW and 110Nm.
The WR-V is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox that directs power to the front wheels. There are two specifications to choose from: Comfort and Elegance and are priced from R289 900.
Fukuda's quote sums up the legacy of the Ballade name in South Africa. In 2020, the all-new Ballade is the first model to introduce the global Honda 'RS' brand name to Southern Africa, 'RS' stands for 'Road Sailing', a nod to the smooth nature of a boat sailing on water.
There are three models available, all powered by a 1.5-litre normally-aspirated engine with 89kW and 145Nm. The only gearbox options is a CVT and power is sent exclusively to the front wheels. Pricing starts from R336 500.
Launched in South Africa in September 2015, the second generation Audi Q7 was in need of a refresh in order to stay relevant among the competition.
For 2020, Audi has given its largest SUV a new grille with six vertical slats, redesigned headlights and tail lights and a chrome strip across the width of the rear of the car.
Inside is where the most significant change has taken place, with Audi's dual touch screen MMI system now available in the Q7. The 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine is carried over with 183kW and 600Nm.
The Q7 is priced from R 1 328 500.
A perennial sales favourite, the Toyota Fortuner is packing more power and styling upgrades to end off 2020. The 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine now makes 150kW and 500Nm, while Toyota has also added a new range-topping VX model.
The cosmetic changes include a bigger grille finished in black with a 'wave-like' mesh pattern and a silver-accented 'skidplate'. The LED headlights also feature a new design. Inside there's a new instrument cluster as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for the first time.
Pricing starts from R566 800.