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Loads in store for 2014


The Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) had a few surprises in store for South Africa’s motoring media last week.

A few choice models are heading our way within the next year. If you thought 2013 was a hectic year for new cars, just wait until 2014 rolls in. It seems we haven’t seen anything yet, as South Africa will be receiving a host of new models, ranging from hysterical hot hatches to environmentally friendly all-electric vehicles.

Ford is finally filling the void left by the Mondeo with the all-new Fusion. It will serve as the brand’s new flagship model in South Africa and as such will feature a stylish, high-quality interior and a host of comfort, convenience and safety technologies. Ford says the Fusion will also feature its highly praised EcoBoost technology on its powertrains. More importantly, just look at it. It’s a thing of beauty and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.

A car that’s undoubtedly less good-looking and even more environmentally friendly is the Nissan Leaf. We’ve reported on it many times before, but it’s now finally available for purchase in South Africa. The Leaf retails at R446 000 and comes standard with a 3-year/90 000km service plan linked to service intervals of 15 000km. Also included in the price is a 3-year/100 000km mechanical warranty.

Citroën once again proved that a multi-purpose vehicle needn’t be boring. The new C4 Picasso is due for local launch sometime in 2014 and will feature a number of family friendly technologies. The French manufacturer claims benchmark interior space and record-breaking luggage capacity thanks to the Citroën group’s new smart platform on which the C4 is built.

Audi went all-out on performance cars this time round. It showcased a go-faster version of the Q3, which has 228kW and 420Nm on tap. The RS Q3 is able to accelerate to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds with a beautiful five-cylinder soundtrack to match the performance.   The big news, however, is the new RS 7 Sportback. This beast of a machine has a turbocharged 4.0-litre heart capable of catapulting it to 100km/h in less than four seconds. Both models will be introduced in January.

Renault chose JIMS to showcase its new rival to the Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTi. The Clio RS 200 has a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that packs a punch of 147kW and 240Nm. This power is fed to the front wheels via a six-speed twin-clutch transmission. No details surrounding the price were available, but we can tell you that it will be launching in South Africa before the end of November.

The best news from Korean manufacturer Hyundai is the inclusion of a turbocharged model to the Veloster range. The standard car is undoubtedly striking, but it never had the go to match the show. The 1.6-litre turbocharged GDI four cylinder should sort that out. In the Veloster, this engine produces 150kW and 265Nm of torque.

Mitsubishi showcased two new models destined for local introduction. The first is the humble Mirage, which is a replacement for a predecessor never made available locally. It’s a funky looking car with a decent-quality interior and up-to-date engine technology. It will be competing in a particularly tough segment, just like the other car that made its debut at Mitsubishi’s stand, the all-new Outlander.

The 2014 Outlander will take the fight to 20 or so other SUVs on the market. Thankfully, Mitsubishi has given it a decent level of specification and seven seats as standard. The Outlander will be powered by a 2.4-litre petrol engine mated to a CVT transmission.

Last but not least, Volkswagen introduced the greenest version of the new Golf. The Golf BlueMotion is powered by a turbo-diesel engine with 81kW on tap. The company claims an average combined fuel consumption of 3.2 litres/100km and carbon emissions of 85g/km. This gives it a theoretical range of over 1 000km.

Go check these models out yourself at the Johannesburg International Motor Show, which is still on the go until 27 October at Nasrec.

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