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Browsing: First Drives

Not to be confused with the F150-based Raptor as is sold in the US, the Ranger Raptor due to hit our market next year will be a performance version of Ford’s existing mid-size offering, the Ranger. Though we don’t have confirmation yet, reliable sources suggest that the new Ranger Raptor will be powered by a high output, twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine – which comes as a big disappointment to many Ford fans hoping to see the 2.7-litre Ecoboost V6 petrol introduced, or at least the 2.3-litre four-cylinder currently found under Mustang bonnets. However, Ford insists the twin-turbo 2.-litre diesel mill

Although the previous Pajero Sport was getting long in the tooth, Mitsubishi’s latest offering is set to stick it to the Everest and Fortuner with a combination of new tech, safety features, style and capability. The vehicle has been completely redesigned from the ground up, and is based on the ladder frame of the latest Triton bakkie. Capability and drivetrain Like the Triton, the Pajero Sport uses a heavily turbocharged 2.4-litre diesel mill, in this case with 133kW and 430Nm. Unlike the Triton with its five-speed auto, the Sport uses an Aisin 8-speed auto, and, thanks to that quick-shifting box,

Words and Images Andrew Middleton The Oxford dictionary describes an underdog as “A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.” Using this definition, we can compare two apparent underdogs from completely opposite ends of the spectrum − the one being Boers at war, and the other being Mitsubishi’s Pajero Sport. Both sides have been outnumbered by challengers, yet put up a fight so strong that battles have turned in their favour. The source of this odd comparison and strange introduction to my story can be attributed to Mitsubishi themselves. Whether it was an intentional attempt

Words and images by Angus Boswell What started in 1968 as a humble Japanese pickup, has now become something of an icon for toughness and reliability. Initially an unlikely combination of “High” and “Luxury”, the Hilux has now reached a new threshold that justifies the name – after 46 years, seven previous generations and a world total of 16 million sales. Japan’s engineers are notoriously conservative, and Toyota’s Vernier-wielders are probably the worst of the bunch. Nothing flies past them; everything is extensively tested – and it shows in a product that often lasts well beyond the warranty date. But

Words and images by Andrew Middleton If money were no object and the world your oyster, what would you do to your 4×4? Some minds may conjure images of a six-wheel-drive monster with machine guns on the roof and a spiky bullbar – taxis beware! However, appealing as that thought may be, you are more likely to splash those hard-earned beans on a more considered proposition. Like this Jeep Wrangler Sahara, for instance. It’s owned by the fellows at 4×4 MegaWorld, and (of course) they could have gone wild with it, opting for a Mopar-fettled Hemi V8 and 44 inch

Premium Urban Warrior The new Lexus NX is a radically-styled softroader aimed directly at competitors such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Merc GLA and the pricier Range Rover Evoque. Concept car styling, upmarket interior and fine driving dynamics make a good first impression, but what’s it like to live with? Subjective as styling is, some shapes are more successful than others, but attention to detail on this Lexus has worked brilliantly. Angular lines and ‘L- shaped’ LED running lights that also act as indicators are striking, as are the tail lights and aggressive stance. The shark-like design is meant

Spoiler alert. Mitsubishi’s ASX is available only as a front-driver in South Africa. But don’t damn it just yet. Its crossover genes include a raised ride height, command driver’s view, lots of interior space and a generous 442-litre boot with easy access. The hardware is a little dated: a naturally aspirated, fuel-injected 2.0-litre petrol with 110kW and 197Nm, both peaks achieved with little fanfare at high-ish revs, and a five-speed manual, albeit a smoothshifting one. Expect some catching up with the rivals here soon. A 2015 update has focused on pimping the CVT-equipped six-step version to lower fuel consumption to

With the new Range Rover line-up having consumed all things new at Land Rover, we were hardly expecting different from the Discovery range − but we were mistaken. A raft of updates is set to keep the (now 10-year-old) shape alive, without compromising any of its renowned off-road abilities. ExteriorGone are the tacky individual LED fairy lights of last year’s model, along with the Land Rover badge on the front of the bonnet. A new ‘Discovery’ badge stands proud, helping to separate the brand’s identity from the agricultural offerings of yesteryear. Our HSEmodel tester, the top model in the range,

Words by Andrew Middleton. Pictures by Andrew Middleton & iveco. Some vehicle launches feature hours of PowerPoint presentations, the consumption of too much buffet food, and driving round some tyres a few times − but Iveco’s launch came as a welcome surprise. They shocked us journos with a bone-shaking ride in a replica Dakar truck, a 4×4 experience, and some gymkhana. All to celebrate the Iveco launch of its new ‘Tested by Dakar’ kits, as well as a new medium truck. The event was designed to demonstrate what Iveco’s 4×4 trucks are capable of, and also to knock our organs

Words by Jess Fogart y. Images by Nissan SA . The X-Trail has been a family favourite since its launch; and, now, the new, third-generation X-Trail has arrived in SA as an eightmodel range, which includes the options of 2- or 4WD, five or seven seats, petrol or diesel, and manual or Xtronic CVT transmissions. Completely new from the ground up, the X-Trail boasts new styling inside and out, daytime-running lights on all models, a definitive new rear design with the familiar ‘boomerang’ light clusters, and a characteristic D-pillar which is very reminiscent of Nissan’s Juke and Qashqai models. Thanks

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