World RX has come and gone
Killarney International Raceway, Cape Town played host once again to the World RX race series finale - an incredibly exciting motorsport event wherein rally cars are piloted by the likes of legends such as Sebastien Loeb, Johan Kristofferson and Matthias Ekström.
Kristofferson would go on to take the championship in his VW with 11 wins out of 12. He's quite good at this. Sadly, Loeb and Ekström probably won't be back next year as Audi and Peugeot will not compete in 2019.
The new Range Rover Evoque
For six memorable months I piloted the original Range Rover Evoque. Mine was the two door coupe in metallic red with a floating white roof. Famously styled (somehow) by Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls, it represented the diamond encrusted tip spearhead of the onslaught of what would become the fashionable compact SUV, and it was good, whilst still retaining just the right amount of offroad ability to be taken seriously.
Since then Range and Land Rovers have received dramatic updates to their styling and so now so must the Evoque. Enter then the 2019 iteration, boxier than before, seen here with 21-inch alloy hoops tucked into each cavernous arch. It is more bejeweled than ever before thanks to new slivers and clusters of LED lamps, a precedent that continues into the opulent cabin.
Under that shiny bonnet Range Rover have given a wide array of 4-cyl petrol and diesel options, as well as for the first time a 3-cyl and plug-in hybrid option. Overall the new car is greener than the one it replaces and loses nothing in terrain competence either, and with an aesthetic upgrade that should ensure its relevance for at least another decade or so.
Renault Megane RS Trophy
We recently got to experience the LUX version of the Megane RS which was launched alongside a more track-focused CUP model here in SA. But this is the Trophy, the most performance-oriented iteration of the three, firmer and tighter and with a mechanical LSD, larger diameter discs and more. Those live behind 19-inch Jerez alloy wheel.
Shunt and twist is measured at 226 kW and 420Nm respectively from the forcefully aspirated 1.8-liter engine, shifted via a 6 speed manual or ESC auto 'box. Options are tré exciting such as grippy Recaro buckets, covered in Alcantara and set 20mm lower into the floor. There's even an alternative 'Fuji" wheel weighing 2kg lighter at each corner should you feel it necessary.
In case you haven't guessed it, this is going to be an incredibly capable contender for the king of the hot hatchbacks.
This is the Audi A1 Sportback
When the original A1 was released, people complained about what they called essentially an overpriced VW Polo. Then proceeded to buy the whole lot of them.
Stylish, and right-sized for urban professionals who spent their time in the city, it became a very popular whip. This new car then, has big shoes to fill and from the start, well… Mission accomplished. This is squarer of jaw, with even more throwbacks to its Ur quattro predecessor albeit just in styling.
In Sportback ala hatch config it's just about the perfect balance of practicality and style, with a stance promising performance, and delivering, should you opt for the range-topping turbo-popping TFSI engines.
Bigger, lighter, quicker - a recipe for success then.
2019 Audi TTS Coupe
Twenty years, two robust decades have transpired and the motoring world has been richer for it with the birth of the original Audi TT. No longer an overturned bathtub, the profile has evolved into quite the teardrop, and in this landmark year the current (3rd gen) shape TT enjoys a raft of enhancements upon its already gratuitous offering.
The virtual cockpit now gets the Sport treatment for the first time whereas outputs all round have received a much appreciated hike. In addition to the S and Black Edition models Audi have created a very limited run of 999 'TT 20 Years' specials as well. Well-deserved too.