What’s coming soon on the market?

There’s been a lot of activity on the new car market over the last few months, and as predicted, 2012 certainly has been the year for new models in SA. That said, there are some appetising vehicles on their way. We take a quick look at what’s coming up between now and 2013 – let us know if we’ve missed one that’s got you excited!

Mazda BT 50


With great anticipation, we await the launch of the new BT 50, which should be happening very soon. Still, not much remains a mystery about the BT 50 – we know what it looks like, since it was at JIMS (Johannesburg International Motor Show), and we actually do know what it drives like, since it’s (still) essentially a Ranger. That said, it’s been two years since the new model was shown at international motor shows, and we think we speak for the masses when we say, it’s time it got here! While the new Ranger’s performance bodes well for the BT 50, the softer looks may hamper its popularity in the tough utility market. Design wise, it’s a bit over the top, and we’ll have to see how it fares against its rugged competition. The guys at CAR managed to get their paws on one pre-launch, and while they’re not available in show rooms yet, you can read Mike Fourie’s review of the BT 50 in the April edition of CAR.

Current BT 50:
•    Retails: R298 150 and R397 480
•    Engine: 2,5 or 3,0 litre diesel or 2,6 litre petrol
•    Performance: 80kw – 115kw (in the 3000CRDi) with between 206Nm and  380Nm of torque
•    Boxes: All 5 speed boxes, with one auto available and several derivatives with 4×4

Click here for an international driving review of the incoming BT 50.


Audi Q3


While met with some resistance by our American friends, the crossover segment (courtesy of the Nissan Murano) has done very well locally. Thus the excitement builds ahead of the launch of the new Q3 later this month. SA has never seen the Q3, and Audi’s smallest crossover will fit rather neatly into the already comprehensive line up. From the German camp, the Q3 goes up against the BMW X1, which also features in our May edition of Leisure Wheels. That puts it potentially just under the R500k mark, although size-wise, it’s about the size of a Juke. Love it or hate it, local Audi dealerships are running out of paper to put names on the waiting lists, which is always a good sign.

Incoming Q3:
•    Retails: We’re guessing somewhere in the R400k mark, depending on how many derivatives the SA market gets
•    Engine: Two 2,0 litre petrols and two 2,0 litre diesels are available internationally, which includes a TSFI Quattro S-line

Here’s an international review of the 2012 model we’ll be getting.


Ford Kuga


We know the Ford Kuga has just been launched – we drove the feisty little American on our FUV shootout (catch the article in the May edition of Leisure Wheels), but we’re anxious for the new one. As most of you know, the Ford Kuga that graced our shores at JIMS was already launched internationally around 2009. That, of course, means that there’s a update on the horizon, of which ‘spy pics’ are already making the internet rounds. We were surprised at how well the Kuga has aged – the looks are still fresh, the gadgetry comprehensive and the performance … well, it’s the ST engine under the hood, so you can imagine how nippy it is! That makes the prospect of an updated version of such a well equipped vehicle even more tantalising. When is it coming? Since the new international model is called the 2013 Ford Escape (as it’s called in the US), we’re expecting it no later than mid next year. Still, we can’t help but be excited – since it’s not just a facelift, chances are good the old ST engine will be updated, and the possibilities are tantalising. Also interesting will be the derivatives brought in – Ford SA currently only offers two options, both of which have auto ‘boxes and are rather pricey. It would be great to see a more comprehensive line up made available.

Current Kuga:
•    Retails: R375 000 and R395 000
•    Engine: 2,5 litre ST engine (i.e. deliciousness on a stick … or in this case, and auto.)
•    Performance: 147kW and 320Nm (which, as you guessed it, is more than enough. Much more.)
•    Boxes: Only a 5 speed auto ‘box is currently available (in two trims – Trend and Titanium)


Mercedes ML


This is an oldie, so it’ll be a goodie. The last facelift on the ML was in 2008, so Merc fans will be raring at the bit. The new one is already available internationally, and is a whole new animal. With good results in the SA market, Mercedes has been hungering buyers out with Sports Packages and Limited editions. The ML has been highly successful as a high-end all rounder, being quite capable off road and still vrey comfortable on road. The 2012 ML is finally arriving around May/June, and we predict it will do very well. Not only is the styling on the current ML so old it still looks a lot like the ’05 model, it’s pretty archaic in terms of tech as well, with much of the gadgetry being optinoal. Internationally, the new model comes with a V6 engine in the ML350 derivative (and in BlueTech specification), as well as a 3,0 diesel derivative being made available. It also comes with a multitude of gadgetry and assist-systems, which will bring the M-Class up to date with the rest of the Mercedes model line-up.

Current ML:
•    Retails: R709 490 and R1 223 260 for the AMG package
•    Engine: V6 3,5 litre petrol or 3,0 diesel, and a 5,5 litre petrol or 6,3 litre AMG
•    Performance:  170kW – 285kW, with 375kW on the AMG / 350Nm to 53Nm, with 630Nm on the AMG
•    Boxes: Only a 5 speed auto ‘box is currently available (in two trims – Trend and Titanium)

Here’s a review of the new model, already available internationally.


Auto Amarok


The Amarok has been a highly controversial vehicle in SA, and one of the biggest anticipations of the year is the updated automatic derivative, which also has 12kW extra power. It’s no secret that the auto ‘box (along with some other tasty VW offerings) was recently launched in Spain, and of course Leisure Wheels was there to test it for you. Our May edition fleshes out the pros and cons, but what we will say here is that the auto is coming towards the end of this year only. It has 132kW, but only on the double cab; the single cab will remain at 120kW. Many buyers have been looking forward to this, as you’ve only been able to buy the Amarok with a manual ‘box until now. Considering the Amarok has been marketed very much as a luxury bakkie, the auto ‘box has been the missing ingredient, and we’re guessing that it will be great sales booster for VW (ever chasing that prime sales position). There was also an interesting revelation or two in Spain, so be sure to get your May copy of Leisure Wheels to get the scoop.


Mitsubishi ASX


This may sound a bit out of place, if you know that the ASX was launched very recently in SA. It sounded odd to us, too, when we found this review of the facelifted version that was just unveiled at the New York Auto Show. It’s a very mild facelift, though, and even the international model carries a 2013 tag (which means we’ll probably see it late 2013, early 2014). Still, it seems a bit ambitious to already be upgrading the ASX (which is known internatially as an Outlander Sport). If I were driving an ASX, which I had just faithfully bought from Mitsubishi SA despite their recent troubles, I might be less than pleased to know that my car’s value is going to drop drastically within less than two years. If it were a serious upgrade, like the Kuga, that would appease my mood, but it’s not.

Current ASX:
•    Retails: R279 900 and R319 900
•    Engine: Four cylinder 2,0 litre petrol
•    Performance:  110kW & 197Nm of torque
•    Boxes: 5 speed manual or a CVT ‘box (one of the better ones on offer in SA)