Volkswagen Amarok takes on the Drakensberg

Images (Olympus E-M1) by Bernard K Hellberg

Any 400 kilometre trip from Pretoria to the Northern 'Berg (Orion Mont aux Sources hotel) calls for a set of wheels that meets all fundamental long distance travel requirements, namely, comfort, economy, safety and performance.

Deciding on the Double Cab Amarok, was almost a natural choice. Offering all of the above, and more, I wanted to evaluate the Biturbo 2-litre TDi which develops an impressive 132 kW and is claimed to sip diesel at a rate of 7.9 litres/100 km.

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Toyota takes entire podium in stunning Desert Race

Toyota desert dash winners

Report and images (Olympus E-M1) by Bernard Hellberg Snr

Naming sponsor Toyota could not have wished for a better outcome than its first three places to occupy all podium spots in the 2016 Toyota 1000 Desert Race held at the Diamond Town of Jwaneng in Botswana recently.

Led by South African champion Leeroy Poulter with co-driver Rob Howie, they brought their FIA specification (Dakar) Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux home some 12 minutes ahead of Anthony Taylor/Dennis Murphy in an identical car.

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Living the high life in a Hilux

Images from | Toyota Hilux 2016 review

A visit to, arguably, South Africa's premier holiday destination, the Kruger National Park, calls for an extraordinary vehicle to add fun and enjoyment to the experience.

Thus it came about that with the dreadful Highveld winter starting to get under my skin (in more ways than one) a quick call to Toyota SA secured one of their most popular models for the trip.

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Volvo plug-in hybrid

Volvo xc t twin engine

As the only full seven-seater plug-in hybrid currently available in South Africa, Volvo's sensational XC90 Twin Engine is set to change our views on fuel consumption forever.

Combining a pretty standard DOHC 4-cylinder petrol with an added supercharger as well as a turbo, and driving the front wheels, with a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack cleverly housed in the transmission tunnel space usually found in rear wheel-drive vehicles, the Twin Engine is revolutionary in its design and execution and industry-leading in terms of innovation.

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Luxury at a price - Mercedes-Benz GLS 2016

Mercedes benz gls

The formidable Mercedes-Benz, at 5,13 metres in length, not only proves that bigger is better, but also that motoring excellence need not be limited to tiny two-seaters.

Bucking the fashion trend which demands that SUVs must become more 'compact' Mercedes-Benz has gone the other route with a full seven seater, which rightly claims to be the SUV of the S Class.

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Hyundai Tucson - more than a name change

Hyundai tucson  rename

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet."

Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)

One of South Africa's most popular SUVs, the Hyundai Tucson (as it was known at the time) first caught the attention of buyers some 11 years ago and quickly became a top-selling vehicle in its segment.

This name endured until 2009 when it became known as the ix35, a popular model which quickly notched up sales of 33,692 in that time.

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Audi wild child even looks the part

Audi a sport edition plus

The fascinating thing about the A4 is its deceptively modest yet modern appearance. Especially in Glacier White, it has the aura of an innocuous little runabout. Things change, dramatically in the case of the A4 Sport, when right foot is applied with serious intent.

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Self Driving Cars in 2016

Self driving cars

Okay folks, the future is on its way, like it or not.

Does anyone else remember watching in wonder as Knight Rider’s “KITT” autonomously zoomed around town?

Shut up! I’m not old – it’s called being retro okay?!

At any rate for those of us born before baby’s first Ipad (comfortable and thoroughly absorbent!), the automatic car always seemed like a milestone on the road to Sci-fi nirvana (Along with hover boards and silver rocket pants – two out of three isn’t bad).

How are things looking in 2016?

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Japanese luxury to the fore - Lexus IS200i

Lexus is  i

Parked next to a trio of Germanic behemoths (BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz) the Lexus IS 200t almost seems tiny by comparison. Marketed as a sports sedan, the IS 200t has now reached that stage of its development and technical innovation where it has progressed from "almost as good as" and "as good as" to that aspirational level where it has edged ahead of its rivals.

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Progress is intense - the new Audi A4

Audi a

More powerful, more efficient and more intelligent: the new Audi A4 features numerous premium technologies which set higher benchmarks for its class. Elegant design blends with an innovative control concept, and lightweight construction meets new, efficient drivetrain solutions. The A4 is also ahead of its peers in terms of infotainment and assistance systems. As a result, Audi drivers can look forward to a truly high-tech experience ― an innovative synthesis of technology and aesthetics.

The exterior

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