JIMS: A reflection on the show that was
The Johannesburg International Motor Show, aka JIMS is largest of its kind in Africa and a must-visit for all motoring enthusiasts. The 2013 edition of the spectacle ran for 10 days from 18 – 27 October with over 250 000 visitors feasting on what the manufacturers had to showcase in the form of their latest and greatest.
Whether it was the outrageous performances, catching a glimpse of the celebrity line up, the Car of the year (COTY) finalists, the JIMS had something for everyone before even seeing the boats, trucks, busses, bikes, accessories. And then there are the cars; concept cars, armoured cars, F1 cars, Electric cars, self-park cars, hybrid cars, you name it.
The stars of the show included 265 passenger cars and SUVs, including the reveal of 62 brand new passenger cars and SUVs to arrive in South African showrooms in the next months. Not to be missed was what the manufacturers have in mind as cars of the future, in the form of concept cars, all 18 of them, electronic wonders on wheels.
Highlights of the show included…
Not for the faint-hearted, pure American muscle, the Camaro on the Chevrolet stand (hopefully this is an indication of Chevy bringing these to our shores soon). Boasting a 6.2 litre V8 supercharged engine with output at 430kW of torque and 754Nm, it accelerates in just 4.1 seconds from 0 to 100km/h – that’s quicker than you read this sentence.
The BMW line-up was nothing short of impressive. Showcasing amongst others, a new era in electric mobility in the new BMW i3, the sports car of the future in the new BMW i8, and aesthetics in motion inthe new BMW 4 Series Coupe.
Let’s take a moment to understand the 4 Series Coupe a little bit. Most people have been caught wondering what the plan was with this new line from BMW. The logic, according to BMW is that they wanted to maintain “pure line” in their ranges. The 3 series was a blended line, sedan and coupe, and they wanted their coupe to have its own line. The answer to that you ask? The 4 series creating a new chapter in the history of elegantly sporty, two-door BMW’s. And for the eagle-eyed, yes, the 1 series coupe will be transformed and moved out of the 1 range into its own 2 series line.
Likewise setting the pace is the future of the BMW X family in the form of the new BMW Concept X4 – The new Sports Activity Coupe concept from BMW is poised to continue the success story of the BMW X6 in a new vehicle line up.
Now, I could go on and on about the Mercedes-Benz stand, and how impressive it was, with the new CLA, GLA, E-Coupe, M- Armoured, A45 AMG, etc but what really matters is the redefinition of luxury. Ladies and gentlemen, the new S-Class.
There’s a saying that’s been going around that if you’d like to know what technology normal road cars will have in 10 years’ time, look at an S-Class now.
Mercedes have taken this up a notch, and the new S-Class has not only become the true embodiment of a modern luxury saloon, but also is offers jet-like exquisiteness at the same time.
The under dogs didn’t fall short on delivery either…
The Korean manufacturers have become strong contenders in small and medium car market over the last few years, and Hyundai and Kia, had their finest vehicles at the show the show offer ample proof of this. Most notably, their new sports cars.
Hyundai’s bright yellow Veloster Turbo is fitted with a 1,6 litre twin-scroll turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection delivering 150kW and 265N.m of torque. To be introduced during the second quarter or 2014.
And Kia’s new two-door sports car, the Cerato Koup. This ‘halo model’, with a rounder, smoother design than that of its predecessor, powered by a turbocharged 1,6-litre engine developing 150kW. Kia no doubt has a commanding edge in the market right now with their new range of vehicles, from the little Cerato, to the Optima in the mid-range, and new enhanced Sorento representing their SUV product.
One of the most eye-catching cars on the show was the Honda NSX Concept, a sleek, low-slung two-door sports car. Supercar, if you may. The best part about it, and why it gets a mention is that Honda have confirmed its production, and it’s expected to make its global debut during the course of 2015.
And now, for the stand that attracted the most crowd; Jaguar Land Rover.
Jaguar Land Rover made a strong statement at the show with their range of vehicles, pulling massive crowds at any given time. Unveiling the new XJR, F-Type and the XFR-S which becomes the new flagship of an invigorated XF range, and the fastest sedan they have ever produced. The luxury car has a claimed top speed of 300km/h – how about that?
It’s a completely new take on the SUV, and key to its makeover are significant improvements, like the new all-aluminium architecture – moving away from the Discovery based chassis of the previous version, which sees it shed 420 kg, air suspension which causes delivery of exceptional ride comfort on any surface, as well as a whole host of advanced updates.
What does the makeover mean for the new Range, you ask? In short, no SUV can match it for response and agility. It is the fastest, most agile, most responsive vehicle Land Rover has ever made. Along with this, the Range Rover Sport has been designed to be impeccably composed and refined. That’s definitely more than what you get from your partner when makeovers are concerned.
The Range Rover Sport comes to our shores in a range of three engines – two supercharged petrol engines (5.0 litre 375 kW V8 and the new 3.0 litre 250 kW V6) and a 215 kW 3.0 litre SDV6 diesel engine. All petrol paired with an advanced, 8-speed automatic gearbox.
All in all a great show with something for everyone – just not the girls at the show…