Whatever the trials and tribulations awaiting South Africans in 2024 - and Eskom wasted no idea in dousing the lights - it is a busy year for the auto industry with plenty of new and updated product heading to market.
So, here is a short teaser of torque titillation outlining some of what is in store.
On the CHANGECARS schedule the launch season kicks off with the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and this followed just days later by the GLE SUV and Coupe - and as this is mere weeks away, we will bring you full details and pricing as they are launched.
There was quite a lot of talk last year about the prospect of a Renault one-ton bakkie - the Oroch - but it appears economic conditions have made this unfavourable and the launch has been shelved for the time being.
However, expect to see a facelift for the Renault Kiger, probably in the second quarter along with an update to the Triber, while the feasability numbers are being crunched on the introduction of the third-generation Duster - launched as the Dacia Duster in Europe last last year.
Unconfirmed at this stage are the possible launches of the Arcana SUV and updates versions of the Kangoo and Trafic commercial vehicles.
Ford started to spread its passenger wings late last year with the introduction of the Puma and this continues in 2024 with the latest generation Mustang and the like introduction of the Territory that will play in the same sandpit as Toyota’s RAV4 and other similar SUV’s.
South African models are likely to get the1,8-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol enginemated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
Both the Torneo Custom passenger hauler and Transit Custom panel van are likely to be refreshed and upgraded during the course of the year.
Mazda is also going big in 2024 and the first of its offering will likely be the CX-60 Takumi that is an addition to the range and sports a V6 turbo-diesel engine. Going bigger, is the CX-80 that is a narrow-body version of the 7-seater CX-90.
The latter half of the year could well see upgrades to the CX-3 and CX-5.
BMW is hinting at releasing four new products as well as several updates to existing models lines and the eighth-generation 5 Series will start the action during the first quarter to be followed in the second quarter by the X2.
For some time BMW has been ramping up its Rosslyn plant to take on the manufacture of the all-new X3 plug-in hybrid model - this still to be revealed to overseas audiences - while at the harcore end, the M3 Touring is on the cards along with refreshes to the 3 Series and 4 Series.
MINI has a relatively quiet 2023 but is going big this year with the all-new Hatch and Countryman introducing and new platform for the Hatch (currently only in BEV form) and the Countryman being based on the BMW X1 platform.
Black is the new black for Audi with Black Editions of the Q2, A3, S3, Q3, A5, S5 and Q5 all expected to ease out the darkness during the year, while Urban editions are likely for the A3 Sportback and Q2.
A big change, though, is the familiar A4 will be phased out to be replaced by the A5 - Audi now using even numbers on its nomenclature to identify electric versions.
Volkswagen will be launch-busy and are introducing the facelifted Touareg and T-Cross, the later likely around the middle of the year.
That is just a smapler of what is likely for this year but, by no means all.
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