ALL ROADS in Gauteng lead to the Johannesburg International Motor Show today at the Expo Centre, Nasrec. The show gets under way with many amazing stands that will showcase the latest models and major announcements and at least one global launch.
Petrolheads are in for one of the most spectacular shows to date and with so many concept cars and new models at this international show from around the world, it promises to be a true motoring extravaganza.
One of the biggest announcements at Africa's biggest motoring show has been from Ford. Two new Ford models are destined for local introduction.
The Ford Fusion was revealed ahead of its official South African debut in the coming 12 months, while the new full-size Transit will also be making its way to South Africa in the first half of next year.
A major attraction is the Ford Evos Concept which demonstrates the future of Ford's smart mobility.
Seen for the first time in South Africa, the Ford Evos Concept represents the ultimate expression of Ford's new global design language and explores key future powertrain and vehicle technologies.
The Fusion will feature new high-efficiency Ford EcoBoost powertrains.
"The Fusion will take up its position as the flagship model in the company's portfolio when introduced in South Africa in the future," president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Jeff Nemeth said.
Visitors to the Johannesburg International Motor Show will also be able to view the Transit Connect, recently named the international van of the year, which has not yet been confirmed for local introduction.
Also on display is a concept kit showcased on the Built Ford Tough Ford Ranger.
There will be a world premiere at the show from Renault.
The Renault Duster Détour is a spectacular show-car, the alter ego of the much-acclaimed new Renault Duster SUV line-up which was launched in South Africa mid-September.
Renault Duster Détour is the fruit of an intense collaborative work between Renault Design Central Europe and a specialised South African design studio based in Johannesburg.
KMSA will be unveiling the new Cerato Hatch as well as the all new Cerato 2-door Koup at this year's show. The big news is the all-new Cerato Koup.
It's swooping roof-line and large wheels give this vehicle an athletic and aggressive stance.
It features a brand new 1,6-litre GDI turbocharged four-cylinder engine which produces 152kW at 6000rpm and 264Nm of torque between 1750 and 4500rpm.
The launch of the MG3 supermini has certainly made this year an exciting one for MG.
South African MG chief operating officer Craig Lanham-Love says the new MG3 "is a stylish, highly practical car that is huge fun to drive and fun to own".
Four models will be available to choose from, with a full range of options and accessories.
Toyota South Africa has pulled out all the stops for the show. More than 18 cars will be on display. Motorsport fans will be heading straight to the stand to see the amazing TS030 Hybrid driven by Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin, which finished second at this year's gruelling 24-hour Le Mans race.
The Toyota Hilux, driven by Dakar Rally legend, Giniel de Villiers will also be a must see.
The Toyota 86 Open Concept will be at the show.
Lexus South Africa will be displaying its blisteringly quick and equally beautiful LFA sports car at the show but it will also pull the wraps off its latest sedan model, the Lexus ES 250.
Along with some of the brand's existing range, the Infiniti stand will play host to a preview of a brand new product along with the revered limited edition Infiniti FX Vettel Version.
Designed and modified to great extent by triple F1 championship winner and Infiniti performance director Sebastian Vettel, the Infiniti FX Vettel Version doesn't just feature his name on the badge but is "a really special car", says Infiniti South Africa general manager George Stegmann.
"Our relationship with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team grows stronger every day and it is the likes of the Infiniti FX Vettel Version which emerge as a glorious showcase of two mighty brands merging forces.
"Our involvement with the Formula 1 team is extremely valuable and we are very lucky to be introducing the Infiniti FX Vettel Version to South Africa in unbelievably limited numbers," Stegmann said.
Mercedes-Benz will show their flagship model, "the best automobile" in the world – the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class – at the show. In its first year the new S-Class line-up features: one petrol hybrid version, the S 400 Hybrid; one petrol model, the S 500; and a diesel variant: S 350 BlueTEC.
All models boast class-leading efficiency and up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series.
With two imminent sedans, a compact crossover and more new products on the way in the next 6-10 months, GWM's model line-up is about to expand significantly, particularly into segments where the brand has not had a major presence.
GWM will display no fewer than 13 models, including its current range of Steed single and double-cabs, the recently refreshed H5 and the brand new C20R crossover hatchback.
In addition to these, several new models destined for the South African market in the coming months, including the C30 and C50 sedans, M4 crossover and H6 SUV.
At the General Motors South Africa stand the forthcoming Chevrolet Sonic RS has been announced as one of the stars of the show.
Forming part of an exclusive special vehicle twosome for the show, the Sonic RS is the new jewel in the Sonic range.
Due for South African release in the first quarter of next year, the Sonic RS adds performance flavour to the Sonic range, the five-door hatchback featuring a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet with a 103 kW of power.
Also on the General Motors stand will be the updated Chevrolet Cruze hatchback which goes on sale soon. The Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV will also get a mild makeover and will be displayed ahead of its launch next year.
Opel will be showing its new Astra sedan as well as its scorching Corsa OPC Nurburgring Edition.
The latest generation of the popular Isuzu KB bakkie will be on display.
Volkswagen has conceptualised an even more fuel-efficient Cross Coupé concept vehicle. It is powered by an alliance of a turbodiesel direct-injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors.
Its combined fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a sensationally low of 1.8 l/100km.
Noteworthy here is the fact that the Cross Coupé is a powerful SUV with a top speed of 220km/h, 225kW of power (system power) and a kerb weight of 1858kg.
Volkswagen also presents a special edition iBeetle, which is based on a full integration of the iPhone and the Beetle.
In the iBeetle, the iPhone is fully capable of communicating with the vehicle and exchange data back and forth.
The iBeetle uses a specially developed docking station and a unique app called "Volkswagen Car-Net The Beetle".
This makes the Beetle the first model in the Volkswagen Group in which the iPhone will become an integrated component.
Volkswagen has electrified its model range with the introduction of the brand's first production electric vehicle, e-up!.
Creating a double impact on the e-mobility stage, the four-door city car will soon be followed by another zero-emission Volkswagen, the e-Golf that was also unveiled at the IAA Frankfurt Motorshow.
The Jetta Hybrid is powered by a high-tech petrol engine (TSI with 110kW) and a zero-emissions electric motor (20kW). Although this combination facilitates powerful driving performances (0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds), the new Jetta Hybrid takes centre stage with a combined fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100km (or 95 g/km CO2). This means that the sporty sedan consumes about 20% less fuel than a comparably powered car with a conventional drive system.
Also on the stand is the Golf TDI BlueMotion which is said to be one of the most fuel-efficient cars of our time.
This Golf is powered by a new direct-injection turbodiesel (TDI) with 81kW. The four-cylinder engine has a claimed fuel consumption of only 3.2 l/100km.
Also on the stand is a sporty special edition model of the Scirocco, the new GTS.
Distinctive features of the GTS include individualised exterior and interior in a sporty style. A reminder of the original model is the golf ball gear lever which originally made its debut in the MK1 Golf GTI, but between 1982 and 1984 it was also adorned by the Scirocco GTS.
With the launch of the latest model, Volkswagen is creating a link between the two eras of what was probably the most famous Volkswagen accessory of the 70s and 80s. The GTS coupé will only be available with the 2.0 TSI 155kW engine mated to 6-speed DSG transmission.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles present a special edition of its Amarok double cab model range, which combines design elements that are as extroverted and elegant, with exceptionally high quality, bold interior and exterior details.
The show stopper on the stand is the Amarok Worthersee concept.
The V6 TDI engine has enormous torque of 600Nm which is distributed via eight-speed automatic transmission to the four permanently driven wheels.
Last but not least is the Cross Caddy.
With the introduction of the Cross Caddy, Volkswagen South Africa is extending its popular Cross Lifestyle model range which is currently only available in Polo model range in South Africa.
With its distinctive design elements and exclusive 17-inch wheels with size 205/50 R 17 tyres, this Caddy differs significantly from other derivatives.
In addition, the Cross Caddy will be available in the new "viper green" colour.
The new BMW i3, which is scheduled to be introduced in South Africa next year, will on the show. With its passenger cell made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and BMW eDrive technology designed to deliver zero-emission driving, the first series-produced model from the BMW i brand heralds a new era in mobility.
A new chapter in the history of elegantly sporty, two-door BMWs, meanwhile, will begin with the BMW 4 Series Coupé. Likewise setting the pace in its class will be the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and Gran Turismo.
Also on show at the 2013 JIMS will be the locally produced BMW 3 Series Sedan and the recently launched BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.
Opening up a new dimension of dynamics with impressively powerful engines from BMW's M Performance and M Division will be the BMW M135i, BMW M5 Sedan as well as the BMW M6 Gran Coupé with the new competition package.
The BMW Z4, which represents an alluringly contemporary interpretation of the traditional roadster concept, can also be seen.
The name Maxus is still fairly new to South Africa – the company was launched locally just over a year ago, in August last year – but internationally the brand is well-established with a proven record for reliability.
Locally Maxus is distributed and sold by Mandarin Motors, which also encompasses MGSA (MG South Africa). There are currently 12 dedicated Maxus dealers spread throughout South Africa.
Pride of place in new model terms will go to the exciting Honda Civic Tourer, which will make its South African debut only weeks after its international unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Also to be seen are the new Honda Accord, the Club Brio and the Civic WTCC race car which emphasises Honda's winning motorsport heritage.
Audi's presence showcases the power and prowess of the Audi model range with the debut of several high performance machines. Shown for the first time in South Africa is the new S3 Sportback. Also on display is the new Audi R8 V10 plus the RS 4 Avant and RS5 Cabriolet.
The Citroen GQ Concept was born through a unique partnership between the UK's GQ magazine and a team of CitroŽn designers, collaborating to create the ultimate gentleman's drive.
The GT theme was integrated with a typical Citroen design approach.
CitroŽn GQ Concept combines classically sophisticated features and contemporary styling with a sculpted front end, rounded rear, strong body contours and sleek concave rear windscreen, a signature CitroŽn design.