The latest on South Africa's entry into the electric car field – the Joule – is that the vehicle's multi-year delay in production might cause it to "miss the boat" in having an impact on the country's place in the new green car universe.
This business with Uwe Gemballa just keeps getting sketchier and sketchier with each passing day. And by business, we mean business.
Looks like the dyke's about to burst on the new Pagani C9, Horacio Pagani's cat-out-of-the-bag replacement for the legendary Zonda. Long story short, the Zonda is over ten years-old. The new C9 will be lighter, faster and sport better dynamics. Powering the new hypercar is a special, developed just for Pagani version of AMG's lovable 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12. In C9 trim this motor should belt out 700 horsepower. Yowza. Plus, it halfway looks like Michael Keaton's Batmobile.
Porschephiles and automotive enthusiasts the world over recognize the name Gemballa. The German tuning house has been responsible for some of the most extreme creations on four wheels and has been a well-respected brand for decades. Now reports indicate that Uwe Gemballa, founder and head of the namesake aftermarket tuner, has gone missing.
There's only so much testing that an automaker can undertake behind closed gates before the prototypes need to hit the open road. Consequently, automakers continue to devise all manner of camouflage and body cladding to keep prying eyes from seeing what they're working on. Horacio Pagani, however, seems to have a different approach. The independent Italian-Argentine purveyor of top-shelf supercars simply slaps the old bodywork on the new prototype and – presto! – nothing to see here.
2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 - Click above for high-res image gallery
A stretch-limo Vespa may still garner a fist to the face, but this attention-grabbing idea is better than the last flash of brilliance Vespa South Africa Managing Director Andy Reid put into action. That plan involved fake parking tickets being placed guerrilla-style on large vehicles to drive the point about Vespa's fuel efficient image.
Volkswagen CitiGolf – Click above for high-res image gallery
The world's surface is covered in once-great racing circuits. Take Kyalami, for example. Over the course of seven decades during the last century, the world-renowned racing circuit on the outskirts of Johannesburg hosted Formula One races. But the last one was held there in 1993, and since then it's been known as the former home of the South African Grand Prix. These days it's only used for A1GP and some minor racing series events. So when a private track club was being set up in South Africa, w
Click above for a gallery of the Optimal Joule
Click above for gallery of the Barnard Endurance Racer Prototype from South Africa
Even though word slipped out early about their upcoming all-electric car appearing at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Optimal Energy played its cards pretty close to its chest and kept their web presence on the down low. Now that the world has been officially introduced to the MPV-sized Joule, the South African company has completely redone its website so we can now better examine their creation and learn more of its features. They have also released video of the car's presentation to a select audien
The script for selling one of these "automated revenue enhancement devices" to a municipality might go something like "and the best feature of the Robthepopulace 3000 is that it never makes a mistake - machines don't lie!" Tell that to Thomas, who received a citation in the mail after a South African traffic camera nabbed his VW Polo "clearly traveling in excess of the 60 km/h limit." Right. Technically, the camera is not lying, but machines are incapable of interpreting on their own, otherwise
click above for more images of the current Ranger sold outside the US
GM's on a mission to take over the South African market. Just one day after the first HUMMER H3s rolled off the assembly line at GM's Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth, General Motors today announced it's bringing Cadillac to South Africa.
Remember those asinine SMART billboards that read, "German engineering. Swiss styling. American Nothing." in South Africa? Finally DaimlerChrysler saw them for the PR nightmare that they were and banished them to the bottom of a deep garbage pit.
Apparently the American auto industry's reputation is particularly worthless in South Africa as this billboard ad for the SMART forfour shot on the side of the road near Johannesburg portends. It glibly reads, "German engineering, Swiss innovation, American nothing." The parent company of SMART, DaimlerChrysler, happens to be a "German-American" multinational corporation, so the fortwo has deeper ties to these United States than this billboard and SMART's ad agency suggest.