How can one not think of the Daryl at a time like this!? Yes, I’m talking about the impressively elegant middle-order batsman who most pundits say never reached his full potential, instead being best remembered as Shane Warne’s ‘bunny’ every time he took guard against Australia. The lux SUV of the same name seems certain to suffer a similar fate. As massive as it is massively impressive (certainly on the inside) and probably great to drive, no one seems to be able to get away from that unsightly exterior. Granted, you cannot deny it’s a Roller: the way they’ve welded the Phantom’s bluff fizhog onto a high-body platform, given it a massive glasshouse like a generation-ago Range Rover, and kept a pseudo three-box layout like the Phantom limousine. However, as is so often the case with things, 99% of us will never be able to afford such a thing, so it doesn’t really matter what us, the proletariat, think. As long as the Saudi sheiks, Russian mob and Hollywood glitterati who have 275 000 Euro (R4 million) to spend approve, that’s all that matters. Expect deliveries to begin at the end of 2018.
6.75-litre V12 – and not an electric motor in sight
Formula 1 aficionados will never forget the racing marque bearing the name of legendary New Zealander and three-times world champion, Jack Brabham. One of the handful of men in the sport who drove and constructed his own Grand Prix vehicle, the Brabham team won constructors’ championships in the sixties and again in the eighties when Bernie Eccelstone ran the operation with South African chief designer Gordon Murray. With such revered heritage, Brabham has made a revival in the 21st century, not in the complicated turbo hybrid era of F1 mind you, but rather with a track-focussed supercar. The BT62 is the brainchild of Jack’s son, David, himself a former Le Mans 24 Hour winner and F1 race driver, and is in keeping with the current fixation on trackday supercars. You know the ones we mean, cars like the Aston Martin Valkyrie, Adrian Newey’s Red Bull RB and Mercedes-AMG Project One… The list goes on, as does the high-speed trickery in this Brabham’s armory. We’re talking a weight of just 975 kg, in excess of 500 kW from a naturally aspirated V8 built by Brabham themselves (once again, no hybridity in sight), coupled with motorsport-spec aerodynamic performance and what you have is a genuine hypercar – a garagiste capable of taking it to the big-budget manufacturers, just like Brabham used to do in its Grand Prix glory days. No performance figures or pricing is confirmed just yet but we’re anticipating 0-100km/h in 2.8sec, a top speed in the 330 km/h bracket, and a blistering laptime at any race circuit you care to mention. Just 70 will be made.
35 cars – will be delivered in historical Brabham liveries
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Every year the VeeDub faithful descend on Worthersee in Austria in a Mecca-like pilgrimage of paunchy blokes looking at Golfs in a field. Volkswagen cottoned onto the marketability of this event many moons ago (they’ve been meeting for 37 years), producing bespoke concepts and revealing real-life production Golfs every year, to the rapturous response of the fans. Now they’ve done it again, with the fastest road-going Golf ever, called the GTI TCR. That’s TCR after the Touring Car Racing series in which Volkswagen competes, but this won’t be a stripped out track-only machine, instead a Clubsport S that’s sort of been adapted back for road use. So, 213 kW, DSG gearbox, mechanical limited-slip differential up front and 20mm lower ride height. Lovely.
270 km/h – GTI TCR’s top speed with the limiter removed
BMW M2 Competition
New year, new limited edition BMW M2, but let’s flick our cynicism back a smidge, shall we, because the M2 is a wonderful vehicle and deserves as many encores as BMW M is willing to throw at it. This right here is a double whammy: the M2 Competition model fitted with a range of M Performance parts to make it look as racy as it drives. 20mm lower ride with adjustable dampers, upgraded brakes, a titanium exhaust that saves 8kg, lightweight 19-inch rims save 3kg at each corner, and a carbonfibre bonnet, roof and tailgate shed 15kg cumulatively. Then there’s purely aesthetic stuff like the modified kidney grille, rear diffuser, spoiler and M colours which are oh-so Chatsworth. Thankfully, the Competition model itself does offer uprated power and performance: 301 kW from its twin-turbo straight six. Serious schnell, indeed!
4.0 sec dead – 0-100km/h sprint time of the M DCT
On balance the ES sedan has arguably always been the best value Lexus, even if you weren’t just an Uber Black driver. Essentially a rebadged and poshed-up Toyota Avalon, the newly revealed model actually replaces the phased out GS which competed with the mighty Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series with little luck. Now the Japanese automaker has consolidated its affairs with this attractive, value for money sedan. Longer, lower and wider than the previous ES, it should be well received in China, Russia and any other BRICS nations. Naturally aspirated and hybrid petrol motors will be the only drivetrains.
Safety system + – new pedestrian detection device
To give it its full title, here’s introducing the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept, a big ol’ SUV that clearly wishes to emulate the Rolls-Royce Cullinan you read about two pages ago. One overt difference, however, is the Maybach’s adoption of a sloped notchback instead of the bluff, squared off edges of the Roller. It also pretends to go the full plug-in hybrid route, with a flat floor to house electric batteries and separate electric motors in each wheel effectively making it four-wheel drive. Which SUV deserves an automatic entry into Pimp my Ride: the Mercedes-Maybach, Rolls-Royce or Bentley Bentayga? Perish the thought.
Five minutes – its fast-charging capabilities
BMW M5 Competition
You read all about the all-new BMW M5 with xDrive in last month’s Motor and saw that it was good; with its armory of active M differentials and adaptable four-wheel drive we described it as cracking the ‘code of the curve’. Very good, well done BMW and hundreds of you have probably gone and placed orders for one. But then, not even a month later, they’ve dropped this one on everyone’s laps. The beefed-up, hunkered-up, fightier M5 Competition. BMW, this is too much, you can’t bring another version out so soon, it damages brand equity, to use marketing speak BMW M owners will understand. Nevertheless, here it is, your 458 kW M5 with an even wider torque spread. 0.3 of a second has been shaved off its 0-100 km/h sprint time, its 10% stiffer, 7mm lower than the standard car and the adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars have been recalibrated for a racier feel in Sport Plus mode. Aesthetically all the gloss black bits fore and aft announce it as the Competition model. One thing, we’re not so sure about those thin-spoke rims. Bring back the deep dishes of the E39 M5.
3.3 sec – 0-100 km/h sprint of this pumped up super saloon