Beauty is not just skin deep and this is definitely true when it comes to the glamorous world of motoring. While many will head to the

    Johannesburg International Motor Show

    from October 6-16 to see the latest designs, there will be plenty to entice those who have an eye for technology.

    It is not simply about engine technology, although there will be plenty of insight into the drivetrains of the future, there will also be the latest in carbon fibre design in vehicles that can almost be described as automotive sculptures, such as the mighty new McLaren MP4-12C. Visitors will be able to marvel at the creations that some of the world’s greatest designers have penned, whether it be the latest supercar or a superbly efficient family runabout.

    South Africa Motor Show 2011

    Every vehicle features technology, from the computer aided design that is often the birthplace of many a car, to the highly efficient gearboxes that channel the power, not to mention the future of automotive powerplants such as hybrids, electric cars and more.

    On the subject of electric cars, one of the technological stars of the show will be the new Nissan LEAF, a full electric vehicle that will make its debut on African soil at the show. The LEAF is already the proud owner of a number of accolades including being the 2011 World Car of the Year.

    It is a fully electric vehicle (EV) and is the first of a number that are planned for the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The electric motor produces 80kW and 280Nm of torque and is capable of pushing the LEAF to a top speed of 145km/h. The LEAF is set to be one of the major attractions of the show as visitors get their first glance at the type of real electric car they could be driving in the future.

    South Africa Motor Shows 2011

    If it is a glimpse into the future you want then you could see science fiction become reality as Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot returns to Johannesburg. ASIMO will be making his second visit and is expected to again be a star attraction. The name stands for Advanced Step in Innovation Mobility and in its 12th generation it can not only walk and talk but can now also run and even push trolleys and other objects around. If you have only ever seen a robot in the movies then ASIMO is a must see if you want to experience just how useful and even loveable, technology can be.

    Technology is also about the gadgets that have become such a part of our lives. Whether you cannot live without your portable satellite navigation device, your iPad or simply your mobile phone, there will be a vast array of opportunities to see the latest developments and how they can enhance your motoring lifestyle.

    Peugeot will be bringing its HR1 petrol-electric concept vehicle to the show which features the latest and coolest in infotainment systems. If you though remote controls on the steering wheel were cool then how about being able to change your settings with just a wave of the hand. The HR1 has an innovative new console that allows you to scroll through radio stations, settings and menus by sweeping your hand from left to right and then simply turning your hand to select other options.

    Mercedes-Benz will be also be bringing some of its latest innovations to the show, such as the unique Magic Sky Control roof on the brand new SLK. This glass component of the popular vario folding roof can be changed at the touch of a button. One second it can be dark to keep out the light, the next you can make it completely clear to provide that open air feeling even in the coldest winter environment.

    South Africa Motor Shows

    There will also be the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicle, which has recently taken part in a roadshow around the world. It will be one of the first opportune ties to see a genuine fuel cell vehicle in South Africa and visitors will be able to see another way in which automakers are tackling the challenges of powering the vehicles of the future.

    Back to the roads of today though and there will be many other opportunities to see just what technology is available in your local showroom now, and what will be arriving in the next couple of years.

    BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme has changed the way we view the internal combustion engine, with the German automaker able to have made huge strides in improving the efficiency of the vehicles we drive today, while in many cases also improving the dynamics for which the marque is so renowned.

    South Africa 2011 Motor Shows

    It will not be the only company showing just how much progress the automotive industry has made though. Mercedes-Benz will showcase some of its BlueEfficiency models and Volkswagen will also have the latest from its BlueMotion range.

    Hybrid technology will also be in abundance with the likes of Honda, Lexus and Toyota all showing their latest products.

    Regardless of whether you are a techno fan or a technophobe, Johannesburg International Motor Show at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, will be the place to be if you want to know not just about the cars you could drive today, but also the cars and the lifestyle you could be enjoying tomorrow.

    SLK ( R172 ) 2010