The Johannesburg Motor Show got into full swing yesterday (Saturday, October 8) as the public made its way through the Expo Centre gates for the first of nine days after the first two days had been reserved for the media and VIP guests. The show, which is one of the world’s top 20 to be staged in 2011, runs until October 16.
Among the many celebrities at the show yesterday were members of two of the most famous PSL teams in the country, Volkswagen-sponsored Moroka Swallows and Peugeot-sponsored Orlando Pirates who were doing promotional work for their sponsors.
A number of exciting concept cars and new models were unveiled during the first two days and underlined the fact that this is the biggest and best motor show ever staged in South Africa. There are also plenty of beautiful women on many of the stands to add to the glamour of the occasion.
If there was a title for “showstopper” it would probably be awarded to the incredible Chevrolet Miray concept. This carbon fibre-clad beauty is powered by electric motors as well as a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Its swooping lines are a tribute to performance Chevrolets in the past and this concept will no doubt be the subject of many photographs. The Miray was flown to South Africa straight from the Frankfurt Motor Show where it had also been a big hit.
Audi’s E -Tron concept car is one vehicle that is currently wowing the crowds. Not to be outdone, rivals BMW is showing off the Vision concept as well as the exciting new M5 super saloon to the public.
On the back of the successful Polo Vivo, giants Volkswagen took the time to show off its new Vivo GT which will give the little B-segment car a nice performance edge. However rival Toyota is determined to grab some of the market share back as it took the wraps off the Indian-built Etios hatch and sedan which are expected to prove worthy competitors to the strong-selling Volkswagen budge-priced car.
The Koreans have been hard at work as usual with Kia and Hyundai both showing some interesting machines in the form of the three-door Hyundai Veloster and the Kia Optima.
If supercars are your thing, the new McLaren MC-4, several models of the latest Aston Martin range and a wide range of exotic pre-owned models, including Ferraris, an Audi R8 convertible, a classic Ford Mustang and a gullwing Mercedes-Benz SLS.
The group is also the official Rolls Royce importer and there are two examples of this imposing range, a Phantom drophead and a Ghost.
The show is the first official South African public viewing of the Lexus LFA supercar while Jaguar has an example of its fearsome XKR-S coupé on display. Audi has an example of its stunning R8 GT which is the most hardcore derivative of the iconic R8 range.
Mercedes-Benz has chopped the roof of its SLS AMG supercar, given it a matte silver paint job and the result is the Roadster, which is parked in the middle of the German manufacturer’s stand.
For the underground performance aficionados, Honda has an example of an all-new supercharged CR-Z while Toyota has a hot version of the Auris in the form of the Auris TRD. This Auris comes complete with a supercharged engine as well as an outrageous paintjob.
The show is still a flurry of activity once you head out the huge halls. Suzuki South Africa has constructed a huge stand with an outdoor extreme theme, complete with a tree house as well as its entire range of passenger cars, boats and off-road vehicles.
This is not only a show confined to passenger cars as there are also large displays of motorcycles, scooters, trucks and buses as well as selection of accessories and components.
With drifting, off-road driving as well as ride and drive opportunities, there is much to see and do at the Johannesburg Motor Show this week. The rugby is being covered each weekend on screens in the arena. Access to this facility is included in the price of the entrance ticket.
Gates open at 09:00 and close at 18:00. Tickets cost R80 for adults and R20 for children between the ages of 6-12.