There are some pretty shady repossession companies in the world and “reality” shows like Lizard Lick Towing and Operation Repo dramatize some of the shady actions. Well, apparently in South Africa, they take repossessing a car to a whole new level.
A customer took his brand new BMW 320d to a dealership due to defective air conditioning. The dealer never fixed the car to the customer’s liking, so the customer left the 320d at the dealership until either the issue was fixed or he was issued a replacement car. In the meantime, BMW gave him a loaner 325.
There was some kind of misunderstanding between the customer and BMW about how long he was allowed to use the loaner car for, as BMW had tried multiple times to recover said loaner. Well, this last time, BMW sent Netstar to his house armed with guns and a helicopter hovering overhead and allegedly forced the customer to turn over the keys.
After turning over the keys, the customer got a court order forcing the BMW dealer to give him back the loaner car and both sides will have to present their case in front of the High Court within 30 days for a final judgment. The customer claims that BMW said that he could keep the loaner car until the situation is resolved, but the BMW dealer is claiming that the case may take up to three years and they would never loan a car for that long.
In all, this is a messy situation for the dealership and BMW as a whole. We think it might be time for BMW’s corporate offices to step in and just handle this situation and give the customer a new car with correctly operating A/C. It’ll be a small price to pay to keep negative press from spreading too far.
At its core, the language of motorsport racing knows no boundaries. Anywhere you go, it’s all predicated on the same premise of being faster than your competition.
But one thing that changes depending on the circumstances are the cars that compete in such races. Over in South Africa, there’s a series called the SA Production Car Championship. One of the teams competing in the series is ADF Motorsport and recently, they, together with partner BMW South Africa, unveiled the prized steed that will be racing under their banner for the 2012 season.
The car, an F30 BMW 335i, is making history of sorts as the very first F30 3-Series racing car in the world, making it noteworthy on a lot of levels.
Developed by ADF Motorsport in collaboration with BMW SA, the F30 335i was given plenty of modifications to adhere to series regulations. In order to keep the car in its intended weight of just over 1,360 kg, ADF opted to replace plenty of the built-in parts on the car with carbon fiber taken from BMW’s new M Performance aftermarket options. Likewise, a new Akrapovic exhaust system was also installed with the car also getting 370mm M Performance front disc brakes, a new set of 18" BBS rims, and an N55 TwinPower turbocharged engine.
As far as the powertrain is concerned, SA Production Car regulations prohibited ADF Motorsport from giving the car any performance enhancements. Nevertheless, the addition of a modified engine management system, a new turbocharger, and the new Akrapovic exhaust system gives the F30 335i enough power - 402 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque - to be competitive in the racing series.
Okay, so the stigma surrounding Mel Gibson as of late isn’t exactly earning him any brownie points, but the popularity of the post-Apocalyptic, "western" type Mad Max films hasn’t gone away. In fact, a couple of Mad Max vehicles were recently spotted in the Port Kembla awaiting transport to Africa. Apparently, the big news is that Director George Miller is off to the races yet again, working on Mad Max 4: Road Fury (2014) and these cars were being shipped for filming. Sorry, Ford Mad Max Interceptor, looks like your invitation to the party hasn’t arrived yet.
Despite the heavy security attached to the Africa-bound Mad Max vehicles, it looks like the shipment consisted of an army of off-road buggies and a posse of menacing-looking trucks. Next to these more rugged vehicles was the juiced-up Ford Falcon XB GT coupe driven in the original movie.
The fact that the cars were shipped to Africa and not Australia is confirmation that the fourth movie will most likely feature a totally different story than the previous films.
One of the beautiful things about being a host of Top Gear – among other things, of course – is the chance to get behind the wheel of some of the most insane machines on the planet. Whether it’s a high-powered go-kart or a sports car dressed as a gypsy tent, there’s no shortage of vehicles that can escape the sharp eyes – and impeccable driving – of Clarkson, Hammond, and May.
But of all the cars that they’ve driven in their time as Top Gear hosts, there’s a good chance that they’ve never seen anything quite like the Marauder. Built in South Africa by the Paramount Group, the Marauder is quite arguably the baddest, meanest, and gnarliest set of wheels we’ve ever seen.
The gargantuan machine was even featured in the pilot episode of Top Gear’s 17th season, where folks from the Paramount Group asked Richard Hammond to drive the vehicle in some of the most impossible stunts known to cars. There’s no shortage of cupcake stunts here; the car was driven over, around, and just about all other directions to determine whether it can live up to its name as the world’s toughest vehicle. It even went through a McDonalds drive-thru so Hammond could order a burger and survived a lion attack.
It took a few years in the making, but if we’ve learned anything from the automotive industry, it’s always better to be late than to never show up to the party at all.
So after making its debut at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, followed by a lengthy delay in its release date, the Zagato-built Perana Z-One is finally ready for its production debut.
Hailing from South Africa, the Perana Z-One is the result of a joined collaboration between Zagato and Perana Performance Group. There’s no word yet on the official release date of the South African sports car, but there have been some rumblings that we might get to see the Z-One for the first time since Geneva in 2009 at the Festival of Speed this coming July in the UK.
Now that we know that the two-seater sports car is well on its way to production, we may need to start saving our hard-earned money to be able to get a piece of one of the 999 Z-One’s scheduled to be built.
The Zwartkops track, outside Pretoria South Africa, was ablaze with modified M cars and other exotic metal. Contenders were out to break the fastest times set in the various classes, determined by engine type, horsepower, and driveline options.
Everything from E30 M3s to Ultima GTRs were in attendance and that made for very interesting racing. The track itself has a 2.4km lap with medium to low speed corners, ideal for amateur racing (check out the layout image). The group of guys were from all walks of life and had varying levels of experience. Season campaigners Stuart Kidgell (the Flying Doctor) and Manny Ribeiro were quick from the outset, posting times close to the magical one minute mark. The lap record is a 58.839 pass held by Andre Bezuidenhout in a Dallara F1 Cosworth machine. The Trafoyer brothers had a good showing with elder sibling Mike in his E36 M3 Turbo taking overall honors. The Ultima came in second for the day with Marco Viera rounding off the podium in his E36 M3 Turbo.
The racing was very entertaining thanks to good inter rivalries in the club and a somewhat gung ho approach! TopSpeed got to ride shotgun in a race-prepped E36 M3 baring the colors of Johnny Cecotto for a full session.
South Africa’s BMW Roslyn plant will officially launch a new, limited edition version of the much fabled BMW 3-Series sedan. This edition will be called the "Dynamic Edition’ and will be available only in the four-cylinder 320i petrol and 320d turbo diesel and the turbocharged straight-six 335i sedans. The ceiling for these models will be set at 300 vehicles.
The ‘Dynamic Edition’ models combine elements from the M-Sport package as well as some from the BMW Performance program such as a carbon fiber front air dam splitter, side mirror add-on’s, and a rear spoiler. It will come in Alpine White, Blue Water Metallic, and Space Grey Metallic exterior paint finishes with royal blue piping in the floor mats. The seats will come with Blue Shadow cloth and alcantara upholstery with royal blue stitching. The Dynamic package will also see engine software upgrades to improve performance for the limited edition sedan. The package is rounded off with dark chrome 18-inch alloy wheels and dark chrome tail pipes.