Chery picking and Landy upgrades

30 November 2012 - 02:34 By Quickpic

Chery, the leading Chinese car exporter, is extending its South African range with the introduction of the J3 five-door hatchback.

Attractively styled by the Italian design studio Pininfarina, the J3 is a spacious and well- equipped B-segment contender.

It costs a competitive R179900 and there is just one model in the local range, the highly-specced TXE.

"We previewed the J3 at the Johannesburg Motor Show last year and it was very well received," said Chery SA managing director Brett Soso.

"Subsequently, while conducting local evaluation and testing we have continued to test the reaction of potential customers at shopping mall displays; here, too, the response has been favourable. We are using the theme 'judge a book by its cover' for the introduction of the J3 and we believe this slogan says it all about the sleek good looks of our newcomer, which has an aerodynamic drag coefficient of only 0.32," said Soso. The J3 sedan will be added next year.

The Chery J3 is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, designed and developed by the Austrian powertrain specialists, AVL, in conjunction with Chery's own engineers.

The engine complies with Euro IV emission regulations and produces 87kW of power at 6150rpm, with maximum torque of 147Nm between 4300 and 4500rpm.

Power goes to the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. Roadholding and handling are impressive. "The secret is the independent, multilink rear suspension with an anti-rollbar, which has been developed with the steering system by the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) of the UK, in conjunction with the Chery R&D team."

The Chery J3 is one of the first Chinese cars on sale in SA to be fitted with six airbags.

The all-disc braking system has ABS and electronic braking distribution (EBD).

The J3 achieved a 5-star rating in the Chinese equivalent of the Euro-NCAP safety test. The list of standard equipment includes black leather seats and trim, climate control, MP3 compatible audio system with USB port and six speakers, alloy wheels and electric windows.

Land Rover

Land Rover has given the Freelander 2 a premium overhaul, delivering even better comfort, convenience and driving enjoyment.

New derivatives, colours, exterior design features, upgraded equipment levels and continued choice of refined and economical diesel engines, all contribute to making this SUV even better.

Interior equipment levels have been boosted with a host of features including a new centre console, 7-inch colour touch-screen, enhanced audio systems from Meridian and satellite navigation.

Passive start replaces the key dock and there's a new "intelligent" electric parking brake which adjusts brake force according to the slope the vehicle is parked on.

"Say What You See" - a voice activation system with visual prompts comes as part of the satellite navigation system, and rear-view camera capability, are also new to the Freelander 2.

Exterior design details have been revamped for an integrated and coordinated appearance, including more contemporary lights at the rear using the latest LED technology, and a new LED signature graphic in the front running lights.

"The Freelander 2's equipment levels bring a more premium look and feel to the overall driving experience. In addition, our customers continue to benefit from our refined and economical range of diesel engines and an exciting new 2.0 Si4 turbo, direct-injection petrol engine," said Land Rover global brand director John Edwards.

"It's another step forward for the Freelander 2 in which outstanding equipment levels, superb design, safety and all-terrain capability continue to set the standards in this class." The turbo petrol engine replaces the 3.2 Si6 engine. Producing 177kW at 5500rpm, the 2.0 Si4 Turbocharged motor offers flexible delivery as well as weight and packaging advantages over the outgoing six thanks to its all-aluminium construction.

This aids dynamic agility while, of course, bringing further emissions and economy benefits.

The petrol Freelander 2 accelerates to 100km/h in 8.8 seconds and goes on to 200km/h while at the same time achieving 9.6l/100km on the EU combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 224g/km.