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We preview the JHB Motor Show

2008-10-01 11:17
Carmakers are gearing up to make the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) an extravaganza not to be missed. The line-up includes an array of concept vehicles and future products.

Here's a list of what to look out for at the show.

Alfa Romeo:
Alfa hopes to wow the crowds with their sexy MiTo, a premium three-door mini-hatch which is at the forefront of the brand’s future model offensive. It will be coming to SA early in 2009 and this latter-day Junior will be the most affordable Alfa on the market.

Audi will theme their stand 'Progressive Performance' so expect lots of cars with an 'S' in the nomenclature and at least one with an 'R'. There will also be at least two surprises but Audi aren’t letting on what they’ll be just yet.

The A3 and A6 facelifts are a likelihood, with the A3 scheduled for a local launch before the end of 2008 and A6 in January next year. The all-new RS6 (due here early in 2009, too) could also be in attendance and don't act too surprised if you spot an S4  at the exhibit.

And don't forget about the Q5, debuting in SA in the first quarter of 2009...

Centre stage on BMW’s stand will be taken by the new 7 Series, which heralds a shift in design with fluid lines and more resolved styling from front to rear. It arrives in South Africa in February 2009.

BMW SA has said the Paris show-stopping Concept X1 won't be present, but the 3 Series facelift is almost certain. 

Chverolet will be offering plenty of American-style eye candy. The 372-kW Corvette Z06 will certainly get your attention, but arguably the Camaro will be a bigger showstopper. It started life as a concept but eventually made it into production and muscle car fans will love the way its styling harks back to the ’66 original.

The rumour mill also has it that General Motors’ exhibits could include the Chevrolet Cruze - a Corolla/Jetta competitor to be shown at the Paris Motor Show for the first time.


Ford’s display will revolve around the daringly-styled next generation Fiesta, coming to SA mere weeks after its European launch. Its JIMS reveal will take place immediately after the local media launch.

And who knows, perhaps Ford will stun South Africans with a preview of the all-new Bantam bakkie too?


Great Wall Motors is set to offer an eclectic mix of vehicles. GWM will be showcasing an electrically-powered version of the tiny Peri, a “cut-away” version of the Hover SUV which reveals its safety features, and also a limo version of the same vehicle. It seats eight passengers and boasts more fridges and televisions than Hi-Fi Corporation.


Honda will show off the new Jazz, as well as the Tourer version of the Accord – yet more proof that wagons are on the comeback trail.


We could very well see the i20 hatchback while more derivatives of the recently-launched i10 can be expected. Look out, too, for the facelifted Tucson.


The funky Soul MPV has already been confirmed for South Africa and should dominate the Kia stand at the show. The Pro_cee'd hot hatch will be displayed, too.

Mercedes will demonstrate its commitment to the environment by focusing on engine and fuel technology, displayed under the True Blue Solutions umbrella. Mercedes-Benz will be highlighting its AMG, Smart, as well as locally produced C-Class range.

Nissan is set to attract a lot of attention at JIMS with its GT-R. The high performance sports car has attracted a cult following has been hailed as the most accomplished and technologically advanced high performance car ever made by Nissan.

Nissan will also feature its environmental friendly electric Nuvu. The Nuvu sports solar panels across its all-glass roof and also uses organic and recycled materials throughout its interior.

And of course Nissan's 1400 replacement, the NP200 will be at the show too.


Peugeot’s 908 HDi wonder-car, pole-sitter and runner-up at this year’s Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, will be one of the attractions at the JIMS. The new 308 coupe cabriolet could be on display too.

As far as visual drama goes, the Laguna Coupe Concept car will dominate Renault’s JIMS stand.

From a consumer point of view though, the soon-to-be-launched Twingo and Koleos will be more relevant, as will the locally-manufactured Sandero budget hatchback.

The Logan sedan makes its South African debut at the show.

Expect Subaru to lift the lid on its new diesel derivatives of the Impreza and Forester for the South African market.

Suzuki’s new Alto city car, which was unveiled at the recent Paris Motor Show, will be shown locally at the Johannesburg Motor Show too. All the other Suzuki models introduced in SA this year, such as the Swift, Jimny and Grand Vitara, will be on display too.

Toyota is to unveil the facelifted Hilux and Fortuner models. Perhaps Toyota will suprise showgoers with a sporty version of the popular Yaris too...  

Bragging rights on the Volkswagen stand will belong to the new Scirroco. This turbocharged beauty resurrects a name first used in 1974 but out of vogue for nearly two decades. It will be in South Africa from the middle of 2009. 

Questions are still being raised as to whether Volkswagen will be bringing the Golf 6. Also on show will be the Passat CC coupe.

The Swedes' answer to the Land Rover Freelander and BMW X3 could be shown, too.

For full coverage of the show and all the info you need, visit Wheels24's dedicated JIMS website brought to you by Toyota.

The Johannesburg International Motor Show will take place at the National Exhibition Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg, from Saturday 1 November through to Sunday 9 November 2008.


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