New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

BMW confirms X1 M package for SA

2011-01-24 08:07

SUV ‘SLEEPER’: BMW’s new xDrive28i trimmed with the M sports package (this shade of blue is part of the new ‘M’ palette too).

BMW’s new four-cylinder turbo engines should headline the local X1 range by early 2012.

Announced last week, the N52 engine will offer buyers a real entry-level alternative to BMW’s traditional in-line six forced induction engines – which have conventionally headlined the company’s 1- and 3 Series ranges.


Powering up to 180kW and 350Nm, the single-turbo, two--litre N52 engine is powerful enough to guarantee a hot-hatch humbling 0-100km/h benchmark acceleration time of only 6.1 seconds; rather rapid for an all-wheel drive SUV tipping the scales at 1 580kg…

With the N52 engine featuring twin-scroll exhaust scavenging, Valvetronic valve-lift control and dual-VANOS camshaft adjustability (all fuelled by direct injection), BMW's new blow four is hugely efficient.

BMW claims in both six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission form the xDrive28i should return 7.9 litres/100km. This equates to an improvement of 16% on the company’s non-turbo two-litre four-cylinder engine, with the new turbocharged two-litre engine adding a notable increase in performance across the entire engine speed range.

One of the new xDrive28i's most endearing features is that alongside ZF's outstanding eight-speed automatic transmission, BMW will continue to offer a six-speed manual to appease keen drivers who demand full dynamic control.


Beyond the introduction of BMW's first direct-injection forced-induction four-cylinder engine locally, fans of the Bavarian brand can also look forward to an accompanying X1 M sports package towards the end of 2011.

Comprising a range of tailored 17 and 18" wheels, revised (low-drag) bumpers and side skirts, some glossy trim for the window surrounds and obligatory M-stamped treadplates the X1 M sports package models will be prominently distinguished from their more subtle X1 siblings.

True to its comprehensive nature the full suite of X1 M sports goodies also trim the cabin, adding Alantara upholstered bucket seats and a new M-themed steering wheel and transmission shifter combination. 

Considering the xDrive28i's rampant performance potential, not optioning the M sports package trinkets should leave one with a pretty decent performance ‘sleeper’ of an SUV. Hot hatch owners, you have been warned…

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.