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's new 3-door baby

2007-01-17 08:38
The BMW house is quite busy and they've added yet another newbie to their huge stable. Not only is there a face-lifted 5-door 1 Series model, but there's a new three-door model ready to go on sale pretty soon.

These new models include loads of new fuel-saving innovations right across the range.

All models in the range have received an increase in performance figures. The output in power increase is from as little as 10 kW right up to 16 kW of power from the 130i right up to the 118d models.

The new BMW 1 Series is claimed to be BMW's most fuel efficient production vehicle ever produced.

The BMW 118d is the most economical car in the family and has been built with even more lightweight engineering. To save weight, the car now has an aluminium crankcase. It also delivers the lowest CO2 emissions of any BMW recording at 123g/km. This puts it into the Band C category for Vehicle Excise Duty.

New styling

Both the interior and exterior have a fresh design. New styling cues include a larger kidney grille for improved airflow to the engine and darker covers over the headlamp cluster gives off a more distinguished front end.

The lower front spoiler has also been redesigned to create a larger air intake, making the spoiler protrude further for a more sporty look.

The restyled back bumper gives the impression of a wider frame, while the rear lamp cluster features a new arrangement of lights.

Customers will also be able to choose between a four-seat or a five-seat configuration inside the car.

New fuel saving technology

A new function called the Brake Energy Regeneration (iGR) makes its debut on the new mdoel. The device uses an Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC) and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recycle previously lost energy, thus saving fuel.

This is achieved as the IAC reduces drag on the engine by only engaging when required to charge the battery, whereas a traditional alternator is always pulling power from the engine.

The energy generated by the engine on under braking or descending on a hill was previously wasted, but now this lost energy is utilised by the IAC to charge the battery.

The new 1 Series comes with an Automatic Start-Stop function to cut fuel consumption. The system automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and the driver puts the car into neutral. To restart the driver only need engage the clutch again before pulling away in the normal manner.


As with all BMW 1 Series models, the car features a Dynamic Stability Control with Dynamic Traction Control. The BMW 130i comes with five additional functions with its DSC+ system for enhanced driver safety. These include: Hill Start Assistant, Brake Pre-tensioning, Brake Drying, Brake Fade Compensation and Soft Stop.

Other safety standard features are six airbags, the Brake Force Display function on the rear lights to highlight sharp braking and Run-flat tyres with Tyre Puncture Warning System.

Great extras

The cornering light function has been added as a standard feature to the package. The optional Adaptive Headlights that turn to follow the road as the car is driving, has also been improved.

For even better entertainment, the car includes a MP3 player with a USB stick capability.


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