Francois Steyn's blog

The KTM X-BOW RR laps the Nordschleife in 7:25.72 minutes

The Nordschleife at the Nürburgring is not only considered a legendary racing circuit; it is also one that is closely linked to both triumphs and tragedies. But the real hype about the circuit is setting very fast laps with street legal cars fitted with standard tires, and since the middle of the 1990s this has had a very special meaning. At that time a lap of the track in less than eight minutes was considered practically impossible but all this ended in 1999 with a record lap by rally legend Walter Röhrl.

Francois Steyn

Limited Edition Ford Fiesta Magnet

The Ford Fiesta just got an extra dose of flair with the introduction of the Limited Edition Fiesta Magnet. Just 75 models will go on sale in November, but dealers will already start taking orders for the special model.

Powered by a 1.6-litre Duratec Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) petrol engine, the Magnet boasts improved performance credential with power increasing from 88kW to 99kW and torque output up from 152Nm to 160Nm. The racier hatch also features a specially designed sports suspension to complete the dynamic package.

Francois Steyn

Isuzu KB 300 D-TEQ LX 4×4

If you’ve ever been to the Northern Cape on the R355 between Ceres and Calvinia (the longest uninterrupted dirt road in South Africa), you’ll know the upper Karoo farmer’s best friend is not his sheepdog. It’s also not a Hilux or Land Cruiser. It’s an Isuzu racing past in a cloud of dust at 140-plus km/h. Why do you think Bertie from Zinkplaat drives one?

For more pics, see the original post at:

Francois Steyn

Gilera GP800 – Lambo beating scoot

The Gilera GP800 is the most powerful production scooter on the market thanks to its 839 cc, fuel injected, liquid-cooled V Twin engine. It delivers 56 kW at 7 750 r/min, will fly by the 100 km/h mark in close to 5 seconds and only run out of breath past 210 km/h. It might sound like a ferocious beast on paper, yet it does not feel like one at all. You sit upright with your legs in front of you and thanks to the automatic gearbox you never feel that knuckle-clenching-hang-on-for-dear-life feeling you get on even a 600 cc super-sports bike.

Francois Steyn

Harley-Davidson V-Rod Night Rod Special

Damn! Oops, I beg your pardon ... I meant wowie! No wait, I really did mean, “Damn, what a ride.”

Harley’s aren’t meant to be fast. That’s why they never quote power figures in their brochures, only torques. The V-Rod Night Special has 111 Nm’s of it, but push the starter button and drop the hydraulically assisted clutch and you’ll struggle to wipe the grin off your face. We’re not talking superbike go, but believe me it’s fun.

Francois Steyn

Chevrolet Lumina SSV Ute

Early last year I tested the Chevrolet Lumina SS Ute Automatic and I loved it. A year later I had the opportunity to drive the updated SSV Ute in manual guise. I did not expect much of a difference, but I was very wrong. It still has the same 6L V8 engine with 270 kW and 530 Nm of torque, but the manual does not switch off one bank of cylinders at lower engine speeds, as did the auto. This means that all of the torque is at the ready when you drop the clutch.

Francois Steyn
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