standard wheels:with Andrew Muzamhindo
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing an economic meltdown, but one thing you can count on is that new vehicles will be launched in 2020
My list is not exhaustive, but I have picked out the models that are likely to be launched in Zimbabwe and to have impact on the market.
The new Mercedes GLA might find its way into Zimbabwe though I doubt price-wise Zimoco will be able to find a market for it.
The Audi Q5 SUV is set to get a facelift in late 2020. Styling changes are expected to be minor, but the Q5 is likely to get a larger infotainment touchscreen and mild-hybrid technology on certain engines. Audi is not well represented in Zimbabwe.
The Nissan Qashqai popularised SUVs and crossovers. The 2020 version is likely to be in Zimbabwe during the course of the year. It’ll get a new face similar to the Nissan Juke.
A convertible version of the Volkswagen T-Roc will be the Beetle and Golf cabriolets — neither of which are on sale anymore. Hope the local VW dealership will surprise us. If they do not, do not be surprised if someone imports it from South Africa. That roof, by the way, takes just nine seconds to be raised or lowered.
The Jaguar F-Pace still feels like a fairly new car, but a facelifted version is due in 2020. There’ll be extra in-car technology. This is likely to use a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. Let’s wait and see what Premier Auto has in store for us.
The new iconic Land Rover Defender is coming. It could prove to be the most popular car launched by Jaguar Land Rover in recent years. Gone is the boxy styling. I am sure Premier Auto will launch it without fail
The 2020 Mercedes GLE Coupe is bigger than the previous model. It will be in Zimoco’s showrooms.
Jaguar’s BMW 5 Series rival, the XF, is set for a midlife refresh towards the end of 2020. I am not sure if Premier Auto will launch it then or in 2021.
The all-new 2020 Mercedes GLB can be considered a rough-and-tumble version of the B-Class, which means there’s more than a touch of MPV to this SUV. The GLB seats 7 occupants. The familiar Mercedes-Benz architecture means a similar line-up of 4-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines. Let’s wait and see if Zimoco will pull this one off.
The P Series truck is the most ambitious Chinese double-cab ever. I cannot wait to drive this vehicle. GWM intends to take the fight to Isuzu, Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. They want to become the number one truck.
It will have an impressive cabin better than competition with a large touchscreen infotainment system and passenger vehicle-like ergonomics. A vast array of standard features are also on offer. Mechanically, the P Series is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine which drives all four wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine boasts 140kW and 360Nm. GWM has also equipped the P Series with 3 differential locks, which should theoretically give it unrivalled off-road ability.
Facelifted version Havals will also be launched. Apart from aesthetic updates, they will see the introduction of more features.
The H2 range will comprise the 1.5T City and 1.5T Luxury, both of which are available with either a 6-speed manual ‘box or 6-speed automatic transmission. The H2’s 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol produces peak outputs of 105kW and 202Nm of torque and is said to consume an average of 8.2 L/100km in the case of the manual and 9.0 L/100km for the automatic.
Isuzu has confirmed that resources will be allocated to upgrade its Port Elizabeth facility with the aim of producing Isuzu’s next-generation D-Max in South Africa for the export market. The new D-Max will be powered by a revised version of the current 3.0-litre turbodiesel motor packing 140kW and 450Nm while the chassis and suspension have also been extensively revised. Due to our proximity to South Africa, we should benefit immensely.
We will keep you posted on all the new models in 2020 once they touch our shores
Have a good ride in 2020.