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In this issue

When TopGear readers hear the words Mercedes-Benz, they sub-consciously associate it with the vociferous letters AMG and tyre smoke, instead of diesel and low range. But a magazine based on the unusual and extreme is very much a TopGear ethos so choosing the X350d with its 190kW V6 for cover following the international drive was an easy decision – a TopGear first. The bakkie war is heating up and Mercedes is aiming to crack open a new niche but can it really be that easy in a nation obsessed and loyal to those already established brands? It shares this month’s cover space with an extended drive of the McLaren Senna – a car that has been reviewed before but until now has never left the controlled environment of a track. In a TopGear exclusive we drive the hypercar over 1500 kilometres, plotting a journey that puts the eponymous Senna on the victorious path - from Estoril to Monaco - of the driver whose name it bears. Our drives section begins at open throttle with the Aston Martin Vantage as it finds itself competing for that sportscar label against the fierce Mercedes-AMG GT-R, the all-rounder Porsche 911 GTS and McLaren’s 570GT. With such a talented group it’s a verdict you wouldn’t want to predict until the very end. A new performance division is emerging under Gazoo Racing so we rang up Toyota South Africa to fetch the keys to the first Yaris GRMN – a supercharged 150kW, manual gearboxed lightweight produced in limited numbers with the aim to revitalise Toyota’s sporty image. Fans of the defunct TRD will no doubt be intrigued by the new hatch as our ambitious route crosses into Botswana to meet up with the Gazoo Racing Toyota Hiluxes for the annual 1000 Desert Race. Plus all the regular features and sections including an interview with the chairman of Bugatti. Of course we asked him what top-end speed a Chiron could possibly reach… All this in the latest issue of TopGearSA. Enjoy the read.

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