Thursday, February 27, 2020

Bucket Seat: Audi A1 35 TFSI S-Line


First test car to roll in for the 2020 year, was none other than the funky and spunky all-new Audi A1 Sportback. Interesting that they would call it a sportback because it's a hatch, sportback is normally reserved for a sedan come hatchback but hey, I'm not the lord of naming conventions so I'll go along with it. The A1 has always had this bad rep in South Africa of being a "glorified Polo" in certain aspects it does share a lot with it's Volkswagen sibling but don't be easily fooled, it's very much an Audi in more ways than one. During my time with the A1, I took it as an opportunity to show people why it's got it's own character and how Audi has evolved with this model in it's second generation. 


DESIGN

The A1 is the first in the long model line up of the German brand, small in size but must appeal to the younger trendy market, Audi got the design for the new A1 spot on. It's more modular than the older shape, has bolder accents, straight lines and very modern in looks. Picking up on the funky nature, Audi kept the trend with the dual paint work on this one but the colours offered are directed at the younger drivers, the car I had came in python yellow and until you see it in the metal, nothing can do this colour justice. Audi's latest design language incorporates the use linear lighting, with LED cluster forming the top edges and extends to the side of the front head lamps. The new grille is much bolder and in the S Line trim was completely blacked out as well as the four rings badge. A new aspect to Audi's design is the air inlets just above the grille. This adds a sporty character to an already sporty looking car. The diffuser is sharp and striking with inserts and slats in place to give it more dimension. The S Line trim came with side splitters in black and a much more bold rear diffuser with added fake vents which just bring more character to the overall look. The A1 came fitted with 18" dual tone  multi-spoke rims in black and silver, with a nice turbine like flow to it. On the interior, it's very much keeping to the trend of what you will find in all the new Audi models, a large 12" touch screen display with the virtual cockpit as an optional extra. Everything well laid out and easy on the eye. 


PERFORMANCE

This particular model was the 35 TFSI, while not the most powerful in the line-up, the 1.5L turbocharged engine was pretty lively. The power output for the motor was 110kW and 250Nm of torque so its a pretty nippy off the line, giving you a 0-100km/h speed of 7.7 seconds. Ride quality wise, the car seemed pretty stable and very little cabin noise, the car did feel a bit light if you had to compare its German rivals, this by no means a compromise on quality but probably something Audi has done to keep the weight down on a small car like this. Turning circle on the A1 is pretty good so you can navigate out of tricky spots with ease. Highway driving was was solid as expected but its on the urban routes that you will have the most fun with the A1. It has a small tank, 40L but with proper driving will give you over 500km on the tank. 


COMFORT

People look at the A1 and say it's a small car, and they're not wrong but surprisingly it is quite spacious on the inside. I'm a big guy and sat quite comfortably in it, even with the body hugging sports seats. It came with cloth seats with a scotch finish, which didn't just look cool but was pretty comfy as well. The car comes with dual-zone climate control, all easily accessible from the large infotainment screen. It came with all the bells and whistles which included self parking, rear view camera, Bang & Olufsen sound system and as mentioned before the virtual cockpit with sat-nav. Bit disappointing the A1 came with the conventional flick key, turn start convention, you would expect it to be standard on high end luxury cars by now. Also there was no sunroof, something I'd think they would have spec'd on a press fleet model but didn't, it did however give me the chance to marvel at the change in roof dimension on the inside. Another thing I would have like the A1 to have is auto fold mirrors when locking, the car did have electric folding mirrors but have to be manual selected while the car was switched on to operate. Maybe there was a setting hidden somewhere in the infotainment settings. 


VERDICT

Overall, the A1 is what is says, an exciting entry level model by the brand, that appeals to the youth and is as playful as their nature. It gives the prospective buyer choice in how they would like to style the car, right down to the type of seat covers you want. It's fun to drive, light on fuel and easy to park which lets face it, is a major hurdle for younger drivers. If there's one thing I have to pick on, it's the price tag. This particular model I had was priced at R477,000 at base with this particular car being priced at R580,000. That's quite a bit of money to be spending on a small hatchback, maybe that's why they calling a sportback? Then again, you're getting value for money in the car, some of the tech offered is much more pricey in other brands but the way Audi have done it much more better and easier to use, again, appealing to the young at heart. I don't think Audi will have problems selling this particular model, based on looks alone it will sell but getting skeptics behind the wheel will definitely change their idea of it, and yes it is nothing like a VW Polo so lets not mention that again.


SPECIFICATIONS

Engine
1.5L 4 cylinder, TFSI
Gear Box
7 speed S Tronic
Torque
250Nm
Power
110kW
Consumption
6.5L/100km
Price
R477,500*
*Base Price























Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Ultra South Africa 2020 - Set Times


Just 2 more sleeps till Ultra South Africa 2020 kicks off in Cape Town at the Ostrich Farm followed by the Johannesburg leg at Ultra. Many Ultranauts cannot wait for this weekends events and probably itching to see their favourite artists, the best way to make sure you don't miss any is to take note of the official set times and plan your time at Ultra SA with the official App! It's been the saving grace for many over the years and if you are attending, it's the best thing to have! You can schedule the DJ's sets you want to see so you can plan in advance to make sure you make the most out of your Ultra experience.

Download the app: ultrasouthafrica.com/app


 
Cape Town

Johannesburg


Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday Choon: Armin van Buuren vs Inner City - It Could Be (Genix Remix)


Genix is probably one of my favourite DJ's at the moment, the UK Dance DJ and producer has been putting out some stellar music of recent and he is still killing it with some sick remixes. Today's featured track is one of those remixes, the original track by Armin van Buuren featuring Inner City on Armin's latest album Balance, the track titled "It Could Be" got the Genix techno tuning and my word it is epic. It has an awesome bass line which is seeming to being one of the trends in EDM lately, lots of hard bass in the tracks coming out of late, not that I'm complaining. Anyway, enjoy today's tune!


Friday, February 21, 2020

COMPETITION: A Breakfast Run without a ride


For a biker, there's nothing better than you, your bike and the open road with your bike mates but what if your planned breakfast run that you and your mates have been planning for weeks starts with a disaster when you motorbike doesn't start? Imagine getting all your gear on, the sun is shining and you hop on your bike but but you hear the mood-killing 'click'. After muttering a range of expletives, you wonder, could it be the battery?

You remember this could have been avoided if you'd looked out for these telltale symptoms as explained by the battery specialists which include:

Trouble starting your motorcycle
Like any vehicle, a motorcycle requires electrical power to get going, and without a fully functioning battery, your motorcycle will struggle to start. 

Trouble when idling your motorcycle
In addition to the battery providing a spark to get going, ti also keeps your motorcycle running at idle. If you have to keep the throttle open to keep the motorcycle running, it's time to get that battery checked and replaced. 

Take your motorcycle to a trusted battery specialist. Should your motorcycle battery need replacing, follow these tips when choosing a battery. 


  1. Check for a warranty, while battery wear and tear may be an important factor to consider, sometimes a battery will have a factory fault, which is when a warranty is essential. Battery Centre are one of the few specialists that offer 24-36 month warranty's that are valid around the country.
  2. Make a conscious switch to lithium-ion, with many auto manufacturers switching to low-emission engines to protect the environment, why shouldn't you? Lithium-ion batteries are longer lasting and require less maintenance.
  3. Check the power ratings, power ratings indicate the battery's strength. The higher the power rating, the better it works in your motorcycle. They may cost a little more but in the long-term they have many more benefits. Again get a specialist's advice. 
Don't miss out on feeling the wind in your hair on the next breakfast run with the crew, drop the battery specialists for a free battery and alternator check. 

We've teamed up with the battery specialists at Battery Centre to give you! Our loyal readers the chance to win a voucher to Battery Centre worth up to R2500! For more information check our Facebook and Instagram page

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ultra South Africa: Park & Ride


Planning on going to Ultra South Africa next week? Why bother driving and risk sitting in traffic or trying to find parking, because the Ultra Family have your back with exclusive park and ride facilities at minimal costs! Ultra SA have teamed up with Zeelo to provide shuttle services between the venue and designated parking areas in and around the city, most of them being shopping malls. It's the easier and less stressful way of getting to Ultra SA and you can sit back, get the party going on your trip there for just R200 for Zeelo or R160 for Park and Ride.


Ultra SA Johannesburg also has a new opening time, gates will officially open at 12pm for the very first time, so 2020 party goers can start the festivities earlier and avoid the long queuing process that many have been plagued with in the past. All early entrants will receive a free Budweiser on arrival (while stocks last), also parking at NASREC will be free for all early arrivals. This is just one of a few ways organizers are doing to curb the traffic nightmares. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Monday Choon: Jason Ross - Chains (with RĂ˜RY)


LA based DJ Jason Ross has recently launched his latest album 1000 Faces and today we have a track from the album featured as our track of the day. Chains which features Rory a trance masterpiece and will have anyone who appreciates electronic music hitting that repeat button to hear it again when the track ends. The build up of the melodies and the vocals work in harmony, its all beautifully brought together in this track. It's trance track that shows the genre doesn't have to be heavy or uplifting, it's almost pop -like if I could even use that term but it is a track that could easily get radio play and I hope it does. Honestly one of my favourites so far this year. 

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Entertainer 2020 launch - YOU are invited!


If you haven't heard about the Entertainer by now, then what rock have you been living under? It's the only app that gives back to you, over and over again. A night out on the town can be a costly expense especially when its with you and partner, the Entertainer makes this much more easier for your pockets with a host of offerings for buy one, get one free. I've been using the Entertainer app for the past 4 years now and don't know how I survived without it. It has all my favourites on there and even with other offerings gets you to try out new places without you having to break the bank. 


Every year the Entertainer have the best media launches, with a variety of offerings for us to sample, many of you get FOMO when viewing my time at the event and they have heard your plea's so this year, the Entertainer is inviting EVERYONE! to their launch. Yes, you read right, everyone is invited! (well space limiting) all you got to do to attend is RSVP via their Facebook events link, state how many people you're bringing and mention that you heard it from us, "The Bucket" and you are on your way to a great night out. 


The launch takes place on Friday the 28th of February at Katmandu in Ballito Lifestyle Center and it bound to be a night filled with fun, good food, great drinks and awesome prizes to be won! So what are you waiting for? RSVP Now here -> Official Entertainer Durban Launch

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Bucket Tech: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020




Last night's Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event saw the release of the much anticipated Galaxy S20 Series flagship devices, yes like their Chinese competitor, Samsung have also ditched going through the teens and have jumped straight from 10 to 20. Maybe it has something to do with the year?  Actually it does, Justin Hume, Director of Integrated Mobility at Samsung SA had this to say "As we enter this new decade, how we communicate and how we experience the world around us has evolved. Samsung is therefore providing a next-generation device for transforming peoples lives. With an incredible AI powered camera, you can capture the moments as they happen and connect more seamlessly with the people you love"


Getting back to the devices, there are three phones that make up the Galaxy S20 Series, namely the, S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra, all of whom will be available locally from March 6th 2020. Big talking points from these devices are definitely the camera or should I say camera's with the S20+ and S20 Ultra boasting 5 lenses, the S20 being the entry level has the least features but does share some of the lenses with its siblings. The S20 Ultra primary camera is a whopping 108MP with built-in OIS which is miles ahead of the S20+ and S20 which only features a 12MP primary camera lens. Samsung say their whole approach with this new camera AI system is to increase clarity in their pictures, for higher quality images in low light. 


The S20 Ultra also boasts a telephoto lens which has 10x Optical Zoom and 100x Space zoom which is twice than what the current market competitor has to offer. Samsung have added an optical image stabilizer to assist with taking pictures at full zoom but clarity will deteriorate as you zoom in more on the subject. Users maybe more inclined to take pictures at full 108MP and crop for better clarity in the images.  Samsung have also added a cool trick to their S20 devices, called "Single Take" which takes pictures from all 5 lenses and allows you to go through each image keeping the ones you want and discarding the others. This allows the users to pick the perfect capture and also showcases the different lenses attributes so the user can get more accustomed to what lens does what. 


When it comes to videos, there is no competitor to Samsung Mobile devices, they're still leading the way with the S20 Ultra offering recording in 8K! While you're going to need an 8K television to watch these videos, and those are not cheap it's nice to know that you have that kind of quality in your device. You can also snap 33MP stills from your 8K video. With Samsung's Super Steady recording feature, anti-rolling stabilization and AI motion analysis you can be sure that none of your videos will have any shakes to them. It will look as if you were using a gimbal. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Series will be available locally from the 6th of March, pricing and colours noted below. 
  • Galaxy S20: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink - R18,999
  • Galaxy S20+: Comsic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink - R20,999
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cosmic Grey, Comsic Black - R26,999

Samsung Mobile also used this event to launch their new foldable device, the Galaxy Z Flip, in my opinion the best use of fold tech in a mobile device to date! It's the first ever foldable glass display where by the Galaxy Fold made use of plastic which left a nasty crease line. This one seems seamless and beautiful. The company says its a statement making smartphone and so far it's got everyone gasping, even me! It's bold, stylish and designed for those who see cutting-edge technology as a way to express themselves. It features a 6.7" touch screen display that fold into a stylish and compact form factor that fits into the palm of your hand. Samsung's innovative Hideaway Hinge and custom built UX, provides the Galaxy Flip with an elegant finish when folded or opened. Good news is that the Galaxy Z Flip will be available locally, and before the S20 Series touches down on the 22nd of February. There will be limited stock at selected stores around the country with more locations made available from 1st of March.


  • Galaxy Z Flip: Mirror Purple, Mirror Black - R29,999

Monday, February 10, 2020

Monday Choon: Diplo & Sidepiece - On My Mind


Definitely one of the most highly respected and in demand DJ to collaborate with is Diplo. The man can adjust to any form of electronic music and produce gold. He's teamed up with the likes of Tiesto, Skrillex and so many others in the industry, of recent he's slowed the tempo down and is killing the deep house scene. Today's track is one of those, where he teams up with LA based producer Sidepiece for a cracker of a track "on my mind". It's been out for about a month now and really been taken a liking by most DJ's as its being featured on many sets and we can look forward to hearing it more often. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Bucket Seat: Renault Koleos AWD



The new Renault Koleos was my last test car of 2019 and while I was rather used to the budget type Renault crossovers like the Sandero Plus and the Duster, getting a premium SUV from the brand was a good change to see how it would differ from the cheaper options. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the Duster or Sandero Plus, they all have their own charm to them, the Duster 4x4 being one of the most affordable and capable options in the current market is just one of the reasons that make it a great car but today's review is about the Koleos so let me not divulge on the others. It's the first time I've driven this model from the French motoring manufacturer and to say my week was pleasant would be an understatement. You see, I was in the midst of moving office the versatility of the Koleos really came in handy for this period as I will explain a bit later. 



DESIGN

The changes from the old to the new Koleos is quite big but at first it did take me a while since the overall shape of the vehicle still sort of looked the same. Massive revisions to the front are the key standout with the new Renault design language for the headlights and grille. While the longitudinal headlights remained but with a new sharper edgy design followed by the extension daytime running light like we've seen in the Megane. In fact the rear end light design is almost a carbon copy of the Megane as well, but obviously a bit bigger to fit the frame of this SUV. The styling you can say is very European and with the colour scheme and contrast with the chrome and silver accents gives it that luxury feel. The sort of look you want from a premium SUV. The overall shape is neat with some well balanced lines and creases in the right places. It's a great looking car from the outside and when you step inside it just gets better. The layout of the cabin is very aesthetically pleasing with a good use of materials to differentiate the various parts of the dash board. The infotainment cluster is smack bang in the center and is flush, again just like the Megane but I think the Koleos screen might be a bit bigger. The design of the shell makes the doorways have quite spacious openings so you won't find yourself hitting your head on the roof on the way in or out of the cabin. 


PERFORMANCE

The Koleos comes with one engine for the range, it's fitted with a 2.5L 16V naturally aspirated engine which delivers a decent 126kW and torques max out at 233Nm. The transmission comes in the form of a new X-Tronic CVT 7-speed gear box which works really well with the engine. Delivering optimal power when needed and really helps with the fuel consumption on a vehicle of this size. Claimed consumption of 8.3L per 100km, I managed to get below 10L per 100km in my week of mixed driving which consisted of a lot of short distance driving. I have to say, driving a car like this has it's perks because of the extra height compared to your normal sedan, your view of the road is much better and with the creature comforts offered in the Koleos, one doesn't feel tired after driving. The driving style and modes are pretty normal to every other cars on the road with each having its effect on the vehicles efficiency, I tend to keep the cars on a normal or auto setting for most of the time which works well for me. 


COMFORT

The Koleos is a very spacious car, I'd say you can fit five adults comfortably in there with ample space for luggage in the boot. Premium leather seats add to the comfort with soft touch materials for the roof and doors. Dual zone climate control for driver and passengers are sort of the norm with cars of today, I feel having the 3rd zone is still sitting at the premium luxury level even though those are coming with the 4 zone aircons. I feel with children being the predominate passengers at the rear it could become an issue with fiddling. Ride quality of the Koleos is quite great, the car came fitting with 18" rims but with the wide profile tyres and suspension it does deliver a very smooth ride. While the Koleos was all wheel drive, most buyers would be suited to urban driving with small chances of going off road but it's nice to now the vehicle has that capability. The all wheel drive also plays its part on the tar roads, in cases of slippery surfaces and rain. 


TECHNOLOGY

The Koleos has a fair bit of technology, as mentioned early the large 7" infotainment touchscreen with R-Link 2 which provides you with all the new on-board experiences that Renault has to offer. It's a complete intuitive display that's user friendly and has built in apps like Apply Carplay and Android Auto. The Koleos comes with a premium Arkamys 3D Sound System which is pretty decent in my books, not enough bass but that's just the Indian me talking. I really like the accent lighting in the cabin, not only limited to the doors but also the instrument cluster housing. The colours change per driving mode you're in. The instrument cluster itself is also digital and displays other relevant info. The audio control is still located on that weird stalk on the right side of the steering wheel even though the there is allocated buttons on the steering wheel, that one still baffles me about Renault. The Koleos comes with keyless entry, the key is that card type thing which is pretty cool but does feel a bit weird. It comes with Pure Vision LED headlights as well as the LED daytime running lights. Electronic folding mirrors and anti dazzle review mirror. 


VERDICT

Overall the Renault Koleos is certainly a worthy shout for it's segment. It has all the bells and whistles you'd associate with a premium SUV and really is a great match up for its German rivals. While and introduction of a diesel engine might be welcomed, this petrol one isn't too bad for now. I spoke about the versatility of the Koleos at the beginning of this review.  Getting the extra space required was quick and easy, dropping down the seats to accommodate larger items in the back was a breeze as well as putting it back up.  It really is a great offering from Renault and a refreshing model to see in their SUV/ Crossover stable, something to show they can compete in the premium segment.


SPECIFICATIONS

Engine
2.5L 16V in-line 4 cylinder 
Gear Box
7 speed X-Tronic CVT
Torque
233Nm
Power
126kW
Consumption
8.3L/100km
Price
R499,990*
*Base Price