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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

Eric Sysoev
Eric Sysoev

[Top Rated] The Klub 17 V6.2l

Unleash your inner Jason Statham with this storming luxury sedan. Sporting a naturally aspirated V10 engine based on the unit found in the contemporary Lamborghini Gallardo, the S8 could blitz to 100kph in only 5.1 seconds.

[Top Rated] The Klub 17 V6.2l

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Definitely one of the most memorable sports sedans of its era, the B7-generation RS4 took the fight to contemporary offerings from Mercedes-Benz and BMW in a far more convincing way than previous fast Audi sedans. Its 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 made a lovely sound, too, while the all-wheel drive system didn't entirely blunt its dynamics.

So many great BMWs from this era... the E92 M3 saw BMW switch to a naturally-aspirated V8 engine (309kW) that retained the high-revving character of previous 6-cylinder units. And it delivered the kind of dynamic finesse that one would expect from a car with the M3 badge. If I had to be picky, I'd try and get one of the 25 Frozen Edition units sold in South Africa. With more power and some AC Schnitzer bits, it was a spectacular drive.

Ah... where are the days when you could buy a thrilling hatchback for a reasonable price? The Fiesta ST may have had "only" 110kW from its naturally-aspirated 2.0L engine but it made the most of it, courtesy of a beautifully balanced chassis.

South Africa's first taste of the Honda Civic Type R came in 2007 with the launch of the FN2-generation car. Predictably, the naturally-aspirated 148kW 2.0L engine loved to rev and the 6-speed manual gearbox was a gem.

Back in my early road testing days, the CL600 delivered a very memorable day of performance testing. Blasting to 100kph in only 4.8 seconds, while disappearing into the soft seats, I marveled at the silence as the horizon rushed towards the windscreen. The turbocharged 5.5L V12 was rated at 368kW and 800Nm of torque. No wonder...

Admittedly, I wasn't the biggest fan of the first-generation CLS. It looked a bit like an... uhm, banana. In CLS63 AMG form, however, it gained some welcome visual muscle, in addition to thumping power from a naturally-aspirated 378kW V8 engine. It looked sinister, but wasn't stealthy at all... not with that soundtrack!

Towards the end of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI's glory days in South Africa, Mitsubishi finally launched the Scooby's fiercest rival, the Lancer Evo. In IX specification it boasted an output of 206kW and arguably better dynamics than the highly-rated Subaru.

One of the best drives of my life, the 997-generation 911 GT3 RS is not only a highlight of this decade, but would feature in a fantasy garage comprising cars of all generations. Powered by a high-revving, naturally-aspirated 3.6L flat-6 developing 305kW, the GT3 RS accelerated to 100kph in 4.2 seconds. Best of all, it was a manual. It was, to say the least, very involving.

The Renault Clio II was a massively popular budget car in South Africa in the early 2000s, and also the basis for one of the most fun "junior" hot hatches of the era, the Clio Sport 2.0 16v. Power (a significant 124kW) came from a naturally-aspirated 2.0L 16-valve, and a raft of chassis improvements transformed the Clio from city slicker to track-day toy.

To be fair, all of the third-generation Clio Sport models are fun to drive, but due to the rarity of the R27 it gets the nod for inclusion on this list. Only 27 of these Clios were sold in South Africa. Besides the obvious visual differences, it also got the ultra-sporty Cup chassis and revised suspension. With a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox coupled to that excellent naturally aspirated 145kW 2.0L engine, this Clio made every drive an experience.


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