By BRENWIN NAIDU
WHAT’s in a name? Yes, it’s a subject that’s been explored numerous times before, but one can’t help but ruminate on certain names, in an attempt to learn the rationale behind them. Names are a bit more perplexing in the motoring industry. Take Audi for example: I still do not know what the “A” preceding the number in the designation of their cars, means. BMW seem to have taken a more logical approach. We all know that the number one is where everything begins, so they’ve named their model designed to get people behind the wheel of their first Beemer, the 1-Series.
There’s no 2-Series though, but the natural progression would be to the 3-Series – BMW’s famous sporty saloon. But I anticipate that they might encounter some issues with the small car they could be releasing in the future, rumoured to be front-wheel-drive and smaller than the 1-Series. They can’t exactly call it the half-series, now can they?
It has been noted by many car hacks that American automakers endow their products with the meanest, fear-instilling names. Think of the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Ram – and even the Dodge Nitro. Those a cool-sounding names indeed, that conjure up impressions of muscle and brute force each time they are mentioned.
Then we get more conservative names – that are not as in-your-face as Nitro or Charger. Think of Toyota, with their Corolla – which I believe is some floral term. Volkswagen like to name their cars after sports, or famous winds: there’s the Golf, Polo, Jetta and Scirocco. Then there’s Honda. If you’re musically inclined, you might find pleasure in saying “I drive a Ballade” or “I drive a Prelude”. There’s even the Jazz – which was recently remixed, or the subject of some Jazzing up as the press release says, for the year 2011.
The most noticeable nip-ticks are on the outside – but you’d really have to be an alert spotter to notice what’s been changed. The front and rear bumpers have been tweaked a little, which is not only for aesthetic purposes – according to the press release: they also reduce drag and improve fuel economy. There’s also a Hybrid variant on offer, which you might have noticed sporting a striking green colour. This is known as Fresh Lime Metallic and it is a hue reserved only to suit the eco-friendly image of the Jazz Hybrid.
Additional changes beneath the skin include suspension and steering refinements. Also, Jazz customers now have the option of a CVT transmission. Prices kick-off at R154 900 for the Trend. With the Executive range you get styling items like 16-inch wheels, a panoramic roof to let the sun shine in on your Jazzy cruising exploits and wipers with rain sensors.