With or without an internal combustion motor … here are half a dozen ways to get ahead (and stay ahead) of the pack.
Funky or Fun. Far-fetched or Absurd. Classic or Alternative. ACUMEN’s motion maestros check out six incredible ways of having fun while moving from Point A to Point B …
1) On the trails: Altra Lone Peak 2.0 Running Shoe
WHAT IS IT: Altra is a shoe brand committed to teaching runners an efficient, low-impact running technique in order to avoid injury. So, whether you’re a rookie runner or prepping for your next race, check out their ‘Learn to Run’ initiative" to improve your running form: www.altrarunning.com
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The Altra Lone Peak 2.0 is the second incarnation of a trail shoe that’s perfectly positioned to ensure underfoot protection without sacrificing proprioception (‘feeling’ the terrain over which you are running). So, if you’ve been searching for footwear that combines the dual concepts of foot support with a barefoot running feel, this is it.
DESIGN USPs: Step into the only trail shoe featuring a FootShapeTM toe box combined with a well-cushioned Zero-Drop platform. This combination ensures natural foot positioning for efficient, stable trail or road running, with flexible protection from gnarly terrain and road pounding. It is still recommended that proper low-impact techniques are learned.
GO GET IT: Drifters (CPT & JHB); Mindful Runner (JHB); Trail & Tar or Athlete’s Foot (CPT) - RRP: from R1 850
2) On your feet: Hoka One One Challenger ATR
WHAT IS IT: The Hoka One One Challenger ATR is a highly cushioned, versatile trail running shoe designed for a neutral or supinated foot motion. As opposed to ‘minimalist’ shoes, Hoka takes an ‘over-sized’ approach to running, with maximal protection through 31mm of heel cushioning and 26mm underfoot.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The high degree of cushioning ensures that the Challenger ATR provides a smooth and stable run on even the roughest terrain, while the low 5mm drop still ensures adequate proprioception for those technical trails. Most impressive of all is that the shoe still remains one of the lightest trail running shoes on the market today.
DESIGN USPs: An early stage Meta-Rocker promotes speed to appeal especially to runners looking for a fast, fluid stride transition. The ‘H’-shaped outsole geometry provides a wide, mid-foot platform designed for great stability, while full-contact outsoles ensure maximum ground contact at all times. Lightweight and breathable SpeedFrame uppers combine mesh with a seamless, supportive overlay, providing a comfortable glove-like fit in all conditions.
GO GET IT: Available from leading footwear retailers from, or otherwise email firstname.lastname@example.org for detail on stockists. RRP – R2 799
3) On the ocean: The Pioneer Ambition Recreational Fishing Kayak
WHAT IS IT: The Pioneer Ambition is primarily a fishing craft, but the stable design and solid construction make it a perfect boat with which to explore the rugged ocean shore or rocky river courses of South Africa.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The wide beam and corresponding stability make this a watercraft eminently suited to the whole family. The Pioneer Ambition is packed with features like moulded carry-handles, and the two hatches (with bags) allow for ample gear storage. The bungee strap system keeps additional items in place, while the paddle is kept secure in a holder when not in use.
DESIGN USPs: The Pioneer Ambition comes with a seat, paddle, two fixed rod holders and a swivel rod holder. Add to this a moulded bottle holder, bow- and stern carrying handles and mid-boat moulded side handles, as well as a drain plug and scupper plugs. The 23.5kg weight is more than manageable for a solo paddler, while a carrying capacity of 140kg benefits big people. Luxury seat backs come as an optional accessory.
GO GET IT: Available at Due South Stores (check www.duesouth.co.za) - RRP: R7 999
On the motorized side, we look at three machines similar at first glance, but with many a difference under the hood, so to speak. Read on and see which appeals to your soul...
1) For the Heart: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupé
WHAT IS IT: Not all cars that tug on the heartstrings are expensive or ludicrously fast. But this one is. The SL 65 AMG Coupé is an example of what Mercedes engineers are capable of, and it sets the bar very, very high.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: You obviously haven’t looked at the picture yet. There are very few cars as fast and as luxurious as this, never mind as gorgeous. The SL 65 AMG Coupé goes beyond expectations in almost every way, from performance to opulence and status appeal.
DESIGN USPs: A 6-litre V12 engine bolstered by twin turbochargers (463kW and 1000Nm) is a start, but it is by no means the only appealing element. There are a plethora of hidden features, like massaging seats and Magic Body Control, which scans the road ahead and automatically adjusts the suspension to enhance ride comfort. The car will even lean into corners like a motorcycle, for extra grip (and fun!). A seven-speed automatic gearbox manages all that power and somehow gets it through to the rear wheels.
GO GET IT: Priced at R3 070 000, the SL 65 AMG Coupé comes with a 6-year/100 000km maintenance plan and a 2-year/unlimited mileage warranty. Visit www.mercedes.co.za for more information.
2) For the Head: Jeep Cherokee
WHAT IS IT: Jeep’s mid-size SUV has finally come of age and is, in my eyes, the most complete product ever to emerge from the American 4x4 stable. The 4x4 versions are even good offroad!
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: There is a chance that not everyone WILL want a Cherokee, because it’s space-age looks are bound to divide opinions. But if those slit-eyes and bent grille do it for you, the rest of the vehicle will make you a happy owner. The engines are petrol only at this stage, with either a 2,4-litre or 3,2-litre, but diesel models are apparently on their way.
DESIGN USPs: The one area that has improved the most with the Cherokee is the interior, which is now an elegant space filled with premium quality materials, all thoughtfully laid out for everything to fall easily to hand. Keyless unlock and go, an 8,4-inch touch screen and adaptive cruise control that prevents you from speeding into the car ahead of you are a few of the many highlights.
GO GET IT: Prices start at R501 000, although you will need to pay R655 000 for a pukka 4x4 Cherokee Trailhawk. It comes with a 6-year/100 000km maintenance plan and a 3-year/100 000km warranty. Visit www.jeep.co.za for more information.
3) For the Planet: Citroën C1 Airscape
WHAT IS IT: Cars don’t have to be hybrids or electrics to be good for the environment. They don’t even have to be diesels – they just have to be light on fuel, really. The Citroën C1 Airscape is such a car, but with plenty of other attractions too.
WHY DO YOU WANT IT: I could say that you want one to ensure that the polar ice caps don’t melt and turn Bloem into a coastal village, but I don’t have to. The C1 Airscape is the embodiment of French charm and allure, in a relatively affordable and fun-loving package. And it’s almost a convertible.
DESIGN USPs: What really sets this little charmer apart from the competition is the roof. While the Airscape isn’t a true convertible, the fabric roof slides back concertina-style for open-air motoring. The efficient little 1,2-litre engine (which uses just 4,3 litres of petrol per 100km) is a cracker and feels far more sprightly that an engine of this size should, making the Airscape very entertaining to drive. There are also a host of features, from a reversing camera to a 7-inch touchscreen and hill start assist.
GO GET IT: The price is R195 000, including a 3-year/100 000km warranty. Visit www.citroen.co.za