THE oohs and aahs reverberated in the Natal Coast as the latest beefy and black P Series LTD GWM made its great entrance.
Young and old- had jaw-breaking moments when I and colleague, visited the coast to cover the MTN8 finals between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates- of which Bucs won 3-1 in penalties, this past weekend at the packed Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Clichés such as ‘black mamba’ in reference to the aspirated P Series and other superlatives was overwhelming, to say the least.
In SeTswana, when it rains- it’s a sign of good deed, and that’s what happened between Durban and Margate, as we continued to celebrate my pre birthday on the road less travelled.
Boasting flared fenders, a front winch, A-pillar snorkel, steel front and rear bumpers, steel side-steps, a rear sports hoop and 18-inch wheels (painted black), wrapped in chunky off-road rubber, questions were aplenty- how could I drive such a monster considering my height level?
Well, legend has it ‘if you have it, why not flaunt it?’
The beefy aesthetic LTD 4×4 automatic model is undeniably attractive, achieving that mean, borderline-obnoxious look that so many want in a pick-up.
Bolstering the terrain-mashing ability of the LTD is a specially-optimised off-road cruise control system, as well as a function which decreases the turning circle by 3m, to improve manoeuvrability. The 4×4 system promises a greater degree of competency over regular P-Series offerings. Selecting between 2H, 4H and 4L modes is an easy affair, performed at the touch of a button.
On wet roads and minor potholes- it was seamless.
The front and rear differential locks are linked to specialised driving modes. Outdoor enthusiasts with outdoor ambitions can rest assured that the LTD features the correct hardware for exploring paths less travelled, like we did.
The interior has just every amenity you could want, from heated seats, a 360-degree camera, comprehensive nine-inch infotainment system, seven-inch digital instrument cluster and wireless charging are featured.
A large-diameter, four-spoke steering wheel feels good to the touch, wrapped in grainy leatherette upholstery. Softer coverings adorn the seats and door panels. Its spacious and can accommodate four/five adults at a go.
One might forgive it on the sound system quality- it’s not so good.
It has 2.0l turbocharged diesel engine and delivers 120kW and 400Nm, paired with an eight-speed automatic, with a consumption in the region of 12l/100km.
One piece of advice: when filling up the tank, make it full and you’ll enjoy it, like we did en-route to the coast, but if you decide to keep filling in smaller gauges, you’ll visit every fuel station.
So heed my call and you’ll thank me later. Amen!
The gearbox is way too good, so is the engine.
With rain coming down hard on Saturday, and guards offering to secure our ‘black mamba’ for free (very rare sight), we left Margate headed back to Durban in preparation for the match with heavy hearts, as locals offered their digits, imploring us to come back once again. Such regions are synonymous with poisonous snakes- so it made sense to visit in our own ‘black mamba’.
On Monday morning, having checked out of Sibaya Hotel (having hosted me as their guest), a drive from uMhlanga, we experienced on-coming traffic as drivers were in awe of this gigantic monster, including the suspended Public Protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane and husband ‘Mazolman’ who demanded to know more about the pricing, service, etc…
She may afford it considering a golden handshake of R10m from the State, that may come her way, if it does…
Away from politics- the 4×4 LTD automatic retails for R640, 950
Pricing includes a five-year/100,000km warranty and service plan
Performance 1-10 (7)
Fuel 1-10 (6)
Top image SLM (The beefy P Series visited Margate, as security -in a yellow bib at the back- offered to guard without any reward).