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Friday / 14 June 2024
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South African bakkie buyers do one thing right

Nearly 100% of South African bakkie buyers will not put down any money until they have test-driven the model they want to purchase.

TopAuto recently contacted chemical-maker-turned-car-manufacturer Ineos to ask how local uptake has been of its new Quartermaster following the double cab’s reveal in July last year.

South Africans immediately took a liking to the Grenadier – the Quartermaster’s SUV sibling – after its 2022 debut, so we expected that they would jump at the opportunity to get the bakkie.

In response to our inquiry, the British manufacturer said: “It’s still early days with Quartermaster and we don’t yet have figures we can publish. We will likely have a better overview later in the year.”

“Projections are a bit trickier as nearly 100% of pick-up customers want to test drive the vehicle before making a decision.”

Fortunately for those interested individuals, Quartermaster demonstrator units are planned to arrive on local shores in the second half of the year which will allow them to get those vital test drives before shelling out a minimum of R1.7 million.

Ineos will also display the bakkie for the first time in South Africa at this year’s Nampo Harvest Day from 14-17 May in Bothaville, Free State, where potential customers will be able to see the Quartermaster in the metal.

Diesel is definitely not dead

What Ineos could confirm, South Africans who have already registered their interest in the Quartermaster have mostly opted for the diesel model.

The vehicle is sold with a choice of two turbocharged 3.0-litre engine options, one burning diesel and one petrol, both partnered with an eight-speed automatic transmission and 4×4 system.

The specifications of these drivelines are compared in the below table:

Specification Diesel Petrol
Power 183kW 210kW
Torque 550Nm 450Nm
Fuel consumption 9.3l/100km 12.8l/100km
0-100km/h 9.8 seconds 8.8 seconds
Top speed 160km/h 160km/h
Maximum payload capacity 782kg 857kg
Maximum towing capacity 3,500kg 3,500kg

We can deduce that the most likely elements drawing local customers to the diesel are its higher torque which is beneficial when off-roading as well as the much better economy figures which is a boon no matter the scenario.

As for the most popular trim options, there is “quite an equal split between Trialmaster and Fieldmaster,” said the company, indicating that few Quartermaster patrons are interested in the entry-level model.

Regardless of the chosen derivative, each Quartermaster comes with Bridgestone all-terrain tyres, a Nappa leather steering wheel, heavy-duty flooring with drainage valves, a first aid kit, a rear mounting bar for the load area, front and rear skid plates, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, an overhead control panel with pre-wired switches, roof rails, and an off-road navigation system.

The Trialmaster grade then brings the “Rough” and “Smooth” accessory packs, which add BF Goodrich rubbers, a rearview camera, front park assist, heated electronic side mirrors, a lockable centre storage box, ambient door lighting, an auxiliary battery, extra USB Type-A and Type-C charging ports, a raised air intake, an anti-scratch finish on the load bay, and utility side rails.

The Fieldmaster, meanwhile, gets 18-inch alloy rims with locking wheel nuts, two detachable “safari” sunroofs, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a lockable centre storage box, an upgraded sound system, and a compass with an altimeter, in addition to the Smooth pack which adds the rearview camera, electric mirrors, and front parking sensors.

First customer deliveries of the new Quartermaster are scheduled to take place in the second half of 2024, the brand confirmed.

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