What is the Commonwealth?
Home to over 2.4 billion people, the Commonwealth brings together countries of various sizes and economic development who have shared values and goals on development, democracy and peace.
Defined by the Commonwealth Charter the goals of the organisation include the commitment to the development of free and democratic societies and the promotion of peace and prosperity to improve the lives of everyone in the Commonwealth.
Originally the Commonwealth was formed of countries that were once part of the British Empire, but since 1949 any independent country can now join the modern Commonwealth.
Who’s in the Commonwealth?
There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth from across the globe, 32 of which are small states and nation islands.
You can see them all on the map below or by visiting the Commonwealth’s website.
Cars from Around the Commonwealth:
Today’s Commonwealth Day, an annual celebration of the Commonwealth and the benefits it brings to member states.
In the UK there will be debates, school assemblies, flag raising ceremonies, cultural events and a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.
Each year the day has a different theme and 2020s is ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’.
The Commonwealth chose this theme because of the diversity across the 54 member states and the way in which the governments and people across the commonwealth connect across many levels.
One aspect of everyday life that connects, innovates and transforms people’s lives is the vehicles that they drive. Here at Xcite Car Leasing, we’re celebrating today with a look at some of our favourite vehicles from around the Commonwealth.
With so many countries in the Commonwealth it’s no surprise that there are some great car manufacturers, so we’ve got plenty to choose from!
Take a look below at the vehicles that made our top 10:
10. The Mahindra Jivo 365 DI 4WD from India
Originally a steel trading company, Mahindra and Mahindra entered the automotive manufacturing trade in 1947 when they brought the Willy Jeep to India.
Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength, and the company now spans 18 industries including farm equipment, agriculture business, and the automotive industry. They even have a US subsidiary supplying farmers across the globe with their high-quality tractors.
The model we’ve chosen to highlight is the Mahindra Jivo 365 DI 4WD tractor. We’ve chosen it because it’s the latest released and highlights the very best of what Mahindra and Mahindra can offer.
The Jivo 365 DI is the first tractor in India to utilise revolutionary position-auto control technology that makes it a puddling master. This technology works with ADDC hydraulics to give you superior performance and prevent you from getting stuck in wet conditions. All of which makes it ideal for paddy fields.
We’ve included Mahindra and Mahindra in our top ten because of the way their business has grown over the past seventy years and for their innovative designs.
9. The Elfin Type 5 from Australia
Elfin is an Australian sports car manufacturer.
Although manufacturing has been suspended for a few years and we’ve not seen any recent models since the Type 5 we’ve included Elfin on our list of top Commonwealth cars for their sporting prowess.
The brand has won 29 championships and major titles, including two Australian Driver’s Championships, five Australian Sports Car Championships, four Australian Tourist Trophies and three Formula Ford titles. Among their competitive drivers were World Formula One champion James Hunt and French Formula One driver Didier Pironi.
The Type 5 model was a limited production car that was designed to be a modern-day clubman, and more comparable with the British roadsters it was competing against than other models in their range, as the majority of the initial 100 produced were earmarked for export to the UK.
With sharp steering it was ideal for track-day action that was popular in Australian at the time of its release. The two-door car was designed for recreational racing and weekend fun and completely build in Australia.
We’ve included the Elfin Type 5 on our list as it’s a great car from a company with a rich racing history.
8. The Mureza Prim8 from South Africa
South African based company, Mureza aims to design and build affordable cars in Africa for the African driver. Although they are based in South Africa the brand is driven by companies from across the continent and wants to be a leading automobile manufacturer in Africa by 2025.
The initial cars will be a joint venture with Iran’s second-biggest car company, the SAIPA Group, which will supply platforms and components. Looking forward Mureza hopes to strive for product independence once they have established themselves on the market.
The company currently has models available for pre-order, the first of which is the Prim8 that debuted last September at the Automechanika Expo in Johannesburg.
This crossover hatchback is packed with great features, like the full leather upholstery, 7-inch infotainment centre and adaptive cruise control.
We’ve included the Mureza Prim8 on our list for the company’s ambitious goals and forward-thinking plans.
7. The IVM 6540 Minibus from Nigeria
Innoson is a Nigerian based company that hopes to reduce the number of foreign cars in the country by designing and manufacturing vehicles locally.
Originally starting life as a motorcycle part provider Innoson then moved into motorcycle production before expanding to include the rest of the automotive industry. Their extensive range now includes cars, vans, pickups and even minibuses.
We’ve chosen to include the IVM 6540 minibus on our list of great Commonwealth vehicles.
The IVM 6540 is a 17-seat minibus that combines high fuel economy, reliable safety and comfort. With a spacious layout and a front and rear suspension designed to improve the handling and absorbing capacity this model is built for driver and passenger comfort, and it’s little surprise that the model is growing in popularity across the continent.
We’ve chosen Innoson and their IVM 6540 as part of our top ten because just like Mureza the African based company aims to reduce the number of secondhand imported vehicles by designing and producing vehicles in the local community.
6. The Bezza from Malaysia
Image sourced: https://www.perodua.com.my/our-models/bezza.html
Perodua is one of Malaysia’s two biggest car manufacturers. Founded in 1993 the company has gone on to become one of the largest in the country and exports vehicles around the globe including to the UK.
They were the first car manufacturer in Malaysia, and remain the largest, to produce energy-efficient vehicles. Their cars are all designed with lightweight and compact engines to improve their fuel consumption and the vibration and noise levels.
One model which utilises this engine is the 2020 Bezza. An update on the 2018 model this compact five-seater includes Perodua’s advance safety assist system with pre-collision warning and braking, front departure alert and pedal misoperation control.
We’ve included the Bezza on our list of top Commonwealth cars as it’s the newest model from a great manufacturer who aims to make the most energy-efficient vehicles they can.
5. The Campagna T-Rex RR from Canada
Campagna Motors is a unique motor company that exclusively designs three-wheel vehicles.
Unlike the Reliant Robin, which is what most of us would think of when we think three wheels, Campagna Motors design their cars with two wheels at the front and one at the back to provide a more streamlined vehicle.
The Montreal based company currently offer two vehicles the T-Rex and the V13R. For our top ten, we’re focusing on their latest model the T-Rex RR.
In 1988 when the first Campagna car was being designed the company’s goals were to reduce the weight of vehicles, give them a very low centre of gravity, great power to weight ratio and increased handling compared to other cars on the market to give drivers the racing feel they’ve come to be known for.
Today they continue to design with those goals in mind, and the 2021 T-Rex RR is the lightest ever with a dry weight of just 998lb.
The car can be driven on the road across most of Northern America and Canada, provided you meet some safety requirements like wearing a helmet, but it’s on the track that the T-Rex really shines. The redesigned T-Rex RR has been given a facelift from previous models and with the lowest weight and three modes of traction control for you to choose from it not only looks the part but also fulfils its racing promise.
We’ve included this Canadian racer on our top list for the way they’ve reimagined the three-wheeler and made it a thrilling racing vehicle.
4. The Mobius II from Kenya
Kenyan based company Mobius Motors pride themselves on their vehicles designed in Africa for African drivers.
Not only do imported cars come with a higher price tag but they are also designed for environments that have cooler climates, so can often have difficulty with some of the challenges that African roads present. In rural and peri-urban areas the roads are often degraded, with cracks and potholes that make driving difficult without the right car.
With these challenges in mind Mobius’ aim was to design a vehicle that would be suitable for the common road terrain in the continent, typical vehicle loading and affordable on the average income levels.
First designed in 2015 the Mobius II was relaunched in 2019. This SUV was redesigned to better handle the challenging terrain it was being used in and elements were also simplified to reduce the cost and weight.
We’ve chosen to include the Mobius II on our list because it’s a car perfectly designed for the community it is designed and built in.
3. The Aston Martin Vantage from the UK
Aston Martin is one of the UK’s premium car brands.
Established in 1913 when the two founders created and raced their first sports car, the brand has gone on to become known for combining their racing heritage with a luxurious feel.
The Aston Martin Vantage is one of the brand’s more recent models. Available in an AMR or Roadster model the Vantage pairs the racing performance and knowledge from their history of track racing with a high-quality finish and luxurious interior.
With the V8 engine the Vantage is able to do 0-62 in as little as 3.6 seconds and to reach speeds of up to 195 mph and with the manual gearbox this increases to a top speed of 200 mph.
We’ve added the Aston Martin Vantage to our top 10 of cars from around the Commonwealth because the brand is one founded on over a hundred years of racing experience and this wealth of knowledge is found in every one of their vehicles.
2. The Island Cruiser from Jamaica
Excel Motors is a Jamaican based car brand that was founded in 1996 and began manufacturing cars in 2000.
The company produces four models; the Island Cruiser, the Island Pick Up, The Wasp and the Gabrielle sports car.
It’s the Island Cruiser we’ve chosen for our top ten. The two-door vehicle has room for four adults, and with the open top it’s designed so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful weather of the island. There is the option of adding a canvas roof for days when you want shade as well.
The model takes an average of two weeks to build and a few have even been exported from Jamaica to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
We’ve included the Island Cruiser on this list as it’s designed and manufactured for the climate and terrain it’s used in.
1. The Kiira EV Smack from Uganda
In 2007 a team of students and staff at the Makerere University were invited to be part of an international consortium to design and produce a plug-in hybrid for the Indian market.
Following the success of the Vision 200, the staff and more students went on to focus on electric vehicles for the market in their home country, Uganda. From this, they created Africa’s very first electric vehicle with the two-seater plug-in electric Kiira EV which was launched in 2011 by Kiira Motors Corporation.
The model we’ve chosen for our top ten is not the Kiira EV but the Kiira EV Smack, the first plug-in hybrid that’s fully designed and built in Africa.
As it’s a hybrid this 5-seater sedan offers enhanced fuel economy without the range anxiety that fully electric vehicles give.
We’ve chosen the Kiira EV Smack for our top ten because it was the first electric plug-in vehicle designed and produced in Africa, and it comes from a brand that is at the forefront of electric vehicles in the continent.
If there’s a car that you think should have made the list but didn’t please let us know in the comments below.