HSV – GTS / Maloo

April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

HSV – GTS / Maloo

FPV GT-P 2010 Review

April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The recent announcement that the Falcon Wagon will be discontinued may have left some enthusiasts worried about the future of this iconic Australian model. But at the top end of the Falcon range those concerns are unnecessary as FPV continues to unleash fierce V8-powered versions of the Ford mainstay. One of the current top-dogs in the FPV kennel is the high performance GT-P that comes stacked with the latest tech Ford’s performance arm has to offer. Car and SUV had a test drive in the GT-P to take it off the leash and see if its bite matches its loud bark.

The GT-P’s bark can be first heard in the loud exterior styling that leaves no one confused about the leery nature of this modern muscle car. Finished in a trademark Ford blue hue our test vehicle didn’t feature the ‘Boss’ decals set (available as a no-cost option), but still had a bullying athletic presence. The tone is set at the front where a “power bulged” bonnet lives above frowning headlights with war-painted grey accents and a massive lower air dam. The skirting is continued down the flanks and out back a high boot spoiler, black rear diffuser and dual exhausts confirm sinister intent. GT-P badging can be found on all four sides and bright red Brembo brake calipers hide behind distinctive 19-inch alloys. The GT-P is slightly more graceful and less in your face aesthetically than its HSV rivals, but still communicates its performance credentials with a menacing purpose.

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Subaru Legacy Sport CVT 2010 Review

April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Balance is a relative skill and while it’s easy for most of us to stroll down a flat road walking a tightrope is something we leave to the professionals. Creating a successful modern four-door family sedan is another balancing act with pitfalls on either side. Styling should be distinctive but not ostentatious, handling should be dynamic but the ride comfortable and the engine needs strength but to still offer decent fuel economy. Like most carmakers Subaru has at times struggled to perform the balancing act required to appeal to the masses and has instead been viewed as a niche automaker. Now for 2010 Subaru has a new model Legacy that is attempting to appease badge fans while attracting new buyers. Car and SUV spent some time with the Legacy Sedan Sport to take in the show.

What’s immediately noticeable with the 2010 Legacy is the increase in size over its predecessor. Length, height, width and wheelbase have all seen varying increases resulting in a completely new profile. A raked character-lined bonnet pushes into the arched roofline, ending out back in a short, high boot lid. A strip of chrome trim accents the roofline and matched up well with 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels on our tested base-model Sport. Pumped out wheel arches, a chrome grille and XL-sized light clusters finish an exterior look that’s stylishly modern but still rather generic. in fact, it shares little resemblance to the Legacys of old and is closer aligned to the Nissan Maxima. That said, it’s a handsome machine especially considering it’s the base-model and has features often reserved for higher-spec versions like front fog lamps, colour-coded side mirrors and tinted rear security glass.

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Hyundai reveals new Elantra at Korean show

April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai is staying very busy as it continues through what’s a very ambitious product renewal program. Just days after unveiling the new Accent in Beijing, Hyundai has revealed its next generation Elantra at the Busan Motor Show in South Korea.

The Elantra is the latest model to receive the “fluidic sculpture” styling cues sweeping across the Hyundai range. Slotting between the Accent and the i45 in the revitalised Hyundai line-up, the new Elantra is powered by a new direct-injected 1.6 litre Gamma GDI petrol engine, producing a healthy 102kW of power and 166Nm of torque.

The engine is mated to Hyundai’s new six-speed automatic transmission – also featured in the updated Santa Fe and the ix35 small SUV. Although exact fuel consumption figures for the new Elantra haven’t been released it’s expected to be around 10 percent more fuel efficient than its rivals.

The Avante will go on sale in South Korea in the second half of this year, at this stage it’s unknown if a NZ launch is planned.

Next TVR model to be Corvette powered

April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

TVR’s Russian owner Nikolai Smolenski has recently confirmed that the brand’s new upcoming model will likely be built by Gullwing and will be powered by a Corvette crate motor.

Apparently the GM eight-cylinder provides an efficient and powerful answer to TVR’s engine needs. The US built crate motor will also reduce the development and homologation costs. TVR also concluded that the Corvette was the most powerful off-the-shelf design and that the placing in the vehicle’s chassis enables the company to comply with all current regulations.

Although Corvette has been assigned the Crate motor duties, whether they use the 639hp LS9 engine or the 430hp NA LS3 has not been specified. It remains possible that TVR could bypass the LS9 and opt for the more refined and cheaper 505 hp LS7 found in the current Corvette Z06.

What has been revealed is that the new model will be a convertible variant of the existing Tuscan.

Mitsubishi giving Peugeot/Citroen ASX platform

April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and PSA Peugeot Citroën have announced today that the parties have come to an agreement to start a new collaborative project regarding a compact SUV.

This agreement provides for the development and adaptation for both the Peugeot and Citroën marques of a compact SUV, based on an existing Mitsubishi platform.

Launched early 2012 in Europe, these new compact SUVs will have specific designs for Peugeot and Citroën while sharing many components with the Mitsubishi vehicle, named RVR in Japan and ASX here in NZ.

These vehicles will be available in both four- and two-wheel drive. The projected volume for Peugeot and Citroën will reach 50,000 units per year for both brands.

Under the agreement, PSA Peugeot Citroën will use its 1.6 HDi diesel engine snatched from the parts bin for its own models. CO2 emissions with this engine will be particularly low for this type of vehicle, targeting, for the two-wheel drive version, 123g CO2 / km and less than 4.7 litres per 100km fuel economy.

For PSA Peugeot Citroën, the new vehicles will expand the ranges of both Peugeot and Citroën and attract new customers in a market segment they believe will grow worldwide by almost 60% by 2015.

For Mitsubishi Motors, the additional volume will enable it to bolster production of this platform.

This is the 4th cooperative project between the two partners, after the SUV Mitsubishi Outlander, Peugeot 4007 and Citroën C-Crosser agreement in 2005, the construction of a joint plant in Russia that has just been inaugurated, and the European launch in late 2010 of the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-zero electric vehicles, based on MMC’s Japanese i-MiEV model.

To read a Car and SUV road test of the Mitsubishi Outlander, click here.

To read a Car and SUV road test of the Peugeot 4007, click here.

Kia’s 2010 big game commercial

April 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

See Kia’s first big game commercial, starring the All-New 2011 Sorento, and an unbelievably colorful cast of characters.

Honda posts 28% increase in profits

April 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Honda has now joined automakers like Kia and Ford by posting solid profits during the fourth quarter of the company’s fiscal year. Now successfully weathering the economic recession storm, Honda has managed to see profits rise by 28 percent over the same period last year. This announcement marks the fourth-straight quarter of profits for the company a operating loss at the end of March, 2009. The reason behind the recent profits could be put down to hybrid sales.

In the Japanese domestic market, sales have been bolstered by the incredibly popular CR-Z Hybrid (pictured). Honda has already received over 7,000 orders for the two-door hatchback, which accounted for more than half of the vehicles the company had planned on selling in its home market.

Honda also claims its quick recovery is helped by having a range comprised mostly of fuel-efficient vehicles, something buyers in a global recession appreciate. After this good news, Honda expects to see growth continue through the rest of 2010.

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