News: Right-hand-drive Mustang testing begins

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The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s lineup of global vehicles will allow the car to be exported to more than 25 right-hand-drive markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Mustang engineers recently finished construction of the very first right-hand-drive sixth-generation Mustang. The prototype Mustang will be used to conduct various development tests in preparation for the car’s entry into the global market in the coming months.

While the United States is the largest market for Mustang with more than 9.2 million sales since the car’s debut in 1964, more than 161,000 Mustangs have been sold outside of North America in that time. In 2012 alone, more than 4,000 Mustangs were sold in 35 countries outside of North America, ranging from the United Arab Emirates to Chile to the Philippines. Continue reading “Right-hand-drive Mustang testing begins” »

News: Stretched Volvo S60 takes off in China

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Volvo says it’s sales growth in China can be attributed to increased public awareness of the brand, along with an expanding dealership network. However, what’s really moving Chinese Volvo sales could be the addition of 75mm worth of legroom to the S60 sedan.

For Volvo, the S60L marks the company’s entry into the long wheelbase mid-size luxury car market.

Mid-size luxury sedans such as Volvo’s S60, BMW’s 3-Series, and Audi’s A4 are popular amongst Chinese bureaucrats, young business executives, and a burgeoning middle-class, many of whom are being driven around by chauffeurs. Continue reading “Stretched Volvo S60 takes off in China” »

Ford: Ford: 2014 Focus Sport hatch review

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Yet another five-door hatch you say to yourself as you saunter towards the test car that’s fully fuelled with petroleum.

The bronze metallic effect of the paintwork enhances the shape and form of the Focus Sport much like contestants in the semi finals of a bodybuilding competition.

The colour is officially called Lunar Sky which is available along with Lunar Black, Midnight Sky, Winning Blue, Frozen White and Candy Red covering most bases and tastes.

Short of the excessive rear roof spoiler and a rather out of place letter “S” on the tailgate, you could be looking at one of an endless stream of anonymous tin boxes with colour added. Continue reading “Ford: 2014 Focus Sport hatch review” »

News: Maserati Ghibli takes on the prestige coupes

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Maserati has pitched the new Ghibli sports sedan into a very competitive segment in the premium luxury space occupied by other European brands such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar.

You might think the most direct competitor for the Ghibli would be the E-Class Mercedes-Benz or the BMW 5-series but you would be wrong. This machine has far loftier ambitions than being a direct competitor to a Stuttgart or Munich taxi.

The coupe-like Ghibli is more of a true competitor for the other four-door coupes appearing in the Executive Class such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the Audi A7, the Jaguar XF R and the BMW 6 series Gran Coupe. Continue reading “Maserati Ghibli takes on the prestige coupes” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Suzuki: 2014 Swift Sport automatic

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I’m really getting fed up with how excellent the Suzuki Swift Sport is. Every time I get one it’s pretty much exactly the same; just a few minor tweaks, and that’s it. It’s like having the perfect girlfriend and then every six months she learns how to make a different dessert.

But is one new dessert a year enough?

Looking at it from the outside, it looks almost exactly like the Swift has looked since 2007 when I first drove one. It is the Peter Pan of small cars. Yes, the nose has changed a little, the lights have smeared their way backwards up the bonnet line, the wheels are an inch bigger and it’s a little more sculpted down the sides, there’s not much in it. Continue reading “Suzuki: 2014 Swift Sport automatic” »

News: X marks the spot for Ford

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Ford has confirmed that the next generation of Ford Falcon will be known as the FG X.

The “FG” series prefix carries over for the refreshed Falcon range, as a way to promote the heritage of the Fairmont and Ghia nameplates that have featured on previous prestige Falcon models.

The letter “X” is also a significant piece of the Falcon story, having been used for both the original Falcon XK model in 1960 and through four-generations of Falcons from the 1960s through to the 1990s, including some of the more popular Falcon models like the XR, XW, XY, XA, XB, XD and XF. Continue reading “X marks the spot for Ford” »

News: BMW product offensive continues

BMW-4-Series-Gran-CoupeBMW has released pricing for the all-new 4 Series Gran Coupe, which will be available as either a 428i Sport Line or six-cylinder 435i M Sport.

It is part of a continuing offensive of new products as BMW seeks to maintain its leadership in the premium car sector locally.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is 4,638 mm in length, 1,825 mm wide and shares the same wheelbase and track of the 4 Series Coupe. The major difference between the Coupe and the Gran Coupe lies in the roofline, which sits 12 mm higher and extends a further 112 mm towards the rear of the car. Continue reading “BMW product offensive continues” »

News: More refined Holden Trax into dealerships

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Holden has launched a much improved model year 2015 Holden Trax compact SUV, with the addition of a top of the range 1.4-litre turbo LTZ model, to build on its 11% market share of the segment in New Zealand.

Year to date Holden’s compact SUV has sold more than 371 units, it lies fourth in the under $40k market behind the Mitsubishi ASX (410), Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (431) and the Hyundai ix35 (897).

The 1.4-litre iTi engine is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission and this LTZ model will sit above the 1.8-litre engine in the expanded Trax line-up, offering customers an engine option that provides 103kW of power and 200Nm of torque, with fuel economy of 6.9L/100km. Continue reading “More refined Holden Trax into dealerships” »