News: Refreshed Yaris shows it’s Swift claws


To claw back some market share it has lost to the Suzuki Swift, Toyota have launched three model grades in the 2014 Toyota Yaris and introduced more new features and benefits to its light car range to raise its market appeal.

More than 30% of Yaris sales are to the private market, and of those sales, more than 70% are sold to female buyers aged 50 years and over. The remainder of the new Yaris model sales go to fleet and rental buyers and Toyota says it intends to sell more than 1300 units in this calendar year.

The 2014 Toyota Yaris introduces a redesigned exterior, three five-door grades, plus a choice of either a 1.3 or 1.5 engine, and manual or automatic transmissions choices. Continue reading “Refreshed Yaris shows it’s Swift claws” »

News: Vale: Eoin S Young 1939-2014

eoinswallAutotalk was saddened to hear of the death this morning of 75-year-old New Zealand Grand Prix writer Eoin S Young, a native of Timaru.

Young (also known as ESY) also held the role of secretary to the late Bruce McLaren in 1962, and in 1963, he became a founding director of McLaren Racing, where he stayed for three years, but in 1966 he left McLaren to form Motormedia, his own company. At that time, Young began a weekly motor racing column in the British publication Autocar, and that assignment ran for 32 years.

In those years, Young also did McLaren-related public relations in Formula 1, the Can-Am series, and the Indianapolis 500 with Gulf Oil and Reynolds Aluminum. Continue reading “Vale: Eoin S Young 1939-2014” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Skoda: 2014 Citigo review


The Custard Yellow five-door Skoda hatchback parked on the roof top of the downtown building, almost appears as if it’s sneering at the bigger cars jammed around it in very tight spaces.

Outwardly the Citigo appears small, but that’s until you hop into it, and find a roomy and practical cabin indoors. Even Alec Issigonis [designer of the original Mini] could get a gin bottle from his liquor outlet to fit in the door recess. If it was Blue in our household it maybe referred to as the Tardis. Continue reading “Skoda: 2014 Citigo review” »

News: “Take the wheel” roadshow moves to Auckland

MBNZ-QT-16Following on from the Mercedes-Benz‘Take the Wheel’ test-drive concept in Queenstown, a collection of Mercedes-Benz compact cars will be showcased in Auckland from September 8 – 13.

This event will feature favourites from the Mercedes-Benz range in the downtown area, and offer walk up test drive opportunities to the public of sought after models including the new GLA-Class compact SUV.

“The recent launch of the GLA-Class with its combined comfort on the road, and an off road capability has resonated strongly with the New Zealand public,” says Mercedes-Benz New Zealand general manager Ben Giffin. Continue reading ““Take the wheel” roadshow moves to Auckland” »

News: BMW race series finds scholarship winner

image001Tom Groote has been chosen as the winner of the inaugural BMW E30 race series sponsorship.

As part of the sponsorship, he receives entry into all six rounds of the Castrol BMW E30 race series, as well as fuel, tyres, plus the use of an E30 race car for the duration of the championship.

BMW NZ says it supports the E30 race series by way of an incentive for racers to purchase parts at an authorised BMW retailer, plus it has given a contribution towards the scholarship car. Continue reading “BMW race series finds scholarship winner” »

News: All-new Mazda MX-5 in dealerships next year


Mazda Motor Corporation today unveiled the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 at events held simultaneously in Japan, USA and Spain. The all-new MX-5, which adopts both Skyactiv technology and Mazda’s KODO—soul of motion design language, will be rolled out to global markets starting in 2015.

The MX-5 represents Mazda’s vehicle-engineering philosophy—the pursuit of driving pleasure. “Innovate in order to preserve” was the motto for the fourth generation, as the development team searched for innovations that go beyond simple evolution.

Andrew Clearwater, Managing Director, Mazda New Zealand says he believes the Mazda MX-5 truly symbolises the heart of Mazda. Continue reading “All-new Mazda MX-5 in dealerships next year” »

News: Mitsubishi unveils Concept-S in Paris

ConceptS_FrontTwo years after unveiling its Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid vehicle at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has again chosen France’s “Mondial de L’Automobile”, opening on October 4, to premiere another new PHEV vehicle.

This time it is the Outlander PHEV Concept-S.

Taking “sporty and sophisticated” as its theme, Mitsubishi says the refined interior and exterior design expresses the unique combination of spirited 4×4 performance from its twin-motor PHEV system, soothing silent running, and superior on-road performance. Continue reading “Mitsubishi unveils Concept-S in Paris” »

News: Making safety ratings easier to understand

image113441_bANCAP says it is making it easier for consumers to identify the requirements against which each car has been tested, through the addition of a date stamp component to its ANCAP safety rating logos.

In order to provide consumers with the safest cars possible and encourage continuous improvement in vehicle safety design, ANCAP says it is continuing to raise the bar for each of its safety star ratings year by year.

The new date stamp component (e.g. “Tested 2014″) signifies the rating year requirements against which a vehicle has been tested. Continue reading “Making safety ratings easier to understand” »