BMW: BMW: 2014 435i Coupe review

BMW 435i 2014 front quarter

The 4 Series is BMW’s answer to Audi’s A5, and I quite like the A5. The A5 slots between the A4 and A6, just as the 4 Series slots between the venerable 3 Series and the quite mighty 5 Series. The 4 Series follows BMW’s even-numbered coupe nomenclature as opposed to the odd-numbered sedans, and therefore it cuts a fine sleek line as it drives slowly towards the car park that is nearer to the front door of the office than that of the minions.

It shares the same basic undergarments as the 3 Series but is 26mm longer, 43mm wider and 16mm lower. This means that the 4 Series looks like a trained boxer, all squat and ready to pounce compared to the more relaxed 3 Series. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 435i Coupe review” »

News: October dealership arrival for Mazda3 diesel

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The Mazda3 line up is about to get a new addition which is a high performance diesel hatch packed with luxury and technology says the company.

The new Mazda3 SP22 Limited is powered by the 2.2l Skyactiv-D diesel engine which produces 129 kW of power and 420 Nm of torque while delivering fuel consumption from just 5L/100km.

Due for New Zealand release in early October, the SP22 Limited is only available in a hatch and it will sit alongside the top of the range Petrol SP25 Limited hatch. However an array of unique features distinguish it from the SP25 including a front grille with red accent, LED fog lamps, high-gloss lower rear bumper and Bright 18-inch Alloy wheels. Continue reading “October dealership arrival for Mazda3 diesel” »

News: C-Class hits the right note

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2014-C-Class-interior-redThe Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes makes up around third of the company’s volume in New Zealand, and those buyers are a loyal lot to the brand.
AutoTalk travelled to Melbourne recently to sample the latest C-Class generation, which has begun its roll out.

Mercedes-Benz New Zealand general manager Ben Giffen suggests the company are expecting a volume of around 40-50 units a month for the model. He says that good supply is available.

The C200 with its 2-litre turbo-charged petrol engine is likely to be the sales leader, overshadowing the 1.6-litre diesel option. There are also C250 petrol and diesel options available. Continue reading “C-Class hits the right note” »

News: Refreshed Yaris shows it’s Swift claws

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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

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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” »