Land Rover: Land Rover Discovery 4 Black Limited Edition 2013 Review

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At $130,250 I’m as likely to go roving over the land as I am to wear my favourite business shirt while doing judo. However, with the limited off-roading I dare do in the Discovery 4 Black, which consisted of a verified ‘safe’ bit of beach and some fairly non-challenging rocks, I can confirm that it has abilities that normal cars don’t have on terrain that will throw you around and pin you to the mat.

land-rover-discovery-4-black-front-interiorFive Terrain Response modes help the air suspension adapt to the requirements. Leave it in the standard mode and you’ll get through most obstacles, but there are options for low gear ratios, raising the suspension up to 125mm for a total of 310mm for extreme off-road, and lowering it by 50mm to allow easier entry for passengers. Bashing through the rocks? Put it in the rock crawl mode which gives lighter braking. In ruts and mud? Put it in the mud mode for better ground clearance. On the beach? Put it in sand mode to give better launch control to stop you digging yourself a hole. Continue reading “Land Rover Discovery 4 Black Limited Edition 2013 Review” »

News: Peugeot family loses control in bail out deal

74601peu84PSA Peugeot Citroen has announced it will raise 3 billion Euro in a deal with Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng and the French government, which will see the end of the Peugeot family controlling the company.

Dongfeng and the French government will each inject 800 million Euro in return for a 14% stake in Peugeot. There is also a 1.4 billion Euro rights issue for shareholders and the market to take part.

The deal will see the Peugeot family’s 25% stake and 38% of voting rights diluted, leaving it with the same stake as Dongfeng and the French government. No one party will have a big enough stake to veto decisions. Continue reading “Peugeot family loses control in bail out deal” »

News: Indian safety is worrying says Global NCAP

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India’s five most popular small cars have scored a zero in a crash-safety test conducted by UK-based Global NCAP.

The Tata Nano, the Maruti Alto 800, the Hyundai i10, the Ford Figo and the Volkswagen Polo, account for almost 20% of sales in the Indian continent, which now has the greatest number of global road fatalities per annum.

However, in response, all of the manufacturers concerned have responded with the same line, that they comply with all Indian safety standards. Continue reading “Indian safety is worrying says Global NCAP” »

News: Wanxiang places winning bid for Fisker

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Chinese automotive parts manufacturer Wanxiang Group has won the auction for bankrupt luxury plug-in car manufacturer Fisker Automotive Holdings.

The winning bid of USD $149.2 million bid, was almost six times the amount Fisker was seeking when it filed for bankruptcy.

Wanxiang triumphed over rival bidder Hybrid Tech Holdings, with an offer that includes USD $126.2 million in cash and USD$8 million in assumed liabilities, says Fisker. Continue reading “Wanxiang places winning bid for Fisker” »

News: Designed by GM India, built by Holden design

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While Holden will cease manufacturing operations in Australia, its design centre is only one of two in the world of General Motors that is capable of constructing and fabricating concept vehicles for motor shows.

At the New Delhi motor show GM India unveiled the Chevrolet Adra, a compact SUV that it designed and engineered, but the concept car was manufactured by Holden in it’s Port Melbourne design centre.

Adra is the first concept created by General Motors technical centre India (GMTC-I) specifically for the Indian market. Continue reading “Designed by GM India, built by Holden design” »

News: Unchanged pricing for Captiva update

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Holden has launched the 2014 Captiva range which sees renamed trim levels and a number of styling changes made to the line up but prices remain unchanged.

Trim levels on the Captiva 7 range have been renamed, with SX, CX and LX becoming LS, LT and LTZ respectively.

The Captiva 7 car line receives a redesigned front fascia and grille. Rear styling has also been updated with a new rear fascia that features redesigned chrome exhaust tips and a new LED tail lamp design. Continue reading “Unchanged pricing for Captiva update” »

News: Corolla sedan revealed in Australia

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Toyota has just launched its all-new Corolla sedan in Australia, which sees a 100mm increase in the length between the front and rear wheels over the previous model for more interior space, as well as the introduction of a new multi-drive automatic transmission.

Toyota’s Melbourne-based technical centre refined the chassis package for the Australian market cars to suit local driving conditions and driver demands, particularly on undulating country roads and unsealed and corrugated surfaces.

Technical centre engineers also re-calibrated Corolla’s electric power steering to ensure ease of parking as well as an intuitive level of steering response through roundabouts and on winding mountain roads. Continue reading “Corolla sedan revealed in Australia” »

Ford: Ford Fiesta Sport Ecoboost 2013 review

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Rorty, naughty, and sporty

Unknown-6There is nothing quite like the unmistakeable thrum of a three-cylinder engine, and the new turbocharged 1-Litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford Fiesta Sport has the sound, but better yet, the power and efficiency that you would expect from a modern unit.

Under the One Ford plan, the Fiesta has been sold globally since it’s European launch in 2008, it arrived in New Zealand in 2009, as well as China and the USA. Its available as hatchback and a sedan depending on the market its sold in.

New Zealand bound Fiesta’s now come from the Ford production plant in Thailand, rather than Europe and theres a few noticeable differences, such as the hard-to-the-touch plastics in the cabin and the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel.

I’m being a bit picky here, but the quality of the Thai-built cars is very good overall, the fit and finish is good for the retail price being asked. Continue reading “Ford Fiesta Sport Ecoboost 2013 review” »