News: Refreshed Outlander arrives

2Mitsubishi says it’s successful Outlander SUV, takes on a sporty new look with its 2014 range launching onto the market this month.

The six models (one 2WD, five AWD) share a design evolution of Mitsubishi’s ‘jet fighter’ look. The new front grille and face undergoes a significant redesign which is echoed from the new wheel arch surrounds through to the new rear bumper, new LED rear taillights (VRX) and enhanced by roof rails and, on XLS and VRX models, by new machine finished 18-inch alloys.

All of the 2014 Outlanders have enhanced CVT mapping and improvements in NVH levels and suspension for a quieter drive. All models gain Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) which flashes the rear high-mount stop light under heavy braking to warn following drivers. Continue reading “Refreshed Outlander arrives” »

News: US crash test scores Spark highly


Holden has announced the Barina Spark, has taken the 2014 Top Safety Pick Award for light cars in the US.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in America has chosen the Spark as the only light car out of 11 to achieve an acceptable rating in small overlap front crash tests.

The small overlap test introduced in 2012 replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another one, or an object such as a tree. In the test, 25% of the front end on the driver’s side strikes a barrier at about 60kph. Continue reading “US crash test scores Spark highly” »

News: A great name makes a comeback

Audi S1

Back in the 1980s an Audi S1 garnered a legendary reputation – it was the car that would see the brand dominate the World Rally Championship. Now the S1 is back – but this time as a road car not a rally car.

The Audi S1 and the S1 Sportback are the new flagships of the A1 compact hatch line, adding an entry-level version to the Audi S model portfolio.

The two models are powered by a 170kW 2-litre turbocharged TFSI engine producing 370 Nm of torque which is harnessed to the tarmac by a quattro permanent all-wheel drive and an extensively revamped suspension. Continue reading “A great name makes a comeback” »

News: ECU recall for Toyota Prius

Prius Hatch in Dynamic Blue On Road
Toyota has announced a number of its 3rd generation Prius vehicles are subject to a recall relating to the Electronic Control Unit.

The recall affects 1003 Prius vehicles sold new in New Zealand, manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014.

In affected vehicles the fault is a potential Electronic Control Unit (ECU) malfunction due to high operating environment temperatures. Continue reading “ECU recall for Toyota Prius” »

News: Laser light goes into series production


In mid 2014 BMW says it will be the first manufacturer worldwide to offer a production vehicle equipped with headlamps featuring a completely new laser light concept. Continue reading “Laser light goes into series production” »

News: 2014 Subaru Outback 2-litre diesel Premium


Premium appeal

Cosmetic enhancements rather than a revolutionary upgrade are the order of the day for the Model Year 2014 Subaru Outback 2-Litre diesel with the addition of an upscale Premium variant.

F8127295-7BB6-4E1D-B2B3-DA3046595062Both Outback diesels are supplied with Satellite navigation, and additionally the Premium variant comes with leather upholstery, sunroof and eight way power adjustable driver’s seat. Continue reading “2014 Subaru Outback 2-litre diesel Premium” »

Nissan: Nissan Juke Ti-S 2013 Review


We drove a Juke Ti back in April 2012 and our main complaint was that it was slow, and that’s not surprising seeing as the standard Juke has a piffling 86kW at 6000rpm. The gods of grunt have waved their hands over the Juke Ti-S, though, endowing its 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with a turbocharger which lifts power to 140kW, and four-wheel drive to make sure it gets it all to the ground.

IMG_2742It’s like the difference between firing an air rifle and a bazooka.  Gone is the need to try to force the pedal through the firewall to get any kind of acceleration because torque is also substantially increased from 158Nm at 400rpm to 250Nm in a nice flat band from 2000-5000rpm. The Juke Ti-S seems like it gets to 100kph in around 8 seconds which is pretty respectable for this type of car; the Ti languishes like a tortoise, taking around 12 seconds to get to 100kph. Continue reading “Nissan Juke Ti-S 2013 Review” »

Maserati: First drive: Maserati Quattroporte GTS V8


Robert Barry was surprised and delighted by the new Maserati Quattroporte GTS V8 sedan on the media drive programme held recently in Sydney.

Until the recent press launch of the new Quattroporte GTS V8 sports sedan, I was a Maserati novice, to be frank. I had never sat in a car from the Modena and now Turin-based Italian manufacturer, let alone had the privilege and delight of driving one.

The Italian marque celebrates its 100th year in 2014, yet it didn’t produce its first production road car – the 3500GT – until 1957. For the 40 years prior, it had been purely a manufacturer of competition vehicles, for circuit and targa racing. Continue reading “First drive: Maserati Quattroporte GTS V8” »