News: Inkster and Winn take Targa win

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Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn have won the 20th anniversary Targa South Island, the Pukekohe pair arriving at the finish line in downtown Queenstown this evening (Sat Nov 01) with a lead of eight minutes and 10 seconds over fellow Mitsubishi Evo pair Todd and Rhys Bawden.

Of the 26 stages confirmed at the Queenstown finish Inkster and Winn won their class – Instra.com Allcomers 4WD – in 20.

Five-time former winner Tony Quinn and co-driver Naomi Tillett won three in Quinn’s new Lamborghini but only contested three of the event’s six days thanks to a high-speed crash at the end of the second day. Continue reading “Inkster and Winn take Targa win” »

News: New guidelines to prevent tourist crashes

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Best practice guidelines have been developed for rental vehicle operators to help educate international visitors on driver safety.

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) spearheaded development of the Safer Journey Guidelines, working with representatives from the rental vehicle and campervan sector and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

“The voluntary guidelines reflect industry good practice for communicating with visiting drivers at three key stages of their trip – when they book, when they arrive to check out their rental vehicle and during their journey around New Zealand,” says Steve Hanrahan, TIA Advocacy Manager. Continue reading “New guidelines to prevent tourist crashes” »

News: No NZ plan for Tesla

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The Green Party may have ideas around having Tesla Model S sedans as government limousines, but if they do they will be private imports, with Tesla telling AutoTalk it has no plans for the New Zealand market.

The suggestion of the vehicle came this week as media jumped upon the approaching date for the renewal of the ‘All-of-Government’ fleet arrangements renewal – that will include the VIP fleet.

But according to Tesla’s Melbourne based communications manager, Heath Walker, New Zealand is currently not catered for in the company’s plans. Continue reading “No NZ plan for Tesla” »

News: Standardisation key to profits for premium brands

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Premium manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and BMW want to sell more standardised cars and services to boost profit margins and simplify the complex list of buyer optionss , while also giving them the choice of a bespoke car if they want.

The move is partly aimed at attracting customers who might struggle with the ever growing list of model variants, multimedia features and safety technology available in new cars, said all three companies at the Paris motor show.

Volvo Cars chief executive Hakan Samuelsson says the trend to offer more and more choice in equipping cars was over-rated. Continue reading “Standardisation key to profits for premium brands” »

News: Special Edition E-Class released

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Mercedes-Benz has taken a leaf of out its rival BMW’s book with the launch of a special edition E Class saloon with $11,000 worth of added value at no extra cost to the customer.

Mercedes-Benz New Zealand says the E 250 (petrol) and E 250 CDI (diesel) saloon ‘Special Edition’ will be available to customer order for a limited time.

Both‘Special Edition’ E 250 models are fitted with heated front seats, a 360 degree camera, wood/leather steering wheel, illuminated front door sills, Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system and a panoramic sliding sunroof. Continue reading “Special Edition E-Class released” »

News: Can’t afford a Ferrari? How about a share

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Even if you can’t afford the price of a Ferrari, you are soon likely to be able to get your hands on a share of the prancing house.

An actual share – with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announcing plans to split off the supercar maker and list 10% of it on the New York Stock Exchange.

The plan is expected to raise around US$1.15 billion, as the company tries to pay down nearly US$5 billion in debt. Continue reading “Can’t afford a Ferrari? How about a share” »

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz: 2014 C 250 sedan review

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After a week behind the wheel of a new Mercedes-Benz S 500 sedan, swapping over into a new Mercedes-Benz C 250 might seem a bit of a come down.

To be frank, nothing could be further from the truth. While I did miss the mighty V8 engine of the S 500, I didn’t miss its rather substantial on-road footprint. The C-Class is considerably smaller and more nimble, and its four-cylinder power plant has more than enough power to propel you around miscreant trucks on the motorway. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2014 C 250 sedan review” »

Fiat: Fiat: 2014 Punto Pop review

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At $17,490 here you have one of the cheapest new cars on the New Zealand market, and it’s from Europe which means you can indulge in a bit of Euro brand snobbery. In fact, I’ve even seen them advertised for $16,990, and that’s just ridiculously low. Compared to what they cost in the UK, we get a pretty good deal which is definitely not the case with a lot of our marques. As far as I can tell from Fiat’s UK website the little Punto Pop sells for just over ten thousand pounds on the road which is the equivalent of twenty-one grand here. Continue reading “Fiat: 2014 Punto Pop review” »