Holden: European-sourced Holden’s on their way

2014 Insignia VXR wagon 3:4

While the debate rages as to what will replace the Commodore as Holden’s large car come 2018 – there are new lion-badged options coming far sooner that deserve a look – and may provide clues in themselves.

The company announced earlier this year the return of European sourced models to its line up – the Cascada cabriolet, Astra GTC hatch/coupe and the large sedan Insignia VXR. Continue reading “European-sourced Holden’s on their way” »

News: Police use GPS tracker to find kidnap victim

GPS-tracking-on-cars1A woman who was kidnapped off the streets of Philadelphia in the United Sates was relocated thanks to a GPS tracking device that had been installed on the kidnapper’s car by the dealer, in case it needed to be repossessed.

Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, 22, is resting at her mother’s home in Philadelphia after a three-day ordeal that ended when federal agents surrounded the car and seized the kidnapping suspect.

Her rescue came after authorities spotted the used-car dealer’s name on a traffic camera photo of Delvin Barnes’ vehicle and recognised the dealership as one that routinely puts GPS devices on its cars, according to sheriff’s captain Jayson Crawley, of Charles City County, Virginia. Continue reading “Police use GPS tracker to find kidnap victim” »

News: Hydrogen-powered cars become a reality

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Toyota has launched an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell sedan that delivers maximum power well above 100kW with a range of 500km.

The all-new four door sedan – called Mirai, a Japanese word meaning “future” – has the cruising range of a conventional sedan, can be refuelled in less than five minutes and emits only water vapour when driven.

The Toyota fuel-cell system (TFCS), which enables the Mirai to produce its own electricity, incorporates world-first technology and several world-leading systems, including for power density and hydrogen storage density. Continue reading “Hydrogen-powered cars become a reality” »

News: Road funding at risk from smart car technology

image94579_bTransport technologies such as electric cars, car pooling smartphone apps, and vehicle collision avoidance systems are creating risks to New Zealand’s investment in roads says a report released by The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

As electric and hybrid vehicles become more common, less petrol will be used. Challenges for the government include safeguarding fuel excise revenue that funds transport infrastructure and charging road users fairly and efficiently, says the NZIER report.

Accelerating the adoption of safer car technologies, rather than spending billions on safety works over the next decade is also worth assessing more closely, says the report. Continue reading “Road funding at risk from smart car technology” »

News: All-star Alfa Romeo heading to NZ

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Ahead of its arrival in New Zealand next year the Alfa Romeo 4C
has collected yet another international media award.

US motoring magazine Automobile has bestowed its “2015 All-Star”
award onto the 4C, being an accolade for the car that magazine’s
readers most want to drive in 2015.

“When you’re out on your favourite stretch of winding road or at the local
track blazing away, turbo-four wailing behind your ears, the Alfa Romeo
4C reminds you what it means to drive with joy, with purpose,” says
Automobile editor-in-chief Mike Floyd. Continue reading “All-star Alfa Romeo heading to NZ” »

News: Twist inside Citroen in Paris showroom

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Citroen’s international showroom at number 42 on the Champs-Elysee in Paris, known as C_42, has added another unique feature for visitors.

It is a tubular slide known as “Twist inside Citroen” which takes guests from the top floor of the building to the basement in 15 seconds.

The 26-metre high and 63-metre long creation has been installed as part of Citroen’s “happy revolution” brand renewal programme, which also coincides with the launch of the new C1 light car and the C4 Cactus crossover, which is due to arrive in New Zealand in 2015. Continue reading “Twist inside Citroen in Paris showroom” »

News: AA says repeat offenders need alcohol interlocks

breathalyser-alcosense-fr9000-interlock-photo-1While it supports the reduction in the legal blood alcohol limits for adults, the Automobile Association says stopping drink driving crashes will take more than just that.

The adult (20 and older) limit will lower to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (.05) on December 1.

The AA says a lot of drink drivers are people with serious alcohol issues who aren’t in control of their drinking. It wants to see alcohol interlocks fitted to the vehicles of all repeat drink drivers or those caught at twice the criminal limit. Continue reading “AA says repeat offenders need alcohol interlocks” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review

Toyota Yaris ZR 2014 front quarter

This pair of Yaris – maybe that’s Yarii – are set to wage war on the urban landscape, giving potential punters a budget option or a ‘fries-with-that’ option in the small car segment. As far as price goes, there’s $5000 between them: the GX starts at a wallet-caressing $24,990, while the ZR with the optional sat nav and SUNA package adds garnish and spices for $29,990. If you’re happy with a manual then you can get the GX for $22,990. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review” »