Latest Road Tests and Reviews
Transport and energy minister Simon Bridges opened Auckland’s newest rapid-charger for electric vehicles today – confirming he will soon be switching to such a vehicle. The new station, based like the earlier Hobson street one Read More
At next week’s Geneva Motor Show Kia will show off a new crossover concept dubbed the No 3 and two new variants of the c’eed. The No 3 is a tall five-door hatch based on the c’eed platform. The five-door features a glass roof and a unique diagonal windshield header which stretches from the A-pillar on the passenger side to the B-pillar on the driver side.
The two new c’eed variants are both aimed at reduced fuel consumption. The c’eed ISG is a new regular production model that adds auto-stop-start to the both 1.4- and 1.6-litre versions of the sub-compact sedan, with a claimed boost in urban fuel mileage of around 15%. Kia is also showing a hybrid version of the c’eed that uses the system developed by Hyundai-Kia with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder. The car is part of a test fleet that will be run in Europe this year and averages 49 mpg (US) and emits just 109 g/km of CO2.
Check back for more details of concept cars at next weeks Geneva Motor Show.
At next week's Geneva Motor Show Kia will show off a new crossover ...
If you have ever wanted the speed of a sport bike with the stability of a car and you have the bottle for sub 3.3-second 0-100kph launches and 1.5 g’s on the bends, we’ve got the rig for you.
Called the Scorpion Prodigy, it’s powered by the buyers choice of one of three Suzuki bike engines. The first is a 600cc beast capable of the figures above. Then there’s the 1000 cc variant which will move the Prodigy even quicker . If that’s still not terrifying enough for you, Scorpion will plop a hefty 1300 cc into the trike. That last set up boasts 185 horsepower with a 2.5 hp/lb power to weight ratio. All for under $50,000 ($98,000 NZ). The 600cc Prodigy starts at $39,900 ($70,200 NZ).
Click here to check out the Scorpion website.
If you have ever wanted the speed of a sport bike with the stabili ...
The Tire Technology of the Year award, handed out at the Tire Technology Expo in Hamburg, Germany, has been awarded to the creators of the Self-Inflating Tyre at Coda Development.
While self-inflating tyres aren’t new to the market (especially in the commercial industry), nearly all of the existing systems utilise compressed air to inflate or maintain tire pressure. This requires a compressor or reservoir tank to feed air to the tyres. Coda’s “SIT” system uses a peristaltic pump built directly into the tyre that uses the spinning wheel to force air through a liquid-filled tube to maintain pressure at a set level. Designed to aid fuel economy and improve safety, the SIT system claims to maintain a constant inflation pressure over the lifetime of the tyre. It’s a simple, lightweight system that doesn’t require any power source, the prototype proved popular last year. Twelve months later, and now with an award under its belt, it might be time to get the SIT system rolling.
The Tire Technology of the Year award, handed out at the Tire Tech ...
I’ve spent the last three days looking at hundreds of car commercials from the 1930s through to the modern day, and it’s astounding how attitudes have changed. Today, everything is politically correct, performance is down-played, environmental credentials are prominent. Back in the 1940s (and even as late as the 1970s), the car ad was aimed at the guy. One commercial even went so far as to say “Even a woman could drive it”. Well, only if her husband let her, obviously.
There was also a lot of comparative advertising – our car is better than the opposition; cheaper, more economical, faster, roomier, etc.
You may not realise also that electric windows and seats were around in the 1940s on some models, or that many Japanese car commercials featured catchphrases in English. Nowadays, car commercials are augmented by computer graphics with an emphasis on excitement and lifestyle.
There are already hundreds of old car commercials in the video sections of our sites – www.carandsuv.co.nz/videos, www.classiccar.co.nz/videos,www.performanecar.co.nz/videos and www.v8.co.nz/videos. Stay tuned because in two weeks there’ll be a whole lot more!
I've spent the last three days looking at hundreds of car commercials ...
Details have been released on the 2009 Aston Martin DBS Volante set to debut next week at the Geneva Auto Show.
The drop-top version of Bond’s uber-Aston features a fabric roof that can be retracted in 14 seconds at speeds up to 50 kph and supposedly looks just as good with the top up as the top down. Power is provided by the same 6.0-liter V12 found in the standard DBS, putting out 510 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque to a rear-mounted six-speed manual or “Touchtronic” sequential gearbox. The run to 100 kph is performed in a scant 4.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 307 kph. Aston says it was able to keep the weight down through the use of a lightweight roof mechanism, along with a carbon fibre bonnet, front splitter and trunk lid. The standard carbon ceramic brakes — pulled directly from the fixed-roof DBS — reduce unsprung weight at all four corners and provide the powerful stopping power you’d expect.
Details have been released on the 2009 Aston Martin DBS Volante se ...
It’s been ten years since the Volkswagen Group relaunched Bugatti, but anyone familiar with historic automobiles — or automotive history — will tell you that the automaker has been around a lot longer than that. 100 years, to be exact. Although there were periods in between when the carmaker wasn’t producing, it’s been a century since Ettore Bugatti launched his company. The Bugatti team within the Volkswagen Group aren’t about to miss an opportunity, and are reportedly working on something special to present at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
Bugattis are special enough as they are, but Veyrons are hardly uncommon in the overall scheme of things. Bugatti has launched a number of special edition supercars with unique paint schemes and trim packages. If the latest rumours are to be believed this latest special Bugatti could prove very special indeed. Apparently called the Centenaire edition, reports suggest this unique Veyron may have an increased power rating — word on the street has always been that the Veyron’s quad-turbo W16 was always capable of more than its already gigantic 1000 horsepower rating it has. Estimates suggest it could go up to some 1350 horses, good enough to boost the top end up to 420 km/h from the current benchmark of 400 km/h. Special paint schemes and trim pieces will most likely be part of the mix as well, but ascending to these levels of power and performance will be a birthday gift indeed.
We’ll know for sure soon as the Geneva show is just around the corner. Check back for more updates from the show.
It's been ten years since the Volkswagen Group relaunched Bugatti, ...
The Blue Oval’s FPV F6 has built itself a big reputation with its loud colours and styling and its blistering turbocharged six-cylinder power. Most Kiwis and Aussies love it, but it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Ford Performance Vehicles knows this, and that’s why the F6’s bruiser brother the FPV GT comes in an additional, more subdued ‘E’ trim level. With no decals and darker colours and plainer front styling. It’s a more conservative Aussie muscle machine.
When the Melbourne Motor Show opens its doors in a few days, the FPV stand will be home to a production-ready F6 E ‘concept.’ Despite its more sedate appearance, under the bonnet lives the same 415-horsepower, 416 lb-ft , 4.0-litre turbo-six. Ford’s performance big-wigs say they’re using the F6 E concept car to determine whether there’s demand for a production version. However, judging by the pictures of the advanced F6 E ‘concept’, Ford’s decision has already been made.
The Blue Oval's FPV F6 has built itself a big reputation with its ...
Subaru just let loose word that a new kinder, more sensitive STI is being released. Named the A-Line, the car is focused toward those who dig on the STI badge, but aren’t quite ready to dive into the hardcore sports machine boots and all. The result is the first STI with an auto box — a five speed unit Subaru is calling SPORTSHIFT. The SPORTSHIFT is not a total slush box and comes equipped with electronic technology that matches revs on the down shift.
The A-line has other luxury additions, like eight-way adjustable leather front seats. That said, the underpinnings of the hard-nuts all-wheel driver are still there, and it shares the same turbo 2.5-litre four-pot with 300 horsepoweras its lighter-weight sibling. Best part is that you can still get the A-line in manual.
Subaru just let loose word that a new kinder, more sensitive STI i ...