News: Hamann unveils Bentley Continental GT based Imperator

Hamann Imperator fq

A few months ago, Hamann Motorsport made some noises about its tuning program for the Bentley Continental GT and GT Speed, and now they have just released full details.

Called the “Imperator” Hamann’s version of Bentley’s coupe features an aggressive aero kit including new front and bumpers, side skirts, extensions over both sets of wheels and a new rear wing. From there, customers can choose a variety of sizes of forged wheels, lowering options, a stainless steel exhaust system, and an upgraded engine management system that boosts the bi-turbo W12 to well over 600 horsepower.

The interior gets the full treatment as well, with a new 3-spoke steering wheel, leather or ultra-suede and of course lashings of carbon fibre. Price is to be announced but don’t expect it to be cheap.

A few months ago, Hamann Motorsport made some noises about its tun ...

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News: Volkswagen launches MkVI Golf and Scirocco in NZ

The new MkVI Golf and Scirocco were launched yesterday at a special event in Auckland. The latest incarnation of the iconic Golf offers a natural continuation of Volkswagen’s design language and continues its commitment to making low emission economical vehicles.

Two specification levels are available in New Zealand, with either a TSI petrol or TDI diesel engine, matched to a DSG transmission.

The TSI 90kW 7DSG and TDI 77kW 7DSG (available mid year) are equipped as standard with 15″ Wellington alloy wheels, ‘Scout / Merlin’ cloth upholstery, ‘Climatic’ semi-automatic airconditioning, a leather bound steering wheel and RCD 310 stereo system that features a CD player, MP3 compatibility and auxiliary input socket.  Safety features are prominent and standard it is 7 airbags (front, front side, curtain and driver’s knee), whiplash optimised front head restraints and an Electronic Stability Programme that includes ABS brakes, Electronic Traction Control (ETC) and Electronic Diff Lock (EDL).

In addition, the TSI 118kW 7DSG and TDI 103kW 6DSG receives 16″ Atlanta alloy wheels, a ‘Climatronic’ 2-zone automatic airconditioning system, leather multi function steering wheel and a Light and Vision package (rain sensing wipers, auto lights and auto dimming interior mirror).

Pricing for the MkVI Golf starts at $40,590 for the 90kW TSI, $46,590 for the 118kW TSI and $48,790 for the 103kW TDI. The new Golf GTI is scheduled to arrive in the coming months.

The VW Scirocco will be available in New Zealand with two TSI petrol engines. The first is the innovative TSI twincharger engine, utilising both a supercharger and turbocharger to produce 118kW of power and 240Nm of torque. Fuel is consumed at a combined rate of just 6.4L/100km, along with 148g/km of CO2. With this engine, the drive is transmitted through the latest generation ¨7-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), giving it a 0-100kph time of 8 seconds.

The second is the turbo charged 147kW TSI engine from the Golf GTI. ¨Mated to a 6 speed DSG, it will accelerate the Scirocco to 100kph from rest in just ¨7.1 seconds. Despite this strong performance, the combined fuel consumption is only 7.6L/100km and CO2 emissions of 179g/km.

All four occupants of the new Scirocco have a full size sports seat.  Temperature control is taken care of by the Climatic air conditioning system. Other features include a leather bound sports steering wheel, cruise control, hill hold control and 17″ alloy wheels.

With the 147kW TSI engine, the Scirocco will also feature a multi-function sports steering wheel with DSG gear change paddles, front fog lights and a rear parking aid.

Pricing for the Scirocco is $49,990 for the 118kW TSI engine and $55,990 for the top spec 147kW TSI.

The new MkVI Golf and Scirocco were launched yesterday at a specia ...

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News: Is the Australian car manufacturing industry doomed?

Holden Commodore SS Sportwagon rq

Is the Australian car manufacturing industry going to the dingoes? An industry analyst has predicted Holden will be the first to go, and that no amount of Australian government intervention will reverse the steep decline in new car sales coupled with the fact that Australian manufacturers lose money on every car they produce.

Holden has recently halved production at its South Australian plant from 600 to around 310. If Holden goes, so could Ford (another big victim of the credit crunch), and ultimately Toyota. But is it a correct assumption?

It certainly isn’t anything new – Car and SUV reported months ago that the bailouts from the US government would force Ford and GM to look at consolidating operations. But, Holden has a weapon: the Commodore. It is very successful in the Middle East, and America has adopted it in the form of the Pontiac G8. Ford America has not adopted the Falcon (which, arguably, is a slightly better car).

While we think that Holden and Ford (and perhaps Toyota) will be around for quite some time in Australia, here are some of the influencing factors so you can decide for yourself:

GM is too broke to develop a new rear-wheel-drive platform, so the Zeta platform that underpins the Camaro and Commodore could see active service for 10 years.

The global exposure to V8 Supercars will surely keep at least FPV and HSV in business, even if they become niche manufacturers.

Australians thrive on the competition between Ford and Holden. GM may retrench, but it would still need to badge its cars Holden to have credibility, or it will lose sales to other manufacturers

And therefore, branding: Ford has the advantage as there’s no difference in name between Ford overseas and Ford in Australia; Holden has a lot of brand equity in Oz – is would be expensive (and potentially damaging to its value) to just ditch Holden. And who would want to buy it?

Exchange rates will make European cars relatively more expensive than domestically produced cars

Car sales have hit an 8-year low and there’s a glut of new cars and near-new cars on the market at knock-down prices.

Australian car manufacturers are losing money on cars they produce

China could pose a threat in terms of manufacturing capability – it pays its workers pitifully

US government bailouts may come with conditions to remove unprofitable centres – this might be especially true of GM which is teetering on declaring bankruptcy so it can restructure

Is the Australian car manufacturing industry going to the dingoes? ...

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News: AC Cars roll out new Mk VI Cobra

AC Cobra MkVI fq

Engine lifted from a Corvette, brakes from Porsche and assembled in Germany? It can’t be an AC Cobra, but that’s exactly what it is. Amidst the masses of Cobra replicas on the market, the original AC Cars, has just released details on the latest version of its classic sportscar. The upgraded retro-styled sports car is set to make its official debut later this month at the prestigious Top Marques show in Monaco.

An assembly contract with German manufacturer Gullwing GmbH sees the latest Cobra assembled in Heyda, Germany, and it’s fitted with a handy lightweight removable hardtop and no suprises – gullwing doors. The aluminum body over tubular space-frame chassis weighs just 2,260 lbs and is powered by a thumping 6.2-litre V8 sourced from the Corvette, tuned to produce 437 hp in standard GT form or a whopping 647 hp in GTS spec, the extra power coming courtesy of a supercharger. Stopping strength is provided by Porsche-sourced four-piston calipers and vented discs. 0-100km is completed in just 3.3 seconds offering the kind of rear-wheel shredding performance that Cobra enthusiasts crave.

Engine lifted from a Corvette, brakes from Porsche and assembled i ...

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News: MTM uses Porsche green on latest R8R

MTM R8R green rq

As awesome as owning an Audi R8 may be, the German supercar is becoming common enough that in richer countries than our own, you may just pass another one on your daily commute. You may even pass one in the same color, which might make the ownership experience slightly less exclusivel for the driver. That particular dilemma is what the aftermarket has always thrived on. Famous German tuner MTM has already shown that they are more than capable of adding power to your ride to help make it stand out from the crowd, but with their new project, they are also showing how a simple change of color can work wonders in giving your prized ride a whole new aura.

This particular MTM Audi R8R has been done up in Porsche GT3 (2D8) green, and it’s a mint looker. With a replacement aero kit, new MTM Bimoto rims and a blower that helps it match its corporate cousin the Lamborghini LP560-4, this R8 will stand out. The unique colour was to demonstrate the capabilities of MTM personalisation, and it does that well.

As awesome as owning an Audi R8 may be, the German supercar is bec ...

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News: Toyota A-BAT concept put on hold

Toyota A-BAT fq

The Toyota A-BAT concept vehicle has been put on indefinite hold according to Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales USA’s vice president and general manager. The striking looking truck was due for production sometime this year, but the market has changed and Toyota is looking at more sensible vehicles. According to Carter, “We have a lot of top priorities right now, and A-BAT isn’t one of them.”

Toyota’s decision to put the project on hold doesn’t come as a surprise. With auto sales down overall — and utes being hit particularly hard in the last year — the business case for a compact, hybrid truck would be hard to justify.

Originally, it was assumed the A-BAT would be sold as a Scion in the States, but with the “youth” brand’s renewed focus on smaller vehicles, a pick-up would be in stark contrast to the rest of the line-up.

“The market has changed dramatically over the last 12 months.” Carter said. “We always keep reprioritizing — under good economic or recessionary times — what our planning is. For now, the A-BAT is on the shelf.”

The Toyota A-BAT concept vehicle has been put on indefinite hold a ...

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News: VW Nationals 2009 in Napier – 98 images

The weather held and remained shining for the 2009 VW Nationals, which was held in Napier over Easter weekend.

The event was centered around Napier’s Kennedy Park Top 10 Holiday Park, and kicked off on Friday with a meet ‘n’ greet, which saw friends united in their passion of VWs. Saturday’s Show ‘n’ Shine was a success, with Beetles, Kombis, Variants, and many more types of VWs putting on their best sparkle to impress the judges.

Sunday’s Vee Dub Shoppe cruise saw over 200 VWs in convoy around the Bay. A couple of police were on board to help the convoy run smoothly and without incident.

Next year sees the VW Nationals head to the South Island to be hosted by the Nelson club.

The weather held and remained shining for the 2009 VW Nationals, w ...

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News: Ferrari’s fastest soft top arrives in NZ

Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M fq

The fastest soft top production Ferrari has arrived in NZ, but the Ferrari Scuderia 16M will never become a common sight with just 12 earmarked for Australia and three for New Zealand guaranteeing rarity value and with all 15 already sold its already too late to own Ferrari’s 315 kmh soft top supercar.

With the all-new Ferrari California, boasting the legendary car maker’s first folding hard top, arriving later this year, 2009 is Ferrari’s year of supercar open air motoring.

The Scuderia Spider 16M has been created with the goal of bringing together Ferrari performance with open top motoring. The result is the best-performing spider ever created by Ferrari, a car designed to evoke the emotions of the Barchetta models that were the protagonists of the great multi-stage races of the 1950s.

The car’s technological solutions make the most of the latest innovations in the 430 Scuderia, derived from Formula 1, to guarantee uncompromising handling on the road. This is reflected in the name, which is also connected to Formula 1: a celebration of the 16 World Constructors’ Titles Ferrari has won. The Scuderia Spider 16M a special, limited edition for only 499 customers worldwide, including 15 in Australia and New Zealand.
SCUDERIA SPIDER 16M – Technical Specifications

Overall length                        4512 mm
Overall width                         1923 mm
Height                                    1216 mm
Wheelbase                             2600 mm
Front track                             1669 mm
Rear track                              1616 mm
Dry weight*                           1340 kg
Kerb weight*                          1440 kg
Weight distribution 43% front – 57% rear
Fuel capacity                         95 litres
Boot capacity                        250 litres

Front                                       235/35 ZR 19
Rear                                        285/35ZR 19

Front                                       6 pistons — 398 x 36 mm
Rear                                        4 pistons — 350 x 34 mm

CST with F1-Trac system (Control for Stability and Traction)

Type                                        90° V8
Bore and stroke                     92 x 81 mm
Unit displacement                 538.5 cc
Total displacement               4308 cc
Compression ratio                11.9:1
Maximum power**              375.4 kW (510 CV) at 8500 rpm
Maximum torque                  470 Nm (47.3 lbft) at 5250rpm

Maximum speed                   315 kmh
0-100 kmh                             3.7 seconds
0-1000 m                               21.1 s
Weight/Power ratio              2.6 kg/CV

F1-SuperFast2 –                     6 gears + Reverse

Front:                                     double wishbone
Rear:                                       double wishbone

Combined (ECE+EUDC)*   15.7 l/100 km

Combined(ECE+EUDC)*    360g/km

The fastest soft top production Ferrari has arrived in NZ, but the ...

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