Latest Road Tests and Reviews
TMP, the company that owns and operates the international motorsport park at Taupo, say it is to be renamed the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park. The motorsport park’s future was re-assured following a financial and management Read More
As expected in automotive circles Bentley will be forced to slow production of its high-end luxury cars for several weeks over the next few months. According to Bentley’s U.S. spokesman David Reuter, the newer Continental line will shut down for a period of seven weeks, while the slightly more mature Arnage production line will be dormant for six weeks. Over the course of 2008, sales dropped by roughly 30%, leading Bentley’s factory in Crewe to cut production by about 15% and things aren’t expected to improve in 2009. Regardless, Bentley’s German ownership isn’t pulling development dollars from the British brand, so any new products that were slated for introduction in 2009 are still on schedule.
As expected in automotive circles Bentley will be forced to slow p ...
The 2009 Nissan 370Z has already proven itself overseas as one of the best performance bargains on the market, but for those who crave the wind blown experience that only a drop-top can deliver, a convertible variant is right around the corner. Nissan will unveil the 370Z convertible at the New York Auto Show on April 8th, and according to early reports it’s going to look remarkably better than its predecessor.
The awkward roofline and misshapen rear will be dispatched in favor of a more fluid canvas roof, because unlike the 350Z, the 370 was designed from scratch as a convertible. As previously reported, Nissan decided early on that a retractable hard-top was out of the question, mainly due to packaging and weight constraints. The 3.7-litre V6 will carry over, along with the choice of a manual or automatic gearbox and Base or Touring trims.
The 2009 Nissan 370Z has already proven itself overseas as one of ...
It’s hard to imagine Australian police without their full-size V8 cruisers, but one branch of the Australian Police Force, in Sydney’s Leichhardt, have gone to the absolute other extreme with a Fiat 500 JTD, the most economical car on the Australian market, now serving as a Police car.
But do not expect any highly economical police chases through the streets of Sydney. With New Zealand-born Constable Tui Ormsby at the wheel, the Fiat 500 Police car works to solve crime and stop road accidents before they happen by attracting attention to public education programmes run by the Police.
“When it comes to visibility, the Fiat 500 has proven to be an exceptional car, attracting attention and interest like no other car we have used,” said Superintendent Wayne Cox, the Leichhardt Local Area Commander. “With its primary role as providing a talking point from which we can discuss road safety and break down any barriers that may exist, the Fiat Bambino Police Car has attracted interest from all areas and all age groups.”
“Despite being marked up as a police vehicle, we don’t use the Fiat for normal police work,” said Supt Cox. “The Fiat is used for community policing, it’s a great way of building rapport between young people and police and certainly helps us get our safe driving messages through to car enthusiasts.”
“The Fiat frees up normal police cars so they can be out on the roads, not only helping to save lives but also helping to fight crime,” adds Supt Cox.
It’s hard to imagine Australian police without their full-si ...
General Motors and AM General have just announced that 200 employees at its Indiana, USA, factory where the Hummer H2 and military versions of the HMMWV are assembled will be temporarily laid off until at least March. All of the affected workers assemble civilian Hummers, though it’s rumored that the company may move some of these displaced employees to the military side of the operation.
This round of cuts can be attributed to slow sales of large, fuel-thirsty SUVs in general and the aging H2 in particular. AM General spokesperson Craig Mac Nab was recently quoted as saying, “Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the H2 plant.” In fact, nobody at either company is talking about when these employees may be called back or when H2 production will resume, leading many of us to wonder if it will pick back up at all.
General Motors and AM General have just announced that 200 employe ...
Sportscar buyers paying top dollar expect their exotic machinery to sound as good as it looks. Porsche recognises this and has announced the availability of a new variable exhaust system for its mainstay 911 range.
The new sports exhaust, with a pair of dual exhaust tips protruding from beneath the car’s tail, is adjustable from inside the cabin, varying the exhaust note according to engine load and speed. The system will be available from April on the latest 911 Carrera and Targa 4 for a $2500 premium (US dollars), and can be retrofitted to existing models as well.
Sportscar buyers paying top dollar expect their exotic machinery t ...
Porsche is reportedly preparing a lightweight version of the new Cayman, with plans to create a single-make racing series for it as it already does with the 911. The Porsche Cayman Clubsport, as it’ll be called, will weigh 100 kg less than the standard model. The weight savings come from a stripped interior, lighter bodywork and wheels, and a different lighting system. Engine/transmission changes aren’t expected to be part of the changes, but the 314-horsepower six that’s fitted to new Cayman S ought to deliver strong performance in the lighter Clubsport. A $11,000 NZ price premium is expected over the regular Cayman S. So it looks like Porsche is finally giving the Cayman an engine that makes it a legit alternative consideration to the 911, and now it seems ready to turn up the heat even further with a lightweight version.
Porsche is reportedly preparing a lightweight version of the new C ...
The S2000 has enjoyed a production run of ten years but Honda has just announced it will cease making the model at the end of 2009. The high-revving roadster has always had more in common with the company’s high performance motorcycles, thanks to it’s 9,000 rpm redline and minimal low-end torque. The S2000’s abilities to tackle the twisties and assault the track have always made it a popular choice for go-fast enthusiasts, and with plenty of aftermarket support, it became a prime platform for tuners.
Over its ten-year run Honda has sold 110,000 S2000s world wide, and has been represented well down here in NZ.
The S2000 has enjoyed a production run of ten years but Honda has ...
Despite all the ‘big-ups’ for hybrid vehicles sales of battery-pack-transporters are down nearly ten percent for 2008. At the beginning of 2008, it looked like hybrids were going to have their best year ever, driven by high fuel prices and a recessive economy. That recession, however,has caused consumers to cut way back, leading to dramatic drop in fuel prices, removing much of the argument for a hybrid’s price premium. Consumers shy away from hybrids when fuel prices drop causing the issue of fuel efficiency to fall out from the limelight.
Toyota is still the hybrid sales king, with 241,000 units shifted in 2008. Honda managed to ring up 31,000 sales, and Ford came in third with nearly 20,000 vehicles sold.
Despite all the 'big-ups' for hybrid vehicles sales of battery-pack-tr ...