News: Lotus releases package details on 2010 Evora

Lotus Evora fqq

The first production examples of the Lotus Evora have now kicked off with its aluminum chassis being fabricated at Lotus Lightweight Structures in Worcester, UK and final assembly taking place at Lotus’ Hethel factory. With the first cars scheduled for customer delivery in May, Lotus has released content lists for the Evora. The 276-hp Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 with a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard. A close-ratio version of the gearbox will be available as an option. Cast 18-inch front and 19-inch rear alloys wrapped with Yokohama Advan Sport LTS rubber are the standard fitment, while forged wheels are available for a bit extra.

Other extra options include bi-xenon lights, power folding mirrors and body color door handles. The Evora can also be ordered with Tech, Sport and Premium packages that group the usual assortment of audio, navigation and interior trim upgrades together. The Sport pack also provides a switch that enables sharper throttle response and more slip from the traction control system, combined with other performance enhancements.

Lotus is planning to boost Evora production up to 34 units per week by July, assuming of course that there is sufficient demand.

The first production examples of the Lotus Evora have now kicked o ...

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News: Holden Sportwagon makes Aussie car-safety history

Holden Sportwagon

Holden’s VE Sportwagon has become the first Australian made wagon to receive a maximum five star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

The result reflects the long list of safety features found standard across the VE Sportwagon range including six airbags, rear park assist and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which incorporates Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Traction Control System (TCS).

The Sportwagon range also has a steering column shroud energy absorber that helps to reduce driver knee injuries.  The Omega model features a passenger seat belt reminder.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director Simon Carr said Holden had always been very confident in this vehicle’s real world safety capabilities.

“As a family car there should be no compromise in safety and the ANCAP endorsement is a very clear indication that with Sportwagon there is no such thing.”

GM Holden is committed to making the passenger seat belt reminder feature standard across the VE range from mid 2009 production.

Click here to read a road test of the Holden Calais Sportwagon

Click here to read a road test of the HSV R8 Tourer

Holden’s VE Sportwagon has become the first Australian made ...

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News: Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce

After much rumour and anticipation it’s finally arrived: The Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce. Lamborghini has just released official info and pics on its latest mighty Murc, and this one sits up top. The LP 670-4 SuperVeloce is described by Lamborghini as “exceptionally purist”. The description fits as the LP 670-4 SV is more powerful, lighter and faster than the LP-640. As its name suggests, the LP 670-4 SV sees an increase in power to 670 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque from Lambo’s 6.5L V12, all of which was achieved by optimising the engine’s valve timing and tweaking the air intake system.

Combine the extra power with a weight decrease of 100 kg and performance figures begin to fall fast. 0-100 kph is now achieved in just 3.2 seconds and top speed is 341 kph with the standard, small spoiler. A larger “Aeropack Wing” offering more downforce is also available, but the additional drag drops top speed slightly.

The LP 670-4 doesn’t look like your average Murcielago. Up front the air intakes have been made larger for better brake cooling and the front spoiler extends much further out. The new engine cover features three hexagonal transparent polymer plates supported by a carbon fibre framework. The interior has also been upholstered entirely in Alcantara and features stitching that matches the exterior color of the car.

You can’t argue with a car that’s faster, lighter and more powerful than its predecessors, and the Lamborghini LP 670-4 SuperVeloce does all that and then some.

After much rumour and anticipation it's finally arrived: The Lamborghi ...

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News: Nissan GT-R to better time at Nurburgring

Nissan renault eng

Just a few days ago, it was officially announced that Nissan would be heading back to the Green Hell a.k.a Nurburgring in an attempt to better the GT-R’s 7 minute, 29 second lap time. Now it looks like the company isn’t just out for personal improvement. Rather, Nissan is seeking total domination. A car magazine recently got some interview time with Chief Test Driver Toshio Suzuki. What does he have to say about heading back to Germany, complete with a 2010 Series II GT-R? Suzuki and the top brass at Nissan claim they’re aiming for Corvette ZR1-bettering times, which means at least a 7 minute, 26 second run.

Nissan fans are hoping for something in the 7:20 to 7:22 range. While that’s not impossible, it is very optimistic. Dropping nine seconds off a lap time at the ‘Ring’ would usually takes more than 5 extra horsepower and slightly stickier tires. All that’s missing now is Porsche to get involved and round two of the Porsche vs Nissan spat could flare up again.

Just a few days ago, it was officially announced that Nissan would ...

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News: Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss

Mercedes Sterling Moss fq

Introduced at the Detroit Auto Show this year, the Stirling Moss will be the very last variant of the McLaren SLR line. Its striking lines polarize opinion, but no one can argue that Mercedes-Benz didn’t come up with something unique as a send off to its flagship model. Not that you can buy one anyway — only 75 are planned for production and will only be offered to the most loyal of SLR customers.

Powered by a V8 engine, the Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss outputs 650 hp and needs only 3.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h. The top speed of the Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss is 350 km/h which is even more extreme when the vehicle has effectively no windshield. With a price tag of 750,000 Euros, the SLR Stirling Moss will forever be highly exclusive.

The Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss celebrates the racing legend and Mille Miglia record-holder who drove legendary racing cars to many victories during the 1950s.

Introduced at the Detroit Auto Show this year, the Stirling Moss w ...

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News: Nissan and Renault to share all new engines

Nissan renault eng

When Nissan and Renault formed an alliance in 1999, the two automakers cited cost cutting reasons and increased product sharing and purchasing power. Today, with the global economy struggling, those benefits are required more than ever. So it’s not surprising to hear that Nissan and Renault plan to begin sharing virtually all new engines moving forward.

According to reports, Nissan will focus on gas-powered engines and Renault will stick with it’s successful diesels. Now, both automakers can focus on improving the performance and reducing the environmental impact of both engine lines. If successful, the automotive alliance hopes this deal will generate $1.8 billion USD in positive cash flow in 2009.

When Nissan and Renault formed an alliance in 1999, the two automa ...

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News: Lamborghini Insecta concept

lamborghini insecta fq

If you had to link cars to animals Lamborghini would be linked to a bull. Between the emblem on the hood, supercars named after famous fighting bulls and the farming roots of the company, the association is well established. Iulian Bumbu has made efforts to change this. The aspiring Romanian car designer, who interned at Alfa Romeo’s styling department after earning his master’s in car design in Milan, created the design study seen here.

Called the Insecta, the radical concept’s design elements were borrowed from bugs instead of bulls. Combining organic shapes with Lamborghini’s trademark geometric angles, the Insecta concept integrates themes taken from the body armour observed on certain species of insects. With its dimensions and powertrain borrowed from the Gallardo, the Insecta would pack some real punch, and it could make a compelling successor to the current LP560-4 — but Lambo would be reluctant to drop its bovine heritage.

If you had to link cars to animals Lamborghini would be linked to ...

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Blogs: Dealers torching their own cars

Last time I wrote about car repossessions being on the rise due to people just simply being unable to pay their loans. The economic woes have also hit dealers hard. A quick drive down Great North Rd and Greenlane (Boulevard of Caaarrrrrrrsssss) revealed significantly more vacant car yards than this time last year when people were in a mania, inflating as many economic bubbles as they could purse their lips around.

Dealers often borrow money to stock their yards, and with our NZ dollar tanking, and with finance harder to get, it’s made getting the cars more difficult, let alone selling them to punters who want to rip the guts out of any price for the keenest deal on the planet.

It all got too much for one Jeep dealer, Graham Colonial Motors, in Ligioner, Pennsylvania. While torching his cars, because he owed more than US$420,000 in federal tax liens and $11,000 in country property-tax liens, he died of a heart attack. He was found amidst a row of 12 fire-damaged cars. A can of petrol and some rolled-up newspaper were also found.

We haven’t seen that in New Zealand (to my knowledge) in the car industry, but I’m sure that there are people equally affected in other industries who have considered the convenience of a fat insurance policy and a box of matches.

Last time I wrote about car repossessions being on the rise due to peo ...

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