Latest Road Tests and Reviews
An electricity supplier is targeting electric vehicle owners with carboNZero certified electricity, and Al Yates, director of Ecotricity, claims some have a misconception of the green credentials of our electricity supply. “Kiwis have been told Read More
Fans of Top Gear may want to prepare themselves for a new Stig very soon. When the first Stig Perry McCarthy revealed himself, he was quickly ejected from the show. Now, according to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper the current Stig has apparently ended the mystery, revealing himself as 33 year-old Ben Collins. Collins has raced professionally in everything from NASCAR to LeMans, and most recently was working as James Bond’s double for scenes of Quantum of Solace that required tricky wheel work.
After keeping his identity a secret for so long Collins himself apparently revealed his day job to the owner of an art gallery in Bristol, England when asking for help producing a limited-edition print of The Stig, himself.
A builder had also come across the famed white suit and gloves on display in a cabinet while doing work at Collins’ home, and there has been speculation in the past that Collins might be The Stig.
Collins’ future with the Top Gear show is now uncertain, but he has proved himself to be a world-class driver on the show and a good sport and that may be enough for a bright future in broadcasting or driving.
Fans of Top Gear may want to prepare themselves for a new Stig very so ...
Luxury sports sedans are made all over the world, but the undisputed kingpins of the class are the Germans. The BMW 3 Series has stood as the champion of the segment for decades, but not anymore. According to German government records of new vehicle registration, the Audi A4 was the best-selling premium car of 2008, beating out the 3-Series, along with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
By the numbers, 98,714 A4’s were sold in Germany over the course of last year, making it the second most popular new car in Germany behind the Volkswagen Golf. But the Germans love Audi more than just the A4, which was introduced last year, the A6 and TT also topped their segments, contributing to Audi’s strongest growth in the German market and across Western Europe. The innovators in all-wheel traction and aluminum construction saw their entire market share rise last year by 0.8% to a total of 8.1% of the German new car market.
Luxury sports sedans are made all over the world, but the undisput ...
Audi has recently unveiled the Sportback concept which rather than simply a design study is a proper preview of the upcoming A7 sedan. The A7 is Audi’s take on the four door coupe/sedan styling that has become so popular in the last couple of years.
The Sportback name refers to the fastback roofline and Audi boss Rupert Stadler made it clear that the new look will become a common trait in the Audi lineup, beginning with a new A5 Sportback coming later this year. Under the bonnet, the Sportback gets a 3.0-litre TDI diesel V6 with 225 hp/406 lb-ft paired up with a seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox. The whole thing is topped off with automatic start stop to increase fuel economy. Check back as more details of the A7 sedan become available.
Audi has recently unveiled the Sportback concept which rather than ...
The Economist magazine recently ran an article on vehicle ownership around the globe, and it brought to light some interesting statistics. Most kiwis have already heard of our high levels of car ownership, but who would be number one, the petrol obsessed U.S or the car-loving Italians? Neither, it’s Luxembourg. Yes, Luxembourg has claimed the top spot with 647 cars for every 1,000 residents. The highest ranked countries tend to be developed nations with small populations, so maybe seeing Luxembourg in number one, followed by Iceland makes sense. New Zealand came in third place globally for vehicle ownership, which could be a reflection on our sparse countryside, lack of decent public transport or just a love for cars. Other notable placings were our trans-tasman brothers at 8th, the Italians in 4th, Americans 16th, Brits 19th and the Japanese 21st. The numbers come from the International Road Federation’s “Pocket World in Figures 2009”, and uses figures from 2005, the latest year available for all countries.
The Economist magazine recently ran an article on vehicle ownership ar ...
The Tesla Roadster Sport has been unveiled and new pictures have just been released depicting what the Elise-based EV will look like when it goes on sale in the States later this year.
The Tesla Roadster Sport is an upgrade package over the stock version that includes a new hand-wound stator that increases torque, resulting in a claimed 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds — 0.2 seconds faster than the standard model. Adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars are fitted underneath and a set of Yokohama Advan A048s (the same tyres used on the Lotus Elise/Exige) are wrapped around dark finish Tesla wheels. Tesla includes unique “sport” badging to the Roadster and pricing has been set at $128,500 ($230,000 NZ) in the U.S.
The Tesla Roadster Sport has been unveiled and new pictures have j ...
The 2009 Tokyo Motor Show is going to have to make do without another automaker, as Volvo has decided to save money by skipping the event. Volvo’s move comes after all three Detroit automakers decided to call in sick and be absent from the show, which is held every other year. Volvo, like the Detroit automakers, doesn’t have a major presence in Japan, making the decision not to head for Tokyo easier. With the fragile state of the global economy, the prospect of saving money is a smart move. Floor space, displays, plus travel and accommodations for employees can cost loads. GM spent $2 million at Tokyo in 2007, and though Volvo’s display wouldn’t cost that much, the total cost would still be steep.
No Japanese automakers have dropped out yet, but the lack of foreign automaker involvement could potentially postpone the show until 2011. Tokyo Motor Show officials will make a decision on what to do by early next month.
The 2009 Tokyo Motor Show is going to have to make do without another ...
When the Pagani Zonda was first revealed it proved that the supercar world did not revolve around Ferrari and Lamborghini. So to commemorate Horacio Pagani’s achievement, the carmaker has created one last version of the Zonda before its replacement arrives next year.
After 24 months of development the Pagani Zonda R was born as a lightweight, track-only variant of the iconic coupe. Production is limited to ten examples with a price tag of 1.4-million euros.
Although the carbon fiber exterior is deceiving, the Pagani Zonda R only carries over 10% of its structure from its predecessors. The wheelbase has grown by 47mm to 394mm and the track has been widened by 50mm. An all-new carbon fibre monocoque chassis sits underneath the wind-tunnel tested body, along with a forged aluminum suspension, new six-speed sequential gearbox and four aero-spec fuel pumps that feed into a Mercedes-Benz AMG-sourced 6.0-litre V12. Pagani claims the new powerplant will produce 750 hp at 8,000 rpm and 524 lb-ft of torque, for a staggering 0-100Km time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 400kph. Air is fed into the 12-cylinder through a carbon fibre air intake system, while an Inconel manifold and “F1-style” exhaust release the gases and maintain correct engine temperature.
Pagani makes it clear that the Zonda R is a not road legal, and one eccentric owner is having the Zonda delivered and installed into his living room.
When the Pagani Zonda was first revealed it proved that the superc ...
Few cars can offer the extravagance of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. But for some, good isn’t good enough. And for those people, there’s Project Kahn, the British tuning house which has just released its own custom Drophead Coupe.
The jewel in Project Kahn’s Roller crown is the special set of Silver Mist rims, made bespoke for the Rolls. They measure 22 inches in diameter, a steam-rolling 9.5-inches wide and are able to accept the RR hubs that always keep themselves right-side-up. The package also includes a polished grille, special elm-wood veneers, embossed headrests, piano-lacquer steering wheel spokes, iPod connectivity and lambs’ wool rugs.
Project Kahn’s treatment of the exclusive cabriolet adds another $90k NZD to the bottom line, but if you have come far enough to buy a new Rolls-Royce, you may as well go a little further.
Few cars can offer the extravagance of the Rolls-Royce Phantom Dro ...