News: Holden gives away free diesel

Holden New Zealand said today that it is offering all customers who buy a new Holden Diesel, before 30 September 2008, two years worth of diesel including Road User Charges.

The offer is similar to one that has recently launched in the Australian market where fuel is capped at AUD .99 cents for two years or 20,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. However, the New Zealand offer goes beyond a capped fuel price providing two years worth of diesel and Road User Charges without any investment in fuel required by customers.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Carr said the two years worth of diesel offer will ease the pain consumers are feeling at the pump and reflects the growing demand for diesel vehicles in the New Zealand market.

The Holden Diesel range includes the Captiva, Astra Hatch, Astra Wagon, Epica and Colorado ranges.

In addition to the two years worth of diesel offer, Holden New Zealand is also providing a range of other special deals including a $2,000 buy now bonus on the Commodore Sedan and Ute range. A 2008 Limited Edition Captiva Active with 7″ display screen with front DVD, automatic dimming mirror, specialised exterior styling, rear view camera, black bezel headlamps, unique tail lamps and unique 18″ alloy wheels is also available for just $500 more than the Captiva LX.

Blogs: Jerry Reed (The Snowman) dies

Along with Star Wars and Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit was a defining movie for my youth. It made me want to be a truck driver (though I soon lost that urge when music took over and I started looking at the personal hygiene of some of the truck drivers I’d met).
Reed’s slightly gawky character, The Snowman, was a perfect match for the suave Bandit played by Burt Reynolds. Smokey and the Bandit is never going to be nominated as one of the greatest films of all time – it’s dripping with cheese in places – but it’s a movie that captures the essence of the highway. It’s cheeky, naughty and funny – perhaps one of the all-time best trucker/cowboy movies. In a way, I’m loathed to watch it again in case I don’t like it, because the memory of how it made me feel as a kid is still strong. But, then I’m of half a mind to get all three of them out and have a Snowman memorial day this weekend.
That’s a big 10-4, over and out.

News: HKS Hyundai Genesis coming to SEMA

HKS Hyundai Genesis

HKS USA, Inc. will create a high-performance Genesis Coupe for the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The all-new, rear-wheel drive Hyundai model will make its SEMA debut at the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 4 — Nov. 7, 2008. HKS is the second company to join Hyundai for this year’s SEMA show.

“Genesis Coupe has the basic DNA that HKS looks for — an excellent chassis, rear-wheel drive, aggressive styling and a new generation turbo-charged engine. These attributes provide the opportunity for HKS to maximize the Genesis Coupe driving performance capabilities for the serious driving enthusiast,” said Rick Lafferty, president, HKS USA, Inc. HKS will create a range of performance parts for  the Genesis Coupe.

The HKS plan for the Genesis Coupe includes a HKS GT Turbo upgrade to maximize horsepower and torque, HKS engine internals, HKS limited-edition turbo exhaust system, HKS Super Mega Flow Intake System, HKS Engine Management and HKS Hipermax III fully-adjustable suspension.

“We’ve designed Genesis Coupe from the start to be tuner-friendly,” said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America.

The HKS Genesis Coupe will also showcase functional ground effects designed by Ken Style, HKS Time-Attack cars’ aerodynamic partner. The interior will emphasize driver comfort and control with HKS electronics including CAMP2 that monitors up to 24 data signals from the Genesis OBD2 and programmable calculations for fuel costs, average fuel consumption and fuel efficiency in real time.

¢ Hyundai’s first rear-wheel drive sports car
¢ 306 horsepower (est.) from enhanced 3.8-liter V6 from Genesis sedan
¢ Standard 212 horsepower (est.) turbocharged, intercooled inline four cylinder
¢ Genesis Coupe arrives in the spring of 2009 as a 2010 model

News: Land Rover G4 Challenge entries called


Do you have the mental and physical strength to enter the ultimate global race? If so, there is still time to apply for the free-to-enter Land Rover G4 Challenge – the adventure of a lifetime that combines off-road driving with kayaking, mountain biking, abseiling, climbing and orienteering across some of the most remote and extreme terrains in the world.

International Selections take place early next year, but you’ll need to have your entry in before the end of September. Successful two-strong teams (made up of the best male and best female competitors) who make it through will then battle against teams from 17 other countries over the gruelling three-week Challenge Finals in one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet — Mongolia. A blend of terrain offering arid steppes, mountains and the extreme climate of one of the world’s largest deserts, the Gobi, makes Mongolia the ultimate test.

The 2008/09 Land Rover G4 Challenge programme is run in support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  This partnership aims to generate in excess of NZ$3m over the course of the next two challenges. The winning team will receive a Land Rover to donate to their National Society.

Log on to for more information.

News: Hyundai i20 to be debuted in Paris


Six new Hyundai models will make their international debut at this year’s Paris “Mondial de l’automobile”, including this i20. Designed at Hyundai’s European Design Centre in Russelsheim, Germany, the new five-door i20 rides on a longer wheelbase than its predecessor model, the Getz. The i20 is due to be launched in Europe towards the end of 2008. New Zealand launch dates haven’t been confirmed, but we are getting the i10 late 2008.

Key modifications to deliver a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption include: full-length under floor covers, a 15mm reduction in ground clearance, changes to the front and rear aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tyres and high performance, low friction engine oil.
i20 i-blue concept

The i20 i-blue concept is fitted with Hyundai’s all new state-of-the-art 1.4 CRDi diesel engine, which produces 90PS and generates 220Nm of torque. To further improve economy, it drives through a six-speed manual gearbox — instead of the car’s usual five-speed unit. With a CO2 output of just 99g/km and a fuel consumption figure of 68mpg, the i20 blue concept sets new standards for the sector.
Santa Fe Petrol-Electric Hybrid concept

Further demonstrating Hyundai’s commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, the Santa Fe Petrol-Electric Hybrid concept maintains the overall design of the existing Santa Fe, yet is an entirely different vehicle under the skin.

Hyundai engineers have developed a new hybrid drive system, which mates the current 2.4-litre petrol engine to a six-speed automatic transmission and a 30kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries. The end result? CO2 emissions of just 148g/km and a fuel consumption figure of 44mpg.
ix55 sports utility vehicle

Although not destined for British shores, Hyundai’s seven seat iX55 sports utility vehicle will also make its debut in production-ready form at Paris. Based on the successful Veracruz already on sale in the USA, the ix55 has been extensively re-styled and re-tuned to match European requirements and driving styles.
Other Hyundai premieres at Paris

The new Genesis saloon will also be displayed at the Paris Motor Show. Based on Hyundai’s all-new, rear-wheel drive platform, the Genesis will be shown alongside the Genesis Coupe Show Car. Combining the dramatic looks of the production model, this one-off design study features bare carbon fibre bonnet and roof to reduce weight.

Blogs: Maracoonda F650 – do it for the environment

This is how they roll in Queensland. They take a Ford F650 (with engines up to 7.2 litres, making 300+hp and over 1100Nm of torque), and convert them to right-hand drive.

That would be pretty intimidating if it was for use on urban streets, but over in Ozzie it’s all relative because there’s the ever present threat of having your manhood shriveled into submission by a passing road train.

But, the Ozzies don’t do it as well as the Yanks, who have been pandering to redneck requirements since records began.

Here’s the Ozzie effort from Maracoonda::


And here’s the Yank effort probably from a guy called Jed who sprinkles shotgun pellets on his steak breakfast:



News: More Kia Soul images and specs


Kia’s new production-ready Soul will be on display at Paris Salon de l’Automobile in October with confirmation that the urban crossover will come to Europe in February 2009. No release date for Australia or New Zealand has been set.

Mainland left-hand drive Europe models will come with a choice 126ps diesel and petrol engines based on the DOHC engines already fitted to the European-built, Kia cee’d — with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, depending on model. Right-hand drive production is due to start in March 2009.

The diesel engine generates 126ps at 4,000rpm and maximum torque of 255Nm at 2,000rpm. The all-aluminium petrol engine also produces 126ps at 6,300rpm and 156Nm of torque at 4,200rpm.

Soul is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, a high roofline and an unusually long wheelbase. The key elements behind Soul’s appearance are its vertical measurements. Overall height is 1,610 mm but the base of the windscreen is 135mm higher than a typical compact car, the hip-points are 120mm higher and the ground clearance is raised by 45mm.

Access to the new Kia Soul’s spacious interior is designed to be easy and the cabin will deliver head, leg and shoulder room that matches or beats many larger vehicles.

Looking ahead to the Paris Show debut, Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “Soul is about surprise and style and the experience of sitting in the Soul is unique. First impressions will make a big impact. Tall doors and high-mounted seats make for easy access and an airy interior, yet the ‘laid-back’ dashboard design, triple dial instrument cluster and thick-rimmed steering wheel create an unusual combination of spaciousness for passengers and cosiness for the driver generating a very special ambience.”

Soul will make its world premiere on the Kia stand (No 520, Hall 5) at the Paris International Motor Show at 16.45 hrs on 2 October 2008.

Soul will be manufactured at Kia’s Gwangju facility in Korea from November 2008. In the USA and several non-European markets a 2-litre, 142ps petrol engine will also be available.

News: Airport to city in a new Falcon – and you’re driving


There’s a brand spankers Ford Falcon XR8 sitting in the Car and SUV garage right now, so we were intrigued when Ford sent us through details of this offer.

For the next two weeks, if you arrive in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, you can choose to drive to your city centre destination in a new FG Falcon. For free.

By booking online at or by calling 0508 FIRSTCLASS, travelers arriving between the hours of 7am — 11am or 4pm — 8pm at Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch airports can be met by a Ford representative and a new FG Falcon ready to transport them to their city centre destination.