News: Road funding at risk from smart car technology

image94579_bTransport technologies such as electric cars, car pooling smartphone apps, and vehicle collision avoidance systems are creating risks to New Zealand’s investment in roads says a report released by The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

As electric and hybrid vehicles become more common, less petrol will be used. Challenges for the government include safeguarding fuel excise revenue that funds transport infrastructure and charging road users fairly and efficiently, says the NZIER report.

Accelerating the adoption of safer car technologies, rather than spending billions on safety works over the next decade is also worth assessing more closely, says the report. Continue reading “Road funding at risk from smart car technology” »

News: All-star Alfa Romeo heading to NZ

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Ahead of its arrival in New Zealand next year the Alfa Romeo 4C
has collected yet another international media award.

US motoring magazine Automobile has bestowed its “2015 All-Star”
award onto the 4C, being an accolade for the car that magazine’s
readers most want to drive in 2015.

“When you’re out on your favourite stretch of winding road or at the local
track blazing away, turbo-four wailing behind your ears, the Alfa Romeo
4C reminds you what it means to drive with joy, with purpose,” says
Automobile editor-in-chief Mike Floyd. Continue reading “All-star Alfa Romeo heading to NZ” »

News: Twist inside Citroen in Paris showroom

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Citroen’s international showroom at number 42 on the Champs-Elysee in Paris, known as C_42, has added another unique feature for visitors.

It is a tubular slide known as “Twist inside Citroen” which takes guests from the top floor of the building to the basement in 15 seconds.

The 26-metre high and 63-metre long creation has been installed as part of Citroen’s “happy revolution” brand renewal programme, which also coincides with the launch of the new C1 light car and the C4 Cactus crossover, which is due to arrive in New Zealand in 2015. Continue reading “Twist inside Citroen in Paris showroom” »

News: AA says repeat offenders need alcohol interlocks

breathalyser-alcosense-fr9000-interlock-photo-1While it supports the reduction in the legal blood alcohol limits for adults, the Automobile Association says stopping drink driving crashes will take more than just that.

The adult (20 and older) limit will lower to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (.05) on December 1.

The AA says a lot of drink drivers are people with serious alcohol issues who aren’t in control of their drinking. It wants to see alcohol interlocks fitted to the vehicles of all repeat drink drivers or those caught at twice the criminal limit. Continue reading “AA says repeat offenders need alcohol interlocks” »

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review

Toyota Yaris ZR 2014 front quarter

This pair of Yaris – maybe that’s Yarii – are set to wage war on the urban landscape, giving potential punters a budget option or a ‘fries-with-that’ option in the small car segment. As far as price goes, there’s $5000 between them: the GX starts at a wallet-caressing $24,990, while the ZR with the optional sat nav and SUNA package adds garnish and spices for $29,990. If you’re happy with a manual then you can get the GX for $22,990. Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Yaris ZR and GX hatches review” »

News: $45,900 start price for new Odyssey

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Honda New Zealand has rolled out its new Odyssey people mover, with a $45,990 entry level price.

While the outgoing Odyssey was low-set and more wagon-like, the new model returns to a more traditional people-mover formula. It is powered by a 129kw 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT transmission.

Available in the Odyssey S with eight seats and a more luxurious Odyssey L with seven seats, features such as one-touch power sliding doors, multi-angle reversing camera and a touch screen are standard. Continue reading “$45,900 start price for new Odyssey” »

Cars: Ford’s Prado-fighter launches in Beijing

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Ford has thrown down its gauntlet at the Toyota Prado and the ageing Mitsubishi Pajero with the global media launch of it’s Everest SUV in Beijing today.

Auto Media Group’s Robert Barry is at the event.

Ford’s Chinese joint venture partner JMC (Jianling Motors Corp), will produce the seven seat Everest in China for local consumption but vehicles bound for Australia, New Zealand, and other right-hand-drive markets will come from the Auto Alliance plant in Rayong, Thailand.

Everest will be available in New Zealand and Australia, China, India and markets across the Asean region next year. Ford will also introduce the vehicle to South Africa and African countries below the Sahara desert in 2015. Continue reading “Ford’s Prado-fighter launches in Beijing” »

News: BMW launches i for NZ; $278k for top model

Left to Right: Nina Englert (BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director), Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy & Resources, Minister of Transport & Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues) and Ian Gibson (Team McMillan BMW Dealer Principal)

Left to Right: Nina Englert (BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director), Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy & Resources, Minister of Transport & Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues) and Ian Gibson (Team McMillan BMW Dealer Principal)

BMW launched its i-brand in New Zealand last night – with an $83,500 opening price.

‘i’ covers the company’s line of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Pricing opens at $83,500 driveaway for the i3 and the powerful i8, virtually a supercar with green credentials, is priced from $278,000.

The brand was launched at Auckland’s Team Macmillan BMW by the Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges, with BMW Group New Zealand managing director Nina Englert, Team McMillan dealer principal Ian Gibson and invited guests. Continue reading “BMW launches i for NZ; $278k for top model” »