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” »

News: First Tesla Model S arrives

safe_image.phpThe first Tesla Model S to reach New Zealand – a private import – has arrived in port.

Tech entrepreneur Steve West took possession of the car at the Tesla’s distribution centre in the Netherlands in early September. He drove the car to Southhampton, England, where it was loaded for shipping.

West and his family already own the only Tesla Roadster in New Zealand, a Nissan Leaf, and a number of hybrids. Continue reading “First Tesla Model S arrives” »

Holden: Holden: 2014 Barina RS review

Holden Barina RS 2014 front quarter

RS is a hallowed badge that has traditionally meant Rallye Sport, Rally Sport or Rennsport (German for racing sport). Who can deny that cars such as the Ford RS Cosworth, the Renault Megane RS265, the Porsche GT3 RS and the Audi RS4 are amazing cars in their own right? I even owned a Subaru Legacy RS-RA back in the day which was mostly excellent (when the ECU wasn’t playing up). It has been (and should only be) reserved for cars that have some sporting credentials. Continue reading “Holden: 2014 Barina RS review” »

News: NZ ‘car of the year’ judging nearly complete

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Judging for the New Zealand ‘car of the year’ (COTY) award is nearly complete ahead of the announcement of the winner in Auckland next month.

Members of the New Zealand Motoring Writer’s Guild (NZMWG) and selected New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) judges are independently ranking each of the top 10 finalists for the COTY title on a range of elements – including value, design and quality.

Alongside this selection, they are also choosing their favourites from all new cars currently on sale in a range of categories. Continue reading “NZ ‘car of the year’ judging nearly complete” »

News: Waikato dealership puts V8 Nissan back on track

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Nissan will be joining the NZV8 championship – alongside the Ford, Holden and Toyota racers currently on track.

Waikato dealer Jim Wright Nissan has sponsored Waikato-based Concept Motorsport to campaign a new Nissan Altima 4.8-litre V8.

The car will be driven by Nick Ross who secured the 2014 NZV8 overall championship earlier this year in a Holden Commodore. Continue reading “Waikato dealership puts V8 Nissan back on track” »

News: Inkster and Winn take Targa win

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Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn have won the 20th anniversary Targa South Island, the Pukekohe pair arriving at the finish line in downtown Queenstown this evening (Sat Nov 01) with a lead of eight minutes and 10 seconds over fellow Mitsubishi Evo pair Todd and Rhys Bawden.

Of the 26 stages confirmed at the Queenstown finish Inkster and Winn won their class – Instra.com Allcomers 4WD – in 20.

Five-time former winner Tony Quinn and co-driver Naomi Tillett won three in Quinn’s new Lamborghini but only contested three of the event’s six days thanks to a high-speed crash at the end of the second day. Continue reading “Inkster and Winn take Targa win” »

News: New guidelines to prevent tourist crashes

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Best practice guidelines have been developed for rental vehicle operators to help educate international visitors on driver safety.

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) spearheaded development of the Safer Journey Guidelines, working with representatives from the rental vehicle and campervan sector and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

“The voluntary guidelines reflect industry good practice for communicating with visiting drivers at three key stages of their trip – when they book, when they arrive to check out their rental vehicle and during their journey around New Zealand,” says Steve Hanrahan, TIA Advocacy Manager. Continue reading “New guidelines to prevent tourist crashes” »