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

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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” »

News: No NZ plan for Tesla

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The Green Party may have ideas around having Tesla Model S sedans as government limousines, but if they do they will be private imports, with Tesla telling AutoTalk it has no plans for the New Zealand market.

The suggestion of the vehicle came this week as media jumped upon the approaching date for the renewal of the ‘All-of-Government’ fleet arrangements renewal – that will include the VIP fleet.

But according to Tesla’s Melbourne based communications manager, Heath Walker, New Zealand is currently not catered for in the company’s plans. Continue reading “No NZ plan for Tesla” »

News: Standardisation key to profits for premium brands

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Premium manufacturers Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and BMW want to sell more standardised cars and services to boost profit margins and simplify the complex list of buyer optionss , while also giving them the choice of a bespoke car if they want.

The move is partly aimed at attracting customers who might struggle with the ever growing list of model variants, multimedia features and safety technology available in new cars, said all three companies at the Paris motor show.

Volvo Cars chief executive Hakan Samuelsson says the trend to offer more and more choice in equipping cars was over-rated. Continue reading “Standardisation key to profits for premium brands” »