News: Road magnets attract self-driving Volvo


Volvo Car Group has completed a research project using magnets buried within the road surface to help the car determine its position.

The research, which has been financed in co-operation with the Swedish transport administration (Trafikverket), is a potential key to the implementation of self-driving vehicles.

Reliable and accurate positioning is one of the crucial issues in the development of self-driving cars says Volvo. Continue reading “Road magnets attract self-driving Volvo” »

News: The Green Hell gets a new owner


After becoming insolvent in 2012 Germany’s infamous Nurburgring-Nordscheife circuit has just been sold to a new owner.

Named the Green Hell by former F1 driver Jackie Stewart, the circuit is part of a motorsport complex located around the village of Nurburg in the Eifel Mountains, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Attempts by the previous owner to build Nurburgring into a resort for car fanatics failed when the company became insolvent, loaded with debt equivalent to 50 years of annual profit says the administrator Jens Lieser. Continue reading “The Green Hell gets a new owner” »

NQN: Burnout costly for Porsche renters


A holidaying Queensland couple faced a very expensive rental bill for their Porsche hire car when it was impounded by the Victorian police.

Police alleged the couple were spotted by Frankston highway patrol members doing a “burnout” in the rented Porsche convertible near the town of Baxter while on a holiday drive in the Mornington Peninsula.

Although police initially said they would impound the car for 30 days, leaving the couple with a $1,000 a day payment owing to the rental company, it was subsequently returned by Police to the owner. Continue reading “Burnout costly for Porsche renters” »

Land Rover: Range Rover Evoque TD4 Black Design Edition 2014 Review


Hoi polloi: it’s the Ancient Greek word for the commoners, plebeians and the great unwashed. When you drive an Evoque Black Design Edition, you’ve elevated yourself above this, yet you still have credibility because it’s got the Land Rover badge which is a bastion of workhorse utility. But it’s not your typical boxy Land Rover you’d drive with a peak cap and a Swanndri. This is the Duchess of Cambridge: she’s got the cocktail dress, but you know there’s a pair of wellies in the boot.

range-rover-evoque-td4-dynamic-2014-rear-quarterAs you get comfortable with being one of the hoi oligoi – the few – you’ll need the ability to circumnavigate your dominion, and fortunately the Evoque comes with some off-road smarts to get you to all four corners. Continue reading “Range Rover Evoque TD4 Black Design Edition 2014 Review” »

News: Obituary: William Clay Ford



William Clay Ford

The last surviving grandchild of the Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, has died at home from pneumonia.

William Clay Ford, 88, helped steer the Ford Motor Company into the modern era as an employee and director. He served as director emeritus until his death.

Ford served the Ford Motor Company for 57 years as an employee and board member, playing a pivotal role in shaping the company for more than half of its 110-year history. He was elected to the board of directors on June 4, 1948, and began his employment with the company after graduating from Yale University in 1949. In 1957 he was elected chairman of the design committee, a post he held for 32 years. Throughout his career, he was instrumental in setting the company’s design direction, overseeing the development of a number of classic vehicles, including the Continental Mark II, considered by many to be one of the most iconic cars ever built. Continue reading “Obituary: William Clay Ford” »

News: VTNZ goes the full monty

VTNZ2Vehicle Testing New Zealand has launched two safety inspections for motorists concerned about the changes to the Warrant of Fitness regime.

This follows the announcement from AA Motoring Services in February that it would offer a 16-point AA safety check at more than 50 outlets in New Zealand.

By the end of 2014, all vehicles registered from 1 January 2000 will either switch from a six-month to a 12 month WoF, or will remain permanently on an annual WoF. Continue reading “VTNZ goes the full monty” »

News: Death of the car salesperson?



Visiting a dealership to buy a car may soon become a thing of the past as online technology and mobile apps streamline the process of selecting, test driving, and financing a vehicle purchase.

In the USA the automotive manufacturing industry is trying to sell more vehicles directly to customers through online sales, despite state-by-state restrictions that prevents brands from competing directly with their existing dealership network.

In February a three-day competition called Hackomotive, sponsored by US car-buying website edmunds.Com, saw a dozen teams, including some car dealers, present their ideas and projects on how to better use technology to ‘seal the deal’. Continue reading “Death of the car salesperson?” »

News: No range anxiety in electric Outlander



Mitsubishi took a unique approach to the media launch programme of the Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) last week by taking local motoring scribes on a tour of the wind farm known as West Wind which is operated by Meridian Energy at Makara near Wellington.

Meridian operates 62 turbines at West Wind which it says harnesses enough wind power to generate more than 142 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power more than 62,000 households on average.

Mitsubishi is convinced that electric vehicles such as the new Outlander PHEV provide the best solution for New Zealand motorists due to our high production of renewable electricity from hydro and wind farms. Continue reading “No range anxiety in electric Outlander” »