News: Driven: 2016 RAM 2500 Laramie 4×4 Double Cab

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The factory-backed right-hand drive RAMs journey to Australia and New Zealand has taken longer than the distributor would have liked but the wait has been worth it.

This American Beauty started life at the Saltillo Assembly Plant in Mexico before shipping to American Special Vehicles (ASV) in Melbourne where it undergoes a body-off-frame remanufacturing process to OEM standard into a right-hand drive vehicle for Australian and New Zealand buyers.

This process is not an aftermarket conversion, but a full factory backed process where Fiat Chrysler is allowing ASV access to technical drawings meant it could remanufacture the RAM’s firewall and other componentry to OEM standard during the build, and it has also been tested to maintain ensured crashworthiness. Continue reading “Driven: 2016 RAM 2500 Laramie 4×4 Double Cab” »

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News: Pokemon Go craze causing driver crashes

pokemon-go-in carPlaying Pokemon Go is reportedly causing distracted users to engage in unsafe behaviour, including dangerous driving leading to car crashes, while opening up financial ramifications in car insurance.

The augmented-reality app Pokémon Go, which has recently taken the world by storm, is causing distracted users to engage in unsafe behaviour – like dangerous driving.

According to an ABC report, a west Brisbane panel beater Darren Holmes has received his first, and most probably not his last, Pokémon Go-related car repair after a female driver in Toowoomba crashed her car while using the app. The incident took place barely a week after the game’s Australian launch. Continue reading “Pokemon Go craze causing driver crashes” »

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News: 93% coverage for ANCAP

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Australasian New Car Assessment Programme testing now covers 93% of the market – with the awarding of five-star safety ratings to both the Suzuki Vitara and Kia Optima.

Both models previously ranked as top-selling unrated models in their class.

“We’ve awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating for the Suzuki Vitara, which is a real boost for consumers and Suzuki,” says ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin. “The Vitara performed well in physical crash testing and includes reversing collision avoidance and a manual speed limiter as standard.” Continue reading “93% coverage for ANCAP” »

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News: Agave by-product car parts from Ford and Jose Cuervo

agaveFord and tequila-maker Jose Cuervo are testing a bioplastic made from the agave plant for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins.

Initial assessments suggest the material holds great promise due to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption while paring back the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment.

“As a leader in the sustainability space we are developing new technologies to efficiently employ discarded materials and fibres while potentially reducing the use of petrochemicals and light-weighting our vehicles for desired fuel economy,” says Debbie Mielewski, senior technical leader at its sustainability research department. Continue reading “Agave by-product car parts from Ford and Jose Cuervo” »

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News: Renault lands tiny EV in NZ

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Renault New Zealand has landed the cute little Twizy two-seat electric vehicle – in spite of not yet being able to put it on the road.

Launched in France in 2012, the diminutive Twizy carries its passengers in tandem, and with a full charge will go up to 69km, with a top speed limited to 80km/h.

Classed as a ‘quadracycle’, the Twizy has car-like controls and offers occupants more protection than a motorcycle, including an airbag and seatbelt. Continue reading “Renault lands tiny EV in NZ” »

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News: Kia’s eco-friendly focus bears fruit

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A car’s status as green is not merely dependent on what comes out its exhaust pipe as Korean-brand Kia knows only too well.

This is evident in the lower greenhouse gas emissions levels, less waste and reduced water use across the Korean car manufacturer’s domestic production sites over the past 12 months. The changes come from a focus on recycling, employee sustainability initiatives, the reduction of unit waste and cleaner more modern production methods.

Kia’s domestic plants, located in Sohari, Gwangju and Hwasung, Korea, accounted for 56.5% of all Kia global production in 2015 – 1.72 million units. Continue reading “Kia’s eco-friendly focus bears fruit” »

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News: Mazda partners new driver training provider

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Mazda NZ is joining forces with the TrackTime Driving Academy to help reduce the national crash rate by improving the driving skills of Kiwi motorists.

Created by motorsport figure Mike Eady, TrackTime trains all levels of drivers with a particular focus on ensuring the safe operation of motor vehicles by employees in the workplace.

The new partnership will see the TrackTime team using a fleet of new-generation Mazda vehicles including the Mazda3, Mazda6, CX-3, CX-5, and BT-50. Continue reading “Mazda partners new driver training provider” »

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News: Chinese car communicates with drone

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The mobile operating systems featured on car dashboards in the form of Apple Car Play and Android Auto have made heads turn over the last few years.

Alibaba took this even further when it recently stunned with the unveiling of the first vehicle that features an operating system that covers all its systems and connects them to other electronics in ways not seen before.

The Roewe RX5 SUV’s features originate from Alibaba’s YunOS, which allows the car to automatically pay for fuel, parking, and tolls, and which recommends both vehicle settings and destinations for each individual occupant. Continue reading “Chinese car communicates with drone” »

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