News: Five year time limits for new driver licences

licence-shadow-img5Changes to New Zealand’s Graduated Driver Licensing System aimed at improving the safety of novice drivers and motorcyclists are set to come into force next week, including the introduction of a five-year time limit on new learner and restricted car and motorcycling licences.

The changes to the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Rule mean that drivers or riders who obtain or renew their learner or restricted licence after 1 December 2014 and who haven’t moved on to the next licence stage within the following five years will need to pass another theory test to renew their licence after it expires.

NZ Transport Agency road safety director Ernst Zöllner says the changes will encourage novice drivers and motorcyclists to progress to a full licence within a reasonable timeframe. Continue reading “Five year time limits for new driver licences” »

News: Truck and trailer jumps F1 car, Seriously!

Formula one team Lotus have come up with a unique way to promote their partnership with sponsor EMC – jumping an F1 transporter truck over their race car.

The F1 car lives, the truck does not come off completely unscathed. Continue reading “Truck and trailer jumps F1 car, Seriously!” »

News: WRX takes Autocar performance car award


The Subaru WRX has won New Zealand Autocar magazine’s Performance Car of the Year award – as the magazine notes changes to its overall awards system.

Autocar liked the ‘overall package’ provided by the WRX.

“The new and thoroughly improved model proves to be even greater value in the scheme of things, being cheaper and yet offering a raft of extras previously unavailable on the WRX, making it more of an all-rounder,” said the magazine. Continue reading “WRX takes Autocar performance car award” »

News: Mitsubishi unveils 2015 Triton and future Fiat utility


Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has just launched the 2015 model year Triton utility in Thailand where the vehicle is built for global markets.

In 2016 the Thai factory will also start producing a Fiat-dedicated version of the Triton for sale in Europe and Latin America under the Fiat Professional banner says Automotive New Europe.

The non-binding memorandum of understanding between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and MMC to develop and manufacture the truck will see 150 to 170,000 vehicles produced from the Thai plant over a six year period but numbers are yet to be finalised says a September news report from Automotive News Europe. Continue reading “Mitsubishi unveils 2015 Triton and future Fiat utility” »

Holden: European-sourced Holden’s on their way

2014 Insignia VXR wagon 3:4

While the debate rages as to what will replace the Commodore as Holden’s large car come 2018 – there are new lion-badged options coming far sooner that deserve a look – and may provide clues in themselves.

The company announced earlier this year the return of European sourced models to its line up – the Cascada cabriolet, Astra GTC hatch/coupe and the large sedan Insignia VXR. Continue reading “European-sourced Holden’s on their way” »

News: Police use GPS tracker to find kidnap victim

GPS-tracking-on-cars1A woman who was kidnapped off the streets of Philadelphia in the United Sates was relocated thanks to a GPS tracking device that had been installed on the kidnapper’s car by the dealer, in case it needed to be repossessed.

Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, 22, is resting at her mother’s home in Philadelphia after a three-day ordeal that ended when federal agents surrounded the car and seized the kidnapping suspect.

Her rescue came after authorities spotted the used-car dealer’s name on a traffic camera photo of Delvin Barnes’ vehicle and recognised the dealership as one that routinely puts GPS devices on its cars, according to sheriff’s captain Jayson Crawley, of Charles City County, Virginia. Continue reading “Police use GPS tracker to find kidnap victim” »

News: Hydrogen-powered cars become a reality


Toyota has launched an all-new hydrogen fuel-cell sedan that delivers maximum power well above 100kW with a range of 500km.

The all-new four door sedan – called Mirai, a Japanese word meaning “future” – has the cruising range of a conventional sedan, can be refuelled in less than five minutes and emits only water vapour when driven.

The Toyota fuel-cell system (TFCS), which enables the Mirai to produce its own electricity, incorporates world-first technology and several world-leading systems, including for power density and hydrogen storage density. Continue reading “Hydrogen-powered cars become a reality” »

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” »