Toyota Land Cruiser 200 VX 2010 Review

May 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Land Cruiser 200 is the King Kong of the Toyota range, boasting all the strengths of normal SUVs but with a physical presence and brute force all its own. As a descendent of the original Japanese military spec Land Cruiser the 200 has six decades worth of dirt running through its veins. But as the Land Cruiser has matured, some badge fans have said all the new luxuries and fancy styling has distanced the LC from its mud-munching roots. So is the Land Cruiser 200 still king of the jungle, capable of thumping its chest and cutting through any terrain? Or has it become softer than a beer-bellied slug? Car and SUV spent a week on the move with the 2010 Land Cruiser 200 to find out more.

The first thing that strikes you with the 200 is its bulky presence; for NZ it’s a giant of an SUV. Over the various generations the Land Cruiser has got larger and larger and now cuts an intimidating shadow. Up front it has a wide gaping grille with wrap around halogen headlights and a flat bonnet line. Flared guards and a high waist dominate the flanks and it’s a squarer look at the rear with a split tailgate and red-jeweled lights. Luxury exterior touches include chrome bright work on the side mirrors, grille and hatch grab bar. 18-inch alloys and tinted glass finish off the look.

Climb inside and there is an impressive amount of space on offer. The dark leather seats are flat but wide and separated by a massive centre storage box/armrest. All three rows of seating get air vents and 3-point seat belts, meaning 7 occupants can travel in comfort. The third row seating offers ample headroom and decent leg room for anyone under 6-foot it also has cup holders and handgrips. The back row is side mounted and splits in half to fold away while the second row is slide and recline adjustable. With the third row stowed away there’s a huge 700-litre cargo area available.

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Honda UK reveals Civic Type-R Mugen 200

February 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Late last year Mugen’s UK-based tuning arm got stuck into the Euro Civic Type-R, the result was a 220-hp, stripped down hot hatch with only 20 produced. Riding on thel success of that limited-edition model, Honda UK is now offering another Mugen-fettled Civic Type-R this March, but it can’t quite match the gusto of its track-spec predecessor.

Included in the package is a set of front and rear Mugen bumper skirts, lightweight ‘Lightning” 19-inch wheels, limited slip differential and a Championship White exterior, the most recent Type-R to receive the famous hue. Unfortunately, the engine hasn’t been worked not even the exhaust or ECU, so output remains unchanged at 200 horsepower.

An assortment of badges and plaques are included on the 200 limited-edition models, which are being released to celebrate Honda’s return to the British Touring Car Championship this April. The BTCC team will compete in two Civics which will feature a similar white and black colour scheme to the Mugen 200 cars.

Renault releases updated Clio Renaultsport 200

May 6th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Renaultsport Clio fq

Renaultsport’s latest hot hatch now comes with 200 ponies packed beneath the bonnet. While this is only three more horses than the Clio 197 version on which it’s based and replaces, Renault’s performance and motorsport divisions have worked hard to improve the aerodynamics and cut weight to make the extra power count even more.

Reflecting the mid-cycle facelifting of the entire Clio range, the Clio RS 200 and 200 Cup apparently benefit from Renault’s Formula One program, which brought the aerodynamic expertise implemented on its latest hot hatch. Air passes over the front splitter to feed the the revised 200-hp, 2.0-litre 16-valve four-cylinder engine, but it also surges underneath to the flat rear bottom and rushes out the rear diffuser. The aerodynamic enhancements helps give the car an even more agressive look, while customers can choose from a wider colour palette, contrasting with either black or anthracite-finish trim.

Inside the Clio has a compact steering wheel with perforated leather trim with a yellow strip to show when it’s centered, and Recaro seats are available along with leather upholstery. The new Clio Renaultsport 200 starts selling next month in the UK at £16,570 ($43,000 NZ), while hardcore enthusiasts can get the stripped-down Cup version for £15,750 ($40,930 NZ).