Toyota releases first images and details on 2012 Yaris

June 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has dropped the official details and some images of it’s new third generation 2012 Yaris hatch. The new Yaris has been initially shown in European-spec form but expect few changes to the model we ultimately see here in NZ.

Toyota’s newest supermini will be firstly manufactured at the Japanese firm’s Valenciennes factory in France with sales to begin in Europe around September.

For the continent the the 2012 Yaris will be launched with a choice of three engines. Two will be petrol powered, a 1.0-litre VVT-i and a 1.3-litre dual VVT-I, and the third motor will be a 1.4-litre D-4D diesel mill. A hybrid version is also in the works and will be based on the 2011 Yaris concept car that featured at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. More details on the hybrid Yaris are expected in the coming months.

Features on the 2012 Yaris will include a new multimedia connectivity system named Toyota Touch & Go. This unit will  feature a rather large 6.1-inch touch screen display and will be standard kit on almost all Yaris vehicles. Continue reading “Toyota releases first images and details on 2012 Yaris” »

Holden’s 2012 Colorado ute previewed with Chevy badged concept

June 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

While it doesn’t have a big V8 engine under its bonnet Holden’s next-generation 2012 Colorado ute is still going to be a staunch looker. To whet the appetites of global truck fans General Motors has revealed an extra tough double-cab concept Colorado in Chevrolet form.

Named the Double-Cab Rally concept, this truck follows on from the unveiling of the Colorado Space Cab concept at the Bangkok Auto Show back in March. Clearly this is a off roading ute with a pair of winches (one at the front, one at the rear) ready to go if the mud gets too deep. To help keep it going forward there’s 305/60R18 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tyres, long suspension travel and a unique rollbar/rail system across the roof and tray. At the rear there are special holes in the tailgate for bailing sand or gravel that may be caught in the tub during racing. To further reduce weight the side windows are made of clear acrylic.

Inside the Rally concept is fitted with racing seats and five-point harnesses. Continue reading “Holden’s 2012 Colorado ute previewed with Chevy badged concept” »

BMW reveals official details and images of 2012 M5

June 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With leaked photos doing the rounds online, BMW has decided to drop the official images and details on its fifth generation 2012 M5.

The much-anticipated super saloon comes packing BMW’s a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine behind its double kidney grille. It shares this powerplant with the X5M and X6M high performance SUVs and the V8 replaces the previous M5′s exotic 5.0-litre V10 unit. The new high-revving engine packs a heavyweight punch with power output of 415kW and peak torque of 680Nm. This marks a huge 30kW and 150Nm increase over its predecessor. Fuel consumption has also been improved with a quoted figure of 9.9l/100km combined.

Transferring power to the rear wheels is a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission linked up to an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential. A manual transmission is expected to be added at a later date.

Performance figures are impressive with the new M5 sprinting to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, 0-200km/h (124mph) in 13.0 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h. If you have to go even faster the optional M Driver’s package raises top speed to 305km/h. Continue reading “BMW reveals official details and images of 2012 M5” »

Mazda releases fresh images of new BT-50 ute

June 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has just dropped a couple of images of it’s upcoming BT-50 Freestyle ute. The Freestyle is an extended-cab version of the standard BT-50, offering a smaller cabin and a slightly larger deck than its double cab stablemate. To get crew into the back the BT-50′s cab features two reverse-hinge half-doors in addition to the two standard front doors. There is a pilarless design to make things a whole lot easier for those attempting to squeeze in the rear seat.

Mazda’s new design language has been used extensively on the exterior of the BT-50, but it retains traditional cab proportions giving it a good balance. Like the Ford Ranger, which uses the same chassis, the BT-50 was designed in Australia. It will be exported to numerous countries including NZ with first deliveries expected later this year. Continue reading “Mazda releases fresh images of new BT-50 ute” »

BMW reveals all-new 2012 1-Series range

June 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With leaked images of BMW’s brand new 1-Series hatch circulating online since Friday the Bavarian carmaker has made the call to release a full set of photos and official details.

BMW’s compact car is now larger and sports fresher looks while also introducing a new range of engines. The all-new 2012 1 Series is expected to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year with the code-name F20. It will sit on the same platform that underpins the upcoming new 3 Series and will be larger than its predecessor in every dimension except height. The first variant on show will be the volume-selling five-door hatchback but the range will also include a three-door hatch, coupe, cabriolet and possibly a longer Gran Turismo version.

The new sheetmetal has extensively revised styling with more prominent creases and a dramatic front-end that includes an even larger kidney grille and frowning headlights that push back into the wheel guards.

Inside, higher-grade materials are used and there’s apparently more attention to detail. A larger centre console houses fresh switchgear and there are new steering wheel designs. The latest version of BMW’s iDrive system is an optional extra. Continue reading “BMW reveals all-new 2012 1-Series range” »

2012 Nissan GT-R to receive increased power and Spec R variant

June 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The R35 Nissan GT-R is now firmly in its twilight years after first reaching the market back in 2007. To keep sales strong the Japanese carmaker is set to push out the GT-R’s power figures even more and add a new, final edition to the current model range.

Apparently the upcoming 2012 R35 GT-R will get a power increase of a further 22kW over the the current model. This will boost total output to 418kW with a thumping 661Nm of torque.

If that wasn’t enough to get Godzilla fans going all funny, there’s also a new top dog version in the works – the Spec R. This new Spec R model is set to supersede the current Spec V model and will receive further weight reduction of between 30kg and 40kg. It will also come packing some bling under the bonnet with a gold engine cover to trump the red one on the Spec V. Continue reading “2012 Nissan GT-R to receive increased power and Spec R variant” »

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster officially unveiled

May 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After much teasing, prompting, rumour and speculation Mercedes-Benz has released full details and images of its new 2012 SLS AMG Roadster. The much anticipated drop-top will receive an official world premiere at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

The gullwing doors of the SLS coupe have had to go but even with conventional doors and body stiffening the convertible only weighs 40kg more than the hard top.

The three-layered fabric soft top will not eat in the roadster model’s boot area as its capacity remains the same with the roof either up or down, and is roughly the same to that of the SLS AMG Coupe. The automated top will come in a choice of three colors – black, beige and a classic red. It opens and closes in eleven seconds, and can be operated at speeds up to 50km/h.

Under the bonnet the roadster shares the coupe’s AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. The naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine produces 425kW and 650 Nm of torque. Apparently, even with the slight weight increase the quoted 0-100kph acceleration time for the roadster is 3.7 seconds, down 0.1 second from the coupe’s sprint time. Continue reading “2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster officially unveiled” »

Audi officially reveals all-new 2012 A6 Avant

May 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Us Kiwis are suckers for a nice station wagon and Audi has given us all something to admire in its sleek new 2012 A6 Avant. The latest estate model has just been revealed at an event in Berlin, Germany with photos and specs released.

The new A6 Avant is larger with improved interior space but is lighter and more fuel efficient. To achieve the weight-reduction over its predecessor the A6 body is now 20 percent aluminum and also uses a composite construction that integrates high-strength steel for safety. This new lightweight approach to construction means the new A6 wagon is up to 70kg lighter than the model it replaces depending on the powertrain installed. The base model A6 2.0 TDI Avant weighs 1,640kg.

The A6 Avant powertrain options include six engines and four transmissions for various global markets but don’t expect all of them to come to New Zealand. The entry-level engine is a 2.0-litre TDI turbo-diesel four-cylinder that produces 131kW, and achieves a fuel economy of just 5.0l/100km combined. There is a larger diesel mill on offer with a 3.0-litre displacement and twin-turbocharging, its available in various power outputs ranging from 152kW to 233kW. In its most powerful form the TDI motor will take the A6 Avant from 0-100km/hper hour in a mere 5.4 seconds. Continue reading “Audi officially reveals all-new 2012 A6 Avant” »