Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 2011 Review

November 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been 35 years since Volkswagen’s Golf GTI trail blazed a new automotive sub-genre – the hot hatch. To celebrate the birthday of the iconic GTI badge VW has released a special anniversary model named the Edition 35 and the good news for kiwi Golf fans is that 60 of the 5-door cars are heading down to NZ.

So what’s so special about the Edition 35? Well, it’s built for true GTI enthusiasts and comes packing a boost in power, some subtle styling treats and an air of exclusivity. It’s for Golf GTI junkies who crave just a little bit extra GTI. Car and SUV took a dose of the Edition 35 to test if its effects are mellow or mind mashing addictive.

Any special edition will find itself graded in three core areas over the standard model it’s based on. These are; how much harder it goes, how much sleeker it looks and what extra features are included. The Edition 35 improves on the Mk VI Golf GTI in these three areas but by varied strengths.

Visually, it’s a ‘Spot the Difference’ game to find every exterior styling tweak the Edition 35 has over its stock sibling. Perhaps most noticeable are the new “Watkins Glen” alloy wheels, which at 18-inches fill out the guards and are well suited to the Golf shape. Harder to spot is the remodeled front bumper and bi-xenon headlights with LED running lamps. Along the flanks there are discrete “35” badges on the front fenders, there’s lower side skirting and gloss black wing mirror caps. The unique exterior design is finished at the rear with darkened tail lamps. Overall, the updates are subtle but fitting for the GTI, a model known for deft styling touches and a sleeper aesthetic. The Edition 35 is available in four colours – Tornado Red, Deep Black, Carbon Steel Grey and our sweet-looking test car was finished in Candy White. Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35 2011 Review” »

British Ford celebrates 100th birthday with Fiesta ‘Centura Edition’

August 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford is usually thought of as an American carmaker but its British arm has been in operation for longer than most car companies have been in business altogether. British Ford has been building its own vehicles for exactly 100 years and for 2011 the company has been celebrating the milestone in a number of ways. The latest is a new special edition model.

While you’d usually expect a centenary edition vehicle to be a uncompromising sports car that’s highly exclusive, in this case its something different. Ford are selling a upgraded version of Britain’s largest-selling small car, the Ford Fiesta with this special variant called the “Centura.”

The Centura celebrates the 100th anniversary of Ford in Britain, and pays tribute to the first Ford vehicle to be manufactured in the UK, the Model T in 1911. Continue reading “British Ford celebrates 100th birthday with Fiesta ‘Centura Edition’” »

Ford Fiesta marks 35th Birthday with 15 million sales

August 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford’s Fiesta has had three years of success with a massive number of global sales but the last few years haven’t been the only important ones for the plucky little hatch.

The Fiesta’s history goes all the way back to 1976 when the very first Fiesta rolled off the production line. Since then it has gone on to sell 15 million units and demand is showing no signs of slowing. The Fiesta is currently Europe’s biggest selling small-car with production coming out of Cologne, Germany. It is also built in Nanjing, China, Rayong, Thailand, and Cuautitlàn, Mexico.

After thirty-five years, six generations and 15 million cars the Fiesta began from humble beginnings and is now a nameplate with true heritage and longevity. Continue reading “Ford Fiesta marks 35th Birthday with 15 million sales” »

BMW opens virtual tour of its Art Car program (+video)

July 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

In a program that started 40 years, BMW has collaborated with world famous artists to create 17 art cars with each being a historic work of art. The cars are highly valuable but aren’t just for show, many of them have been raced, from Alexander Calder’s 3.0 CSL through to the latest M3 GT2 painted by Jeff Koons (pictured).

While some of the cars have gone on display in museums and exhibitions around the world, seeing all 17 cars at once is very rare. To mark the 40th anniversary of the art car program BMW has put the entire collection online through an impressive new website. On the site each car gets its own exhibit and film that outlines its creation, all laid out in a high-tech virtual museum. Continue reading “BMW opens virtual tour of its Art Car program (+video)” »

Volvo’s iconic 850 celebrates its 20th birthday

June 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo’s ‘boxy but good’ 850 model celebrates its 20th birthday this month and to mark the occasion Volvo has issued a press release reminding us how innovative and important this model really was.

In 1990 the 850 was developed with some genuine world firsts in a production vehicle like having its gearbox fitted alongside the engine and using a new type of multilink axle called the Delta Link. Naturally there was some new safety tech as well; a side impact protection system SIPS was rolled out and height-adjustable safety belts were also included.

The 850 went on to be more than just a popular family hauler and by 1994 was entered into the British Touring Car Championship in station wagon form. When the rules changed in ’95 and ’96 the Swedish company reverted to a sedan model and won 13 races and finished third in the championship both years. But it would be the racing wagon or ‘flying brick’ that has gone on to become a motorsport icon.

Volvo’s 850 is certainly a more interesting family car than most, to read more on its history view Volvo’s press release below. Continue reading “Volvo’s iconic 850 celebrates its 20th birthday” »

Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special

May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

VW has just unveiled its newest Golf special edition the GTI Edition 35 which will mark the 35th anniversary of the very popular European hot hatch.

Like previous ‘Anniversary Edition’ models, the Edition 35 comes with an increase in power, as well as updated looks and some extra kit. Power comes from a reworked version of VW’s 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that develops 173 kW which marks an 18kW increase over the standard GTI.

Styling upgrades on the Mk 6 GTI body include a new front bumper, branded aluminum door sills and various ’35’ badges.

The world debut of the Golf GTI Edition 35 is scheduled for the annual VW enthusiasts event the 2011 Tuning World Worthersee at the beginning of June. Sales of the anniversary edition Golf are set to commence later that month. Continue reading “Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special” »

Toyota NZ marking Land Cruiser 60th anniversary with epic Kiwi journey

January 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For 2011 Toyota New Zealand is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its legendary Land Cruiser.

The Land Cruiser is an iconic model for Toyota and has been part of New Zealand’s forestry, farming and off-road heritage for nearly six decades.  As a key part of its celebrations, Toyota is challenging television presenter Marc Ellis to drive a new FJ Cruiser, which is unashamedly a tribute to the original FJ40, from Cape Reinga to Bluff — entirely off tar sealed roads.

The adventure dubbed ‘Top to Bottom — Off road’ is a tribute to the legacy Land Cruisers have forged after 60 years, says Neeraj Lala, Toyota’s Assistant General Manager of Marketing and Product.

“In many ways, this trip reflects the celebrated Kiwi spirit of giving things a go. Toyota believes ‘if you dream it, you can do it’, and we’d like New Zealanders the length of the country to help us make the dream a reality. Perhaps they can open up a private track or suggest a secret route the vehicles can use to avoid a road, offer a splash of petrol if things get tight in the back country, or they might just like to invite some weary travelers in for a hot cuppa.”

Ellis will set off down Ninety Mile Beach on 21 February. Meeting up with the intrepid travelers at points along the way will be a fully restored Kiwi classic — a late 1970s FJ40 Land Cruiser which Toyota bought from a customer after a long search for the classic and will give away to someone who helps the team achieve its goal.

“It’s quite fitting for the new FJ Cruiser, which un-mistakenly descends from some of the most iconic Land Cruiser models, to be the vehicle to attempt this epic journey,” says Neeraj Lala.

Toyota expects the team to take 16 days of driving to reach the southern tip of New Zealand, via seven checkpoints. Ellis is set to meet national and local legends on the way.

Ellis has been challenged to only use back country roads, farm trails and tracks. If he wants to go on tar seal he has to earn credits to do so by meeting further challenges.

The vehicles will head south on the North Island’s western side as far as Taranaki, traverse the island to Hawke’s Bay, and on to the South Island via Wellington. From Picton, the FJ Cruiser will go through the centre of the South Island high country and the heart of Otago.

Continue reading “Toyota NZ marking Land Cruiser 60th anniversary with epic Kiwi journey” »

25-Year Anniversary tribute video to BMW’s M3

December 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

From the first E30 to the most recent E92, BMW’s M3 has never stopped evolving and never stopped seeking automotive perfection. It’s transitioned from the light, small, and motorsports-intended E30 M3 to larger, more powerful, and built equally for street and track, but some common traits remain. Where those traits lie and how strong they realistically still are is a topic of much debate, but this video included below sheds some light the development of this motoring icon. Choosing to dwell mostly on the classic E30 M3 the video shows off some racing footage and explains how the E30 laid the groundwork for the other M3s to come.

Click the box below to watch the video. Continue reading “25-Year Anniversary tribute video to BMW’s M3” »

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