VW Amarok 8-speed auto transmission arriving next year

September 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When Volkswagen’s Amarok ute launched earlier this year it was heaped with praise and Car and SUV was impressed by its ability on, and off the tarmac. But without an automatic transmission option the Amarok was always going to miss out on some sales in NZ.

Now, VW has announced that the Amarok will be available with an 8-speed automatic transmission from the mid 2012. The new gearbox is expected to be a smooth unit that will assist with overall fuel economy figures for the 1-tonne ute.

The automatic transmission will work with the Amarok’s permanent four-wheel drive and new 132kW/420Nm Twin Turbo TDI engine. Amaroks with the new automatic gearbox will also have an increased towing capacity of 3.2 metric tonnes (up to 12% gradient).

With the auto box the TDI engine will work even more effectively in every rev range, and 8th gear has been configured as a fuel-saving overdrive gear that operates at reduced engine speed.

The new automatic transmission with its maximum torque of 420 Newton metres offers a top speed of 179 km/h and takes just 8.5 seconds to accelerate from 80 to 120 km/h. Towing capacity has been increased to 3.2 metric tonnes (up to 12% gradient). Continue reading “VW Amarok 8-speed auto transmission arriving next year” »

Mazda6 Limited 2010 Review

August 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s no secret that the second generation Mazda6 is a very good car. It’s known for being dynamically proficient, well equipped and sharply dressed. So when it came time for a mid-lifecycle facelift how could Mazda fix a car that just ain’t broke? Car and SUV spent a week with the refreshed top-spec Mazda6 Limited to get all the answers.

In an attempt to enhance the 6’s successful formula rather than complicate it Mazda has kept the facelift light with some subtle cosmetic and mechanical updates. Exterior styling sees the inclusion of the current Mazda corporate face. This includes new raked-back headlights, matching fog lamps and a new grille with a more prominent Mazda badge. Plenty of hints from Mazda’s sports cars are in place on the Mazda6 with angular shapes and strong character lines. At the rear there are minimal changes but the clear LED two-piece taillights, and the curved boot lid spoiler extend the highly styled appeal. Our tested 6 in Limited trim came with a new 18-inch alloy wheel design that set off the vehicle’s lines well and matched up nicely with the elegant ‘Clear Water Blue’ paint work. Overall, the Mazda6 styling is class-leading and while it may be too curvaceous for timid tastes, its fluidic design demands attention.

Inside, the Mazda6 receives revised materials including new main plastics and contrasting silver trim. Piano black plastic surrounds the centre stack and the dashboard is nicely tactile and symmetrical. The instrument cluster is now easier to read with larger numbering on the silver rimmed dials. Although the 6’s interior looks great uniformly illuminated in orange, the main centre digital display is still cluttered and can be difficult to read without taking your eyes off the road despite its high position. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is also very busy with the integration of more than a dozen buttons and toggles that function well but a simplified approach could have created a more upmarket feel. That said, the build quality feels excellent and there is generous head and shoulder space for front occupants. The back seat allows for excellent legroom and in hatchback form can be split 60:40 and folded forward by simply pulling a latch in the boot. Cargo capacity is 519-litres in the hatch; fold down the backseat and this increases to an impressive 1,702-litres.

Continue reading “Mazda6 Limited 2010 Review” »

Skoda Octavia II presentation

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A presentation of Skoda Octavia II


Skoda Fabia commercial

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Skoda Fabia: simply clever


Skoda Fabia ads – Full of lovely stuff

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The new Skoda Fabia advertisement where they bake the car!


Porsche 911 Carrera

December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche: There’s the moment you know you want one