Audi: 2014 A3 1.8 TFSI Cabriolet review

September 24th, 2014 by Richard Edwards

Spring in Auckland is quite the mixed bag weatherwise. One day, driving wind and rain, the next driving wind and rain, and so on. But occasionally you get a stunner, and I was lucky to get that – for just one day – while the new A3 was parked in the Car and SUV driveway.

The best thing that has happened to the A3 cabriolet over the old model is the introduction of another model to the range – the sedan. Having that pen-work already done means Audi was able to make the car look and function more like its almost-iconic A4 cabriolet – and now that model is gone bridge the gap to the A5 drop-top. Continue reading “Audi: 2014 A3 1.8 TFSI Cabriolet review” »

Lighter, Faster, More Agile: The New 911 Carrera to the Power of 4

August 30th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

The new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 blends the excellent performance and efficiency of the new generation of the 911 Carrera with the dynamic benefits of the latest version of the active all wheel drive system PTM (Porsche Traction Management).

The typical Porsche all-wheel drive with rear-focused layout in this latest 911 version guarantees maximum vehicle dynamics on a wide variety of road surfaces and in all weather conditions.

The new all-wheel drive 911 is available in four variants – as the 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4S in both Coupé and Cabriolet body styles. They sport the same traits as the rear-wheel drive versions: their lightweight body design, suspension, engines and gearboxes are identical; the only exception being modifications related to the all-wheel drive.

Despite a higher level of engine and driving performance, all four models consume significantly less fuel than the models they replace – up to 16 per cent, in fact. Additionally, the new 911 Carrera 4 is up to 65 kg lighter.

The most distinct identifying feature of the 911 with all-wheel drive is still the wide rear body: compared to the two-wheel drive 911 Carrera models, the extended rear wheel arches combine to produce a body that is 44 mm wider at the rear, and the rear tyres are also 10 mm wider. The traditional red light band that connects the two tail lights has also taken on a new look.

Porsche Intelligent Performance: high levels of driving performance, low fuel consumption\

The C4 models have a 7-speed manual gearbox as standard with the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox available as an option. The 911 Carrera 4 Coupé with 257 kW sprints from zero to 100 km/h
in as little as 4.5 seconds (Cabriolet: 4.7 secs) and has a top speed of up to 285 km/h (Cabriolet: 282 km/h). Fuel consumption with PDK is 8.6 L/100 kms (CO2 203 g/km) for the Coupé and 8.7 L/100 kms (CO2 205 g/km) for the Cabriolet.

The Coupé and Cabriolet of the 911 Carrera 4S each have a 3.8-litre rear-mounted boxer engine producing 294 kW; enabling acceleration to 100 km/h in 4.1 secs (Cabriolet: 4.3 secs) and a top speed of 299 km/h (Cabriolet: 296 km/h). Fuel consumption with PDK is 9.1 L/100 kms (CO2 215 g/km) for the Coupé and 9.2 L/100 kms (CO2 217 g/km) for the Cabriolet.

New: all-wheel drive indicator, Porsche Active Safe, sliding glass sunroof, extended Sport Chrono pack

In the new 911 Carrera 4, a new menu in the instrument cluster informs the driver how the PTM allwheel drive is currently distributing engine power. Additionally, with the debut of the 911 Carrera allwheel drive models Porsche is introducing optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to the range, which controls distance to traffic ahead and vehicle speed.

When ordered with PDK, the ACC system adds the safety function Porsche Active Safe (PAS), which helps to prevent front-end collisions. In addition, Porsche offers a new sliding glass sunroof as an optional for the 911 Carrera Coupé. Driving 911 cars with a manual gearbox and Sport Chrono pack can now be even sportier: In Sport Plus mode, the system automatically double-declutches (blips the engine) during downshifts.

The new all-wheel drive models replace a very successful previous generation, of which a total of about 24,000 units were sold since 2008.

This represents a 34 per cent share of total sales of second generation 997 models. This previous generation launched with one of the greatest development steps in powertrain technology that the 911 with all-wheel drive ever made: new were the engines with direct petrol injection, Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox and electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management (PTM). In July 2011, Porsche crowned the all-wheel drive model series with the 911 Carrera 4 GTS, whose 3.8-litre engine was boosted to 300 kW.

World premiere at the Paris International Motor Show

The new Porsche 911 Carrera with all-wheel drive will make its first public appearance at the 2012 Paris International Motor Show in late September.

New Zealand deliveries will commence in the first quarter of 2013 with local specification and pricing to be announced shortly.

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2012 Review

August 10th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Vitamin D: many of us are short of it. So rather than buying vitamin D supplements you can spend some more time in the sun. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls that spends an entire working day every week stuck in your car in rush hour traffic you are missing vital vitamin D absorption time.

With the Golf Cabriolet you can go from shaded to sun-drenched in just 9 seconds. That’s all it takes to drop the top on this convertible and you can do it while Continue reading “Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2012 Review” »

VW Golf R Cabriolet concept unleashed at 2011 Wörthersee Tour

June 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The annual Volkswagen Group hot-hatch festival at Lake Wörthersee, Austria is now used as a serious launching pad for some exciting concept machines. Audi kicked it all off earlier this week with its 370kW A1 concept, and now its VW’s turn itself.

VW has just pulled the covers off its Golf R Cabriolet concept and its set to give the fans exactly what they want. Designed to demonstrate the “inexhaustible potential of the Golf,” the concept is very similar to the Golf R hatch and stands out with an aggressive front fascia, aerodynamic side skirts and a center-mounted dual exhaust system.  Other treats include a sport-tuned suspension, high-performance 17-inch brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Under the bonnet is the Golf R’s 197kW, 2.0-litre turbo four engine which can accelerate the drop top from standing to 100km/h in under 6 seconds and hit a top speed of 250kph.

No interior images have been released but VW has confirmed that it is detailed like the Golf R hatch with Nappa leather sports seats, piano black trim and carbon fibre pieces. Continue reading “VW Golf R Cabriolet concept unleashed at 2011 Wörthersee Tour” »

Audi considering Q5 crossover/cabriolet – seriously

May 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Is there really a market for crossover-cabriolet vehicles or is it just one niche too far? Nissan were the first to try and find out the answer with its Murano CrossCabriolet revealed late last year and now it would seem Audi wants a slice of that action as well.

Reports coming out of Europe are claiming that Audi is already at work on a cabriolet version of the Q5. While details remain scarce the new model will likely be based on the Audi Cross Cabriolet Quattro concept (pictured) which first premiered at the Frankfurt Auto Show back in 2007. The Audi Q5 cabriolet is expected to retain the two-door configuration of the concept, and should feature a soft-top roof. An electric motor will handle opening and closing the roof.

The Audi Q5 cabrio will not be an uncompromising driver’s car by any means, but more a highly styled cruiser with high quality materials and unique styling. Expect it to be priced accordingly. Continue reading “Audi considering Q5 crossover/cabriolet – seriously” »

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI convertible – a customisation crime

March 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The car tuning scene must work a little bit differently over in the States. Here in NZ, if we owned a brand spankers Subaru WRX STI we would love it and cherish it and probably knock a bedroom wall down in our homes so we could sleep next to it. Would we chop the roof off it and ruin its rally-bred dynamics while making it look totally rubbish? No we would not.

But over in the States they have a huge population so there must be a few people with loads of cash and absolutely no taste. For that small crowd, Manchester Subaru in New Hampshire has created the monster you see above – a WRX STI convertible. You could also call it a ‘rag-top’ if you’re Vanilla Ice, or want to be.

This tale of automotive woe isn’t a total hacksaw job, but it certainly isn’t pretty. The roll bar looks like a picnic basket handle but may offer some rigidity. Everything else is all bad, there’s a poorly fitted tonneau cover for the roof, chopped door pillars but they have left the STI wing on the boot to clutter the vehicles odd lines even further. Don’t expect Subaru to be inspired and put the WRX STI convertible into mass production.

But the worst part is the price which is apparently $75,000 USD that’s $101,000 of our money or the same price as a brand new WRX STI ‘hardtop’ and another standard WRX as well. Continue reading “2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI convertible – a customisation crime” »

VW drops covers and top off new Golf Cabriolet

February 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The upcoming 2011 Geneva Motor Show will mark the return of the drop-top Golf Cabriolet after a near decade-long absence.

The new 2012 Golf Cabriolet is based on the platform of the latest generation Golf hatchback and features a soft top with an electro-hydraulic drive that can be raised or lowered in just 9.5 seconds at speeds up to 30 km/h. It’s a two-door but can seat four and has similar styling to the current Mk6 Golf but it features a unique rear section, lower profile roof line and more swept-back angle of its front windscreen frame.

For safety the Golf Cabriolet gets a pop-up rollover protection system similar to the one found on the A3 Convertible. With the exception of the 2+2 seating layout, the Cabriolet’s interior is identical to that of the hatchback.

In comparison to VW’s other convertible model, the Eos hardtop, the Golf Cabriolet is 208mm shorter but the two models share a 2,578mm wheelbase, meaning very similar interior space for all four passengers. With the roof down the Cabriolet still offers 250 litres of boot space.

In Europe, this latest Golf variant will be available with a wide range of six turbocharged direct-injection engines whose power outputs range from 78kW to 156kW. These include four petrols and two diesel options. Continue reading “VW drops covers and top off new Golf Cabriolet” »

Volkswagen confirm return of Golf Cabrio in 2011

November 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Last week, VW confirmed that the Golf Cabrio would return in 2011 with a brand new version of the iconic model. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen made and announcement that the 2011 VW Golf Cabrio will enter production next year at the company’s plant in Osnabruck.

While no details of the new Cabrio have officially been released yet, it’s expected to be a soft top, just like its predecessors. With the Golf Cabrio in production, 1,800 jobs will be created at Volkswagen’s Osnabruck plant by the end of next year.

In terms of engines, the new rag-top Golf will most probably offer the same choices as the hatchback. This means it should receive both petrol and TDI diesel engines. As far as the top of the line performance model’s go, no details have been revealed. However, a 2011 VW Golf GTI Cabrio seems very likely as does a GTD model.

Check back as we bring you more details and specs on the future 2011 VW Golf Cabrio, as they become available.

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