BMW’s Vision ED concept car on show at Auckland Museum

July 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW NZ has put together a eye-catching exhibit for its striking Vision EfficientDynamics car that’s currently on show at Auckland’s Museum. The best part is that it’s open for public viewing all weekend (Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17).

Following an appearance at the Australian Motor Show the concept can be viewed for free at the Atrium end of the Museum.

The Vision EfficientDynamics car is scheduled for production in 2013 and is set to become the world’s first green supercar. It’s powered by a three-cylinder turbo-diesel with a hybrid synchronous motor at the front axle and a full hybrid engine at the rear axle enabling a maximum power output for the system of 241kW. This new technology allows the BMW VisionED to achieve a 0–100km/h sprint time of just 4.8 seconds while returning a very low economy figure of 3.76 litres per 100 kilometres, and a CO2 emission rating of just 99 grams per kilometre. Continue reading “BMW’s Vision ED concept car on show at Auckland Museum” »

Subaru plans to release four new models by 2016

July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru is going big and has announced plans to build and release four new models over the next five years. The biggest launch will be the much-anticipated sports coupe that’s in development in conjunction with Toyota. A new hybrid model is also expected.

Subaru has also revealed what it calls the ‘Motion-V plan’, which aims to generate global sales of 900,000 units per year by 2016. This will be a huge increase on the 633,000 sales the Japanese company has forecast for the current fiscal year.

Subaru’s new range will be lead out in the second quarter of 2012 with the global launch of the as-yet unnamed sports coupe, that’s nicknamed the Toyobaru. Toyota has released images and more details for its own ‘FT-86′ version of the vehicle, while Subaru has revealed very few details or photos of its concept. Continue reading “Subaru plans to release four new models by 2016” »

Honda reworks hybrid CR-Z with Mugen RR Concept

July 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When Honda first revealed its CR-Z hybrid coupe, many enthusiasts were left wishing that it was just a little bit more like the original CR-X. Honda noted the doubters but pushed on with the production model without change. The brand’s tuning arm Mugen however, has put in much greater effort to inject a more sporty character into this coupe, firstly with the Mugen CR-Z concept and now with its track-spec RR edition.

The covers were pulled off this concept at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K and proved itself on the famous Goodwood hill. The CR-Z Mugen RR Concept has a unique body kit with a front aero bumper, front aero guards, side skirting, a rear aero bumper, a rear wing, and special 18-inch wheels.

Mugen hasn’t released exact performance specs, but we already know the Mugen CR-Z design concept features a supercharged version of the 1.5-litre engine with Honda’s IMA hybrid system and is good for around 147 kW and 245 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes around 6.6 seconds. Continue reading “Honda reworks hybrid CR-Z with Mugen RR Concept” »

Kia to build rear-driving V8-powered coupe?

July 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

A rear wheel drive sports coupe with a V8 powerplant will catch the interest of most driving enthusiasts, but what if the car is built by Kia? It’s difficult to know how such a vehicle would be received but the Korean carmaker could be willing to find out, if new reports prove true.

Kia has a new K9 sedan set to go on sale in global markets from next year. The K9 platform could lend itself to a rear-wheel-drive layout and even a V8 motor. But Kia wants to go even sportier and apparently will release a pair of RWD coupe concepts to check public interest and reception. Is it just crazy enough to work? Kia plans to find out at the Frankfurt Motor Show with its first coupe and then reveal a second concept at the Detroit Auto Show next January. If the hard-to-please sportscar crowd think the concepts are a fair punt then a production model could be prepared for sale by 2015.

Ex Pininfarina designers seeking funding for Fiat 500 Marcia Corta

July 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The reworked Fiat 500 has been the victim and benefactor of a wide range of tuning efforts in recent years. It’s been painted in gold, taken rally driving and even had its small engine shifted to a rear mount. But this latest tuning endeavour may prove the most interesting.

Two former Pininfarina designers have broken away and formed a new design firm called Camal and their first project involves the Fiat 500. This special version is called the 500 Marcia Corta (Italian for short gearing), with the underpinning theme to give the Bambina a classic rallying look.

The signature elements are clear and include quad rally lamps, giant grille opening and a full aero kit with side skirts, fender flares and rear ring. At the rear there’s a replacement bumper with a new integrated exhaust system. Continue reading “Ex Pininfarina designers seeking funding for Fiat 500 Marcia Corta” »

2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show

July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has pulled the covers off it’s next-generation 2012 Colorado concept ute at the Australian Motor Show in Melbourne.

The new Colorado was first shown in Chevrolet form earlier this year and Holden’s version has kept with a similar curvaceous body design and ‘dual port’ grille. The concept Colorado is presented in a crew-cab form with the production model to be launched in New Zealand and other global markets in 2012.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Jeff Murray said Holden’s most significant play in the growing light commercial segment is without a doubt the new generation Colorado. “Clearly this is a show vehicle however, the basic proportions and design are pretty much what you can expect for the production version of the Colorado which will arrive in Holden showrooms in this country in 2012,” Mr Murray said.

The Colorado design project was led by 26-year-old creative designer Ben Last who worked closely with General Motors‟ Colorado homeroom and design studio in Brazil along with operations in Thailand and the US to develop the final Australian show theme. Continue reading “2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show” »

BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept going on show in NZ

June 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s striking Vision EfficientDynamics car, is coming to New Zealand for a special one-off appearance and will be put on display at the Auckland Museum from Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17.

The high-tech machine will be part of next week’s Australian Motor Show and will pop in to NZ after, so it’s a great chance to see a groundbreaking concept car for free.

“The BMW VisionED represents the future of BMW mobility and unlike other concept cars, which often never see the light of day, the BMW VisionED is confirmed to go into production in 2013 and will be known as the BMW i8,” said the Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, Mark Gilbert.

“This ground-breaking model is a showcase of BMW technology and provides strong indications of drivetrain technology and the level of connectivity all future BMW models will feature.” Continue reading “BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept going on show in NZ” »

Jeep ute gets postponed… for now

June 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

If you’re a fan of the ute and also a Jeep enthusiast then you would have been pretty excited when Jeep announced it may bring out a pickup truck. The bad news is that the Jeep ute project has ben put on the backburner for now, but hey, it might still come to fruition.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley said in a recent interview, “We’re still in recovery mode and have to be very careful with our investments. We have so much going on. Our resources are fully dedicated to small vehicles and working with Fiat. There are none left to work on the Jeep pickup at this time.”

He went on to add, “There’s clear interest in the U.S. for a pickup” and “It could also give us potential for some of our international markets even though the pickup market is slightly different outside of the U.S.” Continue reading “Jeep ute gets postponed… for now” »