When I did judo as a kid we were taught techniques after being thrown that would make it difficult for your opponent to turn you onto your back to avoid osaekomi waza, or pinning techniques. You made yourself low and wide to hug the mat, and adjusted your bodyweight to stay flat. This is what the Audi TT feels like to drive. It feels as if you wouldn’t be able to turn it over to expose the soft underbelly. Around the corners its grappling technique with the tarmac is black belt, sports car quality. Continue reading “Audi: 2015 TT Coupe S Line review” »
The RC350 is a car you could put anywhere and it would still photograph beautifully. It was by chance that I had booked a trip to Ohakune in order to do the Tongariro Crossing on the same weekend that I had the RC350. I honestly could have spent a whole day finding vistas that included snow-capped Mount Ruapehu, but as it was, Ohakune Mountain Rd and its sinuous rise to the ski fields of Ruapehu set the scene. The brilliant blue sky did the rest, but the Lexus still stole the show. Continue reading “Lexus: 2015 RC350 F Sport review” »
The Honda CR-Z is a hybrid sports hatchback that harks back to the original CR-X which was built from 1983-91. The flat back and split rear windscreen are the signature elements, and it retains its two-door design with rear seats simply there for show as opposed to being able to fit anyone in them. Continue reading “Honda: 2015 CR-Z Sport review” »
The 4 Series is BMW’s answer to Audi’s A5, and I quite like the A5. The A5 slots between the A4 and A6, just as the 4 Series slots between the venerable 3 Series and the quite mighty 5 Series. The 4 Series follows BMW’s even-numbered coupe nomenclature as opposed to the odd-numbered sedans, and therefore it cuts a fine sleek line as it drives slowly towards the car park that is nearer to the front door of the office than that of the minions.
It shares the same basic undergarments as the 3 Series but is 26mm longer, 43mm wider and 16mm lower. This means that the 4 Series looks like a trained boxer, all squat and ready to pounce compared to the more relaxed 3 Series. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 435i Coupe review” »
I stepped out of the BMW M4 (read the review here) and into the M235i expecting a significant downgrade, but I was wrong. The M235i is the swift dagger to the M4’s broadsword; it feels lighter and sharper and less likely to require two hands.
The M4 is capable of wreaking much more havoc, but the M235i is still a weapon wielded in the right hands given that it comes with a three-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 240kW and 450Nm of torque. This means a 4.8-second dash to 100kph and enough overtaking power to give the traction control something to think about at 70kph. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 M235i Coupe review” »
The M4 is like someone took my shopping list, bought everything on it but on impulse sneaked in an extra packet of bacon. And I like bacon. It’s got the power and the noise, the looks and the toys to keep me happy. I don’t need rear seat practicality and I will put up with the tight squeeze in the boot because this is a coupe and that’s what coupes do: they make compromises in carrying capacity in order to look nicer. Continue reading “BMW: 2014 M4 Coupe review” »
As Kia’s first truly sporty car (the Sportage most definitely is not sporty), the Cerato Koup Turbo straddles the line between performance coupe and hot hatch(of which it has just released one in New Zealand in the form of the Pro_cee’d GT with the same engine, which hopefully we’ll be driving soon). Continue reading “Kia Cerato Koup Turbo 2014 review” »
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.