First official photos of 2012 Porsche 911 now online

August 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following teaser videos and plenty of spy shots the first press photos of the new 2012 Porsche 911 have been leaked on to the Internet before the model’s official debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

As expected the all-new 911 (code name 991), has a very familiar look and shows only subtle styling changes from the outgoing 997. Porsche purists will be kept happy with the iconic model’s classic lines and proportions being kept intact.

The most obvious cosmetic changes are the LED running lamps and revised air intakes at the front, the door-mounted wing mirrors on the flanks and the thinner LED tail lamps that grace the 991’s sculptured rear end.

Away from the design, the most significant changes come with the new 911’s increased size. The car is about two inches longer than the current model with a four inch longer wheelbase.

In terms of power the new entry-model Carrera will use a 3.4-litre direct-injected flat-six, producing 261kW, the Carrera S will be powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six engine producing around 300kW. Both engines will be mated to either a seven-speed manual or a PDK dual-clutch transmission. Continue reading “First official photos of 2012 Porsche 911 now online” »

BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2011 Review

August 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The 2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe is certainly special, a one-off offering from the M-division that has raised suspicion from purists and excitement from badge fans. But what exactly makes it so unique? Is it because by being based on BMW’s entry level 1-Series a new M-car is more affordable than ever before? Or is it because of the 1M’s turbocharged engine and M3-borrowed running gear? Or maybe because it will be built for just one model year with only 14 units making their way to NZ? Or does it just go totally hard? Car and SUV had a chance to pilot the new 1-Series M on a rapid-paced voyage of discovery for the answers.

It hasn’t been an easy birth for the 1M, some have labeled it a parts-bin car because of its extensively shared components with others saying it’s cheapening the M range with its budget 1 Series donor body. But neither of these accusations is accurate. True the 1M is the new lightweight of the M Division stable but it’s quick, feisty and can throw a heavy punch when provoked. Continue reading “BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2011 Review” »

Toyota teases 2012 Camry before official reveal

August 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has revealed another teaser image of its upcoming 2012 Camry sedan. The new Camry is expected to be revealed, in its entirety, in the coming weeks.

For now, fans of the sensible sedan will have to make do with the new image showing a hook-shaped tailight and what will be a high rear boot line. The Camry isn’t well known for its dynamic looks and the new model is looking to change this with a more aggressive style.

The first teaser image put the headlight on show with a honeycomb grille and recessed fog lamp. It’s certainly promising, but we will reserve judgement until the Camry’s full sheetmetal is exposed. Continue reading “Toyota teases 2012 Camry before official reveal” »

New Suzuki Swift sport previewed before Frankfurt debut

August 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Suzuki has given hot hatch fans a preview of its upcoming 2012 Swift Sport ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month.

When Suzuki unveiled its S-Concept earlier this year, it was a styling exercise to show what the next Swift Sport may look like. Some of the concepts bold styling has remained and some has been dropped. The pumped out wheel arches are gone, as are the vented quarter panels and giant wing. What has been kept is the striking front bumper and smoked headlights.

Under the bonnet the 2012 Swift Sport will feature a 1.6 litre M16A engine developed exclusively for the sportier model. The four-cylinder petrol unit will produce 100 kW of power and 160 Nm of torque. That’s a 30kW/20Nm increase over the standard new-model Swift and a 8kW/12Nm increase over the previous Swift Sport.

The engine will be connected to a six-speed manual gearbox. Continue reading “New Suzuki Swift sport previewed before Frankfurt debut” »

BMW’s future i4 and i5 eco vehicles to fill out range

August 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s recently revealed i sub-brand is one of the most exciting and ambitious moves in the automotive world recently (read news) and will expand after the i3 and i8 go on sale in the next three years.

What’s next? Well the following models will be the i4 and i5 which are rumoured to be a smaller coupe and a family focused four-door sedan.

Both the i4 and i5 models will have a carbon fiber reinforced plastic “Life” bodye to keep weight down and use variations of the drivetrains powering the i3 and i8.

Apparently the i4 will use the same underpinnings as the i3, but will drop the rear doors and seats to become a two-seater with a lower roof, wider track and a increased dynamic ability. Power will likely come from a tweaked version of the  i3’s electric motor, with the same optional range-extending engine mounted out back. If the i4 is created in this way BMW will have a more affordable two-door option in its range. Don’t expect to see the i4 roaming streets for about five or six years. Continue reading “BMW’s future i4 and i5 eco vehicles to fill out range” »

Volkswagen NZ lands 60 Golf GTI 35 Edition models for kiwi market

August 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For 2011, Volkswagen is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its iconic Golf GTI with a special Edition 35 model. The big news is that Volkswagen New Zealand have managed to secure 60 of the limited-edition 4-door Golf GTI Edition 35 models.

Much like the Edition 30 Golf model that we saw here in 2006 this new anniversary machine benefits from an upgraded powerplant and some discreet styling tweaks.

Punching out 173kW of power and 300Nm torque the upgraded Golf produces 18kW more grunt than the standard model. It will reach a top speed of 247km/h and take just 6.6 seconds to sprint from 0 – 100km/h. The engine in the Edition 35 is a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine of the EA113 engine series, sharing the same engine base as the Golf R. The 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes mated to a 6-speed DSG gearbox. Fuel economy is quoted at 8.0 litres per 100km combined.

Keeping its dynamic credentials in check is a XDS electronic differential lock that compensates for the typical understeering of front-wheel drive vehicles during quick driving through bends. The Edition 35 also sits 15mm lower than on a conventional Golf and uses the familiar MacPherson suspension at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. Continue reading “Volkswagen NZ lands 60 Golf GTI 35 Edition models for kiwi market” »

BMW reveals i3 and i8 concept vehicles (+video)

August 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s hotly anticipated i-brand has officially arrived with the first introduction of two concept models.

BMW has given out the first details and images of its i3 and i8 models before the concepts are shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Originally teased as the MegaCity concept, the BMW i3 electric car will be the first vehicle to be produced under the i brand and will arrive in 2013. Built for urban environments this high-tech machine uses an electric motor mounted on the rear axle for an output of 125kW with 250Nm of torque. Power will go through a single speed gearbox and the i3 will accelerate briskly from 0-100km/h in around eight seconds. Top speed is limited to 150 km/h.

BMW claims the i3’s battery pack can be charged to full in six hours and will get to 80% charge in just one hour using a standard socket. Expect details on battery capacity and range to be revealed soon. Continue reading “BMW reveals i3 and i8 concept vehicles (+video)” »

Anderson Germany tunes sinister Maserati Gran Turismo S ‘Black Edition’

August 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The standard Maserati GranTurismo S is one mean-looking machine and most mere mortals would take it straight from the factory. But that hasn’t stopped tuning firm Anderson Germany from offering owners the chance to go a little meaner again.

The German workshop has created a line of performance and styling upgrades for the Italian car and called the complete package the Superior Black Edition.

The Maserati gets a carbon-fibre body kit that includes a new bonnet, side mirrors and tailgate as well as the side air intakes. The lights have been smoked out and the entire body is wrapped in a silky matt black coating. Filling the wheel guards are new 21-inch alloy wheels finished in gloss black and wrapped in low profile tyres. The suspension has also been lowered.

In the cabin the black theme continues with plenty of carbon-fibre trim along with a mix of black leather and alcantara trim with red stitching. There’s also an upgraded infotainment system. Continue reading “Anderson Germany tunes sinister Maserati Gran Turismo S ‘Black Edition’” »