Spada drops details on hardcore Codatronca Monza (+video)

July 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Italian boutique carmaker Spada Vetture Sport has just released images and details on its Codatronca Monza model following its debut at Top Marques Monaco.

Commissioned by Aznom, the unique model is based on Spadas Codatronca coupe and features a retro design inspired by roadsters from the 1960′s. That said, there is little thats old school about this high-tech roadster. It has an aluminum chassis, a composite body, a Brembo braking package and OZ Racing wheels covered in Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres.

The roadster packs the same engine as the coupe a supercharged 7.0-litre V8 engine with 530 kW of power and a wild 950 Nm of torque. The Monza weighs just 1,180 kg and features a spartan cockpit with Sabelt bucket seats and a F1-style steering wheel. The suspension is fully adjustable and it uses the same ABS system as the FIA GT3 Series. Shifting through the six-speed manual transmission the Codatronca Monza can go from 0-100km/h in three seconds flat and on to a top speed of 335 km/h. Continue reading “Spada drops details on hardcore Codatronca Monza (+video)” »

Mini Cooper D 2011 Review

July 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Back in 1959 when the first batch of Minis rolled off the production line few assumptions followed the unique vehicle. Back then it would have been slightly fanciful to assume that over fifty years later this diminutive model would be still going strong. But to think that in 2011 there would be a diesel-powered Mini that needs less than four litres of fuel to cover 100km, well that would have seemed unbelievable. Mini’s latest Cooper D can do exactly that, but achieving an exceptionally low fuel economy figure isn’t always enough. Present day buyers want fuel frugality as well as more traditional desires like comfort, style and dynamic ability. Can the updated Mini Diesel deliver in full? Car and SUV took a spin in the 2011 Cooper D to see if the future has arrived.

Cosmetically the Mini hatch shape hasn’t been severely restyled since BMW first created the ‘new’ Mini back in 2001. There have been a number of modest tweaks and the 2011 facelift continues that tradition with some subtle changes inside and out. The front end is modernised with a new bumper arrangement that has a broad lower air intake and recessed fog lamps. Use of chrome trim on the air intake adds visual width and further chrome work on the grille and surrounding the headlights dresses it up nicely. At the back there’s new LED taillights and a replacement rear bumper. Continue reading “Mini Cooper D 2011 Review” »

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” »

Mazda Europe builds special edition ‘Karai’ MX-5

July 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda knows the current generation MX-5 is a tidy piece of kit and what better way to prove it than with another special edition. Mazda’s European division has handled the mods on this latest limited MX-5 naming its creation the ‘Karai’ which apparently means ‘sharp’ in Japanese.

The Karai is based on the MX-5 Roadster coupe, meaning it’s equipped with a retractable hardtop. Its defining paint work is a lime-green hue named “Metal Green Metallic” on the body and a gloss black finish for the metal top, exterior mirrors, and various trim. Packing out the wheel guards are 17-inch multispoke alloy wheels cloaked in low profile performance rubber.

In the Karai cabin there’s a pair of black leather Recaro sport seats, aluminum pedals and leather steering wheel with white stitching also feature. Mazda has painted all the interior trim pieces that are usually finished in silver, with a gloss black. Continue reading “Mazda Europe builds special edition ‘Karai’ MX-5” »

Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina

July 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has unveiled the new 2012 Barina at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. First unveiled last year in Chevrolet form as the Aero the Holden-badged 2012 Barina will go on sale in NZ this October.

The next-generation Barina will add to a Holden’s growing small car range that now includes the Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch and the smallest of the line up, the Barina Spark.

In terms of styling, most of the Chevrolet Aero’s design has been retained including the distinctive ‘dual port’ grille which is set to give the Holden range a new corporate face in the future. Dynamic lines are carried through a high beltline, sweeping roofline and subtle integrated rear spoiler. The Barina’s design work was completed at GM’s South Korean design centre.

In the cabin the new Barina use a similar motorcycle-inspired instrument panel as the smaller Barina Spark. Blue illumination is used all round and LED backlighting also features. Standard equipment includes modern kit like Bluetooth and audio streaming, iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering wheel audio buttons. Continue reading “Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina” »

Toyota FJ Cruiser 2011 Review

July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s rare that any vehicle triggers a confused response from the average kiwi but the Toyota FJ Cruiser is one machine that can. With retro-inspired styling and unconventional angles the FJ Cruiser body has a brave disregard for low-key Kiwi tastes. Many Kiwi’s find themselves torn between loving it or loathing it. The Toyota badge draws us in, instantly recognising the FJ as a vehicle that must be reliable and practical like our much-loved Corolla or Hilux. But on closer inspection this Toyota seems different, it appears strangely familiar but clearly favours form over function, it’s bulky and flashy and we just don’t know. Toyota has certainly thrown the NZ market a curveball with its FJ Cruiser. In an attempt to avoid mass confusion, Car and SUV had some seat time in this distinctive off roader and brought back the results.

New Zealand is late in receiving the FJ Cruiser with it first released in the States back in 2006. It began life as a design concept paying homage to the original FJ40 Land Cruisers of the 1960s but its popularity led to full production. Built with the U.S market firmly in mind the FJ comes to us in one specification but with nine body colours on offer but the roof must be white. Continue reading “Toyota FJ Cruiser 2011 Review” »

Joss teases JP1 Supercar before Aussie show debut

June 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Aussie car builder Joss Developments Limited has just revealed a new teaser image of its upcoming supercar before its official launch.

Scheduled for an official debut at the upcoming Australian International Motor Show (AIMS), the unique JP1 models feature a typical supercar low and sleek carbon fibre body with huge alloys and distinctive L-shaped headlights.

Official exact performance specifications haven’t been released, but Joss has previously confirmed the JP1 will be powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine producing around 373 kW. The big motor will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission which will get the lightweight 940 kg supercar from standing to 0-100 km/h in less than 3.0 seconds and on to a top speed in the region of 340 km/h. Continue reading “Joss teases JP1 Supercar before Aussie show debut” »

First video released of 2012 BMW M5 driven in anger

June 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The first video of the 2012 BMW F10 M5 getting given some stick on the track has just been released by the German manufacturer.

The video features a fully undisguised example being pushed through some turns on a racetrack somewhere in Europe. There are also some shots taken inside the cabin which gives a real sense of the speed this sports sedan is capable of and the soundtrack of the V8 engine is reason enough to check out the clip.

Performance figures are impressive from the F10 M5′s 4.4-litre twin-turbo motor with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.4 seconds, 0-200km/h (124mph) in 13.0 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h. If you’re hell bent on going even faster the optional M Driver’s package raises top speed to 305km/h. Continue reading “First video released of 2012 BMW M5 driven in anger” »