Hyundai drops covers on the i40 sedan

May 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai has been keeping busy this year and unveiled its new i40 wagon at the Geneva Motor Show a few months back. Now, as promised, the Korean carmaker has dropped the covers on its new i40 sedan at the Barcelona motor show today.

Like the wagon the i40 sedan was designed and developed largely for the European market at Hyundai’s R&D facility in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Like the larger i45 which has gone on sale in NZ the i40 sedan uses Hyundai’s “Fluidic Design” styling. It’s curvaceous and purposeful and potentially a good fit for European markets.

Under the bonnet expect the i40 to be powered by petrol and diesel mills. Hyundai’s 2.0 litre direct-injection Theta II unit should see service and is good for 130 kW of power and 213 Nm of torque. The diesel offering is likely a 1.7 litre mill which has two configurations, an economy focused 84 kW and 255 Nm example and a more powerful 100 kW variant. A six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic will shift the gears. Continue reading “Hyundai drops covers on the i40 sedan” »

Aston Martin to uncover new Zagato special at Villa d’Este

May 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Zagato design house has created plenty of beautiful machines with a wide variety of automakers over the years. But for many car fans it’s the collaboration between Zagato and Aston Martin that has created the most special automotive specimens.

The first and possibly most important, was the iconic Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To mark the event, the British automaker and the famous Italian design house have reconnected on a new project that could potentially head into limited production. Details on this latest collaboration remain scarce but the concept is set to be revealed at the forthcoming Villa D’Este Concours on May 21 to check initial customer reaction with a production model possibly following as early as next year.

For now, a teaser rendering has been released with little else except speculation that the new Aston Martin Zagato could be based on the mechanical hardware and platform of the current V8 Vantage.

Aston Martin boss, Dr. Ulrich Bez, said: “Now is the right time for a new Aston Martin Zagato and in combining our design intelligence I think we can create something fitting of the iconic DB4GT Zagato that has gone before and since established itself as one of the most famous Aston Martins of all time.” Continue reading “Aston Martin to uncover new Zagato special at Villa d’Este” »

Renault Megane RS250 hot hatch goes on sale in NZ

May 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Renault’s hot hatch, the Megane RS250 has just touched down in New Zealand.

It’s full name is the Renault Megane Renault Sport 250 and this French speedster is set to give Kiwi high performance hatch enthusiasts a new purchasing option.

The three door has a two litre turbocharged motor producing 184 kWs and 340 Nm of torque, which is fed to the road through a six speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. It can cross off the 0-100kph sprint in 6.1 seconds and has an overall fuel consumption of just 8.7 litres/100 kms.

The Megane RS250 will be made available in two specification levels – “Cup” and “Trophee” models and will sell from $51,990.

Standard wheel fitment is 18 inch alloy wheels shod with 235/40 ZR18 tyres. Visible behind the alloys are four piston Brembo ventilated disc brakes, which make use of ABS and EBD. The chassis includes a traction control system and an electronic safety programme.

It’s this chassis which has helped the Megane RS250 when compared to other hot hatch rivals, many of which have similar straight line performance. This high handling ability has led to the Megane RS250 winning a load of awards overseas including Britain’s “What Car” best hot hatch.

Features on the RS250 Cup model include cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, rear fog lights and parking sensors, headlight washers, an engine immobiliser and six speaker sound system with multimedia capability and Bluetooth. Continue reading “Renault Megane RS250 hot hatch goes on sale in NZ” »

Dartz Prombron Nagel – armoured boat-towing sportback

May 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The most recent entry in our ridiculous rides file comes from specialist Russian marque Dartz Prombron in the form of its Nagel concept. What the hell is that? You may well ask. Well it’s the world’s first fully armoured sportback vehicle made specifically for hauling yachts.

The Nagel comes with enough armour plating to stop small armies from trying to steel your dingy and has a tow rating of up to five tonnes. While a sedan may not seem like the ideal vehicle type for towing boats the Nagel ‘apparently’ comes packing a ridiculous 1,471kW that’s 2,000 horsepower in old speak. Other outlandish claims from the Russian carmaker include pegging the Nagel top speed at 250kph but you may want to unhook your boat before giving that a go.

It all gets stranger too, it turns out the model is named after Andrey Nagel who, along with co-driver Vadim Mikhailoff, won the Monte Carlo Rally back in 1911 in a C24/55 Monaco RussoBalt. RussoBalt is the company from which Dartz Prombron’ derives from. The Nagel is being put into production next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this victory.

No pricing has been announced but don’t expect this type of ugly to come cheap. Check out some images in the gallery below.

Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special

May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

VW has just unveiled its newest Golf special edition the GTI Edition 35 which will mark the 35th anniversary of the very popular European hot hatch.

Like previous ‘Anniversary Edition’ models, the Edition 35 comes with an increase in power, as well as updated looks and some extra kit. Power comes from a reworked version of VW’s 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that develops 173 kW which marks an 18kW increase over the standard GTI.

Styling upgrades on the Mk 6 GTI body include a new front bumper, branded aluminum door sills and various ’35’ badges.

The world debut of the Golf GTI Edition 35 is scheduled for the annual VW enthusiasts event the 2011 Tuning World Worthersee at the beginning of June. Sales of the anniversary edition Golf are set to commence later that month. Continue reading “Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special” »

On the dark side – Porsche Cayman S Black Edition

May 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche’s special Black Editions first infected the 911 and then the Boxster, now Porsche has released a new limited edition of its Cayman S predictably named the Cayman S Black Edition. This special edition of the go-fast Cayman will be sold in a limited run of just 500 units worldwide and is set to go on sale from this July.

The cars get the same 3.4-litre flat-six engine but power is increased by 7kW to 243kW but torque remains unchanged at 370Nm at 4,750 rpm.

In terms of styling the Black Edition will be distinguished by larger and wider 19-inch alloy wheels finished in black and a more premium interior. The special Cayman S Black Edition also gets Bi-Xenon headlights, dynamic cornering lights, automatic anti-dazzle and exterior mirrors with integrated rain sensor. The leather trimmed seats are detailed with the Porsche crest on the headrests and there’s also a Porsche Sport Design steering wheel.

Acceleration from 0-100 kph is quickened by a tenth of a second to 5.1 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission, and to 5.0 seconds with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual clutch unit. With the launch control feature activated on the optional PDK Sport Chrono package, acceleration can be achieved in just 4.8 seconds. Top speed is quoted at 279kph. Continue reading “On the dark side – Porsche Cayman S Black Edition” »

Volkswagen to enter top tier rallying with Polo R WRC (+video)

May 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following on from consistent rumours, VW has announced it’s throwing its hat into the WRC ring with an entry planned for the 2013 season. Volkswagen is pinning its hopes on a purpose built machine called the Polo R WRC based on its small hatch platform.

Extensive details and specs haven’t been disclosed yet but the Polo will be powered by a 1.6-litre TSI engine that develops around 221kW of power. The engine will be mated to a sequential transmission and VW has confirmed that it will use an all-wheel-drive system. The Polo R WRC will also be equipped with direct injection and turbocharging, as stipulated by FIA’s World Rally Championship regulations.

The Polo WRC rally car certainly looks the part with a full widebody aerodynamics package, a new bonnet a gigantic rear wing and a roof air scoop. VW also plans to build a street legal version of the Polo R with the production model uses a slightly less powerful version of the 1.6 TSI engine, and a 7-speed DSG gearbox putting power to the front wheels.

Check out a video showing the new Polo R WRC below. Continue reading “Volkswagen to enter top tier rallying with Polo R WRC (+video)” »

Mercedes-Benz rolls out G-Wagon Edition Select final model

May 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Germany’s military-bred rugged offroader the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is in its final days and to celebrate its success a special edtion model has been revealed. Named the G500 Edition Select it’s based on the long-wheel base G-Wagon body shape.

The Edition Select is powered by Mercedes’ 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine that sends 289kW and 530 Nm of torque to all four wheels through a 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission.

The Edition Select’s exterior gets a two-tone paint treatment, with no extra charge for high-end designer colors of mystic white, palladium silver metallic, thulite red, or obsidian black metallic. Whatever color is chosen, the bumpers, mirrors, and AMG side sills are obsidian black. Unique 18-inch alloy wheels finish the look, while an AMG sport exhaust system makes it sound the business.

In the cabin, the Edition Select gets attractive two-tone leather upholstery in porcelain and black. Those that prefer a more toned-down look can opt for full black leather. A chrome package adds extra trim around the gear selector, seat controls, speakers, and luggage compartment sill. For in car entertainment a 450 watts Harmon Kardon Logic7 surround sound stereo system is included as standard. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz rolls out G-Wagon Edition Select final model” »