2012 Toyota Yaris launches into NZ market

October 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has launched the all new Yaris hatchback into the NZ market, with reworked styling, improved performance and new equipment.

Toyota New Zealand’s Neeraj Lala said “This is an exciting time for Toyota – the launch of our best ever small car. Following on from the success of the current Yaris, and the Echo before it, we’re offering New Zealander’s the best combination of design and value in a city-sized package.”

“Small vehicles make up around 13 per cent of the New Zealand new vehicle market, attracting cost-conscious buyers and those moving away from larger vehicles. We’re confident that this new Yaris will appeal to a broader range of drivers with its blend of value for money features and Toyota’s innovative packaging.”

This new generation Yaris offers a more gender-neutral look in terms of styling. More efficient design sees Yaris gain interior space without sacrificing its compact exterior. Continue reading “2012 Toyota Yaris launches into NZ market” »

Ssangyong Korando SPR 2011 Review

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Things haven’t always gone to plan for the Ssangyong Motor Company. Even with a name that means double dragons in Korean, Ssangyong has struggled to generate any real firepower in the motoring world. Rioting, receivership and changing ownership have all held back Korea’s fourth largest carmaker, but now in the hands of Indian firm Mahindra things are on the up. Ssangyong appears more determined than ever to advance its status from a fringe player into a serious brand capable of stealing sales off more established Korean and Japanese competitors. It’s working too with Ssangyong reporting a 53% increase in global sales for the first half of 2011. An important instrument in this turn around has been the 2011 Korando small SUV, which has become a fixture on NZ streets. Car and SUV spent a week with the latest Korando to see exactly what this comeback kid is made of.

Ssangyong styling has at times been accused of being erratic with awkward proportions but the new Korando opts for a more conservative approach. This doesn’t mean its boring and being penned by car design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro there’s plenty to draw the eye. The Korando face is particularly purposeful with its low-placed mesh grille and large, wrap around headlights. There’s a character-lined bonnet and a raked back windscreen, which gives the Korando a sporty stance. Pushed out wheel arches and hardened black plastic cladding add familiar crossover touches along the flanks and at the rear, a subtle hatch spoiler and chrome trim feature. Continue reading “Ssangyong Korando SPR 2011 Review” »

High-spec Suzuki Swift RS added to NZ range

September 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Suzuki NZ has added a new highly-specified Swift to its model range – the Swift RS. Billed as a limited edition variant the RS receives extra luxury and equipment.

The RS version is based on the Swift five-door hatchback and is the first special edition since the arrival of the new generation series earlier this year. With its higher level of standard equipment, the RS is the most equipped Swift ever sold in New Zealand.

Extra features include a tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column, keyless locking and the push button start/stop function which is inherited from the Suzuki Kizashi sedan. There’s also a full climate control system with a digital readout replacing standard air conditioning on other Swifts, and the RS has Bluetooth hands-free mobile telephone connection. A six-speaker audio system includes a USB input for MP3 or iPod music player functions, and can be controlled by switches on the steering wheel.

Mechanically, the RS benefits from four wheel disc brakes, previously only available on the high performance Swift Sport model. The new 1.4-litre K14B four-cylinder engine introduced for the latest generation Swift is retained for the RS version. This powerplant produces 70 kW of power while averaging 5.5 litres/100 km in the combined fuel cycle, or 6.2 litres/100 km for the automatic. Continue reading “High-spec Suzuki Swift RS added to NZ range” »

2012 BMW 1-Series arriving in NZ next month – from $46,600

September 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all new 2012 BMW 1 Series is scheduled to go on sale in New Zealand on October 28. The second-generation 1-Series comes offering more fuel efficient engines, new features and a segment-first eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.

The price of the 116i manual, featuring an entirely new 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, will start from $46,600 drive-away. The new base-model boasts the same power output of the previous entry model, the 118i, despite using 24 per cent less fuel (5.7 litres/100km).

The new-generation turbo engine accelerates the 116i from zero to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds – compared to 9.4 seconds for the previous 118i.  Torque output is also up from 180Nm to 220Nm while carbon emissions are down from 174g/km to 132g/km.

Standard kit on the 116i include a 6.5-inch free-standing flatscreen colour display, handsfree Bluetooth functionality including USB, MP3 compatible CD player, cruise control with brake function, auto Start/Stop function, keyless engine start, 6-speaker stereo system, iDrive controller, favourite buttons and freshly designed 16-inch alloy wheels. Continue reading “2012 BMW 1-Series arriving in NZ next month – from $46,600” »

HSV unveils SV Black Edition for Clubsport and Maloo

July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

HSV has just revealed the details and pricing of its new limited model range – the SV Black Edition.

Using the E Series 3 range as a base, the SV Black Edition will be available in ClubSport R8 and Maloo R8 models. The package will see some serious cosmetic upgrades at a price of just a few thousand dollars more than the standard models.

The special upgrades of the SV Black Edition starts with the exterior, where matte black paintouts on the front and sides combine with the “Vector” bonnet scoops. The Clubsport R8 also receives a bootlid spoiler.

All SV Black Edition vehicles will have their guards filled with twenty inch forged and staggered SV Performance alloy wheel finished in gloss black. The limited edition Clubsport R8 also get HSV’s performance suspension, as well as HSV’s Bi-Modal exhaust. Under the bonnet it’s business as usual with HSV’s 317 kilowatt, 6.2 litre, LS3, Generation 4 V8 engine.

Interior tweaking includes a unique finish on the console, instrument panel and steering wheel while special edition sill plates, Onyx leather trim, matte black badging and a subtle lip spoiler on the ClubSport R8 complete the package. A unique build plate is also fitted to every vehicle. Continue reading “HSV unveils SV Black Edition for Clubsport and Maloo” »

Porsche Panamera Diesel arriving in NZ this September

May 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has released specifications and a initial batch of  images for its new Panamera Diesel model with news that it’s coming to NZ.

Under the bonnet of the newest Panamera variant is a specially tuned version of Porsche’s 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine. Power output is rated at 184 kW between 3,800 rpm and 4,400 rpm and there’s 550 Nm of torque on tap from 1,750 rpm to 2,750 rpm. Shifting gears is an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission that turns the rear wheels. Performance figures are quoted at 6.8 seconds for the 0-100kph sprint and a top speed of 242 km/h. The new engine features various technological innovations, such as common rail direct injection through piezo valves, electrically controlled variable geometry turbochargers (VGTs), controlled exhaust gas recirculation, oxidation catalyst and particle filter.

The diesel variant will join the S Hybrid as the most fuel-efficient models in the Panamera range and with the help of a start/stop system achieves a fuel consumption figures of 6.5 l/100km combined. With an 80-litre fuel tank, the Panamera Diesel offers a theoretical driving range of 1200km from a full tank. An impressive result for performance focused large sedan.  Continue reading “Porsche Panamera Diesel arriving in NZ this September” »

New Citroen C4 due in NZ mid-2011

June 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Details have just been released on the new Citroën C4. The French automaker is calling it “all new”, but it’s still based on the platform of the outgoing model. However, all the sheetmetal is fresh, the dimensions have enlarged and the equipment list is impressive.

What sort of new tech is included in the French hatch? Well, try Xenon adaptive headlights, lane departure and blind-spot warning systems, hill start assist, user-changeable backlighting in the cabin and a new system called eTouch which monitors driving patterns and offers suggestions on how to improve fuel economy. There is also a cruise-control system with speed-limiter and memory settings.

Engine options have yet to be announced but will likely remain the same, with the addition of the new e-HDi hybrid diesel/electric drivetrain. The new C4 will debut at the Paris Motor Show this September and will have a New Zealand launch mid-2011.