Audi updates A5 and S5 for 2012

July 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Audi has revealed extensive 2012 updates for its sporty A5 and S5 coupe range.

A more aggressive front end is the most obvious change with redesigned headlight clusters along with a new front bumper and subtle changes to the grille. Updates to the rear a more subtle and include revised tail lights with optional LEDs. The models clean and sharp profile remains unchanged, but 17-inch alloys are now standard on International models (NZ spec may differ).

Inside, there’s a new steering wheel and tweaks to the instrument panel and centre control stack. The gear stick on auto models has been changed and the MMI infotainment system upgraded. There’s also a new ignition key and air-con controls.

Mechanically, the 2012 A5 gets a new rear suspension setup along with a revised electromechanical power steering system.

Engines options include the base model 125 kW 1.8 litre TFSI unit which has  been revised to deliver improved fuel-economy at 5.7 l/100 km. Step up to the 2.0 litre TFSI engine and output remains unchanged at 157kW, while a new 200kW 3.0 litre TFSI V6 has joined the range. Continue reading “Audi updates A5 and S5 for 2012” »

Renault facelifts Koleos SUV for 2012

June 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Renault has just revealed the facelift version of its Koleos SUV for the 2012 model year.

The refreshed Koleos features a thoroughly revised front end with a new chrome grille and slimmer, sportier headlamps. The side mirrors now include LED turn indicators.

In terms of power the Koloes will be built with three engine variants. Two diesel mills, the dCi 150 with a 110kW power output and the dCi 175 which pumps out 129kW.  For petrol fans there is a 125kW TR25 petrol engine that completes the small range. Exactly what Koleos variants will be offered in the NZ market hasn’t been announced.

The Koleos will continue to be built as either a 4×4 all-wheel drive or a 4×2 front drive model. There’s also a new colour on the Koleos palette, Cayenne Orange as pictured. Continue reading “Renault facelifts Koleos SUV for 2012” »

Audi may reveal 2012 A5 facelift at Frankfurt Show

May 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

According to recent reports, Audi will reveal its 2012 A5 facelift at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show this September. The updates should be shown in both coupe and convertible body styles, and will include new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades. Visually the new A5 will feature freshly designed headlights, with integrated LED daytime running lights, a new front bumper and a slightly re-styled front grille.

At the rear there will be new LED tail lights and a few other minor modifications. The cabin and switchgear is expected to stay predominately the same as the current A5 model.

Mechanically, a new engine option may be on the cars with a new supercharged V6 unit possibly replacing the V8 from the current S5. The remainder of the engines offered on the current A5 and S5 line-up will stay the same. Continue reading “Audi may reveal 2012 A5 facelift at Frankfurt Show” »

Updated 2012 Jaguar range and XKR-S coming to NZ

April 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar has introduced upgrades across its range of 2012 models at the recent New York Motor Show and the updated machines will be available in NZ by the end of the year.

The XF sports sedan has received powertrain updates to improve performance and economy. There is also a new interior look and exterior design. The XJ luxury sedan now has a Rear Seat Comfort package offering a limousine experience. The new 300km/h XKR-S now tops the XK range.

“Substantial changes and improvements have been made across the XF, XJ and XK ranges bringing performance, refinement and economy to new levels” says Paul Ricketts, Brand Manager of Jaguar New Zealand “While fresh design enhancements strengthen the appeal of Jaguar’s latest line-up.” said Mr Ricketts.

The XF, now receives new front and rear revisions to its appearance that bring it in line with the flagship XJ. The supercharged XFR features further unique design enhancements that signal the performance available in this range-topper. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Jaguar range and XKR-S coming to NZ” »

Mazda3 updated with SkyActiv-G engine and exterior tweaks

April 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Mazda3 has been long criticised for its heavy fuel use but all that is now set to change with Mazda’s new SkyActiv-G petrol engine.

The 2012 Mazda3 has just made its debut at the 2011 New York Auto Show and is the first production use for the all-new 2.0 litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-G petrol engine.

The new motor will combine with the Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission and the SkyActiv-Drive six-speed auto to chase down better fuel economy.

To achieve greater efficiency the SkyActiv-G engine uses multi-hole injectors and a higher compression ratio of 12.0:1. Power hasn’t decreased but has been bumped up to 115kW from 108kW for its predecessor, and torque has increased from 182Nm to a round 200Nm.

The new fuel consumption figures when paired with the SkyActiv-MT manual transmission is listed at 8.7 l/100km for urban driving and 6.0 l/100km on the motorway. The current MZR 2.0 litre petrol engine is quoted at 10.8 and 6.2 l/100km respectively, when combined with a six-speed manual transmission. Continue reading “Mazda3 updated with SkyActiv-G engine and exterior tweaks” »

Updated 2011 Honda Accord Euro goes on sale in NZ

April 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The 2011 Accord Euro has gone on sale in NZ with upgraded styling and is set to continue its run as a highly regarded model in the mid size sedan segment.

Since its original addition to Honda New Zealand’s model line-up in 2003, the Accord Euro has scored points for its premium performance.

The 2011 updates include fresh new styling to the front bumper and grille, headlights, detailing on the boot lid and rear lights, along with new wheel designs.

The 2.4-litre i-VTEC petrol engine continues with a 148kW power rating and peak torque of 234Nm at 4,400 rpm matched to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic transmission, depending on the model. The 5-speed automatic transmission has a straight ‘P R N D S’ gate with steering wheel mounted shift paddles for self-shifting.

Fuel economy is rated at 8.9 L/100km for both the manual and automatic sedan, whilst the Tourer’s is 9.1 L/100km. In Honda’s local real-world driving Optimal NZ Drive Test, the Euro sedan achieved a figure of 6.49 L/100km and 6.53 L/100km for the manual and automatic respectively, whilst the Tourer got down to  6.36L/100km. Both variants also performed well at the recently held AA Energywise Rally with the Sedan achieving 7.54L/100km and the Tourer 7.50L/100km. Continue reading “Updated 2011 Honda Accord Euro goes on sale in NZ” »

Nissan upgrades 370Z with new GT Edition

March 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan’s latest Z car the 370Z is certainly a looker and has the power to match but it isn’t getting any younger. To stretch out the lifespan of the Japanese sportscar Nissan’s announced an update of the 370Z Coupe, initially for the European market. For the new model year, Nissan is introducing a number of suspension, transmission and equipment improvements for the entire 370Z Coupe range while also adding a new trim level named the GT Edition.

The good news is that some of the upgrades are mechanical with the new 370Z Coupe receiving retuned dampers which promise to provide a better balance between ride comfort and high-speed handling. Nissan has said that with the higher average speeds that are a part of driving in Europe, technicians from Nissan Technical Centre Europe sorted out the changes. For 2011, refinement is also being increased through revisions to underbody insulation reducing road noise.

While many buyers go for a bit of self-shifting in their Z-car, the optionally available seven-speed automatic transmission now gains a snow mode. When used the 370Z sets off in second gear and controls engine revs to prevent wheel spin on ice or snow.

Equipment upgrades include a rear view-parking camera as part of the new Nissan Premium Connect satellite navigation option. Continue reading “Nissan upgrades 370Z with new GT Edition” »

2011 Honda Jazz goes on sale in NZ

March 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Honda NZ has just landed its updated 2011 Jazz sub-compact hatchbacks. The latest version of the popular model comes with fresh styling to the exterior and interior, new features, new colours, Electronic Stability Control and a 5 Star Euro NCAP Safety rating.

There are now seven colours for Jazz buyers to choose from, with the addition of Fresh Lime Green, Sunset Orange and Storm Silver. The styling updates affect the Jazz’s front and rear bumpers, grille, headlights and tail-lights.

New standard features on the 2011 Jazz range include Electronic Stability Control (Honda’s VSA), improved look and feel to the interior upholstery, trip computer integration with the steering wheel controls and passenger seat-belt reminders. The interior and dash layout upgrade includes amber interior and instrument panel lighting to enhance the driving experience.

The Jazz 1.3S model now comes standard with 15” alloy wheels, rear spoiler and cruise control, while all 1.3 and 1.5 litre models receive new dynamic styling to the front and rear bumpers, grille and lower skirts.

The i-VTEC engine, combined with either the 5-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual (1.3S models only), remains unchanged. The 1.5 litre Jazz achieves power of 88kW and torque of 145Nm, and the 1.3 litre, power of 73kW and torque of 127Nm.  Racing inspired paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow gear shifts in automatic mode or full manual operation in ‘Sport’ mode for driver control.

Winning the Small Car Class in the recent AA Energywise Rally demonstrates the fuel economy potential of the Honda Jazz.  Its fuel economy figures are 5.8, 6.6 and 6.7 litres per 100km respectively for the Jazz 1.3S manual, Jazz 1.3S automatic and Jazz 1.5 Sport. Continue reading “2011 Honda Jazz goes on sale in NZ” »