Chevrolet’s hardcore Camaro ZL1 to come packing 425kW

July 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It looks like the horsepower wars are far from over in the States and may see Chevrolet’s new Camaro ZL1 released with a higher power output than was originally planned. The ZL1 (pictured) won’t reach American car dealerships until early next year, but fresh reports are claiming that power output for the pony car has been bumped up to more than 570 hp (425 kW).

When the ZL1 officially debuted at the Chicago Auto Show, GM said the supercharged 6.2-litre engine would have a max power output of approximately 550 hp (410 kW). That was all good until word came out that the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was expected to use a supercharged 5.8-litre V8 with up to 620 hp (462 kW). With Ford now throwing down the challenge, Chevrolet was left with little choice but to upgrade its hardcore ZL1, just to stay in the fight. Continue reading “Chevrolet’s hardcore Camaro ZL1 to come packing 425kW” »

New Ford Ranger Wildtrack to make NZ debut at Fieldays event

June 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford NZ is going big at this year’s Fieldays show with the much-anticipated New Zealand debut of the new Ranger Wildtrak ute.

Designed and developed in Australia the Wildtrak sits on 18-inch wheels and comes with a roof rack and sports hoop to beef up its profile. There is also special badging and graphics to set it apart from lesser models. Inside, there are leather/cloth sports seats and 23 different storage spaces including a glovebox which can fit a laptop computer and a deep centre bin which can keep six cans of drink cool.

Apparently, the Wildtrak can wade through water up to 31.5-inches deep and has just over nine inches of ground clearance. It also has a towing capability of up to 3350kg.

In terms of powerplants the Wildtrak has an option of two engines. A new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel that delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110kW, or a new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel that produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque and is power rated at 147kW. The Wildtrak is fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank so expect one of the longest ranges in the segment. Continue reading “New Ford Ranger Wildtrack to make NZ debut at Fieldays event” »

Ford to produce smallest ever engine – 1.0-litre three cylinder

June 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford wasn’t the quickest carmaker at seeing the benefits of turbocharging in developing smaller, more fuel efficient engines. But once it did, Ford is now full steam ahead with a wide range of force-fed petrol powerplants. But the American carmaker isn’t stopping there, now it’s developing its smallest production engine ever and its first three-cylinder offering.

Designed by the engineering team at Ford UK’s Dunton Technical Centre, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine will apparently deliver similar performance to a larger four-cylinder unit but with much higher fuel economy. The new engine will use all the EcoBoost technologies found in other motors, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT).

No specific output figures have been released yet, but according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development, said the new three-cylinder unit “will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most normally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engines”.

Once completed the super small engine will find applications in a variety of Ford’s products and will be sold in many markets. The new Ford Ka and Fiesta will be among the first models to use the new engine. Continue reading “Ford to produce smallest ever engine – 1.0-litre three cylinder” »

Ford NZ reveals All Blacks-inspired AB35 Fiesta

May 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The teaser ads have been on NZ TV’s for a few weeks now and Ford New Zealand has just revealed it’s All Blacks inspired limited edition AB35 Fiesta.

Binding in with Ford NZ, twenty All Blacks players helped personlise and tune the special Fiesta and the AB35 is now on sale at Ford dealers, with a price of $35,990. Like the name would suggest, Ford NZ has built 35 of the AB35 Fiestas with 34 going on sale today and one being auctioned for charity on Trade Me between 29th May and 8th June. Proceeds from the auction will go to three charities; Ford New Zealand’s official charity Variety – The Children’s Charity and the New Zealand Rugby Union’s official charity partners Plunket and KidsCan.

Chris Masterson from Ford NZ says the AB35 Fiesta project was created to celebrate the company’s 17-year sponsorship of the All Blacks.

“The AB35 project was all about showing our commitment to the All Blacks this year. We had a huge amount of fun designing this car and it is great to be able to finally reveal it to the public. The AB35 Fiesta represents the spirit of our brand. It’s a dynamic, premium car that’s small on price but big on features. People who get behind the wheel of this car will find it a fantastic driving experience, and show their support for the All Blacks,” said Chris Masterson. Continue reading “Ford NZ reveals All Blacks-inspired AB35 Fiesta” »

Ford NZ confirms 2011 Territory pricing and range

May 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford New Zealand has confirmed pricing and model range for its new 2011 Territory. Prices start from $49,990 for the rear-driving petrol TX model and finish at $69,990 for the top-spec Titanium all-wheel-drive diesel model.

A broad seven model range will cater to different requirements and budgets. The big choice for Kiwi buyers is if they want diesel or petrol powering their Territory. The Diesel variants come at a premium and if all-wheel-drive is desired it has to be a diesel model with both petrol offerings being RWD only.

The all-singing Titanium model replaces the Ghia range-topper from the previous line-up and comes packing fruit like 18-inch alloys, full leather trim, LED lights, unique front bumper, satellite navigation and a rear DVD player for the kids. Continue reading “Ford NZ confirms 2011 Territory pricing and range” »

Ford Transit SuperSport Van – move house at pace

April 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford’s performance divisions in the States are currently obsessed with the latest model Mustang, and also those rally duty Fiestas, but over in the UK things are a little different. British Ford is continuing a long tradition of hot panel vans with its latest specimen the Transit SuperSport.

Giving delivery boys, construction workers and gypsies something to really aspire to has worked well for Ford before. The last SportVan came with tidy 18-inch alloys and white stripes over bright red paint, it looked mean but only came packing a 104kW turbo diesel engine, this new beast pushes it a bit further.

This new one-off Transit SuperSportVan packs a 150kW, 3.2-litre turbodiesel five-cylinder with a six-speed manual transmission shifting the short-wheelbase chassis. There’s an upgraded aero body kit and classic blue stripes over white body finish off this sexy package. Continue reading “Ford Transit SuperSport Van – move house at pace” »

Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition unleashed on Europe

April 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Ford Focus RS is a brutally uncompromising hot hatch that has unfortunately proved rare and illusive here in NZ. Sure there have been a few private imports but with Ford NZ’s decision not to sell the RS into our market we’ve missed out on another fast Ford.

That’s not the case over in Europe where the RS, now in its twilight years in current form, has proved popular for fans and tuners alike.

Horsepower merchants Anderson Germany is the latest tuner to go to work on the Focus RS and has built a machine to tempt those waiting anxiously for the next-generation Focus RS to be released. This reworked model is called the Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition.

The Düsseldorf-based tuner takes a standard unit from the current generation Focus RS series and makes it look sinister and sexy. It comes in a matte black exterior finish with contrasting red highlights.

Modifications aren’t limited to the cosmetic and Anderson offers performance tuning on the RS, taking output up to a sketchy 309 kW, far higher than the standard 224 kW output on the turbocharged 2.5 liter 5-cylinder unit. That’s a fair whack of power going exclusively to the front treads. Continue reading “Ford Focus RS Black Racing Edition unleashed on Europe” »

2011 Ford Territory Review

April 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford Australia and NZ has just launched its 2011 Territory at a press event held in Canberra. The 2011 Territory is a result of a $230 million AUS investment by Ford that saw 800,000 kms of testing to extensively update its popular mid-size SUV. Car and SUV was there to experience the mechanical, design and equipment upgrades that feature in the reworked Territory.

At first glance the 2011 Territory may look like little more than a facelift of its long-serving predecessor but under the surface major changes have made the Falcon-based SUV a much more tempting prospect. The big news is the inclusion of a diesel engine for the first time in the Territory range. For use in both all-wheel and rear-wheel-drive variants is Ford’s 2.7-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel motor. It’s a competent unit that produces 140kW of power and 440Nm of peak torque from 1900rpm. It’s also quite smooth and fairly quiet being helped by extensive sound-deadening as part of the upgrades. Fuel economy isn’t bad either with the diesel mill achieving 8.2l/100km combined in rear-wheel drive form and 8.8l/100km in all-wheel drive guise. That figure drops to around 6.5l/100km while motorway cruising and with a 75-litre tank it will be a long time between filling up. Towing capacity for the diesel Territory is 2700kg braked for the all-wheel drive model and 2300kg for the rear driver.

While Car and SUV would certainly prefer the diesel option, some people still love their petrol powered SUVs, for them there is an inline six-cylinder engine shared with the current FG Falcon. This unit pumps out 195kW of power and 391Nm of torque. While it doesn’t feel as well suited to the Territory as the diesel mill it’s a strong free-revving motor and is offered as the standard powertrain. Fuel economy figures for the petrol Territory are 10.6l/100km combined. The petrol model is available in rear-wheel-drive only and has a towing capacity of 2300kg. Continue reading “2011 Ford Territory Review” »