July 6th, 2014 by Robert Barry
Video killed the radio star, and the rise and rise of the SUV has unfortunately also killed off the demand for the large performance executive and family sedan.
Which is a great pity, because for fast point to point, comfortable motoring, a grand touring sports sedan will out perform most mass market SUV’s. Continue reading “FPV: 2014 FPV GT review” »
December 2nd, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
Mention a Legacy GT Spec B to anyone of my generation (born in the ‘70s) who had an interest in cars when they were in their 20s and you’ll be regaled usually with fond memories of either ownership, mates who owned one, or the intoxication of the throbbing boxer engine. For those of you who remember the Friday night cruises up Queen Street, those old four-cylinder turbo Legacys in both sedan and wagon form were a fixture of the scene from 1989 through to the early 2000s. It was the mixture of capacious storage and the power to win the traffic lights grand prix that made them so appealing. But times move on and the Legacy isn’t any longer the fantasy car of practical boy racers. But should it be? We drove the Legacy X just a few weeks ago. It was quite good, but lacked the old Subaru character and certainly wasn’t fast. Now we’ve got our mitts on this Legacy GT B Premium spec, and it somewhat redresses the balance. It harks back to those original performance Legacys with the bonnet scoop and the kind of acceleration that frightens your granny. Neither the scoop or performance are extreme like they were on some of the Subaru WRX STI models in the past, but they’re there to remind you that in this Legacy the engine needs more than just the air that flows through the grille, and it will reward you with smiles. This vent channels cold air onto the top-mounted intercooler, which improves the turbo’s performance. Power is 195kW and 350Nm from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol motor, and it’s driven through a five-speed automatic. This is much better for this type of car than Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT gearbox, but it’s not the most responsive of gearboxes, especially when you compare it to, say, a DSG gearbox in a Volkswagen. 0-100kph feels like it’s in the low 6-second range, though no figure is given by Subaru. It’s not lightning fast off the line, but better when you’re moving. Gear shifts need to be anticipated because they’re a little slow even in manual mode. Continue reading “Subaru Legacy GT Spec B Premium Wagon 2013 Review” »
September 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
In one of the more exciting brand revival to hit the motoring world, the Jensen Interceptor is set to return from oblivion.
In original form, the Interceptor was a two door GT Coupe/hatch/convertible built by Jensen Motors between 1966 and 1976 in the UK. It was powered by Chrysler-sourced V8 engines and matched up its brawny powertrain with hand-built coachwork. The combination won the Interceptor many fans over the years and has set it up nicely for a comeback.
Now Healey Sports Cars Switzerland, which owns the brand rights to Jensen Motors, are planning to re-launch the company with a spanking new car next year. The car will be the modern day version of the Interceptor built as a four-seat GT car. The new Interceptor will use an aluminium chassis and bodywork but little else is known at this stage. Continue reading “Jensen to bring back the Interceptor GT in 2012” »
September 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Kia has officially unveiled its rear-wheel-drive concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s a striking machine with some styling cues taken from the muscle car era of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Kia GT is another example of the Korean brand’s new design-led direction and hints at its next generation of cars. The our-door sports sedan draws inspiration from the Kia Kee concept car, first shown at the same event in 2007.
“At the onset of this project,” says Gregory Guillaume, Kia’s European Design Chief, “the design team was inspired by the spirit of iconic 1970s GT cars: sumptuous and elegant vehicles capable of whisking passengers from Paris to the South of France in effortless style and at high speed. We wanted to create something similarly graceful, athletic and confident, but not aggressive or overbearing.”
The 4.690 mm long and 1.890 mm wide concept car has a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and is given different proportions compared to a front-wheel drive car. Continue reading “Kia unveils V6-powered GT Concept Car” »
June 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Peugeot New Zealand has just confirmed the model line up and launch date for its new 508 range.
The Peugeot 508 marks the return of Peugeot to NZ’s large touring car segment, it will officially launch in early June with three model variants. Pricing will be as follows:
- 508 Sedan 2.0 litre HDi $54,990
- 508 SW 2.0 litre HDi $57,990
- 508 GT Sedan 2.2 litre HDi $65,990
“The new 508 range will command attention immediately from buyers looking for all the space and comfort of a medium / large car without compromising on fuel efficiency and low emissions” says Simon Rose, Divisional Manager of Peugeot NZ. “Not only will the 508 be priced very competitively against its traditional European rivals – with all the luxury and refinement expected in its class – but it will bring a host of smart technologies that quite literally elevate the art of car making to a whole new level.” Continue reading “Peugeot reveals local pricing for new 508 touring car” »
June 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Audi has let the latest version of its hardcore R8 GT supercar off the chain with details and images released of the new convertible version. It was only two months ago that Audi announced it would build a top tier roadster version of the R8 and already it appears to be completed.
Like the coupe variant, the R8 GT Spyder will use a tweaked version of the regular R8 V10′s 5.2 litre engine, boosting power to 418kW with 540Nm of torque.
The power is sent to all four wheels through Audi’s R tronic sequential automatically-controlled manual transmission and the well-proven quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Performance claims peg the R8 GT Spyder at hitting 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, compared to 3.6 for the hardtop R8 GT and 3.9 seconds for the regular R8 5.2 FSI V10.
A range of weight-saving measures help the R8 GT Spyder achieve its performance figures with the special model weighing 85kg less than the standard version. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic chips in for shedding the kilos and makes up the cover for the soft top, the rear spoiler and the rear bumper. However, the most effective weight-saving measure is the seats, which drop off 32kg. Continue reading “Audi R8 GT Spyder let off its chain – expect 418kW” »
April 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Since its recent release Ford has been making big claims that its 2011 Boss 335 GT goes seriously hard, and is motivated by the most-powerful V8 ever offered in an Australian sedan. While we knew they were for real, a new video featuring race legend Allan Moffat is now driving the point home.
FPV’s high-tech, supercharged 5.0 litre V8 engine produces 335kW of power and 570Nm of torque, and is now standard fitment across the GT, GT-P and GT E models. It’s also very compact in size — 47kg lighter than the outgoing 5.4 litre Boss 315kW engine. It’s certainly enough power to easily get owners in trouble with the law.
Click below to see the first advertising video for the fresh-engined 2011 FPV Boss 335 GT. Might want to turn the volume up a notch too. Continue reading “FPV’s powerful new Boss 335 GT shown off in first TV ad (+video)” »
February 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The rumours are swirling around the upcoming Ford GT successor with speculation on the supercars powertrain taking a seemingly unlikely turn.
Apparently the next GT40 inspired supercar from Ford will use hybrid technology to help it achieve break-neck speeds. Like the Porsche 918 Spyder the layout will consist of a standard combustion motor turning the rear wheels with an electric motor powering the front wheels for better low-sped efficiency and to boost high-speed power.
It seems radical but electric-assisted drivetrains are here to stay and are beginning to find applications in all vehicles – even retro-styled supercars.
Before you Ford fans start tearing your hair out, the good news is that the primary engine is set to be a beast. Ford is expected to use a supercharged V8 motor and the total output including the fancy new hybrid system will be in the region of 600 horsepower. That output figure would exceed the last Ford GT’s 5.4-litre dry-sump, aluminum-block supercharged V8, which was rated at 550 horsepower. Continue reading “Ford GT set for hybrid-powered comeback” »