Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina

July 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has unveiled the new 2012 Barina at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. First unveiled last year in Chevrolet form as the Aero the Holden-badged 2012 Barina will go on sale in NZ this October.

The next-generation Barina will add to a Holden’s growing small car range that now includes the Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch and the smallest of the line up, the Barina Spark.

In terms of styling, most of the Chevrolet Aero’s design has been retained including the distinctive ‘dual port’ grille which is set to give the Holden range a new corporate face in the future. Dynamic lines are carried through a high beltline, sweeping roofline and subtle integrated rear spoiler. The Barina’s design work was completed at GM’s South Korean design centre.

In the cabin the new Barina use a similar motorcycle-inspired instrument panel as the smaller Barina Spark. Blue illumination is used all round and LED backlighting also features. Standard equipment includes modern kit like Bluetooth and audio streaming, iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering wheel audio buttons. Continue reading “Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina” »

2011 Hyundai Elantra REview

June 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai NZ launched its all new Elantra compact sedan at a press event, held at the Fieldays show, yesterday. The Elantra comes with big expectations for Hyundai but the high hopes seem justified – because the 2011 Elantra is a solid all-round package.

Hyundai hopes to install the Elantra as New Zealand’s number one selling compact sedan, but does it really have what it takes to match Holden’s much-improved Cruze or established competitors like the Mazda3? Car and SUV got some seat time in the new Elantra to find out more.

The Elantra goes on sale in three trim levels A6, A6 Elite and A6 Elite Limited. The entry model Elantra A6 comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth interior trim, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, six speaker stereo with iPod inputs, steering wheel audio controls, manual air conditioning and cruise control. It carries a price tag of $35,990.

The A6 Elite model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, full leather interior with electric drivers’ seat, keyless entry and start, a subwoofer for the stereo, dual-zone climate control, reversing sensors, heated seats front and rear, and rain-sensing wipers. The well-equipped Elantra Elite is priced at $39,990. Continue reading “2011 Hyundai Elantra REview” »

Peugeot reveals local pricing for new 508 touring 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” »

Mini officially launches WRC team and car (+video)

April 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mini’s re-entry on to the international rallying scene has now reached fever pitch with the official launch of the team less than a month ahead of its first WRC event, the Rally d’Italia Sardegna (May 5 – 8). In an event held at the company’s plant in Oxford, England, the all-new Mini WRC Team unveiled its two Countryman-based Mini John Cooper Works WRC cars, and introduced its drivers/co-drivers for 2011.

Using the Countryman as a base, the MINI WRC car was a team effort between Prodrive and BMW Motorsport. BMW sorted out the 1.6-litre turbo engine, which was built to comply with FIA Super 2000 regulations, including the World Touring Car Championship. Prodrive will run the MINI works team on a daily basis and will also supply customer cars to other teams, in both WRC or S2000 guise.

Mini’s main objective in its debut season is to gain experience and prepare to take on a full 2012 season. This year the team will compete in six events: Rally Italy (May 5 – 8), Rally Finland (July 28 – 31), Rally Germany (August 18 – 21), Rally France (September 29 – October 2), Rally Spain (October 20 – 23) and Rally Great Britain (November 10 – 13).

The wheel men controlling the two cars will be Kris Meeke and Dani Sordo, with co-drivers Paul Nagle and Carlos Del Barrio respectively. Continue reading “Mini officially launches WRC team and car (+video)” »

New Volkswagen Passat launched in NZ

February 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen NZ launched its all-new Passat at a special event for the motoring media this week.

With over 15 million Passats sold globally since the model debuted back in 1973 VW’s Passat arrived with great expectations and delivered nicely. In its technology, design and comfort the Passat is squarely aiming at a move to the next class up but without an increase in cost. New technology and further improvements in build and materials are what will separate the 2011 Passat from competitors in a hard-fought market segment. In terms of power the new Passat 2.0-litre diesel models output an impressive 320Nm of torque in the 103kW Trendline specification or 350Nm in the 125kW Comfortline. The newly available 1.8-litre petrol-powered TSI 118kW model includes a 7-speed DSG transmission with Direct Injection and accelerates from 0-100km/h in a brisk 8.5 seconds.

But it’s not just about power with the Passat in fact it is the economy figures which are most impressive. The TDI diesel Passats feature VolkswagenŸs BlueMotion Technologies which include energy recovery (regenerative braking), a Start-Stop system (automatic engine shutoff, such as at red lights) and tyres optimised for low rolling resistance.

The driving range of the new Passat BlueMotion Technology is exceptional. With an average fuel consumption of just 5.2/ 100km combined diesel fuel consumption; and with CO2 combined emissions of 135 (g/km).

When it comes to exterior design the Passat is looking modern and sleek with VW’s now familiar family face and new alloy wheels filling the guards. Available in two trim specifications – the Trendline Passat recieves 16″ Alicante alloy wheels with 205/55 tyres as standard and on Comfortline models  you can expect 17″ Fontana with 235/45 self sealing tyres. Continue reading “New Volkswagen Passat launched in NZ” »

Being safe just got sexy – Volvo S60 sedan launched in NZ

December 16th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new Volvo S60 has been officially launched into the New Zealand market at a special press event held in Auckland yesterday. Volvo’s sleek sedan was put through its paces during some road testing and a series of safety drills, but it’s already clear the S60 has much more to offer than ground-breaking safety features.

The new S60 is looking to raise the stakes in New Zealand’s mid-size premium car market with its coupe-style looks, sharp on-road dynamics and of course, world-first safety innovations.

The first cars are being delivered to customers before the summer holiday period, with the S60 D5 AWD (Turbo diesel All Wheel Drive) priced at $71,990 and the S60 T6 AWD (Turbo petrol All Wheel Drive) at $79,990. A front wheel drive S60 T5 will be added to the range early next year at $63,990.

For those who like to get some speed up the top-spec S60 T6 is a true sports sedan using a turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol engine that pumps out 224kW of power, 440Nm of torque and will do the sprint to 100kph in just 6.1 seconds. Mated up to a six-speed auto transmission it’s a potent performer. The S60 D5 uses a five-cylinder diesel mill with twin-turbocharging that produces a solid 151kW of power and 420Nm of twist, the D5 takes 8.1 seconds to 100kph and returns 6.8l/100km combined fuel economy.

For safety enthusiasts there is plenty to like about the S60 with new primary and secondary safety innovations, the all-new S60 sedan is the most high-tech Volvo yet seen. World-leading dynamic safety technology, including extended functionality to its Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system to include Advanced Stability Control (ASC) – a first for this segment – is complemented by two pioneering safety innovations: Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, and Volvo’s City Safety, which was first seen on the Volvo XC60.

In terms of exterior design the S60 has been styled to attract. Its coupe-like profile incorporates a steeply raked windscreen and a roofline that flows in one smooth sweep into the taillights. Volvo design director Peter Horbury says ‘You are almost surprised to see that it has rear doors.’

On the road, the S60 is the sportiest Volvo sedan yet made. ‘The ride is firmer and yet it is much better controlled. I would say comfort has actually been increased,’ says Egbert Bakker, technical expert responsible for vehicle dynamics at Volvo.

The all-new Volvo S60 has one of the most advanced stability control systems – part of Volvo’s high-tech Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) – reducing the likelihood of wheel spin or skidding. Corner Traction Control increases on-road agility by automatically braking the inner driven wheel as extra power is applied to the outer wheel. This ‘torque vectoring’ improves turn-in, thus reducing understeer.

Continue reading “Being safe just got sexy – Volvo S60 sedan launched in NZ” »

Kia launches Cerato hatchback in New Zealand

November 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The long-awaited 2011 model Kia Cerato hatchback has just been launched for the New Zealand market.

There’s a good serving of new technology in the hatched Cerato with the 5-door Cerato coming with a 6-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, fitted as standard on all models and sporty steering wheel paddle gear shifters on the top version.

The 5-door Cerato hatchback joins the 4-door sedan and 2- door Koup to boost the range of mid-size cars, all powered by the Theta II, four-cylinder, 2-litre CVVT engine.

According to Kia Motors New Zealand General Manager Todd McDonald, the new Cerato hatchback “is designed to appeal especially to consumers who prefer a five-door hatchback for its style and enhanced practicality, in particular those with young families.”

Whilst sharing the same front profile, overall width, height and wheelbase as the sedan, the new hatchback’s roof, rear side panels, C-pillar, tailgate, rear bumper, light clusters and roof spoiler are all new.

At the front, bold styling incorporates a new radiator grille, new lower air-intake grille and new-shape fog lamps.  The door mirrors now come with LED repeaters and the two hatchback models sold here in New Zealand, LX and SX, wear re-styled ‘double five-spoke’ 16-inch and 17-inch respectively.  The rear combination lamps, which have etching-processed lenses, are split across the tailgate shut line and a sporty rear diffuser allows the exhaust tailpipe to be displayed.

In addition to its high standard equipment level that echoes the sedan and Koup models, the 2011 Cerato 5-door’s interior offers customers several new comfort and convenience features, depending on model. Among these are steering wheel ‘paddle shifters’ are fitted for the first time with the automatic transmission in the SX model and Bluetooth hands-free for mobile phone use, which comes with both models.

Continue reading “Kia launches Cerato hatchback in New Zealand” »

BMW drops details on new 6-Series convertible – in NZ next year

November 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Details and images of the all new BMW 6 Series convertible have been released ahead of its launch in New Zealand in mid 2011.

Styling has been upgraded and has a broader appeal than the outgoing model with a sweeping bonnet, set-back passenger compartment, long wheelbase and flat waistline showing refreshed proportions for BMW’s newest machine.

Bigger in all directions except in height the new 6 Series is 75mm longer, 40mm wider and 10mm shorter top-to-bottom than its predecessor while its wheelbase has also stretched to 2855mm.

Powering the BMW 650i is a 4.4-litre direct-injected eight-cylinder engine which develops a maximum 300 kW and peak torque of 600 Nm.  It is partnered with an eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox as standard.

The 0-100km/h sprint is now covered in less than 5 seconds, completing the run in 4.9 seconds which shaves a few hundredths off the 5.2 seconds of the outgoing model.

BMW has stuck with and electronic opening fabric roof in the new 6 Series convertible model, it can open in 19 seconds and close in 24 at speeds up to 40km/h.

“The BMW 6 Series Convertible is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, offers leading-edge technology and also boasts unrivalled driving dynamics,” said the Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, Mark Gilbert. “We are confident this vehicle will establish a niche following amongst connoisseurs of fine motor vehicles.”

Continue reading “BMW drops details on new 6-Series convertible – in NZ next year” »

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