Hyundai drops covers off next-gen i30 hatch

September 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The current model Hyundai i30 has proved a global sales success for the Korean brand and the next-generation model will be unveiled at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new i30 has a fresh design and a more distinctive appearance compared to the outgoing version. The exterior styling follows the Fluidic Sculpture design language of Hyundai’s i45 and Elantra models. There’s a large hexagonal front grille, wraparound headlamps, a bulging belt line and pumped out front wheel arches.

The interior is also modeled on Hyundai’s current product with recessed sports-style instrumentation, a prominent centre console and curvaceous dashboard. Continue reading “Hyundai drops covers off next-gen i30 hatch” »

Audi releases first images of A2 concept

September 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Audi has revealed the first batch of computer-enhanced photos of its electric A2 concept before its unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The eco-friendly concept is expected to provide the base for a production version scheduled to go on sale in the next two years.

Details are thin at this stage but it is thought that the new A2 will be built with both full electric and conventional petrol powerplants.

In terms of size the A2 concept is taller than Audi’s current A1 hatch but is shorter at 3,800mm and also narrower at 1,690mm. Despite its small dimensions Audi claims the A2 will be a genuine four-seater thanks to a flat floor, ultra-thin seats and the absence of a traditional dashboard with lower console. Continue reading “Audi releases first images of A2 concept” »

2012 Porsche 911 gets officially revealed

August 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After plenty of rumours, spy shots and leaked photos, Porsche has officially unveiled it’s 2012 911 (991) model.

While it may look very similar the new 911 has grown, with a wheelbase 100 mm longer than it’s predecessor. It also has a wider track at the front and a body made of aluminum-steel for reduced weight and greater rigidity. Standard wheel fittment is 20-inch rims and the side mirrors have moved to the top of the doors.

In the cockpit the reworked interior combines elements of the Porsche Panamera with the outgoing 997 model. The major changes here include a more pronounced, downward sloping centre console and entirely new switchgear.

The official word on power figures pegs the 3.4 litre boxer engine in the entry-level Carerra at 257kW. The higher-spec Carrera S uses a 3.8-litre motor that’s good for 294kW. Torque figures haven’t been released. Continue reading “2012 Porsche 911 gets officially revealed” »

Lexus reveals new 2013 GS sedan

August 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Lexus has just dropped the covers on its third-generation GS luxury sedan at a special event during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

Visually, the new GS features more aggressive and bolder lines that its predecessor with a new ‘spindle’ trapezoidal grille that Lexus says will be a trademark of all future models. Other styling features include recessed headlamps with L-shaped LED daytime running lights and an aerodynamic body that takes cues from the smaller IS.

The new GS rides on a revised platform that is apparently more rigid thanks to the increased number of spot welds and laser weld work.

The GS suspension has been fully reworked with aluminum upper, and lower control arms for reduced unsprung weight and an updated rear subframe that works in with a new multilink set up. Putting on the anchors is ventilated disc brakes all around with four-piston calipers clamping at the front. Continue reading “Lexus reveals new 2013 GS sedan” »

First official photos of 2012 Porsche 911 now online

August 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following teaser videos and plenty of spy shots the first press photos of the new 2012 Porsche 911 have been leaked on to the Internet before the model’s official debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

As expected the all-new 911 (code name 991), has a very familiar look and shows only subtle styling changes from the outgoing 997. Porsche purists will be kept happy with the iconic model’s classic lines and proportions being kept intact.

The most obvious cosmetic changes are the LED running lamps and revised air intakes at the front, the door-mounted wing mirrors on the flanks and the thinner LED tail lamps that grace the 991′s sculptured rear end.

Away from the design, the most significant changes come with the new 911′s increased size. The car is about two inches longer than the current model with a four inch longer wheelbase.

In terms of power the new entry-model Carrera will use a 3.4-litre direct-injected flat-six, producing 261kW, the Carrera S will be powered by a 3.8-litre flat-six engine producing around 300kW. Both engines will be mated to either a seven-speed manual or a PDK dual-clutch transmission. Continue reading “First official photos of 2012 Porsche 911 now online” »

Toyota releases first images and details on 2012 Yaris

June 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has dropped the official details and some images of it’s new third generation 2012 Yaris hatch. The new Yaris has been initially shown in European-spec form but expect few changes to the model we ultimately see here in NZ.

Toyota’s newest supermini will be firstly manufactured at the Japanese firm’s Valenciennes factory in France with sales to begin in Europe around September.

For the continent the the 2012 Yaris will be launched with a choice of three engines. Two will be petrol powered, a 1.0-litre VVT-i and a 1.3-litre dual VVT-I, and the third motor will be a 1.4-litre D-4D diesel mill. A hybrid version is also in the works and will be based on the 2011 Yaris concept car that featured at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. More details on the hybrid Yaris are expected in the coming months.

Features on the 2012 Yaris will include a new multimedia connectivity system named Toyota Touch & Go. This unit will  feature a rather large 6.1-inch touch screen display and will be standard kit on almost all Yaris vehicles. Continue reading “Toyota releases first images and details on 2012 Yaris” »

BMW reveals official details and images of 2012 M5

June 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With leaked photos doing the rounds online, BMW has decided to drop the official images and details on its fifth generation 2012 M5.

The much-anticipated super saloon comes packing BMW’s a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine behind its double kidney grille. It shares this powerplant with the X5M and X6M high performance SUVs and the V8 replaces the previous M5′s exotic 5.0-litre V10 unit. The new high-revving engine packs a heavyweight punch with power output of 415kW and peak torque of 680Nm. This marks a huge 30kW and 150Nm increase over its predecessor. Fuel consumption has also been improved with a quoted figure of 9.9l/100km combined.

Transferring power to the rear wheels is a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission linked up to an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential. A manual transmission is expected to be added at a later date.

Performance figures are impressive with the new M5 sprinting to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, 0-200km/h (124mph) in 13.0 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h. If you have to go even faster the optional M Driver’s package raises top speed to 305km/h. Continue reading “BMW reveals official details and images of 2012 M5” »

BMW 535d M-Sport 2011 Review

April 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Pound for pound BMW 535d is certainly a tough act to beat. For its many highlights one factor stands above the rest, its balance between huge amounts of torque while maintaining frugal fuel economy. A sleek, purposeful design and a lush, luxurious cabin are the cream on the top. But the ability to offer stimulating sports performance while sipping away on just 6.1 litres of diesel for every 100km travelled, that’s what makes the 535d the most progressive model in BMW’s 5-Series range. Car and SUV has been a fan of BMW’s diesel offerings since driving the impressive 335d and was interested to see how the same powerhouse motor worked in the larger 5-Series body.

Like its little brother, the 535d is built with some serious performance DNA. Under the long bonnet lays BMW’s latest 3.0-litre diesel engine, it’s an ultra-modern mill in a traditional in-line 6-cylinder configuration. While its power output of 220kW sounds only mildly exciting it’s the all alloy engine’s 600Nm torque figure that tells the true tale of the tape. Acceleration is effortless and with maximum torque available from 1750rpm, instant and absolute grunt is always waiting beneath the driver’s right foot. Continue reading “BMW 535d M-Sport 2011 Review” »

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