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” »

Porsche gets dark with special 911 Black Edition

January 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has revealed its new 911 Black Edition, ahead of its official debut in April.

Based on the standard 911 Carrera the Black Edition is available in coupe or convertible form and comes in a range of two colours – both of them black.  A plain black exterior is standard and basalt black metallic is optional. There’s also black brake calipers, and 19-inch bi-color wheels taken from the 911 Turbo.

The interior is well appointed with partial leather seats, a sport steering wheel, aluminum look trim, a painted center console, and Black Edition door entry kick plates. Other upgrades include a Bose audio system, Porsche Communication Management (with navigation), parking assistant, cruise control, automatic dimming mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers.

Power comes from Porsche’s naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter flat-six engine with 254 kW and 390 Nm of torque. The six-pot is mated to a six-speed manual transmission allowing the coupe to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds while the convertible takes 5.1 seconds. The top speed for both body styles is 289 km/h.

Production is limited to 1,911 units and Porsche says the package represents savings of thousands over equipping the standard 911 with the same extras. Continue reading “Porsche gets dark with special 911 Black Edition” »

Mini Countryman – NZ pricing and availability announced

January 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mini NZ has announced further details of the eagerly anticipated Mini Countryman, set to arrive in New Zealand next month.

The Mini Countryman is touted to offer the unique handling of a regular Mini with the practical space and versatility of a four-door, plus the traction of a Sports Activity Vehicle optimised by optional all-wheel drive.

Marking a new chapter in the evolution of Mini as a brand, the Countryman is more than four metres long with four doors, the option of four or five seats and a four wheel drive option called “ALL4″.

Mini Countryman pricing will start at $46,900 for the Cooper Countryman and the Mini Cooper D Countryman, featuring a 1.6 litre turbo-diesel engine, will start at $49,900.

All variants feature a six-speed manual as standard and offer an optional six-speed automatic transmission for an additional $3,000.

There are two all-new ALL4 models added to the line-up, which cost an extra $3,000 compared with their two-wheel drive counterparts. Continue reading “Mini Countryman – NZ pricing and availability announced” »

McLaren prices MP4-12C supercar at $300k NZ

January 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

McLaren has just released pricing for the States on its first road car in nearly a decade. To get your own all-new, carbon-fibre tubbed MP4-12C you’ll need $229,000 USD ($301,500 NZ). That’s just for starters.

As many predicted, the 12C’s pricing is very similar to its primary competition from Ferrari with its 458 and Lamborghini with the latest Gallardo LP-570-4.

The base price for the MP4-12C doesn’t include any of the fancy extras. Apparently McLaren plans on offering a host of upgrades to the 12C, ranging from special lightweight alloys and bespoke paint to a clever three-camera interior recording system for track days. Ordering details should be released soon, but even if you have your 300k expect waits of up to two years before your brand new MP4-12C will be delivered. Continue reading “McLaren prices MP4-12C supercar at $300k NZ” »

2011 VW Polo GTI arrives in NZ next month

January 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Polo GTI is back in New Zealand and it’s no toy either, packing a 132 kW/ 250Nm torque punch.

The light 1,194kg Volkswagen hot hatch will hit 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 229 km/h. Under the bonnet lives VW’s award-winning twincharged 1.4-litre TSI engine (turbo plus supercharging). It’s a very strong motor considering its size and has proved a very popular mill in other VW product. The engine puts its power to the front wheels via a globally adopted 7-speed DSG gear box.

The new Polo GTI also has excellent fuel economy thanks to the downsizing of the 1.4-litre TSI engine and the 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. The new Polo GTI is now 25 percent more fuel efficient with a fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100 km.

Comfort features include electro-hydraulic power steering, electric windows in front and rear, central locking, driver seat height adjustment, climatronic air conditioning, cruise control, green tinted insulated glass and privacy glass in rear window and rear side windows with 65% light absorption. And, multimedia is far from overlooked with RCD 510 radio CD system with large high resolution, colour touch screen, 6-disc CD changer, MP3 and MWA file compatible and AUX-IN multimedia socket, iPod adapter cable and Bluetooth phone preparation.

The GTI will be the first Polo to be available with optional bi-xenon headlights with cornering lights, LED daytime running lights and corner marker lights.

VW GTI-specific features are always standard, such as red trim on the radiator grill and honeycomb on air intakes and front fog lights as well as a sport seat system with distinctive “JackyŸ upholstery, leather covered multi-function steering-wheel with GTI design DSG paddles, sports suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels in the telephone dialler design.

The NZ Golf GTI will be in a four-door body shape and will have safety features consisting of a highly effective airbag network, belt tensioners, front head restraints designed to avoid whiplash trauma as well as Isofix points on the rear bench seat. An electronic transverse differential lock (XDS) reduces the tendency to understeer and improves handling especially for quick driving through curves. Like all versions of the model series, the Polo GTI also comes equipped with the standard ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) including hill hold control.

The New Zealand 4-door Polo GTI will be available at an RRP of $37,500 in February 2011. Continue reading “2011 VW Polo GTI arrives in NZ next month” »

Honda Insight hybrid now available for NZ market

December 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The introduction of the 2011 Honda Insight to New Zealand is offering kiwis an alternative hybrid vehicle to the Prius and offers Honda badge fans a hatch with some advanced features.

The Insight is powered by a dual power plant unit that features some of Honda’a most advanced environmental technology.  Its engine features not only a 2-stage i-VTEC system that gives Variable Cylinder Management, but also a dual spark ignition system. This, is mated to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) to provide a total output of 72Kw and 167Nm of torque.

This should make for capable performance and strong fuel economy.  The IMA system includes Auto-Stop and regeneration charging of the electric storage battery. Regeneration recaptures energy that would otherwise be lost in braking or deceleration and returns power back to the car.

This IMA technology means that the Insight costs 40% less to run than the average equivalent sized hatchback based on official figures.  To prove it’s ability the Insight was entered into the 2010 AA Energy Wise Rally and won the Supreme Award as New Zealand’s most cost efficient car to run. The winning drivers achieved 4.6l/100kms over 1763kms (NZ$147.83) which matches its catalogued ADR fuel economy figure.

Continue reading “Honda Insight hybrid now available for NZ market” »

Ford New Zealand enhances Fiesta range for 2011

November 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Ford NZ has officially launched its updated Fiesta range for the local market at a special event held yesterday. The popular Fiesta range sees a number of additions and enhancements for the 2011 model year including a diesel power train option and the introduction of an all-new six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission.

The 2011 Fiesta range has been on sale since 1 November and now offers small-car buyers a wider choice with improved performance and style.

Chief amongst the 2011 Fiesta’s changes is the addition of the new PowerShift automatic six-speed transmission. The new transmission introduces an efficient and smooth-changing double dry-clutch option to the petrol variants that offers the convenience of an automatic with the fuel efficiency of a manual. Effectively, PowerShift consists of two transmissions working in parallel, each with its own clutch unit. This leads to less torque interruption and a more consistent, smoother drive. This new transmission will be available with the standard-fitment 1.6-litre petrol engine.

The 1.6L petrol engine delivers 89kW and 151Nm of torque and like its diesel siblings, fuel consumption is low, with both the PowerShift and manual petrol derivatives using just 6.1-litres per 100km combined.

The Fiesta line up also includes the expansion of diesel power train beyond the already announced ECOnetic model. The efficient 1.6-litre diesel engine is torque-rich — 200Nm — and very fuel-efficient, consuming just 4.4-litres per 100km combined. Partnering the diesel engine is a five-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, the five-door Fiesta ECOnetic will continue to offer the greenest option for drivers at 3.7-litres per 100km, making it New Zealand’s most fuel-efficient vehicle.

Continue reading “Ford New Zealand enhances Fiesta range for 2011” »

Volvo NZ announces pricing and specs for S60 sedan range

November 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo Car New Zealand has announced pricing for its all-new S60 sedan range, which is the latest entry into the medium luxury segment for the Swedish automaker. Kiwi buyers will start to take deliveries of the all-new S60 from mid-December.

Volvo is claiming that the S60 is its most dynamic model yet with higher levels of handling and road holding combined with the marque’s unique Scandinavian design and quality.

It will be available in three models: the 224kW 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-charged petrol T6, Volvo’s recently updated 151kW 2.4-litre five-cylinder twin-turbo diesel D5 and the new two litre, four cylinder GTDi (direct injection turbocharged petrol) with 177 kWs.

The S60 AWD D5 will be priced at $71,990 and the S60 AWD T6 will be $79,990. The base model S60 GTDi will be $63,990.

Power for both the T6 and D5 models will be distributed to all four wheels by Volvo’s All Wheel Drive system and mated to Volvo’s six-speed Adaptive Geartronic transmission, offering the choice of manual gear selection or ‘Sport’ mode. This transmission also features a neutral control function, which lowers fuel consumption and reduces emissions by automatically switching from Drive to Neutral when the car comes to a complete stop.

The front wheel drive S60 GTDi will be added to the range at the end of the first quarter of next year and have a dual clutch automatic transmission.

In addition to benefiting from Volvo’s long list of standard safety features including City Safety, Advanced Stability Control (including roll over sensor and torque vectoring), Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) and Pyrotechnical seatbelt pretensions for all passengers – the all-new Volvo S60 introduces New Zealand buyers to a world first innovation.

Continue reading “Volvo NZ announces pricing and specs for S60 sedan range” »