Peugeot’s new RCZ touches down in NZ

August 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

In September 2007, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Peugeot unveiled a concept car which proved popular – the new RCZ.

The high levels of interest expressed at the show convinced Peugeot that they had to turn this concept car into a commercial reality. Peugeot’s stylists and engineers worked together to ensure that the final production appeased expectations created by the exterior styling of the concept car.

Since the RCZ has been on sale in Europe, it has received four important motoring awards, the first being the prestigious ‘Most beautiful car of the year 2009’ at the 25th International Automobile Festival.

Simon Rose, divisional manager of Peugeot New Zealand says the RCZ is a signal of intent for Peugeot.

“The new RCZ is a real example of the positive and aggressive direction being taken at Peugeot,” he said.

“The stunning lines meld beautifully with the classic proportions — and as with all Peugeots there are a number of special design features like the double bubble rear glass window, the active rear spoiler and the unique sound system technology”.

“Merging the gap between creating a true sports car and minimising fuel consumption and emissions was a key focus for the engineering team.

“They have succeeded in blending those two challenges perfectly, with a car that offers both sporting driving and efficiency with low emissions figures.”

The new RCZ has arrived onto New Zealand shores with a very high level of specification as standard and therefore, no options. Features include full leather trim with heated electric seating, front and rear park aid, 19″ alloy wheels and a rear spoiler that is automatically activated at two different engine speeds while driving.

Two petrol engine variants are available: a THP 156bhp six speed automatic and a THP 200 bhp performance 6 speed manual, both of which are priced at $64,990.

Check back shortly for a full Car and SUV review of the new Peugeot RCZ. Continue reading “Peugeot’s new RCZ touches down in NZ” »

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on sale for privateers

August 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mercedes has announced that its full-on competition spec SLS AMG GT3 is available for order and will be priced from €334,000 plus taxes ($606,000 NZ).

The car is on sale now and deliveries will begin in February next year to allow teams plenty of time to prepare for the 2011 season. The GT3 class for production based sports cars is really heating up these days with Mercedes now joining Audi, BMW and Porsche.

The SLS AMG GT3 car features a reworked nose, a ventilated hood, a carbon fibre front splitter, special rear diffuser, and a massive wing at the rear. Other racing extras include a carbon-fibre (CFRP) safety cell, a steel braking system, a six-speed sequential racing transmission (with steering wheel mounted paddles), and a high-tech integrated multi-disc locking differential.

Power comes from a 6.3-litre V8 engine, which interestingly is virtually identical to the motor found in the standard SLS AMG. In terms of performance, the car will accelerate from 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed above 300 km/h. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 on sale for privateers” »

Mitsubishi ASX officially launched in NZ

August 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand has officially launched its all-new ASX (Active Smart Crossover) in NZ at an event yesterday.

To reflect consumer demand, Mitsubishi has brought its light weight, compact bodied SUV to the New Zealand market. ASX marks the company’s attempt at integrating the simple functionality and compact size of the hatchback with the utility and style of an SUV.

Under the bonnet, there’s a choice of a fuel efficient 2.0 litre DOHC MIVEC Petrol Engine and a 1.8 litre DOHC MIVEC Intercooled Turbo Diesel Engine inside the 4WD Diesel Sport. The two MIVEC engine options deliver solid daily driveability and impressive fuel economy. Fuel economy and CO2 figures on the 2WD models are 7.9 L/100km and 184 g/km respectively, while the 4WD comes in at 8.1 L/100km and 188 g/km. The Diesel Sport model rounds out the range with fuel economy of 5.9 L/100km and C02 emissions of 155 g/km.

Inside the ASX is a soft touch dash and freshly designed 3D embossed seat fabric options.

All three sport models are equipped with steering wheel mounted audio controls and Bluetooth hands free audio. There’s a one touch start button and Electronic Power Steering which compliments the high ride height of the ASX, while the light weight impact resistant front guard will minimize the damage from small impact items like shopping trolleys in supermarket car parks.

Safety features in the ASX are impressive, with Active Stability Control and seven airbags earning the 2WD ASX models a five star ANCAP safety rating.

“The ASX is such a smart, efficient package we think city dwellers who own hatches and sedans will see it as a ‘step up’,” said Mitsubishi Head of Sales & Marketing Strategy Daniel Cook. “All the
SUV plusses like lots of space flexibility and the panoramic driving position, plenty of vitality and ooomph, but without the bulk that often just isn’t practical in the city and suburbs.”

Continue reading “Mitsubishi ASX officially launched in NZ” »

2011 Kia Sportage officially unveiled for NZ

August 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Kia NZ has officially announced the arrival of it’s third generation Kia Sportage, that comes with a suspension system tuned for NZ roads. The 2011 Kia Sportage will go on sale in New Zealand from October 1, with the launch date taking into account the rise in GST, thus avoiding buyer confusion over fluctuating pricing. Firm prices are yet to be announced, but they are expected to be competitive, with the entry model targeting the $32,990-to-$34,990 bracket.

“New Sportage couldn’t arrive at a better time — the market is picking up and buyers are looking for excitement and inspirational styling, which Sportage has in abundance,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand.

“It’s an active lifestyle vehicle with attitude. The styling is edgy, resembling a sports coupe, yet when you climb inside, the new Sportage is extremely roomy, practical and packed with thoughtful features, such as a reversing camera on most models.

“With the recently introduced Sorento R, Cerato sedan and Koup, and now Sportage, we can now offer among the most advanced and stylish range of vehicles in New Zealand.”

The rakish European styling of the 2011 Sportage continues Kia’s efforts to be seen as a “youthful and sporting” brand. Its lines have been taken from the adventurous Kia Kue concept vehicle that did the motor show rounds throughout 2007, including the unusual rear slanting C-pillar that increases the view of rear passengers.

Longer, wider and lower than the previous model — by 90mm, 15mm and 60mm respectively — and with a 10mm longer wheelbase, the third generation Sportage is roomier and more powerful than previous models.

Continue reading “2011 Kia Sportage officially unveiled for NZ” »

Mercedes-Benz reveals 2011 S63 AMG (+video)

August 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Sales of the all new 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG begin globally next month, and Mercedes have released more images and specs on the upcoming super sedan.

Power for the S63 AMG will come from the new 5.5-litre twin-turbo AMG V-8 under the bonnet delivering up to 571 horsepower and a whopping 664 pound-feet of torque. The standard S63 is rated at 544 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, which can be upgraded by 27 horsepower and 74 pound-feet with the addition of the AMG Performance package. Acceleration times are rapid for a luxury sedan at 4.5 seconds to 100 kph for the standard S63 and 4.4 seconds for the AMG machine.

Swapping the cogs is done automatically by a standard 7-speed AMG SpeedShift MCT transmission. Three different driving modes make for differing characteristics.

AMG triple-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/40 front and 275/40 rear tyres help get all the power to the ground, and a braking system based on Mercedes Adaptive Brake technology gives strong stopping power thanks to double floating front calipers and standard rear sliding calipers.

The S63 AMG can be bought in either long- or short-wheelbase platforms and is priced in Europe from 128,800 Euros.

See images of the S63 AMG in the gallery and check out a video below. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz reveals 2011 S63 AMG (+video)” »

Alfa Romeo MiTo now priced below $35,000 in NZ

July 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Following the launch of the range-topping Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde (QV), the Italian car maker has re-positioned its prestige small car so that not only is the MiTo now available with a recommended retail price of $34,990 plus statutory charges and on road costs, the new entry level MiTo is now powered by the 114 kW engine.

“The arrival of the 125 kW MiTo QV has enabled Alfa Romeo to provide a double win for drivers looking for a small car that can boast a unique 100 year heritage,” says Lawrie Malatios, General Manager of Alfa Romeo in New Zealand. “Not only is it now possible to buy a MiTo with a recommended retail price plus on statutory charges and on road costs below $35,000, that car now offers the 114 kW powerplant.”

The entry level MiTo is now powered by the new 1.4TB 114 kW unit, delivering its maximum power at 5500 rpm along with a maximum torque of 230 Nm at 3000 rpm, which enables it to accelerate from 0-100 kmh in just 8.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 215 kmh. Around town, drivers can achieve 8.5 l/100 km, while motorway journeys and the combined cycle are 5.3 l/100 km and 6.5 l/100 km respectively.

The Alfa MiTo is fitted with 17″ alloy wheels — similar to those that appear on the Alfa 8C Competizione —inside, the Mito features sports cloth upholstery and sports dials with white illumination and a carbon fibre effect dashboard. The MiTo comes with the Blue&Me hands-free system with voice recognition, and media player with USB port and front fog lights.

Situated beside the gearlever, a three-position switch alters the behaviour of vehicle dynamics with the system working on engine, steering, suspension, and gearbox.  This creates three different vehicle behaviour modes based on the driving style best suited to the situation, terrain or the wishes of the driver.

Continue reading “Alfa Romeo MiTo now priced below $35,000 in NZ” »

Toyota FT-86 still scheduled for 2011 launch

July 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Contrary to recent rumours, Toyota’s eagerly anticipated FT-86 is still scheduled for a 2011 launch. Toyota recently held at press event in Japan in order to get some things straight about its Toyota G’s performance vehicles. Naturally, there were many questions about the FT-86 (or FR-S). Although it was reported a few months ago that the sports coupe would be delayed until 2013 for design and powerplant reasons, now it’s back on schedule with a release date of November 2011.

Clarity on the lineup was offered as well, there will be three spec levels  with at least two engine options, and the mid-range model is expected to cost around 2.5 million yen ($39,550 NZ). The top dog model will be a turbocharged variant which will add appeal to drifters and tuners. Apparently, there will be no hybrid drivetrains — that tech is being reserved for a different sporty product.

Check back as we bring you more info on the development of the FT-86.

Jaguar XJ arrives in NZ – pricing announced

July 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar’s range topping sports sedan, the all new XJ, will arrive in New Zealand next month.

Building on the success of the exciting XK and XF models the introduction of the all-new XJ is a landmark for the revitalised Jaguar brand. Clearly positioned as the company’s four-door flagship, it will attempt to extend the appeal of the XJ to a new generation of customers.

“The new XJ is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the quintessential Jaguar. Its visual impact stems from the elongated teardrop shape of the car’s side windows, that powerful stance and its wide track. It is the most emphatic statement yet of Jaguar’s new design direction”, said Ian Callum, Design Director of Jaguar Cars.

Eight different models are available with short and long wheelbase chassis and a choice of a three litre diesel, five litre V8 and supercharged V8 engines.

Pricing begins at $174,990 for the XJ SWB 3.0 Diesel with the performance topping LWB 375 kW supercharged Supersport model at $324,990.

An innovative new panoramic glass roof is an integral part of the all-new XJ’s design concept, enabling the car to have a lower, more streamlined roofline, while increasing the feeling of light and space inside.

Standard and long-wheelbase models are available from launch in New Zealand. The long wheelbase offers an even more refined environment for rear-seat passengers with an additional 125mm of legroom. Whichever the wheelbase, the XJ’s 520-litre boot can swallow two large suitcases side-by-side.

In the all-new XJ’s cabin chrome and piano black detailing provide contrast to the leather and veneer surfaces.

Continue reading “Jaguar XJ arrives in NZ – pricing announced” »