McLaren discloses full specs of MP4-12C supercar

March 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

McLaren recently revealed ‘officially’ its MP4-12C supercar, now it has made known for the first time the exact specifcations.

So whats the story? Well the two-seat MP4-12C makes use of a 3.8-litre twin turbo petrol V8 engine. Maximum power output is an impressive 441 kW (592 bhp) developed at 7,000 rpm. The engine will rev all the way up to a 8,500 rpm redline. Torque figures are equally impressive at 599 Nm (442 lb-ft) from 3,000 rpm. McLaren claim that 479 Nm (353 lb-ft) of total torque is available from just 2,000 rpm. Performance figures are sketchy at this stage but the 0 – 100 km sprint should be dispatched  in the very low 3s or less and a top speed of well over 300 km/h is expected.

Power is shifted to the rear axle through a 7-speed double clutch gearbox connected to F1-style aluminium paddles located behind the steering wheel. The gearbox offers a choice of Normal, Sport and Track driving modes.

With the cars compact dimensions (4507mm long, 1908mm wide, 1199mm high and with a wheelbase of 2670mm) and a carbon composite monocoque, weight has been kept to less than 1,300kg. This has helped with C02 emissions and McLaren Automotive reports a figure of under 300g/km, significantly lower than its key supercar rivals. Extra points for green credentials.

Inside the Mp4-12C there is some handy equipment including a 7-inch multi-function touch screen and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Check out more images of the Mp4-12C by clicking the link below.

Continue reading “McLaren discloses full specs of MP4-12C supercar” »

Toyota NZ releases special-edition Hilux ‘Edge’

December 4th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Hilux Edge 2009 fq

Toyota NZ has spiced up its popular Hilux with a special edition ‘Edge’ model, which offers some added value and a more aggressive road presence.

Based on the 4WD double cab diesel SR5, one hundred Hilux ‘Edge’ models have been produced with the addition of interior and exterior enhancements, worth over $8,000.

The Hilux ‘Edge’ rides on 18 inch polished black alloy wheels and offers visual features including a stainless steel nudge bar, chrome fog light surrounds, a deck liner, chrome bonnet protector, hard tonneau Hilux Edge 2009 rqcover, chrome sports bar, and unique ‘Edge’ decals and badge.

Inside, there upgrades continue with ‘Edge’ embroidered floor mats, alloy sports pedals, a carbon fibre look dash and door panel inserts and a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) gear knob.

Equipment includes a reversing camera linked into the Hilux’s 6 disc MP3/WMA CD changer with 3.5mm audio input jack, USB connection, Bluetooth handsfree phone and audio capability.

The special edition Hilux is powered by a 126kW and 343Nm 3.0L turbo charged common rail diesel engine with the choice of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Standard safety features include driver and passenger front, side and front/rear curtain shield airbags as well as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “We have been very pleased with the response to this exciting new model.  We have a strong programme of special editions planned for 2010 and expect to do another Hilux version in the future.”

Pricing for the Hilux ‘Edge’ is $55,490 with manual transmission and $57,900 for automatic transmission models.

Toyota NZ releases fourth-generation Prado

November 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota New Zealand has just launched the latest generation of its popular Land Cruiser Prado mid-sized  SUV.

The Land Cruiser Prado is now available in three grades — GX, VX and VX Limited — each powered by a 3.0 litre common rail turbo diesel engine.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “We are offering customers more choice, with an extended model line up and comprehensive option packages. Prado will now appeal to a broader range of customers looking for an extremely capable vehicle for on and off road use”.

All new Prado models have Toyota’s 1KD common-rail diesel engine with variable vane turbo charger, full-time 4WD, front SRS airbags, front side airbags, driver’s knee airbag, full length three row curtain shield airbags, active front headrests, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Hill-start Assist and Downhill Assist Control (automatic transmission vehicles only), smart entry and start system, second row seatbelt anchorage height adjusters, 3.5mm and USB audio input jacks, Bluetooth handsfree phone capability, reversing camera, parking sensors, engine immobiliser and alarm system and a rear spoiler.

Prado GX

The entry level GX model has 17″ alloy wheels, a rear door mounted spare wheel with hard cover, reverse parking sensors, leather steering wheel, dual zone air conditioning, and a single disc MP3/WMA compatible CD player.

Prado VX

Prado VX adds 18″ alloy wheels, under floor mounted spare wheel, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), electrochromatic inside rear view mirror, front and side view cameras, front parking sensors, HID headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), headlight cleaners, three zone climate control air conditioning, six disc CD changer with nine speakers, front seat heaters, leather seats, power adjustable front seats, Optitron instruments with steering angle display, power adjustable tilt and telescopic steering column, front fog lights, glass hatch in rear door, roof rails, and rear privacy glass.

Prado VX Limited

The top spec VX Limited has additional features over the VX: adaptive variable suspension system and rear active height control, pre-crash safety system, dynamic radar cruise control, leather and woodgrain style steering wheel, 6 disc CD/DVD changer with 14 speakers, satellite navigation system, coolbox, front seat memory system, woodgrain style console, rear seat entertainment system with 9″ screen, and a tilt and slide sunroof.

An off road package is available for VX and VX Limited grades which includes multi-terrain ABS, CRAWL control, multi-terrain select, multi-terrain monitor with additional cameras and a rear electrical differential lock.

Pricing

The recommended retail price for the GX with manual transmission is $78,490 with $1,500 added for automatic transmission. The VX model is $89,900 with the top-of-the-range VX Limited model priced at $104,990. The off road package is $2,250 for the VX and a no cost option for VX Limited.

Check out some images of the new Toyota Prado in the gallery below.

Toyota NZ releases fourth-generation Prado

November 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota New Zealand has just launched the latest generation of its popular Land Cruiser Prado mid-sized  SUV.

The Land Cruiser Prado is now available in three grades — GX, VX and VX Limited — each powered by a 3.0 litre common rail turbo diesel engine.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “We are offering customers more choice, with an extended model line up and comprehensive option packages. Prado will now appeal to a broader range of customers looking for an Toyota Prado VX rear location on gravelextremely capable vehicle for on and off road use”.

All new Prado models have Toyota’s 1KD common-rail diesel engine with variable vane turbo charger, full-time 4WD, front SRS airbags, front side airbags, driver’s knee airbag, full length three row curtain shield airbags, active front headrests, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Hill-start Assist and Downhill Assist Control (automatic transmission vehicles only), smart entry and start system, second row seatbelt anchorage height adjusters, 3.5mm and USB audio input jacks, Bluetooth handsfree phone capability, reversing camera, parking sensors, engine immobiliser and alarm system and a rear spoiler.
Prado GX

The entry level GX model has 17″ alloy wheels, a rear door mounted spare wheel with hard cover, reverse parking sensors, leather steering wheel, dual zone air conditioning, and a single disc MP3/WMA compatible CD player.
Prado VX

Toyota Prado VX Ltd front seats and dashPrado VX adds 18″ alloy wheels, under floor mounted spare wheel, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), electrochromatic inside rear view mirror, front and side view cameras, front parking sensors, HID headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), headlight cleaners, three zone climate control air conditioning, six disc CD changer with nine speakers, front seat heaters, leather seats, power adjustable front seats, Optitron instruments with steering angle display, power adjustable tilt and telescopic steering column, front fog lights, glass hatch in rear door, roof rails, and rear privacy glass.
Prado VX Limited

The top spec VX Limited has additional features over the VX: adaptive variable suspension system and rear active height control, pre-crash safety system, dynamic radar cruise control, leather and woodgrain style steering wheel, 6 disc CD/DVD changer with 14 Toyota Prado VX Ltd rear seats half downspeakers, satellite navigation system, coolbox, front seat memory system, woodgrain style console, rear seat entertainment system with 9″ screen, and a tilt and slide sunroof.

An off road package is available for VX and VX Limited grades which includes multi-terrain ABS, CRAWL control, multi-terrain select, multi-terrain monitor with additional cameras and a rear electrical differential lock.
Pricing

The recommended retail price for the GX with manual transmission is $78,490 with $1,500 added for automatic transmission. The VX model is $89,900 with the top-of-the-range VX Limited model priced at $104,990. The off road package is $2,250 for the VX and a no cost option for VX Limited.

Check out some images of the new Toyota Prado in the gallery below.

2010 Porsche 911 Turbo in detail (+video)

October 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche 911 turbo fq

The new Porsche 911 Turbo has arrived and it’s packing a 6-cylinder, 3.8 litre engine putting out 500 hp (368 kW) and 650 Nm of torque.

For the first time, this Porsche engine has been mated to the PDK, Porsche’s double-clutch gearbox. The engine features direct injection and of course a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry to maximise the power from the 3.8 litre displacement.

The video below provides an introduction of the new Porsche 911 Turbo by Wolfgang Durheimer, vice president for research and development at Porsche AG.

An impressive engineering feature is the new Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) system that shifts torque to either the right or left rear wheel in response to any understeer while turning, keeping the car moving at optimal efficiency in the direction that it’s pointed with the steering wheel.

The numbers are suitable staggering: 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 11.6 seconds. Top speed is 312 km/h.

Fuel economy is also an impressive 11.6 litres/100 km, considering the amount of power on tap.

The new Porsche 911 Turbo goes on sale in Germany on November 21 in both coupe and cabriolet variants, global sales should follow shortly after.

Check out the video below, it’s worth a look.

Volkswagen Scirocco 2009 Review

June 26th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

vw-scirocco-2009-fq

The Volkswagen Scirocco has been brought back from the dead after being buried for many years. It was a popular model for VW seeing two generations and almost 800,000 units sold between 1974 and 1992. The Mark I and II models sold well because in contrast to many competitors at the time it was an affordable coupe with everyday utility, sharp styling and front-wheel powered making it safe and easy to drive.

Cult status became assured in 1978 when a Mark I Scirocco made a cameo appearance in George Romero’s zombie flick Dawn of the Dead. In the film four survivors use the car as a battering ram to evade the undead hordes. Hit the fast forward button to 2009 and VW has recycled its once effective formula with the recently released Mark III model. But does the reincarnated Scirocco have what it takes to win over fans and splatter zombies?

The new Scirocco is available in NZ with a choice of two engines: the 2.0-litre turbo unit shared with the current Golf GTI and a 1.4 TSI. Our tested vehicle sported the 1.4-litre unit that might sound inadequate when compared to its larger capacity sibling but it’s a fascinating power plant and may be the pick of the two. You see, Dawn of the Dead failed to scoop any film awards back in 1978 by comparison the 1.4 TSI motor has recently been lavished with the International Engine of the Year award for 2009 and with good reason.

The 1.4 TSI is a technical wonder and is twin-charged using both a turbocharger and a supercharger to put out 118kW of go. This will take it from standing to 100 kph in 8 seconds flat, less than a second slower than its bigger-engined brother (7.1 sec). What’s more impressive is that the full compliment of 240Nm of torque is available from 1500-4500 rpm. The motor pulls keenly throughout the range and loves to be worked hard with a true turbo peak to the acceleration. What’s even more impressive is that while it can act like a performance motor it will still return a 6.4l/100km fuel economy. Still not impressed? Well by comparison the current Toyota Yaris 1.3-litre motor has just 63kW of power and returns a fuel economy of 6.5L/100km. So next time zombies are looking for top brains to eat they should head straight to Volkswagen HQ because the smart engineers there would certainly make for a tasty dish.

A killer engine needs to be mated with a worthy transmission and this comes courtesy of a 7-spd DSG box. Nearly as cutting-edge as the motor the DSG is in essence an automated manual transmission that uses a dual-clutch system. When a gear is in use the next available gear is already engaged and ready this makes for lightening fast changes and seamless power delivery under throttle.  The DSG is a strong tag-team partner for the TSI motor drawing out every drop of power and doing it with little fuss.

In Dawn of the Dead survivors chose the Scirocco not just for its pace but also for its corpse-dodging agility, a virtue not lost on the new model. Hit the twisty roads and the Scirocco handles like a coupe should by sitting flat into corners and offering liberal measures of grip. It stayed focused on turn-in and never got out of shape when changing direction. Some torque-steer is possible when pushed hard but won’t catch the driver by surprise and the traction control functions well without dominating. Overall, the Scirocco is one of the best handling front-wheel-drive new cars available and the ability to take corners at speed helps maintain the impression of a true performance vehicle.

The suspension is definitely firm, more so than an average hot-hatch but not to the point of it being uncomfortable on longer journeys. Ride comfort is generally very good with only minimal road noise kicking up from the 17-inch tyres and the throaty exhaust note is only audible at low speeds. The steering is well weighted and the flat-bottomed steering wheel lifted from the Golf GTI is a pleasure to use.

While the Scirocco’s pace is great for out-running zombies and it’s agility good for dodging them, the eye-catching design will turn the heads of even the most brain-dead within their ranks. While automotive retro styling is currently popular Volkswagen has resisted using retro elements in the Scirocco’s design instead opting for a striking modern look.  High-sheen black plastics work in with chrome headlamp surrounds to create a strong face and offer clues to a future Volkswagen design language. Muscular flanks and a long sweeping roofline give the Scirocco sports-car prowess and a distinctive profile. Fully colour coded bumpers and mirrors combine with 17-inch alloys to round off what’s a magnetic aesthetic.

Dive inside and you’re greeted with an interior that might be the Scirocco’s only real weakness. While it’s functional and comfortable it feels conservative and inconsistent with the bold exterior design. Most of the interior has been taken straight from the Golf and while that’s a bit disappointing you still have a well-styled, solidly built cabin. The front seats are comfortable, well bolstered and height-adjustable. The rear seating is more than a token gesture and is usable enough for two adults to squeeze in. The cabin has an equipment list that includes a 6-disc stereo with iPod compatibility, a cooled glove box, multifunction display screen, and remote central locking with immobiliser.

The hatch has a 292-litre capacity but is restricted by a smallish opening and an awkwardly high boot lip. Our tested model came fitted with an optional panoramic roof that really brought light into the cabin and diffused what could be a confining feel from the low roofline. Poor rear visibility is an unfortunate side-effect of the Scirocco’s rakish design; the C-pillar creates a blind spot big enough to hide a zombie conga line.

If your zombie escape doesn’t go to plan and you crash, the Scirocco will make sure you survive long enough for the undead to catch up thanks to a 5-star crash test rating. Six airbags are ready to blow including side airbags and curtain bags for 4 occupants. An Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with ABS braking, Traction Control and Brake Assist comes as standard.

It’s all too easy to get bitten by the Scirocco; it blends infectious modern styling with technically impressive engineering and a good dose of practicality. The 1.4 TSI is a special engine and makes the entry-level model a very strong proposition. The money saved over the higher-spec vehicle could always be put towards a couple of tasty items from the option list. No doubt the Scirocco will recruit fans and when it comes to splattering zombies the Mark I only bounced a few off the side; the new Mark III is sharp enough to cut straight through them.

Click through to the next page for a list of specifications.

Price: $49,990 (1.4 TSI), $55,990 (2.0 TSI)

What we like:

  • Striking exterior styling
  • Excellent handling
  • Powerful and economical motor

What we don’t like:

  • Conservative interior
  • Boot is difficult to load

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

2009 Volkswagen Scirocco – Specifications

Engine

Engine type 118kW TSI
Cubic capacity, litres/cm 3 1390cc
Max. output, kW at rpm 118kW @ 5800 rpm
Max. torque, Nm at rpm 240Nm @ 1500 – 4500 rpm
Gearbox standard 7-spd DSG
Top speed kph with automatic gearbox 218
Acceleration in seconds from 0-100 kph 8.0
Fuel consumption litres/100 km combined 6.4
CO 2 emission g/km 148

Safety equipment

¢ 3-point automatic seat belts with height adjustment and seat-belt tensioners
¢ Active front head restraints
¢ Daytime running lights
¢ Driver and front passenger airbags, with front side and curtain airbags
¢ Electromechanical steering with safety steering column (steering wheel height & reach adjustable)
¢ ESP (electronic stability program), ABS braking system with Brake Assist, and EDL (electronic diff lock)
¢ Front passenger airbag deactivation
¢ ISOFIX mountings on rear seat
¢ Outer rear view mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated
¢ Two rear headrests

Functional equipment

¢ Climatic air-conditioning
¢ Cooling for glove compartment
¢ Cruise Control
¢ Cupholders
¢ Electric front windows
¢ Floor mats, front & rear
¢ Hill hold control
¢ Illuminated vanity mirrors
¢ Leather sports steering wheel
¢ Multifunction display
¢ ‘Merlin’ black cloth upholstery
¢ RCD 310 CD radio system — eight loudspeakers, MP3 CD compatible, aux in socket
¢ Remote central locking with vehicle immobiliser, tilt sensor and interior monitoring
¢ Split-folding rear seat backrest

Technical

¢ 17″ Long Beach alloy wheels, 225/45 tyres with space-saver spare wheel
¢ 4-link independent rear suspension
¢ Galvanised body

Warranty and Assistance

¢ 3 year / unlimited km mechanical warranty, 12 year anti-corrosion warranty
¢ 3 year Volkswagen Roadside Assistance

2010 BMW Z4 – official specs released

December 16th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

BMW Z4 fq

The official specifications of the new BMW Z4 have been released and it features some new innovations previously unseen.

The BMW Z4 is the first to come with a two-piece, electro-hydraulically operated retractable hard-top roof that can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds. The new Z4 is also the first vehicle to be offered with Adaptive M Suspension. Electronically controlled dampers offer three different configurations and lower the ride height by up to 10mm for a more dynamic drive.

The standard Drive Dynamic Control function is another first and allows the driver to alter, depending on model specification, the throttle and steering response, level of ride comfort, Dynamic Stability Control response and, on automatic or Double Clutch Transmission cars, gear change times.

Powering the new BMW Z4 is a choice of three six-cylinder powerplants. The range flagship is the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine. Producing 306hp at 5,800rpm, the BMW Z4 sDrive35i powers its way from zero to 62mph in 5.2 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. The twin-turbocharged 2,979cc engine with high-precision direct injection technology produces 400Nm of torque from just 1,300rpm for effortless in-gear acceleration. The strong performance credentials are matched in terms of economy and emissions. The Z4 sDrive35i records a combined consumption figure of 30.1mpg (31.4mpg) and CO2 emissions of 219g/km (210g/km).

Joining this model in the launch line-up are the Z4 sDrive23i and the Z4 sDrive30i. Both use the same magnesium aluminium alloy engine with Double VANOS and VALVETRONIC technology, but with varying capacities. The 2,497cc entry-level Z4 sDrive23i produces 204hp at 6,400rpm and 250Nm of torque from 2,750rpm. This equates to a zero to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 151mph.

Transmitting the power to the road in all three Z4s is a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Customers of the Z4 sDrive23i and the Z4 sDrive30i who prefer the characteristics of an automatic can specify a six-speed Sport Automatic transmission featuring gear change paddles on the steering wheel. Buyers of the Z4 sDrive35i can choose the more advanced seven-speed Double Clutch Transmission, again with gear shift paddles located on the steering wheel.

The new BMW Z4 is larger than its predecessor measuring 148mm longer at 4,239mm and 9mm wider at 1,790mm, and this results in more interior space and luggage capacity. With the roof up, headroom has been increased by 44mm while the greater car width and design enhancements have led to 20mm more shoulder room and 43mm more elbow room.

Check back as we bring you details of pricing and availabilty of the new Z4 for the kiwi market.

Page 8 of 812345678