2012 Porsche 911 teased in video before Frankfurt debut

July 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche fans can begin counting down to the release of the next-gen 911 which is scheduled for a September debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Porsche is in the final stages of testing its new sports car and has released the first official video of the new 911 shot during hot weather testing in South Africa.

Although the 911 is still partially disguised in the clip, its obvious that this new model will look like the many before it. The 911′s evolution looks set to continue without major disappointment or radical new design cues.

That said, the next 911 will be slightly bigger, roomier and on a longer wheel base than the current version. The engine will also continue to slowly creep forward. The new 911 will be made available with more fuel efficient and greener engines which include a smaller displacement 3.4-litre flat-six producing around 260kW for the Carrera /4, and a larger 3.8-litre flat-six producing around 300kW for the Carrera S/4S. Continue reading “2012 Porsche 911 teased in video before Frankfurt debut” »

New 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport on track for next year

July 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new-model Swift in its regular form has been on sale in NZ for a few months now and is proving popular with Suzuki on track to launch its new 2012 Swift Sport early next year.

While official details haven’t been released, there have been leaks revealing that the new model will be a three-door hatch with styling cues borrowed from the S-Concept (pictured).

Power is expected to come from a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing around 100 kW. The standard transmission will be a six-speed manual box but if 100kW is too much power for you to shift through – an automatic transmission will be an available option.

Development and testing of the car is currently taking place at the Nurburgring race track in Germany, mostly centering on a new aerodynamics package, stiffened suspension and uprated Brembo brakes. Continue reading “New 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport on track for next year” »

Toyota reveals facelifted 2012 Hilux ute

July 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has officially unveiled its facelifted 2012 Hilux ute. The 2012 Hilux has a number of styling updates and safety upgrades across the range.

Cosmetic changes include a completely new front end on the 2012 Hilux, this means new guards, headlights, bumper, bonnet and three-bar grille. At the rear, there’s new tailights and a replaced rear bumper. There’s also new mirrors and alloy wheel designs.

Inside, changes are subtle and centre around new seat and door trims, there’s also an available 6.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system. Toyota is also claiming that the 2012 Hilux will offer “greater colour consistency throughout the interior.”

Anti-lock braking has now been adopted across the Hilux range as a standard feature, previously it was only available as an option for models except the top-spec SR5. Continue reading “Toyota reveals facelifted 2012 Hilux ute” »

Spada drops details on hardcore Codatronca Monza (+video)

July 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Italian boutique carmaker Spada Vetture Sport has just released images and details on its Codatronca Monza model following its debut at Top Marques Monaco.

Commissioned by Aznom, the unique model is based on Spadas Codatronca coupe and features a retro design inspired by roadsters from the 1960′s. That said, there is little thats old school about this high-tech roadster. It has an aluminum chassis, a composite body, a Brembo braking package and OZ Racing wheels covered in Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres.

The roadster packs the same engine as the coupe a supercharged 7.0-litre V8 engine with 530 kW of power and a wild 950 Nm of torque. The Monza weighs just 1,180 kg and features a spartan cockpit with Sabelt bucket seats and a F1-style steering wheel. The suspension is fully adjustable and it uses the same ABS system as the FIA GT3 Series. Shifting through the six-speed manual transmission the Codatronca Monza can go from 0-100km/h in three seconds flat and on to a top speed of 335 km/h. Continue reading “Spada drops details on hardcore Codatronca Monza (+video)” »

Making of the next-gen 2012 Holden Colorado concept video

July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s new 2012 Colorado was recently shown for the first time in concept form at the Australian Motor Show and has already gained a load of interest. To keep up the hype, Holden has released a video showing what went into preparing the Colorado show ute for its unveiling. There’s plenty of behind the scenes stuff and footage of the show car in action.

While exact specifications for the production Colorado ute haven’t been released expect it too launch with a 2.8-litre diesel engine and be offered in various markets globally in Holden and Chevrolet forms.

Check out the video below to get an idea of what Holden’s latest ute will look like when it reaches NZ showrooms next year. Continue reading “Making of the next-gen 2012 Holden Colorado concept video” »

Mini Cooper D 2011 Review

July 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Back in 1959 when the first batch of Minis rolled off the production line few assumptions followed the unique vehicle. Back then it would have been slightly fanciful to assume that over fifty years later this diminutive model would be still going strong. But to think that in 2011 there would be a diesel-powered Mini that needs less than four litres of fuel to cover 100km, well that would have seemed unbelievable. Mini’s latest Cooper D can do exactly that, but achieving an exceptionally low fuel economy figure isn’t always enough. Present day buyers want fuel frugality as well as more traditional desires like comfort, style and dynamic ability. Can the updated Mini Diesel deliver in full? Car and SUV took a spin in the 2011 Cooper D to see if the future has arrived.

Cosmetically the Mini hatch shape hasn’t been severely restyled since BMW first created the ‘new’ Mini back in 2001. There have been a number of modest tweaks and the 2011 facelift continues that tradition with some subtle changes inside and out. The front end is modernised with a new bumper arrangement that has a broad lower air intake and recessed fog lamps. Use of chrome trim on the air intake adds visual width and further chrome work on the grille and surrounding the headlights dresses it up nicely. At the back there’s new LED taillights and a replacement rear bumper. Continue reading “Mini Cooper D 2011 Review” »

Honda reworks hybrid CR-Z with Mugen RR Concept

July 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When Honda first revealed its CR-Z hybrid coupe, many enthusiasts were left wishing that it was just a little bit more like the original CR-X. Honda noted the doubters but pushed on with the production model without change. The brand’s tuning arm Mugen however, has put in much greater effort to inject a more sporty character into this coupe, firstly with the Mugen CR-Z concept and now with its track-spec RR edition.

The covers were pulled off this concept at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K and proved itself on the famous Goodwood hill. The CR-Z Mugen RR Concept has a unique body kit with a front aero bumper, front aero guards, side skirting, a rear aero bumper, a rear wing, and special 18-inch wheels.

Mugen hasn’t released exact performance specs, but we already know the Mugen CR-Z design concept features a supercharged version of the 1.5-litre engine with Honda’s IMA hybrid system and is good for around 147 kW and 245 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes around 6.6 seconds. Continue reading “Honda reworks hybrid CR-Z with Mugen RR Concept” »

Gordon Murray reveals ultra economical T.27 electric car

June 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Gordon Murray became famous for his design of the now iconic McLaren’s F1, and even before that he was well known for his radical ideas in Formula 1 teams such as Brabham. Now, Murray is lending his skills to much greener projects and the latest is a unique city car.

Earlier this week Gordon Murray Design pulled the covers off its very compact city car, named the T.27. The project for this micro machine was seen from concept to prototype in just 17 months. What’s even more impressive is that time frame included the design of a new electric powertain by Zytek Automotive Ltd. The project cost an estimated £9 million, with half of the funding coming from the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.

Murray’s aim for the car was ambitious: to create a completely new kind of vehicle, one that would address the problems of CO2 emissions, city congestion, parking and be sold at a low cost.

The T.27 weighs just 680kg including the battery and is 2.5m in length, 1.3 in width and has a height of 1.6m. Top speed is rated at 105kph and it can sprint to 100km/h from standing in under 15 seconds. It’s range is between 160km and 210km on a full charge.

Murray had this to say about the project’s focus, “lightweight is the most powerful tool we have in our armory in the fight against emissions and fuel consumption. This is true of all cars, especially electric vehicles, since a lightweight car means a lightweight battery, increasing the levels of safety and reducing the retail price dramatically”. Continue reading “Gordon Murray reveals ultra economical T.27 electric car” »