Porsche offers another 911 variant – the Carrera 4 GTS

May 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche fans could be forgiven for thinking the sports car maker was all done with variants of its 911 models before the next generation is officially revealed. Now it seems those fans are wrong and Porsche has one last sports machine hidden up its sleeve – the 911 Carrera 4 GTS.

The Carrera 4 GTS is an all-wheel drive version of the 911 Carrera GTS which was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. It will be available in both Coupe and drop top formats and comes packing Porsche’s 3.8 liter inline six-cylinder unit that produces 300 kW of power and a peak torque figure of 420 Nm. The standard transmission offering is a six-speed manual gearbox with the seven-speed PDK double-clutch being an optional extra. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint is canceled out in just 4.6 seconds with the manual box and 4.8 seconds for the Cabriolet variant. Using the PDK auto transmission drops the acceleration numbers down by 0.2 seconds.

Porsche’s high-tech all-wheel drive system uses torque vectoring to send just the right amount of twisting power to the front wheels with a limited-slip differential for the rear axle. The electronically-controlled system gives the Carrera 4 GTS maximum performance and agility on the road. Continue reading “Porsche offers another 911 variant – the Carrera 4 GTS” »

Hyundai drops covers on the i40 sedan

May 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai has been keeping busy this year and unveiled its new i40 wagon at the Geneva Motor Show a few months back. Now, as promised, the Korean carmaker has dropped the covers on its new i40 sedan at the Barcelona motor show today.

Like the wagon the i40 sedan was designed and developed largely for the European market at Hyundai’s R&D facility in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Like the larger i45 which has gone on sale in NZ the i40 sedan uses Hyundai’s “Fluidic Design” styling. It’s curvaceous and purposeful and potentially a good fit for European markets.

Under the bonnet expect the i40 to be powered by petrol and diesel mills. Hyundai’s 2.0 litre direct-injection Theta II unit should see service and is good for 130 kW of power and 213 Nm of torque. The diesel offering is likely a 1.7 litre mill which has two configurations, an economy focused 84 kW and 255 Nm example and a more powerful 100 kW variant. A six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic will shift the gears. Continue reading “Hyundai drops covers on the i40 sedan” »

Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special

May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

VW has just unveiled its newest Golf special edition the GTI Edition 35 which will mark the 35th anniversary of the very popular European hot hatch.

Like previous ‘Anniversary Edition’ models, the Edition 35 comes with an increase in power, as well as updated looks and some extra kit. Power comes from a reworked version of VW’s 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine that develops 173 kW which marks an 18kW increase over the standard GTI.

Styling upgrades on the Mk 6 GTI body include a new front bumper, branded aluminum door sills and various ’35’ badges.

The world debut of the Golf GTI Edition 35 is scheduled for the annual VW enthusiasts event the 2011 Tuning World Worthersee at the beginning of June. Sales of the anniversary edition Golf are set to commence later that month. Continue reading “Volkswagen reveals Golf GTI Edition 35 anniversary special” »

On the dark side – Porsche Cayman S Black Edition

May 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche’s special Black Editions first infected the 911 and then the Boxster, now Porsche has released a new limited edition of its Cayman S predictably named the Cayman S Black Edition. This special edition of the go-fast Cayman will be sold in a limited run of just 500 units worldwide and is set to go on sale from this July.

The cars get the same 3.4-litre flat-six engine but power is increased by 7kW to 243kW but torque remains unchanged at 370Nm at 4,750 rpm.

In terms of styling the Black Edition will be distinguished by larger and wider 19-inch alloy wheels finished in black and a more premium interior. The special Cayman S Black Edition also gets Bi-Xenon headlights, dynamic cornering lights, automatic anti-dazzle and exterior mirrors with integrated rain sensor. The leather trimmed seats are detailed with the Porsche crest on the headrests and there’s also a Porsche Sport Design steering wheel.

Acceleration from 0-100 kph is quickened by a tenth of a second to 5.1 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission, and to 5.0 seconds with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual clutch unit. With the launch control feature activated on the optional PDK Sport Chrono package, acceleration can be achieved in just 4.8 seconds. Top speed is quoted at 279kph. Continue reading “On the dark side – Porsche Cayman S Black Edition” »

Jaguar sending C-X75 hybrid supercar into production

May 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Jaguar has officially confirmed that its striking and environmentally friendly C-X75 supercar prototype will be taken into production.

The hybrid model first debuted as a concept at the Paris Motor Show last year and many thought that’s as far as it would go, but Jaguar have other ideas. The C-X75 is a hybrid supercar that produces less than 99g/km of CO2 emissions but for performance can rival the best supercars in the world and boasts a top speed of over 322 km/h (200mph).

The C-X75 will be an all-wheel drive machine with a “downsized, highly-boosted petrol engine coupled with two powerful electric motors,” says Jaguar, although the automaker is staying tight-lipped with any more details than that.

Jaguar will team up with the Williams F1 team to build the C-X75 and with Formula 1 preparing to switch to four-cylinder engines by 2013, it is possible that the C-X75’s powertrain will use similar or the same technology being developed for the Williams F1 team.

As a concept car the C-X75 used four 145-kW electric motors (one at each wheel) with two small turbine engines to create electrical current. But the production C-X75 will likely opt for a more conventional setup. Continue reading “Jaguar sending C-X75 hybrid supercar into production” »

Volkswagen to enter top tier rallying with Polo R WRC (+video)

May 6th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following on from consistent rumours, VW has announced it’s throwing its hat into the WRC ring with an entry planned for the 2013 season. Volkswagen is pinning its hopes on a purpose built machine called the Polo R WRC based on its small hatch platform.

Extensive details and specs haven’t been disclosed yet but the Polo will be powered by a 1.6-litre TSI engine that develops around 221kW of power. The engine will be mated to a sequential transmission and VW has confirmed that it will use an all-wheel-drive system. The Polo R WRC will also be equipped with direct injection and turbocharging, as stipulated by FIA’s World Rally Championship regulations.

The Polo WRC rally car certainly looks the part with a full widebody aerodynamics package, a new bonnet a gigantic rear wing and a roof air scoop. VW also plans to build a street legal version of the Polo R with the production model uses a slightly less powerful version of the 1.6 TSI engine, and a 7-speed DSG gearbox putting power to the front wheels.

Check out a video showing the new Polo R WRC below. Continue reading “Volkswagen to enter top tier rallying with Polo R WRC (+video)” »

Mercedes-Benz rolls out G-Wagon Edition Select final model

May 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Germany’s military-bred rugged offroader the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is in its final days and to celebrate its success a special edtion model has been revealed. Named the G500 Edition Select it’s based on the long-wheel base G-Wagon body shape.

The Edition Select is powered by Mercedes’ 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine that sends 289kW and 530 Nm of torque to all four wheels through a 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic transmission.

The Edition Select’s exterior gets a two-tone paint treatment, with no extra charge for high-end designer colors of mystic white, palladium silver metallic, thulite red, or obsidian black metallic. Whatever color is chosen, the bumpers, mirrors, and AMG side sills are obsidian black. Unique 18-inch alloy wheels finish the look, while an AMG sport exhaust system makes it sound the business.

In the cabin, the Edition Select gets attractive two-tone leather upholstery in porcelain and black. Those that prefer a more toned-down look can opt for full black leather. A chrome package adds extra trim around the gear selector, seat controls, speakers, and luggage compartment sill. For in car entertainment a 450 watts Harmon Kardon Logic7 surround sound stereo system is included as standard. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz rolls out G-Wagon Edition Select final model” »

Four-paw BMW M5 a strong possibility

May 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Rumours of a all-wheel-drive BMW M5 have been floating around for a few months now, but they have picked up steam with confirmation from an unnamed source within the company.

The move isn’t a huge shock, but it does go against the rear-driving ethos of the M Division. That said, if the M5 is going to continue to progress it needs to embrace new technology. BMW’s AWD system is highly competent and gives the X vehicles in the M range physics-defying handling. The dynamic all-wheel drive system will be a good fit in the M5.

BMW’s AWD system does still allow for some sideways shenanigans, with the added benefit of better performance in low-grip situations. A rear-drive set-up will likely remain an option for those purists that won’t have it any other way.

The production version of the 2012 BMW M5 is set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show stage in September, so expect to see more teasers and information before that time arrives.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the BMW X6 40d.