Bugatti Galiber super sedan to enter production

April 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

If you’ve always wanted a vehicle with Bugatti Veyron levels of power but with room for the kids and shopping, then you’re now in luck.

Bugatti is ready to make this dream reality and is going to build a four-door supercar to destroy all others. That’s right, Bugatti’s Galibier concept car has reportedly been given the green light for production.

Better have your pennies saved because the production version of the Galibier certainly won’t come cheap and is expected to be priced around $1.4 million USD.

While official specs haven’t been released it’s rumoured that Bugatti’s W16 engine will arrive under the bonnet in full 745kW form. But other reports are ruining the party with suggestions that Bugatti will drop off two turbochargers meaning only two will be in operation this will cause power to dip to  a mere 600kW. Continue reading “Bugatti Galiber super sedan to enter production” »

Holden teases NZ-bound Malibu ahead of debut (+video)

April 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The first image of Holden’s new-generation mid-sized sedan has been released ahead of its global reveal as the Chevrolet Malibu. The Malibu will be revealed during the sedan’s public debut at Shanghai Auto Show on April 19th.

Holden has confirmed that the Malibu will be coming to New Zealand for the first time in 2012 with a range of four cylinder models.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director Simon Carr said the Chevrolet Malibu gives a clear indication of what customers can expect from Holden when it launches its version of the next-generation mid-sized sedan.

“The Malibu will provide a spacious and efficient four-cylinder alternative for New Zealanders in this fuel conscious time and needless to say it will play an important role within the Holden line-up,” Mr Carr said. “Malibu will bridge the gap between our very popular Cruze small car and a favourite of this country, one of New Zealand’s best-selling cars, the Commodore. This car will have heads turning in the streets with its striking styling, in the same vein as recent additions to the GM portfolio, including the new-generation Cruze Hatch and Barina. Many customers were pleasantly surprised at how good the Cruze was and Malibu will be no different, especially with its amazing array of clever technologies and features.” Continue reading “Holden teases NZ-bound Malibu ahead of debut (+video)” »

Porsche pulls covers off Panamera Turbo S – NZ bound

March 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche has officially unveiled it’s new top-spec Panamera Turbo S before it’s scheduled reveal at the New York Auto Show. The Turbo S is set to be the most powerful and quickest version of the Panamera to date and features a host of mechanical and styling upgrades.

The 4.8 litre, V8 twin turbocharged engine now delivers 410 kW – an increase of 10 per cent or 37 kW over the already very powerful engine in the Panamera Turbo. At the same time, torque also increases from 700 to 750 Nm. In the “Sport” and “Sport Plus” mode and during kick-down in normal mode a full 800 Nm is available through ‘overboost.’

With Launch Control (part of the standard Sport Chrono Package Turbo) the 0-100 km/h sprint takes just 3.8 seconds and top speed is a reckless 306 km/h. Porsche says that despite the increased performance, fuel consumption remains at a similar level to the Panamera Turbo. Official figures are 11.5 L / 100 kms combined falling to 11.3 L / 100 kms when fitted with the optional 19 inch, all-season Michelin tyres with optimised rolling resistance.

The increased performance compared with the Panamera Turbo is due to two main enhancements:

Improved turbochargers with titanium-aluminium turbine wheels and modified engine control. The use of the innovative titanium-aluminium alloy reduces the weight of the turbine and compressor wheel. This results in a lower moment of inertia and therefore improved engine responsiveness. Continue reading “Porsche pulls covers off Panamera Turbo S – NZ bound” »

2012 Nissan GT-R smashes old model’s Nürburgring record (+video)

March 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan has just released a video of its upgraded 2012 GT-R breaking its existing record on the Nürburgring-Nordschliefe track.

The video is in Japanese so it’s a good chance to brush up on your skills and we also get to see the full 7 minutes and 24.22 seconds of the GT-R’s track run from inside the cabin. Porsche, as always have been quick to point out that the GT-R’s new time is still slower than its 911 GT2 RS, which ‘apparently’ comes in at 7m and 18 seconds. It also costs tens of thousands dollars more.

The 2012 Nissan GT-R comes packing a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 engine and produces 395 kW of power and 661 Nm of torque. It can achieve the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 3 seconds flat, but the GT-R’s launch control function is needed to get that figure.

The 2012 GT-R beats the 2011 model’s track time of 7 minutes 26.7 seconds by almost 2.5 seconds and has huge amounts of grip through its all-wheel drive system. The GT-R’s chief designer Kazutoshi Mizuno also makes a cameo in the video so keep an eye out.

Check out the GT-R lapping the Nurburgring in the video below. Continue reading “2012 Nissan GT-R smashes old model’s Nürburgring record (+video)” »

Kia Optima goes on sale in NZ at $46,990

March 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new Kia Optima has just gone on sale in New Zealand, is certainly a striking looking sedan.

Chief designer Peter Schreyer had a lot to say about the new model, “With the new Optima, we have created a product that people previously would not have expected from Kia and that’s exactly what we set out to achieve!” said Schreyer of the mid-large sedan.

The distinct lines of the new Optima have been well received overseas and Kia Motors is hoping for a similar reception here in New Zealand.

“It is fair to say that there has been more international comment passed on the new Optima than any other Kia model in the past – all of it highly favourable,” says Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand. “In-line with international trends we are expecting a huge demand for the new Optima which may put pressure on our ability to deliver in New Zealand.”

Under the bonnet the new Optima boasts advanced GDI technology in the new 2.4-litre Theta II engine that delivers the power of a V6 with the economy of a four cylinder.

The new 11.3:1 high compression 2.4-litre Theta II GDI unit introduces gasoline direct injection for the first time under the bonnet of a Kia model, power is increased by 11.6% and torque by 8.2% to 148kW @ 6300rpm and 250Nm @ 4250rpm respectively. Continue reading “Kia Optima goes on sale in NZ at $46,990” »

New video of next-gen Focus ST hot hatch

March 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Not much new info has been released on the 2012 Ford Focus recently but that doesn’t mean it’s fallen of the Car and SUV radar. After driving the NZ-spec Focus XR5 Turbo last year (read review) we have been a big fans and we’re quick to jump on any details about the next-gen model.

To keep us all going Ford’s European arm has released a video of its upcoming Focus ST sport hatch that’s expected to reach global markets early next year. While there’s nothing different or new about this model that was first introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, it’s still nice to revisit it.

For now, the ST is the hottest version of the new Focus (until Ford builds a harder-core RS version) and will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 184kW and 360 Nm of torque. The show car was equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels, but it’s very possible that the production model will also be offered with a dual clutch transmission.

Check out the video below and photos in the gallery. Continue reading “New video of next-gen Focus ST hot hatch” »

Porsche offers 911 Turbo S ‘Edition 918 Spyder’ for 918 supercar buyers

March 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Yesterday we brought you news on the pricing for Porsche’s upcoming 918 hybrid supercar, at $1.24 million New Zealand dollars it was a touch expensive for most of us.

But if you are one of the very few with that sort of cash to spend on a supercar it just gets sweeter. For just $216,000 NZ dollars more you can get a 911 Turbo S “Edition 918 Spyder” which is being offered exclusively to those that place an order for its upcoming plug-in hybrid supercar. As you would expect, production of the special edition 911s is limited to 918 units worldwide. It’s like a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal, except instead of free it costs you $216k.

Despite the order books being open Porsche’s 918 hybrid supercar won’t enter production for at least two years so if you can’t wait the limited edition 911 Turbo S series gives you some of the 918 styling right now. Being cosmetically inspired by the 918 Spyder the 911 Turbo S will be available in both coupe and convertible body styles.

While keeping the standard model’s 530hp flat-six turbo intact, the special edition gets special acid green features on the brake calipers, interior stitching and logos, the instrument cluster needles, the bespoke PCM screen and illuminated door entry guards. Continue reading “Porsche offers 911 Turbo S ‘Edition 918 Spyder’ for 918 supercar buyers” »

Mini counting down to international motorsport return

March 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The wait is almost over for the return of Mini to the international motorsport stage. This season, the new Mini WRC Team will compete at selected rounds in the FIA World Rally Championship. The initial aim is to gain valuable experience, in order to be perfectly prepared for the complete 2012 World Championship season. The Mini John Cooper Works WRC has been developed by Prodrive, based on the Mini Countryman. It’s equipped with a 1.6-litre turbo engine derived from the Mini production models, which was developed by BMW Motorsport for use in a series run according to FIA Super2000 regulations, including the World Touring Car Championship. Beside its works involvement with the Mini John Cooper Works WRC, Prodrive is also supplying customer cars to private rally teams.

“The FIA World Rally Championship is the pinnacle of rallying, making it the ideal platform for demonstrating the competitive spirit of our brand,” says Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing BMW Group. “Experience is a very important factor in motorsport. For that reason it is essential we learn as much as possible within a very short time, in order to make up ground on our rivals. The new regulations mean the gap to the top is smaller than it would have been at another time. We want to annoy the opposition as soon as possible.” Continue reading “Mini counting down to international motorsport return” »