November 4th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Ford first previewed its upcoming Fiesta ST in concept form at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show with a three-door version of the hatch.
Now, Ford has a more production-ready model for the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, it’s a hatchback-variant and will give Ford fans a better taste of the hot hatch.
In Ford’s official press release it states that “The five-door Fiesta ST Concept shows the promise for a globally available performance model.”and goes on to say, “The Fiesta ST Concept shows in the most dramatic way possible that the qualities that define an ST are not limited to one model [the Focus ST]. The potential for delivering the ST experience to an even wider audience is laid bare by this exciting new concept,” he added.
Despite these near-assurances Ford hasn’t officially confirmed production for the Fiesta ST.
Like it’s three-door stablemate the five-door concept gets the same styling treatment with a bespoke front end, aerodynamic bodykit, lowered suspension and flared wheel arches with 17-inch alloy wheels. Read the rest of this entry »
October 27th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Ram continues to expand its range of brawny pickup trucks with more special editions and extra models over in the States.
Next year the popular Power Wagon line will be expanded with the addition of ST and Laramie trim levels. ST guise is a no frills specification designed for companies and government agencies that need a rugged truck without too many luxuries.
The Laramie trim rolls includes leather seats, a premium audio system and plenty of wood-grain in the cabin. The exterior of the truck is treated to body-color fender flairs and chrome mirrors and bumpers.
Ram also plans to roll out a 1500 Mossy Oak Edition (pictured). Those readers into hunting may recognise the Mossy Oak brand name as one of the leading companies in the camouflage industry. This new addition will will boast a tub liner and a tail gate wrapped in the Mossy Oak Breakup Infinity camo pattern. In the cabin the treatment continues with door panels finished in camo, and the Mossy Oak logo embroidered on the seat headrests. With all that camo trim the only risk is that your truck will get shot by accident. The Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition will cost USD $39,910 ($49,800 NZ). Read the rest of this entry »
September 15th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Following on from the reveal of the new Focus ST (read news), Ford has backed it up by showing off its new Fiesta ST concept.
The younger brother to the sporty Focus has been unveiled at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show and shares much of the character of its larger sibling. The Fiesta ST has been revealed with a production-ready look and Ford is “seriously looking” at putting it into full production.
As a hotter version of current Fiesta the ST concept gives Ford fans a glimpse of the new styling direction for the entire Fiesta model range. Under the bonnet there’s Ford’s 1.6-litre turbocharged EcoBoost four-clinder engine sending power to the front wheels. Output is a healthy 135kW with 240Nm of torque. Shifting the gears is a six-speed manual box and 0-100km/h sprint time is expected to be less than seven seconds. Read the rest of this entry »
September 13th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Fans of Ford’s performance offerings have something to celebrate this week with the official reveal of the new Focus ST. Known in NZ as the Focus XR5 Turbo, the new ST will debut in production guise at this week’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and in the lead up, details and images have reached the web.
While the production hot hatch isn’t a significant departure from its concept predecessor, what’s really interesting is the inclusion of a station wagon body in the Focus ST range. Sadly, this performance wagon won’t reach as many global markets as the hatch and will likely be a European only offering, so don’t expect to see any down here in NZ.
Both the hatch and wagon feature the same 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder under the bonnet with a power output of 186kW and a healthy 360Nm of max torque. The high-tech engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual that pushes grunt to the front wheels only. That’s a lot of power for the front treads to handle so Ford has worked hard to avoid torque-steer issues with its electronic power assisted steering and torque steer compensation system. Both systems work together to minimize the wheel-tugging effects often associated with high power front-wheel drivers. Read the rest of this entry »
March 24th, 2011 by Car and SUV
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. Read the rest of this entry »
November 26th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The new 2011 Nissan Micra has been launched into the NZ market at a special event held earlier this week.
This latest Micra is the fourth generation to wear the badge and represents an entirely new chapter in the history of Nissan’s compact city car. Set to appeal to loyal buyers, its distinctive looks have been restyled it also boasts improved quality and dynamic abilities.
Designed specifically to make day to day urban driving as simple as possible, it delivers good dynamic performance for a small hatch and has comfortable suspension tuning, light power-steering and confident braking. Those driving characteristics are backed up by high levels of convenience and good equipment levels.
Nissan NZ is marketing the Micra around simplicity: it’s simple to purchase, simple to own and simple to live with. The all-new Micra is a simple car to live with, with three-year scheduled servicing reducing the ongoing costs of ownership. Plus Micra is full of features that, combined with thoughtful engineering, make living with the car on a daily basis a simple exercise. From easy egress to a practical luggage compartment, and good levels of visibility from the cabin.
Since its global launch earlier in 2010 the all-new Micra has been a phenomenal sales success. In the Japanese domestic market alone, orders for the Micra totalled at over 20,000 vehicles after just six weeks.
It is Nissan’s first model to use the company’s new V-Platform and the first to be built not in Japan or Europe, but rather in four manufacturing plants in China, Thailand, India and Mexico. The Micra for New Zealand will be sourced from Nissan’s plant in Thailand.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 21st, 2010 by Car and SUV
Following on from its debut at the Paris Motor Show, Ford has now released a promotional video showing off the performance-focused variant of its all new Ford Focus.
Called the Focus ST in European markets the second quickest model (after the RS) is likely to be sold here in NZ as the 2012 Ford Focus ‘XR4′ Turbo. Why not the XR5?
Because with the discontinuation of Ford’s five-cylinder turbo engine last month, the ST’s new Ecoboost four-cylinder engine will probably see the XR5 Turbo badge dropped in favour of the XR4 Turbo moniker.
“The ST will be the performance flagship of our new Focus range, and we were excited to provide our enthusiast customers with an early preview in Paris,” Ford’s Global C-car boss Gunnar Hermann said. “The ST represents an ultimate expression of Focus driving quality and performance and we are confident that the new model will strengthen the reputation of Ford’s ST heritage among enthusiast drivers and attract new fans as well.”
Motivated by the strongest incarnation of Ford’s turbocharged 2.0 litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, the new Focus ST will output a very strong 184kW.
Little else is known in terms of torque, performance figures and other technical details but more will be revealed shortly.
A three door model is expected to join the new Focus line-up around a year after the five-door hatch reaches showrooms. However, the three-door model may not be offered locally, in regular or XR4 trim.
Click on the video below to see the Focus ST in action. Read the rest of this entry »
September 17th, 2010 by Car and SUV
It was scheduled to debut later this week before the Paris Motor Show but Ford just couldn’t wait to pull the covers of its new Focus hot hatch.
This second-hottest model in the Focus family (behind the RS) will be known in European markets as the ST. Here in NZ it is likely to be called the ‘XR4 Turbo.’ Not the XR5 Turbo like the outgoing model because of the ST’s new four-cylinder engine, meaning a digit is dropped and it becomes the XR4 Turbo. That’s the math.
So what’s it all about?
Well it’s set to go on sale in “all global markets” from the middle of next year, it’s based on the five-door version of the brand new Focus and it’s got some major styling differences.
The styling package includes a new front bumper with a large gaping mouth for sucking in air. There are side skirts a larger roof spoiler and a rear diffuser with centrally mounted exhaust tips. The show car is finished in a all new colour that is aptly named ‘Tangerine Scream’, it also gets a beefy set of 19-inch alloy wheels.
Under the bonnet Ford has got rid of the Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine and has replaced it with Ford’s own 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder Ecoboost unit. With this modern engine in place the Focus ST should produce a Golf R-rivaling 184kW.
Read the rest of this entry »