July 11th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Subaru is going big and has announced plans to build and release four new models over the next five years. The biggest launch will be the much-anticipated sports coupe that’s in development in conjunction with Toyota. A new hybrid model is also expected.
Subaru has also revealed what it calls the ‘Motion-V plan’, which aims to generate global sales of 900,000 units per year by 2016. This will be a huge increase on the 633,000 sales the Japanese company has forecast for the current fiscal year.
Subaru’s new range will be lead out in the second quarter of 2012 with the global launch of the as-yet unnamed sports coupe, that’s nicknamed the Toyobaru. Toyota has released images and more details for its own ‘FT-86′ version of the vehicle, while Subaru has revealed very few details or photos of its concept. Read the rest of this entry »
June 27th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Subaru went to the 2011 Isle of Man TT race and returned home winners. No, the Japanese carmaker hasn’t created a high-tech AWD motorbike but it did take a near-stock standard WRX STI and run a time of 19 minutes and 37 seconds on the famous 60km course. That was quick enough to achieve a new record for a car traveling the course. But to get things into perspective the outright lap record for any vehicle stands at 17 minutes and 12 seconds set in 2009 by John McGuinness on a Honda CBR1000RR ‘Fireblade’ motorcycle.
To break the existing record the WRX had an average speed of 185kph and got up to 255kph on some of the longer straights. Ex WRC driver Mark Higgins took the Subie through 200 corners and had a frightening incident getting loose at 200kph before bringing it straight again.
The record-setting WRX STI is powered by standard production turbocharged engine pumping out 227kW. Safety modifications included the addition of a roll cage, fire-suppression system, special brake pads and a louder open exhaust to best warn spectators of an unexpected approaching car. Subaru also took off the car’s speed governor and tweaked the suspension with Tein dampers to handle the course’s famous jumps. Read the rest of this entry »
June 12th, 2011 by Tim Grimley
As a Pom who had not experienced the joys of living in Godzone during the construction of the Waikato Expressway, I was bemused to hear my Kiwi colleagues spend much of this week ranting about a ‘Taniwha’. Although I’ve made a point of learning some basic Maori phraseology so that I don’t become completed befuddled by the bilingual nature of some conversations – I now know that when I come home in the evening my wahine is expecting kai – this was entirely new ground.
When pressed, the rantee’s couldn’t exactly define what a Taniwha was – common consensus placed it somewhere between a tribal guardian and a monster and firmly in the realm of mythology – but their ire was raised by the fact that it was threatening to bugger up the proposed Auckland CBD rail tunnel.
For sale - One careful Taniwha owner
The Taniwha in question – this one is called Horotiu and even has a Twitter account – apparently dwells in a subterranean stream somewhere in the region of Queen Street and should someone thoughtlessly build a train line through its home will cause all kinds of mischief with public transport. At least that is what Glenn Wilcox, a member of the Auckland Maori Advisory Board, tells us.
I suspect Mr Wilcox is not to be believed.
Let’s be honest, once the rail tunnel is built Horotiu will have no chance of competing against ARTA who, by that stage, will have a full two decades of hands-on experience in buggering up public transport. And I also suspect he’ll still be having far too much fun messing with the heads of used car purchasers. Read the rest of this entry »
May 3rd, 2011 by Car and SUV
To keep Toyota/Subaru fans interested new information has been released on the upcoming FT-86 sports coupe a.k.a Toyoburu.
Toyota has confirmed that its rear-driving affordable sports car will go on sale next year and will be powered by Subaru’s latest 2.0-litre 4-cylinder boxer engine fitted with Toyota’s D-4S technology. It’s a real team effort here and Toyota’s D-4S tech consists of direct injection combined with port injection for more power.
Unfortunately output figures still haven’t been released, stopping us armchair critics from judging the FT-86 before it even reaches production. But Toyota is amping everyone up by claiming that its D4-S technology “results in increased horsepower and torque without sacrificing fuel consumption and environmental performance.”
The engine itself will come from Subaru’s with an improved 2.0-liter horizontally opposed gas motor, in its current Impreza guise this motor only puts out 110kW and 197 Nm of torque, but in the case of the FT-86, output is expected to be bumped up significantly. The real tragedy here is that the FT-86 won’t be turbocharged, not at first, anyway.
For changing gears the FT-86 will be offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. “The manual will offer quick and precise shifts with a short-throw, while the automatic transmission will feature sporty shifts controlled by steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifts,” said Toyota. Read the rest of this entry »
April 20th, 2011 by Car and SUV
For any Subaru fans out there wanting a glimpse of the future for their favoured brand – here’s the new XV Concept. The covers have just been pulled off this latest crossover concept at the Auto Shanghai 2011 motor show.
What exactly is it? It’s a compact crossover vehicle based on the same platform as the upcoming 2012 Subaru Impreza. Keen enthusiasts will already know that a high-riding Impreza XV variant already sells in some markets globally.
Features of the concept vehicle’s design include popped out wheel arches, full length glass roof, integrated roof rails and lower body cladding – all features that suggest a focus on practicality and off road ability. Flashing it up is Subaru’s latest hexagonal grille, hawk-eye headlights, 19-inch light alloy rims with clear blue centre caps and a matte ‘Electro Yellowgreen’ finish.
No surprises under the XV’s bonnet with Subaru’s 2.0-litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine turning all four wheels through a symmetrical AWD system. Power is shifted through a CVT transmission.
In the cabin, light leather treatment contrasts with the darker tones of other cabin features. There’s a large touch panel multi-function display in the center console for easy navigation and audio control while displaying vehicle information. Read the rest of this entry »
April 12th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Next week is a busy one for Subaru with the scheduled debut of two new vehicles for the Japanese carmaker.
At the Auto Shanghai 2011 show, Subaru is ready to drop the covers off its XV crossover concept car that has been teased in a single, darkened image this week.
While the silhouette image leaves some mystery, the XV is a preview of the 2012 Impreza XV, the high-riding version of the Impreza Hatchback already sold in some markets in the current generation. While Subaru are staying tight-lipped at this stage the XV will feature Subaru’s symmetrical All Wheel Drive system and likely a boxer engine. This will allow the XV genuine crossover ability.
In terms of design there’s four doors, highly styled headlamps, big concept car wheels and the overall shape of a crossover, albeit one with a raked back profile. Read the rest of this entry »
April 8th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Subaru’s new generation Impreza is preparing for its grand reveal at the upcoming New York International Auto Show where it debuts in the early hours of April 21 (NZ time). A teaser image has been released showing the 2012 Impreza in profile.
Little is known about the new Impreza at the moment but Subaru is claiming it has impressive fuel efficiency and the all-wheel drive sedan and hatch are totally new designs, featuring greater cabin space, major gains in interior design and refinement, plus new technologies.
Here in NZ, Wallis Dumper, Managing Director, Subaru New Zealand said, “We are very excited about the amazing stylish new Impreza, which will not only broaden Subaru’s appeal significantly, but offer a new level of interior quality, technology and the safety for which we’re famed.” Read the rest of this entry »
March 8th, 2011 by Car and SUV
The car tuning scene must work a little bit differently over in the States. Here in NZ, if we owned a brand spankers Subaru WRX STI we would love it and cherish it and probably knock a bedroom wall down in our homes so we could sleep next to it. Would we chop the roof off it and ruin its rally-bred dynamics while making it look totally rubbish? No we would not.
But over in the States they have a huge population so there must be a few people with loads of cash and absolutely no taste. For that small crowd, Manchester Subaru in New Hampshire has created the monster you see above – a WRX STI convertible. You could also call it a ‘rag-top’ if you’re Vanilla Ice, or want to be.
This tale of automotive woe isn’t a total hacksaw job, but it certainly isn’t pretty. The roll bar looks like a picnic basket handle but may offer some rigidity. Everything else is all bad, there’s a poorly fitted tonneau cover for the roof, chopped door pillars but they have left the STI wing on the boot to clutter the vehicles odd lines even further. Don’t expect Subaru to be inspired and put the WRX STI convertible into mass production.
But the worst part is the price which is apparently $75,000 USD that’s $101,000 of our money or the same price as a brand new WRX STI ‘hardtop’ and another standard WRX as well. Read the rest of this entry »