November 21st, 2012 by Car and SUV
We took a look at the naturally aspirated Veloster Elite a few months ago. If you read the article you’ll see that I said that the turbo version will be awesome. Let’s find out whether it is.
My history is with four-wheel drive rally cars of the 90s. I liked the stiff suspension, the four-cylinder turbo sound and the agile feeling that you get when you don’t have a Read the rest of this entry »
November 5th, 2012 by Car and SUV
Everyone I told I was driving an MG assumed that I was writing for our sister title, NZ Classic Car and that I would be donning a flat cap and one of those jackets with elbow patches. They warned me that if it wasn’t leaking that meant it had run out. However, MG has been resurrected.
We have a mixture of fond and, well, less-than-fond memories with MGs, from the Read the rest of this entry »
April 10th, 2012 by Car and SUV
It’s interesting driving the cars that you know are going to be coveted by the future generation of performance-hungry young drivers. Because of our fairly cheap insurance in New Zealand, people under 25 can afford to insure cars that would be uninsurable in many other countries. As we have a sister title, NZ Performance Car, I’m acutely aware of the type of cars that will be making their way to the next generation once they’re a few years old.
Mazda’s MPS is one of them. OK, it’s front-wheel drive, which makes it a bit annoying for drift kings and track day heroes, but it’s a hot hatch with enough Read the rest of this entry »
October 11th, 2011 by Car and SUV
BMW’s current F10 5-Series model range has been a success for the German car maker. It’s received awards in various countries, including NZ and is known as one of the best luxury sedans on the market. Now in order to push it’s economy credentials further, BMW will drop two cylinders of the engine of its entry-model 528i.
For the 2012 model year the petrol-powered 528i will use BMW’s turbocharged N20 four-cylinder unit which will replace the current six-cylinder mill. Power will decrease from 190kW to 180Kw with the new engine but peak torque will be boosted from 310Nm to a healthy 350Nm.
The four-cylinder engine is new for the 5-Series but not new for BMW, it’s already seen duty in the X1 range and, more recently, the Z4 sDrive28i. It’s a highly capable unit and will take the 528i from standing to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds – down from 6.7 seconds on the current model. Read the rest of this entry »
October 6th, 2011 by Car and SUV
The Civic Type-R has a loyal fan following. mostly by admirers of it’s naturally aspirated VTEC engine. So it will be with mixed feelings that fans receive reports that the next-generation of the hottest Civic will use a turbocharged engine for the first time ever.
While only a rumour at this stage, the unconfirmed reports claim that the 2013 Civic Type-R currently in development will use a Mugen-produced, 156kW 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine. That’s only a small increase over the 148kW of power in the current model Type-R (pictured). The Honda fan boys who are left wondering why, can thank the strict European emissions regulations for the shift to forced induction. To salt the wounds the next Type-R will likely receive a stop-start system to reduce fuel consumption even further.
The good news is that the next-gen Type-R will come packing some neat tricks like a six-speed manual box with short-throw shifter, track-ready suspension set-up and all manner of aerodynamic aids. Expect 0-100 km/h times in the low six second bracket and a top speed of around 240 km/h. Read the rest of this entry »
July 22nd, 2011 by Car and SUV
Although it feels like Hyundai’s i45 mid-size sedan has only just reached NZ roads, it has just received its first facelift in Korea.
The updates are cosmetically mild but the big news is a revised powertrain line-up.
The facelift includes a reworked front grille with slightly less chrome, new LED taillights, reshaped mirror caps and a fresh choice of alloy wheels including a set of 18-inch multispoke rims. In the cabin the i45 receives updated trim options and a chilled glove box.
Under the bonnet, Hyundai has dropped the 2.4-litre petrol engine and replaced it with the more powerful and exciting 202kW turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder. in base model form the 122kW 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine remains. Read the rest of this entry »
July 18th, 2011 by Car and SUV
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. Read the rest of this entry »
July 5th, 2011 by Car and SUV
Sequels don’t often live up to expectations but the Series II Holden Cruze might just buck that trend. Like a rock band recording a second album Holden had to get a new take on a now familiar sound. Shifting production of the Cruze from Korea to Australia has given the small sedan a positive new flavour. It’s received cosmetic tweaks revised suspension and in our tested SRi-V variant – a new turbocharged powerplant. Car and SUV spent some time with the Series II Cruze to find out if this sequel tastes sweeter than the original formula.
The Australian sourced Cruze has received some subtle styling tweaks to boost the vehicles appeal to a local palate. The grille and front indicators have been replaced and chrome trim has been used more extensively across the range. Our top-spec SRi-V model has been given the sporty treatment with a full body kit, bootlid spoiler, fog lamps, chrome door handles and 5-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels. The result is a very handsome small sedan with brawny big car styling in a compact body. The coupe-like roofline, broad shoulders and sharp creases work together nicely to give this sporty Cruze genuine road presence. Read the rest of this entry »