Lexus NZ puts ten IS F ‘Red Edition’ models on sale

November 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Lexus New Zealand has launched an exclusive IS F ‘Red Edition’ of its performance V8 model, which will go on sale from November.

Just 10 of the ‘Red Edition’ model, each with a limited edition personalised plate, will be sold in NZ. They feature a unique red leather interior, distinctive 19 inch alloy wheels and an individually numbered ‘Red Edition’ plaque inside the vehicle.

Lexus Manager Debbie Pattullo says: “The IS F is our flagship performance model, and with the introduction of the ‘Red Edition’ we’re giving our customers an even more aggressive vehicle for the true sports car enthusiast. With only 10 vehicles available, this special edition upgrades specification which will turn heads as well as being a dream to drive.”

Red leather accents feature on the front and rear seats, steering wheel and gear shift lever.

The wheel and tyre package features new 14 spoke BBS alloy wheels and larger tyre/rim size, up from 8 to 8.5 inch for improved grip.

The sequentially numbered ‘Red Edition’ dashboard plaque and licence plate starting with ISF001 highlights the exclusivity of this model. Continue reading “Lexus NZ puts ten IS F ‘Red Edition’ models on sale” »

Tuner builds one-off Bentley Continental GT for wealthy buyer

August 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Bentley Continental GT isn’t exactly a cheap automobile, priced at $405,000 NZD, so it’s not surprising that some owners want their example to be extra special.

One such new owner has turned to UK-based design house Imperium to develop a one-off Continental GT in Britain. Previewed above in a rendering, the special coupe will feature bespoke body enhancements like tailor-made front and rear aprons, carbon-fibre side skirting, a boot lip spoiler and carbon fibre rear diffuser. Packing out the guards are black forged alloy wheels.

In terms of performance Imperium will give this Continental GT an ECU upgrade, replacement braking system, lowered sport suspension and a full custom exhaust. Continue reading “Tuner builds one-off Bentley Continental GT for wealthy buyer” »

Abarth upgrades Fiat Punto Evo to 135kW

July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Fiat 500 gets most of the attention directed at the marque’s current model range but its not the only hot hatch in the family. Fiat’s tuning division Abarth is set to change that with a new take on the Punto Evo.

The Punto Evo began life as the Grande Punto back in 2005, but was updated in 2009 as the Punto Evo. Abarth has been tuning the Punto for a while as an option for those that find the 500 too small or just too much of a ‘chick’s car’. Now Abarth has upped the ante with an even more powerful version of the Italian performance hatch called the EsseEsse.

The turbo four-cylinder engine has been upgraded to 135kW (from 123kW), through revised ECU programming and bigger turbocharger. Other mechanical parts like the braked, springs and dampers have all been upgraded and there’s a new wheel/tyre package as well. In terms of performance the Punto Evo EsseEsse will sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds and will reach a 215 kph top speed. Continue reading “Abarth upgrades Fiat Punto Evo to 135kW” »

2012 Nissan GT-R to receive increased power and Spec R variant

June 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The R35 Nissan GT-R is now firmly in its twilight years after first reaching the market back in 2007. To keep sales strong the Japanese carmaker is set to push out the GT-R’s power figures even more and add a new, final edition to the current model range.

Apparently the upcoming 2012 R35 GT-R will get a power increase of a further 22kW over the the current model. This will boost total output to 418kW with a thumping 661Nm of torque.

If that wasn’t enough to get Godzilla fans going all funny, there’s also a new top dog version in the works – the Spec R. This new Spec R model is set to supersede the current Spec V model and will receive further weight reduction of between 30kg and 40kg. It will also come packing some bling under the bonnet with a gold engine cover to trump the red one on the Spec V. Continue reading “2012 Nissan GT-R to receive increased power and Spec R variant” »

Mugen working on hot hatch Honda Jazz

May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mugen and Honda are a tight unit, they go together like fish and chips or like rugby league players and off-field incidents. The latest project for this dynamic duo is to inject some performance pedigree into Honda’s new model Jazz which until now was only favoured by little old ladies.

The previous generation Honda Jazz had a Mugen version called the F154 SC. But this new model, to be built by Mugen Euro will use the same naturally aspirated 2.0-litre V-TEC engine that powers the Civic Type R. There is also talk of using the same supercharged hybrid 1.5 developed for the Mugen CR-Z.

With either powertrain the Mugen Jazz will produce around 150kW and in a car of this small size that could be a recipe for serious fun. Mugen will most likely upgrade other areas of the car with stiffer suspension, larger brakes and improved aerodynamics expected. Continue reading “Mugen working on hot hatch Honda Jazz” »

Toyota Hilux SR5 2011 Review

May 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota’s long-serving Hilux ute is a bit of a legend really. Not just for its ongoing sales success but also for the stories of ridiculous robustness and unlikely war zone application. Crossing the Sahara desert without a drop of oil or having surface-to-air missiles launched off their decks, some Hiluxs certainly have to earn their reputation.  But the Hilux’s battles aren’t just fought by militias in Africa or the Middle East it’s caught up in a war right here in NZ. The dominance of Toyota’s pickup is no longer total, it faces threats from all sides, the torque thumping Nissan Navara, Great Wall’s low rent V240 and the slick VW Amarok.

How can the Hilux best arm itself for the challenges ahead?

With a new safety package on its top spec SR5 model double cab, that’s how. Sure, it’s not as exciting as another 50Nm of torque from its diesel mill or some fierce new exterior styling but safety upgrades extend the Hilux’s appeal as a true work/play proposition. It’s also reason enough for Car and SUV to get back behind the wheel of a Hilux and revisit this ageing superpower of the ute segment. Continue reading “Toyota Hilux SR5 2011 Review” »

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” »

BMW working on 1-Series convertible facelift

October 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Early details of the updated BMW 1 Series Convertible facelift have shown up on the web as the updated version has been spied in the open. Taking into account the areas on the facelifted vehicle that BMW engineers were keen to cover, there is a lot of speculation which areas have been restyled.

The 1 Series Convertible facelift will most likely have a freshly designed front bumper, with a more aggressive look, new air vents and a replacement lower front grille. The headlights and rear light clusters have also had a re-designed, with the rear lights now upgraded to LEDs. The interior of the car will also receive treatment, not least the addition of the Connected Drive system.

The world debut of the BMW 1 Series Convertible facelift is predicted for the Detroit Motor Show at the beginning of next year.

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