2012 Isuzu D-Max ute revealed in Thailand

October 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Isuzu has revealed its 2012 D-Max ute at an event in Thailand before it goes on sale in selected markets from later this year.

The reveal follows the unveiling last week of the 2012 Holden/Chevrolet Colorado on which it is based.

The new D-Max shares the basics of its ladder-chassis platform and mechanical components with the 2012 Colorado but Isuzu’s ute gets a unique appearance. It will be distinguished by unique upswept headlights and a more conventional three-bar grille design.

In the cabin the D-Max will be almost identical to the Colorado with it’s dashboard, control stack and steering wheel all matching up with Holden’s next ute.

While full details for the new D-Max haven’t been revealed just yet, Isuzu has confirmed that a choice of two 2.5 litre diesel engines will be offered. Expect outputs of 85kW with 350Nm of torque for the lower spec diesel mill and 110kW with 470Nm for the higher spec model. There will also be an upgraded version of Isuzu’s 3.0 litre diesel which delivers 130kW and 380Nm of torque. Continue reading “2012 Isuzu D-Max ute revealed in Thailand” »

Updated 2012 Toyota Hilux goes on sale in NZ

October 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The updated Toyota Hilux has just been launched in New Zealand with a brand-new variant, new features, styling updates and a colourful new ad campaign.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said “This is a significant change for Hilux. The improvements we have made now will further strengthen Hilux’s reign as New Zealand’s most popular light truck.”

Since the seventh-generation Hilux was released in 2005 it has been continually tweaked and updated to improve its practicality as a workhorse/family-friendly vehicle with the latest updates continuing this trend.

Mr Prangnell said “Toyota engineers have travelled around the world to learn about how Hilux is used, in order to develop ways to address the changing demands of our customers. While in New Zealand, they drove our farm tracks, spoke to customers, and then formulated ways to make Hilux even better suited to our unique conditions.”

The new model has been added to the Hilux range is a standard grade 4WD extra cab ute with a 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Toyota Hilux goes on sale in NZ” »

SsangYong SUT-1 revealed at Frankfurt show

September 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Korean carmaker SsangYong continues to make a play at the ute market with its latest budget-focused offering. First a concept version of SsanYong’s SUT-1 was shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, now the production version has debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The SUT-1 quad-cab pickup truck will enter the market as a replacement for the Actyon Sports model. SsangYong refers to the SUT-1 as a Sports Utility Truck, hence the SUT name.

There’s a new engine under the bonnet in the form of a Euro 5-compliant 2.0 litre diesel motor producing 114kW and 360Nm of torque. Max torque available between 1500 and 2800rpm. Available in rear or four-wheel-drive, the SUT-1 is being built with both a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption figures haven’t been released yet.

A body-on-frame truck the SUT-1 uses a double-wishbone suspension up front and a five-link set up at the rear. There’s four-wheel disc brakes and either 16- or 18-inch alloy wheels. Kerb weight will come in at between 1873kg and 1995kg. Continue reading “SsangYong SUT-1 revealed at Frankfurt show” »

Ford drops details and photos of Falcon FG MkII

September 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford has revealed the first photos and details of its upcoming FG Falcon MkII range this week ahead of it reaching NZ showrooms late this year.

The updated Falcon brings new technologies, an enhanced safety package, new exterior design appointments  and the first global application of EcoBoost engine technology in a rear-wheel drive vehicle. It also heralds in the debut of Ford’s global 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine which will be offered in the FG Falcon from next year.

The MkII Falcon will showcase some of Ford’s latest tech like a new 8.0-inch colour touch screen and integrated audio, phone and navigation functions and a more comprehensive occupant protection package.

“The improvements made to the award-winning Falcon range with the introduction of FG Falcon MkII have made a great car even better,” Ford New Zealand Marketing Manager, Chris Masterson said. “FG Falcon MkII builds on the success of the FG Falcon program, as well as the recently released new Territory range, by offering New Zealanders more equipment and the latest technology innovations, while continuing to deliver outstanding performance, fuel efficiency, refinement and safety.” Continue reading “Ford drops details and photos of Falcon FG MkII” »

Making of the next-gen 2012 Holden Colorado concept video

July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s new 2012 Colorado was recently shown for the first time in concept form at the Australian Motor Show and has already gained a load of interest. To keep up the hype, Holden has released a video showing what went into preparing the Colorado show ute for its unveiling. There’s plenty of behind the scenes stuff and footage of the show car in action.

While exact specifications for the production Colorado ute haven’t been released expect it too launch with a 2.8-litre diesel engine and be offered in various markets globally in Holden and Chevrolet forms.

Check out the video below to get an idea of what Holden’s latest ute will look like when it reaches NZ showrooms next year. Continue reading “Making of the next-gen 2012 Holden Colorado concept video” »

2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show

July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has pulled the covers off it’s next-generation 2012 Colorado concept ute at the Australian Motor Show in Melbourne.

The new Colorado was first shown in Chevrolet form earlier this year and Holden’s version has kept with a similar curvaceous body design and ‘dual port’ grille. The concept Colorado is presented in a crew-cab form with the production model to be launched in New Zealand and other global markets in 2012.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Jeff Murray said Holden’s most significant play in the growing light commercial segment is without a doubt the new generation Colorado. “Clearly this is a show vehicle however, the basic proportions and design are pretty much what you can expect for the production version of the Colorado which will arrive in Holden showrooms in this country in 2012,” Mr Murray said.

The Colorado design project was led by 26-year-old creative designer Ben Last who worked closely with General Motors‟ Colorado homeroom and design studio in Brazil along with operations in Thailand and the US to develop the final Australian show theme. Continue reading “2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show” »

Jeep ute gets postponed… for now

June 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

If you’re a fan of the ute and also a Jeep enthusiast then you would have been pretty excited when Jeep announced it may bring out a pickup truck. The bad news is that the Jeep ute project has ben put on the backburner for now, but hey, it might still come to fruition.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley said in a recent interview, “We’re still in recovery mode and have to be very careful with our investments. We have so much going on. Our resources are fully dedicated to small vehicles and working with Fiat. There are none left to work on the Jeep pickup at this time.”

He went on to add, “There’s clear interest in the U.S. for a pickup” and “It could also give us potential for some of our international markets even though the pickup market is slightly different outside of the U.S.” Continue reading “Jeep ute gets postponed… for now” »

Mazda releases fresh images of new BT-50 ute

June 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mazda has just dropped a couple of images of it’s upcoming BT-50 Freestyle ute. The Freestyle is an extended-cab version of the standard BT-50, offering a smaller cabin and a slightly larger deck than its double cab stablemate. To get crew into the back the BT-50′s cab features two reverse-hinge half-doors in addition to the two standard front doors. There is a pilarless design to make things a whole lot easier for those attempting to squeeze in the rear seat.

Mazda’s new design language has been used extensively on the exterior of the BT-50, but it retains traditional cab proportions giving it a good balance. Like the Ford Ranger, which uses the same chassis, the BT-50 was designed in Australia. It will be exported to numerous countries including NZ with first deliveries expected later this year. Continue reading “Mazda releases fresh images of new BT-50 ute” »