Toyota NZ adds V6 petrol engine to LC Prado range

January 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota NZ has just added a new 4.0 litre V6 petrol engine to its popular Land Cruiser Prado line-up. The NZ spec Land Cruiser Prado is currently available in three grades — GX, VX and VX Limited — each powered by a 3.0 litre common rail turbo diesel engine.

Available exclusively in the top-of-the-line VX Limited grade, the new petrol engine will be available from early 2011.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “When we launched the new model Prado last year it was then a diesel-only line-up as the price of petrol was skyrocketing. Since then we have had many customers ask for the Petrol version so we are responding to the voice of the customer by introducing this 4.0 litre V6 version. We’re giving our customers the power they want, with the advanced features provided by the VX Limited grade package.”

Prado’s 4.0 litre 1GR-FE V6 petrol engine delivers 202kW of power at 5,600rpm and 381Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. Mr Prangnell said, “With 202kW, this is the first standard Prado available in New Zealand to break the 200kW barrier. It’s a truly impressive SUV, and perfect for the active kiwi lifestyle coupling impressive off-road capability with everyday utility and comfort.”

The petrol Prado will tow up to 2,500 kilograms with a braked trailer, and 750 kilograms with an unbraked unit.

Like all new Prado models, the petrol Prado has an ABS system with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) function to optimise brake-force distribution regardless of vehicle load condition. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Active Traction Control (A-TRC) are also standard. Active Traction Control (A-TRC) limits wheel-spin when starting off or driving on all types of low-friction road, such as on mud or snow.

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Toyota Land Cruiser 200 VX 2010 Review

May 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Land Cruiser 200 is the King Kong of the Toyota range, boasting all the strengths of normal SUVs but with a physical presence and brute force all its own. As a descendent of the original Japanese military spec Land Cruiser the 200 has six decades worth of dirt running through its veins. But as the Land Cruiser has matured, some badge fans have said all the new luxuries and fancy styling has distanced the LC from its mud-munching roots. So is the Land Cruiser 200 still king of the jungle, capable of thumping its chest and cutting through any terrain? Or has it become softer than a beer-bellied slug? Car and SUV spent a week on the move with the 2010 Land Cruiser 200 to find out more.

The first thing that strikes you with the 200 is its bulky presence; for NZ it’s a giant of an SUV. Over the various generations the Land Cruiser has got larger and larger and now cuts an intimidating shadow. Up front it has a wide gaping grille with wrap around halogen headlights and a flat bonnet line. Flared guards and a high waist dominate the flanks and it’s a squarer look at the rear with a split tailgate and red-jeweled lights. Luxury exterior touches include chrome bright work on the side mirrors, grille and hatch grab bar. 18-inch alloys and tinted glass finish off the look.

Climb inside and there is an impressive amount of space on offer. The dark leather seats are flat but wide and separated by a massive centre storage box/armrest. All three rows of seating get air vents and 3-point seat belts, meaning 7 occupants can travel in comfort. The third row seating offers ample headroom and decent leg room for anyone under 6-foot it also has cup holders and handgrips. The back row is side mounted and splits in half to fold away while the second row is slide and recline adjustable. With the third row stowed away there’s a huge 700-litre cargo area available.

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Subaru to debut Impreza XV crossover

February 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The big premiere for Subaru at next month’s Geneva Motor Show will be its new Impreza VX. The all-wheel-drive specialist hasn’t released any images of the car yet, but it’s touted to be similar to the North American Outback Sport model (pictured).

A unique grille, wheel arches and roof rails will visually set the VX apart from standard Imprezas. Motivation will likely come from  a 2.0-liter boxer-four, fueled by either gasoline or diesel. The Impreza VX will go on sale in Europe mid-year.

Joining the Impreza VX on the stand will be the Hybrid Tourer Concept that was first revealed at last year’s Tokyo show, as well as the plug-in Stella.