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Lord, Mr Ford – one of the great songs about cars …

June 26, 2017 | | Comments Off

There’s been plenty of songs about cars, but Jerry Reed’s Lord, Mr Ford is one of the best. The story above mentions the role and the song he sung in Smokey and the Bandit. Reed also appeared in the whacky 1998 movie The Waterboy, with Adam Sandler. Reed died in 2008, aged 71. This video [&hellip...

American website tests Ford Ranger in NZ …

June 25, 2017 | | Comments Off

The Ford Ranger badge was last sold in the United States in 2010. Since then Ford has built the Ranger for pretty much every other market expect the US. That changes in 2019 when a refreshed version of the ute will be available in North America. Meantime, US website Autoblog sent a reporter to New [&hellip...

‘Ripsaw EV2′ reinvents all-terrain role of the ‘tank’ – see video

June 16, 2017 | | Comments Off

The American company that created the Ripsaw EV2 all-terrain tracked vehicle is working hard to change the perception that such a design is limited to military use. This video shows Australian Jonathon Buckley, a host on US website Autoblog, with Ripsaw developer Mike Howe, a partner in Howe and Howe Technologies, the guys that build...

Prototype McLaren sets record lap of Nurburgring

May 31, 2017 | | Comments Off

The McLaren P1 LM has set a record lap of the Nurburgring for a road-legal production vehicle. This video shows former Indianapolis champion Kenny Brack piloting the P1 LM around the circuit in 6minutes 43.2 seconds – 2.7 seconds quicker than China’s all-electric Nio EP9 managed earlier this month. The P1 LM is a road-legal [&hellip...

Volvo keeps quiet about record lap in S60 Polestar

May 26, 2017 | | Comments Off

Lap records at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit are usually shouted from the rooftops. But Volvo kept its time in the S60 Polestar sedan quiet for a year or so. “Being Swedish, we didn’t want to shout about the record,” the narrator in this video says. What happened was that Cyan Racing, the Volvo racing team, was [&hellip...

Chinese EV the Nio EP9 sets record lap at Nurburgring

May 16, 2017 | | Comments Off

Chinese electric hypercard the Nio EP9 electric hypercard has set a new lap record at  Germany’s Nurburgring circuit. It recorded 6min:45.9sec for the 20.8km run, a full 7 seconds quicker than the 6min:52.01sec the Lamborghini Huracan Performance set earlier this year as the fastest production car. In doing so, the EP9 beat the time...

Sitting alongside the driver in the new Ford GT

May 13, 2017 | | Comments Off

Ford has held the official media launch of the GT supercar at its testing ground in the US state of Utah. Only 1000 will be built, each costing around $NZ1 million. In this video, Matt Burt, editor of Britain’s Autocar magazine, talks about the car’s origins, from the GT 40 Kiwis Bruce McLaren and Chris [&hellip...

Beefed-up Toyota Land Cruiser world’s fastest SUV

May 9, 2017 | | Comments Off

A heavily modified Toyota LandCruiser has unofficially claimed the title of world’s fastest SUV, being timed at 370.18km/h, or 230.02mph. The Land Speed Cruiser’s 5.7-litre V8 delivers around 1500kW and was built by the company’s Motorsports Technical Center, and made its debut at the 2016 SEMA show in Las Vegas.  ...

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Pontiac Firebird, Smokey and the Bandit, 40 years on …

June 26, 2017 | | Comments Off

Actor Burt Reynolds reckons 12 Pontiac Firebirds were destroyed during the making of Smokey and the Bandit, the car-chase/truck-chase movie of 40 years ago. But the story goes that the head of Pontiac at the time didn’t mind because the brand’s stock price rose around 70 per cent after the film’s release. A stock standard [&hellip...


American website’s view of Ford Ranger in NZ – see video

June 25, 2017 | | Comments Off

American motoring website Autoblog sent reporter David Gluckman to New Zealand to drive the Ford Ranger ute, in part because a revised version of the Ranger goes on sale in the US in 2019 and Autoblog wanted to find out what Americans had been missing. Gluckman writes for his US audience: “Why New Zealand, you [&hellip...


Ferrari V8 wins world engine award for second year in a row

June 22, 2017 | | Comments Off

Ferrari’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, a 495kW/750Nm powerplant used in the 488 models, has won the International Engine of the Year award for the second year in a row. The 2017 panel of judges clearly favoured it over Porsche’s 3.0-litre flat-six from the 911 range, as well as BMW’s petrol-electric drivetrain in the i8, and...


VW ‘Kombi’ on the road again – this time with battery power

June 21, 2017 | | Comments Off

Volkswagen has been talking for years about building a modern version of its Kombi van and now the dithering is over – the ID Buzz concept is headed to production. VW brand chief Herbert Diess has confirmed as much, telling Britain’s AutoExpress magazine that it will build a Kombi-style vehicle as part of its ‘ID’ [&hellip...

03 Police sting

Cop this lot – V6 Kia Stinger dressed for NZ police duty

June 20, 2017 | | Comments Off

The photo above is a computer rendition of what the upcoming Kia Stinger sedan could look like wearing New Zealand police livery. Why the dress rehearsal? Because the South Korean carmaker has confirmed the rear-drive Stinger is being evaluated by police in Australia as a future highway patrol car and general duties vehicle. A decision...


New VW Polo rivals earlier Golf models for size and interior space

June 19, 2017 | | Comments Off

Kiwis who worship at the altar of Volkswagen will find that its sixth-generation Polo hatchback is one of the biggest small cars available, bigger in every dimension but length than earlier Golf models. The Polo will land in New Zealand around April-May next year. No indication yet of model line-up and prices, although the premium...


Sold out! Honda Civic Type R buyers snap up first shipment

June 16, 2017 | | Comments Off

A pre-production example of the new go-fast Honda Civic Type R hatchback is on show at the carmaker’s main outlet in Auckland, there to lure potential buyers of the second shipment – because all 26 cars in the first shipment have been sold sight unseen. Honda’s dealers have snapped them up, three months before they [&hellip...


‘Shocking’ diesel pollution – BMW home town Munich talks of ban

June 15, 2017 | | Comments Off

BMW’s home town Munich is looking at banning diesel vehicles from its streets because of levels of nitrogen oxide emissions described by the mayor as “shocking.” “As much as I would welcome avoiding such bans, I think it is just as unlikely that we can continue to do without bans in the future,” Mayor Dieter [&hellip...

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At the wheel: an open and shut case in top-down Merc

May 29, 2017 | | Comments Off

Hard-charging Kiwi motorcycle great Graeme Crosby tells the story of racing in the Isle of Man TT for the first time in 1979. He sort of ‘smelled’ his way round the 48km circuit. “It’s such a long way that it’s hard sometimes to remember exactly when your are,” he once told me. “There is one [&hellip...

Holden New Zealand - Astra RSV 2017, 15 February 2017

Holden Astra – European flavour blended with a ‘taste of Kiwi’

March 3, 2017 | | Comments Off

Holden has tasked its award-winning advertising agency, Special Group, to change how Holden is perceived in New Zealand. It wants the agency to help transform the brand, give it a taste of Kiwi, point it more towards premium space. It’s not that Holden has gone away; just that, over time, the brand has lost its [&hellip...


Kia, Suzuki big improvers in January sales sleight-of-hand

February 5, 2017 | | Comments Off

Record January registrations in New Zealand point to the usual end-of-year sleight of hand, where many vehicles sold in the last month of the year aren’t registered until the first month of the next year. That way an unregistered 2016-year vehicle bought in December, for example, appears on the NZ Transport Agency books as first...


Hayden Paddon on crash death: ‘Please don’t speculate’

January 21, 2017 | | Comments Off

New Zealand rally star Hayden Paddon wrote this after he crashed during the first stage of the Monte Carlo rally. A spectator near the crash site died. This is Paddon’s unedited statement.  Hi everyone, Upon reflection, I wanted to issue a statement about yesterday’s events. Firstly, our thoughts are with the family and friends...


All-electric Nikola One truck has claimed range of up to 1900km

December 6, 2016 | | Comments Off

America’s Nikola Motor Company (NMC) has revealed its Nikola One hydrogen-fuelled truck and says it has accepted nearly US$3 billion in “future orders.” It took the covers off the big semi at its Salt Lake City headquarters, saying the truck’s all-electric drivetrain was good for a zero-emissions range of 1280 to 1930km. The big...


Germany proposes ban on petrol, diesel cars by 2030

October 12, 2016 | | Comments Off

The country that gave the world the internal combustion engine is moving to outlaw it. Germany’s federal politicians have passed a resolution calling for the European Union to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The proposal gained cross-party support in the Bundesrat, or Federal Council, effectively the upper house of the German...


Ford Mondeo wagon an allrounder with good road manners

April 1, 2016 | | Comments Off

The fourth-generation Ford Mondeo seemed to sneak into New Zealand under the radar last year. One minute it was still on its way, the next it was here and had been for a few months. There was no fanfare, no Ford town crier hailing its arrival. Ford NZ said it couldn’t get every Mondeo model [&hellip...


At the wheel: Lexus gives mid-sized IS sedan a powertrain to shout about

December 1, 2015 | | Comments Off

Buy a Lexus and ‘thank you’ gifts start arriving in the mail. There might be a special edition book, a collection of music CDs, perhaps a gift from cutting edge NZ furniture and lighting design company, Resident. Customers at Lexus Auckland get VIP parking at the domestic and international terminals. There is always a gift. [&hellip...

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September 26, 2015 | | Comments Off

Drive safe – ‘Turn on the bubble machine’ when you start car

There is a statistic from the road toll that the Government needs to take into account as it considers raising the maximum speed limit on some roads...

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June 26, 2017 | | Comments Off

Pontiac Firebird, Smokey and the Bandit, 40 years on …

Actor Burt Reynolds reckons 12 Pontiac Firebirds were destroyed during the making of Smokey and the Bandit, the car-chase/truck-chase movie of 40...

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