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Is Mercedes-AMG aiming this C63 at the BMW M4 GTS?

October 11, 2016 | | Comments Off

Could the Mercedes-AMG C63 prototype in the video here be the performance arm’s answer to the BMW M4 GTS? Perhaps an ‘R’ version of the already hot C63 S Coupe? Or a return to the ‘Black Series’ name of the previous ...

How Nissan’s groundbreaking variable-compression engine works …

October 7, 2016 | | Comments Off

Nissan’s premium arm Infiniti has unveiled its 2.0-litre variable-compression petrol engine and tests have shown it is just as efficient as a similar capacity diesel unit, says the company. It is already being hailed in Europe as the ‘most advanced internal combustion engine ever created.’ The turbocharged 2.0-litre VC-T is said to...

Toyota Supra – first video of test at Nurburgring

September 25, 2016 | | Comments Off

Here is the first video footage of Toyota’s new Supra sports car, a joint development with BMW and its new Z5. Latest reports say the Supra will get a twin-turbo V6 Lexus engine driving the rear wheels and electric motors on the front and rear axle. Electric power will come from regenerative braking and will [&hellip...

Nissan Navara for rescue missions

September 22, 2016 | | Comments Off

The Nissan Navara EnGuard concept is designed to showcase both the ute’s all-terrain ability and a new life-saving vehicle platform. It comes kitted out with search and rescue equipment, including medical supplies. Batteries from the Nissan Leaf electric vehicles power tools, cutting equipment and aid powerful lights. The EnGuard is on...

Gymkhana 9 – Block back in action in Rallycross Ford Focus

September 14, 2016 | | Comments Off

Rallycross star Ken Block is back in his Ford Focus RS RX, this time in Gymkhana 9, where he raises hell around an abandoned industrial park in Buffalo, New York. US reports say Gymkhana 9 was supposed to be filmed in Sydney, with Block’s Hoonigan operation partnering with Forza Horizon 3 video. But Australian police [&hellip...

Tourist day at the Nurburgring circuit – mayhem after an oil leak

September 13, 2016 | | Comments Off

A British driver of a BMW 3-Series in this video was quickly reminded of one of the rules for tourist drivers on the Nurburgring: if you have an accident you quickly get off the track and behind the barrier. It was filmed at the Brunnchen corner, where a blue Ford Focus had either leaked coolant [&hellip...

Mercedes-AMG GT R takes to the Nurburgring

August 31, 2016 | | Comments Off

In the lead-up to the unveiling of the Mercedes-AMG GT R, the company emphasised the car’s connection with the Nurburgring, or ‘Green Hell,’ circuit. This video gives us the first clear look at the car lapping the infamous racetrack. It’s a black-on-black GT R, unlike the ‘Green Hell Mango’ colour of the debut car. But...

Shelby’s personal Cobra in original condition …

August 22, 2016 | | Comments Off

The first Shelby Cobra fetched US$13.75 million (NZ$18.8m) at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance auction. The car, known as CSX 2000, is the original prototype, built in 1962 when Carroll Shelby shoehorned a 4.3-litre (260 cubic-inch) Ford V8 into the engine bay of a British-made AC Ace. It never left Shelby’s hands –...

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Ford drops Kuga SUV name in favour of old favourite Escape

October 18, 2016 | | Comments Off

Ford New Zealand has dropped the Kuga nameplate and replaced it with Escape, a change that means the moniker of every Blue Oval SUV in this part of the world will eventually begin with an ‘E’. The Escape lands here in December to join the smaller Ecosport and larger Everest. The Edge arrives early in [&hellip...


Maserati adds new tech and extra oomph to Quattroporte sedan

October 17, 2016 | | Comments Off

The new-look Maserati Quattroporte range is now on sale in New Zealand and brings with it styling changes inside and out, more oomph from the engines, added equipment, and the updated driver assistance systems the current model lacks. The first of the cars will land towards the end of the year, a nine-model range priced [&hellip...


Abarth 124 Spider – price sits above Mazda MX-5 donor car

October 14, 2016 | | Comments Off

The Abarth 124 Spider sports roadster is not only more powerful than its donor car, the Mazda MX-5, it’s more expensive too. FiatChrysler NZ (FCNZ) has priced the 124 Spider at $52,990 for the six-speed manual and $54,990 for the six-speed auto. The MX-5 sits between $40,995 and $48,995, depending on power output and choice [&hellip...


Hardcore AMG C63 prototype surfaces at Nurburgring – see video below

October 11, 2016 | | Comments Off

Mercedes-AMG appears to be developing a more hardcore version of the C63 coupe, judging by the appearance at the Nurburgring circuit of a prototype with a huge rear wing – and without the usual camouflage. Could it be AMG’s answer to the BMW M4 GTS? Perhaps an ‘R’ version of the already hot C63 S [&hellip...


Tesla’s NZ plans sparks story of pioneering Kiwi engineer

October 7, 2016 | | Comments Off

News that Tesla will set up an outlet in New Zealand next year means, in a roundabout way, that the company is ‘coming home’. Why? Because if it wasn’t for a born-and-bred Kiwi the US electric carmaker might never have got off the ground. Dargaville electronics engineer Ian Wright was working for a US telecommunications [&hellip...


Car sales strongest since year of Muldoon, Lange, and Queen St riot

October 6, 2016 | | Comments Off

New vehicle registrations last month totaled 13,884 units, the best September on record and the second-best month since the 13,983 in July 1984. That was when New Zealanders spent up large before the incoming Labour Government’s finance minister Roger Douglas devalued a considerably overvalued NZ dollar. History buffs will remember it...


Honda Civic R – what you see is what you’ll get in NZ

September 30, 2016 | | Comments Off

The next-generation Honda Civic Type R will be largely the same as the prototype pictured here when it lands in New Zealand later next year. The car has been unveiled at the Paris motor show, where Honda’s design chief Daisuke Tsutamori said: “You can expect that the car you see on the stand will be [&hellip...


New Land Rover Discovery: NZ query over engine choices

September 29, 2016 | | Comments Off

The all-new Land Rover Discovery will go on sale in New Zealand around the middle of next year – but the distributors here are still undecided about engine options. What is clear is that the introductory model will come with a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6. What isn’t is whether the new line-up of 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesels [&hellip...

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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...


Mitsubishi Triton: Fifth-generation offers a new route for the ute

November 2, 2015 | | Comments Off

I went to Japan in late 2005 to drive the fourth-generation Triton. I expected the usual route for a ute: a beat over mix of good and bad roads and some 4WD work. Instead, Mitsubishi confined the drive to its high-speed banked test circuit. Why? Because it said it wanted to show the double-cab test [&hellip...


Mercedes-AMG wagon is race car and sneaky sleeper all in one

October 20, 2015 | | Comments Off

I was having a beer with a couple of Mercedes-Benz engineers in Berlin in the early 1990s. The digital revolution was gaining momentum and talk turned to safety advances. Benz had not long equipped its premium S-Class with anti-lock braking and, like its competitors, was working on further safety devices. One of the engineers painted...

Lexus RC F

Lexus RC F: optional is the ‘Michael Schumacher mode’

June 18, 2015 | | Comments Off

Lexus’ first attempt at a sports model to get up the noses of go-fast German rivals was the IS F Sport, a small sedan that arrived in NZ in October 2008 priced at $137,000 and running a revvy 5.0-litre V8 engine driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed gearbox. Ride/handling was poised and accurate on [&hellip...


Subaru WRX – ‘best bang for buck’ is too crude for latest model

June 6, 2014 | | Comments Off

            The fourth-generation WRX is the best yet. Subaru said it would be, after ditching the Impreza badge from the third-generation model. The new sedan contains all of the ‘bang for your buck’ elements of the previous three models but adds a level of refinement and sophistication that rivals the...

Fiat 500C Arbarth

Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse

April 16, 2014 | | Comments Off

The hot hatchback’s main purpose is to put a smile on the face of its driver. Owners will forgive and forget the flaws, the compromises the carmaker had to make to deliver a go-faster small car. Here the heart will always rule the head. The three-door Fiat 500 Abarth is the perfect example of such [&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...

Industry news View All


October 21, 2016 | | Comments Off

Back to bigger engines – emission tests force carmakers to do U-turn

Real-world exhaust emissions tests being introduced in Europe next year are forcing carmakers to abandon smaller displacement engines with...

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