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Giving new Land Rover Defender the once-over

September 11, 2019 | | Comments Off

The 2020 Land Rover Defender has been unveiled and British motoring writer Paul Hudson takes us through a first look at the new 4&#...

Why the Chevvy Corvette is such a fast sprinter …

July 25, 2019 | | Comments Off

The eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, the first factory-backed right-hooker and the first mid-engine model, will join Holden’s line-up in Australia and New Zealand. This video deals with how the layout of the 6.2-litre V8 engine helps the C8 Corvette achieve its claimed 0-100km/h time of under 3 seconds...

GM chief talks to Bloomberg about Corvette …

July 20, 2019 | | Comments Off

GM president Mark Reuss talks about the new mid-engine C8 Corvette, driver assistance systems, and workforce relations with Bloomberg’s David Westin on “Bloomberg Markets.&#...

Mazda rotary runs at its most efficient on hydrogen …

July 18, 2019 | | Comments Off

American engineer Jason Fenske, of Engineering Explained, describes exactly what happens inside a Mazda rotary engine running on hydrogen. It turns out the design of the engine is pretty much ideal for burning hydrogen.  ...

How Koenigsegg does its ‘crash’ tests …

May 28, 2019 | | Comments Off

Mainstream carmakers might crash-test hundreds of vehicles in order to meet safety standards. But it’s a different story for Swedish supercar company Koenigsegg, which might only turn out 12 to 15 cars a year. Each one can cost many millions of dollars, so crashing and trashing even one would be absurdly expensive. This video, from...

Renault Megane RS Trophy-R sets lap record

May 23, 2019 | | Comments Off

The Megane RS Trophy-R, driven by Renault Formula One team pilot Nico Hulkenberg, completed an official full lap of the Nurburgring in 7 minutes 40.1 seconds, three seconds quicker than the Honda Civic Type R’s  7 minutes 43.8 seconds...

New Jeep Wrangler on its way to NZ …

March 21, 2019 | | Comments Off

Jeep’s new JL Wrangler is expected to be launched in New Zealand around May/June. This video deals with the Rubicon version, the two- and four-door model engineered specially for hardcore off-road conditions. Rubicon comes standard with heavy duty stuff, including axles, front and rear locking differentials, electronic front stabiliser...

Going bush towing a self-levelling, carry-all trailer

February 7, 2019 | | Comments Off

The Bruder EXP-4 is a more compact version of the Australian company’s recent EXP-6, a 6.7m-long, self-contained trailer described as being ‘built for the Apocalypse.’ It can that can sleep six and is being trialled by military units across the ditch. The smaller EXP-4 sports a high-tensile steel suspension system and 300mm of...

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Cobalt crisis could put brakes on the sale of electric cars

February 25, 2020 | | Comments Off

This is an edited version of a story that appeared in magazine Wired. The rush to electric vehicles (EVs) is creating bottlenecks in the manufacturing of raw materials for the batteries that help power them. Global production EVs is predicted  to top 4 million cars this year, rising to 12 million in 2025. In Europe alone, 540,000...


Brand Holden to close down: this is official GM press release

February 17, 2020 | | Comments Off

UPDATE: General Motors is to stop building right-hand-drive vehicles for the global market, except for selected models like the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck. They will be converted for New Zealand and Australia by Holden Special Vehicles in Melbourne. GM has been slowly pulling out of RHD markets like the UK,...


Ford-owned Troller TX4 is another boys’ toy from Brazil

February 11, 2020 | | Comments Off

The last time Ford imported Brazilian-made models to New Zealand was in 2002, in the form of the F250 and F350 pick-up trucks from the company’s South American right-hand drive assembly line. Ford’s marketing people reckoned they’d be the bee’s knees for New Zealand’s ‘Southern man’, the mythical tough guy around which...

Marc Jaccard

Economist: go beyond blaming fossil fuels for climate change

February 9, 2020 | | Comments Off

Canadian economist Marc Jaccard has been an advisor to his country’s governments on ways to cut carbon emissions – but he doesn’t believe the quest begins and ends with fossil fuels. Jaccard, above, who lectures at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, has written a new book, The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming...

New 2020 Kia Seltos

Kia Seltos leads new SUV sales assault on traditional passenger cars

February 4, 2020 | | Comments Off

The success of the new Kia Seltos in the past three months clearly shows how sales of SUVs in New Zealand are starting to take even bigger chunks out of those of passenger cars. SUVs accounted for 50 per cent of the 13,078 new vehicle registrations in January, the first time that one out of [&hellip...


‘Tyre table’ lends itself to all sorts of uses

February 3, 2020 | | Comments Off

It’s known in the United States as the ‘tailgater tyre table’, and reviewers on many automotive accessories websites reckon it’s a convenience that’s hard to beat. The design is simple: a powder-coated steel mesh set-up  which uses brackets to hold it around the top of a tyre. It has an extended leg to support extra [&hellip...


Watchmaker Zenith releases special model for new Land Rover Defender

January 27, 2020 | | Comments Off

Swiss watchmaker Zenith has released a model saluting the new Land Rover Defender, the fourth watch it has delivered for the British off-road specialist since the two companies began collaborating in 2016. But New Zealanders who have put their name down for the new-look 4×4 will have to move quickly if they want a watch [&hellip...


‘Wonder’ woman drives digital stuff round the Benz

January 25, 2020 | | Comments Off

Starter for 10: who invented Wi-Fi? Was it WorldWideWeb founder Tim Berners-Lee? Microsoft’s Bill Gates? Apple’s Steve Jobs? US space agency NASA? The Russians? No, none of the above. Okay, how about Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler? Born into a wealthy banking family in Vienna, Austria, in 1914. Studied acting. Made a ground-breaking...

Latest car reviews » View All

Corolla ZR1a

Car of the year? Has to be the Toyota ZR Hybrid Corolla

January 2, 2019 | | Comments Off

The new Toyota Corolla didn’t make the cut in mainstream 2018 car of the year awards in New Zealand, mainly because it arrived late in the year and didn’t meet judging deadlines. But I spent enough time behind the wheel of both the 2.0-litre petrol and 1.8-litre petrol-electric Corollas to choose the ZR Hybrid Corolla [&hellip...


Numbers game: the real story behind record 2017 sales year

January 18, 2018 | | Comments Off

If you believe the public relations guff, every distributor in New Zealand last year sold record numbers of new vehicles. But that wasn’t the case. Okay, it was an overall record year, with 159,871 new vehicle registrations. But quite a few brands didn’t do as well as the PR people claim. Press releases saying this [&hellip...


HSV lines up flash Colorado ute, Chev Camaro, Silverado truck

December 8, 2017 | | Comments Off

The Chevrolet badge returns to New Zealand next year on the bonnet of the all-American Camaro sports car and Silverado pick-up truck. Both vehicles will be converted to right-hand drive by Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) at its new 28,000 square-metre plant in Melbourne. It’s where HSV will also prepare two versions of the Holden...


Land Rover responds to clean air critic that ‘diesel is the devil’

September 13, 2017 | | Comments Off

Jaguar Land Rover has defended its diesel engine technology after criticism of the fuel from the founder and director of Clean Air London, Simon Birkett. “Diesel is the devil, and we do need to ban it,” Birkett told a panel of automotive experts at the inaugural Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, a three-day event in [&hellip...

2016 Kia Sportage

Kia and Isuzu the go-getters in 2013-2017 sales figures

September 6, 2017 | | Comments Off

Registrations of traditional passenger sedans and hatchbacks have tumbled over the past five years, as New Zealanders move towards SUVs and utes. In August 2013, for instance, the Holden Commodore sat at No. 5 on the top 15 list. Last month it was No. 10. A month earlier it was No. 11. Five years ago [&hellip...


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 where 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...

Tips and advice View All


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


February 25, 2020 | | Comments Off

Cobalt crisis could put brakes on the sale of electric cars

This is an edited version of a story that appeared in magazine Wired. The rush to electric vehicles (EVs) is creating bottlenecks in the...

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