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Volvo sedan, wagon ruled safest cars ever

January 30, 2017 | | Comments Off

Both the S90 sedan and V90 wagon scored the maximum five stars – 95 per cent for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 76 per cent for pedestrian protection and 93 per cent against the safety assist checklist. Highlight of the result was a maximum six points in the autonomous emergency [&hellip...

Ford did not expect EuroNCAP to test Mustang: safety chief

January 26, 2017 | | Comments Off

The 2015 Ford Mustang has received a ‘shocking’ two-star crash rating from EuroNCAP. It says Mustang was designed to score well in US tests, where it is equipped with more safety features. For example, a collision warning system standard on the US car was removed for the European market, which includes right-hand-drive...

Tesla’s Musk tells activist Decaprio: ‘Time for carbon tax’

January 16, 2017 | | Comments Off

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1  is near Reno, Nevada, and occupies 1215 hectares (3000 acres). Gigafactory 1 itself takes up 510,000 square metres, roughly the same area 70-odd rugby fields would cover. The factory is less than 30 per cent complete and, once finished, says Tesla CEO Elon Musk, will cover between 1.3 and 1.5 million square...

Crime bureau identifies transmitters car thieves use

December 13, 2016 | | Comments Off

America’s National Insurance Crime Bureau has identified a transmitter that car thieves use to tune into modern cars with keyless fobs and push-button start. It’s called a Relay Attack unit – and the car industry itself uses it to test the network security of its vehicle...

All-electric Nikola One truck delivers 746kW/2700Nm

December 6, 2016 | | Comments Off

Nikola Motor Company has partnered with US fleet management company Ryder to provide nationwide sales, service and warranty for its all-electric Nikola One. Buyers can reserve their truck for a “fully refundable” US$1500 deposit, with lease rates likely to be between US$5000 and US$7000 a month...

Million miles and a smile for Porsche 356

November 11, 2016 | | Comments Off

American Guy Newmark and his 1964 Porsche 356 last captured automotive attention when he clocked up 1,500,000km. Now he’s passed 1,620,000km – the magic million mile mark – and Porsche was there to record it. Newmark has had the engine rebuilt three times and has never missed a 5000km service. In this video, he tells [&hellip...

Chev Camaro ZL1 lights up the Nurburgring

October 25, 2016 | | Comments Off

They used to say that American cars could only go fast in a straight line. That’s old hat now, made even older by performances such as that recorded by the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. It blitzed a lap of Germany’s Nurburgring the other day in 7:29.60 – or only two seconds outside the 7:27.88 the [&hellip...

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 ...

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Updated Isuzu D-Max gets new engine with wider torque band

February 24, 2017 | | Comments Off

The updated Isuzu D-Max ute at first glance mightn’t look much different from the existing model, but there are significant changes, not least to the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. Firstly, the old Euro4-compliant unit has been reworked to meet Euro5. Secondly, it retains the same 130kW of power but now delivers 50Nm more torque –...


Range Rover design chief hints at new model: premium saloon

February 22, 2017 | | Comments Off

Will Range Rover move into building a premium saloon, one to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, and Lexus LS? Don’t bet against it, if what Gerry McGovern says is any indication. The head of design for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was asked at the launch of the fifth-generation Land [&hellip...

Subaru Black Edition WRX

Driver’s seat in special Subaru WRX would have suited Possum

February 22, 2017 | | Comments Off

The late Possum Bourne placed a lot of emphasis on being comfortable at the wheel. He had what he called a “dickey back” and he wanted the best driver’s seat he could get. “It might be the way I’m built, but in some seats you tend to slide forward and have to keep shifting to [&hellip...


Suzuki Ignis – higher-riding hatchback with an SUV attitude

February 20, 2017 | | Comments Off

Once, a ‘sports utility vehicle’ (SUV) was defined as a station wagon-type based on a light truck, usually with four-wheel drive, and used as a family vehicle. Over time technology helped it shed its truck-like beginnings. Later it was joined by a ‘crossover utility vehicle’ (CUV), built on a passenger car platform instead of a...

Dan Amman,Mary Barra

Kiwi bigwig at centre of GM plan to sell Opel/Vauxhall to PSA

February 16, 2017 | | Comments Off

Former Waikato University graduate Dan Ammann is at the centre of the possible sale of General Motors’ European badges Opel and Vauxhall to France’s PSA Group, the company behind the Peugeot, Citroen, and DS brands. New Zealander Ammann is responsible for managing GM’s global business operations and is preparing with company chief...


GT-R Nismo at $308,000 – and more go-fast Nissans on way

February 13, 2017 | | Comments Off

The arrival in New Zealand of Nissan’s top-shelf GT-R Nismo won’t be the last of the racetrack-prepared models wearing the company’s motorsport badge, not if Nissan NZ managing director John Manley gets his way. “We are hoping to have other Nismo models available, not just the GT-R,” he said. “Like the GT-R they are not...


CRC Speedshow seeks crowdfunding cash to grow bigger, better

February 9, 2017 | | Comments Off

New Zealand’s annual CRC Speedshow motoring event wants to become Downunder’s equivalent of the spectacular SEMA show in the United States – and organisers are asking Kiwi motoring fans to pony up with the cash to do so. CRC Speedshow has teamed with crowdfunding platform PledgeMe to raise around $350,000 to get bigger and better...


‘Politically Incorrect Car’ award for 2016 … it’s V8 Ford Mustang

February 8, 2017 | | Comments Off

About 40 years ago I was knocking around California and somehow became a member of the American Society of Procrastinators (ASP). It took some time. ASP used to send a newsletter to members. Everything about it was very much yesterday’s news, sometimes months, years, old. A brief letter might arrive in its place. ‘The September...

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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...


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...

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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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February 24, 2017 | | Comments Off

Updated Isuzu D-Max gets new engine with wider torque band

The updated Isuzu D-Max ute at first glance mightn’t look much different from the existing model, but there are significant changes, not least to...

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