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The last of the coach-built Mercs …

August 21, 2017 | | Comments Off

In the latest Jay Leno Garage episode, US television personality Leno takes us on a tour of his 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE, the last of the coach-built cars...

Ford GT parks up in Jay Leno’s Garage …

July 15, 2017 | | Comments Off

US television host Jay Leno has got himself a Ford GT. It’s one of only 1000 Ford will build, each one costing upwards of US$500,000. One of the reasons Leno likes it is because it retains the Ford badge, unlike Toyota who named its high-end models Lexus, or Honda who came up with Acura. Here, [&hellip...

Jay Leno’s Garage: going ‘Bush’ in a Ford F-150

July 5, 2017 | | Comments Off

The US season premiere of Jay Leno’s Garage celebrates cars built in America, by Americans, using all American parts. In this episode Jay heads to former President George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas to ask about his Ford F-150 pick-up, then he challenges comedian Wanda Sykes to a race … in a minivan. He takes [&hellip...

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...

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Porsche 917 used in Le Mans film sells for NZ$19m

August 23, 2017 | | Comments Off

The car that gave Porsche its first Le Mans win and co-starred alongside Hollywood hero Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans has sold for US$14.08 million (NZ$19.2m). The orange and blue Porsche 917K was auctioned at the annual Pebble Beach shindig in California. It is now the most expensive Porsche on the planet. The car [&hellip...

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Hydrogen fuel-cell breakthrough: Aussie plans exports of energy

August 21, 2017 | | Comments Off

Research in Australia could result in the country supplying sustainable fuel-cell energy for ‘green’ cars throughout the Asia-Pacific. The Canberra-based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a membrane reactor to turn liquid ammonia into pure hydrogen. A CSIRO scientist said the process...

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Diesel pollution: ‘Welcome to Fort NOx’, said the protest signs

August 20, 2017 | | Comments Off

Managing editor Alastair Sloane has been overseas talking to electric vehicle (EV) groups, specifically the Norwegian EV Association, which has spearheaded the growth of EVs in Europe. He was in Berlin, on the sidelines of protests over the effects of diesel pollution, the result of which is further boosting sales of EVs. The sale of...

Bunty in Tesla

Norway driving the world towards electric vehicles

July 21, 2017 | | Comments Off

The picture above of me at the wheel of an electric Tesla Model S 100D sedan was taken the other day between Stockholm and Oslo, cities around 530km apart. I’m in Scandanavia to talk to electric vehicle groups, specifically the secretary-general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association (NEVA). Her name is Christina Bu – and...

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Jay Leno’s Garage: going ‘Bush’ in a Ford F-150 – see video

July 5, 2017 | | Comments Off

The US season premiere of Jay Leno’s Garage celebrates cars built in America, by Americans, using all American parts. In this episode Jay heads to former President George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas to ask about his Ford F-150 pick-up, then he challenges comedian Wanda Sykes to a race … in a minivan. He takes [&hellip...

AlfaRomeo_Stelvio_Goodwood2017_0003

Winger Maserati takes over Alfa Romeo from Andrew Simms

July 5, 2017 | | Comments Off

Word on the street has it that Alfa Romeo distributor Fiat Chrysler New Zealand (FCNZ) has switched its Auckland dealer, from Andrew Simms to Winger Maserati. Officially, no one is talking. Simms himself, whose inner-city Newmarket and suburban Botany dealerships picked up the 2016 Fiat Alfa Romeo dealer of the year award from FCNZ, is...

XV exterior 011

New Subaru XV about to raid the sub-$40k SUV segment

June 30, 2017 | | Comments Off

Subaru reckons it will top 3200 sales in New Zealand in 2017, up from 2660 last year. That’s a 20 per cent hike, six percentage points better than the overall market is doing. “We’d be silly not to predict more sales this year, because the market is growing,” said managing director Wallis Dumper. The Motor [&hellip...

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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...

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Merc2

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

Mondeo1

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...

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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...

Tips and advice View All

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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

Porsche-917-gear-patrol-full-lead-1940x1300

August 23, 2017 | | Comments Off

Porsche 917 used in Le Mans film sells for NZ$19m

The car that gave Porsche its first Le Mans win and co-starred alongside Hollywood hero Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans has sold for US$14.08...

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