Blog Archives

New Tiguan Allspace

New Zealand’s first ever 7-seater SUV, the Tiguan Allspace, will arrive in New Zealand in February this year.

The Allspace offers more space, and therefore, more comfort, making it an ideal choice for Kiwi families who are after an all-rounder.  

The Tiguan Allspace has a total length increase of 215mm compared to the current Tiguan.

Due to the generous interior spacing, the new SUV can be used in a variety of ways. Folding of the second and third row of seats increased the storage capacity up to 1,775 litres.

All Tiguan Allspace models come equipped with a towing capacity of 2,500kg, best in class in the 7-seater SUV segment.

Additional features include, lane assist, pedestrian monitoring, rear traffic alert, and other driver assistance systems.

More information on pricing and specifications will be released soon.

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Fuel efficient SUVs on the horizon

‘Crack that code’: Ford CEO Jim Hackett, CEO promises fuel-efficient SUVs.

Jim Hackett, Ford Chief Executive, said on Thursday, that Ford wants to change its product strategy due to consumers now wanting SUVs that had better fuel efficiencies.  

The automaker is currently reviewing its vehicle portfolio and believes that there is a preference now for a sport utility vehicle that has fuel efficiencies similar to that of a sedan.

 At a recent Ford event in Detroit, Hackett said that in the past SUVs were not fuel efficient, but “we’re starting to crack that code”.

The automaker is conducting an annual review of its product portfolio against that backdrop, he said, but did not address specifics.

Ford also said on Thursday it would relocate its autonomous and electric vehicle units to Detroit from Dearborn, Michigan.

“The relocation brings together Ford teams that are creating new business models in a resurgent, diverse neighbourhood with industrial roots”, Ford said.

The team in Corktown will be led by Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification.

The company will begin testing its latest self-driving vehicle technology next year.


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2018 Discovery tows seven-trailer truck

The Land Rover Discovery has taken on a 110-tonne road train in the Australian Outback and won.

The sight of a seven-trailer truck being pulled by an SUV sounds far-fetched – but that’s exactly what happened when Land Rover put the Discovery to the ultimate towing test.

Land Rover completed the display of towing capability by pulling a 100 metre road train in the remote Northern Territory to announce the arrival of the 2018 Discovery.

The Discovery Td6 has a maximum certified towing capacity of 3,500kg on public roads but towed the road train 16km along a closed section of the Lasseter Highway, thanks to its 258PS 3.0-litre diesel engine and four-wheel-drive traction.

Road trains of up to four trailers are only permitted in Australia’s Outback regions. Regulations limit their length to 53.5m so Land Rover obtained permission to pull seven trailers and the 12-tonne tractor unit – retained to operate the hydraulic brakes fitted to the trailers.

“When Land Rover first got in touch, I didn’t think the vehicle would be able to do it, so I was amazed by how easily the standard Discovery pulled a 110-tonne road train,” says John Bilato, managing director of Haulage Specialist G&S Transport, Took.

“Towing capability has always been an important part of Discovery DNA and the raw weight of the road train tells only half the story here. Pulling a rig and seven trailers, with the rolling resistance of so many axles to overcome, is a huge achievement. We expected the vehicle to do well but it passed this test with flying colours, hitting 44km/h along its 16km route,” says Quentin Spottiswoode, Land Rover product engineer.

The Discovery used a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive system and was hooked up to the road train using a factory-fitted tow bar attachment. With 600Nm of torque, the Td6 is well suited to pulling heavy loads. The 258PS 3.0- litre single-turbo engine features low-pressure exhaust recirculation and a two-stage oil pump for improved responses, refinement and efficiency. As a result, the diesel model delivers CO2 emissions of 189g/km and fuel economy of 39.2mpg (7.2l/100km).

Discovery is now available with Jaguar Land Rover’s efficient 300PS four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine.  The new engine produces 400Nm of torque and CO2 emissions from 219g/km.


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Hyundai reveals next-gen fuel-cell SUV

Hyundai Motor has offered an early glimpse of its next-generation fuel-cell vehicle, well ahead of the hydrogen-powered SUV’s official launch early next year. At a special preview event held in Seoul, the yet-to-be-named SUV previews Hyundai’s second commercially produced hydrogen model and uses the company’s fourth generation of hydrogen fuel cell technology developed on four key pillars that focus on fuel cell system efficiency, performance, durability, and tank storage density.
“With exceptional efficiency, serene styling, and uncompromised performance, our next generation fuel cell SUV is the true epitome of an eco-friendly vehicle of the future,” Lee Ki-sang, Senior Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group’s Eco Technology Centre, says. “Hyundai Motor will take lead in developing and producing green energy vehicles that would ultimately complement a near-zero emission society.”
By enhancing fuel cell performance, reducing hydrogen consumption, and optimizing key components, the vehicle’s efficiency is greatly improved compared to the its predecessor, the ix35 Fuel Cell. The new SUV boasts an efficiency level of 60 per cent, or a 9 per cent increase from the ix35’s 55.3 per cent. With enhanced system efficiency, the new model targets a driving range of more than 580km on a single charge. 
The new model’s maximum output is enhanced by 20 per cent compared to its predecessor, boasting an impressive 163PS (119kW) of power. The fuel cell SUV also improves the car’s cold start capability, overcoming the challenges of starting fuel cell vehicles in temperatures below freezing point. 
By employing highly durable catalyst technology, the new hydrogen-powered SUV ensures even greater longevity than its predecessor.
The next generation hydrogen vehicle makes significant improvements in tank storage density. The tank package now features three equally-sized tanks, as opposed to two of different sizes. World-class tank gravimetric capacity (hydrogen storage mass per tank weight) was achieved through innovations to the plastic liner configuration and efficient layering pattern, which resulted in a reduction of thickness.
The mass-produced new vehicle will also feature advanced driver assistance technologies.
Hyundai says it will take a multi-pronged approach to its eco-vehicle program. The company is committed to a future vehicle line-up comprising a variety of powertrain options – electric, hybrid and fuel cell – to suit customers’ varied lifestyles.
Spurred on by greater global demand for fuel-efficient, eco-friendly vehicles, the brand’s goal is to lead the global popularisation of hybrid vehicles, expanding its lineup to SUVs and large vehicles. Another part of the plan is the development of 4WD and FR (Front Engine Rear Wheel Drive) variants, building on its proprietary Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) system, which was developed in 2011.
While Hyundai continues to develop its leadership of the electric vehicle market with its current IONIQ model, the company also aims to establish a lineup ranging from small EVs to large Genesis-brand models. Hyundai’s electric vehicle development will take place in multiple phases: 
• Launch of EV version of the Kona compact SUV, with range of 390km in first half of 2018
• Launch of Genesis EV model in 2021
• Launch of long-range EV, with 500km range after 2021
Hyundai will reveal the SUV early next year in Korea, followed by the North American and European markets. 
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Mazda unveils new CX-8 SUV

Mazda has taken the covers off the next-generation CX-8 crossover SUV, which will debut in Japan later this year.

A 2.2-litre clean diesel engine will power the CX-8, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The new crossover will feature seven seats across three rows, and Mazda promises even adults comfortably can sit in the back.

The CX-8 is the flagship model in the Japanese line-up, the car maker says, with careful consideration taken with colours and materials.

The vehicle is slightly smaller than the CX-9, which is produced for the international market, with a 2.93m wheelbase. Overall the CX-8 stands at 4.9m long, 1.84m wide and 1.73m tall.

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Jaguar’s new SUV packed full of tech

The new E-PACE SUV has been unveiled by Jaguar, with a New Zealand launch date of April.

The E-PACE debut follows the F-PACE performance SUV and the I-PACE electric concept, and Jaguar promises it will be one of the most connected vehicles in its class, featuring a next-generation touchscreen infotainment system with app functionality, four 12-volt charging points, five USB connections and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot.

Five different powertrains feature across the range with both petrol and diesel options. The four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel line-up comes with the choice of 110kW and 380Nm, 132kW and 430Nm and 180kW and 500Nm engines, while the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine comes either with 183kW and 365Nm or 220kW and 400Nm, which is electronically limited to speed of 243km/h.

All engines come with the latest-generation nine-speed automatic transmission as standard, and the 110kW and 132kW diesel options are also available with a six-speed manual transmission.

Various driving assistance system utilise a stereo camera, including the Emergency Braking system, with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive speed limited, driver condition monitor features and front and rear parting aids.

The camera also assists the E-PACE’s blind-spot assist function for multi-lane roads, and a new forward-traffic detection system will warn drivers of approaching vehicles in times of restricted visibility.

Four driving modes which alter vehicle specifications according to conditions and preference are available – Normal, Dynamic, ECO, and Rain Ice and Snow.

The E-PACE is also the first vehicle from Jaguar to be built outside its home market. The compact SUV will be manufactured in Austria and China, with the three British Jaguar Land Rover plants either at or near manufacturing capacity.

New Zealanders can expect an arrival in April, with prices to be confirmed.

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Trackhawk to arrive in NZ this December

The Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk is due to hit the New Zealand market in December, ahead of initial release estimates.

 “It is fantastic to be able to say that the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be on sale in New Zealand in December,” said David Smitherman, CEO of Fiat Chrysler New Zealand.

A 6.2-litre V8 engine powers the Trackhawk, which generates 527kW and 874Nm of torque, making it the most powerful SUV ever mass-produced. Matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Trackhawk clears 0-100km/hr in 3.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 290km/hr.

A range of drive modes, including auto, sport, track, snow and tow, allows drivers to alter the the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and electric power steering to suit driving conditions. A custom mode is also available.

A host of safety technologies feature on the Trackhawk, including a trailer hitch camera, so drivers can view their towed load through a rear-mounted camera while driving at speed, adaptive cruise control with stop; advanced brake assist; blind-spot monitoring with rear cross path detection; full-speed forward collision warning with crash mitigation; front- and- rear park assist; lane departure warning; and ready alert braking.

Prices and full specifications for the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be announced when it arrives on New Zealand shores in December.

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Maserati Levante S to launch in NZ

Maserati will add the Levante S to its New Zealand line-up in the second half of 2017, boosting existing sales of its first-ever SUV.

Powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine built in Maranello by Ferrari, the Levante S generates 316kW of power and 580Nm of torque. The engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic gearbox giving the SUV a top speed of 264 km/h.

“With 114 more kW, the new Levante S will be faster than the Turbo Diesel, but the Levante S is much more than just speed,” says Glen Sealey, the chief operating officer of Maserati Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

An advanced chassis and active suspension comes with five ride heights as standard to provide off-road and on-road driving. The aluminum brakes have been upgraded, and the Levante S features larger wheels with wider, low-profile rear tyres.

Drivers can select ‘sport mode’ while driving, which will alter the handling parameters and open the exhaust valves for maximum speed.

Pricing and full specifications for the Maserati Levante S will be announced when sales commence in the second half of 2017.

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Fiat 500X launched

Fiat’s small urban SUV has arrived in New Zealand.

The 500X combines iconic Italian style with functionality and performance. The Pop features a 1.4 MultiAir2® Turbo I-4, 1,368cc, four-cylinder 103kW, 230Nm, front-wheel drive, six-speed manual transmission, rear back-up camera and key-less entry.

The Pop Star has similar features but comes with a six-speed dual dry clutch transmission.

The car was named Top Safety Pick by the United State’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and can come loaded with up to 70 advanced safety and security features, including seven standard air bags, forward collision warning plus, and lanesense departure warning-plus.

As the new crossover in the Fiat family, it is expected to expand the band in New Zealand by offering a unique combination of attainable Italian style and technology.

Olivier Francois, head of FIAT Brand, FCA – global says, the Fiat 500X continues to gain traction in the marketplace.

The SUV will retail from $29,990, plus dealer on-road costs.

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‘Edgier’ NX SUV destined for NZ

Lexus has unveiled an edgier looking NX compact SUV at Auto Shanghai that will arrive in New Zealand before the end of the year.
Paul Carroll, the senior general manager of Lexus New Zealand, says “the styling of the latest model has been taken to the next level”.

Carroll expects the 2018 NX to continue the strong surge of sales by SUVs. Three quarters of Lexus’ sales last year were SUVs, with the NX and RX taking the lion’s share, with nearly three quarters of them being hybrid models.

Lexus has sold 183 new passenger vehicles in New Zealand during the year to March 2017 and has 0.7 per cent of the new passenger vehicle market share here.

Lexus’ Safety System + will now be available on all new models. It combines the pre-collision system, radar cruise control, lane departure alert, automatic high beam and intelligence clearance sonar. The suspension has also been revised to improve turn in steering response.

The NX will continue to be available in standard, Limited and F Sport models with a choice of two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive across the seven-model range.
Details on engine specification and pricing will be announced closer to the New Zealand launch date.
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Two cars set for Audi’s Q-series

Audi has announced two new Q-series models to its high-end range, with production slated to begin next year. The Audi Q8 be produced in Bratislava, Slovakia, from 2018 and the Q4 from Győr, Hungary, in 2019.

More details, including powertain options, design specifications, and pricing, will be revealed closer to the launch.

“We will integrate two completely new Q‑models into the existing production network and will thus increase our competitiveness in an extremely important segment,” Audi’s board of management member for production and logistics, Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, says in a statement.

The Q8 will extend Audi’s range of top-end luxury vehicles and a premium SUV in a coupe style. It will sit alongside the Q7, which was first manufactured in 2005.

The second-generation Q7 is currently in production in Bratislava, with and S-version and an e-tron plug-in hybrid variants.

Audi’s second new offering, the Q4, will be the first compact utility vehicle produced, sitting between the Q3 and the Q5 in the line-up.

The Hungary plant will also assume production of the Q3 compact SUV from 2018, which is currently being manufactured in Spain.

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