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BMW Touring to hit NZ

BMW’s new xDrive all-wheel drive system, first seen on the M5, will come as standard across the 5 Series Touring range. The refreshed wagon line-up will return to New Zealand dealers next month with petrol and diesel powertrain options.

The BMW 530d Touring comes with a redesigned six-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which generates 195kW of power and 620Nm of torque. Fuel consumption for the diesel is rated at 5.5l/100km and CO2 emissions 144g/km.

The 540i model contains a six-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 250kW of power and 450Nm, with a fuel consumption rating of 7.5l/100km and an emissions rating of 172g/km.

The 5 Series Touring range will also include a range of driver assistance technologies, including active cruise control, steering and lane-keep assist, allowing semi-autonomous driving with steering correction, lane departure and lane-change warning systems, speed limit traffic sign recognition and speed limit assist, cross-traffic warning and crossroad warning, and evasion aid and side-collision warning.

The 5 Series also contains the new xDrive all-wheel drive system, which adjusts the power distribution between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions to optimise traction and stability.

Suspension has also been improved, and the total weight reduced across the range, and rear-air suspension with an automatic self-levelling function comes as standard.

The BMW 530d xDrive Touring is priced from $139,900, plus on-road costs, and the 540i xDrive Touring from $148,900. Both models are available to order from registered dealers, and is on sale from next month.

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New V12 BMW to hit NZ market

The first model in the new M Performance 7 Series line-up will arrive in New Zealand, BMW have said. The M760Li xDrive is the highest-powered BMW production vehicle and is due to hit domestic dealers in June.

“With its incredible performance figures, this also positions it as the most powerful and currently fastest accelerating BMW production car of all time,” said BMW Group New Zealand managing director, Florian Renndorfer.

A 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 engine powers the M760Li, which delivers 448kW of power and 800Nm of torque. 0-100km/h takes just 3.7 seconds. BMW have improved fuel efficiency with Double-VANOS variable camshaft control system and high-precision fuel injection with start-stop technology, and consumption is rated at 12.8l/100km.

The new M Performance model also contains BMW’s rear-based xDrive all-wheel drive system, which assists the V12’s handling by limiting oversteer and understeer.

The M760Li also comes standard with driving experience control, which can activate an adaptive mode that anticipates required driving style to suit conditions and adapts the vehicle control systems to match.

The new system also uses driving style analysis and a camera to adjust suspension, drive, steering, gearbox and throttle settings to suit conditions. An executive drive pro function, which uses air suspension, dynamic damper control and active steering systems, helps negotiate corners at speed.

A ‘Model V12 Excellence’ package, which contains a range of exterior paint finishes and wooden features in the cabin, is also available at no extra cost.

The BMW M760Li xDrive variant is priced from $347,000 plus on-road costs.

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NZ date set for Lexus LC 500 launch

Lexus has announced its New Zealand launch of the LC 500 coupe, with the vehicle to hit domestic dealerships from mid-July.

The new LC 500 contains a 5.0-litre V8 engine, which generates 351kW of power and 540Nm of torque, and is matched to Lexus’ first direct shift 10-speed close ratio automatic transmission. 0-100km/hr takes 4.7 seconds.

The 500h is powered by a 264kW 3.5-litre V6 hybrid engine containing a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors paired with a new multi-stage hybrid transmission. Engineers have combined a CVT gearbox with a conventional four-speed automatic to emulate a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Reaching 0-100km/hr is a fraction slower than the V8 500, at ‘under five seconds’, according to Lexus. An ‘EV-only mode’ has been included, where the driver can switch off the petrol engine at speeds up to 140km/h, although there’s been no confirmation of driving range.

Pricing will begin at $215,000 for the glass-roof model in both the V8 and hybrid powertrain, and $220,000 for the carbon-fibre roof option, which contains four-wheel steering and variable gear-ratio steering.

Ten vehicles have already been pre-ordered in New Zealand. In Japan, buyers face a three-year waiting list due to high demand.

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BMW tease new M5 ahead of release

BMW have released more details for the six-generation M5 sedan, which includes an all-new M xDrive system and updated engine.

Engineers claim the turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine matched to an eight-speed M Streptronic transmission outperforms previous models. Higher injection pressure, new turbochargers, more powerful lubrication and cooling systems have boosted engine capacity, although power specifications have yet to be released.

Fuel consumption has been rated at 10.5 l/100km. BMW says the transmission keeps fuel consumption low by offering a wide spread of gear ratios. Drivers have the selection of three shift programmes as well as manual gear paddles on the steering wheel.

The M xDrive system has completely overhauled the transmission configuration. The new M5 will come fitted with a standard all-wheel drive transmission for the first time, with the front wheels only activated when the rear wheels are unable to deliver further power and traction is required. The all-wheel drive transmission can also be completely deactivated for a completely rear-wheel drive system.

Drivers can also choose from five different configurations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD), with the vehicle defaulting to a 4WD mode with DSC on when the engine starts.

The new M5 is due to hit the European market later on in the year, and a spokesman for BMW New Zealand says full details of a New Zealand launch will be announced in due course.

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BMW expands NZ i network

BMW’s i3 is the top-selling new EV car of 2016

BMW Group New Zealand has announced an extension to the existing inetwork. Winger BMW in Wellington and Christchurch BMW will become official i sales dealers from July 1. The two dealerships join authorised i dealer Auckland City BMW.

The BMW i is a full-package electric support service which provides private and public charging stations to BMW EV drivers, advanced navigation software to locate chargers and map out efficient driving routes, and electric aftercare maintenance and repair.

The remaining dealer network are being upgraded to include BMW i service, which will enable BMW to support customers across New Zealand.

“This commitment from our dealer network further provides customers with even more access to a wide range of electric vehicles, charging and dealer support in all parts of the country,” said commented BMW Group New Zealand managing director, Florian Renndorfer.

This follows BMW’s collaboration with ChargeNet NZ, announced last year, to help establish New Zealand’s electric highway of DC fast chargers that will facilitate EV driving along the length of the country. Charging at a BMW ChargeNow station takes around 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent battery capacity.

BMW’s electric offering, the i3, was the top-selling new EV car in the country for 2016, with 144 units sold.

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Engine upgrade for new VW Golf

The new Volkswagen Golf has arrived in New Zealand, with improved safety and technology features and an updated engine.

The TSI engines have had a slight power boost; the four-cylinder Golf GTI now produces 169kW of power and 350Nm of torque, and the R Model 228kW and 400Nm. The powertrain for the entry-level Golf range spans 92 to 110kW of power and 200Nm to 340Nm, depending on the model variant.

Safety features have improved, and front assist and lane assist are now standard across the line-up. The Golf has maintained a five-star ANCAP safety rating since 2013. In-cabin technology has also seen an upgrade, and a new eight-inch touchscreen display features across the 2017 Golf range.

The outside look of the car has also been refreshed, with new front and rear bumpers sporting LED tail lights with running indicators and new daytime LED running lights.

Pricing begins at $33,990 for the Golf Hatch, $37,490 for the Wagon, $54,890 for the Golf GTI and $72,890 for the Golf R. The new range is available now at registered Volkswagen dealers.

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BMW 2 NZ launch

The BMW 2 Series Coupe and BMW 2 Series Convertible are scheduled for launch in New Zealand around the third quarter of 2017.

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Advertising sways customers

According to a survey by the Motor Ombudsman, approximately a quarter of consumers are swayed by advertisements.

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Techweek’17 kicks off

A week dedicated to technology is taking place across the country.

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Speed record

The Toyota Land Cruiser has surpassed the record of “World’s Fastest SUV” and Cruiser, at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The four-wheel drive sport-utility vehicle travelled at a record speed of over 230 miles per hour, with Toyota NASCAR driver, Carl Edwards at the helm. The record was broken by more than 19mph, reaching a GPS-verified and video-documented 230.02 mph before running out of usable pavement.

“At Toyota, we like to say ‘Let’s Go Places,’ and the Land Speed Cruiser goes places faster than any SUV before it. This was an aspirational goal that inspired us all,” said Steve Appelbaum, Toyota motor sales national engagement marketing manager.

The record was attained with a custom 2000hp version called the Land Speed Cruiser.The World’s Fastest SUV record was at 211 mph (339.572kmh). But engineers took a production 5.7-litre V8 and added huge Garrett turbochargers, sturdier pistons and rods and a custom-made intake manifold.

The record-breaking vehicle sits lower, reducing the amount of turbulent air allowed to pass underneath. And it was narrowed 7.6 centimetres to accommodate wider Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.

“At 225 mph, the thing was wandering a little bit. All I could think was that (test driver) Craig Stanton said, ‘No matter what, just keep your foot in it,’ and we got 230 mph,” Edwards said.

The Land Cruiser 200 series continues to push the world’s boundaries of 4WD comfort, luxury and performance. It is currently available in NZ, brand new from $123,490 plus on road costs.

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Alfa Romeo meets Lewis

United states athlete, Carl Lewis supported 330 runners in a collective attempt to break a two-hour marathon record.

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