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The new McLaren Senna

The McLaren Senna has been designed and built with one single goal: to be the most extreme track-concentrated car on the road.

The new supercar bears the name of legendary Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, honouring its status as the ultimate McLaren track car.

Legalised for road use, but not sanitised to suit it, the new Ultimate series disrupts McLaren’s trademark breadth of supercar daily usability; instead it provides the purest connection between driver and car.

With its ultra-lightweight construction, carbon fibre chassis and body panels, the Senna’s aggressive appearance epitomises McLaren’s ‘form-follow’s-function’ design philosophy.

The McLaren Senna enjoys a power-to-weight ratio of 668PS per tonne, with its maximum power of 800PS (789bhp). This statistic immediately underlines the performance credentials of the newcomer to the McLaren Ultimate Series, a product family introduced with the McLaren P1™ that is reserved for the rarest and most extreme McLaren cars.

“The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalised for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit. Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromised performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can,” says Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

The carbon fibrechassis that forms the core of the McLaren Senna is a further development of the structure that underpins the McLaren 720S and the strongest monocoque ever built by McLaren for a road-legal vehicle. Every body panel is made from carbon fibre, in line with a relentless focus on the weight of every individual component that has resulted in the McLaren Senna being the lightest road-legal McLaren since the iconic F1 road car, at just 1,198kg.

The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged M840TR V8 engine at the heart of the McLaren Senna is the most powerful road car internal combustion engine ever created by McLaren. 

Lightweight internal components reduce mass in the powertrain and combine with ultra-low inertia, twin-scroll turbochargers and electronically controlled wastegates to deliver lightning-quick throttle responsiveness.

Braking power is delivered by carbon-ceramic disc brakes which McLaren describes as the most advanced ever fitted to any of its road cars. The force delivered through these brakes is prevented from locking the wheels under braking with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, mounted on motorsport-derived, single-lug alloy wheels.

The third model introduced under the McLaren Track22 business plan, the McLaren Senna will be hand-assembled in England at the McLaren Production Centre. Production will be limited to 500 vehicles, each costing from over NZ$1 million.

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Subaru boosts SUV production

Subaru announced on Friday that they plan to increase SUV production at their Indiana factory. Subaru will be investing NZ$200 million into the venture, which will also provide an additional 200 jobs.

Subaru debuts the all-new 2019 Ascent SUV at the L.A. Auto Show.


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Lamborghini Urus arriving soon

Lamborghini’s re-entry into the SUV market is fast approaching as the all-new Urus will be unveiled on 4 December 2017.

Lamborghini Urus concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show

Originally revealed at the 2012 Beijing motor show as a concept vehicle, the Urus is now a reality. The Lamborghini Urus completely redefines dynamics and design in the SUV category.

It also means that a Lamborghini can now be used by a household as its primary car, expanding the brand’s customer base enormously.

Company CEO, Stefano Domenicali, confirmed earlier this year that the SUV would get a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 making 650 hp.

The Urus will get twin-turbo V8 engine, presumably to improve fuel economy, but also because it better suited the character of an SUV.

In 2015, Lamborghini R&D boss, Maurizio Reggiani said that a V8 would be light, and provide nice low-end torque.

When Domenicali confirmed that the Urus would receive V8 power, he also mentioned that a plug-in hybrid model was coming too. Domenicali said that this is the version to get if you care about fuel economy. The Urus plug-in hybrid should arrive a year after the regular V8 model goes into production.

The latest teaser video sets out to explain the design inspiration and how the Urus has remained true to the unmistakable Lamborghini aesthetic.

Mitja Borkert, Head of Design, describes the new SUV as being totally engaging. 

“The driver ‘feels like a pilot’, and the Urus has a low seat position integrated within the interior. An encompassing dashboard and controls ergonomically surround the cockpit, with the Lamborghini hexagonal design theme as evident inside as it is on the exterior.”

The Lamborghini Urus will be available on the market for the 2018 model year. 

Eclipse Cross scores high

Mitsubishi’s latest addition to New Zealand’s SUV mix, the Eclipse Cross, will join the market early next year with a 5 star safety rating from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP). 

The Eclipse Cross did well across the crash tests, scoring one of the highest scores for adult occupant protection in its class.

“Australasian consumers continue to be spoilt for choice in the SUV segment with the new Eclipse Cross arriving on sale with a top ANCAP safety rating,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

“The Eclipse Cross achieved a very high score for Adult Occupant Protection at 97% – the equal second highest score in this area of assessment, and the highest in its class.”

The Eclipse Cross has kept pace with ANCAP’s increasing safety standards. 

“The design of the front of the vehicle as well as its ability to avoid or minimise the injury risk to a pedestrian through its standard fitment of autonomous emergency braking contributed to its strong score of 80% for Pedestrian Protection,” said Mr Goodwin.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it’s fantastic to see Mitsubishi creating mid-range vehicles that rival some of the more expensive models in terms of safety.

“It shows that price isn’t indicative of a vehicle’s safety and that there are plenty of options for Kiwi drivers looking for safe vehicles at every price point,” says Ms Stocks.

The small SUV also comes equipped with a wide range of safety assist technologies, which help to prevent crashes, including all three grades of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

The 5 star safety rating applies to all variants of the Eclipse Cross.

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Kiwi X3 offers extra safety features


The newly released BMW X3 has hit the New Zealand market with a 5 star safety rating from the Australasia New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), with a special focus on the safety of Kiwi drivers.

“The new BMW X3 offers high levels of safety for all members of the family,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, Mr James Goodwin.

Furthermore, the New Zealand version of the new SUV comes equipped with more standard safety features than both European and Australian variants.

Lane departure warning and intelligent speed assistance systems are offered as standard inclusions on Australian and New Zealand models, but New Zealand models go one step further by also offering lane keep assist, automatic high beam and adaptive cruise control as standard.

AA Motoring Services General Manager Stella Stocks says it’s fantastic to see the safety of New Zealand drivers being prioritised.

“We’re pleased BMW is offering Kiwi drivers a wide range of safety technologies as standard features, which all work to prevent crashes on our roads,” Stocks says.

“Having a wide range of vehicles with a good mix of safety technologies available in New Zealand is a key step towards improving our driving environment here.”

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All new Toyota Camry

Toyota New Zealand will introduce the all new Toyota Camry, New Zealand’s top selling medium-sized sedan in early 2018.

2018 Toyota Camry

The latest Camry boasts higher power and better fuel economy, a revamped chassis that sharpens driving dynamics and advanced new safety technologies.

“The 2018 Camry is a totally new car from bumper to bumper,” said Spencer Morris, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Product.

“There is a lot of new technology in next year’s Camry, starting with the adoption of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which has transformed the way Toyota vehicles are designed, engineered and packaged.”

The manufactured in Japan sedan, which replaces the Australian built car, has just been launched across the Tasman.

The cornerstones of the 2018 Camry are the redesigned hybrid system with a new four-cylinder engine that delivers more power, flexibility and efficiency, and a stunning new V6 engine with direct-injection technology and an eight-speed transmission.

Full details of the Camry model range and its pricing will be announced at the time of the New Zealand launch.

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Kia to join the EV market

Kia is set to become the next major car company to join the electric vehicle market with the launch of hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of a small SUV called Niro.

Kia Motors New Zealand has announced that the model will go on sale during the opening quarter of next year, however no prices have been released for the new vehicle

After a ten-month evaluation of the Niro, where the model was reviewed by selected consumers and motoring journalists, a business case was created in order for the vehicle to be sold here in New Zealand.

The Korean built Niro was intended only for the European market, but after a ten-month evaluation of the Niro, where the model was reviewed by selected consumers and motoring journalists, a business case was created in order for the vehicle to be sold here in New Zealand.

Kia claims the Niro is the first dedicated hybrid SUV produced anywhere in the world, built to run on both the power of a petrol engine and an electric motor.

The fuel economy of the hybrid is 3.8L/100km, which was put to the test when driven across the USA where the Niro achieved 3.69L/100km, a world record low for fuel consumption.

The plug-in version is even better, thanks to its larger battery pack and electric motor. Factory figures for the Niro PHEV suggest 1.3L/100km.

The Niro hybrid is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine in combination with an electric drive unit.

The new plug-in version of the Niro, which has been released just recently to the international market, has a larger battery pack and can travel up to 40km on batter power alone, with no assistance of its petrol engine.

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Meet the all-new Polo

With more than 14 million models sold to date worldwide, the Polo is one of the world’s most successful compact cars. 

The sixth generation polo has been designed to meet the challenges of the modern world, equipped with a multitude of driver assistance systems that were previously reserved for the Golf and Passat class.

The new Polo is now much more spacious than its predecessor, even more spacious than a Golf in 1997. This has resulted in a significantly increased boot volume, which has grown by 25%, from 280 to 351 litres.

It is also the first Volkswagen model to feature a new generation of the optional Active Info Display. At the same time, it has been given the latest generation of infotainment systems which includes an impressive 8.0-inch glass covered touchscreen.

The highly equipped all-new Polo looks out for drivers on the road with a host of state-of-the-art driver assistance and comfort systems. These include Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Pedestrian monitoring and Blind spot monitoring detection.

Tom Ruddenklau, General Manager of Volkswagen New Zealand, says, “The new Polo personifies what Volkswagen is all about; world class engineering and technology that is accessible to the people. The New Polo is a technological marvel and benefits from the significant R&D investments Volkswagen has placed into its older siblings the Golf, Tiguan, Passat and Touareg.”

“It possesses world class features and safety normally found in cars twice its price. We are fortunate to have many thousand existing customers, many of whom are on their 2nd or 3rd Polo and it is great to be able to offer these loyal customers something quite special with the new sixth Generation Polo”.

The new Polo will arrive in New Zealand in February 2018. More information on specifications and pricing will be released soon. 

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BMW reveal 453-hp M3 CS

Following the decades-long tradition of successful M special editions, BMW presents their new limited-run M3 CS. With its accentuated sporting presence, the four-door high-performance sedan serves up a perfect blend of dynamism and everyday practicality.

The new BMW M3 CS is fitted with the same six-cylinder inline engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that has proved well in the existing BMW M3 models. It channels the engine’s power through the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) as standard. 

The output of the new BMW M3 CS has been raised to 338 kW/460 hp, 10 hp more than the BMW M3 with Competition Package, and its peak torque to 600 Nm / 442 lb-ft.

State of the art M TwinPower Turbo technology propels the M3 CS from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and the top speed of the new special edition is electronically limited to 280 km/h. 

The bonnet, roof, front splitter, Gurney and rear diffuser on the new BMW M3 CS are made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The weight saving over the standard BMW M3 is 50 kilograms. 

The new BMW M3 CS comes as standard with M compound brakes featuring four-piston callipers at the front and two-piston callipers at the rear. The new special-edition model rides on DTM-design light-alloy wheels in Orbit Grey.

Orders for the new BMW M3 CS can be placed from January 2018. The special-edition model – which will be limited to a run of approximately 1,200 units due to production factors – will be built from March 2018. 

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Very strong October for new sales

The latest new vehicle sales figures for October reveal a very strong performance for both new passenger and commercial.

“There were 15,530 new vehicle registrations for the month of October, making it the strongest month of October on record and the second strongest month of any month ever. It was only the second time the new vehicle market has past 15,000 registrations in a month, the other being in June this year. Registrations were 9.83% (11,986 units) year to date above this time in 2016 and for the month were up 5.6% (821 units) on October 2016.” Said David Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association.

Comparing to October 2016, sales of passenger and SUVs were up by 6.3% (5,321 units) and commercial vehicles up by 18.0% (6,665 units).

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 29% market share (4,457 units), followed by Ford with 10% (1,530 units) and Holden with 9% market share (1,341 units).

Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 31% market share (3,410 units) followed by Holden with 9% (1,006 units) and Mazda with 8% market share (903 units).

The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month were the Toyota Corolla (1772 units of which 1589 were rentals) followed by the Toyota RAV4 (479 units of which 304 were rentals) and the Kia Sportage (354 units).

In the commercial sector, Toyota was again the market leader with 24% (1,047 units) followed by Ford with 21% (948 units) and Holden third with 8% market share (335 units). The Ford Ranger regained the top spot as the bestselling commercial model with 19% share (853 units) followed by the Toyota Hilux also with 17% share (762 units).

Year to date the Ford Ranger remains both the top commercial vehicle model and the top model overall with 7,950 registrations compared to 7,045 for the Toyota Hilux.

Vehicle segmentation for the month of October reflects the strong monthly registrations of the Toyota Corolla. The top segments were small vehicles with 20% share, followed by the SUV medium segment with 15% and Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×4 segment with 13% market share.

“The 2017 new vehicle market is expected to easily break through the 150,000 new vehicles mark for the first time.” said Mr Crawford.

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New BMW X2 in 2018

The new BMW X2 will be on the market in March 2018.

The Sports Activity Coupe is a BMW with one of a kind character. Its design is a combination of the robustness of a BMW X model and the athletic suave of a coupe. 

Customers can choose from the BMW X2 M Sport and the M Sport X models. 

New design details also are apart of the new BMW, these include the BMW roundel on the C-pillars and the styling of the kidney grille, where the outline is wider at the base than at the top, a first for a modern BMW. 

New colour shades, Galvanic Gold metallic and Misano Blue metallic, are available for the first time. Perforated Dakota leather in Magma Red and Micro Hexagon fabric will also be apart of the new design.

Three engine variants are offered from the launch, plus the petrol model is fitted with the sporty seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission. 

Options for the latest generation of BMW ConnectedDrive and Connected App, Apple CarPlay and an array of driver assistance systems all serve for a more coherent driving experience. 

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