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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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McLaren to design road car

“The most extreme, track-concentrated road car” Mclaren has every designed is set to become part of the British Automaker’s Ultimate Series.

The much-awaited vehicle will be revealed in the first quarter of 2018 – ahead of a second future Ultimate Series model which will be code-named BP23 and should be the world’s first Hyper-GT.

As members of the McLaren Ultimate Series, both will be produced in very limited numbers and all examples are already assigned. Ultimate Series models are positioned above McLaren’s core Super Series and have a distinct focus. Previous examples of the Series include the McLaren P1™ and McLaren P1™ GTR.

This next model to join the Ultimate Series will be the ultimate track car but will be road legal. Daily usability is being sacrificed to give the most intensive driver experience around a circuit. Its design, described as brutal, will be the purest expression yet of the company’s ‘form follows function’ philosophy.

More details, including the car’s name, will be revealed before the end of this year.

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Nissan X-TRAIL diesel not in NZ

Nissan’s X-TRAIL TL diesel variant is on sale in Australia, however it will not be available in New Zealand.

The new X-TRAIL variant is available in two grades, including the entry TS and high-spec TL.

“There is still an appetite for diesel, and offering a diesel engine in not only important for us but for Nissan X-TRAIL buyers,” said Nissan Australia Managing Director Stephen Lester.

With 130kW of power at 3,750rpm and a maximum torque of 380Nm at a low 2,000rpm, the vehicle includes strong acceleration early when you need it most. The new 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine has 35 per cent more power and almost 20 per cent more torque than its 1.6 litre diesel predecessor.

“The X-TRAIL range has sold well since the May update, and with the base model TS diesel available since June, we are excited to have the full diesel range now on sale.

“With a strong grade walk, whether it be petrol or diesel, the X-TRAIL range offers something for everyone,” says Lester.

Now with three engine choices, the diesel engine sits alongside 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre petrol alternatives.

Nissan’s X-TRAIL range starts with a 2.0 litre petrol two-wheel drive 2.0 litre petrol engine with 6-speed manual transmission#. It has outputs of 106kW at 6,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 4,400rpm.

The larger, and more popular, 2.5 litre engine has a higher 126kW of power and 226Nm of torque, and is fitted exclusively with the same CVT transmission as its diesel sibling.

Standard across the range, the X-TRAIL is fitted with Intelligent Emergency Braking, with the range topping Ti petrol and TL diesel also having pedestrian detection.

The TS features front, front-side and side curtain SRS airbags, and also comes with Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control, Forward Collision Warning and two ISOFIX anchor points in the second row. The TL also includes Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

Inside, the Nissan X-TRAIL comes with an impressive list of comfort and safety features, with the TL including a rearview camera with predictive path technology, an Intelligent Around-View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Sat Nav and Cruise Control – as well as black or tan leather-accented trim.

Available in seven contemporary exterior colours and three interior seat trims, Nissan X-TRAIL starts from $28,490 for the 2.0 litre petrol with 6-speed manual, while the diesel range begins at $35,990.

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Road transport emissions increasing

Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing in New Zealand and road transport has one of the highest emission rates.

According to the latest national report from the Ministry of the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, while agriculture makes up nearly half of NZ gross emissions, road transport has had one of the largest increases in emissions, with a 78 per cent increase since 1990.

The report discusses the state of the atmosphere as well as projections for the country’s climate and the factors that influence our ultraviolet light levels, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased by 23 per cent since 1972.

According to secretary for the Environment, Vicky Robertson the most concerning change in New Zealand’s atmosphere is the unprecedented high levels of carbon dioxide, which are leading to increasing global temperatures and changes to our oceans, including rising sea levels and increasing ocean acidity.

“While New Zealand is not a large contributor of emissions globally, we are certainly affected locally and we need to act on what that means for us,” Ms Robertson said.

“The future impacts of climate change on our lives all depend on how fast global emissions are reduced and the extent to which our communities can adapt to change.

“Encouragingly, the report shows international efforts have been successful in phasing out the use of ozone-depleting substances. This has led to gradual recovery of the ozone hole.”

Meanwhile, global gross greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 51 per cent from 1990 to 2013 and gross greenhouse gas emissions have risen 24 per cent from 1990 to 2015.

New Zealand has experienced a 1°C temperature increase since 1909 and the country’s glaciers have decreased by a quarter of their volume since 1977.
Sea levels have risen 14–22cm at four main New Zealand ports since 1916
The global production of ozone-depleting substances has dropped 98 per cent from 1986 to 2015.

“We have enough data on measures like annual average temperature to confidently say New Zealand’s climate is warming. That is showing up, for example, in the significant loss of our glacier volume,” said government statistician Liz MacPherson.

“New Zealand has naturally variable weather, making trends in some areas difficult to determine. We need longer-term data to establish whether changes are persisting.”

“National and international data collections on the atmosphere and climate are increasingly comprehensive but there are still some things we don’t know at this time, in particular the full impact of climate change on our biodiversity, cultural values and the economy,” MacPherson said.

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Jeep Compass wins safety pick

Jeep Compass TX

The Jeep Compass has earned a 2017 Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).

The compact SUV achieves the highest possible IIHS rating in its category. 

“The all-new Jeep Compass benefits from high-strength steel content that exceeds 65 percent,” says Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “This not only contributes to crashworthiness, it speaks to a level of engineering sophistication that makes this vehicle the most capable small-SUV ever”.

The 2017 Jeep Compass scored “good” ratings in tests that simulate:

· A side impact with a large SUV or pickup truck;

· A moderate-offset frontal impact;

· A small-offset frontal impact;

· Roof-deformation consistent with a rollover; and

· A rear collision capable of inducing whiplash

Advanced AEB technology is a hallmark of the safety strategy embraced by FCA US LLC. Accordingly, the all-new Jeep Compass benefits from sensor-fusion technology in its available driver-assist feature, Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus.

 

The Jeep Compass arrives in New Zealand early in 2018, when full local specifications and pricing will be announced.

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EV breaks world record

The official Guinness Book of World Records title has been awarded to Los Angeles-based company IT Asset Partners (ITAP) for the longest range of an electric vehicle (EV).

The record-winning vehicle, called The Phoenix was created by ITAP leader, Eric Lundgren and made out of 90 per cent recycled parts, in an effort to promote electronic waste recycling.

The vehicle travelled more than 1,600 kilometres at the Auto Club Speedway in California over a two-day consecutive run. This breaks the previous record of 1,298 kilometres, which was made in Japan in 2013.

The Phoenix, which cost $14,000 to build, is just one of the many projects that Lundgren has been involved with which work towards addressing e-Waste pollution across the globe.

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Police with hover bikes

If the idea of being chased by a policeman wasn’t scary enough, you can now imagine a police pursuit hovering in the air behind you if you are lucky enough to live in Dubai.

On top of a variety of previous futuristic police patrol machinery including robot policemen and fully electric cars, the Dubai police force is now kitting out its constables with hover bikes. 

The police hoverbike was announced at GITEX, a technology expo held in the Gulf region. The bike can fly up to 70 kilometres per hour and get up to a maximum of 5 metres while manned by a driver. 

During an interview at the expo, a Dubai Police representative explained that while the hoverbikes won’t be used full time yet, they will be a prototype, with plans for a drone division which will be used in the future. 

Click here to watch a video demonstrating the bike. 

 

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