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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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Mazda plant open for business

Mazda Hofu Plant Nishinoura District Japan

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun production of the new Mazda CX-5 at its Hofu Plant.

Until now the CX-5 has been produced at the company’s Hiroshima Plant and at plants in China and Malaysia (for other markets)

The planned production is in order to enable the company to meet the growing global demand for Mazda crossover vehicles.

Managing director for Mazda New Zealand, David Hodge said having the CX-5 produced at the Hofu plant will help markets such as New Zealand keep up with demand for the award-winning vehicle.

“The new CX-5 further enhances the popularity of the vehicle that has won numerous motoring awards in New Zealand since it was first launched in 2012 and we are delighted the new CX-5 is a finalist in the 2017 AA/NZ Car of the Year Awards and a contender for People’s Choice.”

Mazda is working to meet a global sales volume target of 1.65 million units by the end of its three-year business plan, Structural Reform Stage 2, which was launched last fiscal year. In recent years global demand for crossovers has surged. To meet this demand expeditiously, the company has made its production system more flexible.

In December 2016 the Hofu Plant joined the Hiroshima plant in producing the CX-3, a compact crossover SUV and in August of this year, the system for production of crossovers at the Hiroshima Plant’s body factory was enhanced.

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Polestar could rival Tesla

Polestar 1 white exterior, rear

Volvo Cars pledges to invest five billion yuan into its Polestar 1 high performance electric car in a bid to gear up for the ‘green car’ revolution.

The four-seater hybrid coupe is part of a push to improve the electric and hybrid vehicle range available. This comes after the Chinese government announced that electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will need to make up at least a fifth of Chinese vehicle sales by 2025.

Chief executive officer of Polestar, Thomas Ingenlath, said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand”.

Polestar 1 white exterior, top

The Polestar 1 – with a nominal price-tag of between 130,000 and 150,000 euros (NZ$213,000 and 246,000), will go into production in the western Chinese city of Chengdu in mid-2019. This will be alongside the fully electric Polestar 2, which will compete with the Tesla 3 and an SUV Polestar 3.

The Polestar 1 will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. An electric car supported by an internal combustion engine, it has a range of 150kms on pure electric power alone – the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. Its output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.

Polestar 1 white exterior, 7/8 rear

Volvo’s chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said that all its car models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids, making it the first major traditional carmaker to set a date for phasing out combustion engine powered vehicles.

The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.

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Mercedes recall worldwide

Over one million Mercedes-Benz vehicles are set to be recalled worldwide, thanks to an unintended issue with airbag deployments.

According to a statement from Daimler, an electrostatic discharge as well as a broken clock spring and insufficient grounding of steering components could lead to deployment of the airbag on the driver’s side.

As part of the fix, the statement said dealers would add new grounding to the steering components.

Up until now, no deaths have been reported and the issue is not related to the recent Takata recall.

The recalls covers some 2012-2018 model year A, B, C, and E-class models and CLA, GLA and GLC vehicles.

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Car of the year awards on thin ice

A disagreement between the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild and the Automobile Association (AA), could jeopardise the future of the New Zealand Car of the Year awards.

The NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild wanted the Subaru Impreza hatch and SUV to be considered as one vehicle for this year’s voting, however the AA said the vehicles were not the same and had to be considered separately.

Media representatives argue that voting on the Impreza and XV as one vehicle is unfair as the Holden Astra is also offered as a hatch and sedan for instance. The Hyundai Ioniq is also offered as an electric vehicle (EV), a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.

AA motoring services general manager, Stella Stocks says the guild made the decision of which vehicles were to be selected in the top 10.

“The agreement has always been to select a list of top 10 finalists, however, the guild has pressed for two cars to be considered as one – the Subaru Impreza and the XV.

“Our position, which is supported by the Motor Industry Association and Subaru itself, is that they can’t be considered the same vehicle. One reason is because one is in the compact car category and the other is an SUV.”

Stocks says the AA was relaxed about which of the two cars was selected, or even both as separate contenders, but there could still only be a top 10, so another vehicle on the list would have to be removed.

Votes for the award are taking place currently and results will be announced in Auckland on December 12.

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Holden fundraiser for charity

A grand total of $807,000 has been donated to charity over the weekend, thanks to a fundraiser by Holden Australia.

$307,000 of the total was raised by the ‘Commodore Collection’ auction, which consisted of three limited-edition Commodores – the Director 05, Motorsport 05 and Magnum 111.

The Director model was sold to an online buyer for $130,000, with 50 per cent of its proceeds ($65,000) given to The Lighthouse Foundation.

The Motorsport 05 went for $93,000 and the SS ute-based Magnum (build number 111) went for $84,000

The remainder of the proceeds ($242,000) were made up by a donation of $500,000 from Holden, with a total of $742,000 given to The Smith Family’s ‘Learning for Life’ sponsorship programme.

The auction was run by Manheim and simulcast online. According to Manheim director of sales Adrian Blackwell, bidding for the the limited-run Commodores came from all over the world.

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