NZ Autocar New Zealand
NZ Autocar is New Zealand's leading automotive magazine covering the full scope of motoring including new car reviews, fast cars, classics and motorcycles.
Ford NZ reveals Mustang Mach 1 pricing (and a manual) - NZ Autocar
Following on from last week’s reveal that the Ford Mustang Mach 1 would be offered in New Zealand, pricing and spec has also now been announced.
Following on from last weeks reveal that the Ford Mustang Mach 1 would be offered in New Zealand, pricing and spec has also now been announced. When it lands here next year, the Mach 1 will be priced from $97,990. While it represents a mild rise over the $93,490 Mustang Bullitt that it effectively replaces in this part of the world, its still much more accessible than the Shelby GT350 its said to spiritually replace in America. Ford New Zealand has also confirmed that the Mach 1 will be available locally with either a manual or an automatic; the former a Tremec rev-matching six-speed borrowed from Shelby, and the latter a re-calibrated version of the companys familiar 10-speed. As previously reported, the Mach 1 will get the slightly detuned 345kW/556Nm version of Fords 5.0-litre Coyote V8 — a fraction down on power compared to US models due to right-hand drive market emissions regulations, but still up on the standard GTs 339kW/556Nm. The manual isnt the only Shelby influence under the Mach 1s skin. The engine oil cooler, oil filter adapter, rear toe-link, and sub-frames are among the other parts lifted from other hi-po Shelby products. These tweaks are complemented by stiffer sway bars and bushings, MagneRide dampers as standard, and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. Theres also the array of subtle aero tweaks to consider, too. These include a new front splitter, rear diffuser, lengthier undertray, and tasteful rear spoiler. Sadly, it appears the Track Package option for the Mach 1 wont be available for Kiwi buyers. The package, which adds a heftier front splitter and rear wing among other changes, was left off the local announcement. Weve contacted Ford New Zealand for further information. Spec is naturally a little higher than a standard Mustang GT. Along with its performance upgrades, the Mach 1 will also come standard with the firms traditionally optional Recaro buckets and 12-speaker B&O sound system. While Ford New Zealand hasnt confirmed a time of arrival, NZ Autocar understands the model could be on our shores as early as Q2. Following the success of Mustang Bullitt, we are very excited to introduce this highly capable, track ready Mustang to our Mustang fans. The unique styling pays homage to the original model and is more than worthy of its legendary badge, said Simon Rutherford, Managing Director, Ford New Zealand. Mustang has won the hearts and minds of New Zealand drivers, and Mach 1 is one of the most thrilling Mustangs to date. This head turning model not only looks the part, but it has all the hardware to delight Mustang enthusiasts, offering on-track excitement and on-road driving pleasure.
Tuning company already working on 'fixing' that BMW grille - NZ Autocar
One of the biggest announcements of the year thus far has been BMW’s unveiling of a new M3 and M4. Not necessarily because both models are particularly radical mechanically, but because the grilles fronting each model’s fascia have been met with particularly …
One of the biggest announcements of the year thus far has been BMWs unveiling of a new M3 and M4. Not necessarily because both models are particularly radical mechanically, but because the grilles fronting each models fascia have been met with particularly strong errr feedback. It was a matter of time before a tuning company of some kind would reveal a replacement front end for the M3 and M4. And, first cab off the rank looks to be Prior Design. The firm has shown off a series of slightly different front ends, all revolving around the same treatment to BMWs twin-kidney grille. Gone are the huge coffins from the production M3 and M4; each replaced with a grille much closer in proportion and shape to the M135is grille and a few of the other models in BMWs line-up. Prior Design has elected to draft in a solid body-coloured bar underneath these kidneys, both to give the license plate a mounting point and to break up the sea of vent. Then, the secondary grille at the bottom becomes wider before being shaped to suit the vents on the flanks. They're unveiled numerous spins on the same tweaks across a bunch of different images. None of these looks appears to have been crafted for real just yet, with all of the images released so far being renders based on BMW press photography. Whether the changes look better or not is up to the individual, but I can imagine these being a good seller once the new models start hitting showrooms. Prior Design hasnt confirmed that these bumpers will actually make it into production. However, it has told press elsewhere that they probably will. Both the M3 and M4 utilise a twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline six, producing 375kW of power and 650Nm of torque. Both models have been confirmed for New Zealand in Competition guise only, meaning we will miss out on any manual transmission variants. Head of BMW M, Markus Flasch, defended the new nose in a round-table discussion earlier this year, saying that the front-end styling of the new M3 and M4 has actually received a lot of positive feedback. So far the response from the media that weve shown the car was extremely positive, he said Its logical because we really took the design of the 4 Series to another level. We got rid of the kidney frame, we have an embossed bonnet. The rest is very much different, much more different than anything we did in the past driven from BMW. The front looks like a race car engineer has designed it and not a designer. This is how we wanted it to be. I think its the right move. I havent received [negative] comments anyway. I think it was the right move, it suits the car, its beneficial for cooling air intake. I wouldnt change it if I could.
Old-school Chrysler Valiant Charger to sell for incredible price - NZ Autocar
In most of the nostalgic discussions about classic Australian muscle car nirvana, the Chrysler Valiant Charger seems to lay forgotten behind its Ford and Holden counterparts. But that doesn’t mean well maintained examples aren’t worth big bucks today.
In most of the nostalgic discussions about classic Australian muscle car nirvana, the Chrysler Valiant Charger seems to lay forgotten behind its Ford and Holden counterparts. But that doesnt mean well maintained examples arent worth big bucks today. A 1972 Valiant Charger has emerged for sale in Kingsgrove, Sydney, listed by Australian Muscle Car Sales. And theres three things about the classic that make it a bit special. Firstly, its an R/T E49 variant — the road-going performance model reflective of the race cars driven on both sides of the Tasman by the likes of Pete Geoghegan, Doug Chivas, Leo Leonard, and more. Under the bonnet is a 4.3-litre straight six with triple Weber carbs. It was a set-up good for a claimed 302hp when new, and quick enough to earn the car the crown of fastest accelerating Australian muscle car ever made. Wheels proclaimed as much when they tested the E49 at the time, clocking a 14.1-second quarter mile pass and a (rapid by todays standards) 6.1-second 060. Chryslers Tonsley Park factory in South Australia only built 149 of these back in the day. But, strictly speaking, that doesnt make the R/T E49 the rarest model. Twenty one of the 149 R/Ts built were equipped with an A84 Track Option package, which included a huge 132-litre fuel tank, 16:1 steering box, 14-inch wheels, and heavy duty discs and hubs. Cars fitted with this package colloquially became known as the E49 Big Tank, and yes this car is one of the 21. The third factor that makes this E49 unique is that, as you might be able to tell from the photos, its unrestored. The Hemi Orange paint and cabin are completely original, and wear a handful of war wounds to prove it. Its only had three owners since new. To some this might be a point against the classics collectability. But, authentic patina helps tell a classic cars story, and the owner and auction house believe that this is one of just three Big Tanks still in original condition. While these models dont quite command the same prices as Ford Falcon GTHOs or Holden Torana SLR5000s or A9xs, this particular E49 is still asking for a pretty penny. The seller has the model listed for AU$395,000 ($426,900). Thats AU$5000 cheaper than the ultimate selling price of the Phase III GTHO that recently sold in Melbourne — and that car had been attacked by an axe and was missing an engine.
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R smashes record, sells for $472,000 - NZ Autocar
The car that has undoubtedly led the push that’s seen old-school (and some relatively new-school) Japanese performance cars become with crazy amounts of money has been the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R.
The car that has undoubtedly led the push thats seen old-school (and some relatively new-school) Japanese performance cars become with crazy amounts of money has been the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R. And, theres now a new auction price record holder. GT-Rs sell at auction in Japan relatively frequently, but few can quite rival the spec of one particular model that recently went under the gavel. Painted in Millennium Jade silver, its whats known as an M-Spec Nür — named in reference to the extra performance tweaks it gained under the skin and its ties to the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The Nürs RB26DETT twin-turbo inline six received larger turbochargers packing more boost and steel internal blades instead of ceramic. The speedometer went up to 300km/h, and the vin plate and valve covers were finished in gold — tasteful changes. Nissan produced just 285 M-Spec Nür models, and this [pictured above] is number 63. Its done just 6817km, making it one of the lowest kilometer R34 GT-Rs on the planet. And, it recently sold for an incredible ¥33,205,000. Converted, thats equal to $472,250 — an apparent new record for an R34 GT-R sale at auction. The price exceeds that of a white R34 V-Spec II Nür which sold two years ago for ¥32,000,000, as well as a modified 22,000km Nür that sold last month for over $400,000.
NCAP slams Tesla Autopilot, ranks it 6th best assist system - NZ Autocar
Safety group Euro NCAP has revealed a new series of new motorway assist system test results for various cars fitted with active safety tech. The Audi Q8, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Peugeot 2008, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Juke, Renault Clio, V…
Safety group Euro NCAP has revealed a new series of new motorway assist system test results for various cars fitted with active safety tech. The Audi Q8, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Peugeot 2008, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Juke, Renault Clio, Volvo V60, and Tesla Model 3 were the vehicles tested. One would think that Tesla Autopilot would put the Model 3 in good stead, given the amount of attention and over-the-air updating the system has had over the years. However, Euro NCAP didnt quite see it that way — ranking the system in the bottom third of those tested. The revised test focuses on a range of measures. These naturally include the competence of the system, the cars safety response during critical moments, and how engaged and alert it keeps the driver while its in partial control. The Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi scored a very good from Euro NCAP, while the Model 3 has to make do with a moderate. The firm was critical of the authoritarian way the system performed, while also blasting Teslas naming conventions. It outranked the systems from Volvo, Volkswagen, Peugeot, and Renault. Teslas system name Autopilot is inappropriate as it suggests full automation. The promotional material suggests automation where the handbook correctly indicates the limitations of the system capabilities, which could lead to confusion, says the firm. Status information is clear, but the Model 3 does not offer a head-up display showing the system status in the drivers direct line of sight. While the Tesla is equipped with an internal camera, it is not used for Driver Monitoring relying only on steering wheel input for driver engagement. The system resists driver steering input and then disengages, limiting co-operative driving. The Tesla Model 3 excels in the level of Vehicle Assistance but fails to balance that high level of support with a similar level of Driver Engagement leading to possible overreliance. Euro NCAP tested the latest version of AutoPilot available at the time of testing. The report comes off the back of a series of high-profile incidents involving Tesla Autopilot, including a Canadian owner who was allegedly sleeping in his Model S while travelling at up to 150km/h, and an American owner who video recorded his Model X driving itself from the passenger seat.
Restomod Volvo P1800 is a lightweight love letter to the past - NZ Autocar
When it comes to the current-day trend of restomodding, there’s two patterns of thought. The first is to go electric, ensuring that your classic car of choice is truly future proofed. The second is to give said classic car current-day abilities and tech witho…
When it comes to the current-day trend of restomodding, theres two patterns of thought. The first is to go electric, ensuring that your classic car of choice is truly future proofed. The second is to give said classic car current-day abilities and tech without completely flipping the table. This Volvo P1800 is the latter. Unveiled overnight, its a reimagined, rebuilt version of one of Volvos prettiest creations. It was engineered by the folks at Cyan Racing — Volvos former factory motorsport division, dating back to the 1990s. The firm has given its P1800 the powerplant from its old World Touring Car Championship S60 — a 2.0-litre turbofour making 307kW of power and 455Nm of torque. In the WTCC days it sent that power to the front. But, on this restomod, it instead sends it to the rear. Those familiar with the original P1800 will recognise that its body has been given a bit of attention, too. Cyan have widened the track, and subsequently redesigned the body (now formed out of carbon fibre) and altered the chassis design to accommodate the extra width. This also involved shifting the P1800s greenhouse. A pretty big job, in other words. Each corner now comes with adjustable suspension, and the live rear axle has been traded for double wishbones. Theres also a limited-slip differential in there, too. But, dont assume that Cyan simply went with the latest and greatest at every step. Their P1800 doesnt come with a 15-speed dual-clutch paddle-shift whateverbox. Instead it uses a dog-leg 5-speed manual sourced from Hollinger. Keeping weight down was a big priority, too. Even after all the big brakes, tyres, wheels and such are added, Cyan Racings P1800 tips the scales at only 990kg. Obviously we could have built an electric Volvo P1800 filled with all the latest technology, comfort, and luxury. But that was not what we wanted, said Cyan Racing CEO Christian Dahl. Amid this paradigm shift, we decided to slow down time and freeze a part of it in our own time capsule. To take the best from the golden sixties and combine it with our capabilities of today, keeping a pure yet refined driving experience. This is the bit in the story where normally we flash that this is just a concept. But no, Cyan Racing is actually putting its little restomod into production. Its not cheap, mind you, with pricing said to start around US$500,000 ($740,000).
Abandoned Holden Torana barn find going to auction - NZ Autocar
Think about all the achievements humankind has experienced since 1985. The World Wide Web, the mobile phone, that Magic Bullet blender thing always on television.
Think about all the achievements humankind has experienced since 1985. The World Wide Web, the mobile phone, that Magic Bullet blender thing always on television. Amazing to think that, through that entire period, this classic Holden has been sat in the corner of a building in a little New South Wales country town called West Wyalong. In 1985, this Holden Torana XU1 GTR was traded in at Aberlines Ford for the princely sum of AU$900. Then, for reasons that will probably remain unknown, it was tucked away in the back corner of the dealership to gather dust for almost 35 years. Thankfully, its now up for auction. The Torana XU1 is best known for being the car in which Peter Brock scored his first Bathurst victory in 1972. It was the last of the 500 mile races at Mount Panorama, and the last time anyone won The Great Race solo. The Toranas 3.3-litre inline six couldnt compete with the V8 in Fords XY GT-HO down the straights, but the Torana platform was far quicker through the bends over the top of the mountain. Those historic ties and the natural rising prices of Australian muscle cars mean that an XU1 GTR in good condition can be worth around AU$100,000 ($110,000) today. Youd think that keeping a car like this stowed away in this manner would effectively be a death sentence. But the little Torana appears to be in half decent shape apart from its thick sheen of dirt. No proper appraisal of its condition has been done yet, but its hard to spot any rust and the black leather and vinyl interior looks to have stood the test of time nicely. Auctioneers Burns & Co have confirmed that the car is numbers matching, and have certified that its 86,000km indicated on the odometer is authentic. When it goes under the hammer in October 2021, it will be sold with no reserve. The Torana is one of five notable cars going up for auction from the Aberlines Ford collection. Theres also an equally dusty soft-top Volkswagen Beetle, a 1961 Tank Ford Fairlane (which has also been at the dealership since the mid-1980s), a Marcos Ambrose edition Ford BA Falcon Devil R, and a manual Ford Falcon FG-X ute.
Mini Cooper convertible facing the chop? - NZ Autocar
The end of the line could be in sight for the drop-top variant of Mini’s Cooper.
The end of the line could be in sight for the drop-top variant of Minis Cooper. According to reports, the Mini Cooper convertible is in line for cancellation by 2024, meaning that the recently refreshed model is potentially the last. Sales of the adorable pint-sized cabrio have been on a decline of sorts globally, which has contributed to the speculation according to Automotive News. Its something evident in New Zealand, too, where in recent years the model has gone from being available in various levels of spec to simply being available as just one model — the Cooper S. Apart from adding funky Union Jackstyled tail lights, the Cooper S convertibles 2018 update added a new 6.5-inch Mini Connected infotainment screen and a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, among other changes. Its 2.0-litre turbo four makes 141kW of power and 280Nm of torque, and locally its priced from $56,270. Fans of electric cars will be hoping that the brands new Mini Cooper SE EV will sell in more competitive numbers. The new model recently landed in New Zealand, where it takes on the likes of the BMW i3 and Renault Zoe.
Watch and listen: Ferrari V6 hybrid spied on track - NZ Autocar
It’s inevitable that more supercar firms will produce smaller and smaller engines with a hybrid kick over the coming years, and naturally Ferrari is on board too.
Its inevitable that more supercar firms will produce smaller and smaller engines with a hybrid kick over the coming years, and naturally Ferrari is on board too.Along with the decorated Italian manufacturers upcoming SF90 Stradale hybrid, the most powerful production car to ever wear the prancing horse, its also working on a new entry level model to replace the 488. The developmental bones of this upcoming model have been spied on camera testing at the brands own Fiorano test track. At least, thats what speculation around the video suggests. The footage shows a heavily camouflaged Ferrari 488 test mule making a distinctly six-cylinder sound around the Fiorano circuit. At certain points of the video the six-cylinder sounds hushed and muted, while at other times it climbs to relatively high octaves. Its been rumoured that the engines introduction may coincide with the return of Ferraris former sub-brand Dino. This was the Italian's entry-level off-shoot between 1957 and 1976, named after Enzo Ferraris son; Alfredo Dino Ferrari. Its speculated that this new engine is a V6, as opposed to an inline six. This would make the return of the Dino nameplate all the more poetic. Apart from its numerous Formula 1 cars — past and present — the last time Ferrari produced a V6-powered car was through Dino.
Special Aston Martins get ski rack, self-destruct button - NZ Autocar
While the bulk of the focus right now is on Aston Martin’s upcoming foray into extravagant performance SUVs, it’s worth remembering that the British marque is still producing a range of sports coupes.
While the bulk of the focus right now is on Aston Martins upcoming foray into extravagant performance SUVs, its worth remembering that the British marque is still producing a range of sports coupes.In the build up to the next James Bond 007 action flick, No Time to Die, Aston Martin and its Q division have unveiled a special 007 Edition Vantage and DBS Superleggera. The limited edition Vantage is actually built in part as a homage to the Vantage that starred in 1987s The Living Daylights. It features the requisite array of visual changes, including yellow highlights (inspired by hazard stripes from the rockets fitted to the car in the film, Aston Martin says) and a retro-flavoured mesh grille and basket-weave wheels. And, perhaps in keeping with the retro theme, itll also only be available with Aston Martins seven-speed dog-leg manual box. In true James Bond fashion the changes dont end there. The 007 Edition Vantage also adds a raft of movie-centric features with varying degrees of functionality. On one hand theres the ski-rack on the back, perfect for those trips to Aspen. Aston Martin has also placed a slight easter egg in each Vantage sun visor, in the form of an embroidered 96.60 — a reference to the FM radio station of the Russian police in The Living Daylights. And then theres the faux control panel in the centre console, which houses buttons for a range of Bond gadgets. We assume the laser and missile functions are purely for cosmetic purposes. Same goes for the self destruct button. The 007 Edition DBS Superleggera is arguably the more tasteful option of the pair. It sadly doesnt come with a ski rack or toboggan hatch. Instead you get a more subdued colour combination of Ceramic Grey and carbon fibre on the outside, and plenty of 007 badging on the inside. Perhaps the easiest way to identify a 007 Edition Superleggera are the wheels. It rolls on a set of bespoke diamond-turned 21-inch wheels painted in gloss black. These tasteful changes complement the Superleggeras 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, which is good for 533kW and 900Nm. Just 25 007 Edition Superleggeras will be produced, with 100 007 Edition Vantages set for release. The pairing will retail for £279,025 and £161,000 respectively overseas. Its yet to be confirmed whether either will be available in New Zealand. Creating a 007 Edition is always an exciting challenge as we work to develop and style a car that embodies the legend of James Bond, said Aston Martin Vice-President Marek Reichman. It is an honour to apply carefully judged 007-inspired styling to our sports cars, which gives our customers the opportunity to own a unique piece of both cinematic and automotive history.