Classic Muscle cars pumped for Shannons May 4 Melbourne Auction

right hand drive 1965 Sunbeam Tiger V8 in very good condition will be offered with ‘no reserve’

 

  • Road & Track Mustangs
  • Two iconic Holdens
  • ‘No reserve’ Sunbeam Tiger
  • Two superb Australian sporting Classics

Classic Muscle Cars enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice at Shannons Autumn Classic Auction in Melbourne on May 4, with seven sought-after world-class models from Australia, the UK and the USA going under the hammer.

The biggest ‘muscles’ expectedly come from the US, with a stunning left hand drive 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback expected to sell in the $135,000-$150,000 range.

However Mustang fanciers with Historic Nc Racing or Tarmac Rallying on their mind will be drawn to a right hand drive 1965 Mustang Notchback Coupe that is expected to sell for less than half the Shelby – $55,000-$65,000.

Australian Muscle Car lovers will be torn between two classic Holden models – a 1970 LC Torana GT-R XU-1 finished in fetching ‘Plum Dinger’ ($75,000-$85,000) and a 1968 Holden HK Monaro Coupe retro-fitted with a 327-cid V8 in place of its original 186-cid six cylinder engine ($50,000-$60,000), making it an appealing alternative to an original GTS 327 at less than half the price.

Fanciers of open top Muscle Cars have a similar dilemma: a genuine right hand drive 1965 Sunbeam Tiger V8 presented in very good condition, or a very low kilometre 2007 V8-engined Elfin MS8 Clubman Roadster in near-new condition.

To make the decision even harder, the Tiger is being offered with ‘no reserve’, but is expected to bring $70,000-$85,000, while the silver Clubman seven lots later is expected to sell in the $42,000-$52,000 range.

An alternative to the Elfin for lovers of Classic Australian Muscle cars is a superbly presented 1973 Bolwell Mk VII Coupe that Shannons National Auction Manager Christophe Boribon believes is probably the best example of this rare Australian designed and built in existence.

Featuring immaculate red fibreglass bodywork by noted restorer Peter Todd and an Ian Tate-built 202-cid six cylinder Holden engine fed by three, twin-choke Weber carburettors, the stylish Bolwell is expected to sell affordably in the $30,000-$36,000 range.

Citroen Fully Pimps Revamped DS3 with extra Bling

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It’s a cutie isn’t it? The Brisbane launch put the DS3 through bends tighter than a Scotsman’s wallet and the Citroen ate them for breakfast. It isn’t the most powerful motor in existence but it hums contently no matter what punishment your throw at it.

Before I go into the changes the updates have brought us I’d like to spend a few seconds on the DS range generally. Citroen’s OZ chief, John Startari says Citroen will never be the cheapest nor do they want to be. The problem for the French car maker is the brand awareness, once big in Australia, had a bad case of shrinkage from which it hasn’t yet recovered. There are other models in the range like the gorgeous DS5 but there are so few of them on the road that it is almost criminal.

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You’ll remember the stunning and dramatic DS which was once the preferred ride of the French president. It was designed by Bertoni and had that funny uppy-downy suspension. The long low-slung saloon was a revelation and the magic carpet ride was a world first system. It was like sitting in the splendid luxury of a Loire chateau drawing room being propelled at 100kph. It was built for 20 years and when it was released, was so advanced that it must have seemed more like an aircraft than an automobile. Rumour has it that before being released it was debadged and driven around England. People actually thought it was some kind of space craft. You have to remember what else was around at the time, cars the FJ Holden were was typical of 50’s engineering and design. Enough said.

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DS was resurrected a few years ago but the bijou sales figures have been slightly discouraging with only 56 DS cars finding homes so far this year, and a total of only 340 Citroens being sold for the same period. It’s a shame because Citroens, particularly DS3s, are pots of fun to drive. They have a 6 year warranty and capped price service, double that of many of the competitors and only Citroens have the bona fide whiff of un vin rouge et un baguette about them. They scream continental flair and are now being rallied to within an inch of their lives, but more about the rally car later.

DS3 has only one spec, the Sport. You get fancy new LED headlights that look like the front window at Tiffany’s. Huge jewels focus the LED/Xenon lights looking spectacular at night, and almost as good in the daylight. For most of us it’s the other way round. In a playful moment, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lends her name to the shiny new black 17” wheels, and inside there are cupholders.

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Dimitri Andreatidis is Citroen’s head marketing bloke and reckons the DS3 updates make it more flexible. Apart from the 121KW engine giving power and torque over a wider band, you have cup holders. The younger Citroen managers appear infatuated cup holders! Perhaps it’s a Canadian thing! It’s an “in” joke which would lose much in translation so I won’t bother.

So we know it has cup holders which I for one can’t manage without, but in a genius move, all DS3s now have Satnav, HOORAH! Sadly it still has the god-awful auxiliary stalks for cruise control and radio. I had rather hoped they’d been banished to a place far far away. You see, they are mounted behind the steering wheel, and unlike the wipers and headlight controls, the cruise and audio controls are hidden from view. Without a thorough study of the buttons and levers before you move off, you’ll change radio stations when you’re trying to set the cruise, and turn the cruise off when you’re desperately stabbing at things trying to get rid of Micheal Bublé. These are annoyances which evaporate after a little training and so are not a deal breakers.

The interior looks very smart. There are lashings of leather and metal, some of which I suspect is simulated, and a dash treatment of carbon fibre look trim. There is a room deodoriser which for some reason always makes me chuckle. It’s the modern version of a cardboard pine tree hanging from the rearview mirror which smelt rather too much like a men’s lavvy. We don’t know what this one smells like because Citroen says it’s a personal thing which a buyer would choose on purchase. How French is that?

The sound system is rather good with nice rich tones and an easy to use menu. If there is one complaint, it is that you must use the dials and knobs for all the functions. Without the option of touching the screen, navigation isn’t quite as intuitive as it might be. It’s only a small thing and by no means lessens the experience but touch screen options are the norm in the 21st century.

The drive is a cracking experience. The DS really loves being chucked into corners and encourages a driver to be engaged by the trip rather than merely steering a lump of metal from place to place. I mentioned the 121kw turbo petrol which, in a rather cute French way, is the only choice. You do have a choice of transmissions though, oh wait, no you don’t. There is a 6 speed manual and that’s that. You might think this is a mistake but there is sound reasoning behind it. The auto was a decrepit old 4 speed job which simply doesn’t cut it in the era of 7, 8 and 9 speed automatics. The clutch has a long throw and takes a few changes to get familiar with. Sadly the sequential double clutch gearbox from the rally car isn’t available. Now, that is a shame.

The launch was a combination of highways and stimulating Queensland countryside with very tight turns. The latter might tempt the unwary, but don’t be fooled. New cars make us all far better drivers than we actually are. We’ve all seen the bad tempered yobbos on tv who switch the stability control off and delight in getting the tail end out. This is folly that will only end in tears. The DS isn’t upset by bumps even in the middle of a challenging turn and the rest of the ride is fabulous especially for a small car. While I do miss Citroen’s halcyon Hydro-pneumatic suspension, the clever modern setup goes some way to righting the wrongs. Only one Citroen now has the expensive fluid and gas system of old. It is probably as well as I don’t fancy trying to explain what a sphere and an accumulator do.

While the green-ish rolling hills set quite the goal to test handling, a track sorts the men from the boys. Unusually, in a typically playful way, Citroen took us to a go-cart track. Imagine the fun we could have had if the bosses hadn’t been watching over us like mother hawks watching mice. Somehow Citroen cajoled the track owners into letting us throw DS3s around as if they were go-carts. We still managed to push the cars to the maximum of our limits, even if the Citroens had more to give. We were told not to be naughty. The stability control had to be left on and the goal was to have two laps to compete for a signed watch as a prize. It was a hoot. What it did show was the 121 kw power plant had more than enough get up and go. We weren’t allowed to go above second gear which you might think severely limited the performance. In reality I suspect it saved many of us from having to fill in insurance claims. The challenge was enough to make the brakes smell as if they’d recently spent time in hell.

2015 citroen DS3 gaycarboys (2)There is nothing I dislike about the DS3. It is perky and cute. It has automatic air-conditioning, automatic wipers, and automatic lights as well as deeply sculptured seats. It has collision avoidance up to 31kph and a full suite of active and passive safety features. The interior trim is classy as well as sporty. The exterior has that Citroen-ness of old. The “floating” roof is there just because it can be.

This is a lifestyle car. Citroen aren’t selling a vehicle as much as they are an image of what you want to be. Yes there are cheaper, or more powerful cars. Yes there are better handlers and those with better equipment but only the Citroen has the chutzpah to put a cute little French sun shade over the instrument panel. You can mix and match colours of soft tops, hard tops, paint and interiors to get tons of different results that are as unique as the people who want to be seen in them. You get 6 year warranty/capped price service/roadside assist and a massive 12 year corrosion warranty. Best of all, it has “pseudo Macpherson Struts”. Can you imagine the fun you’ll have at dinner parties when the conversation come to the inevitable uncomfortable pause, and you stand to casually ejaculate “my DS3 has Pseudo Macpherson Struts, that is all.” With that you sit down and casually continue to scoff your umpteenth un vin blanc with the deadpan face of Marcel Marceau. That alone has to be worth the purchase price surely!

This is one of those cars whose total is far more than merely the sum of its parts. It is a rare ride so you’re unlikely to park next to one and be confused as to which is yours. Yes, that does happen but I’ll say no more.

Would I buy one? UMMMMMM I would want to wait for the Cactus to arrive before I decide, but that’s another story.

Until next time, oui oui au revoir et bonne continuation.

Engine: direct injected turbo, in-line 1.6L 4 cylinder, 121 kw/240Nm, Euro 6

Performance: 7.5 secs 0-100, 5.6L/100k, 129gm CO2

Price: $33,990 hatch, $36590 Cabriolet (plus on roads)

Top of the line Volvo XC90 ‘Excellence’ to be unveiled at Shanghai Auto Show

Volvo XC90 Excellence

 

Volvo Cars will unveil the most luxurious vehicle ever built by the Swedish company in its 88 year history at the Shanghai International Automobile Show – an elegant and refined four-seat version of its recently launched All-New XC90.

The XC90 Excellence has been crafted by Volvo’s designers and engineers to offer customers a distinct and individual automotive experience that incorporates the latest Scandinavian innovations in design, refinement, comfort and style.

The XC90 Excellence is based on Volvo’s All-New XC90 sports utility vehicle, but has just four seats compared to the original’s seven, creating an enormous amount of additional space for rear seat passengers that delivers an exceptional customer experience.

Volvo XC90 Excellence

This space is utilised to offer a First Class automotive experience that begins with broad, spacious individual reclining rear seats complete with massage, ventilation and increased leg room. In addition there is as a retractable control touchscreen, folding tables, a refrigerator with bottle and glass holders, a heating/cooling cup holder and handmade crystal glasses from leading Swedish glass design company, Orrefors.

“This is our new flagship car,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design. “We have created the ultimate luxury experience of Scandinavian design. Volvo has never launched a car like this before. This is the car that demonstrates what the name Volvo now means.”

The XC90 Excellence offers its passengers footrests, ambient lighting, illuminated storage, unique leather detailing in blond or charcoal, a luggage compartment dividing screen, additional sound insulation in the cabin, and Pirelli Noise Cancelling System tyres (PNCS).

XC90 Excellence passengers will also enjoy a specially-augmented Bowers & Wilkins audio system that adds an extra speaker to its 19 speaker system, resulting in unrivalled high fidelity sound reproduction and surround effect in the rear seats.

“What we have designed is amongst the best rear seat experiences available in a luxury car,” said Mr Ingenlath. “The result is a superlative environment for relaxed comfort or doing business.”

Volvo XC90 Excellence - interior

Reinforcing the Swedish love of fresh air, the XC90 Excellence comes with an integrated ionic air cleaner in the CleanZone climate system. The ionic air cleaner works by positively charging electrons in airborne particles (dust or smoke for example) so they are removed from suspension in the cabin environment.

The XC90 Excellence also offers a leather instrument panel with contrasting thread, while the headliner of the cabin is colour coordinated pure Nubuck textile.

Exterior styling differentiators include an Excellence rank mark, chrome B- and C-pillar cappings and lower door mouldings.

Volvo’s All-New XC90, launched in August 2014, is proving to be extremely popular with customers seeking a luxury SUV. Over 24,000 have been ordered before it has even reached Volvo showrooms.

This accounts for approximately half of Volvo’s expected volume for the car in 2015.

The XC90 Excellence incorporates all the features that underpin the All-New XC90’s ongoing success, such as world leading safety features, new powertrain technologies and an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency.

The XC90 Excellence will be available globally later this year and via digital commerce in selected markets.

Audi A5, Marie Bashir and Mardi Gras

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Yes Yes Yes oh YES: great looks, expensive cabin, Quattro AWD, open top

Oh dear me no: Options can be pricey

The A5 is my favourite Audi. It has perfect proportions with just the right mix of masculinity, class and X factor. It isn’t showy but it is definitely impressive. There is a certain aura which attracts comment and until the recent Lexus RC-F was the most commented-on car since the first drive of the Toyota 86. The black on black convertible looks a little menacing but in the nicest possible way.

You might think a 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder might have trouble hauling around such a big car but it is quite the opposite. In the city, the A5 feels as light and nimble as a playful kitten. On the highway the smooth ride is limo-like and you could easily imagine doing many hours in the saddle just for the joy of it. This means as well as being a perfect city car, you also have a grand tourer which is thrifty as a Scotsman’s wallet. The 3.0L petrol is available but doesn’t have quite the same economy.

One of the common myths about open top cars is that they are cold, or hot and your expensive coiffure would be decimated in seconds. It is true that in very hot weather you’ll need the roof up if you don’t want 3rd degree burns but other than rain, there is no reason not to experience the unadulterated pleasure of being at one with nature.

One of the duties on the Mardi Gras weekend was to drive the Chiefs of parade who this year were Prof The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, ex governor of NSW and her hubby Sir Nicholas Shehady, ex Lord Mayor of Sydney and Aussie rugby captain. Their extensive list of achievements makes them both much adored by New South Welsh-people. An A5 was perfect for such laudable and inspiring VIPs but more about them later.

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The A5 range has a coupe, convertible and fastback as family members and all have the same impeccable interiors. They have 1.8, 2.0 and 3.0 petrol and 2.0 and 3.0 diesel engines. For anything more powerful you’ll need to shop in the “S” models. For me, the fastback isn’t quite the success of the 2 door version but it is none the less popular. The cabriolet’s cabin has the same exclusive feel as its handsome exterior. The switch gear has the solid feel of quality and the leather comes from pampered cows who have never seen a barbed wire fence. And, there is lots of room too. The 2 VIP seats in the rear are deeply sculptured but like most big coupes wouldn’t be suitable for a really long journey, but for a circuit around town are just right. The front seats can also waft a cool breeze through the seat cushion on a hot day, and warm air at neck level on cool days.

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The Drive mode is selectable giving different ride and engine responses. In any mode it is a pleasure to drive. The roof can be lowered or raised at speeds of 50kph which means that should the weather turn unexpectedly septic, you can gently caress the control and raise the triple layer ragtop and in a thrice you’re cocooned. With the roof up the Audi is almost as quiet as the coupe version. We drove through some particularly nasty storms but we felt as cosy as if we’d been wrapped in our favourite doona. The story was the same on the highway. With the roof up, the atmosphere was that of a mid-century modern gentleman’s club but going topless at any speed didn’t ruin the hair-dos. As with any convertible, if you really want the full Monty you must leave the windows down. This is how we did the Royal National Park drive so we could smell the forest, and hear the birds. Imagine driving through some of Australia’s ancient growth but feeling like you’re still in your cosy lounge room. It is pleasure free of guilt or inconvenience. We stopped in a small clearing in the rain forest. We turned the engine off and there we were, sitting in leather lounge chairs with our feet buried in sumptuous carpet. We were surrounded by leather, chrome and aluminum and felt as if Jeeves had unrolled a carpet and laid out the club lounge on the forest floor. The smells and sounds completely uninterrupted by glass or steel and we felt part of the scenery, not just distant onlookers. This is how life must be experienced, not sealed inside a clinical capsule however luxurious it may be. I can’t help but feel we have become disconnected from our surroundings. The slightest hint of moisture or a half a degree temperature change sends us into panic stricken conniptions. Try sitting in a forest in a convertible and see how you feel.

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The roof is the most important ingredient of the convertible. This one has several layers of acoustic material and is a soft top. The advantage over folding steel is the amount of space it allows in the boot whether stowed or deployed. A neat feature is the roof cover which swings up towards the rear rather than being hinged at the rear edge. The complex mechanism opens much faster than a conventional hinged cover and the glass-windowed roof is then able to open or close with the whole process taking only about 20 seconds. If you change your mind after you’ve left the vehicle you can operate the roof from the door lock using the key. Now that is real genius.

The Bang and Olufsen sound system sounds great and is easy to use. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought it would sound better but perhaps that is because the more I drove it, the higher the bar was raised.

Once we hit the curves, the Quattro AWD hung on, and despite her size changed direction like a cat on carpet. The A5 has a way of making things feel like they are happening in slow motion. It has the excitement of a roller coaster, with posh seats and air conditioning. Everything feels calm, considered, and controlled.

Mardi Gras:

Marie Bashjir AUDI

When Audi heard Marie Bashir and Nick Shehady were chiefs of the Mardi Gras Parade they were thrilled and suggested the capacious A5 to add a sense of occasion.

We arrived early as the chiefs lead the parade and the vehicles line up in order of procession. I mustered the support of a dear old old old old friend for moral support. The scene was one of organized pandemonium. Slowly the marshaling zones began to fill with floats, frills and frothy costumes. There was a lot of bare skin and more buns than a Sunday morning bakery. We had gotten a bad case of nerves by the time the VIPs arrived. What do we call them? What will they think of a million queens throwing glitter with gay abandon? And, the buns!

Audi A5 in the marshalling areaThe Audi waiting for Dame Marie and Sir Nicholas gaycarboys

Several hours later, as the light began to fade, we found out.

Dame Marie and Sir Nick appeared through the chaos in an electric buggy. There were meeters and greeters shaking hands and taking selfies and not once did the couple complain or refuse. No sooner was the car door open and the octogenarians leapt into the back seats with the enthusiasm of spring lambs. I’m not sure which of them was looking forward to the event more. As Dame Marie is so petite, she asked that the seat back be lowered so she could perch on it for extra height. I suggested it might not be very comfortable but she was having none of it. What a trooper.

Marie Bashir nick shehady audi A5 mardi gras 2015She said she had wanted a rainbow flag but didn’t know where to get one. Luckily my hubby had bought her one for which she was most grateful. The first Australians also flooded us with flags to make a festive occasion feel even better.

The signal was given, and the parade began to move off. I said “OK kids, hang on, Off we go”. There is a lot of love out for both Dame Marie and Sir Nick. Dame Marie is our much loved Ex-governor who has worked in the community for tens of decades. Sir Nicholas is the ex-Lord Mayor of Sydney, Ex rugby captain and businessman and also much respected and loved.

Surprisingly you can hear everything said form the crowd. Many were heard shouting “we love you Marie” but there were also many comments about the car. Who’d have thought it? The DSG is a bit tricky to drive any distance at speeds of 5kph. The clutches grab and release making the ride feel like a series of mini surges but we coped. Dame Marie passed several gracious remarks about the Audi, and she should know what luxury feels like. She has been driven about in Jags and Rollers, and has greeted kings, queens and princes and entertained them at Government House.

dame marie and sir nick gaycarboys

Dame Marie told me to make sure she didn’t miss any well-wishers, even those on high balconies. We paused in Taylor Square for the raising of the Pride Flag then, sallied forth. As we turned in to Flinders St I heard “hey mum, mum, over here”. I asked Dame Marie if she had a daughter and pointed out a shouting lady. I presumed the shouts of “mum” she was not talking to any of the male passengers.

Towards the end of the route the crowd thinned we chatted more informally, as if any of the drive had been formal. That is not the Mardi Gras way. Sir Nick told us how the couple met and pointed out Marie’s school as we passed Girls High. He tapped my shoulder again pointing out the stand in his name at the football stadium. They couldn’t be prouder. Dame Marie said “you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Nowhere does a party like Sydney”, and she is right. As quickly as it had begun, the parade finished and we found ourselves at the end. I told the couple that I had been asked to drive them back to Taylor Square to view the rest of the parade. Once Dame Marie was seated properly We prepared to head back. I asked her if she preferred the roof up or down. “It is a beautiful night. Let’s have the roof down. I don’t want to miss a thing” said Dame Marie.

Marie Bashir nick shehady audi A5 mardi gras 2015 2 gaycarboys

We threaded our way through the atmospheric crowded streets of Surry Hills and arrived at a cordon. As if by magic, the constable waved us through. The couple thanked us but once again didn’t wait for the seats to fully slide back as they scampered from the back.

A few days later I found a package which had slid into the boot while the back seat was down. Dame Marie said she lost a package. Quick as a flash I put two and two together and had it returned to her. Within an hour my mobile rang. It was Dame Marie ringing to thank us for returning the package. I was chuffed.

Conclusion:

The Audi A5 might just be my favourite ragtop ever. It was as economical and comfortable as it was smooth AUDI A5 convertible gaycarboys (16)and nippy. Sure it costs many shekels but if you don’t like the price don’t buy it. If you want the bigger engines you’ve going to need deeper pockets but for my money the 2.0L turbo is smooth and silent and the DSG is silky. For the record I’ll always prefer a manual. The package is a nice combination of form and function.

Would I buy one? Yes. It was sensational even if a trifle expensive.

Engine: 2.0L turbo petrol, 165kw/350Nm, 7.2secs 0-100 (also 1.8L and 3.0L petrol and 2.0L and 3.0L diesel)

Trans: 7 Speed S tronic (DSG dual clutch auto)

Price:

Petrol

1.8 Multitronic $89,732

2.0 S tronic Quattro $100,022

3.0 S tronic Quattro $120,967

Diesel

2.0 multitronic $91,938

3.0 Multitronic $117,557

Land Rover Australia announces pricing for New 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

All-New Discovery Sport HSE Luxury gaycarboys (1)

 

  • Australian pricing to start from $53 300 RRP (TD4 SE manual)
  • Retail deliveries commence 1st May 2015
  • Bold and progressive design defines the new Discovery family of vehicles
  • Room for seven passengers, in a 5+2 configuration
  • New multi-link rear suspension for superior on-road agility and off-road ability
  • Roomy and versatile cabin with a compact exterior footprint
  • Both 9-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions are available with the 110kW or 140Kw 2.2-litre turbo diesel models
  • The 177kW Si4 2.0-litre petrol engine is fitted with the 9-speed automatic transmission as standard
  • All powertrains are four-wheel-drive.
  • Exceptional all-terrain performance courtesy of optimized off-road geometry, plus Terrain Response®
  • Connected on-road handling with electric power-assisted steering
  • Standard fit Autonomous Emergency Braking designed to help the driver avoid collisions
  • New 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with intuitive controls and an expansive connectivity package $41490
  • Discovery Sport achieves maximum five star safety rating from Euro NCAP following rigorous tests
  • First Land Rover to feature all-new safety features, such as Pedestrian Airbag and Autonomous Emergency Braking System

Sydney, Australia January 14, 2015 – Land Rover Australia today announced RRP for the new Discovery Sport is starting from $53,300. The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is a versatile premium compact SUV that is the first member of the new Discovery vehicle family. A dynamic design with a compact footprint provides seven-passenger seating in a “5+2” configuration. The 2015 Discovery Sport will deliver a highly refined combination of performance, safety and efficiency thanks to a body shell of high-strength steel and lightweight aluminum, Both 9-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions are available in the two versions of 2.2-litre diesel models (TD4 110kW and SD4 140kW) producing 420Nm of torque. The Si4 2.0-litre petrol engine is fitted with the 9-speed automatic transmission as standard and all powertrains are four-wheel-drive.

New Land Rover innovations debut in the Discovery Sport, including available Autonomous Emergency Braking and a new touchscreen infotainment system2.

All-New Discovery Sport HSE Luxury gaycarboys (4)“The Discovery Sport is the perfect vehicle for the Australian terrain and climate,” said Michael Winkler Jaguar Land Rover Australia Managing Director. “Not only is it capable and luxurious, its price point makes it available to even more Australians who want to enter the compact premium SUV market.”

Designed and engineered at the Land Rover Development Centre in the UK, the Discovery Sport will be produced at the company’s award-winning manufacturing facility in Halewood, Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. It goes on sale in May 2015 alongside the existing Land Rover Discovery in Australia, which is sold in over 170 markets worldwide.

The Land Rover Discovery Sport will offer a comprehensive range of personalisation options, including:

  • Black Pack: a gloss-black grille, door mirror caps, front fender vents, hood and tailgate lettering and a choice of 19- or 20-inch alloy wheel designs
  • Contrast roof in Santorini Black or Corris Grey that extends to the base of the A-pillars
  • A range of seven distinctive alloy wheel designs – including the striking Aero Viper – is available with a selection of Silver or Gloss Black finish, depending on wheel design
  • Front and rear undershields, together with tubular stainless-steel side steps with a highly polished finish, underscore the vehicle’s all-terrain capability. Noble-silver painted door-mirror caps complement the look
  • Full panoramic roof with a dark tint and a special surface treatment for solar protection makes the cabin feel even more spacious. A power-retracting shade offers additional sun shielding
  • Available accessory luggage compartment rails create a highly configurable luggage area, and can be specified in conjunction with a Retention Kit featuring a telescopic crossbeam and retractable band to secure loose items
  • All-New Discovery Sport HSE Luxury gaycarboys (3)

Also available as dealer accessories:

  • Headrest-mounted iPad® holders for rear-seat passengers feature quick-release for added security
  • A centre armrest cooler/warmer box finished in premium leather provides convenient storage for food and drinks and maintains items at a desired temperature
  • A full range of rubber mats and liners help to protect carpets and the luggage compartment from mud and wear-and-tear under heavy use
  • A range of towing features, available as accessories, includes a detachable towing system and fixed-height tow bar
  • At the core of the new Land Rover Discovery Sport is the outstanding capability that’s been the hallmark of the company’s vehicles for nearly half a century. As it has done with all its models, Land Rover instilled the Discovery Sport with a compelling combination of off-road capability and on-road dynamics. Interior packaging and safety innovations make the new model an ideal family vehicle, while extensive use of intelligent lightweight materials and an efficient powertrain reduce fuel costs and environmental impact.
  • Land Rover Terrain Response® maximizes the capability of the Discovery Sport in challenging conditions. Controlled through an intuitive interface on the centre console, Terrain Response® is All-New Discovery Sport HSE Luxury gaycarboys (2)designed to precisely tailor the vehicle’s steering, throttle response, gearbox, centre-coupling and braking and stability systems to the demands of the terrain. Terrain Response® features four settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow (for slippery conditions on- and off-road); Mud and Ruts, and Sand2 as well as an optional Dynamic Mode. Terrain Response® is backed up by a suite of technologies that support off-road and slippery-condition driving. These include:
  • Hill Descent Control® (HDC) maintains a set speed while negotiating steep inclines off-road
  • Gradient Release Control® (GRC) progressively releases the brakes when moving away on an incline for maximum control
  • Roll Stability Control (RSC) designed to detect the onset of a rollover and applies the brakes to the outer wheels to bring the vehicle under control
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) corrects oversteer and understeer by reducing engine torque and/or applying brakes to individual wheels
  • Electronic Traction Control (ETC) reduces torque and/or applies a braking force to individual wheels to prevent wheelspin
  • Engine Drag Torque Control (EDC) helps to prevent lock-up under heavy engine braking in slippery conditions by increasing engine torque to the affected wheels

Australian Pricing

Discovery Sport

RRP

TD4 SE M

$53,300

TD4 SE A

$55,800

SD4 SE M

$56,500

SD4 SE A

$59,000

TD4 HSE M

$57,900

TD4 HSE A

$60,400

SI4 SE A

$59,000

SD4 HSE M

$61,100

SD4 HSE A

$63,600

SD4 HSE Luxury M

$66,500

SD4 HSE Luxury A

$69,000

Daimler and Nissan Alliance expand cooperation to 1-ton pickup trucks

 

  • Nissan and Daimler to jointly develop midsize pickup truck
  • Mercedes-Benz pickup to share some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300
  • Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be engineered and designed by Daimler to meet specific needs of its customers
  • Mercedes-Benz pickup will target Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America
  • Pickup trucks to be built in Barcelona, Spain, and Cordoba, Argentina
  • Latest milestone in the five-year strategic cooperation between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance

STUTTGART/PARIS/YOKOHAMA (April 8, 2015) – The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG will expand their five-year strategic cooperation into the pickup truck segment.

Together, Nissan and Daimler will develop a 1-ton pickup truck for Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz recently announced its entry into this segment. The Mercedes-Benz pickup will share some of the architecture with the all-new Nissan NP300 but it will be engineered and designed by Daimler to meet the specific needs of its customers. The vehicle will have all of Mercedes Benz’ distinctive characteristics and features.

The pickup will feature a double cab and will be targeted both at personal-use and commercial customers. The primary target markets for the truck are Europe, Australia, South Africa and Latin America.

“Mercedes-Benz is the fastest growing premium brand in the world,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Entering the rapidly growing segment of midsize pickups is an important step in continuing our global growth path. Thanks to our well-established partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, we are able to drastically reduce the time and cost to enter this key segment.”

Nissan is the world’s second-biggest 1-ton pickup truck maker and has been building and selling 1-ton pickups for more than 80 years. Since 1933, more than 14 million Nissan 1-ton pickup trucks have been used to transport people and cargo, sometimes in the toughest circumstances. The NP300, sold under the name NP300 Navara and NP300 Frontier (depending on the market), was launched in June 2014 and is currently produced in Thailand and Mexico.

Nissan and Renault are already developing a 1-ton pickup truck for Renault which will also share some common architecture with the Nissan NP300. The truck, which will have a distinctive Renault design, is Renault’s first 1-ton pickup truck as well. Production of Renault’s 1-ton truck will begin in 2016 at Nissan’s plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The 1-ton pickup will mark Renault’s second entry into the pickup segment after the launch of a half-ton pickup later this year.

The Mercedes-Benz 1-ton pickup truck will be built by Nissan in the Renault plant in Cordoba, Argentina, along with the Nissan NP300 and the Renault 1-ton truck, for Latin America. The three trucks will also be built in the Nissan plant in Barcelona, Spain, for other markets, excluding North America. Production of the trucks at the two plants will start by the end of the decade.

The Barcelona plant will produce about 120,000 vehicles annually for the three partners, while the Cordoba plant will produce nearly 70,000 vehicles a year. A high parts localization rate is expected to expand the supply bases in Spain and Argentina significantly.

“Thanks to our cooperation with Daimler on this project, we will be able to share the cost of investment at the Cordoba plant, while at the same time open up new markets in the Latin American region for the Renault-Nissan Alliance,” said Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Chairman and CEO. “This project will also allow us to optimize production capacity at the Barcelona plant and enhance our competitiveness in an important segment.”

The joint pickup project is the latest milestone in the strategic partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this month. The strategic cooperation among the three companies began on April 10, 2010. At the time, the scope of the collaboration was limited to three projects primarily focused on Europe. Since then, the combined portfolio shared between Renault-Nissan and Daimler has more than quadrupled to 13 projects in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

“After five years of cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan, my conclusion is by all means positive,” Zetsche said. “We have identified and launched many joint projects that create benefits for all partners involved.”

“This cooperation is one of the most productive in the auto industry, enabling all partners to increase economies of scale while keeping our brands and products distinct,” Ghosn said.

Mazda MX-5 Club Makes World Debut at New York International Auto Show

Mazda North American Operations MX5Club

 

– Performance-focused MX-5 Club has trim level-exclusive Bilstein suspension, limited-slip differential –

NEW YORK: Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today introduced the Mazda MX-5 Club at the New York International Auto Show, marking the world debut of the Club model in North American-specification.

Lighter, smaller, quicker and more nimble than its predecessor, MX-5 has adopted Mazda’s full suite of SKYACTIV Technology and ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design.

In the process, MX-5 has shed approximately 150 pounds from its predecessor, with a curb weight of 2,332 lbs. when equipped with SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission (2,381 lbs. with the six-speed automatic transmission).

The MX-5 Club heightens performance with trim-level exclusive:

  • 17-inch gunmetal alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45R17 tires
  • Limited-slip differential when equipped with SKYACTIV-MT
  • Bilstein shocks when equipped with SKYACTIV-MT
  • Shock tower brace when equipped with SKYACTIV-MT
  • Front air dam and rear lip spoilers

Standard equipment on MX-5 Club models includes MZD Connect infotainment system with a seven-inch colour touchscreen display and multi-function commander control, HD and Sirius XM Satellite Radio, two USB ports, piano black side mirrors and seatback bars and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with headrest speakers.

Also available for the MX-5 Club is a package that equips the roadster with forged lightweight BBS 17-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes and functional aerodynamic side sill extensions and rear bumper skirt that were previewed at the Chicago Auto Show and on the MX-5 Global Cup race car.

“MX-5 is the heart and soul of Mazda, serving as a beacon for the rest of our line-up with its fun-to-drive dynamics, design and technologies,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO.

“Jinba Ittai—oneness between driver and machine—defines the MX-5. It’s a philosophy that has led every decision we’ve made toward bringing the MX-5 back to the basics that made drivers fall in love with it 26 years ago when the first generation debuted.”

All MX-5s bound for North America will come with compact LED headlights, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre engine. The MX-5 will be equipped with either a standard 6-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual or 6-speed automatic.

Further packaging details will be made available closer to the MX-5’s summer on-sale date.