Subaru EyeSight rates top in Japan


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Three Subaru models equipped with the EyeSight™ driver assist system have been awarded top ratings in a new type of assessment by the Japan New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP).

The Advanced Safety Vehicle-Plus (ASV+) rating was awarded to Japanese domestic specification versions of the Subaru Forester, XV Hybrid and Levorg wagon.

The preventive safety performance assessment is a new measure prompted by the introduction of vehicles equipped with preventive safety technology, to help prevent accidents – such as automatic brakes and Subaru’s EyeSight system. 

The assessment involves testing two parameters: the Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS) and the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), both of which form elements of EyeSight.

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The AEBS test has the car approaching a target (simulated vehicle) between 10-60 km/h, examining how well the preventive safety brakes function. There are two types of tests: one with the target stationary, the other with the target travelling at 20 km/h. Points are awarded for avoiding collision or, if one does occur, the reduction in speed achieved beforehand.

The LDWS test has the car travel at 60 or 70 km/h, examining whether the system emits a warning when the car strays across white lines on the road. The lower the speed at which the warning is emitted, the more points are awarded.

The maximum rating is 40, with points awarded for effectiveness in reducing accidents resulting in death or serious injury, based on the types of accidents occurring in Japan. Any vehicle earning two points or more is designated as an Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV), and a vehicle earning 12 points or more is designated as an Advanced Safety Vehicle-Plus (ASV+).

Levorg was awarded 40 points, Forester 39.9 and XV Hybrid 39.3, meaning all three won ASV+ designations with distinction.

In Australia, some variants of Forester, Liberty and Outback are equipped with EyeSight, calibrated for local conditions.

For details of the Japanese assessment results, see the NASVA website:

Hyundai’s superior new model, the Genesis, offers superior safety


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Hyundai’s superior new model, the Genesis, offers superior safety

Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury sedan enters the Australasian market with a superior level of occupant and pedestrian protection, easily achieving the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating.

A brand new entrant to the Large Car category, the Genesis achieved high scores across all areas of assessment.

“The Genesis is Hyundai’s flagship model and as such offers a high level of physical crashworthiness and excellent safety features as standard,” said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh.

“This is one of the first times we have seen the word ‘Standard’ listed against almost every safety feature on our checklist. Importantly, autonomous emergency braking is one of these standard features – one that
has recently been left off many new models hitting our shores.”

The following safety assist technologies (SAT) are standard on all Genesis variants available in Australia and New Zealand:

• Active lift (pop-up) bonnet
• Adaptive cruise control (ACC)
• Adaptive front lighting systems
• Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
• Daytime running lights (DRL)
• Emergency stop signal (ESS)
• Lane support system (LSS)
• Pre-safe systems
• Reversing collision avoidance
• Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)

“Historically, consumers have been encouraged to seek out features like ABS and ESC but with manufacturers now developing and rolling out SATs at a rapid pace, consumers will soon be just as familiar with, and demand, these important life-saving technologies.”

“Active safety systems are the future of vehicle safety. ANCAP is encouraging consumers to learn more about the benefits of these safety systems and ask for them when they buy their next car,” said Mr McIntosh.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident
Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

To search individual crash test results for more than 500 vehicles, learn more about safety technologies, explore interactive features, watch videos and to download images and media releases visit

Hyundai delivers first hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to UK customers

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  • Six Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles arrive for first UK customers
  • Arrival follows £11m government and industry funding to support hydrogen transport
  • ix35 Fuel Cell is world’s first series-production Fuel Cell car
  • Demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to sustainable fuel technologies

21 October 2014 – The first ix35 Fuel Cell customer vehicles have arrived in the UK, continuing Hyundai’s global roll-out of the world’s first series-production hydrogen-fuelled car.

Hyundai is the first car manufacturer to supply these zero-emission vehicles to paying customers in the UK, paving the way for growth of the clean technology, having led its research and development since 1998. 

The arrival of ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles comes just days after Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced £11 million (AUD$20 million) of UK government and industry funding to support hydrogen transport. This continued investment in the sector through 2015 will expand the nationwide hydrogen refuelling station network, boosting consumer confidence and increasing uptake of fuel cell vehicles.

ix35 Fuel Cell SUV gaycarboys (2)Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, commented: “Making the first UK customer deliveries of hydrogen-powered cars is a huge landmark for the industry. Hyundai is the first company in the world to start series-production of a fuel cell vehicle and is committed to rolling-out this technology in line with government plans to grow the refuelling infrastructure.”

Among the first to enjoy operating the pioneering vehicles on UK roads are organisations including Air Products, ITM Power, Johnson Matthey and Transport for London.

The Deputy Mayor of London for business and enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “I firmly believe that hydrogen fuel cell technology will eventually replace the internal combustion engine but we have to show the public the vehicles, let them kick the tyres and demonstrate that it is more than just a science fiction story, it works and can be used in a very similar manner to the cars they are used to. That is why these new vehicles are so important, it is about putting the technology on the street and taking the first steps towards a viable hydrogen future both in London and nationwide.”

Promoting the adoption of fuel cell vehicles in the UK, Hyundai is part of a number of collaborative projects. These include London’s Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE), a project backed by Innovate, and Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles (HyFIVE). Hyundai is also a supplier to HyTEC, which alongside HyFIVE is funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). In addition, Hyundai Motor UK is also a participant in the UKH2 Mobility project that has played a key part in advising government.

With no harmful tailpipe emissions, ix35 Fuel Cell can travel nearly 600kms in real-world driving conditions before refuelling, which is a quick and easy process similar to refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle.

UK consumers can order ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles today by contacting Hyundai UK directly. Coordinating deliveries worldwide, Hyundai will fulfil new customer deliveries in early 2015.

Sotheby’s auctions a one off Jean-Paul Gaultier SL-Class


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Mercedes-Benz and Sotheby’s Australia join forces to raise funds for Brainwave

Melbourne. At an exclusive invitation only event at The National Gallery of Victoria a truly unique piece of the work of Jean-Paul Gaultier was unveiled.

SL Class  Jean-Paul Gaultier gaycarboys (2)An iconic Mercedes-Benz SL that has been wrapped with a Jean-Paul Gaultier design including a personally signed bonnet was unveiled to a capacity crowd.

In an exclusive co operation  Mercedes-Benz and Sotheby’s Australia have teamed up to auction the bonnet to raise funds for Brainwave.

At the exclusive invitation only event that launched  “THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER, FROM THE SIDEWALK TO THE CATWALK” at the National Gallery of Victoria on Tuesday night,  SL Class  Jean-Paul Gaultier gaycarboys (3)Mercedes-Benz and Sotheby’s announced the forthcoming auction at 5.30pm on October 29 at Sotheby’s of the bonnet of the SL-Class wrapped with a design and signed by Jean Paul Gaultier.

All proceeds from the auction will to go to Brainwave.

The Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific and Managing Director Of Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars, Mr Horst von Sanden said “ The incredible creativity and passion of Jean Paul Gaultier is at the centrepiece of this exhibition. Jean Paul has designed a wrap for our iconic SL and he has also signed the bonnet. In collaboration with Sotheby’s Australia we will auction the bonnet to raise funds for Brainwave. We expect this unique offering to attract international interest “

The Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia, Geoffrey Smith said “Sotheby’s Australia is delighted join Mercedes-Benz to auction the SL-Class bonnet signed by Jean Paul Gautier to raise funds for Brainwave . The auction will be the only opportunity to acquire this one of a kind personally signed Jean-Paul Gaultier creation.

Infiniti brings Formula One car, drivers and Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge to the streets of downtown Austin



Sebastian Vettel & the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge gaycarboys



· Championship F1™ car and Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge to be driven by Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel down Congress Avenue

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd. brings the sights, sounds and smells of international Formula One racing to downtown Austin, Texas on October 29, as Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Daniel Ricciardo and four-time F1 World Champion driver Sebastian Vettel will drive Vettel’s 2011 Championship Formula One car and the 560-horsepower Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype up and down Congress Avenue.

Kicking off the annual United States Grand Prix™ race weekend, the event starts at 12:00 p.m. CDT on the Daniel Ricciardocorner of Congress Avenue and 7th Street at the foot of the iconic Texas Capitol building. An introduction to the drivers will then be followed by high speed runs in the F1 car and the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype.

Activities will also include a drivers’ parade where spectators get a chance to see the drivers up close. A few lucky fans will also be selected from the crowd to experience a ride in the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype driven by Vettel and Ricciardo.

Vettel and Ricciardo will take turns demonstrating the performance of the Formula One Car and introduce Austin to the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype inspired by Infiniti’s partnership with Infiniti Red Bull Racing. The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype features bespoke carbon fibre bodywork, F1-inspired aerodynamics and a powerful twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 engine.

“Infiniti is kicking off the U.S. Grand Prix in true Austin style,” said Allyson Witherspoon, director of Marketing SOCHI, KRASNODAR KRAI - OCTOBER 10:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during practice ahead of the Russian Formula One Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on October 10, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images)

Communications and Media for Infiniti USA.

“Having Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo drive the actual 2011 championship car and the Formula One-inspired Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype up and down Congress Avenue is sure to be a memorable moment for F1 fans.”


LOCATION: Congress Avenue between 7th and 11th streets, Austin, Texas TIME: 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CDT

Mégane Convertible: Topless and proud of it

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Yes Yes Yes oh YES: open top, great audio, great on the open road

Oh dear me no: feels heavy in corners, CVT, thick rear end

As you all know, I like a bit of a convertible. There is nothing like an open road, the wind in the hair, and the sun on your skin, as long as the day isn’t too hot, or wet. It’s easy to be zip right past well done and on to burnt-to-a-crisp without knowing it. The Mégane convertible is a bit of a mixed bag. I rarely drive a convertible with the roof up, well, why would anyone have the roof up unless it’s raining? The little roof dance attracts people every time it is performed, but do please make sure you have enough room in the rear. When the boot cover swings backward it needs quite a bit of space. The old girl has a fulsome rump.

The Mégane has the same trouble disguising the ample rear end that all 4 seater CCs have. It has to be thick and bulbous in order to hide all that metal and glass which magically disappears. If you don’t like that look then this isn’t the car for you. With the roof up, the acres of heat deflecting glass look very impressive in an aircraft cockpit kind of way. It’s hard to believe all that glass folds away neatly in around 20 seconds. When it does, you’ll still have about 200 litres of boot space which is better than some we’ve tested. Mazda’s MX5 does a better job all-round, as they are now all folding hard tops. It’s a much better drive and far better looking, but only has 2 seats. More importantly, it costs $12,000 more than the Mégane after Renault dropped the price of the CC which starts at $41k drive away. Even the GT-Line is 6 grand less than the smaller Mazda. Even a 6 grand saving buys a lot of posh rooms on road trips.

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The exterior looks good even with the big bum.

The interior is comfy with a slightly retro feel.

The 7” touch screen allows a driver to input directly, or via the rotary control between the front seats. The screen is mounted a long way away from the driver on a very deep dashboard. it requires a rather uncomfortable reach forward, and it is not the sort of thing you want to be doing while at 110kph. All of the inputs can be done by a clever toggle arrangement on the centre console which is much easier at speed. Once you learn where the buttons are you don’t need to take your eyes off the road.

The leather feels decent and the seats comfy. The only beef is the heated seat controls which are secreted Mégane Coupe-Cabriolet gaycarboys (8)on the sides of the plinth the seat is mounted on. To roll the dial to the various settings you must first slide your hand down between the door and the seat and feel around. It is awkward and while there won’t be too many times when we Australians would reach for it, it is hard to use at first. The rotary dial is easily knocked to the on position, but you won’t know it until your bum feels like it’s spent the afternoon baking under a Saharan sun.

The standard appointments are impressive. Renault released the GT Line in drop top but it doesn’t seem to have helped the sales. Only 2 CCs found homes last month, and only 65 of Renault’s total of 6899 cars have been CCs so far this year. That’s a shame as it’s an excellent cruiser. Imagine you and your hunny cruising down the coast road with its gentle curves and majestic views. You’ve got the roof down and a picnic hamper on the back seat. Better still, there won’t be any rear passengers unless of course they have no legs. Although the CC is marketed as a 4 seater, 2 of those seats should be considered emergency seating only.

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What you won’t be doing is whipping the Mégane CC through tight corners and mountain passes. That is not her natural habitat. Although Renault has a fabulous manual gearbox, it isn’t available in Australia in the convertible. Instead, we have the CVT which is a gear-less form of automatic. The soft touring suspension lends itself to highways but is a bit scary in tight bends. It is very comfy but doesn’t make for “quick” changes of direction. Together with the CVT, everything feels as if it is happening in slow motion and that’s Mégane Coupe-Cabriolet gaycarboys (6)the best way to drive it. 100kph is reached in a leisurely 11.7 seconds with the poor 103kw 2.0L motor screaming its tits off. 103kw isn’t normally a problem, but the Mégane is a hefty lassie and has a kerb weight of a not inconsiderable 1631kgs. I suspect a substantial chunk of that weight is the roof with its glass and folding mechanics. There is a fair amount of flex in the body too, especially with the roof down. You can hear the windows moving against the rubber seals when negotiating driveways etc. It’s not off putting but it doesn’t make for a tight sporty chassis, and I rather like a tight, err, chassis. We all associate sportiness with convertibles, but it is rarely the case.

It took a while but I got used to the steering and handling and thoroughly enjoyed myself but it is a horses for courses moment. There is nothing like open top motoring. You feel part of nature with every smell, every temperature change and every shard of light having a sense of urgency about it. There is very little disturbance the coif and even in the coolest weather you feel warm-ish.

It was in the city where the CC felt least at home. The lack of power and an unresponsive CVT make her Mégane Coupe-Cabriolet gaycarboys (5)feel a bit heavy. A tiny little turbo and a proper manual would sort that out but the waist line feels high. No amount of fettling is going to change that. You don’t notice it so much on the open road but around town it only adds to the feeling of a car out of it’s depth. Despite all that I like the Mégane, but not enough to buy it. It is an awful lot of car for the price. In the price range we have the Toyota 86 and while not a drop-top, is a proper sports car. For a little extra you could have a Golf GTi which blows the Mégane’s doors off. For similar money, the 86 and Golf provide better looks and better handling. If I absolutely had to have open top motoring, the Golf Cab also has 4 seats and comes in either a 6sp manual or 6sp DSG auto. It feels light and nippy and is a joy to drive. The roof goes down without having come to a stop and it is fabric which takes less space in the boot.

This is the kind of car for a person who spends most of their time on the open road at 110kph or an older person who drives slowly round town. It makes the target market very small which no doubt accounts for the slow sales.

Would I buy one: no, I’d go for a Golf

engine / trans: 2.0L petrol, CVT driving front wheel

econ/0-100: 8.1L/100k, 1.7 seconds

Price: $39,990-$47,790 drive away

MINI says All-New MINI 5-door $3,900 is cheaper than old 3 door

MINI 5 Door gaycarboys pricing



  • MINI Cooper 5-door priced from $27,750 – $3,900 less than previous generation 3-door MINI Hatch
  • First ever MINI 5-door provides space for five occupants and more luggage
  • Second body variant of new third-generation MINI offers versatile practical appeal with hallmark MINI driving fun
  • Longer (+161mm) and taller (+11mm) body and longer wheelbase (+72mm) delivers 72mm more rear legroom, 15mm more headroom and 61mm more interior width at elbow height compared to MINI 3-door
  • Boot offers 278 litre capacity luggage space;  + 67 litres more than MINI 3-door – and up to 941 litres with 60/40 split fold rear seat down
  • Three models available with choice of 1.5-litre TwinPower Turbo petrol and diesel engines and range-topping 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo petrol in the Cooper S
  • Six-speed manual gearbox standard with optional six-speed automatic
  • High level of standard equipment includes air conditioning, electric windows and mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers and lights, dynamic cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, audio system with USB and Aux input, keyless start/stop, rear Park Distance Control, six airbags and Dynamic Stability Control
  • MINI 5-door on sale from November 1

MINI has announced pricing for its first ever 5-door with the entry level MINI Cooper 5-door priced from $27,750.

The all-new second body variant of the third-generation MINI is also offered as a diesel-powered Cooper D, priced from $32,900, as well as a top-of-the-range sporty Cooper S that starts at $38,050.

Pricing for all MINI 5-door models is substantially less than the previous generation MINI Hatch, providing a premium small car lineup that offers more space and versatility, superb driving manners and great value.

MINI Australia general manager, Kai Bruesewitz, said the longer and taller 5-door MINI provided customers with more interior space and flexibility with no compromises on MINI’s distinctive style or hallmark “go-kart” driving fun.

“With more space for five occupants and their luggage, the new MINI 5-door is the perfect premium small car for the family or those whose lifestyle requires extra interior space and flexibility. At the same time, it maintains MINI’s characteristic contemporary styling, refined performance and sensational driving dynamics.”

With an overall length of 3982mm (Cooper S: 4005mm), width of 1727mm and height of 1425mm, the MINI five-door is 161mm longer and 11mm taller than the new MINI 3-door (launched in April) but maintains that car’s compact and powerful appearance with a firm, planted-on-the-road stance.

The bold front end with its trademark circular headlights; a dynamic profile provided by a rising sill line and short front and rear overhangs; and tapered rear window with an integrated hatch-top spoiler all combine to ensure the MINI 5-door maintains a highly distinctive and sporty visage.

Along with the longer body, the new MINI 5-door sits on a 2567mm wheelbase that has been extended by 72mm compared to the 3-door MINI providing a substantial increase in interior space, particularly in the rear where the 60/40-split bench seat will now seat three passengers.

The higher roof height has added 15mm headroom, the increased length provides 72mm more rear foot and legroom and although the overall width of the car is the same as the MINI 3-door Hatch, clever design has provided passengers with 61mm more interior width at elbow height.

Like the exterior, the interior design remains faithful to MINI’s “urban cool” aesthetic with its circular motif, contemporary colours and trim materials and three-spoke sports leather multi-function steering wheel.

In addition to the extra passenger space, the larger interior of the MINI 5-door also provides more luggage capacity with greater flexibility in the seating options. With the rear seat back in place, the boot provides a capacity of 278 litres that can be further expanded to 941 litres with the 60/40-split rear seat back folded flat.

The rear seat back can also be placed in a 90-degree position to increase luggage space while the storage package provides a two-part load compartment floor that can be locked in various positions for improved versatility.

As a premium small car, the MINI 5-door is well equipped with the entry-level MINI Cooper featuring air conditioning, dynamic cruise control, electric windows and mirrors, automatic windscreen wipers and lights, audio system with USB and Auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, interior LED ambient lights package and rear fog lights.

A step up into the mid-range MINI Cooper D adds automatic dual-zone climate control, Radio MINI Visual Boost with a 6.5-inch central display screen, Extended Bluetooth with music streaming, front fog lights and a front armest, while the top of the range MINI Cooper S also gains leather/cloth combination upholstery, front sports seats and MINI Navigation System. Along with the upgraded display screen, the Cooper D and Cooper S also feature the MINI Controller – based on BMW’s iDrive system – to manage infotainment, vehicle, communication and where fitted, navigation functions.

All MINI 5-door models feature a very high level of standard safety equipment including six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control with Electronic Differential Lock Control, ABS with Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Cornering Brake Control, and rear Park Distance Control.

At the heart of the new MINI 5-door models is a new generation of engines that provide responsive and refined performance together with advanced technology for economical motoring.

As the sportiest model, the Cooper S features a 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine that when mated to the slick six-speed manual gearbox, is strong enough to cover 0-100kmh in 6.9 seconds. Opt for the optional six-speed Steptronic Sports automatic transmission and it’s even quicker by 0.1 of a second.

Incorporating a range of MINIMALISM technologies including auto stop/start, brake energy regeneration and weight and aerodynamic optimisation, all three MINI 5-door models are also very efficient with even the sporty Cooper S automatic delivering a combined fuel consumption of just 6.0l/100km.

For even greater efficiency, the mid-range Cooper D is fitted with the latest generation 1.5-litre three-cylinder common-rail direct injection turbo diesel engine, that, with peak outputs of 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque, uses just 3.8l/100km of fuel on the combined cycle test when mated to the manual gearbox.

Powering the entry-level MINI Cooper is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that, thanks to efficient performance-enhancing TwinPower Turbo technology, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double VANOS variable camshaft control, generates maximum outputs of 100kW and 220Nm with a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.9l/100km.
MINI has always been renowned for its agile driving dynamics and in the new MINI 5-door it has fully optimised the electro-mechanical Servotronic power steering and proven single-joint spring strut front and multi-link rear suspensions for each model to ensure they deliver a thrilling and exciting drive and supreme ride comfort.

To further enhance the already superb precision and agility of the MINI Cooper S, it is also fitted with the MINI Driving Modes feature that can be optioned on the Cooper and Cooper D models.

This feature offers a choice of three driving modes – MID, SPORT or GREEN, selected via a rotary switch located next to the gear shift lever. MID offers the optimal balance of driving excitement, performance and economy while GREEN enhances efficiency through such functions as intelligent control of energy for auxiliaries and using the coasting mode available in automatic cars.

In SPORT mode, the driver is able to take even more advantage of the MINI’s natural handling abilities with greater throttle, steering and automatic transmission responsiveness and sporty damper settings thanks to the electronic Dynamic Damper Control.

Providing a superb balance of traction, handling and ride comfort, the suspension is complemented by a range of light-alloy wheels and tyres with the standard sizes fitted to the Cooper S, Cooper D and Cooper being 17-inch, 16-inch and 15-inch respectively.

MINI 5-door Australian Pricing*:

MINI Cooper:       $27,750
MINI Cooper D:    $32,900
MINI Cooper S:    $38,050     

* Manufacturer’s Reccommended List Price is shown and includes GST and Luxury Car Tax (LCT) – if applicable, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges, which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest MINI dealer for all pricing inquiries.