Twingo named 2015 ‘Design of the Year’

Twingo named 2015 'Design of the Year' gaycarboys (1)

  • Twingo scooped best design prize in 2015 Fleet World Honours
  • Another major industry award for Twingo
  • Innovative rear-engined city car from Renault

The Renault Twingo has been awarded the title of ‘Design of the Year’ in the 2015 Fleet World Honours at a ceremony held at the Royal Automobile Club in London.

The All-New Twingo was launched in Europe last year and has already scooped a number of major industry awards including TopGear Magazine Awards, 2014 City Car of the Year; British GQ Car Awards, 2015 Best answer to the City Car Dilemma and the UK Car of The Year Awards, 2015 City Car of the Year.

Commenting on the decision to award the title of ‘2015 Design of the Year’ to Twingo, Alex Grant, Deputy Editor, Fleet World said: “The new Twingo combines the best bits of Renault’s expertise – small cars and MPVs. Its chic styling is a nod to the Renault 5, while the rear-mounted engine enables a large and flexible interior to fit into a small, manoeuvrable body. Clever, customisable and great value, it represents Renault at its very best.”

Ken Ramirez, Managing Director, Renault UK said: “With its bold and playful design, we always knew that our All-New Twingo would be a hit so we’re delighted that the judges from the 2015 Fleet World Honours agree and have decided to add to Twingo’s tally of major industry awards with this ‘Design of the Year’ accolade.”

Now in its third generation, the latest Twingo city car has an innovative rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout that allows for a clever use of internal space as well as being very nimble and practical to drive around town with a tiny turning circle of just 8.59 metres and the ability to park in the tightest of spaces. Twingo named 2015 'Design of the Year' gaycarboys (2)

Holden SSV Ute: The last of the Australian Built hairy chested Two Door V8’s

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For this argument, all prices are drive away, in NSW.

You can get a V8 ute for as little as $39,990 drive away in Holden’s special “Please buy us PLLEEEEEEASE” campaign. The normal price for the SS is $43,757 That’s still insane for a V8. Can anyone show me another V8 sports coupe for that money? I say sports coupe because that’s what most of them are used as. Most tradfies won’t take their babies onto a muddy rock-strewn building site. The SSV Redline is the top model for $53,863 so you could get 3 top model V8 Utes for the same price as an M3 or AMG or S, or if you’re feeling like Japanese, RC-F. Let’s think about that for a bit, while all those letters are digested.

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Many will have dropped their gin and tonics at the thought of a tradies vehicle gracing their upper middle class gravel drives. They prefer the badge engineered hard-on that comes with a German and it’s big throbber up front. Of course the cabins are nicer and the build quality probably better but none of them can carry a new mattress home from the Mr Snooze “I’m always on sale” sale. None of them can carry camping gear, and they’d look silly towing a skiing boat to Lake Macquarie for a weekend’s water sports. No, Holden have been very clever, and a bit dumb. They’ve not cashed in on the fact that their V8 tray-back coupe is flexible, desirable, useable and way under the luxury car tax limit. For that, you get 260kw in the auto, 270kw in the manual, and a huge 530Nm of torque. Once upon a time the Victorians thought 15MPH might rip a person’s face off so I’m not sure what they would make of 0-100 in under 6 seconds.

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It isn’t until you’re behind the wheel that you really appreciate the fun which can be had at the expense of the environment. Sinking the boot in sees the fuel spit out the back in vast unused clouds as you rocket the road at an Olympic pace. Going around corners is fun too. With little weight over the back wheels, the tail is Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (4)as happy as a Liberal pollie at a taxpayer funded wedding. The stability control gives the driver and amazing amount of leeway before it sends its nannies in to wrap you over the knuckles. It feels like good old fashioned driving, the way Peter Brock loved it. It is thrilling in the real sense of the word. The manual is the best. A sports exhaust makes the lion roar but you’ll have to sort it out yourself if you want more noise. As they come from Holden, you feel way more than you hear unless your foot is permanently welded to the floor. Only when the flood gates are fully open does the magnificence of a million push-rods make their presence felt. If you have the auto, you can shift gear via the steering wheel. The top model gets a Heads Up Display which is utterly brilliant because you can decide what is on it. It even tells you what directions to go in once the Satnav is programmed.

The interiors are shared across the Commodore range. The ute scores a couple of neat bins behind the seats for secreting  big butch tools and other such things public eyes must not view.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (3)Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (9)

The good thing about it is with the hard cover on the back, you can secure your groceries in a couple of milk crates not knicked from Coles. There are a couple of fastening points inside the tray for straps. If you don’t fix them in place, your groceries will be sliced and diced by the time you get home. If you don’t opt for the hard cover you have to make do with the soft cover which takes quite some time to master, and can’t be locked. The last thing you want is someone rooting through your privates while you’re at the boozer. After you leave the boozer, with your not-trollied mate at the wheel, you appreciate the Brembo brakes helping to give your ute a 5 star safety rating. It’s probably the only time it will occur to you.

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The top models get the same gadgets as the Calais. Huge 19” wheels, blind spot warning, lane departure, automated parking both end in and parallel, plus the brilliant My Link infotainment system. You can use Siri to do your evil work while you keep your hands on the steering wheel. The rest of the gadgets make sure you don’t hurt yourself or your car when you’re distracted by a pretty face walking along the pavement. It is about as perfect as it can be, so why the hell are GM closing down their plants here.

Gone will be the Commodore and the little lamented Cruze. Ford will lose their Falcon and Territory, and Toyota will no longer build the electric Camry here. This is what happens when a government favours whom they support or not. Had Ford, Holden and Toyota been coal diggers, money would have been thrown at them with gay abandon. However, since they employ fay more people than mining and have many associated suppliers, clearly the government thinks they shouldn’t support the auto industry as they do mining and fossil fuels. If you think that thinking is a bit eggy you are not alone. Clearly the auto makers didn’t throw enough brown paper bags and bottles of Grange at the MPs concerned. It’s a great shame as the previous government had supported the auto workers and therefore the Australian made cars.

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What this means is you have less than two years to snag a bit of Aussie Hairy-chested brawn. After that, who knows what will becomes of us? I suspect the rear wheel drive brigade will shrink to the size of a LNP MPs moral guide book and we will all be in Front Wheel Drive performance hatches. Their torque steer will try and kill us and the lack of space will cause mass deep vein thrombosis.

Would I buy one? HELL YES! These things are crammed full of kit, a heap of fun to drive, very practical, and with only two seats, prevent unwanted hangers-on.

It is a shame Mazda doesn’t support Gay Media because the new MX5 looks good and is the right price.

Mazda MX-5 2015 gaycarboys (1)Mazda MX-5 2015 gaycarboys (2)

Mazda MX-5 2015 gaycarboys (3)Mazda MX-5 2015 gaycarboys (4)


All-New Mazda MX-5 will go on sale in mid-August priced from $31,990 plus on road costs.

With the 1989 first generation model priced from $29,990¹, which is the equivalent of $59,433² in today’s money, it makes the ND the best-value MX-5 ever considering the NA lacked Bluetooth, power steering, air conditioning, Anti-Lock Braking System, Traction Control, Cruise Control and SBS airbags – all of which are now standard features.

Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders said: “For those that know, love or own an MX-5, the arrival of an all-new model is always cause for excitement.

We believe that the sharp entry pricing for the new ND will inspire a new generation of younger MX-5 buyers to experience the freedom and enjoyment of open-top motoring.

The All-New Mazda MX-5 is in many ways the rebirth of an icon.”

In production now, the entry-level Roadster and top-spec Roadster GT will be available in Australia with a specially tuned 1.5 litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine and with a choice of either a SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic or SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission.

With 96kW of power and 150Nm of torque, the new edition MX-5 weighs from 1,009kg, a reduction of 91kg over the outgoing 2.0 litre car and close to the 950kg weight of the NA.

The ND is the shortest MX-5 ever built, measuring 3,915mm long, 1,730mm wide, 1,235mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,315mm, and front and rear overhang reduced to 760mm and 840mm respectively.

In 1989, the aim was to produce a timeless, open-top roadster that offered good, clean driving fun. More than 25 years later this philosophy is still very relevant.

A 2.0 litre powered model will join the All-New MX-5 range late this year.

Lowndes Commodore SSV: Last chance to be a butch boy racer

Holden Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore gaycarboys (1)

Holden Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore gaycarboys (3)Holden Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore gaycarboys (4)

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My favourite Commodore recently got a hand-finished special edition to celebrate the dying days of Australian built vehicles. Some bloke called Craig Lowndes has his name all over it.

The hand finished bit refers to a couple of huge decals and some vinyl panels which I can take or leave. The wheels look enormous because they are 20 inch monsters.  The remainder of the additions are signatures on the dash and seats because there are few mechanical changes.

Craig Lowndes had our test car sideways on a track. I’m not suggesting you do that to your $64 grand car but it would be fun to imagine yourself trying.

It is a great shame they weren’t able to coax more power out of the engine. As grunty as it is, the 6.0L pushrod V8 manages only 2 KW more than Volvo’s 3.0L straight 6 turbo which uses much less fuel while doing it. The drive is much more pleasurable with a manual gearbox but if you simply can’t abide shifting gears in city traffic, the 6 speed auto is smooth. The Lowndes gets a smart set of steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Some say it is better than shifting the floor lever back and forward like a demented woodpecker. I think we can all agree that it’s the best alternative if you don’t a proper clutch to deal with. As Holden Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore gaycarboys (2)for the mechanical stuff, that’s about the limit of it. I suppose they couldn’t do too much without a demarcation dispute with the blokes at HSV. Never mind it’s a great pleasure to drive none the less. The ride is superb, the handling on the grand-tourer side of racy, and the acceleration is leisurely for an engine the size of a small moon.

The “My Link” infotainment system is one of the best in the business. It’s so easy to use even an idiot could pair a phone and input a satnav address. The voice dial system works too. It doesn’t require big hugs after every command and doesn’t want 15 confirmations before getting on with it. Of course the voice command doesn’t work with every application but hey-ho you can’t have everything. We aren’t too far from the day where you’ll be able to speak to your car and tell it to do whatever you want it to do without wanting to slap it in the process.

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Holden Won’t be making their Commodores for much longer. Chances are the V8 will be banished to the history books along with the commodore badge so this may well be our last chance to drive one. I know of several motoring writers ordering there V8 Holdens now before it’s too late. There was only 230 made so if you can still find one, you can expect to pay 59 grand plus onroads. You’ll be paying $5,500 more than an SSV and I’m not sure if there is that much extra value.

You decide.

Would I buy one? Yes, I love a thobber.

More potent Competition Package for BMW M6 Coupe, BMW M6 Gran Coupe and BMW M6 Convertible

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Hitting the dynamic heights with 441 kW/600 hp.

Munich. In July 2015 BMW M GmbH will replace the existing Competition Package for the BMW M6 Coupe, BMW M6 Gran Coupe and BMW M6 Convertible with an upgraded version. The new Competition Package has been developed with a keen eye on enhancing driving dynamics. It includes a power boost for the 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology (BMW M6 Coupe/BMW M6 Gran Coupe/BMW M6 Convertible: fuel consumption combined: 9.9/9.9/10.3 l/100 km [28.5/28.5/27.4 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 231/231/239 g/km)* of 29 kW/40 hp over the standard unit, to 441 kW/600 hp. Peak torque also rises, from 680 Nm (501 lb-ft) in standard tune to 700 Nm (516 lb-ft), and is available across an extremely wide rev band – between 1,500 and 6,000 rpm.

New personal best for the BMW M6 Coupe: 0 – 200 km/h (124 mph) in 11.8 seconds. The three model variants impress with outstanding performance when fitted with the new optional Competition Package. For example, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is all over in 3.9 seconds in the BMW M6 Coupe and BMW M6 Gran Coupe or 4.0 seconds in the BMW M6 Convertible. What’s more, the BMW M6 Coupe requires just 11.8 seconds to power from 0 – 200 km/h (124 mph), making it 0.6 seconds faster to the mark than with the previous version of the Competition Package (423 kW/575 hp). The top speed of all Competition models is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), but can be stoked to 305 km/h (189 mph) by specifying the optional M Driver’s Package.

The Competition Package includes various measures designed to appreciably enrich the cars’ handling. Here the same principle applies as in the development of all BMW M cars: the chassis technology is tuned precisely to the performance characteristics of the powertrain. The result is maximum performance combined with assured and precisely controllable responses at all times – even when pushing the dynamic envelope. To this end, the springs, dampers and anti-roll bars all get firmer tuning. The Active M Differential on the final drive works with its own control unit to further improve traction, allowing the driver to accelerate even more dynamically out of tight corners, for example. The steering with M-specific Servotronic function has more direct mapping while the M Dynamic Mode of the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system is focused even more intently on delivering sporty handling.

Externally, the BMW M6 Competition models make hearts beat faster with exclusive 20-inch M light-alloy wheels (double-spoke 601M, bi-colour) and mixed tyres, plus black chrome twin tailpipes for the sports exhaust system.

The BMW M6 Coupe, BMW M6 Gran Coupe and BMW M6 Convertible with Competition Package will be available from July 2015.

Note: International press release. This is a 1:1 copy of the original issued by BMW Group headquarters in Germany. No adaptations have been made to cater for the Australian market.

New Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Editions Announced

Mercedes-Benz GL 500

Mercedes-Benz has announced a number of exceptional new offerings for the class leading GL-Class range, the GL-Class ‘Limited Edition’ and ‘Edition S’. The ‘Edition’ model range will build on the exceptional standard specification of the GL-Class, arriving in four guises including: the GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Limited Edition’, the GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Edition S’, the GL 500 ‘Edition S’ and the GL 63 AMG.

With a new starting point of $114,900 MRLP for the GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Limited Edition’, the GL-Class range now delivers an even greater value proposition. Utilising an efficient 3.0L V6 diesel engine, the vehicle consumes just 7.7L /100km (combined). In addition to a new ‘Limited Edition’ exterior, the model also includes 20” wheels, Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system, KEYLESS-GO and EASY ENTRY System as standard.

Enhancing the value in this offering, the GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Edition S’ incorporates AMG Sports Package, ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM with active roll stabilisation, Tyre pressure monitoring system, 21” AMG wheels in matt black, Multi-contour front seats and a wood/leather steering wheel. ‘Edition S’ exterior styling is also standard for both the GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Edition S’ and GL 500 ‘Edition S’.
Producing a maximum output of 320kW and 700Nm from its 4.7L V8 engine, the GL 500 produces powerful and dynamic driving capabilities in conjunction with the 4MATIC All-wheel drive, which comes as standard across the GL-Class range. In addition to the equipment arriving on the GL 350 ‘Edition’ models, the  GL 500 ‘Edition S’ adds even greater value including: Panoramic Glass Electric sunroof with slide/tilt function, Rear sunblinds, Anti-theft protection package and Digital TV tuner.

Completing the range, the Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG continues the ‘One man, One Engine’ philosophy from Mercedes-AMG to deliver outstanding performance: accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds. The GL 63 AMG also gains further specification including AMG Driver’s package (top speed now 270 kph) and designo Exclusive Package and Luxury heated and ventilation front seats.

This exciting new GL-Class range is now available to order for a limited time. The manufacturer’s recommended list price is as follows:

  • GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Limited Edition’ – $114,900 (MRLP)
  • GL 350 BlueTEC ‘Edition S’ – $134,900 (MRLP)
  • GL 500 ‘Edition S’ – $159,500 (MRLP)
  • GL 63 AMG – $214,900 (MRLP)

*the above prices exclude on-road fees and other government taxes and charges

Important note to editors – The price detailed in this document is the current Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price (MRLP) for the GL-Class range.

As you may be aware, the MRLP includes GST and any LCT applicable to the base / standard specification model but EXCLUDES DEALER DELIVERY AND ALL ON ROAD COSTS such as, for example, registration fees, stamp duty, CTP and the like.


•The attached pricing is an MRLP
•That the MRLP excludes on-road costs and dealer delivery, and
•For drive away price information, consumers should contact dealers

The new MINI John Cooper Works


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Note: International press release. This is a 1:1 copy of the original issued by BMW Group headquarters in Germany. No adaptations have been made to cater for the Australian market.

  • Green light for the latest edition of the top athlete in the small car segment; the new MINI John Cooper Works combines authentic race feeling with the premium characteristics and extended product substance of the latest MINI Generation; distinctive, tradition-steeped, based on a vehicle concept combining MINI and John Cooper Works, with performance qualities which are exceptional within the competitive environment.
  • Extreme driving fun and exclusive charisma based on technology for engine, suspension and aerodynamics derived directly from motor racing as well as model-specific design features for the exterior and interior; greater differentiation from the MINI 3 door highlights the model’s individual character.
  • Most powerful engine ever fitted in a serial production model of the British premium brand; 2.0-litre 4-cylinder spark ignition engine developed based on well-established racing expertise drawing on the latest generation of power units with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology; output increased to 170 kW/231 hp, performance-oriented power delivery and highly emotional sound due to specific design of pistons, turbocharger and exhaust system, combined fuel consumption according to EU: 6.7 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 155 g/km.
  • Engine output increased by 10 per cent as compared to predecessor model; maximum torque increased by 23 per cent to 320 Newton metres; 6-speed manual transmission as standard, 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission as an option; acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds (minus 0.2 seconds) with manual transmission or 6.1 seconds (minus 0.6 seconds) with automatic; elasticity improved by 10 per cent (80 – 120 km/h in 5.6 seconds); 6-speed manual transmission as standard, 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission as an optional extra; fuel consumption and CO2 levels in conjunction with automatic transmission reduced by approximately 20 per cent to 5.7 l/100 km and 133 g/km in the EU test cycle.
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  • Suspension technology precisely harmonised with the power and performance characteristics of the engine; newly developed Brembo sports brake system; exclusive 17-inch John Cooper Works Race Spoke light alloy wheels; electromechanical power steering with Servotronic; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) and Performance Control; Dynamic Damper Control optionally available.
  • Aerodynamically optimised body design: model-specific front apron with large cooling air inlets which also occupy the space allocated to the fog lamps in the MINI 3 door; distinctive side sill and rear apron design; John Cooper Works rear spoiler.
  • Unmistakable appearance due to model-specific design and equipment features; LED headlamps with white direction indicators; wheel arch surround with distinctive contours; radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate with John Cooper Works label; sports exhaust system with special tailpipes; new Rebel Green body paint finish available exclusively for the new MINI John Cooper Works.
  • Characteristic sports car flair in the interior; exclusive John Cooper Works sports seats in Dinamica/fabric with integrated headrests; John Cooper Works entry sills; John Cooper Works steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles in conjunction with 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission; John Cooper Works gear lever or selector lever; cockpit displays, central instrument display surround in model-specific design; pedals and driver footrest in stainless steel; anthracite roof liner; MINI Driving Modes as standard.
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  • Weight-optimised and crash-optimised body structure; vehicle weight the same as the predecessor model when adjusted for equipment features; standard safety fittings include front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, 3-point automatic belts on all seats, with belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, ISOFIX children’s seat attachment at the rear and optionally also on the front passenger seat, tyre pressure control and partially active engine compartment lid for optimised pedestrian protection.
  • Additional emphasis of the exclusive character of the new MINI John Cooper Works due to model-specific special equipment features and John Cooper Works Tuning accessories; optional MINI Head-Up Display with exclusive display content; roof and exterior mirror covers in Chili Red; 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, John Cooper Works bonnet stripes and perfectly harmonised exterior and interior components in the John Cooper Works Pro design line available as part of the MINI Original Accessories program.
  • High-end options to increase driving fun, comfort and safety: Park Distance Control; parking assistant; rear view camera; Driving Assistant including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection; lighting package with LED interior lighting; MINI Excitement package with interactive LED light ring on the central instrument and interior ambient lighting with continuously variable colour adjustment; Comfort Access: electrically operated glass roof; interior and exterior mirror with automatic anti-dazzle function; seat heating; 2-zone automatic air conditioning; MINI navigation system; MINI navigation system Professional; MINI Radio Visual Boost; Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system; additional customisation options with roof and exterior mirror colours, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces and Colour Lines as well as particularly high-quality MINI Yours features.
  • Diverse MINI Connected in-car infotainment program; Intelligent Emergency Call and MINI TeleServices available for use with permanently installed SIM card; wide range of functions and the opportunity for ongoing expansion due to apps that allow integration in the car via smartphone; exclusive MINI functions such as Mission Control, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement and MINIMALISM; MINI Connected XL Journey Mate with Real Time Traffic Radar; online connection also allows the use of social networks such Twitter, foursquare and Glympse, the reception of RSS news feeds and entertainment features such as Spotify, GoPro, AUPEO!, Stitcher, Deezer, Audible, Napster/Rhapsody and TuneIn.
  • Engines, driving performance figures, fuel consumption and emissions figures: MINI John Cooper Works: 4-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology (turbocharging, direct injection, fully variable valve control, variable camshaft control), capacity: 1 998 cc, output: 170 kW/231 hp at 5 200 – 6 000 rpm, max. torque: 320 Nm at 1 250 – 4 800 rpm, acceleration (0–100 km/h): 6.3 seconds (automatic: 6.1 seconds), top speed: 246 km/h (246 km/h), average fuel consumption according to EU: 6.7 litres (5.7 litres)/100 kilometres, CO2 emissions according to EU: 155 g/km (133 g/km), exhaust emission standard: EU6.
  • Exterior dimensions:
    • Length: 3 874 millimetres
    • Width: 1 727 millimetres
    • Height: 1 414 millimetres
    • Wheelbase: 2 495 millimetres

Note: International press release. This is a 1:1 copy of the original issued by BMW Group headquarters in Germany. No adaptations have been made to cater for the Australian market.