BMW Team SRM on the pace in Sydney

BMW Team SRM on the pace in Sydney gaycarboys


BMW Team SRM will start tomorrow’s Sydney Motorsport Park 101 from 11th position, after a promising opening day of running for Steven Richards and Max Twigg.

Richards and Twigg kick-started a packed day of track action by going sixth fastest in this morning’s first practice session. It was a confidence-boosting result ahead of two qualifying sessions that, combined, would determine the grid for tomorrow’s second round of the Australian Endurance Championship.

Twigg jumped behind the wheel of the #100 BMW M6 GT3 for the first 20-minute qualifying session, setting the 16th fastest time in a competitive group that was split between the pros and the amateurs.

Richards then took over for session two. A stunning run at the end of the session rocketed him from eighth to fifth position, before a final blast saw the M6 GT3 jump to third on its final flying lap.

With the times combined and then averaged, the BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 will start tomorrow’s 101-lap race from 11th position.

“The car was good. We’ve definitely made some progress, which is great,” said Richards.

“When we went out it was quite dry, but there was a little bit of rain which made it a bit slippery mid-way through. We pitted at exactly the right time, put on the second set of tyres and made a small adjustment to the car, and the car was obviously better.

“We’re in a good position, and we can see that we’re making solid progress.”

“The car has improved,” added Twigg. “The whole package is working well. I was a tiny bit off the pace in my session, my time was a bit off what I was hoping to do. So there’s a little bit of time there too.

“But we’ll be right tomorrow, I’m positive about it. We have a good starting spot and it’s a long race. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Sydney Motorsport Park 101 starts at 8:05am local time tomorrow.

Paris world premiere for all-new Kia Rio


4th Generation Kia Rio Exterior Front Quarter Rend

4th Generation Kia Rio Exterior Rear Quarter Rendering
4th Generation Kia Rio Interior Rendering


(SEOUL) August 24, 2016 – The all-new, fourth-generation Kia Rio will make its world premiere on September 29 in Paris, at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile.

The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s main design centre in Namyang, Korea. Straight lines and smooth surfacing give the car a distinctive new character, while a longer front overhang and bonnet, longer wheelbase, and upright C-pillar give the car an even more confident and balanced appearance than its predecessor.

The all-new Rio will offer buyers class-leading practicality and safety technology, the latest connectivity features, and more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics.

The Kia Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015. The next generation will enter production towards the end of 2016 for Europe, with production timings for other regions to be announced closer to launch.

Kia’s 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile press conference will start at 14:45 CET on September 29. Kia’s stand will be located in Hall 3 of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

Jaguar’s Big, Bold and Beautiful XJ Saloon is More than the Sum of its Parts

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (1)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (2)XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (3)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (4)

XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (5)XJ Jaguar gaycarboys (6)


Jaguar started life as the Swallow Sidecar Company, and was known as SS. SS became rather unpopular during the late 30’s for obvious reasons, so the name Jaguar was adopted and soon became synonymous with British motoring luxury. The XJ is the official car of the British royal family, and the British PM so, it is dead posh.

The iconic XJ nameplate was launched in 1968, but Jaguar has used XJ or X as internal project numbering since the beginning. The current Saloon is the X351. The 1968 XJ was the last to have had Sir William Lyons input, and I’m sure the company founder would be very happy with the 2016 version.

The current model was launched in 2009 and has had several updates since. Jaguar keeps models around for about 7 to 8 years so the current XJ is in her twilight years.

Under laudable head designer Ian Callum, 20 designers brought the XJ to life. The exterior “theme” was penned by Adam Hatton. He drew the design using good old-fashioned pen and ink, starting with the wheels to “set the design”. He wanted a “homage to classic jaguar with 21st century appeal”. For too long Jaguar looked like it belonged to a different era, and attractive as that was, failed to get the new buyers in.

So the new era started with the XF sedan, then the XJ.

The X351 is all aluminium. Stamping aluminium is not like working with nasty old steel. Making sharp corners and crisp lines almost impossible, so you’ll notice a gentle edge treatment giving the XJ a hand crafted look. The bends and bumps that give the panel strength also allow a certain amount of spring. Adam Hatton used this to his advantage to design a slippery but strong coupe shape. It allows the air to slide along the surface of the car, then be flicked off at the “separation point” by an inbuilt lip on the boot lid. There is a corresponding lip under the grille at the front to perfectly balance it. Jaguar says keeps the XJ perfectly balanced at cruising speed because it uses the reverse plane-wing principle to keep it glued to the road. The underside of the car is designed to be as smooth as Michael Bublé.

There was much riding on the lithe design of the X351. After a string of owners and decades of decline, Jaguar was in deep financial strife, so it was sold by Ford for a peppercorn  to Indian car giant Tata. Tata, of course, had the debt to deal with, but was not going to cheap-out on the new flagship.

No expense was spared in ensuring each panel is perfectly stamped then hand inspected. They are hand adjusted by  using gauges lined up by eye. It’s the kind of craftsmanship robots alone can’t match. Luckily, XJ has the kind of body you can’t help but caress..

The designers were able to sit inside a virtual car using the Automotive 3D Cave, which was the most advanced in the world at the time, and probably still is. They can touch the switches and look at the dials, then stand outside the car and spin it through all 3 axis then move through any of the mechanical parts.

Such care is taken during manufacture that hard plastic covers are put on the outside panels to prevent scratches, and the 2.7km wiring loom is kept under heat lamps so it is pliable during installation.

The engine blocks come from the best manufacturers available and are assembled onsite at the Castle Bromwich plant. Once mated to the 8 speed auto, the “marriage” takes place where 36 bolts are used to fasten the body and the drivetrain.

Rather amusingly the XJ is considered a “full sized” saloon.

Just for giggles here is the XJ/XJ-L (long wheelbase) compared to Australia’s hefty Holden, the Caprice. Caprice looks big because it is big, but the standard XJ is a mere 30mm shorter with a wheelbase that’s 23mm longer. That means the room is in the cabin where you want it. The XJ-L wheelbase is almost 150mm longer than Caprice, with the overall length 95mm longer. So, even the “short “XJ is Caprice size.



XJ long wheelbase

Holden Caprice





Width (excl mirros)
















The XJ is almost 130kgs lighter than a Caprice because it is all-aluminium, despite having electric motors throughout, including the door locks and boot lid. Aluminium is much lighter than steel while being much stronger. The body is made using 3,000 rivets and 150 metres of adhesive in a process called rivet bonding. This is the same process used in the aerospace industry. Aluminium has 1/3 of the density of steel with a weight equal to12,000 worth of recycled drink cans in every XJ. At the end of its life, 85% of the car can be recycled.

The last makeover brought stunning new LED headlamps. There is no high beam as such. The switch merely causes the LEDs to drop their focus so as not to blind the oncoming drivers. The rear lights adopted an L shaped swish instead of the 3 claw-like scratches previously seen at night. The evening display is glorious.

The is smart entry and start, which means the audio system can be started by pushing the “on” switch. You don’t need to press the engine-start button. The cleverness continues with the “virtual dash” which is an IT Geek way of saying “an LCD screen instead of traditional dials”. The centre stack has the slick infotainment system with its touch screen display.

Most of it is intuitive and makes navigating the menus fun. The Satnav, while mostly efficient, still wants you to input the address by suburb, then street, then number. This can be a pain if you haven’t got the suburb quite right. You need to google the address to see what other possibilities there are.

The sound from the high end system in our XJ R-sport is sublime. There are a choice of surround modes, and a subwoofer that will make the air in your lungs vibrate.

The cabin feels uber luxurious. The leather is butter-soft and the overhead lining feels like velvet, but not in that tacky 70’s way. The front seats have electric adjustment. Even the headrests go up and down with the touch a button. Front and back seats are heated and cooled and comes complete with 4 zone climate control. You can set the temperature of your very own set of vents. There are storage bins everywhere and the rear armrest has little cubby holes for things you don’t want burglars to find. Of course there are rear controls for the air conditioning with video controls in some models.

Overhead, the touch control cabin lights will keep the little kid in all of us happy for hours.

The supercharged 3.0L V6 puts out 250kw/450Nm and does the sprint to 100 in 5.9 seconds. The supercharged V8 only manages to do it 1.1 seconds faster.

There are various drive modes, and the rotary gear selector has a “sports” setting, but frankly why bother. In fact, you’re not even going to use the steering wheel paddles because the car does a great job of anticipating the needs of the average driver.

The real magic starts when you engage drive and begin to move. Considering the 20” wheels, the ride is incredibly smooth. In fact, the ride is smooth, period. Jaguar came late to the “electric power steering” party, but come they did, so you now have semi-automated parking too. Since the power is only supplied when the driver turns the wheel, the maker claims a 3% power saving because the belt isn’t continually draining the engine. I dare them to try and prove it.

Despite her ample bosom, the XJ is a doddle around town. She really doesn’t feel anywhere near her size. Between the rear cameras and the sensors, you’re never out of your depth, and if you decide to park yourself, the side mirrors dip to make sure you don’t hit the gutter.

In an otherwise perfect car, the wires that heat the windscreen are a trifle annoying especially once the glass is a bit dirty. Also, the centre arm rest can get in the way of really spirited cornering. We gave the city, the highway, and the mountain passes a thorough workout, and there is no part of the experience that isn’t sheer magic.

You’d expect a big car to be a handful in the city, but it isn’t. You waft to Coles, then you waft to dinner, then you waft to the movies. On the highway, again, you waft, but in a super-sporty kind of way. That’s the true marvel of a Jag XJ, it always feels super light. When I say light, I mean small city-car kind of light. I’ve commented many times on how heavy some rides feel. The steering, the body, the suspension all feel a bit cumbersome and ungainly. It’s the combination of light precise steering, fast engine response, extra-rigid body that allow the suspension to do its job far better than something this size has any right to.

I set her an impossible task. I pushed the old girl through the Royal National Park and Macquarie just like I did the F-Type a few months earlier. The response was stunning. It just wouldn’t let go. It did the job with the aplomb of a cheeky convertible. Country roads can be a challenge but the Jag barely blinked at the pot holes and wild undulations. Out the back of Bowral, home of “The Don”, the roads feel like they were made to shake cocktails. The handling begs you go faster, yet she remains unflappable. I’ve driven many XJ’s and loved them all. Even the awful XJ40 had some redeeming features, but the X351 is perfection, even as her time comes to an end.


Sometimes, a car is just a tool to extend our capacity, and is merely way to get from one place to another. The Jaguar XJ is more than that. It has a sense of arrival, and with it, a sense of occasion and and success. There were many admiring comments, and anyone who rode in it fell in love with it. On one occasion, the rear seat passenger was very put out that I hadn’t got the model with extra legroom. After I pointed out that the long wheelbase version also has personal video screens, and pull out tray tables, the 10-year-old involved got into a right huff. I’ve never seen such pouting! For the record, the big Jag was 100% Ollie-Approved.

Then we turn to the handling. In moves that would make Jeeves want to decapitate you with a cake slice, the XJ excelled. She was thrown into tighter and tighter corners and changed direction without hesitation or protest. One can only imagine what a beast the supercharged V8 powered XJ-R is. Mind you, how much better than perfect can it be?

Each time I tucked her into her cosy car park, I noticed that she only just fits into the average sized spot. Luckily the touch-opener for the boot is on the driver’s side of the rear, so you can go quite close to a wall and still get to your things from the side. The closing button on the boot lid is also on the driver’s side. Very thoughtful indeed. I got into the habit of pressing the button on the dash board so that when I got around to the back, the boot was open to welcome me.

The fuel consumption is where you’ll expect me to deliver the death blow, but not a bit of it. The figures are not too different from the maker’s claims. We averaged at just over 10.5L/100km for our combined city/highway runs which is amazing considering the sporty sections were, shall we say, lively.

Although she tempts you to sink the boot in, you find yourself wanting to tune the DAB to “Buddha” and chill. The XJ is the one and only car ever that has made me feel cool and calm in Sydney traffic. In fact, bumper to bumper was a pleasure.

We had the mid-range short wheelbase model, so there was no Blind Spot, Cross Rear Traffic alert, radar cruise control with queue assist, and lane departure? Forget it. That’s all an option on this model. For near on $250,000 (on-road) I’d have liked those thrown in. You can get them standard in a 40 grand Kia for goodness sake.

You can opt out of the heated windscreen and if you live in Australia, ice is a rare thing. Why pay for something you don’t need? I’d ditch the steering wheel heater too. The button was right behind the phone buttons on the left hand side of the wheel. My hands often got unexpectedly hot and not in a good way. It reminds me of a Peugeot with a poorly placed massage button. You sat on it every time you got into the passenger’s side front seat. After a while your bum started to feel like a pair of overripe avocados.

There are thoughtful touches of design for the sake of beauty and convenience. All doors have soft close, so gently push the door to the first click, and a little motor closes it and secures the lock. The speedo and tacho only show the area directly around the current speed/revs, and there is a digital speedo if you’d prefer it.

Apart from the missing goodies, there is nothing I would change. The XJ is magnificent and impressive as it is luxurious and comfortable.

Would I buy one? Yes, and I’d sell my mother to do it. But, I’d be happy to sell her regardless!






0-100KPH (SECS)



3.0L V6 Supercharged Petrol

250 @ 6500rpm

450 @ 3500-4000rpm

250 (limited)





$ 232 895


Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, 2016

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 gaycarboys (1)

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, 2016

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, 2016



Stuttgart/Pebble Beach. Every August classic car fans from around the world converge on Pebble Beach in California for a very special beauty contest. This gathering of magnificent classic cars is the perfect place to premiere the exclusive Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, a sensational luxury-class coupé. The 2+2-seater is a homage to the glorious age of the aero coupés and consciously carries this tradition forward into the future. The coupé reinterprets classic, emotional design principles in an extreme way, following the Mercedes design philosophy of sensual purity.  

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which measures almost six metres in length, is designed as an electric car. The drive system has an output of 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery allows a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).

The large coupé is set to make its debut at Monterey Car Week, which will take place on the Monterey Peninsula between 16 and 21 August 2016. The final event on 21 August will be the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elégance.

With its sensual, emotional design (“hot”) and intelligent details (“cool”), the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 represents the ultimate in luxury. The classic aesthetic proportions of the show car – the extremely long bonnet, the low roof line and the rearward positioning of the greenhouse – recall the aero coupés of days gone by. But this is not retro design – this is a reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles.

At the same time the design is something unexpectedly new – cool, technoid and reduced. This is exemplified by the aerodynamically intelligent basic shape. Even without aids such as spoilers, the airflow hugs the contours of the vehicle body and only breaks away very late at the tail end of the vehicle. Then there is the surprisingly technoid character of the narrow lights, the partially transparent rims and the split rear window.

“Our glamorous coupé, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, represents the ultimate in contemporary luxury. It is hot and cool”, states Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its intelligent appeal and reduced, technoid look, it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity and our pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency”. 

Reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles: the exterior design

Clearly defined contours and organically formed wings stand in contrast to the sharply drawn, extended feature line on each side which defines the upper vehicle body from the radiator grille across the entire length of the vehicle to the rear. Below this, the main body has a bulging, muscular look, extending across the entire flank. There is also a striking contrast between the Maybach red paintwork and the chrome strips which sit above the wheel arches and in the centre of the bonnet and boot lid.

A reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille with its fine, vertical struts accentuates the front end. The grille was inspired by a pinstriped suit. The radiator grille rests on two aerodynamically shaped supports on the outer right and left of the bumper.

The distinctive 24-inch wheels are a development of the aero rim from the Concept IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile). A transparent shield in the vehicle colour provides a view of the aluminium spokes behind it.

A further highlight is provided by the gullwing doors, a hallmark Mercedes design element which has been brought up to date. They underline the sporty character of the vehicle’s silhouette and feature innovatively designed aluminium trim. The exterior mirrors designed as cameras are supported on the wings.

The extended, round “boat tail” format of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6’s rear recalls a luxury yacht, and narrow tail lights which emphasise the width of the vehicle are integrated in its outer edges. Above this sit the two extremely shallow rear windows (“split window”). Further distinctive features at the rear include the diffuser with aluminium frame and the air outlets behind the wheel arches.

Luxurious 360° lounge featuring new materials: the interior design
The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a synthesis of intelligence and emotion and combines traditional Mercedes-Benz values with a new high-tech experience.

The dashboard wing curves across the door trim into the seat landscape, creating a 360° lounge. The new “inside out” spatial design adds a particular touch of finesse. The sitting surface forms a horizontal, which transitions into the vertical of the doors and finally becomes the underside of the dashboard wing.

In addition to the flowing contours, the material composition produces a luxury experience of the highest order. Authentic materials and colours such as rose gold are used to create luxurious accents. The interior, with its high-quality leather trim, has a cool colour scheme which perfectly underlines the digital innovations. The sitting surfaces have a Chesterfield look. In the doors and dashboard the traditional wood trim softens the appearance of the digital control and display interfaces. As a contrast to the digital world of the displays, elm is used in the floor area, creating a refined yachting look. Elm is the palest open-pore wood which Mercedes-Benz is currently working on for series use.

In the front luggage area of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a set of two suitcases, exclusively created for the vehicle. Here too the designers have followed the sensual, pure design idiom of Mercedes-Benz. Plenty of space has also been provided for further additions such as picnic accessories or personal items.

Dipping into the future: a fusion of analogue and digital experience
Ever since Mercedes-Benz invented the car 130 years ago, driving has been a source of enjoyment and delight. With the increase in digitisation comes a simultaneous need for sustainable analogue solutions, the design of which has been emphasised and in places exaggerated in the concept car. In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 this can be seen above all in the “hyperanalogue” instruments with needles and circular, crystal-look displays.

The classic circular instruments are combined with deep displays and act as a reference to the unique history of Mercedes-Benz. In contrast, other display elements are digitally integrated into a continuous glass trim part. Information about the seat, for example, can be shown on this digital strip. Map information is also shown in the front area of the strip. Menu content is extended along a digital line which extends to the sides as far as the occupants, who can set their own content ergonomically using touch control.

The front windscreen serves as a transparent display: driving-related data and geographical information is shown across its full width, augmenting the outside world with additional information. This information can be controlled and adjusted by the occupants using gestures.

The luxury padded leather upholstery is a particular highlight. Its traditional look is combined with future technology here – the buttons which would normally be trimmed in leather have been replaced in the upholstered surfaces by miniature “body sensor displays”. These scan the passengers and monitor, for example, their vital functions. As a result, comfort features such as seat climate or the massage function, for example, can be activated or the seat settings adjusted to the passenger. The sensors embedded in the upholstery also record the incidence of light, the colour of the occupant’s clothing and the ambient temperature. This information can be used to trigger new, emotional lighting effects in the interior.

The concept car aims to embody the ultimate in luxury, and this is underlined by the fact that the driver can switch to digital/autonomous mode. Another highlight is offered by the floating, transparent centre tunnel, which visualises the drive system’s electrical energy flow for the occupants.

Emission-free driving: electric drive system generating 550 kW (750 hp)
The side sills, illuminated by LED light strips, clearly underline the fact that the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is designed as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, it features all-wheel drive. The output of the drive system is 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery has a usable capacity of approx. 80 kWh. This not only allows performance characteristics typical of a sports car (acceleration from 0-100 km/h in under four seconds, top speed electronically governed at 250 km/h) but also a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).

Vision: add an extra 100 kilometres to the range in just five minutes
The quick-charge function is also visionary: as a result of DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows an impressive charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 100 kilometres.

The battery can either be charged via a cable connection at a public charging station or a conventional domestic outlet or, for even more convenience, it can be charged wirelessly, via an electromagnetic field.

The wow effect: visionary show cars with long-term prospects
With its impressive dimensions, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 (length/width/height: 5700/2100/1328 millimetres) is the first luxury coupé in the series of visionary design show cars from Mercedes-Benz. These include the Vision EnerG-Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013) and Vision Tokyo (Tokyo, 2015). Thanks to the global nature of the Mercedes-Benz Design function, these concept vehicles take cues from local trends in design, culture and mobility and make these the focal point of the respective mobility concept. At the same time these show cars are looking far into the future.

Mercedes-Maybach: perfection blends with exclusivity
Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality. The target group is made up of status-oriented customers. The current vehicles include the Mercedes-

Maybach S 500 and S 600 models, launched in February 2015, which blend the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. A special protection version, the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard, is the world’s first passenger car to meet the highest ballistic protection level for civilian vehicles, VR10.

The most recent model is the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman with face-to-face seating. Launched at the beginning of 2016, it adopted the mantle of absolute top-of-the-line mode

First Automaker to Launch Amazon Alexa Skill for a Heightened Luxury Experience


Genesis G90 and G80 gaycarboys


  • Genesis Connected Services links the Alexa service built into Amazon Echo, Tap, Echo Dot and Fire TV with the Genesis G80 and G90 to send remote car commands from inside homes
  • Amazon Alexa skill for Genesis features at launch include:
  • Remote engine start with climate control
  • Remote door lock/unlock
  • Remote horn/lights
  • Genesis G90 owners receive a complimentary Gift Card, which can be applied toward an Amazon Echo*
  • Genesis vehicles are equipped with three years of complimentary Genesis Connected Car Services

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California, 18 August 2016 – “Did I lock the car?” “How can I warm up my car on a snowy morning without going outside, get my news and still get to work on time?” These are questions that can leave many car owners feeling frazzled. But not G80 and G90 owners, as Genesis is the first automaker to launch an Alexa skill, allowing remote voice commands to control connected cars. Genesis Connected Services can take care of these tasks and more from inside the home using the Alexa voice service on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. The new Alexa skill for Genesis is available today across Alexa-enabled devices.

“We’re excited to bring the convenience of voice and Alexa to the Genesis G80 and G90,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa. “With this innovative Alexa implementation, customers can now start their car, and get the heat going all just by asking Alexa from the comfort of their own home. We can’t wait for our customers to try it out.”

Additionally, Genesis G90 owners will receive a complimentary Gift Card redeemable towards an Amazon Echo.
“The Amazon Alexa skill for Genesis demonstrates our progressive commitment to technology that is intuitive and customer-focused. It aligns with our belief that time and convenience are the ultimate luxuries,” said Erwin Raphael, general manager of Genesis in the U.S. market. “From remotely locking your car from your living room, to starting your G90 and setting the temperature from your bedroom, the Alexa skill for Genesis offers a new level of ease for owners.”

How It Works
Amazon Alexa allows customers to send remote commands to their car from inside their home using simple voice interaction through Genesis Connected Services and an Alexa-enabled device. To send commands to Genesis vehicles via Alexa, users must enable the Genesis skill in their Alexa app available on iOS, Android and Fire tablets, and then link their existing Genesis Connected Services Account within the Alexa app. Voice commands will only be sent to Genesis vehicles after Alexa prompts owners for their Genesis Connected Services Personal Identification Number (PIN).

How to Start Genesis Amazon Alexa

Example User Statement to Alexa

Example Alexa’s Response to User

“Alexa, open Genesis.”

“Welcome to the Genesis skill.”

Genesis Amazon Alexa Skill: Remote Services

Remote Services

Examples of Voice Commands to Alexa

Remote Start with Set Temperature

“Alexa, tell Genesis to start my car at 70 degrees.”

Remote Start

“Alexa, tell Genesis to start my Black G90.”

Remote Stop

“Alexa, tell Genesis to stop my Gray G90.”

Remote Lock

“Alexa, tell Genesis to lock my car.”

Remote Unlock

“Alexa, tell Genesis to unlock my car.”

Remote Lights

“Alexa, tell Genesis to flash the lights on my G80.”

Remote Horns and Lights

“Alexa, tell Genesis to honk the horn on my car.”

Genesis Connected Services
Genesis vehicles are equipped with three years of complimentary Genesis Connected Car Services. Genesis Connected Services bring seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like Remote Start with Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google®, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Genesis Connected Services can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror and center stack, the Web or via an exclusive Genesis owners’ smartphone app.
Connected Care package:

  • Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance
  • SOS Emergency Assistance
  • Enhanced Roadside Assistance
  • Monthly Vehicle Health Report
  • Maintenance Alerts
  • Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification (DTC)
  • Service Link
  • Genesis App (smartphone)
  • On-Demand Diagnostics
  • Driving Information

Remote package:

  • Remote Start with Climate Control
  • Remote Door Lock/Unlock
  • Remote Horn and Lights
  • Car Finder via Mobile App
  • Stolen Vehicle Recovery/Slowdown/Immobilization
  • Vehicle Safeguard Alerts:
    • Geo-Fence
    • Valet Alert
    • Speed/Curfew Alert

Guidance package:

  • Destination search powered by Google®
  • Destination Send-to-Car by Google®

“Managing items we interact with on a frequent basis, like a thermostat with voice commands, is becoming second nature to Americans,” said Raphael. “We plan to integrate our platform with the right connected home products to maximize the connected car experience for our customers, paving the way for the new definition of luxury.”

* is not a sponsor of this promotion.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can ruin a ride in an Evoque

Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (1)


Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (2)Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (8)

2016 Range Rover Evoque PURE Td4 150 gaycarboys

Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (4)Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (5)

Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (6)Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (7)

Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (9)Range Rover Evoque 5 door 2016 gaycarboys (10)


I’m no stranger to Evoque. When I first heard Range Rover was building a wee baby I got excited. Most of us don’t need the full-Monty 4WD experience, so AWD will do. The concept drawings looked amazing, but as we know, concepts are rarely realised in the flesh. This one was, and there have been over 500,000 made since. Isn’t it pretty? Ignore the annoying little things, they’ll just ruin your ride, and your day. Let me explain:


Smooth and sexy, and looking all the better for the strong concept resemblance. There was a 3 door which I think was even sexier, but slow sales saw it dropped. It had a lower roof and better proportions but it just didn’t float fickle boats of those pesky buyers.

The wheels range from small and demure 17” to a large and showy 20” monster depending on how deep your pockets are.

The Day Time Running Lights trace a not-very-discrete line around the outside of the headlamp lamp cluster, with the rear lights tracing a similar line just beneath the lense. It looks so elegant and thoroughly cutting edge.

The aggressive forward slant gives the profile an attractive if slightly menacing stance. It looks like it’s fresh out of the shower after a workout. At any moment you expect it to tussle its hair while its towel falls off.


Entry level for Range Rover does not mean the driver sits entombed in poverty stricken misery. Remember, this is the baby of the family that started the whole SUV revolution. The Range Rover was the very first off-road vehicle that people weren’t ashamed to be seen in. It pioneered upper class luxury for the well-heeled, gravel-drived, country-pile owners so they didn’t have to change cars to survey their holdings from its highest peaks. Previously, they’d have been on a horse or some mangy old post-war banger with rust holes and all the power of a sewing machine.

The seats sit reasonably high despite the roof looking low. The finishes feature both high gloss piano black, and classy matte surfacing, and the leather feels supple. Our car had $4,000 worth of leather upgrades that made you feel like you were inside a Luis Vuitton show room. Unlike other Rangies, the Evoque is AWD not 4WD. It lacks fancy locking diffs and high/low gear ranges. It still manages a few off-road features such as his descent control and various drive modes, and has been filmed in places you’d think a posh soft-roader had no right being. The pop-up gear selector is a cabin highlight especially if you haven’t seen it before. Pressing the start button causes the selector to rise mysteriously from the console. It reminds me of a Madonna concert I once attended, the only thing missing was the fog machine.

The centre stack has the touch screen infotainment system, A/C and drive mode controls, as well as the electric parking brake lever. Even though the Evoque costs a mere fraction of her big daddy, the switch gear retains the same feel of quality. There is a resistance to the knobs which lends an air of longevity and class.

The rear seats have enough room for an average size adult to feel comfortable.

The cargo hold isn’t huge, but the Evoque is larger than other small SUVs so the overall space is well designed to take advantage of it. This is a newish segment where less expensive brands have been making a killing. Small SUVs are set to become the next big thing.

Our Si4 HSE Dynamic is the range topper at 80 grand plus onroads, but there is an eye-watering $18,450 worth of optional goodies on our test car. I was slightly distraught to learn that many of the things I really liked were options. See details below:


The best thing about an Evoque is that it feels like a car to drive. Even with the options, you have every right to expect a car worth almost a hundred grand to be a cracker, and it is.

It’s about now that I should make a small confession: for the first few days I thought the baby Rangie was a bitter disappointment. It was terribly slow with an engine that felt that it would be lucky to pull the skin off a custard. While sitting at a set of lights waiting to enter the Eastern Distributor I glanced down at the console. I’m a fiddler you see. I press buttons to see what happens. “Oh,” I thought. “Um, oh dear me,” I continued to mutter. I realised I had been driving around in “SNOW” mode. I selected “NORMAL” and the world became a much rosier place.

It is about now that I’d normally say, “however we were not able to evaluate any of the special driving modes as we did not encounter adverse weather conditions, and did not venture off road”. I can certainly see how robbing the engine of power, and taking off in second gear would stop the wheels from spinning in icy conditions. The less said about this embarrassing misadventure the better.

Moving on, the Evoque was a pleasure to drive. Once in normal mode, the engine felt responsive. The 0-100 time of 7.6 seconds is reasonable for a small turbo-petrol 4 cylinder pulling 1658kgs. Equally impressive is the combined 7.8L/100km fuel figure.

The Evoque feels light and nimble, and the ride is smooth most of the time. I noticed a bumpy corner made it feel slightly jittery, but this misdemeanor fades the further you drive. There is less body roll than you might expect and has the all-round performance of a smaller, sportier coupe.

Before we move on, I want to spend a moment on the 9 speed auto transmission. Selection via the electronic rotary knob takes a little getting used to, but is easy once you’re practiced.

The 9 speed ZF box is used in other brands, for example the Fiat-Chysler’s Jeeps and Fiat 500X, plus some of the Hondas too. There were reports of teething problems for the world’s first 9 speed. Most were not serious but a few owners reported unintended shifts into neutral, and rough changes into and out of 1st gear. One owner was found pinned to a wall after his Jeep went from park into neutral without the brake on. Similarly, the auto shifter into neutral from Drive, at speed. The issues appear to have been fixed in most cars. We had no such issues. I noticed the change from drive to reverse is much faster than it used to be. After trawling the forums, I discovered a software upgrade fixed the issues. Our petrol model felt noticeably smoother than a diesel we drove earlier in the year. The diesel took a long time to change from reverse to drive when backing out of a parking space.

The infotainment system is easy to use and fairly quick to respond, but could definitely be quicker. The Satnav needs a second to input each character and I can’t help but feel a faster processor would hasten the waiting time. This unit is common across other Jaguar-Land Rover models.

Although the sound is good, I’d like to be able to have more control over the tone. I’d like a subwoofer too while I’m about it. When I plugged the USB into the phone, the Bluetooth disconnected. Unsure if I was doing something wrong, I tried again. It seemed to be working but when a call came through, sure enough the Bluetooth had disconnected again. I will follow this up to see if there is a problem.

Meanwhile, to amuse your friends, put the television on. The driver will see the normal screen, but the passenger will see the TV programme. The dual screen appears to display two different things in the same space but employs clever prism-shaped cells. It can show the same display, or two different displays on the outward facing surfaces. As you move your head from one side of the cabin to the other while staring at the LCD, the picture changes. The sound comes through wireless headphones. We didn’t get a chance to try this out on the road, but on the surface of it, seems a great feature. Remember, you’ll only get TV in a digital reception area so on long trips you’d need to BYO viewing. I’d be interested to see if you can play a DVD in dual screen mode. That’s a question for next time.

DAB radio has the same limitations. Music streaming via the internet has slightly more range, but on long trips going in and out of cell range will drive you potty unless your system has a substantial buffer.

The driver’s seat has a huge number of electric adjustments, and as I said before, has leather that felt like a pair of kid gloves.

The full glass roof option costs $1,800 and has an interior roller blind. I’m not a fan of full glass and would not choose it. It adds weight to the top of the car raising the centre of gravity which is a bad thing in cornering. I didn’t test it in summer but one wonders if the cabin would bake even with the blind closed.

I was impressed by the sporty feel of the handling. With 2 on board, the mountain passes were a doddle whether uphill or down. The auto is best used with the steering wheel paddles if you fancy a bit of fun otherwise the auto is going to try and get to the top gear as quick as it can.


Life up front is good. The view is excellent in all directions, and the parking cameras make up for any shortfalls because of the high rear end. The ride firm but smooth and the engines are sublime, especially the petrol.

The inclusions are impressive but as always, luxury brands like their pricey options list. Such is life. They sell it to us as the customer being able to customise their purchase, but we all know that is code for “spend, spend, spend”. If you don’t like it, don’t choose any.

I never got the gesture-tailgate to work. I know it does, I’ve see the video, but that’s as close as I got.

Although there are one or two little niggles, there is nothing I couldn’t live with and as premium SUVs go, the Evoque ticks all the boxes.

The performance won’t snap your neck but it’s more than enough to make the weekend fun, and still be a comfy commute on week days.

I like Evoque for its cheeky face and pert rump. The profile is sporty with the roof sweeping rearward like a hot hatch.

It is the best of both worlds because it has proved to be a dab hand at light off-road work. Well, it would wouldn’t it? Its dad is the venerable Range Rover which can cross continents, wade through water over half a metre deep, and crawl up rocky escarpments with the aplomb of a mountain goat. Evoque doesn’t possess the full 4WD system of its dad, but the AWD is brilliant regardless.

Evoque is for the buyer who fancies something nice to ride in, but has the cash to be different and not care whether others approve or not. The looks aren’t for everyone, and to them I say tough luck.

There are now over 500,000 Evoques, so you might even dip your toe in the muddy waters of the used-car market. You can get a (high km) 150,000 km, 4-year-old example for around $35,000 for the base model Pure which goes new for around $52,000. It means they have a reasonable resale after your loan period lapses.

Of course you can get a proper 4WD for less money, but look at Evoque, it’s gorgeous!

Would I buy one? Yes.





0-100KPH (SECS)




1,999cc Si4 turbocharged petrol engine

177 @ 5,500

340 @ 1,750




From 1,658

Up to 1,800 KG

Standard Features

-Automatic 9-speed incl. Drive Select, with Paddle shift & Sport Mode

19″ Alloy – 7 Split-Spoke Style 707 with Sparkle finish

InControl Touch (11 speaker incl. Subwoofer, 380Wt Meridian Sound System, voice control)

Parking Aid – Front & Rear Sensor

Rear Camera incl. hitching guidance and Rear Junction View

Keyless Entry

Lane Departure Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking

Gesture tailgate (Hands-free open and close)

Head up display

HDD premium Navigation

Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)

Four Wheel Drive (4WD) with Active Driveline

Torque Vectoring by Braking

Xenon Headlamps w/ LED Signature Lighting & Auto Headlamp Levelling

Rain Sensing Windscreen Wipers and Automatic Headlamps

Configurable mood – lighting

Exterior Mirrors- (Electric Adjustment, Heated, Power Fold, Puddle Lamps w/ Projected Evoque graphic, Direction Indicators)

12/12 Way – Electric Memory

Solar Attenuating Windscreen

Headlamps – Power wash

Fog Lamps – Front

Steering Wheel (Perforated Oxford Lthr w/- Audio & Cruise Control)

Oxford Leather (HSE DYN style) with Perforated Mid-Section

Tread Plates – Illuminated “RANGE ROVER”

Carpet Mats – With Edging


Firenze Red/ Ebony Full Perf Oxford Lthr Seat


$80 605


Black Pack w/ 20” Satin Black Style 508- $4650

Front seat entertainment pack (InControl Touch Plus – 17 speakers including sub-woofer, CD and DVD player, Digital television with dual view screen and wireless headphones) – $4400

Full Oxford leather interior – $1920

Adaptive Dynamics – including Dynamic Mode – $1850

Extended Leather Pack- $1920

Fixed Panoramic Roof incl. powered blind- $1800

ATPC – All-Terrain progress control – $ 460

Santorini Black Contrast Roof- $920


$99 055

(Please note that ORC are dependent on which state is registered, driver history, etc.)

*Currently with free on-roads.

Holden Colorado facelift is More Than Skin Deep


Colorado sunset kangaroo (3)

Colorado sunset kangaroo (1)Colorado sunset kangaroo (2)

Above: Only in Australia. Photos by Deanna Avzangelis


Colorado Xtreme (1)

Colorado Xtreme (2)Colorado Xtreme (3)

Above: Chevy Colorado Extreme

Below: Holden Colorado

MY17 Colorado_Z71_R3Q_StaticMY17 Colorado_LTZ_F3Q_Dynamic_Mud

MY17 Colorado_LTZ_F3Q_Dynamic (2)



Launch Photo Album


Where else would you reveal a workhorse but on a working farm? Canny old Holden wanted to show Colorado in what should be its natural surroundings even if most of them probably won’t work terribly hard in real life.

First, the boring stuff.

The changes

The Drive

– Redesigned grille, fascia and bonnet

– All-new chassis tune

– Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter

– All-new engine and transmission mounts

– Electronic Power Steering

– Engine acoustic pack

– Wind noise package

– LED Daytime Running Lights

The Cabin

7/8-inch colour touchscreen with Apple Carplay® and Android® Auto compatibility

– Remote vehicle start and remote window down with key fob (LTZ and Z71 AT)

– Heated front seats (Z71)

– Embedded satellite navigation (LTZ and Z71)


– 7 airbags (Driver knee, dual front, side and curtain airbags)

-TCS, ABS, ESC, Hill Descent

– Rear View Camera (across pick-up range)

– Parking sensors (front and rear on LTZ, Z71)

– Lane Departure Warning

– Forward Collision Alert

– Auto headlamps with LED DRLs

– Tyre Pressure Monitoring (LTZ and Z71)

– Structural reinforcements

Now, the fun stuff:

A quaint homestead on a working farm was a perfect backdrop for the uber-nimble Colorado MKII.

First, we corralled the ute in a large pen where she could kick up her heals. And kick she did. She went sideways through slaloms having far more fun than a humble tradie’s tool has any right to. As the dust flew, I had to pinch myself so I didn’t forget I was in a pick-up capable of towing 3,500kgs.

Towing is enough of a handful for the uninitiated, let alone a hMY17 Colorado_Z71_Lightumble writer more at home in a coffee shop in Surry Hills. So, to make things interesting, Holden engineer Amelinda Watt hooked up 2,500kgs worth of digger and trailer. “No worries”, she said, “I’ll tell you what to do”. That’s like telling a surgeon how to remove a brain, over the phone.

Unlike many updates, Holden had input from the inception. There were local changes important enough to be adopted by other markets. Australia’s talent can’t be underestimated, but back to the challenge.

Undaunted, I jumped on board. Despite some dodgy directions, the digger was safely ensconced in her witch’s hat garage quicker than you can say “Clancy of the Overflow”.

In a manual base-model, we did a quick round of a yard, lined her up, then reversed into a space designed to fit a family hatch and a washing machine. Reversing a large heavy trailer is one thing, but a tall, heavy excavator makes the event all the more piquant. It is easier than you might think. Even towing such a heavy load, the Colorado felt easy to maneuver.

The auto version would have been even easier to handle.

On the bitumen, the Colorado is notably quieter than before. Although Holden’s engineers have put a lot of work into local tuning, the ute is a GM product, so is available worldwide. It’s hard to believe that this is considered mid-sized vehicle in the USA. It explains a lot about the American Psyche, and the size of their bums.

MY17 Colorado_CentreConsole

The engine sound deadening and body sound proofing has made an enormous difference to cabin noise levels. There is also less wind noise, and the engine/transmission mounts mean less vibration too. The pendulum mechanism fitted to the torque converter has minimised the unwanted quivering from the transmission making the driving experience both quieter and smoother. The occupants can speak quietly just like they would in a regular road-going sedan, and still hear the Radio National news.

Much of the day was spent on the open road in and around South East Queensland. The road surfaces varied from dreadful, to appalling, and they were the good bits. The 147kw/500Nm Duramax turbo diesel is the most powerful in class, and thanks to the subtle changes, now feels it. Holden have taken the fight right up to the Amarok which was the comfiest in the segment. Here is a quick side by side comparison of others in the class:-


It would have been easy to think of the facelift as just a bit of spit and polish, but the road trip made the Colorado feel like a feel contender for a sexy-weekend active-utility accessory it always should have been. You could easily pull a boat or jet ski, with enough room for 4 mates and all the sundry gear you could possibly think of. Pick-ups are no longer solely the reserve of bare-chested tradies. Oh grow up! Get your minds out of the gutter.

During the drive, we rotated through several trim level models with differing load in the back. Holden had stowed mulch, sand, and other such bucolic accoutrements in the cargo hold. The weights varied from 200kg to 500kg in order to demonstrate how the ride was not adversely affected by load regardless of road surface. More importantly, it didn’t bounce all over the road like a demented pin-pong ball when unladen. Many a ute has suspension set to take a tonne, but rattles your kidneys loose with just the driver on board.

The loads stayed in the back as we headed off-road to get a bit dirty. I don’t quite understand why you would MY17 Colorado_Clusterwant to, but in case you do, Colorado can cope with the shoddiest of goat tracks. There is a lot of satisfaction knowing you can go from the car park at Bunnings, to a clearing on a heavily wooded mountain, and the only thing you have to remember to do is pack the tent and gingham rug. Personally, I’d rather stick blunt chopsticks in my eyes.

So, now you know. I’m no dirt aficionado but if I can handle it, you certainly can. I just need a shower and a gin and tonic afterwards.

I like the comfort with which a Colorado tackles bumping over deeply rutted terrain. On more than one occasion I asked far more of the suspension than I should have, and despite the awful commotion going on below, it was nothing Colorado wasn’t built to handle.

My co-driver fiddled with the off-road controls to slowly descend steeper sections of the track. The heavily packed pick-up stepped carefully even with a heavy load. It was impressive. Even in normal mode, the Holden knows if you’ve got a load on, and will use engine braking on the open road. You get a large friendly message on the driver’s instrument panel letting you know “stage 2 engine braking has been engaged” as you coast down a steep hill. The “truck” as Holden wants us to call it, is looking after you whether you aware of it or not. It’s strangely reassuring.

The upper models get: lane departure, satnav along, auto headlights and wipers to make you feel dead posh. All models get nifty rear cameras, and the now-ubiquitous Apple Car Play/Android Auto. There is a whole bunch of safety and comfort related technology that raise this ute to a level of awesomeness once only available in an S Class Merc.

The LTZ had a natty soft coMY17 Colorado_HeadRest_Z71ver for the tray that locks at the back. It allows you to unlock and open the tailgate without having to go through an elaborate ritual involving clips or elasticized toggles.

While on the subject of accessories, genuine accessories have been developed locally and look pretty good. The “Chevy Colorado Extreme” show vehicle showcased talents of the Australian design team. What looks like a matte orange wrap is in fact a $20,000 paint job. This vehicle was on display at our SE QLD event, complete with large, friendly, “DO NOT TOUCH “ signs peppered all over the place.

Among other bright ideas, the show car’s tubular side steps, rear “sports bar”, and integrated nudge bar have been developed for sale as genuine parts. It makes even the base model look delicious.

It’s worth mentioning that genuine accessories have been tested by Holden. What it means is the 5 star safety rating is not impaired by sidesteps, nudge bars and sports bars. If you have an incident, the airbags will deploy properly, something I had never previously considered. After market accessories may not have the same scrutiny, and you won’t find out things have gone badly wrong until it is too late. The moral of the story is: You Get What You Pay For.


The first thing to say is that Holden are trying to convince us to call their pick-up, a truck. It’s some Yankee idea I shouldn’t wonder. I’m not convinced. The word “truck” would certainly turn me off buying one. No, I’ll stick with sports utility, UTE, or SUV thanks very much. Truck will never catch on, will it?

With the closure of Australian manufacturing, GM will have the chance to import more of its international range. Holden will be launching a total of 20 new models by 2020, which once sounded like a long time away but is now just around the corner.

There is a stunning range of accessories, and a cabin that feels modern and surprisingly comfortable. I like the way it drives on the road, which is where most of us will use it. It feels more sure footed than HiLux, more comfortable than Ranger. The Z71 is the range topper and looks fantastic replete with body coloured kit and inbuilt Tourneau cover. The cover a lot easier to use than Ranger’s roller-door affair which has a nasty habit of catching unsuspecting fingers. If $57,190 plus on-roads sounds steep, compare it to the 60 grand the current favourite, Ranger Wildtrack, will cost and you.

You’ll remember I bubbled on about the Wildtrack for ages. It looked like sex on wheels and made me come over all butch, saying things like “maaaaaaaaate”, and “OI” and “DUDE!”. I still like it of course, but the Z71 would give me a severe “decision headache” as I vacillated to the point of dementia. MY17 Colorado_Interior (2)

You get a lot of car for your money, and with a canopy, is far more versatile than a regular SUV. The poor old Colorado took a bashing on those tracks, and it gave me time to grill the engineer about the longevity of long exposure to these conditions. I tried hard to fault the Colorado considering how luke-warm I was previously. There isn’t anything to dislike, but it is the top model for me.

Would I buy one? Yes, if I was ever to be in the market for a large versatile SUV

*all models include lifetime capped price service

2.8L Duramax Diesel Engine

– Iron cylinder block and aluminium DOHC cylinder head

– 147kW power and 500Nm torque (auto) / 440Nm torque (manual)

Single Cab Chassis LS – 4×2 $29,490

Single Cab Chassis LS – 4×4 $37,490

Space Cab Chassis LS – 4×4 $40,990

Space Cab Pickup LTZ – 4×4 $48,990

Crew Cab Chassis LS – 4×2 $34,490

Crew Cab Chassis LS – 4×4 $43,490

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×2 LS $35,990

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×2 LT $38,990

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×2 LTZ $42,490

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×4 LS $44,990

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×4 LT $46,990

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×4 LTZ $50,490

Crew Cab Pick Up – 4×4 Z71 $54,990