Toyota NZ releases fourth-generation Prado

November 18th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota New Zealand has just launched the latest generation of its popular Land Cruiser Prado mid-sized  SUV.

The Land Cruiser Prado is now available in three grades — GX, VX and VX Limited — each powered by a 3.0 litre common rail turbo diesel engine.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said, “We are offering customers more choice, with an extended model line up and comprehensive option packages. Prado will now appeal to a broader range of customers looking for an Toyota Prado VX rear location on gravelextremely capable vehicle for on and off road use”.

All new Prado models have Toyota’s 1KD common-rail diesel engine with variable vane turbo charger, full-time 4WD, front SRS airbags, front side airbags, driver’s knee airbag, full length three row curtain shield airbags, active front headrests, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Hill-start Assist and Downhill Assist Control (automatic transmission vehicles only), smart entry and start system, second row seatbelt anchorage height adjusters, 3.5mm and USB audio input jacks, Bluetooth handsfree phone capability, reversing camera, parking sensors, engine immobiliser and alarm system and a rear spoiler.
Prado GX

The entry level GX model has 17″ alloy wheels, a rear door mounted spare wheel with hard cover, reverse parking sensors, leather steering wheel, dual zone air conditioning, and a single disc MP3/WMA compatible CD player.
Prado VX

Toyota Prado VX Ltd front seats and dashPrado VX adds 18″ alloy wheels, under floor mounted spare wheel, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), electrochromatic inside rear view mirror, front and side view cameras, front parking sensors, HID headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), headlight cleaners, three zone climate control air conditioning, six disc CD changer with nine speakers, front seat heaters, leather seats, power adjustable front seats, Optitron instruments with steering angle display, power adjustable tilt and telescopic steering column, front fog lights, glass hatch in rear door, roof rails, and rear privacy glass.
Prado VX Limited

The top spec VX Limited has additional features over the VX: adaptive variable suspension system and rear active height control, pre-crash safety system, dynamic radar cruise control, leather and woodgrain style steering wheel, 6 disc CD/DVD changer with 14 Toyota Prado VX Ltd rear seats half downspeakers, satellite navigation system, coolbox, front seat memory system, woodgrain style console, rear seat entertainment system with 9″ screen, and a tilt and slide sunroof.

An off road package is available for VX and VX Limited grades which includes multi-terrain ABS, CRAWL control, multi-terrain select, multi-terrain monitor with additional cameras and a rear electrical differential lock.

The recommended retail price for the GX with manual transmission is $78,490 with $1,500 added for automatic transmission. The VX model is $89,900 with the top-of-the-range VX Limited model priced at $104,990. The off road package is $2,250 for the VX and a no cost option for VX Limited.

Check out some images of the new Toyota Prado in the gallery below.

Updated 2010 Jeep Patriot on sale in NZ

November 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

2010 Jeep Patriot

A new interior and upgraded ride are among the highlights of the 2010 Jeep Patriot that has just gone on sale in New Zealand.

Priced from just $35,990, the new Jeep Patriot is among the most competitive compact SUVs on the market and now it’s better than ever.

The classic Jeep exterior styling remains mostly unchanged, but inside the Patriot has been given a freshen up.

The interior is now finished in Dark Slate Grey — the Limited model gets leather trim — and the cargo area on both models is now fully carpeted Also new is the dashboard, centre stack and instrument panel, door trim panels and centre console with split lid for increased cabin storage space.

To reduce noise and to give the latest Jeep Patriot a quieter ride, the engine compartment and interior floor insulation has been improved. Suspension tuning has been revised, giving the Jeep Patriot a smoother ride on the tarmac. Electronic Stability Programme, which now includes Electronic Roll Mitigation and six airbags are standard across the range.

“The new Jeep Patriot is an exceptional vehicle and we have managed to incorporate all the changes without increasing the price,” says Todd Groves, Chrysler Divisional Manager for Sime Darby Automobiles New Zealand Limited, which distributes Jeep in this market.

The interior features in the Jeep Patriot include:

* Premium sound system two articulating speakers packaged in the tailgate; when the tailgate is open, the speakers can swing down to face rearward and play music to augment outdoor activities

* Dual purpose, self-recharging removable cargo lamp mounted in the headliner above the cargo area, which can be removed to serve as a flashlight

* Sliding centre armrest with 76 millimetres of travel to accommodate a variety of drivers in comfort

* Fold-flat front passenger seat that creates a table-like surface for added versatility

* 17-inch alloy wheels on all models

* Heated front seats and deep tint windows on all Patriot models

Under the bonnet is a 2.4-litre petrol engine matched to a second generation CVT automatic transmission. The transmission has been re-calibrated to allow the driver to manually select six gears.

And, because it’s a Jeep, the new 2010 Patriot has a four-wheel-drive system. The Freedom Drive on-demand system engages four-wheel drive when it’s needed on or off-road and features an Electronically Controlled Coupling (ECC) attached to the rear differential. The ECC controls the amount of torque going to the rear wheels by means of an electronic control module and a two-stage clutch.

In addition, for the ultimate versatility, at speeds up to 15km/h, the driver can also engage an off-road mode at the flick of a switch. This activates the enhanced off-road features of the system and the ECC ensures that the torque is split evenly between the front and rear wheels, giving the best traction.

Also standard on all models is a version of the ABS system designed specifically for off-road use. This takes advantage of the fact that, on loose surfaces such as gravel, sand and mud, braking distances are shorter if a car’s wheels have a certain degree of lock up, ploughing through the surface and building up a ‘wedge’ in front of the wheels, which helps to slow the car. With conventional ABS, the wheels would not lock up, so the wedge could not form, and stopping distances would be longer.

The new 2010 Jeep Patriot is on sale now. To find out more click here to visit the Jeep NZ website.

2010 Porsche 911 Turbo in detail (+video)

October 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Porsche 911 turbo fq

The new Porsche 911 Turbo has arrived and it’s packing a 6-cylinder, 3.8 litre engine putting out 500 hp (368 kW) and 650 Nm of torque.

For the first time, this Porsche engine has been mated to the PDK, Porsche’s double-clutch gearbox. The engine features direct injection and of course a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry to maximise the power from the 3.8 litre displacement.

The video below provides an introduction of the new Porsche 911 Turbo by Wolfgang Durheimer, vice president for research and development at Porsche AG.

An impressive engineering feature is the new Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) system that shifts torque to either the right or left rear wheel in response to any understeer while turning, keeping the car moving at optimal efficiency in the direction that it’s pointed with the steering wheel.

The numbers are suitable staggering: 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 11.6 seconds. Top speed is 312 km/h.

Fuel economy is also an impressive 11.6 litres/100 km, considering the amount of power on tap.

The new Porsche 911 Turbo goes on sale in Germany on November 21 in both coupe and cabriolet variants, global sales should follow shortly after.

Check out the video below, it’s worth a look.

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