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Chevrolet’s Latest Coup


When GM made the decision to pull out of all right-hand drive markets after the demise of the Holden brand, needless to say a few gearheads were less than overjoyed with the news. Therefore, there is a chance this facelift Chevrolet Camaro could be the last new GM product we get through HSV dealers in New Zealand. Oh, and it also happens to be a beast of a muscle car.

 

On the outside, the facelift Camaro 2SS has been given a stylistic nip and tuck.

A more pronounced mouth with the Chevy bowtie badge as the centre piece makes for a more aggressive front, and the revised taillight cluster and new alloys look the business.

Under the bonnet sits the hefty LT1 6.2L V8 with a fairly substantial 339kW of grunt and 617Nm of torque.

The biggest change mechanically is the addition of a new 10 speed automatic gearbox. It’s very good by the way, but more on that in a bit.

Inside you get a very driver-focused cabin, containing nods to Camaros of the past while still feeling up to date.

You sit very low and sports car like in the seat and the small steering wheel feels good clasped in your mitts.

Standard kit includes 20-inch alloys, Brembo brakes, LED running lights, Apple Car Play/Android Auto and dual zone climate control.

Fire up the LT1 V8 and you make everyone within a few 100 metres of you aware of your presence.

Blip the throttle and it bellows like a proper V8 road burner should. Touring mode allows you to cruise along in comfort with the V8 burble slightly subdued in the background.

The LT1 V8 also shuts down four cylinders if they aren’t needed, returning combined fuel consumption of 11.5L/100km.

Change up to Sport and things get racier and louder; put it in Track mode and the steering and throttle response sharpens up, plus the shifts on the 10 speed box become quicker.

In Track mode you can make mincemeat of bendy bitumen; a welcome sensation as Camaro’s of old were never that great at the twisty stuff.

The 2SS stays planted and gives you the confidence to push harder. Sure, you can cruise in the Camaro, the ride is comfortable too, but it feels more at home having its neck wrung.

Despite niggles like some excessive tyre roar and intrusive wing mirrors when turning at a junction, the 2SS Camaro is a damn fine continuation of a muscle car legend.

Fingers crossed it will stick around in the New Zealand market for some time yet.


 

A compelling package


When the all-new Mazda CX30 made its debut in New Zealand, it was launched online, thanks to COVID-19. However, after waiting patiently, we finally got a taster of Mazda’s new SUV. Mazda says the new CX30 slots perfectly between the CX3 and CX5 in its SUV line-up. However, with the CX3 and CX5 offering such a compelling small and mid-sized SUV package, do we really need an SUV in between?

 

 

The CX30 is essentially a raised version of the Mazda3 hatch.

However, despite looking almost identical to the more grounded 3, the CX30 has actually shrunk by 70mm and features an entirely new rear end.

Like the Mazda3, the CX30 is available in three trim levels, the GSX at $41,490, GTX at $44,990 and the top end Limited at $49,990.

The GTX featured here is, according to the team at Blackwells Mazda, the most popular model in the range.

The entry level GSX gets FWD and a 2.0L four-cylinder Skyactiv engine with 114kW/200Nm, but the GTX and Limited get the bigger 2.5L unit and AWD.

With 139kW/252Nm, it is nothing short of sublime. Plus, you will be sipping the juice at 6.8L/100km thanks to the aid of cylinder deactivation.

Toys are something the CX30 is very generous with.

All models get the i-Activsense safety package as standard kit, which gives you a plethora of gizmos keeping you on the straight and narrow.

These include lane-keep, active cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and active emergency braking.

The GTX also gets Intelligent Speed Assistance, front parking sensors and off-road mode.

The latter is down to the fact the GTX and Limited are AWD. The Limited also gives you leather trim and a thumping Bose stereo system.

Head and legroom are not as generous compared with the CX5 and, with 430L, neither is boot space.

That said, the seats themselves cocoon you like few others and the overall ambience of the CX30’s cabin feels like the car costs double its asking price.

Plus, all the switchgear actually feels satisfying to touch.

Once you are up and running, you quickly realise just what an utter peach that 2.5L Skyactiv engine really is.

Coupled with the uber slick six speed automatics transmission, cruising around suburbia has never been so refined in this price bracket.

Acceleration is not rapid thanks to the lack of a turbo, but from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, you are able to waft forward at a considerable rate.

Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control steering allows you to have a sublimely comfortable ride without being wobbly in the bends. It really is the best of both worlds.

Despite the space niggles, the CX30 still manages to be a sublime all-rounder. The CX30 is the Mazda SUV we didn’t think we needed, but really glad it exists.


 

A serious love affair: Honda Civic Type R


Kiwis have a serious love affair with Honda’s hot hatch – the Civic Type R. Since the first Civic Type R to be sold new in New Zealand was released in late 2017, more than 200 have been sold, making it one of the bestsellers in the class and proving its sales performance is as strong as its on track performance.

 

 

To celebrate the Type R’s double century of sales success, Honda New Zealand is offering a special, New Zealand-exclusive Type R endowed with Mugen parts.

Mugen – which means ‘Without Limits’ – is the organisation responsible for manufacturing Honda’s OEM parts such as body kits and sports exhausts.

It has become an international motorsport success, with highlights including powering Formula 1 victories along with numerous other two and four wheel championships.

“The 5th Generation Type R, although solely offered with a manual transmission, has been a sales success, thanks to its perfect balance of Honda’s sporty, yet practical DNA,” Honda New Zealand Marketing and Product Manager Matt Woodburn says.

Mugen equipped Type Rs start from $64,990 – including the front underspoiler, side underspoilers, rear underspoiler and carbon fibre/FRP tailgate spoiler with Mugen emblem.

This pricing is inclusive of all related costs to sourcing, painting & fitting the parts, making this one of the most affordable Mugen packages globally.


 

No.1 in car washing: Auto Express Wash


Quickest, cleanest, greenest

 

 

Using the latest technology and a state-of-the-art water reclaiming system, Auto Express Wash has revolutionised the way we keep our vehicles sparkling clean.

Located at 530b Sawyers Arms Road, the company has streamlined the car washing process, eliminating any hard work, queues or delays.

Once you’ve checked in at the paystation, your vehicle connects to the Express Tunnel Wash conveyor system and your car is clean in just four minutes.

Auto Express Wash recycles 80 percent of water used, as well as stocks biodegradable soaps and detergents.

The efficient reclaiming system also means they only use the required amount of water needed during each wash.

Multiple cars can use the car wash at once, meaning up to 200 can be cleaned at the site per hour.

As well as the car wash, you can also opt for the Super Dry & Shine polish service, a Silicon Tyre Shine, and a six-bay vacuum area is also available for customer use.

While you’re visiting Auto Express Wash, also look into their Barking Clean Self-Serve Dog Wash; Air Care Sanitiser; fleet and corporate options, and pre-paid wash cards.

For more, call 0800 5333 555 or email info@autoexpresswash.co.nz.


 

Top of its automotive game: Skoda Karoq


Skoda was founded in 1850 as an arms producer before later moving into transportation in 1895.

 

 

It was Skoda that produced the velocipede bicycle and the later Czech-designed Panzer 38(t) armored vehicle became one of the world’s best at the time.

The 1960s saw an increase in exporting from Czechoslovakia, with models like the Octavia Super and in the 70s and 80s it was the Rapid and Estelle that were the big sellers.

Today Skoda is one of the world’s best car developers, with revenue in the billions.

Now part of the Volkswagen family, Skoda is at the top of its automotive game.

The 2018 Superb was my personal car of the year with some outstanding features and ‘bang for buck’. It’s a theme that has continued with the new Skoda Karoq 110kW MY20.

With a price point of $44,990 for petrol and $50,990 for diesel, you can start going over the list of features and it’s got everything it takes to tick the box as a great value, strong performing family SUV.

Automatic tail gate opening is also a good start. The turbo petrol version seems to be quite economical on gas.

The 110kW provides enough power and 250 Nm, enough torque; 0-100 in 8.8 isn’t a Ferrari but it’s not meant to be one!

The cabin has a simple but elegant interior with lots of room and expansive windscreen and Apple car play and connectivity are downright easy.

The lines are so good, it took me a good five minutes to find the USB point hidden under a cover near the centre console.

With a five-year warranty up to 150,000km, it seems like a pretty simple buy.

Electric folding, heated side mirrors are great for the winter days and the Skoda carpet lighting on the doors allow you to look for the puddles when stepping out after a good rain.

Leather seating isn’t standard, but you can up spec the whole car including alloys and steering wheel for an extra $3,500.

The breaking assist is nice and gentle too, airbags, side assist and reversing camera are all there, so for the safety conscious, you get a lot for this low price point.

It’s simple and cost-effective and these days, simple and cost effective are very important. Check it out at Miles Continental for your own test drive.


 

Prevention better than the cure


With the summer heat putting the real pressure on your air conditioning system, are you taking your system for granted? Does it seem like it’s not as cool as it used to be? Did you know that you should have it serviced every two years?

 

On average you lose 10 percent of the refrigerant gas that’s required for air conditioning your vehicle every year.

The team at Leading Edge checks this in a service. It’s that knowledge that puts them above others in the market.

They will also replace the cabin filter which becomes blocked with pollen, dust and road grit, giving you fresher, healthier air inside the vehicle.

Here’s a tip: Leading Edge recommends running your air conditioning system regularly, even in the winter, as the refrigerant contains a light mineral oil to keep the compressor properly lubricated.

Leading Edge not only provides services but also takes care of warrants of fitness, auto electrics, tyres and wheel alignments, brakes, steering and suspension and so much more, using the latest diagnostic equipment.

All of their work is guaranteed and the team of skilled, professional people with a wide, up-to-date knowledge base of European, Japanese and electric cars are going to know what your car needs to get the job sorted.

With 10 free courtesy cars, give them a call today.

You can find Leading Edge at 480 Selwyn Street, just down from the Z service station on Moorhouse Avenue or phone 03 366 3384.


 

A Dynamic Drive


It is really hard not to be at least a little bit impressed with the new Honda Civic RS Sensing. While the last bit of the name does seem a tad strange at first, it becomes clear the tenth generation of one of Honda’s most cherished models, makes more ‘sense’ than ever before.

 


The $39,990 RS Sensing is extraordinary value considering what you get. Under the bonnet sits a 1.5 litre Turbo VTEC four-cylinder engine mated to Honda’s seven speed CVT auto with paddle shift.

While not much to look at, you still get 127kW and 220Nm of torque, while returning 6.3L/100km respectively.

Honda has also crammed the RS Sensing into the kit too.

Settle into those leather clad sports seats and you find adaptive cruise control, auto high beam, parking sensors front and rear, reversing camera, lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking, which sends you a visual alert on your instrument cluster if you are approaching the car in front too closely, and a wing-mounted camera which allows you to monitor your blind spot while changing lanes from the infotainment screen.

Thanks to upgrades to the suspension and bushings, the Civic RS Sensing is a much more dynamic drive than before.

Steering is nicely weighted and you can coax the Sensing into the twisty stuff with little effort required.

All in all, the Civic RS Sensing is a solid effort from Honda and represents stunning value for money. This one is definitely worth a look.


 

The Wheel Magician


You are making that reverse park in a tight space when you hear the nauseating sound of your alloy wheel rims grinding against the curb which was a lot closer than you thought. Your beautiful car now looks a lot less pretty with those all-too-familiar scratches on your precious wheels.

BEFORE
AFTER

 

You want them fixed but there’s the hassle of losing your car for the day. Well there is another option – The Wheel Magician is mobile and can come to you to do the job. Part of the Wheel Magician franchise, they can operate anywhere, including your workplace or home.

Removing the wheel and fixing it on the spot in their mobile workshop is not only great convenience for you, but the professional finish brings that wheel as close to factory standard as possible. All the finishing is done on-site.

With fast, friendly and efficient service, you can have those precious alloy wheel rims looking great again in a flash with the Wheel Magician’s expert service.

So call the local Christchurch Wheel Magician on 022 658 2957 or 0800 537 233 or check out their website www.wheelmagician.co.nz.

 


 

Ford at the forefront


Operating from its five acre site at 165 Main South Road since 1965, Avon City Ford has been at the forefront of providing Canterbury motorists the very best when buying a new or used Ford vehicles.

 

 

 

With more than 100 staff on site plus a satellite service centre in Rangiora, Avon City Ford covers all motoring needs with factory trained salespeople, a finance department, commercial technicians, parts advisors, a full paint and panel division and a full grooming department.

All new vehicles, whether it be the latest German designed and built Ford Focus range, rugged all-conquering Ranger Raptor, or the quintessential iconic Mustang, are prepared on site for delivery after arriving from the various assembly plants around the world, with a wide range of factory accessories readily available. After a comprehensive pre-delivery check and road test, any accessories are fitted according to the client’s instructions. The grooming department completes the vehicles with them arriving for delivery via the showroom in pristine condition.

Used vehicles are fully checked mechanically prior to going through the paint and panel department to bring them up to the high standard Avon City Ford prides itself on before resale. The finance department offers competitive rates in both leasing and finance and provides tailored finance packages to suit all needs. Basically, if the idea of a car from the blue oval does it for you, you need to visit the team at Avon City Ford.

For more information, visit www.avoncityford.co.nz.

 

 


 

Ford v Ferrari


The epic David and Goliath battle of Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 is coming to the big screen next month. Directed by James Mangold, Ford V Ferrari tells the epic story of Henry Ford II’s plan to crush Ferrari at the ‘24 Hours of Le Mans’ with the all-conquering Ford GT40, after Enzo Ferrari thwarted Ford’s plan to buy the Italian company.

 

 

 

Matt Damon and Christian Bale play the legendary father of the Cobra, Carroll Shelby, and his no-nonsense test driver Ken Miles. Also, look out for Jon Berthnal playing Ford’s Lee Iaccoca.

Let’s also hope the film highlights the involvement of Kiwi’s Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon in the GT40 project, though with Hollywood being Hollywood, we will have to wait and see. Ford V Ferrari is out in cinemas on 14 November.