News & Road Tests

Rollers on show at Autospectacular

Casting around for subject matter, I decided to use this space as a noticeboard of sorts.

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Targa training day at Highlands

Targa training day at Highlands

The Targa South Island might be a serious business for some but for others, such as Oamaru's Nigel de Geest, it is a chance to get a good car out and give it some gas on closed roads.

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Mercedes sharpens up with C-Class

Mercedes sharpens up with C-Class

For the past decade, two German brands - neither of them Mercedes-Benz - have taken turns at dominating the prestige sector: The new C-Class compact sedan reminds why those protagonists need to start watching their mirrors.

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Holden crossover right back on Trax

Holden crossover right back on Trax

Simple solution: That's the 1.4-litre Trax in a nutshell. When originally shown 11 months back, this compact crossover was presented as a step in divergent directions: ahead on technology, behind on performance, the weak point being the engine.

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Much to admire in new Mazda3

Much to admire in new Mazda3

After spending time behind the wheel of two variants of the latest Mazda3, David Thomson has a fresh appreciation of what it takes to be a winner on the new-car sales charts.

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Tulloch puts faith in German efficiency

Tulloch puts faith in German efficiency

Southland's Ian ''Inky'' Tulloch is hoping the cultural stereotype of German efficiency and punctuality rings true as he awaits the arrival of an important shipment next month.

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Francevic glad to be a geezer this time

Francevic glad to be a geezer this time

Inaugural Wellington Street Race and 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship winner Robbie Francevic has made sure he does not miss out on the second Gathering of Geezers at Wanaka's Warbirds and Wheels this November.

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New Spaceback a solid performer from Skoda

New Spaceback a solid performer from Skoda

Skoda's rise as a respected player in the New Zealand new-car market has proceeded apace this year, with sales up by almost a quarter on 2013. David Thomson checks out the company's Rapid model.

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Beautiful new beasts do BMW badge justice

Beautiful new beasts do BMW badge justice

It was a heck of a way to release a performance car: take it out to sea on one of the world's largest aircraft carriers and then cajole a stunt driver to skid around a flight deck, made up to look like a winding road, at speed.

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Graves in co-driver's seat for Catlins rally

Graves in co-driver's seat for Catlins rally

Defending Catlins Coast Rally champion Andrew Graves will swap seats today to co-drive for Highlands Motorsport Park owner Tony Quinn in his two-litre Ford Escort BDA.

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Mercedes smartens up snappy off-roader

Mercedes smartens up snappy off-roader

How's this for a curious twist: to best tailor the only version of its GLA small sport utility that has off-roading potential to New Zealand conditions, Mercedes-Benz adds as standard an ''off-road pack'' equipment enhancement that is optional in most places.

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Crusty stalwarts keen to meet Kiwi kids

Moto Mayhem South Island manager Regan Healey has a couple of American mates visiting in October who he knows a lot of motocross enthusiasts will want to meet.

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Gilmour happy to match the boss

Gilmour happy to match the boss

Midway through the Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) season Emma Gilmour has proven she is more than the token female in this fast and furious United States-based series. Catherine Pattison catches up with the Dunedin rally ace.

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Nissan steps up with new 2WD X-Trail

Nissan steps up with new 2WD X-Trail

''What's the point then?'' was a friend's direct response upon learning that the Nissan X-Trail I was about to drive home at the end of an evening family visit was a two- rather than four-wheel-drive variant.

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Comfort, class in new Kia Koup

Comfort, class in new Kia Koup

The first Kia Koup was a stylistic stunner but a disappointing drive. David Thomson finds out what has changed with its successor.

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Corolla sedan a smooth move from Toyota

Corolla sedan a smooth move from Toyota

There's a new Corolla sedan in town and David Thomson has been behind the wheel.

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Fox hoping for top five in France

Fox hoping for top five in France

Brighton's Blake Fox has achieved his career-best result in the 2014 World Trial Championships, finishing both days in sixth at the two Great Britain rounds last weekend.

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Rosberg wins home GP for Mercedes

Rosberg wins home GP for Mercedes

Nico Rosberg gave Germany another win to celebrate after their World Cup success with a home grand prix triumph for Mercedes on Sunday that stretched his overall lead in the Formula One championship to 14 points.

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New WRX another strong showing from Subaru

New WRX another strong showing from Subaru

Driving the latest "ultimate" WRX, the thought arises: did the memo from head office terminating Subaru's international rallying programme not reach the company's STI (Subaru Technica International) performance arm?

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Targa excitement builds in the South

Targa excitement builds in the South

Three months out from the inaugural South Island Targa, event director Peter Martin has returned to Auckland from a trip to the bottom of the mainland, satisfied there is a buzz about the six-day tarmac road rally already.

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