John Mellor's Australia’s Number One Automotive Industry Journal
April 25, 2007
50,000 READERS WEEKLY! No. 382
DIGITAL IMAGE: Chris Harris
World debuts: (from left) the
Audi Cross Coupe Quattro, BMW
Concept CS and the Buick Riviera
The auto world turns to Shanghai as BMW, Audi and GM unveil hot new concepts
CHINA’S biggest motor show has again most of the attention, the rapidly emerging
underlined the emergence of that nation as an Chinese manufacturers did not go unnoticed
important global automotive power, with Auto – and, mostly, for all the right reasons.
Shanghai 2007 playing host to no fewer than Whereas past shows have unearthed some
three world debuts on Friday. blatant rip-offs, caused a stir with their off-the-
Apart from presenting its Holden Statesman- wall designs and made us laugh out loud with
based Park Avenue, the world’s biggest car- free-spirited model names, Auto Shanghai
maker General Motors – which is now the 2007 was seen more as a venue brimming with
top-selling automaker in China, with around fresh new ideas, increased sophistication, and
100,000 sales a month – also revealed a wild potential. It is our goal to increase retail volume vehicles with serious production – and export
new hybrid coupe concept heralding a new in Asia to 150,000 vehicles by next year. – potential.
global design direction for the Buick brand. “Over the last ﬁve years, the BMW brand Consider Chery’s Bertone-designed A6cc,
Similarly, Audi revealed its Q3-previewing alone has risen by more than 750 percent in Shanghai Automotive’s Roewe W2 and
Cross Coupe quattro concept, while BMW Chinese mainland. No other major premium Changan’s CV8. And consider the prediction,
offered up its ﬁrst Chinese world debut in the brand has achieved such dynamic growth rates made by the world’s automotive powerbrokers,
Concept CS, a preview of the 7 Series-based four- in this market. that China is expected to become the largest
door “coupe”, with which it hopes to emulate the “This market is clearly headed towards car market in the world by 2020. Read on...
success of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. becoming one of the world’s most
Clearly indicating his company’s belief that important automotive markets.”
China will soon be one of the world’s largest car This was a sentiment echoed on the ARRIVES!
markets, BMW boss Dr Norbert Reithofer said: stands throughout the motor show. And - page 7
“We continue to believe in this country’s huge while the big international brands attracted
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 2
BMW CONCEPT CS
BMW has pulled yet another surprise out of its corporate hat by using While speculation that BMW would
last week’s Shanghai motor show opening to reveal its widely anticipated unveil a successor for its left-hand drive-
answer to top-shelf four-door “coupes” like the Mercedes-Benz CLS only Z8 roadster in the shape of an all-new
and the forthcoming Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide. so-called Z9 at Shanghai has proved wide of the mark, the CS could
The CS concept not only heralds a new design direction for BMW, but morph into a belated replacement for the overweight, under-selling 8
conﬁrms the Munich maker intends to go even further upmarket than its Series coupe. Others suggest the CS will become the next-generation
7 Series sedan ﬂagship via this low-slung grand tourer that will further 6 Series, which will be made available in both two-door coupe and
close the gap between BMW’s own models and the million-dollar Rolls- convertible – and four-door sedan – bodystyles.
Royce models it also produces. Either way, the CS provides the ﬁrst public glimpse of the high-
Though the CS has not been conﬁrmed for production, BMW does end luxury sedan project that has been known internally as the Sports
not build concept cars for fun. But exactly what nameplate the CS will Luxury Concept (SLC). As well as previewing a new BMW corporate
carry when it hits the road around the end of this decade is the subject of design direction, the CS also gives a sneak-peek at the redesigned 7
great debate. Series sedan, due on sale in 2009.
The X5-based X6, a high-riding four-door crossover “coupe” due to
appear at the Frankfurt motor show ahead of its 2008 release, may also
incorporate elements of the CS look. The 8 Series (if that’s what it
will be called) will be built on a modiﬁed version of the all-
new 7 Series, and should offer V8 and V10 ﬁrepower.
Also widely speculated is a new high-revving
6.0-litre V12 to power the ﬂagship M8. The new
12-cylinder engine is odds-on to be yet another
development of the M5/M6’s 5.0-litre V10, the ﬁrst
in a family of high-revving Vee engines that also
spawned the upcoming M3’s 4.0-litre V8. MP
FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
AUDI CROSS COUPE QUATTRO
A SMALLER sibling for Audi’s new Q7 luxury off-roader, the A5 injectors. Also featuring a diesel particulate ﬁlter and Bluetec system, it
coupe-based Q5 SUV, is yet to ofﬁcially break cover in any guise, but is claimed to be an all-new design. Ofﬁcial outputs are about 150kW
that failed to stop the German maker revealing an even more compact and 400Nm of torque, while returning 5.9L/100km. A Haldex coupling
future SUV model in the shape of the Audi Cross Coupe Quattro. channels power to all four wheels via an S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
Revealed at last week’s Shanghai motor show opening, the compact Underneath the Cross Coupe lie a MacPherson-strut front axle and
SUV concept is an unexpected sneak-peek at the Q3, which is expected a four-link rear axle, plus ceramic brake discs. A three-mode “drive
to follow next year’s Q5 to market by 2010. As the name suggests, select system” alters engine, gearbox, steering and shock absorber
the all-new Q3 will be similar in size to the same brand’s ﬁve-door characteristics, while a touch-screen MMI control panel is also claimed
A3 Sportback and parent company Volkswagen Group’s Golf. Next- to set a new infotainment standard. The latter employs a “dual-view”
generation versions of both mainstream models are likely to share monitor that can produce different images for the driver and front-seat
the same underpinnings, which are also shared with Volkswagen’s passenger, for example by allowing the driver to read data from the on-
forthcoming Tiguan compact SUV. board computer while the front passenger watches TV. MP
For now, however, the Audi Cross Coupe Quattro is claimed to
combine “the design and dynamism of a compact premium sportscar
with the spaciousness and versatility of a four-seat sport utility vehicle”.
In doing so, Audi says its newest concept car “deﬁnes a new segment
in the ﬁeld of crossover vehicles” by presenting new technical solutions
for “achieving efﬁciency, driving pleasure and comfort in a manner that
is typical of Audi”.
Painted in “Liquid Silver”, the Cross Coupe rides on 20-inch wheels,
features a power-operated folding fabric roof and is claimed to shout its
off-road ability from the rooftops. It is powered by a transverse-mounted
four-cylinder inline TDI engine with common-rail fuel injection and piezo
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 3
THE global reach of General Motors’ engineering abilities was However, look beyond the 2+2
showcased in the Buick Park Avenue, a built-for-China version of showcar’s tightly sculpted carbon-ﬁbre
Holden’s WM Statesman, but the Shanghai show also hosted the body panels and 21-inch forged aluminium
unveiling of a concept that is claimed to preview a totally new design wheels and it is clear that, if it reaches production, the striking two-door
direction for the Buick brand worldwide. may also have close ties with homegrown Holden products, such as the
Said to be developed with design input by the Pan Asia Technical next-generation Monaro. MP FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
Automotive Center (PATAC) in China, the Riviera is a design and Read more: Holden’s Chinese Buick
engineering joint-venture between GM and Shanghai Automotive
Industry Corporation (SAIC).
The gullwinged coupe concept, which revives a Buick nameplate that
found more than 1.1 million homes between 1963 and 1999, was jointly
unveiled in Shanghai by GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner and
SAIC chairman Hu Maoyuan. “Developing and launching the Riviera in
China underscores the diversity, strength and depth of the GM global
design network,” said GM Global Design vice-president Ed Welburn.
“It also reﬂects PATAC’s growing role within the GM Design family
and China’s signiﬁcance as the world’s largest Buick market.”
Signiﬁcantly, the Riviera is claimed to be engineered to
accommodate a new hybrid system that will go into production at
Shanghai GM, GM’s ﬂagship joint-venture with SAIC, prior to the
Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“The Power Comes From Inside”
The Focus is the Customer; the Driving Force is Value Creation
Nissan has repeatedly proven its place offering outstanding levels of quality, features and design
that represent exceptional value. With a culture that is made up of a richly diverse group of people, this
is reﬂected in the company’s leadership team and the way the business focuses on constant business
innovation. As a result of a key strategic inititiave in driving the customer satisfaction experience, two exciting
new roles have become available both reporting to the Manager, Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty & Training.
Manager Service Marketing & CRM Manager Customer Satisfaction
As a national role, the primary function of this position is to successfully Working closely with the internal Service and Sales teams both at head
develop service marketing activities along with a longer term CRM office and also regionally, this role will have responsibility for providing
service solution working with the ‘Single Customer View’ data warehouse the management, measurement and analysis of all customer satisfaction
initiatives within the national office. These CRM activities support
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the national Services and Parts marketing initiatives which are the
implementing process improvement activities with the dealer network to
cornerstone to delivering overall customer satisfaction, retention and
customer loyalty throughout the entire ownership life cycle. enhance the customer experience will be crucial.
Your ability to develop both short and long term service marketing CRM Developing effective relationships with external vendors and suppliers in
activities that support many areas of the business will require a high measuring the success of customer satisfaction programs and in particular
degree of cross functional involvement and collaboration with other sales and service process improvement programs will be another key
departments as well as the dealership network. Developing Service requirement for this role. Strong communication and influencing skills will
Marketing programs that work closely within the Parts and Service
also be critical for this position.
departments, plus dealerships in developing sustainable and profitable
programs based on both short and long term strategies will be a key A background in the automotive sector with an understanding of how
measure of your success. day to day operations within a dealership operates, combined with
You will be tertiary qualified with demonstrated experience in the formal tertiary qualifications is desirable. You will also bring experience
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MELBOURNE ADELAIDE SYDNEY PERTH BRISBANE CANBERRA LONDON AUCKLAND
EDITOR: Terry Martin MANAGING EDITOR: Marton Pettendy JOURNALISTS: Byron Mathioudakis, James Stanford, Tim Britten, David Hassall
PRODUCTION AND GRAPHICS: Chris Harris, Luc Britten SUB-EDITORS: Katrina Webb, Georgia O'Connell NEW MODEL DIARY: Lou Paolino
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 4
DIGITAL IMAGE: Chris Harris
Holden hits back after
US expert predicts bleak
future for Aussie sector
By DAVID HASSALL
HOLDEN has rejected suggestions from a
visiting international motor industry expert
that Australian car-makers should move away
from large cars and instead build small or
Holden director of engineering Tony Hyde
told GoAuto that it was not economically
feasible to build small cars for Australia.
Mr Hyde said that Holden was very happy
with its large-car program and would continue Jay Baron with the VE Commodore
trying to expand its volumes through exports.
He was responding to comments made by can you inﬂuence that move, given that you The temptation is there to do, say, a 3 Series
the president of the Detroit-based Center for have GM, Ford, Toyota all with plants here?” BMW equal or something like that, a la the
Automotive Research, Jay Baron, who was However, Mr Hyde said that none of the Torana show car, but there’s still a fair amount
a keynote speaker at last week’s ‘Change By Australian manufacturers could afford to build of cost in those cars,” he said.
Design’ conference – an annual government- small cars to compete with imports, as had So Holden is happy to follow its present path,
backed event run this year by the Society of been proven in the past. with large rear-wheel drive cars being exported
Automotive Engineers (Australasia) “We could go and design a small car, but primarily to North America and the Middle East.
Mr Baron told local industry representatives I don’t think there’s any way you could do it “We still believe that there’s good life in
at the conference that Australian car- economically in Australia,” Mr Hyde Commodore and global rear-wheel drive from
makers needed to change direction told GoAuto. “It may not cost a billion an Elizabeth plant point of view,” Mr Hyde
because large rear-wheel drive cars dollars like with VE (Commodore), told GoAuto. “In the future we might be told
were in decline. but you still have to spend a swag of to build something else, but it still wouldn’t be
In an interview with GoAuto, he also money and you can only sell them in the relying solely on this domestic market – you’d
warned about exporting more cars than $17,000 to $22,000 range, and you don’t be exporting heaps of them.
we make for local consumption. make much out of a car in that range. “Both Toyota and ourselves have very strong
“I think that’s a dangerous business Tony Hyde “And your volume would not be export programs out of Australia and I think it
case to be riding on, given the downturn of guaranteed because there’s a lot more competition helps both companies.
rear-wheel drive cars,” said Mr Baron. “It’s just down in that area of the market than there is in the “I am very happy that we got the means of
a risk because the volumes of those markets are large-car market where we are now, so trying to getting into the Middle East back in the mid-’90s;
going down. Who’s going to be buying those get your $600-$800 million (investment) back … we made the decision to go and do left-hand drive
vehicles in ﬁve years? It’s a risk. I just can’t see it being viable. and all the things that’s brought to us.”
“There is obviously a demand for rear-wheel “There’s no coincidence that all the other Mr Hyde conceded that the only real volume
drive vehicles, but it is more of a niche area. (manufacturers) have stopped making that sort rear-drive large car opportunities for Holden
You are dealing with a market that’s getting of car in Australia. They’ve gone out of that were in North America and the Middle East,
smaller, not bigger. business. It is absolutely more business-friendly despite recent moves into Korea (“It’s a good
“Where you go from the current infrastructure to go out and import the damn things.” deal and should be ongoing, but not high
to where the car market is going to be in ﬁve Mr Hyde also rejected the suggestion of volume”).
years, whether it’s hybrids or small efﬁcient cars building more highly-speciﬁed small cars with “I ﬂoated Russia there for a while and I still
or a combination of that … even if you knew bigger proﬁt margins. personally believe there are opportunities there,
where it’s going to be in ﬁve years, how well “The higher you go, the less volume you get. but that’s not on the agenda at the moment.”
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 5
$1m rescue deal
By MARTON PETTENDY accept a million-dollar offer by
A FULL-SCALE plant closure at Ford Australia Ford and Delphi, the company’s
was averted this week when workers at troubled two largest customers.
Victorian components supplier Coghlan & “The Coughlin & Russell
Russell Engineering accepted $1 million a workers accepted our offer to
rescue package and went back to work. provide trading capital for the next Geelong engine plant
As reported last issue, Ford Australia’s 60 days,” said Ford spokeswoman
Broadmeadows assembly plant ceased V8 Sinead McAlary. “That will allow the committed to keeping it as a supplier.”
Falcon production on April 16 and both administrator time to determine what needs to Coghlan & Russell Engineering supplies
Territory and Falcon production was threatened be done with the business, obviously with the Ford with 37 different vehicle parts, including
from last Thursday, following the failure of a ultimate goal of rehabilitating it and potentially a V8 engine damper, but rising debts following
meeting to shore up the cash-strapped Geelong offering it for sale if there are buyers.” slower sales of Ford’s large Australian-built
auto parts company. Asked if the same situation would emerge in models saw the ﬁrm cease production and axe
In the end, however, Ford stood down just two months’ time, when funds made available its 49-strong workforce last week.
400 workers at its Geelong engine plant on by Ford and Delphi are exhausted, Ms It is understood workers still face the loss
Friday after rearranging production schedules. McAlary said: “Hopefully not. Everyone’s on of $521,000 in entitlements, including eight
They returned to work on Monday following board to keep the business operating if we can. months of unpaid superannuation.
the Coughlin & Russell workers’ decision to If the company does remain viable, we have Read more: Ford threat
Suzuki is a major player in the world automotive market. In 2006 global auto-
mobile sales were 2,174,000 vehicles, an 8% increase on the previous year and
motorcycle sales (including ATV’s) just over 2,000,000 units. This means Suzuki
builds and sells more cars than brands such as Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi.
In Australia in the past few years since the launch of an exciting range of new
models, year upon year growth has been similarly impressive. The future model
program will maintain this growth. The time to develop your career to a new level is
now. The above growth has created the following excellent career opportunities.
National Training Supervisor Corporate
Reporting to the General Manager – Automobiles, this Reporting to the General Manager – Automobiles
is a hands on role which will have influence across both this role will excite and challenge a communications
the Dealer network and Suzuki Australia. specialist who wants to be a member of a team gathering
momentum. The initial focus on acceptance of this role
The initial challenges will be to identify performance
will be to establish a communications strategy which
improvement opportunities predominantly in product
will ensure the brand is high on consumers shopping
knowledge, competitor analysis and sales techniques.
lists. Media communications will require excellent
The ability to develop support materials and training
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manuals is a pre-requisite. Where appropriate, there
press fleet for maximum benefit and exposure.
will be a need to manage external agencies.
Proven strategic skills will be required in the appointee
Of key importance in this appointment will be the
together with recognised PR & Media training.
following criteria – interpersonal skills, proven training
Interpersonal skills will naturally need to be of the
credentials, automotive industry (or a comparable
highest order as will organisational and event support
industry) experience and a desire to operate in a manner
skills. While experience in the automotive industry will
which makes a difference.
be advantageous candidates with strong experience in
a related industry should not be deterred from applying.
Naturally salary packages for both roles will be in keeping with challenges and
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To take either of these exciting opportunities further, forward your resume
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For any specific enquiries contact Susan Mould (03) 9682 9911 during business
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John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 6
SsangYong will continue
with polarising designs
By JAMES STANFORD
SSANGYONG will not back away from its
polarising vehicle designs.
Following the Australian launch last week
of two more controversial-looking vehicles
in the Actyon SUV and Actyon Sports utility,
SsangYong Australia has revealed that future
models will continue to “challenge” consumers Stavic
with unorthodox designs.
“Their forward planning still has this idea is an easy sale,” said Mr Timmins, who
that they want to stand out from the pack and drives a Stavic as a company car. “We
not look like everyone else in the marketplace,” have a very, very strong core of Stavic fans
said SsangYong Australia sales and marketing who are current owners, (and) quite frankly Kyron
manager Brad Larkham. “On our last trip, some of the letters that we get from them are Kyron features mild changes to the front and rear
(managing director) Keith (Timmins) and heart-warming. They really, really are good, to remove what was seen as an excess of lines.
I saw clays (clay design models) of future particularly when you go back outside and SsangYong had previously outsourced some
models and they are still challenging the way think, ‘No, I don’t really like the look of that.’ of its design work, such as calling on ItalDesign
we look at cars.” “You don’t see the mixed design of the rear to shape the Rexton SUV, but developed the
Some of the most outlandish modern quarters of the vehicle when you are sitting up the Actyon in-house. SsangYong Australia claims
SsangYong designs – including the Korando front, and all the seats are very comfortable.” the styling of the Actyon SUV was deemed as
4WD and Stavic people-mover – were penned Mr Timmins said SsangYong had no plan “attractive and appealing” by a group of people
by Briton Ken Greenley, who is a former vehicle to change the design of the Stavic until a who were unaware of the car’s origins during
design head at London’s respected Royal College scheduled freshening in 2010. market research.
of the Arts. Mr Greenley has now retired. While SsangYong has resisted pressure to As reported earlier this month, the company
While Mr Timmins admitted the design of the alter the look of the Stavic, which has been the has followed a more conservative styling
Stavic might prevent some potential customers subject of ridicule around the world, it has swiftly course with the Wz concept shown at the recent
taking one for a test drive, he insisted that those redesigned the Kyron SUV after criticism both in Seoul Motor Show – a car which looks to be a
who drove the cars came to like them. South Korea and international markets. replacement for the Chairman prestige sedan.
“If they can overcome that initial look, it Arriving in Australia in June, the facelifted More reports - page 11,12
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 7
Brilliant LS460 combines
emotion with comfort,
technology and value
By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS
LEXUS’ ﬂagship LS series has been reborn
for a fourth time with pricing, performance,
styling and reﬁnement to unsettle the upper-
luxury segment status quo.
On sale from May 1, the ground-up redesign
of the LS also represents a rethink of Lexus’
ﬂagship positioning, with the traditional single-
speciﬁcation V8 model – now christened LS460
– to be joined by a long-wheelbase version.
Dubbed the LS600Lh, the latter is a petrol/ Lexus says that equivalently equipped and – Lexus says a stethoscope is used to test each
electric hybrid devised to recharge the moribund powered BMW 750i and Mercedes S500 engine so buyers can enjoy the silence.
image of the LS to that of a technological and models cost between $19,600 and $69,000 more Aiding the numbers above is a leading drag
environmental innovator. It arrives in October, respectively, while – for LS460 money – you co-efﬁcient ﬁgure of 0.26Cd, with reduced
priced from around $250,000. can only get the 200kW/350Nm 3.5-litre V6- lift front and rear compared to its LS430
For now, the focus falls on the LS460, and powered Mercedes S350 and 225kW/390Nm predecessor, narrower panel gaps, minimal
its keen, no-options $184,900 pricing that 4.0-litre V8 BMW 740i. protrusions and a ﬂush underbody for quieter,
continues the LS tradition (since 1990) of With a new 4.6-litre quad-cam V8 delivering smoother airﬂow.
offering speciﬁcation matching the German 280kW of power at 6500rpm and 493Nm The LS is the latest Lexus with the ‘L-
competitions’ upper-level models but at their of torque at 4100rpm to the rear wheels, the ﬁnesse’ styling language also seen on the
entry-level prices. LS460 also has the upper hand on engine GS and IS, which, according to design chief
These days, this includes Lexus’ ‘Pre- output for the outlay. Simon Humphries, needed to encompass more
Collision’ advanced safety system, air It is married to the world’s ﬁrst eight-speed boldness “with a degree of good taste” as well
suspension, radar cruise control, reclinable automatic gearbox, a compact transmission as aerodynamic efﬁciency.
‘premium leather’ seating with cooling and designed to maximise fuel economy at higher Air suspension also makes its debut in an
heating for all outboard seats, top-end audio, speeds and launch feel at lower ones. Gearshifts Australian-bound Lexus, incorporating new
four-zone climate-control air-conditioning, are said to be virtually imperceptible, and up to shock absorbers and an improved Adaptive
and keyless entry and start. 41 per cent quicker than the previous six-speed Variable Suspension (AVS) system that
automatic set-up. automatically adjusts suspension forces at all
Speed is an unexpected four wheels.
LS460 upshot – it can sprint It forms part of a new platform featuring a
from 0-100km/h in 5.7 longer wheelbase and wider tracks – with the
seconds, hit the standing- rears being the fattest among the LS’ immediate
400m mark in 13.8 seconds fat-cat competition.
and reach a speed-restricted The Lexus’ multi-link front and ﬁve-link
250km/h. Apparently, 280km/ rear arrangement includes forged aluminium
h has been recorded. components and ‘Vehicle Posture Control’
Conversely, the ADR 81/01 damper force control logic that uses sensors
fuel economy average is to minimise the phase difference between
11.1L/100km, while its CO2 bodyroll and pitch angles during cornering via
emissions result is 261g/km. the shock absorbers.
It is also extremely quiet Continued next page
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 8
Continued from previous page
Among many other things, AVS also helps
reduce bodyroll by 30 per cent compared to the
previous LS, along with reducing diving under
brakes, squatting under acceleration, and the
transmission of noise, vibration and harshness
into the passenger compartment.
A Normal, Sport and Comfort switch next
to the gearlever alters the damping force for
ﬂat, ﬁrmer (by 20 per cent) or softer respective
responses from the suspension.
The LS460’s steering is an electronically
powered set-up that, along with the front
suspension’s geometry, has been redesigned for and steering wheel positioning settings. VDiM can integrate each item as needed.
better feel, ride and handling characteristics. The aforementioned Pre-Collision safety Ten airbags – including new rear-seat
Mounted forward of the front axle centres, System (PCS), cribbed from the GS and some side airbags – also offer improved impact
Lexus claims the steering has a more natural IS models, recognises potential dangers in protection, while the body’s 30 per cent
feel, is more adept on rough roads, less likely to advance according to deceleration and sudden increase in torsional stiffness has prompted
vibrate, and is more prompt in response to input. driver inputs by “preparing” the brakes, Lexus to claim another “best in class”.
A variable steering gear ratio is also seatbelts and dampers. Lexus says that it has redoubled its efforts as far
incorporated, which quickens the direction PCS joins another Lexus safety acronym: as cabin quality and craftsmanship is concerned,
of change at low-speed steering inputs, and VDiM, or Vehicle Dynamics integrated with the aim being to combine highly automated
decreases it as vehicle speeds rise, for a less Management. The latter works with the LS460’s assembly with a custom-made effect.
nervous and less ﬁdgety steering feel. Turns anti-lock brakes, brake assist function, electronic “Function with emotion” is how the LS’
vary from 2.4 to 3.5 revolutions. brake-force distribution, traction control and chief engineer, Moritaka Yoshida, put it. He
The driver is ensconced in a cabin that offers VSC stability control – as well as the AVS went through every process of the production
independent temperature adjustment as part of suspension, electric power steering and variable process to achieve this.
the four-zone climate control operation for steering system – to simultaneously help keep Expect a long-wheelbase LS460L before
all outboard occupants. It uses 13 sensors for the LS under control and on the right trajectory, too long, as well as a short-wheelbase LS600h
optimal conditioning, and includes a permanent instead of relying on individual components like hybrid further along the line, to bring the LS
pollen and dust-removal mode. the VSC to work independently. line-up to at least four.
Entry is via a sub-credit card-sized ‘Smart The aim is to also reduce response times, or For drive impressions, go to
Card’ that boasts several driver-speciﬁc seat to keep progress as smooth as possible, since www.goauto.com.au from this Friday.
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SA/NT/TAS Henry Veronese Ph: +61 (0) 8 8407 7236
WA Wayne Pearson Ph: +61 (0) 8 9365 7015
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John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 9
Demand is high for the hot
new supercharged XKR
coupe and convertible
By DAVID HASSALL supercharged V8 engine and was upgraded to Mr White said that the target cars were
JAGUAR Australia has ofﬁcially launched the the current 4.2-litre unit in October 2002. performance GTs like the BMW M6 and
supercharged version of its second-generation Supercharging was chosen not only for its Mercedes-Benz SL55 through to hard-edged
XK grand tourer introduced 10 months ago, smoother and lower-revs power delivery, but sports machines like the Aston Martin V8
giving it a real performance edge to go with its also because of Jaguar’s long history with Vantage and even the Porsche Carrera S.
famous sleek looks. the device, dating back to its glory days at Le However, in keeping with Jaguar tradition,
The Jaguar XKR comes in both coupe and Mans. they wanted a more reﬁned delivery of its
convertible form, but buyers will have to be Power is now 306kW at performance and a balance
6250rpm (compared with PRICING: between comfort and sports
patient as waiting lists already extend to the
end of the year. 224kW for the ‘atmo’ 4.2- XK coupe (a) $199,900 performance.
XK convertible (a) $221,900
Prices start from $227,900 for the coupe litre XK and 298kW for The XKR has a huge price
XKR coupe (a) $227,900
while the convertible is priced from $249,900. the previous XKR) while advantage over some of these
XKR convertible (a) $249,900
This represents a $28,000 premium over the maximum torque is 560Nm target rivals, undercutting
regular XK coupe and convertible models at 4000rpm (7Nm more than the previous model both the BMW M6 and Mercedes-Benz SL500
and a step up of $12,000-$18,000 from the and up from 420Nm at 4100rpm in the XK). by more than $45,000. However, it gives away
previous XKR. The result is a healthy 0-100km/h time of plenty of performance to the V10-engined M6.
Jaguar has an allocation of 120 XKRs for 5.2 seconds and greatly enhanced mid-range In terms of price, performance and looks,
2007 (65 per cent of them coupes) and, thanks acceleration, with an 80-110km/h overtaking it lines up closely with the Aston Martin V8
to appearances at the Brisbane and Melbourne time of just 2.5 seconds. Vantage.
motor shows, most of them have already been The six-speed ZF automatic gearbox with Jaguar design chief Ian Callum (who also
ordered by eager customers who start taking sequential changing function is retained, but penned the Aston) apparently does not like the
delivery from May. electronic mapping changes have resulted in current trend towards folding hard-tops – and
Interestingly, Jaguar says that XK buyers are sharper changes and even more aggressive nor did the engineers trying to make a hard-
Jaguar’s youngest, averaging 53 years of age down-shifting, especially in Sport mode. edged coupe – so the XKR coupe again follows
compared with 57 for the X-Type (surprisingly, Jaguar Cars Limited’s chief body engineer its XK sibling in having a regular material soft-
the oldest buyers). Mark White said that the overall design brief top that folds away between the (tiny) rear seat
The ﬁrst-generation XKR was originally sold for the XKR was that “everything was to be 30 and the boot.
here from 1998 with a 4.0-litre 276kW/525Nm per cent-plus better than the XK”. Continued next page
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John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 10
Jaguar’s super XK
Continued from previous page
Holes are provided for a wind deﬂector,
which is a dealer-ﬁtted extra.
At 1715kg, the convertible weighs in 50kg
above the coupe. They are 70-80kg more than
equivalent regular XK models, but some 70kg
and 100kg less respectively than the previous
Suspension settings are identical between
the coupe and convertible models in the XKR
range, so soft-top drivers enjoy similar levels of
dynamic performance. The front spring rate was
increased by 38 per cent while the rears are up
by 24 per cent (though they are effectively stiffer rivals. The coupe is 30 per cent stiffer than the in Australia with the more modern-looking
due to the addition of a rear suspension brace). previous steel-chassis XKR while the convertible aluminium interior, which was ﬁrst seen in the
Brakes are 26 per cent bigger than on the is more than 40 per cent stiffer. Advanced Lightweight Coupe design concept
XK (355mm x 32mm ventilated discs at the The XKR is easily identiﬁed from the regular at the 2005 Detroit motor show.
front), and design changes have resulted in XK by its bold aluminium mesh on the grille and The XKR also features a unique sports seat
them running 37 per cent cooler overall to also the deeper front air dam, twin bonnet louvres design with additional lateral support for both
ensure strong, consistent stopping power. that exhaust hot air from the engine compartment, the driver and front seat passenger.
The XKR’s aluminium monocoque chassis is bold alloy side vents just ahead of the doors, and XKR customers can also specify the Luxury
claimed to have superior torsional rigidity to its R badging – not to mention four big exhaust Sports interior option which features softgrain
outlets at the back. leather on the 16-way adjustable seats,
It sits on massive 20-inch Senta 10-spoke instrument panel, door trim and centre console.
alloy wheels (which are available as options Standard features include adaptive damping,
on the XK) ﬁtted with 255/35 tyres at the switchable stability control and traction
front and 285/30 at the rear. control, pedestrian impact system (airbags
Inside, there is more R branding (seat under the bonnet), active headlights, front and
headrests, tachometer, steering wheel and rear parking sensors, electronic handbrake,
gearknob) and a move to aluminium-weave rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, auto
design trim panels instead of the more climate control, auto-dipping mirror, heated
traditional but old-fashioned woodgrain. front seats, keyless entry and start, a trip
Jaguar executives seem pleased to report computer and satellite navigation.
that two-thirds of XKRs are being ordered DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
IT’S MORE THAN
John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 11
Actyon SUV takes aim
at the soft-roaders
By JAMES STANFORD
WITH the launch of its all-new Actyon 4WD
wagon last week, SsangYong has introduced
a compact SUV that is more at home in the
country than the city.
The South Korean car-maker claims the
vehicle, which starts from $29,990, is pitched
against soft-core 4WDs such as the Honda CR-
V, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV4 and the Ford
Escape and Mazda Tribute twins.
But although it has a similar price to these
models, the Actyon is more of an off-road
Whereas its rivals use a car-like monocoque limited slip differential. There are very few rival SUVs that offer a
chassis construction, the Actyon runs a rugged The ﬁve-door Actyon is available with diesel option, apart from the bigger and more
ladder-frame as seen on harder-core 4WDs such petrol or diesel engine power, and with either expensive Hyundai Santa Fe diesel ($36,990)
as the Nissan Patrol and Toyota LandCruiser. a standard manual or optional automatic and super-competitive Holden Captiva diesel
It also has a solid rear axle (rather than fully transmission. The petrol manual starts off the ($34,990).
independent suspension) and comes standard range at $29,990, while a Limited petrol version The petrol Actyon is much thirstier, using
with a lockable 4WD system equipped with is priced from $36,990. 11.3L/100km with the
low-range gearing. The diesel manual starts PRICING: manual and 11.9L/100km
Using a locking centre differential, the 4WD from $33,990. Choosing an 2.3 petrol Standard $29,990 with the automatic
2.3 petrol Standard (a) $31,990
system is suitable only for off-road work, with automatic for any of these when tested to the same
2.0 t/d Standard $33,990
SsangYong warning that running the Actyon in requires another $2000, but Australian Standard.
2.0 t/d Standard (a) $35,990
4WD on tarmac will lead to component damage. also adds cruise control. To put that into
2.3 petrol Limited $36,990
The Actyon can be switched from 2WD Both the petrol and diesel perspective, the much
2.3 petrol Limited (a) $38,990
(rear-wheel drive) to 4WD at speeds up to four-cylinder engine blocks bigger and more
75km/h. Those who like to travel further into are produced by Mercedes in South Africa. powerful Ford Territory automatic – often
the bush will appreciate the Actyon’s rear Dating back to Mercedes passenger cars in the criticised for its thirst – uses 12.2L/100km.
mid-1990s, the 2.3-litre petrol develops a modest The (123kW/230Nm) X-Trail automatic uses
110kW at 5500rpm and 214Nm at 3500rpm. 9.8L/100km, while the (125kW/218Nm) CR-
The common-rail diesel is a more modern V automatic uses 10.0L/100km.
design, which SsangYong has re- The ﬁve-speed manual is a believed to be a
engineered as a 2.0-litre unit that revised BorgWarner gearbox, while the four-
produces 104kW at 4000rpm and speed automatic is produced by Victorian-
310Nm at 1800rpm. based Drivetrain Systems International
Fuel misers will prefer (formerly BorgWarner, then Ion Limited).
the diesel option which uses A DSI six-speed automatic is also expected
7.8L/100km with a manual or in early 2008.
8.5L/100km as an automatic, FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
according to the ADR 81/01 DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
standard. Tough nut - next page
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John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 12
Rugged Actyon ute steps
in to replace the Musso
By JAMES STANFORD
SSANGYONG has launched its new Actyon
Sports dual-cab ute in Australia, offering
improved performance, greater load-carrying
capacity and more standard equipment than the
previous Musso Sports ute.
Sharing major components with the Actyon
SUV, the Sports ute comes in crew-cab The 4WD system is also the same as the passenger airbag. ABS is still not a standard
conﬁguration only with a mid-sized tray. It runs a SUV, which means it has a centre-locking item on the base model, but can be added for
lengthened version of the Actyon SUV’s ladder- differential, low-range gearing and a rear $1500. The base model uses disc brakes for the
frame chassis and uses the same suspension limited-slip differential. front and drum brakes for the rear, while the
system made up of coil springs all round with a The Actyon Sports features a load tray which Limited is ﬁtted with discs all round.
double wishbone front and solid rear axle. is 1275mm long, 1600mm wide and 525mm Equipment across the range includes a
The working-class ute uses the same wide – adding up to 20 per cent full-size spare wheel and
Mercedes-based 104kW/310Nm 2.0-litre more space than the Musso
PRICING: durable plastic tray liner.
common-rail turbo diesel as its SUV sibling Sports. SsangYong Australia is The “Standard” model
2.0 t/d Standard $29,990
– and represents a marked improvement over offering an optional 1900mm- comes with 16-inch steel
2.0 t/d Standard (a) $31,990
the Musso Sports, with an extra 16kW of long aluminium tray for an wheels, front and rear
2.0 t/d Limited $36,990
power and 56Nm of torque. Fuel economy has extra $1650. 2.0 t/d Limited (a) $38,990 foglights, electric windows
also improved with the combined consumption The load capacity for and mirrors, a CD sound
ﬁgure dropping by 0.8L/100km to 8.0L/100km the Actyon Sports has also 4x4 system and climate-control
(ADR 81/01) for the base 4x2 manual. increased by more than 200kg 2.0 t/d Standard $32,990 air-conditioning. The
The Sports is priced from $29,990 for the 4x2 compared to the Musso, to 2.0 t/d Standard (a) $34,990 Limited runs 18-inch alloy
manual, while the better-equipped Limited starts 2.0 t/d Limited $39,990
a total of 830kg, while the wheels and adds electrically
2.0 t/d Limited (a) $41,990
from $36,990. The entry 4x4 model starts from braked towing capacity has adjustable (and heated) front
$32,990, while the 4x4 Limited is priced from increased to 2300kg. seats, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights
$39,990. As with the Actyon SUV, the ute is ﬁtted The previous Musso ute came with just and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
standard with a ﬁve-speed manual. A four-speed one airbag (for the driver), while the Actyon For drive impressions, go to
automatic is available for an extra $2000. Sport is equipped standard with a driver and www.goauto.com.au from this Thursday.
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John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 13
Astra pumps up
A rare and highly sought-after position, with
responsibility for both F+I and aftermarket, has
become available at one of Australia’s largest and
most successful automotive dealership groups.
Preston Motors Group requires the services of an
experienced Finance & Insurance Manager with a
proven track record in the automotive finance,
insurance or allied industries to move into this
senior level position. More grunt, wider range for Holden welterweight
The position entails leading and motivating our By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS on their last legs in Australia.
team of F+I and aftermarket operators to ensure HOLDEN has introduced new engine and On the torque front, the ﬁgures rise to
we maximise profitability in these key areas. model choices, a gutsier 1.8-litre unit and a 175Nm at 3800rpm on ﬁve-speed manual XER
You will need to be able to liaise with our Dealer new convertible known as the TwinTop with models, and 170Nm at 3800rpm on four-speed
Principals to ensure their complete and utmost its facelifted AH Astra MY7.5 (Series II) range automatic XER models. The latter is the same
cooperation. launched last week. ﬁgure as the old 1.8 on PULP, but Holden
Cosmetic changes are limited to a redesigned claims that more torque is available through a
You will be a hands on operator with the required front bumper and air intake, a new grille, chrome wider rev range, for improved driveability – in
leadership skills to manage and coach your team fact, 90 per cent from
headlight surrounds and
to industry best practice levels.
new-style alloy wheels on PRICING: 2200-6200rpm.
Additionally, you will also be required to manage
the CDX and CDTi turbo- CD 5-dr hatch $21,990 That said, Holden
the relationships with our finance, insurance and diesel, while higher-grade CD 5-dr hatch (a) $23,990 was unable to provide
aftermarket partners. trim materials are now CD 3-dr coupe $23,490 us with the XER
used inside. CD 3-dr coupe (a) $25,490 engines’ standard-
CD 5-dr wagon $23,490 unleaded power and
Obviously an extremely competitive remuneration Addressing lacklustre
CD 5-dr wagon (a) $25,490 torque outputs.
package will be offered to attract the right performance criticisms,
CDX 5-dr hatch $24,490 For the record, barring
candidate. the volume-selling CD
CDX 5-dr hatch (a) $26,490 the Corolla, all of the
and CDX three- and ﬁve-
CDX 3-dr coupe $25,990 aforementioned rivals
Interested? Then please send your resume in door hatchback and wagon
CDX 3-dr coupe (a) $27,990 have higher maximum
complete confidence to: models gain an upgraded CDX 5-dr wagon $27,990 torque ﬁgures (the
John Bradley, 1.8-litre ECOTEC twin- CDX 5-dr wagon (a) $29,990 Civic’s 174Nm is on 91
Managing Director-Automotive cam four-cylinder engine CDTi 5-dr hatch $29,990 RON fuel).
email@example.com dubbed XER. CDTi 5-dr hatch (a) $31,490
Using 95 RON SRi 2.2 5-dr hatch The Astra 1.8’s fuel
PRESTON MOTORS GROUP premium-unleaded petrol, SRi 2.2 5-dr hatch (a) $31,990
consumption and CO2
the 1.8 now SRi 2.2 3-dr coupe emissions have fallen
produces 103kW SRi 3-dr coupe (a) by 0.4L/100km and 9-
at 6300rpm, SRi 2.2 Turbo 3-dr coupe 10g/km respectively.
compared to TwinTop 2.2 All manual XER cars
the outgoing TwinTop 2.2 (a) $47,490 return an ADR 81/01
Astra 1.8’s combined average fuel
92kW (90kW on standard 91 RON consumption ﬁgure of 7.4L/100km, rising
unleaded) at 5600rpm. to 7.8L/100km on the automatic vehicles
This now puts the Astra’s 1.8 in and 7.9L/100km for the auto wagon. The
sight of the 2.0-litre units found in Hungarian-built XER’s increased efﬁciency
the Mazda3 (108kW), Ford Focus over the old 1.8 is partly due to the adoption
(107kW) and Hyundai Elantra of two continuously adjustable camshafts that
(105kW), and makes it lineball with are designed to optimise the cylinder’s charge
the Civic 1.8 sedan and better than the cycle. It is also lighter and yet structurally
94kW Nissan Tiida 1.8, 93kW Corolla stronger.
1.8 and 92kW Subaru Impreza 2.0i FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
CDX – although the Toyota and Subaru are DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
John Mellor's www.mellor.net
GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 14
Up Close on Personnel
Up Close on Personnel motor staff
Brought to you by Motor Staff - The Motor Industry’s No1 Recruitment Specialist sales•service•parts•admin
9 10 11 12
8 13 TOYOTA’S GRANT HIGHTAILS TO HSV
6 15 AFTER a three-month appointment,” said HSV chairman John
5 16 search, Holden Special Crennan. “The HSV board established a
4 17 Vehicles (HSV) has number of key priorities and attributes for
3 18 appointed Scott Grant the successful candidate. This included
2 BRANDS 19 as its new managing ensive expe
experience in prestige/premium
1 20 director, and also the MD marketing
vehicle market ng and distribution. We
of the HSVi and Ho nHolden someone
also wanted someon with a thorough
by Design businesses.
ign businesse understanding of the d
understan the dealer netnetwork, in
Taking up the Vic ian-
an ney market.”
particular the Sydney m
t Sydney ma ”
based position on May 21 Scott Grant
May 2 repl s Phil Harding, who has
Mr Grant replaces Phil H d
k mili risation progr ),
(after a two-week familiarisation program),
n taken on a new role as d ct of export
Mr Grant is well known throughout the n the UK (T
programs, based in th UK “(This) allows
SERIOUS Australian automotive se
executive with T ta Au
m iv sector as a senior
a Australia, where
Toyota Australia, wher he
p divisional ge ral
up divisional general
was most recently group div
manager for the Lexus brand, l
P il u
e n the United Kingdom
Phil to use his base in the U ed K
markets for the
to seek new marke s for t HSV brand,”
Mr Crennan said. “He w now be focused
on developing new expo opportunities.”
PERFORMANCE xp ces
export and vehicle services. s
“Scott Grant is an outstand ng auto
leader and his experience in being a part of
A Toyota Aus ralia spokesman said this
week that Mr Gran left the company at
k th t Mr Gran
the end of last ye and that his areas of
of las y
the success of the luxury Lexus bran i nd
s brand in responsibility were absorbed into other
the Australian and American markets was divisions. Lexus is also now a standalone
di i i
one of the major contributing factors to his division, with John Roca at the helm.
0-19 MALLIOS MAKES HIS MARK NEW TOYOTA AUST CHIEF
BRANDS THE regional controller
of automotive components
president and CEO Ted
supplier Tyco Electronics in Okada will return to
IN Australia, New Zealand and
South Asia, Chris Mallios,
Japan at the end of May to
commence his next, as yet
is now responsible for the unspeciﬁed, assignment
14 entire Asia-Paciﬁc region.
“Mr Mallios is a
key member of Tyco Chris Mallios
with the Japanese auto
giant. He will be replaced
by Masahide Yasuda, who
MONTHS Electronics’ Global Automotive Division
for Asia Paciﬁc,” the company said in a
most recently served as the Ted Okada
chairman and CEO of Toyota France.
statement last week. “With revenues of $US1 Mr Yasuda is a former general manager for
billion per annum, (he) is helping drive this overseas parts and customer service planning
high-growth business in the region in the at Toyota Motor Corporation. He has also
areas of ﬁnance, strategic planning, sales and spent three years working as group vice-
marketing, business development, research president for Toyota Motor Sales in the US.
and development, production and full According to Toyota Australia, the
bottom-line management responsibility with reshufﬂe is part of TMC’s “senior executive
signiﬁcant focus on major footprints within management program where senior
www.autodeadline.com.au Asia-Paciﬁc such as in Japan, South Korea executives periodically rotate to different
and the People’s Republic of China.” positions within the company”.
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GoAutonews A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 15
GoAuto’s latest car review www.goauto.com.au
Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed ﬁve-door wagon
SEVEN years after Mitsubishi radically changed direction with its NM Pajero, we have a wide-
reaching update that addresses some of the styling challenges presented to some potential
buyers, while introducing new engine technology claimed to improve both performance
and fuel economy. The restyle certainly brings the Pajero back closer to the
mainstream but, for some, it looks a bit overdone. Inside, the NP Pajero Exceed
is consistent with its $70,000 price tag and includes the most powerful sound
system this side of an Audi S8. At the same time the Pajero continues with its
balanced mix of on- and off-road ability, as well as seven-seat capacity and a
big, easily-accessed load area. ROAD TEST: CLICK HERE
C-CLASS SUPER SPORTS
MERCEDES-BENZ has reintroduced the Launch Pad
“Super Sport Edition” special on its C-class brought to you by HYUNDAI BACK-UP
range, this time offering the package – which is HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia is now
APRIL: offering dealer-ﬁt reverse-parking sensors for
worth a claimed $10,000 in added value for an BMW 3 Series Convertible
extra $1500 over the RRP – to its C180K Sports its Getz, Accent, Elantra, Sonata SLX, Tucson
Holden Astra range
Coupe and C200K Estate model variants. and Santa Fe models. Prices start from $389
Holden Epica sedan range BMW 3 Series convertible
Priced from $56,890, the limited-issue Sports for the Getz to $520 for the Santa Fe, but do
Jaguar XKR range
Coupe adds 17-inch light-alloy wheels, bi- not include ﬁtment. The sensors are standard
Lexus LS460 sedan
Xenon headlights, lowered sports suspension, items on Sonata Elite and Grandeur.
SsangYong Actyon SUV
an AMG bodykit, panoramic glass sunroof, The South Korean marque is also now
SsangYong Actyon Sports utility
metallic paint, a stainless steel oval tailpipe, Holden Epica offering a $990 factory-ﬁt “Protectz Pack” on
SsangYong Rexton SUV
“Sport Edition” decals, and a silver grille 2.4-litre four-cylinder variants of its Sonata,
with chrome ﬁnish. Inside, there is a leather-
New model diary: CLICK HERE which comprises stability and traction control
trimmed gearlever and black velour ﬂoor mats and active front head restraints.
with “Sport Edition” badges. MEGANE PRICE SLASH
The wagon starts from $70,390 and gets RENAULT Australia has taken an axe to the CHRYSLER INVESTMENT
the same additional equipment, plus larger price of its Megane sedan range in response to AS NEGOTIATIONS over the sale of the
perforated front disc brakes (with silver brake slow sales. Chrysler Group continued behind closed doors
callipers), front sports seats and steering wheel- Now priced from $24,990 (down from last week, president Tom LaSorda kick-started
mounted gearshift paddles. $28,490), the base-variant six-speed manual a “powertrain offensive” that will see $US3
Megane Expression sedan is $3500 cheaper billion invested to produce “more fuel-efﬁcient
FIVE-STAR SUPERMINIS than before, allegedly making it Australia’s engines, transmissions and axles and provide
BMW’S all-new Mini Cooper and Peugeot’s best-equipped European sedan under $25,000. Chrysler Group with a more competitive
207CC achieved an excellent ﬁve-star (out of The four-speed auto Expression sedan is powertrain portfolio”.
ﬁve) adult occupant protection rating in the now also $3500 less expensive at $27,490 $US1.78 billion will be invested in Michigan,
latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests handed (previously $30,990), while the ﬂagship auto- US, which will be the production source for a
down last week. only Megane Privilege sedan is priced $1800 new “Phoenix” family of V6 engines (from
The verdicts for pedestrian protection for lower at $33,190 (previously $35,990). Renault 2009). Phoenix will become the sole V6 engine
the two vehicles were less impressive – both claims the price cuts will “substantially” architecture for the company, paring back from
achieved a poor two-star score (out of four) increase sales of its booted Megane. the four currently used.
– while the protection afforded to children Like its hatch siblings, the Megane sedan
was rated at three stars (out of ﬁve) for the is powered by a 98kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder GRANGE STILL CORKED
Mini. The 207CC was not assessed for child engine and comes with electronic stability HOLDEN Special Vehicles has postponed next
protection because it was deemed too small control, six airbags, ABS brakes, electronic week’s launch of its Grange luxury sedan until
to ﬁt the recommended child restraints on the brake-force distribution and emergency brake later in the month, due to “production delays”.
rear seats, with the front seats in the normal assist as standard. The company has pencilled in May 22 as its
position for “average-sized occupants”. FULL STORY: CLICK HERE revised launch date.
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