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Motoring April 13, 2018

BMW M5

DETAILS

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The Ultimate Driving Machine

BMW X5 xDRIVE 30d M SPORT EDITION.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

New M5 best of both worlds

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ver since the launch of the first BMW M5 in 1984, the ultimate 5-series has always been resolutely rear-wheel-drive, but as the super-saloon power war hikes on past the 600bhp point, the new, sixth-generation 2018 BMW M5 has gone all-wheel-drive. The new F90 M5 is still very much rearbiased, but in theory should be less scary in the rain or on frosty winter mornings. And the 2018 M5 even has the option to switch to a fully rear-drive mode. The best of both worlds perhaps. Based on the latest F90 generation 5-series, the new 2018 M5 is lighter than the car it replaces, thanks to plenty of aluminium in its construction, and some composite components. At 1855kg the new M5 still a pretty weighty beast, though, albeit a smidge lighter than the AMG E63. The roof is made of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), with the dual benefit of lowering the centre of gravity and increasing torsional rigidity, along with the less prosaic bonus of looking kinda racy when specced in a lacquered bare weave finish. Despite all that fresh air in its face, the new BMW M5 is really quite a subtle, understated car. You’ll probably find yourself in one of two camps – a fan of its under-the-radar, sleeper disguise, or wishing it was a bit more wild-looking. It’s a lot of car, both in terms of dimen-

sions and performance. The all-wheel drive helps the new M5 crack 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, and 0-124mph in 11.1 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating iteration yet. Whip the 155mph top speed limiter off as part of the optional M Driver’s package and it can hit 190mph. The new 2018 M5 has a development of the previous car’s twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8,

using the most powerful version used in the 30 Jahre edition as its starting point. Max power is 592bhp (or a nice round 600 metric horsepower), and maximum torque is a frankly brutal 553lb ft from 1800rpm. Branded ‘xDrive,’ BMW’s name for its AWD systems across the board, the M5’s set-up is made possible by a single ECU that controls both differentials along with

the stability control, ABS and various other vehicle dynamics systems. The central computer is extremely quick at processing information – this type of system wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago. Carbon ceramic brakes are also an option. There’s probably little to be gained on the road, but on the track they work well.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

3

New-style Yankee muscle T hey say “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Well. So this is the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro; a refresh of the current model and a continuation of the Alpha platform that debuted in 2015. Chevrolet label it “bold” in their press release, and they’re certainly not wrong. The Camaro’s styling has come under scrutiny all day, as it’s clearly a hefty departure from the previous model, as well as the Aussie-designed fifth-gen model before that. It adopts a corporate face that Chevrolet are clearly marching forward with. You can also see it slapped on the all-new Silverado and Suburban – an integrated grill and headlight fascia that takes up plenty of vertical and horizontal real estate, while sweeping from one side of the car to the other. The announcement showcases the visual differences between the ‘lower tier’ models and those that come with higher pricing. Entry-level cars get two distinctly separate grill areas, the bottom of which curls around to form vents in front of the front wheels. Big daddy models connect the two areas into one huge gaping mouth, helping optimise air flow among other things. If you’re looking at these models wondering why those with the dual grill look familiar, it’s because we got a sneak peek of the look in the most recent Transformers action flicks. Little did we know that a next-generation Camaro was hiding in plain sight. The dominating discussions on looks are a bit of a shame, given that they overshadow what’s possibly one of the world’s greatest performance bargains; the new Turbo 1LE [pictured above]. That naming convention won’t be anything new to bow-tie fans, but what is new is pairing it with the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. It comes with 205kW, 400Nm of torque, and no automatic option. Yup, it’s manual only, and that’s a huge sign of confidence in product given America’s lack of interest in manual cars. With less weight, a stick, FE2 suspension coupled with revised dampers, stabilizers for

lateral stiffness, and a beefier Brembo brake package, the Turbo 1LE could be the track weapon of choice. New Zealand won’t be getting it, though. Not for now anyway, though given how few four-cylinder Mustangs sell in New Zealand compared to V8s. What we will get is the 2SS, which sports the more aggressive new face out of the pair revealed today. American specs showcase an output of 332kW and 617Nm (compared to the new Mustang GT’s 339kW and 556Nm). Now we wait on pricing. If leaks over the ditch are anything to go by, expect our high-spec 2SS to be priced close to the $100,000 mark. And with HSV SportsCat and Silverado pricing now out of the bag, it’s just a matter of time before the Camaro follows suit.


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Friday, April 13, 2018

5

Maserati keeps it sharp

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aserati has updated and improved its best-selling Ghibli luxury sports saloon, the model that has helped expand the Italian marque’s share of the premiere sports car market throughout the world. There are now two new versions of the Ghibli available, with a host of new technology features and a power boost for the top-of-the range Ghibli GrandSport model. The Ghibli shares its core architecture – chassis, suspension layout, V6 engines and eight-speed ZF automatic transmission – with Maserati’s flagship, the Quattroporte, but is 293mm shorter and 50kg lighter. Driven spent more than 400km behind the wheel driving the GrandSport model across some of Australia’s tightest, twistiest mountain roads in the Snowy Mountains, and can confirm the new model retains the sharp road manners Maserati is renowned for. The 3-litre V6 engine delivers 320kW of power in the S model, and we were powering up and down the steep, windy roads, with the paddle-shifters processing the gear changes fast enough to deliver a thrilling and agile drive. There is enough pop and crackle from the exhaust on the downshift to satisfy the enthusiast, without scaring the neighbours. The exterior changes are subtle, with adjustments to the bumpers and other styling refinements, but then the current

Ghibli has always been a smart-looking vehicle in the style of a true European sports sedan. Among the safety enhancements are advanced driving assistance systems and an integrated vehicle control system, while the new models feature an upgraded infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity available. Ghibli prices range from $135,990 for the 3-litre, 257kW V6 petrol engined

baseline model, through to the Ghibli S Gransport model listed as $179,990. Both Ghibli lines are priced at the same level across the range, the only variation being dependent on engine choice. Maserati has sold around 70,000 Ghiblis since its introduction back in 2014, and is the marque’s best-selling model, and one that has cemented the luxury brand’s standing in the premiere sports sedan market.

“The Maserati Ghibli has, since its 2014 launch, transformed the position of Maserati here and around the world,” says Glen Sealey, the chief operating officer of Maserati in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. “It has brought the traditional Maserati values of unique style, personalisation and performance to a whole new group of owners who aspired to make a Maserati a treasured part of their lives.”

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Refined versatility

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t was pouring when we left Ashburton for Queenstown and then became progressively worse with light snow on the climb through the Lindis. Ideal driving conditions though to appreciate the grip and excellent roadholding of this sporty, all-wheel-drive version of Hyundai’s eye-catching, compact SUV, Kona models. Of which there’s currently four - two front-wheel-drive models in either entry level ($31,990) or higher specified ($36,990) Elite form. Both with 2.0-litre, 110kW/180Nm petrol engines and six speed autos. Then there’s two 1.6-litre turbo 130 kW/265Nm all-wheel-drive models. They have dual-clutch, seven speed autos, a sportier rear suspension and cost either $36,990 or $41,990 for the Elite. While they look the same, they quiet different to drive. In our household a 2.0litre would likely be the choice of she who must be obeyed, while mine would be either of the edgier 1.6 turbo’s. I’ll come back to why a little later. But no matter which is chosen you’ll be driving a distinctive but attractive looking SUV with a nicely sculpted front, shapely scalloped sides complete with contrasting, strategically placed dark grey ‘body armour’ and a neatly shaped rear. Size wise, they are a little shorter, but wider than both the Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR. So those amongst our travelling group were surprised about how much rear passenger space there is. The rear seats to sit quite low meaning easier access and decent headroom. Although three standard sized blokes were fitted therein, without complaint for a 20km drive, for

any longer distances two would be best. Given those distinctive outside looks, the Kona cabins are much more mainstream. But nicely laid out with very practical style and function. There’s a large central tablet-style multimedia display for the Apple Carplay, Android Auto and an Auto Link system which give both connectivity and quick access to information, entertainment and comfort options. A smartphone is required for navigation as there’s no dedicated system. Elite models have full leather interiors, heated front seats, wireless smartphone charging, a heads-up display, LED headlights and 18” alloy wheels instead of 17inch. My drive-time with the 2.0litre Elite was shorter than planned, but found it delivers pretty much what you expect in a smooth, predictable manner and is very well setup for comfortable, everyday driving. Also some drivers will be more at ease with the more sedate, sometimes smoother reactions of its engine and conventional 6-speed auto than those delivered by the 1.6T. Whose very willing direct injection turbo delivers 265 Nm (on hand right from 1500 rpm to 4500rpm) and the urgent manner in which the smart, quick changing, seven-speed dual clutch auto makes the most of this. Meaning agreeably quick out of town motoring as well as both effortless overtaking and mountain pass ascents. Where through the likes of the tight winding corners of the Lindis it excelled with precise, predictable handling and cornering - thanks to its well sorted dynamic combination of steering, a rigid chassis, dual arm multi-link rear suspen-

KONA 1.6T ELITE Roger Hart ROAD TEST

sion and its all-wheel-drive system. In fact it drove so well it was easy to forget that one was driving a SUV, albeit one that sits quite low. Indeed the ground clearance is 170mm, something that needs to be kept in mind with deeper ruts when driving on rougher shingle roads. Where otherwise the loose surfaces and corrugations were very well dealt with. The front seats were long distance excellent, both comfort and support wise. Plus there’s very good views all-round from the drivers seat. It’s quiet to, although the 235/45 tyres made the presence of some lengths of very coarse chip known. The claimed overall fuel economy figures are 7.2L/100km for the 2litre, and even with its extra grunt, a lesser 6.7L/100 km for the 1.6T. And despite being very new when I collected it, the trip computer on the test car showed an impressive 7.0L/100km for my return trip from Wanaka. All Kona have an array of “SmartSense” active safety technologies which includes the radar-based lane assist, forward collision warning and blind spot warning. No adaptive cruise control though. The boot, back seats up, holds 361litres of luggage and there’s the usual fire extinguisher and first aid kit therein.

■■ Costs: $41,990 – other Kona from $31,990 to $36,990(all +ORCs) ■■ Engine: 1.6litre, 4 cylinder turbopetrol -130kW/265Nm. ■■ Transmission: 7-speed DSG auto and all-wheel-drive. ■■ Claimed Overall Economy: 6.7L/100km. ■■ Safety: 5 star ANCAP and a host of driver assistance/safety systems. ■■ Turning Circle: 10.6 metres. ■■ Tows: 1250kg braked. ■■ Warranty etc: 3-year warranty/roadside assist.

FINALE So there’s a choice of a stylish versatile and refined Kona to cover the wants and needs of many. Whether its coping with just urban adventure, keen driving, or the results of climate change. Speaking of which, later this year an extended range, plug-in, battery/electric Kona will arrive!

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Kona 2.0 Elite shown in image

Hyundai Mid Canterbury 91 Archibald Street, Tinwald, Ashburton 03 307 2415 | www.midcanterburyhyundai.co.nz Hyundai Mid Canterbury 91 Archibald Street, Tinwald, Ashburton 03 307 2415 | www.midcanterburyhyundai.co.nz

*Model quoted is a Hyundai Kona 2.0 2WD A6. Offer based on a purchase price of $32,990 with a deposit of $7,000 and residual payment at the end of the term of $7,990. Interest rate fixed for the term of the loan at 8.1% p/a and includes documentation fee of $399. Total amount payable is $40,849.56 including GST. Offer available for all orders placed before 5pm on 30th April 2018. Vehicle shown in image is Kona 2.0 2WD Elite A6 model.

Kona 2.0 Elite shown in image


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Motoring | Apr 13 2018  
Motoring | Apr 13 2018