Feb 20, 2008 | NZPC

infiniti four door

Nissan could make a four-door GT-R as a flagship model. It would most likely use the same 480hp twin-turbo 3.8-litre VR38 V6 engine and six-speed sequential ‘box, and keep the existing suspension pickup points, powertrain mountings, and interior specification. However, it would need an entirely new body and possible modifications to the front-midship layout of the engine.

Nissan in the USA has hinted this could become a reality with the car costing NZ$5000-10,000 more than the GT-R.

Feb 20, 2008 | NZPC

Fiat 500 Abarth fq

Just released are the first official pictures of the new 500 Abarth — a high performance version of the Fiat 500 city car. The 500 Abarth will make its international public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The new car was developed by Fiat Group Automobiles Style Centre in the spirit of the legendary Fiat 500 Abarth of the 1960s, and is powered by a Fire 1.4 16v petrol Turbo engine, which delivers a maximum of 135 bhp at 5,500 rpm, and peak torque of 206 Nm (152 lb.ft) at 3,000 rpm in 'Sport’ mode, while in 'Normal’ mode, torque is reduced to 180 Nm (132 lb.ft) at 2,500 rpm. This smooth and responsive new engine is also environmentally compatible. Like the Fiat 500 from which it is derived, the new 500 Abarth meets future Euro 5 emissions legislation.

The dramatic styling is not a mere exercise in interpretation, as the 500 Abarth optimises aerodynamic behaviour, reducing drag and increasing high speed stability, while the sideskirts also improve the Cd figure.  Inside, the 500 features special instrumentation, with the addition of an analogue gauge to measure turbo pressure.  An LED telltale that optimises gear changes by lighting up at the appropriate moment, is also incorporated.



  • 4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cc;
  • Power output: 135 bhp at 5,500 rpm;
  • Peak torque in SPORT mode: 206 Nm (152 lb.ft) at 3,000 rpm;
  • 'Drive-by-wire’ accelerator control, without mechanical connection;
  • Turboboost by IHI variable geometry turbo.


  • 5-speed gearbox;
  • Dual cable external gearbox control;

Suspension and steering

  • MacPherson layout at front with anti-roll bar;
  • Torsion beam axle with anti-roll bar;
  • Ground-hugging sporty stance;
  • Dualdrive electric power steering, with SPORT mode.


  • Floating ZPH 4.1.2 front calliper, piston diameter 54 mm;
  • Ventilated front brake discs, diameter 284 x 22 mm;
  • Floating CII 34 rear calliper, piston diameter 34 mm;
  • Solid rear brake discs, diameter 240 x 11 mm.


  • Standard: Aluminium alloy rim 6.5” x 16” — Tyres: 195/45 R16;
  • Optional: Aluminium alloy rim 7” x 17” — Tyres: 205/40 R17.
Feb 20, 2008 | NZPC

kia soul

This is the only image Kia supplied – we’ll let you know when we’ve got more

Defying traditional automotive classification, three new SOUL concept cars to be unveiled by Kia at the Geneva Show on 4 March, will reveal a whole new individual and fun direction for the Korean brand.

The trio of concepts are closely related to an upcoming production model that doesn’t fit into the usual motor industry brackets and will encourage a whole new breed of Kia customers to build an emotional bond with their new car and with the brand.

The SOUL concepts will introduce 'a world of possibilities’ for customising and personalisation to future Kia customers that will be delivered by the new model with its special appeal to the young-at-heart. The SOUL Burner will be based on Kia’s new SOUL which is a compact utility vehicle (think Toyota Bb size).

The SOUL Burner (shown here) is the 'bad boy’ of the concept trio complete with satin black finish and gloss dragon tattoos!

Feb 19, 2008 | NZPC

nine things

It is well known that the all-new Lancer Evolution X is a supercar slayer packed with cutting-edge technology and enough acronyms to match, such as Super — Active Yaw Control (S-AYC), Active Centre Differential (ACD), and the phenomenal Twin Clutch Sports Shift Transmission (SST).

But every detail of this car has been designed with a purpose, and here are nine facts about the Lancer Evolution X that prove the designers have thought of everything to make this the best Evolution yet:

  • No Reverse Gear —To save weight, the 5-speed manual transmission has no dedicated reverse gear. Instead, it uses an arrangement in which first and third gears engage with an idler gear on a separate shaft to reverse the direction of rotation.
  • Spoilers In The Wheel Arch – The wheel houses have a miniscule spoiler lip around the curve of the wheel to prevent the wind from swirling in the wheel housing thus improving the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
  • Energy Saving Glass – Solar control glass uses an infrared absorbing material in its intermediate layer to reduce transmission of solar heat by 66-100%. The glass also cuts out transmission of ultra-violet light but transmits all visible light to keep the interior airy and light.
  • Stainless Steel Manifold – The exhaust system uses a stainless steel manifold, which is smoother than other alternatives to maximise airflow. An Inconel turbocharger is located downstream and optimisation of the compressor wheel has improved response by 18% over the Lancer Evolution IX.
  • Your Car, The Way You Want It - Mitsubishi’s ETACs (Electronic Total Automobile Control) system allows you to personalise the set up of your car, just the way you want it. You can decide how long the interior light stays on after door closure, if at all. You decide when the wing mirrors fold in and out — at the tough of a button, or automatically when the door is closed and ignition switched on or off. You choose.
  • Acoustic Engineering — The latest in lightweight acoustic and vibration dampening materials, including foam filling for the pillars, have been strategically placed throughout the body of the Lancer Evolution X. This ensures noise and vibration performance that befits a new generation high performance saloon, while minimising any weight increase.
  • Lights That Look Around Corners — The Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) uses high intensity discharge (HID) headlights increase the driver’s field of vision to make night driving safer. The clever bit is that the car detects when the driver turns the steering wheel and automatically switches on an additional beam to light up the oncoming corner.
  • External Vents Improve Breathing — Two bonnet vents release engine heat, as with previous Evolutions, but a new feature is the central air intake to help the engine breath and increase power output. New vents have also been added behind the front wheel to let engine heat escape more efficiently.
  • F1 Floating Piston Technology – The all-new aluminium engine is not only 12KG lighter than the previous 2.0 straight four unit, but also uses full floating pistons made by Mahle, renowned for use in F1 cars. Made of a very hard and strong alloy the pistons are able to handle the higher power produced by this road-ready performance car

Feb 19, 2008 | NZPC

hot wheels 40th anniversary

Hot Wheels® today announced its year-long plans to celebrate the brand’s 40-year heritage at the 105th American International Toy Fair®. Anniversary activities were kicked off with the unveiling of a custom jeweled 1:64-scale Hot Wheels car, designed by celebrity jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills. This one-of-a-kind car, the most expensive in Hot Wheels history, was made to commemorate the production of the 4 billionth Hot Wheels vehicle.

The diamonds on the custom-made jeweled car, valued at $140,000, total more than 2,700 and weigh nearly 23 carats in total weight. The car is cast in 18-karat white gold with the majority of the vehicle detailed with micro pave-set brilliant blue diamonds, mimicking the Hot Wheels Spectraflame® blue paint. Under the functional hood, the engine showcases additional micro pave-set white and black diamonds. The Hot Wheels® flame logo found on the underbelly of the car is lined with white and black diamonds. Red rubies are set as the tail lights, while black diamonds and red enamel create the “red line” tires. The custom-made case that houses the jewel-encrusted vehicle also holds 40 individual white diamonds, signifying each year in the legacy of Hot Wheels.

“Collaborating with Mattel on the jeweled Hot Wheels car was a dream project for me,” said Jason Arasheben, president & CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills. “The car is truly spectacular and will be a brilliant addition to anyone’s collection.”

The vehicle was unveiled by multi-platinum recording artist and car enthusiast, Nick Lachey, who grew up playing with the die-cast car line. In late 2008, this unique Hot Wheels vehicle will be auctioned off to benefit Lachey’s charity of choice, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“Since its introduction, Hot Wheels has revolutionized boys’ toys and inspired automotive trends,” said Tim Kilpin, general manager and senior vice president, Boys and Entertainment, Mattel Brands. “The historic activities we have planned are a fitting tribute to the brand’s heritage and will allow us, and our fans, to celebrate this milestone year in true Hot Wheels style.”

In 2008, Hot Wheels will honor the partners that have helped make the brand successful and will take to the road to celebrate the brand’s heritage with its faithful fans. These activities include:

Hot Wheels Designer’s Challenge

For the first time in its history, Mattel went outside of its in-house design team to seek new car designs and to honor the automotive partners that attributed to the success of Hot Wheels cars over the years. Car designers from Dodge, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Lotus and Mitsubishi designed their version of a Hot Wheels concept car based on the brand’s attributes of speed, power, performance and attitude. Each submitted design was created in a 1:5-scale model and unveiled this past October at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. In late March the 1:64-scale versions will be available at retailers nationwide as part of the Designer’s Challengeâ„¢ product line.

“I’ve been involved in multimillion-dollar concept car designs but not everyone can relate to these kinds of projects,” said Amaury Diaz Serrano, creative designer, General Motors. “But, everyone can relate to a Hot Wheels. Regardless of age, race or background, everyone has fond memories of playing with them. To be able to design for Hot Wheels is the closest I will ever get to winning an Oscar.”

Hot Wheels Cross-Country Road Trip

This summer, fans across the country will be invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary as Hot Wheels travels Highway 40 to bring together automotive enthusiasts of all ages. Kicking off at Mattel’s headquarters in El Segundo in mid-August, the road trip will make stops at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah; Speed, KS; Indianapolis; and Detroit, before culminating in a grand finale celebration on September 5 in Watkins Glen, NY, home to American road racing. There, Hot Wheels will partner with the Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen, to participate in the annual celebratory kick-off event honoring the history of the town and race track.

At each road trip stop, Hot Wheels will host a free event that will be open to the public. Each event will feature life-size Hot Wheels cars, kiosks where people can create their own custom Hot Wheels “drivers license,” family-friendly activities, and the opportunity to receive a commemorative 1:64-scale Hot Wheels car created especially for each stop, available in limited quantities.

“40 years. 4 billion cars. It is a year of exciting milestones for Hot Wheels,” said Geoff Walker, vice president, Wheels Marketing, Mattel Brands. “We just can’t wait to get on the road to celebrate with the millions that share the Hot Wheels passion.”

Feb 19, 2008 | NZPC

Eight people were killed and bodies were scattered in the smoky early morning darkness at an illegal street race about 30km south of Washington in the USA.

Yahoo News is reporting that about 50 people were gathered before dawn along Route 210. Two cars doing burnouts created a huge cloud of smoke that obscured the spectators and unfortunately another motorist coming down the road couldn’t see the spectators and ploughed into them.

Feb 18, 2008 | NZPC


Name: Vicky

Age: 21

Occupation: I work for cosmetics company as a marketing assistant (laughs). Lots of free stuff, if you’re into lipsticks, it’s pretty cool.

What are you driving? A Mazda! a red one.

Red because it’s faster? Na, I think I look better in red a car — I’m fully accessorised

What is your best childhood memory? Um! I don’t know. I guess being taken to Disneyland, that was pretty cool.

Do you have any hidden talents? I’m really good at catching lollies in my mouth!

How did you discover that? You know how you throw peanuts up in the air and catch them, I’ve aced it, I’ve mastered the catch and can do it every time.

Any incidences of choking? Yes, one got lodged in there!

And that didn’t scare you off? It made me stop and think for a while, but you know. I got right back into it.

So what’s the best type of lolly to catch in your mouth? Um, anything that’s similar to a peanut M&Ms. Popcorn is good as well as being light you get more 'hang-time’ to catch it.

What’s your biggest secret? Well I can’t tell you that. It wouldn’t be a secret anymore.

Any hints? Um, no. No hints; people are going to read this.

How about your most embarrassing moment? My most embarrassing moment hmm! I have to think about that. It would have probably been falling over somewhere.

Drinking accident? Yeah, there’s been a few of them; coming out of a bar and falling over, that was pretty embarrassing.

Any broken bones from drinking? No, none yet!

How did you enjoy your NZPC cover shoot? It was cool, everyone was very nice. It was a tad cold though.

Did the boys know what they were doing? Yeah, Quinn did (laughs).

You’ve been on the cover of NZPC once before as well? Yes, once before. I guess I’m lucky to be on twice.

What would your dream car be? It used to be a Lamborghini, that’s what I said last time I was here, but now it would be a classic Porsche.

So that’s just from being older and wiser? Yeah, I guess so and it’s a bit smaller too. It would have to be black though, with a tan interior.

So chrome or carbon? Chrome.

Style rather than speed? Um, yes, I think so, but I’d still like a grunty car.

Have you got a side that’s not so innocent? Um, no (laughs)! it’s all very innocent.

This from the girl who falls over outside pubs? I went to an all girl’s Catholic school (laughs). No, all innocent (laughs).

What gives you pleasure in life? Well! I like summer. I’m miserable in winter.

What’s a typical night out for you? It would be getting ready with my friends and going and having a few drinks. We never really plan anything, just see what happens. The best nights are the unplanned ones. I like to dance, so I’ve always got my dancing shoes on.

What is your greatest ambition? Um, my greatest ambition is to be successful in my career, which I don’t really know what it is yet. I’m not really too ambitious at the mo. I’m happy to go with the flow, but if I’m still ticking along at 25, I may have to re-evaluate, but it’s okay for now.

How did you get in to modelling? I was doing promos for NZPC, and they asked me if I wanted to be on the cover and that was fine. Then just doing promo stuff and now I’m here again.

You’re actually the 'Drag Strip’ (NZPC clothing) girl aren’t you? Yes, but I never actually wore those, they superimposed them. I never put those on, they must have cut it and done it. I just came here after work one day and put some clothes on, but not those. Then I saw the photos and it was like hey, that’s me, but I don’t remember wearing those. It was great showing Mum and Dad that one!

So do people recognise you from being in the mag? They did the first time — I was so surprised. When a couple of mechanics came up to me and said “Hey we’ve got you on our wall” I was like, eeew, can you take that down, I don’t know you.

So it weirds you out a bit then? Um! yep, it does seem a little weird. It’s flattering for sure, but I honestly didn’t think so many people would recognise me as did.

You’re bound to be noticed again! Lets see. See if they notice it’s the second time I’ve done it. I had darker hair last time and it was wavier, so they might not.

What’s your ideal guy? Ha ha, oh no! Okay, I like nice guys, but they have to have an edge to them as well. Nice to me, but naughty to everyone else. They have to have style. It doesn’t have to be the style of the moment, but their own style. I like them to have a good sense of humour, to be funny. If they can make me laugh, then that’s good! Um, then there’s the feet. I said this last time, but I’ve always had an issue with feet, anyone’s feet, I like nice feet! A tattoo usually helps too.

Anywhere in particular? Um, not really, just not on the face and I like them to be a little rugged rather than clean cut. So rugged, naughty boys that are nice to me are ideal.

Are you single at the mo? Ah no, I’m not.

So does your boy measure up? Um!ha ha ha ha, he’s so perfect (laughs) I have to be nice here, he’s great.

So Dan wasted all that money on pedicures for his feet? (laughs) Yeah, sorry Dan.


Get your own photoshoot by the professional team at Parkside. Click here to find out more.

Feb 18, 2008 | NZPC

I have a Honda Integra Type R that I brought in from Japan earlier this year. The car had a Recaro driver’s race seat, a half cage, Tein coil-overs and a few engine mods. I had to get the thing certed when it went through the VIN, which was all good. I use the car everyday and take it down to Pukekohe at every opportunity I can for a hard fang (only place to do it!). As such, to make it a little safer, I got myself an expensive Sabelt harness seat belt (three-inch straps, FIA approved, etc). Therein lies my problem. I got ticketed the other day for not wearing a seat belt. Don’t get me wrong I was wearing a belt (my race harness), but apparently this is illegal? The cop told me that those belts aren’t allowed in the car and I should have been wearing the factory one, which I also have left installed. Is he right? If so, I find it hard to believe that my FIA-spec Sabelt harness would provide less safety than the factory diagonal belt! Maybe he was just pissed that he couldn’t ping me on anything else! Hope you can shed some light.

Cheers, Mark Nunn

Sadly for you Mark, the cop is right! Hard to get your head around that law, isn’t it? For years, LVVTA has discussed this issue with Land Transport New Zealand, extolling the significant safety benefits of a full harness belt. We’ve been able to achieve a partial relaxation, in that full-harness belts can now be legally fitted to, and worn in, bonafide motor-sport vehicles that have been issued with an LVV Authority Card from MotorSport New Zealand (have to have a competition licence and logbook, etc), and also for single-row seating scratch-built vehicles like AC Cobra and Lotus 7 replicas. We’ve yet to convince them that a full-harness should be used in road-going production cars like your Type-R. Land Transport’s concerns include: the driver being able to properly reach all of the vehicle controls, being able to see to the right and behind at Y-intersections and, most importantly, whether people would perhaps not wear them (or not wear them properly adjusted) because of the extra hassle in doing them up compared to a conventional lap and diagonal retractor belt. We’ll keep chipping away at them, but don’t count on anything!