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Posts Tagged ‘holden’

ANCAP Expresses Concerns on Short Falls

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) expressed its concerns about the 4 star ANCAP safety ratings for the single / space cab Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max utilities. The 4 star ANCAP safety rating for the single / space cab Holden Colorado utilities closely follows the 5 star ANCAP safety rating achieved by the crew (dual) cab Colorado earlier this year. A difference in safety specifications means there is a higher risk of serious occupant injury in the single / space cab Colorado’s and the D-Max than the Colorado crew cab. The single / space cab Colorado variants are fitted with only single pre-tensioners for the seat belts and a driver seat belt reminder (SBR) compared with dual pre-tensioners and driver and front passenger SBRs which are standard on the crew cab. “The 4 star ANCAP safety rating for the D-Max is an improvement on the rating of the former model but with an increasing number of fleets now requiring 5 star vehicles, and consumers also purchasing these utes for family transport, safety should be the priority when making the purchasing decision,” said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh. “The 5 star ANCAP safety rating of the Colorado crew cabs should be praised; however a 4 star result for the single / space cab models is disappointing,” Mr McIntosh added. “Like the single / space cab Colorado’s, the shared-platform D-Max also has only single pre-tensioners resulting in the 4 star ANCAP safety rating,” said Mr McIntosh. “While the Colorado’s pedestrian protection result was ‘Acceptable’, the D-Max’s was ‘Marginal’. ANCAP would like to see manufacturers all targeting the top level of pedestrian protection to reduce injuries to unprotected road users,” Mr McIntosh concluded. ANCAP continues to encourage both private and commercial consumers to ‘accept nothing less’ than 5 star safety ratings across passenger and light commercial vehicles.

Former Beauty Queens Starved of Attention… Drive Me Crazy!

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

You see it all the time, the young pretty thing that once commanded all the attention and turned all the heads. Then 20 or so years later, the ravages of time have done their worst and the pretty young thing is now well and truly the desperate old maid trying to stay relevant and attractive.  Whether they are known as the aforementioned old maid, a cougar or just scary Aunt Mary that you avoid at all wedding receptions, they all are better looked at in nostalgic photo albums or through some serious booze-goggles. In the cold hard metal (or aluminium) of the automotive landscape, this cycle, from hot to not, evolves much quicker and the old maids appear even more desperate. It is also much harder to ignore an automotive Aunty Mary parading her muffler to anyone game enough to look sideways. A culprit of this desperation is the former diamond in the rough, the Mitsubishi Triton. When first released it was unlike any other ute, in both design cues, style and in finish.  It attracted… no, it demanded a lot of attention for its looks. Even when the Triton was updated to be more tradie friendly, it maintained and continued to be admired for its dramatic stagecoach design. But now, just about every automotive brand with a light commercial vehicle in their stable has dropped a big new shiny ute baby into the world, and I mean big. The new crop of Rangers, Colorado, D-MAX and BT-50s are bigger and better than their former selves and unfortunately for Mitsubishi, much bigger and much better than the aging Triton. Even the long maligned Ssanyong have a somewhat interesting ute product, which if you squint from a distance, is up there with the big boys from Detroit and Tokyo. So what does the former beauty queen do to hide this shame of decreased attention and lack of sustained desire?  It doesn’t, instead goes to town and plasters itself all over the TV and newspapers. What’s more, rather than featuring its attractiveness or features, it simply hooks itself on price. Sure this will get cash-strapped tradies and frugal grey nomads all hot, deep down in the zippers of their wallets, but it smacks of desperation pure and simple.  Would you be proud to drive what was once the beauty queen now pitched firmly at the consumers of products from the Wall of Greatness? No doubt the team from Mitsubishi will soon be asking the buying public to ‘please consider’ their own sexy new release beauty queen.  By then the Tritons competitors will already have two plus years jump on them, have eroded sales of Triton and created their own new loyal breed of devotees. The good news for the slightly aged Triton is that it need not feel like a sleazy Mrs Robinson for very long.  Once its new incarnation appears, the current stars from Ford, Holden, Isuzu and Mazda will then become the former beauty queen who looked okay last night but now you find yourself seriously considering chewing off your own right arm to avoid… Written by Steven Henderson

Incredible Eight Days

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Motor Sport, News

A beach dash along the Indian Ocean from Kalbarri to Geraldton in Western Australia was the final leg of Australia’s toughest motor sport event, the 2012 Australasian Safari. Every competitor who crossed the finish line is a winner for completing a gruelling eight days of competition covering approximately 3500 competitive kilometres off-road, on beaches, through sand dunes, over creeks, rocky riverbeds, claypans and cattle stations. Jake Smith, 24, from NSW won the Australasian Safari moto division as he did in 2009.  He held the lead for the entire event on his Honda CRF450X and finished with a comfortable 31 minutes to spare. With brother Todd Smith, last year’s Safari moto winner, they have a combined seven podiums in seven events in WA on three different marques – Honda, Yamaha and KTM. Jake said he was still feeling really good after the eight days of racing and was relieved it was all over. “It’s never over ‘til it’s over so I was taking it easy to get through the cool beach stages and cross the finish line. Having won last in 2009 it’s a really good feeling to win again,” he said. WA’s Warren Strange, 47, is no stranger to Safari and he rode his Dakar-built Honda CRF450X to finish convincingly in second place, one hour 39 minutes ahead of his nearest rival. “I’m really happy that an old guy like me can do this!  I gave up motocross riding when these guys around me were kids. “I’ve tried to do quite a lot of events this year in my preparation for Dakar so I’m really pleased it has paid off.” Warren’s second place win was also a huge personal achievement for him, having had leukemia for 20 years. “I’ve been able to take time off work to train and now I’m following my passion, life’s too short,” he said. Ryan Inghram, 33, also from WA, achieved a third place podium finish on a KTM450 despite this being his first attempt at the Australasian Safari. “I’m feeling pretty good with this being my first Safari, it’s the longest event I’ve contested.  It was harder than I thought, a tough week.  The stages were good, the longer the better for me.  The bike’s been great to me too.” David Schwarz, 42, from South Australia, on Husaberg FE450, has finished in the top ten of the last ten Australasian Safaris. This is a huge achievement for this marathon event.  No other competitor has managed more than four and in 2012 he finished seventh outright. “Ten years of racing is a long time.  I’m tired but happy.  This year’s stages were great, I really enjoyed it, it ranks right up there with the other Safaris I’ve done.  The variation in the terrain and the styles of riding were great and there were some true Safari stages.  It was great to go somewhere new.” The winners of five of the last six Australasian Safaris have won on Honda bikes. John Hederics (NSW) and Kees Weel (Qld) in the Holden Colorado finished a comfortable one hour 24 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals and drove a steady race over the past eight days. Hederics holds the record for most Australasian Safari wins on a moto and in an auto. Hederics is arguably the event’s most experienced competitor.  He has won six out of seven Safari attempts on a moto and four out of seven attempts in an auto. It is Weel’s second win as a navigator and the fourth win for the car. Hederics said he was happy, relieved and glad to be back. “I had to rush back for the footy to watch Sydney,” said Henderics. “We held the lead for three days and had it to lose.  Driving conservatively is sometimes harder than going fast. “I’ve been on loads of Safaris as a competitor and as support, this is by far the best course.  The difference in terrain and the variances have been really good.  The organisation is good and there are experienced guys running the show and they know what’s required.” The second place win for West Australians Rob Herridge and Sam Hill was a huge achievement. Their Subaru Forester was entered in the Production Class, meaning the car had very few modifications. They finished an impressive one hour and 39 minutes ahead of third place holders and with their service crew managed to keep the car on track for the eight days. “I’m feeling pumped,” said Herridge. “We’ve been trying not to celebrate for three days because it’s not over ‘til it’s over.  It went well beyond our expectations, not only did we win a few stages, we came second outright.  It’s a testament to Subaru cars. We’re wrapped.” Veteran off-road racers of more than 40 years, Victorians Reg Owen and Russel Cairns, placed third in the autos, a well-deserved position after competing in an impressive 15 Australasian Safaris. “We had to work for it,” Reg said. “We were pushing quite hard today but 122 (Park/Newbon) made the bigger mistake.  They were pushing as well.  This event has been tops.  They have got it 100 percent right.  The tracks were great, they were marked well and it has made a big difference.” Victorian Paul Smith, 35, won the Australasian Safari convincingly from start to finish on his Honda TRX700XX.  He has contested each Australasian Safari since quads were introduced five years ago and won in 2010. He said he was relieved and stoked. “Especially after last year’s stuff up and the helicopter ride to hospital with a broken leg, I’m really glad to be on top.  In true Safari form, the event had to throw something at me, and in the last three kilometers I hit a sheep.  It was OK and ran away. “I loved the Gascoyne region for Safari, the stages were awesome – pure evil!  It’s the least troubles I’ve ever had on the event and it’s a credit to the guys who built the bike.  I’m really happy, next stop Dakar!” Smith said. South African rider Brett Cummings, 29, won the Dakar Challenge in his first marathon event. “I’m feeling happy to get through it. It was unknown pressure for me especially yesterday getting a 45-minute penalty.  I made some stupid mistakes today, I went too slow in the sand and had a big crash in the second stage – my only crashes of the event were the last day. “I’ve liked the organisation of Australasian Safari and the routes.  I’ve learnt so much coming out of this race.  I’ve had some great pointers from Jake and Todd (Smith) and I’m looking forward to next time. “Winning the Dakar Challenge means it will be easier for us to get sponsors, it lightens the load on the pockets.  I was uncertain of how I would go on a multi day event and I’m so happy I’ve managed to maintain pace over the seven days.” 115 competitors started the Australasian Safari last Saturday (21 September) and after a Prologue and seven legs there were 92 competitors who crossed the finish line.  


Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Motor Sport, News

A touch of V8 Supercars will be at this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney when Ford show off their new COTF. The Ford Performance Racing Car of the Future will displaying the EcoBoost livery and with it comes a new era in Australia’s panicle in motor sport. From the outside, the Falcon “Car of the Future” on the AIMS stand will look similar to the current crop of V8 Supercars. However, underneath there are a host of safety and technical improvements to the body, driver safety and a lighter, stronger chassis. “This is very exciting for fans of V8 Supercar racing. We’re excited to be able to show off our Car of the Future,” Ford Motorsport boss, Graham Barrie said. The “Car of the Future” signifies an important and exciting change in V8 Supercar racing in Australia. As with today’s crop of V8 Supercars – they will feature V8 engines, rear-wheel drive and four doors. However, from 2013 a “control chassis” will be introduced to allow all V8 Supercar contenders equal footing as well as helping lower the build cost of the chassis, meaning lower repair costs. Ford is a long time runner in Supercars and they will be joined by the hard charging Holden’s once again. 2013 will also see the Falcons and Commodores taking on the likes of Nissan and Mercedes-Benz. The fight for the manufactures championship will be well and truly on. The V8 Supercar “Car of the Future” showcases a new level of safety for drivers. In the new vehicles, the fuel tank will be moved forward from the boot to sit inside the main chassis for better crash protection. A collapsible steering column, a new fire extinguisher system and improved side crash protection has also been added. Other measures include moving the engines 100mm further back to the firewall for added safety, windscreens will be made of high-impact polycarbonate and 18-inch tyres will be introduced. Independent Rear Suspension and a transaxle gearbox are part of the technical innovations for the COTF. The Ford COTF featured on the Ford stand at AIMS is one of two prototypes that will be tested on a variety of circuits ahead of the 2013 rollout. Barrie said EcoBoost was the future of Ford’s engine technology globally so it made sense that the COTF was used as a platform to promote it. “This further aligns our V8 Supercar program with Ford’s global motorsport plan and places it alongside the likes of NASCAR and the World Rally Championship,” he said. EcoBoost is Ford’s newest engine technology, which is now available in Australia in the locally-built Falcon, Mondeo and the soon to be released Focus ST.

Bar Up the Colorado with Safety

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

Holden have done it again. They have not only made a duel cab ute that is great looking and has a 5 star safety rating, but add a Holden genuine accessory bull bar to it and it remains 5 stars. According to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the latest model Holden Colorado crew cab range will retain its maximum five-star safety rating when fitted with Holden’s bull bar. After assessing technical evidence in relation to the bull bar’s safety performance, ANCAP announced that the popular aftermarket equipment would not affect the vehicle’s safety rating.  The 5 star ANCAP safety rating applies to the crew cab range only. Holden’s Manager for Vehicle Structure & Safety Integration, Steve Curtis said it was welcome news for private and fleet customers alike where the bull bar was often an essential tool of trade. “Colorado’s accessories were engineered and developed locally by Holden, and were fully tested to ensure the highest possible levels of functionality, integration and safety performance,” Curtis said. “The bull bar was subject to rigorous crash and impact tests to ensure that it meets or exceeds Holden’s and Australia’s highest safety standards. “One of the many advantages of a genuine Holden accessory like this is that they are included in a virtual and physical crash assessment program which includes intensive development, testing and validation.” Launched in June, the new light commercial vehicle boasts a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), driver and front passenger airbags and full length curtain airbags standard across the range. Colorado benefits from a robust frame and body structure constructed from high-strength steel and a technically advanced chassis system which delivers enhanced accident avoidance capabilities.  Full length side impact protection beams reinforce the passenger safety cell and offers optimum protection in the event of a collision.

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