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Posts Tagged ‘skoda’

Genuine Offroaders – What to look for in a non-city SUV

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

With the trend for city SUVs booming, it can be hard to decide which model to go for. If one is looking for a genuine off-road vehicle however, there are a few criteria for which to look out: All wheel drive Not all SUV’s are 4×4s. This may seem obvious, however is an important point on the tick list for an SUV that is supposed to cope in non-city terrain. Assumptions are not helpful here; there is, for example a new four-wheel-drive version of the Fiat Panda, while the popular Nissan Qashqai SUV does not come with all wheel drive. Some SUVs come with the option of switching between four-wheel and two-wheel drive, so as to accommodate both on- and off-road driving. Large tyres with deep, open treads These will ensure good grip both on- and off-road. Large tyres (i.e. a larger tyre surface area interacting with the ground) will lesson ground pressure, thus preventing the vehicle from sinking into muddy terrain. Deep, open treads are especially important for muddy and uneven or hilly terrain. It is important to look for the tread on tyres as well as their size, as the fashion for city SUVs has led to a trend for tyres that may be large, however do not have good grip at all. Flexible suspension Fairly self-explanatory. The best SUVs for off-roading won’t give drivers or passengers bruises, but also won’t have an overly soft suspension, which may even prove nauseating in rough terrain. Test driving the desired vehicle both on- and off-road to test the suspension is definitely recommended. High vehicle ground clearance Again, this might be an obvious point, however some SUVs have better clearance than others, so it is worth looking out for a vehicle which allows for plenty of space between itself and the ground. This will ensure that the vehicle’s tyres or (or tracks) stay in contact with the ground at all times, thus preventing a potentially dangerous loss of traction. High vehicle ground clearance is also particularly important if the SUV is to be used for rocky terrain, as raised and pointed stones can otherwise do significant damage. Low gearing Low gearing ensures that the driver is able to maximise the available engine power, even while navigating difficult terrain at relatively low speed. This is generally achieved by employing an internal combustion engine either in combination with a very low first gear, or with an additional ‘reduction drive’ gearbox. Torque converters may also be used to further reduce gearing. Most important of all, however, is the test drive. With all off-roading points ticked, this will still be the deciding factor for or against a particular model. Dealers selling genuine off-road vehicles will be amenable even to off-road test drives. Private sellers will also tend to understand the necessity of testing the vehicle in its desired future environment before committing to a purchase.

Premiere for Skoda Rapid

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

The newest creation by Skoda went on display last week for the first time Australia in Sydney. The Rapid sits between the Skoda Fabia and the Octavia, making it at home in the large-volume compact segment. The Rapid is the first Skoda series car ever to fully feature the brand’s newly formulated design language. Perfect proportions, clear and cleanly modelled surfaces and sharply drawn lines combine to create an attractive overall appearance. The front end displays a new take on Skoda-typical design elements. The new brand logo confidently stands out on the rounded front edge of the bonnet. The grille shows a finely drawn chrome frame and is formed by vertical slats. The headlight ensemble is grouped at the front of the Skoda Rapid to form a cloverleaf shape. The body’s side also conveys pure emotion though a long wheelbase and a coupé-like silhouette, but also thanks to a precise and sharp tornado line creating a clear division of light and shadow. At the rear, the car’s large tailgate is not merely functional, but also acts as a design element. In addition, distinctly shaped taillights in the brand’s typical C shape and the new brand logo all combine to make the Skoda Rapid unmistakable. The Rapid will have two petrol engines. The entry-level engine is the 1.2-litre 77TSI with power and torque output of 77kW at 5000rpm and 175Nm. The 1.4-litre engine is more powerful, putting out 90kW at 5000rpm and 200Nm. The Rapid is setting the new benchmark for roominess in its class. Skoda’s latest offspring impresses with a surprising amount of space despite compact exterior dimensions (4.48 metres in length, 1.7 metres in width) and provides room for five occupants. The Rapid’s figures for knee and head room are best in class, as is the boot at 530 litres (including spare wheel) – truly family-size. Skoda’s latest roomy offspring is a “simply clever” car through and through, offering Skoda’s typical “simply clever” solutions. Available for the first time in the Skoda Rapid are a refuse bin in the side door which keeps the car’s inside tidy, and a double-sided covering for the boot floor. In addition to these clever features, the Rapid has a lot of other tried and true clever solutions on board such as a multimedia holder, a ticket holder, various cup holders, nettings on the inner sides of the front seats and optional netting for the car’s huge boot. The Rapid is also big on active and passive safety with ABS and ESC systems standard. The car’s long wheelbase, a precise chassis and a stiff body structure form the basis for stable handling. Functions such as the ‘hill-hold control’ assistant for starting up steep terrain, enhance the car’s active safety level. As for passive safety, a comprehensive package will protect the car’s occupants in case of a collision. It includes front, side and head airbags, adjustable-height 3-point safety belts as well as headrests. The stiff body ensures excellent deformation behaviour of the car in a collision. Full specification and pricing details will be available at launch in 2013. Photo by Rudi Khoury  

Gill Leads APRC by Two Minutes on Day One

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

The fifth round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in Japan started today and it was team MRF driver Gaurav Gill leading the way at the end of the first day’s competitive stages. Gill entered the rally confident of success and has had a blistering start to the rally powering his Skoda Fabia S2000 to more than two minutes clear of nearest APRC rival Alister McRae in the Proton, leading the rally by 49.6 seconds. With the absence of APRC championship leader and Gill’s team-mate, Chris Atkinson, the rally was up for grabs. After an early battle with McRae, Gill moved ahead on the fifth stage, the long 28 kilometre New Kunneywa test. “We had a real push – there was nothing left in me or the car,” Gill said. “It’s given us a slight cushion and we can now take it a little easier in the rough stages.” Team Manager, Lane Heenan, was happy with Gill’s performance over the first day. “Gaurav wasn’t taking too many risks and was driving to the conditions, saving the car as the roads cut up badly in the afternoon,” Heenan said. “We’ve had no real issues, other than a broken radiator fan, although last night he had to drive the Super Special Stage with only the normal headlights, as the spot lights played up on the start line.” The final day of the Hokkaido Rally features a further seven stages, including the long 29.11km New Ashoro Long stage, which is run twice. 2012 Hokkaido Rally – APRC 5 Results after Day 1 1. G. Gill, Skoda Fabia S2000, 1h11m51.0s 2. T. Arai, Subaru Impreza, +49.6s 3. J. Salo, Proton Satria S2000, +1m16.5s 4. Y. Sumiyama, Mitsubishi Lancer, +1m27.3s 5. A. McRae, Proton Satria S2000, +2m15.6s  

Skoda Australia Atko Join Forces

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

Skoda Australia has signed professional rally driver, Chris Atkinson, to their team of brand ambassadors in line with Škoda’s longstanding global history in motorsport. Atkinson has been part of the local racing scene since 2002 when he first competed in the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) in a privately-entered vehicle, finishing every round he contested to win the Australian Privateers Cup. Atkinson has been going from strength to strength since competing globally in the World Rally Championship (WRC) as well as the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). He has contested 68 WRC events with six podiums and 41 stage wins to his name and currently leads the 2012 APRC with two rounds remaining. He currently is part of the MRF Škoda Rally Team and competes in his ŠkodaFabia S2000 in the 2012 Asia Pacific Rally Championship. He comfortably leads the table by 45 points with two stage wins this season in New Zealand and Australia as well as second places in New Caledonia and Malaysia. Atkinson describes the partnership with Škoda Australia as the perfect fit. “The Škoda brand fulfils my requirements when it comes to racing, but also in my personal life. Their product range is at ease in both the racing world as well as my personal garage.” Chris has chosen a Škoda Octavia RS on a day-to-day basis as it has all the things he is looking for in a car. “Chris Atkinson has proven himself as a young Australian racing talent in recent years and certainly is one to watch over the next few years,” said Matthew Wiesner, Director – Škoda Australia. “The ŠkodaFabia S2000 should assist him in achieving top results and in extending his lead this season. Chris is the perfect ambassador to demonstrate just how capable our vehicles are equally on the race track and on the road.”  

Skoda’s New Roomster

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in News

The new Skoda Roomster brings innovation, style and value as it offers a new engine, seven-speed gearbox and new looks this this exciting market segmet. The Roomster was first introduced to the Australian market in 2007 and offered different looks but much practicality. The redesigned holds the core strengths of the original but adds stylish new looks and lower running costs. Built on a clever modular platform, the Roomster features one of the most intelligently designed and flexible interiors in the segment. The Roomster offers as much interior space as a conventional multipurpose vehicle – despite being just 214mm longer than a Fabia hatch. In addition to bold styling features that combine to give the new Roomster a more sophisticated look, the new model introduces a cleaner and more efficient petrol engine that delivers a more rewarding driving experience. Through the introduction of new technology, including turbocharging and direct injection, Skoda has been able to reduce overall engine capacities without harming performance. The new direct injection 1.2 litre TSI 77 kW petrol engine offers a great blend of power and torque combined with low CO2 and improved fuel economy. The Roomster also benefits from the availability of a DSG automatic gearbox for the first time. The cabin has also been updated with the introduction of higher quality materials and new steering wheel design. This, along with the Roomster’s acclaimed interior packaging means that passengers enjoy a comfortable and entertaining ride, regardless of where they’re sitting. The new Roomster also features a clever rear seat design. Skoda’s ‘‘Varioflex’’ seating system is fitted as standard and offers an easy way to re-arrange the passenger and load space. Equipment levels are generous featuring dual front, side and curtain airbags, electric front and rear windows, black roof rails, 4-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel (including radio and telephone controls), Bluetooth phone connectivity and an MP3 compatible CD radio with 3.5mm aux-in socket. The Roomster is a striking design that combines innovation with a new sense of style and sophistication. With the introduction of a new, wider front grille and revised headlamp design, the Roomster looks wider and lower than the original model, and enjoys considerably more road presence. The now familiar wraparound windscreen optically broadens the Roomster’s appearance, while the large rear windows and concealed door handle hint at the car’s flexible interior. At the rear, slim tail lights are positioned high up in the D pillar and exhibit Skoda’s typical C-shape when lit. The key to the Roomster’s packaging is its wheelbase. Despite measuring only 4,214mm long, the Roomster has a wheelbase of 2,608mm. As a result, the Roomster combines big car practicality with the running costs and ease of use of a smaller car. The cabin has always been a remarkable piece of interior packaging, and thanks to material and equipment upgrades, it is now an even more rewarding and enjoyable place to spend time. The integration of more soft-touch plastics and higher specification entertainment systems has lifted the cabin ambience without taking away the Roomster’s core strengths. The front part of the Roomster’s passenger space is designed to satisfy the requirements of the driver – a ‘Driving Room’ that combines ergonomics, a multi adjustable driving position and superb all-round visibility. As a result, the Roomster driver is uncompromised by oddly-angled seating or poorly located controls – a bugbear of many multipurpose vehicles. Front seat passengers also benefit from a number of additional storage options, including extra-wide door bins that can accommodate large drink bottles. Small elasticated fabric bands across the door pockets hold maps, directories or other travel articles securely in place, while the centre console and the pockets in the rear of the front seats offer countless extra storage solutions. In addition, the lower glovebox compartment features a cooling airflow to keep food and drinks fresh. The rear part of the cabin is designed as a comfortable and adaptable ‘Living Room’ – a home for families on the move. Thanks to large side windows, a rear seat base set 46mm higher than the front seats and the innovative ‘Varioflex’ seating system, the Roomster offers all the practicality of a multipurpose vehicle and the load space of a family hatchback. The increased height of the rear seat offers a better view through to the front as passengers can look over the heads and see out through the large windscreen. The extra-deep side windows also provide the rear seat passengers with a better view, while the optional panoramic roof complete with roller blinds, floods the cabin with natural light. The ‘Varioflex’ seating system optimises cabin space and sets new standards for practicality. The back of the middle seat can be folded forward and used as an armrest, a drinks holder or a storage area. With only a few movements, the middle seat, which weighs 11 kilograms, can be easily removed and the two remaining seats can be moved inwards. In this configuration, the Roomster becomes a four-seater with increased shoulder space in the rear. Passengers can also fine-tune their seating position thanks to integral sliders that offer 150mm of movement forward and back and an adjustable seat back that reclines by 13.5 degrees. Flexibility is the stand-out feature when it comes to describing the Roomster’s boot. Even with five passengers on board, the load area allows up 450 litres of space. Fold the rear seats down and a loading surface of up to 1,022 millimetres long is created, while the volume increases to 1,555 litres. In addition to the removable centre seat, the two outer seats can also be removed completely. By pulling on the clearly-marked levers, both chairs can be dismounted and lifted out in a matter of seconds. And, because they weigh 16kg each, you don’t need to be weightlifter to do it. In this configuration, the Roomster becomes a two-seater with a loading volume of 1,780 litres. The almost vertical side walls and the low edge make it easy to load goods, even up to the roofline. The Roomster isn’t just about sheer volume. Thanks to some thoughtful details, the load bay is just as helpful when it comes to carrying small or delicate items. If required, it can halve the size of the boot horizontally while still allowing access to items placed on the lowered shelf during the trip. Heavier objects can be secured safely thanks to the addition of lashing points on the boot floor. At the heart of the new Roomster is an efficient petrol engine. Designed to offer more performance, lower emissions and improved fuel consumption, the Roomster’s new power plant combines significantly lower running costs with improved drivability and refinement. Through the use of innovative technology, including turbocharging and direct injection, the engineers have been able to reduce engine capacities without affecting performance. The Roomster’s new 1.2 litre 77kW engine is more powerful and flexible than the unit it replaced.  Here the new 1.2 litre TSI offers 22Nm more torque than the outgoing 1.6 litre engine, a 1.1 L/100km improvement in combined fuel consumption and a 34g/km reduction in CO2 emissions. This new engine uses direct injection and turbocharging to deliver a smooth and economical driving experience. Despite its modest displacement, this engine delivers 77kW and 175Nm of torque across a rev range of 1,500 rpm to 4,100 rpm. CO2 emissions are 138 g/km, while fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 5.9 L/100km. A contributing factor to the TSI’s remarkable performance is its high compression ratio of 10:1. This, along with boost pressures of up to 2.5 bar gives the engine high torque outputs, which in turn allows for longer gearing to be chosen. The end result is superb economy, low emissions and excellent flexibility. The 7-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox can operate in two modes – fully automated and manual Tiptronic. In both modes, shifts are executed extremely efficiently with none of the performance loss usually experienced with traditional automatics. As a result the Roomster 77TSI DSG has the same combined fuel consumption as the 5-speed manual version (5.9 L/100km). Unlike many of its rivals, the Roomster’s chassis isn’t compromised by being based on a structure originally designed for another purpose. By developing a modular platform, Skoda has been able to give the Roomster tailor-made underpinnings. The wheelbase measures 2,608 millimetres. Aside from giving the Roomster surprising levels of interior space, it also gives the car a remarkably stable ride quality. In terms of suspension design, the front end features McPherson struts while a lightweight semi-independent layout controls the movements of the rear wheels. By having a slightly wider track at the rear, the Roomster has excellent levels of body control and feels remarkably secure through corners. The low kerb weight further enhances handling and the ability to change directions quickly and safely. Another key aspect of the Roomster’s dynamic package is the steering system. All models are equipped with electrohydraulic power steering as standard. A combination of a tight turning circle (10.5m) and excellent outward visibility makes manoeuvring and parking a simple and straightforward affair. The steering system has also been designed to minimise power drain and draws significantly less power away from the engine than a conventional fully-hydraulic system. As you would expect from a car designed with the family in mind, Roomster puts safety first. It has achieved the top mark of five stars in the Euro NCAP rating. The safety of passengers was one of the most crucial aspects in the development of the Roomster. The high safety level has been achieved by using the latest design methods, progressive technological solutions and state-of-the-art vehicle construction techniques. An essential element of any car involved in a crash is a carefully designed structure. The Roomster is designed in such a way that in the case of a collision, defined load bearing paths spread the energy generated in a controlled manner, leading these into the assemblies in the floor of the vehicle. The front part of the car can deform in a clearly defined manner and the interior space remains a survival space for the passengers. As standard, the Skoda Roomster comes with five three-point seat belts on all seats, including the centre rear seat. Seat belts in the front are height-adjustable and fitted with pre-tensioners. Additionally, the Roomster comes with six airbags – driver and passenger, side and curtain. The robust door sills and pillars and the doors themselves with triple reinforcement play an important role during a side impact. The new Roomster continues the Skoda tradition of offering unbeatable value for money. Thanks to generous levels of standard equipment and lower running costs, the Roomster is a competitive package that sets new standards in the multipurpose vehicle market. The Roomster is fitted with the innovative Varioflex rear seating system in addition to power steering, driver and passenger front airbags, side and curtain airbags and central door locking. Other equipment fitted as standard across the range includes a 3.5mm auxiliary socket allowing connection of MP3 players to the sound system, a 12V socket in the boot for external electrical appliances, black roof rails, 4-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel (including radio and telephone controls), and Bluetooth® phone connectivity. Standard Equipment Highlights • VarioFlex (3 separate, removable seats rear) • Curtain airbags and side front airbags ESC Plus (including ABS, MSR, ASR, EDS, HBA, HHC) • Black roof rails • Air condition • 15” Line alloy wheels • Front and rear electric windows • 4-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel (including radio and telephone controls) • Bluetooth® phone connectivity • Swing radio – 2 DIN with CD and MP3 player and aux-in socket • Central door locking with remote control • Front armrest • Folding table in rear middle backrest Optional Equipment Highlights • Rear parking sensors • MDI – Media Device Interface • Climate control air-conditioning • Privacy glass from B-pillar • Alarm system • Partial leather seats (leather/artificial leather and fabric) • Front foglights with daytime running lights • Panoramic sunroof • Luggage partition net • Coloured roof (Candy White, Brilliant Silver, Black Magic) New ŠKODA Roomster PRICING Roomster 77TSI 5-speed manual 22,490* Roomster 77TSI 7-speed DSG 24,790* Options * Prices quoted are Manufacturer List Prices excluding dealer delivery charges, which may vary from dealer to dealer and statutory charges, which vary from state to state.

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