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Swift Tops Three Million Milestone

Monday, February 4th, 2013

blob The Suzuki Swift, New Zealand’s most popular small car, has just topped another production milestone. World-wide sales of the Swift hatchback since late 2004 exceeded three million units in January 2013 – exactly two years after the model celebrated the two million production milestone.

Suzuki launched the Swift as a world strategic car eight years ago, and it quickly became the most successful passenger car model ever marketed by the brand in New Zealand. Production reached one million in June 2008 as numbers ramped up. Launched in late 2004, the Swift was soon the best selling supermini in New Zealand, a position it has held for the past eight years. It was also the highest selling car to private buyers and second overall best selling new passenger car last year.

More than 21,000 new Swifts have been sold in New Zealand since November 2004, and the compact Suzuki has continued to grow in popularity. It has been the fourth highest selling new car in New Zealand for the past eight years. First built in Japan, the Swift is now made in seven countries and sold in 125 nations. In addition to Japan, the car is also built in Hungary, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Almost one quarter of Swift sales are in Europe where the car attracts a large following. More than 80,000 Swifts have been sold in Britain since May 2005. The Indian market has accounted for 45 per cent of sales, and Japan 13 per cent of volume. “Swift reflects Suzuki’s expertise in the compact or small car sector and is both stylish and fun to drive,” said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.

He said the car’s strong safety factor had been another significant driver in expanding sales. The latest Swift achieved a 5 Star Euro NCAP safety rating, the highest possible level. The Swift also scored 94 points for adult occupancy protection in 2010 – the highest for vehicles in the class tested at the time.

Swift’s safety package includes seven airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability programme and child and pedestrian protection, putting the car tops in the small car class. The car makes extensive use of high-strength steel for exceptional occupant protection and fuel-saving lightness.

It has won 67 awards in 26 countries and was named Japan Car of the Year in 2005/06. The latest generation Swift continues gaining international acclaim winning the 2012 small car award in the Automobile Association/New Zealand Motoring Writers Car of the Year contest while the Swift Sport won the 2012 Ami / Autocar small car of the year.

The lineup of Swift models offered locally includes petrol and diesel engine options and a high performance flagship Sport version with uprated power and torque.

Source: http://www.suzuki.co.nz/News/Automotive/2013/02/04/Swift+Tops+Three+Million+Milestone/

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2013 Honda Accord and CR-V Earn Best Value Awards from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

12121212 The 2013 Honda Accord and 2013 Honda C-RV earned Best Value Awards from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The Accord was named ‘Best New Model’ in the Cars $30,000-$40,000 category and CR-V was rated ‘Best in Class’ in the Small Crossover category. Kiplinger’s selects the winners based on a number of qualifications including price, performance, value, safety, roominess and driving impressions.

“The Accord and CR-V remain segment standouts for their efficiency, packaging, performance and value,” said Michael Accavitti, vice president of marketing operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The strength of the Honda lineup is clearly resonating in the marketplace and we are proud to be recognized for offering true value to customers.”

The magazine applauded the Accord for upscale styling, efficient packaging and ample standard feature content. For the second consecutive year, the CR-V was named a Best Value, with Kiplinger’s noting the model’s outstanding cargo capacity and technology features.

“With the 2013 redesign, Accord keeps its essential ingredients – a solid driver-to-road connection, comfy interior and high resale values – and spices things up with new technology and a more modern exterior,” said Jessica Anderson, associate editor, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “Additionally, in an increasingly crowded segment, CR-V is the ideal others aspire to.”

In addition to being named a ‘Best Value’ by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the all-new 2013 Honda Accord is among the first vehicles awarded the TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and was named to Car and Driver Magazine’s ‘10Best Cars’ list for a record 27th time. Both the 2013 Accord 4-cylinder and V-6 powertrains were named to the Ward’s 10 Best Engines. Additionally, the Honda-exclusive LaneWatch™ blind spot display, which debuted on the Accord, won Good Housekeeping Magazine’s ‘Very Innovative Product’ award for 2013.

Source: http://www.honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id= 7067-en

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New RAV4 Has Improved Dynamics and Safety

Monday, January 28th, 2013

TEMSLogoCMYKToyota’s next-generation RAV4 will arrive in local showrooms late next month with significant improvements to its performance, handling and safety. A new selectable Sport mode is available to provide a more dynamic, sporting drive experience by modifying the power steering, throttle and automatic or CVT transmissions. Sport mode decreases power-steering assistance, sharpens throttle response and adapts automatic and CVT gearbox management for more responsive gearshifts.

In AWD models, a new Dynamic Torque Control system provides greater stability and agility on both wet and dry roads. Torque transfer to the rear wheels will now occur when the system detects understeer during cornering, not just when slip is detected. Front-wheel drive is automatically engaged in normal driving conditions to improve fuel economy.

The system uses information from speed, steering, throttle and yaw sensors to monitor and control torque transfer. In AWD models, the new Sport mode also activates torque transfer to the rear wheels from the moment the steering wheel is turned. It will automatically distribute 10 per cent of torque to the rear wheels and will increase torque transfer up to 50 per cent if actual understeer develops.

A new Eco mode regulates engine output and air-conditioner operation to enhance fuel efficiency. The driving position of the new RAV4 has been redesigned for excellent ergonomics, greater comfort, better forward visibility and a more engaging driving experience. New RAV4 has even higher levels of active and passive safety, with a highly rigid body that has been engineered to achieve a five-star NCAP safety rating.

Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said the new RAV4 will build on the reputation developed by previous generations. “New RAV4 brings advances in capabilities including dynamics, ride comfort and ease of driving even on the most challenging of road surfaces,” Mr Callachor said. “It offers distinctive styling, refined interior and an engaging drive with three new fuel-efficient engines – including a turbo-diesel – as well as refinements to the suspension, revised electric power steering and the new Sport mode.

“Active singles, couples and families with a growing demand for space and versatility will particularly appreciate the roominess, comfort and luggage capacity.” Available in more than 150 countries, three generations of RAV4 have sold more than 4.5 million units since 1994, including almost 200,000 in Australia.

Source: http://news.toyota.com.au/new-rav4-has-improved-dynamics-and-safety

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Lexus Premieres New Lexus ‘IS’ Sports Sedan at Detroit Auto Show

Monday, January 21st, 2013

20130115Lexus unveiled the new, fully-redesigned “IS” sports sedan at the North American International Auto Show 20131, which opened on January 14 in Detroit, United States. The vehicle is due for launch in Japan in spring. The adoption of new technologies gives the new IS outstanding cruising performance with a sporty interior and exterior design, while to the IS lineup has been introduced the “IS 300h” gasoline-electric hybrid model—boasting exceptional environmental performance—signifying the further evolution of Lexus sports sedans.

The Lexus display booth at the show was also completely updated based on Lexus’ unique design philosophy, with refinement presented through the adoption of natural-scenery motifs and the display vehicles’ sleek designs emphasized by the booth’s straight lines.

New IS Main Features

Outstanding Intuitive Performance

New production technology such as laser screw welding—which combines the strengths of conventional spot welding and laser welding—and body-bonding adhesives have increased body rigidity for excellent maneuverability and cruising stability. A new “F Sport” grade boasts numerous exclusive features such as F Sport tuned suspension and interior and exterior design, and also exclusive equipment such as a movable instrument cluster inherited from the Lexus “LFA” supercar and sport seats made through a new “integrated foaming” production process.

The “IS 350″ features a new 8-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth acceleration with high responsiveness.

World-Leading Technology

The newly introduced IS 300h hybrid model features a 2.5-liter 2AR-FSE engine with D-4S2 next-generation fuel injection system for high fuel efficiency and high output with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions below 100 g/km, thereby achieving the environment-friendly high performance driving representative of Lexus. In addition to control through the Remote Touch interface, audio, navigation and other information can now be viewed through multi-screen displays located within the instrument cluster for even greater convenience and ease-of-operation.

The new IS is also the first Lexus vehicle to feature a pop-up hood, which, in the unfortunate event of a collision with a pedestrian, is designed to instantaneously pop up to create space between the hood and the engine to mitigate impact force on the pedestrian’s head.

Design Befitting a Lexus Sport Sedan

The new IS features a bold and sporty exterior design with Lexus’ signature spindle grille, headlamps accented with independent L-shaped clearance lamps, and sharply expressive surfaces. The interior has been revamped to combine comfort and elegance, with increased room providing enhanced rear-seat comfort. Meanwhile, the new leveled-design instrument panel’s layout contributes to driving operability.

Source: http://www2.toyota.co.jp/en/news/feature/20130115.html

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Acura Announces Launch Plan and Pricing for 2014 RLX Flagship Sedan

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

2013 Acura Family ShotThe all-new 2014 Acura RLX flagship sedan will debut at Acura dealerships on March 15, 2013, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $48,450*. Featuring an all-new 310-horspower direct-injected SOHC i-VTEC V-6 powerplant, the most spacious passenger cabin in its class, and the first-ever application of signature Acura technologies including Precision All-Wheel Steer™ and Jewel Eye™ LED headlamps, the RLX delivers new levels of technology-enhanced performance, safety, and luxury-class comfort to Acura’s range-topping sedan.

“With an array of signature Acura technologies, the 2014 Acura RLX sets a new standard for luxury in the Acura lineup,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. “The feature-rich RLX epitomizes Acura’s ‘Man-Machine Synergy’ product direction, utilizing advanced technology and smart vehicle design to deliver incredible performance, comfort and value on a luxury scale.”

Destination RLX
In February, Acura dealers will kick off the “Destination RLX” client experience program – with every Acura dealer nationwide featuring two 2014 Acura RLX sedans, weeks ahead of the March 15 on-sale date, providing Acura clients with the opportunity to experience the numerous new technologies available on the RLX luxury performance sedan.

Flagship Features
The 2014 Acura RLX is powered by an all-new, 310-horsepower, direct-injected SOHC 24-Valve i-VTEC V-6 powerplant, Acura’s first-ever direct-injected engine architecture. Utilizing Variable Cylinder Management™ (with the ability to deactivate the rear bank of three cylinders) in combination with a lightweight and aerodynamic body design, the new Acura RLX is anticipated to carry a class-leading EPA fuel-economy rating of 20/31/24 mpg1 (city/highway/combined).

With the longest rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches), longest tandem seating distance (36.4 inches), and widest front and rear shoulder room in the mid-luxury class, the new RLX delivers full-size interior space in a nimbler, more efficient midsize luxury sedan exterior package.

Featuring the first-ever application of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) the RLX achieves new levels of handling agility, high and low-speed maneuverability, and confident handling control for a two-wheel-drive luxury sedan. Precision All-Wheel Steer is the world’s first technology to feature independent and continuous control of the left and right rear-wheel steering (toe) angles. Its benefits include crisper lane changes, more nimble cornering, enhanced dynamic response, tighter radius low-speed turning, and confidence-inspiring control.

As previously announced, a version of RLX featuring Acura’s new Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD) technology, producing 370 horsepower with expected EPA fuel-economy ratings of 30 city/30 highway/30 combined, will debut later in 2013.

Source: http://www.honda.com/newsandviews/article.aspx?id= 7047-en

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