The Centralian advocate Tue 27 Aug 2013
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Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 21 Alice Springs to Adelaide | Adelaide to Alice Springs WEEKLY SERVICE RedStar Car Carriers 8256 1299 for a quote MOTORING Hybrid plans at pace Nelson Ireson FERRARI plans to follow the LaFerrari with more hybrids, but never electric cars. Hybrids, for a long time, were synonymous with everything that isnt fun about driving commutes, traffic, gas mileage, and penny pinching. Lately, theyve taken on a new high-performance sheen, perhaps nowhere as much so as at Ferrari. The LaFerrari hypercar is, put simply, obscene in its perversion of hybrid technology. We love it. Its a 708kW, no-all-electric-mode, subthree-second-to-100km/h, more than 350km/h-topspeed, this-clearly-isntabout-saving-the-planet hybrid. But dont call it an electric car, or Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo might get a bit cross with you. Why? According to B l o o m b e r g , M r d i Montezemolo doesnt believe in electric cars. Presumably, that means he finds them unsuitable to Ferraris mission of exclusive performance rather than merely unsuitable for reality. With examples like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive out setting sub-8-minute Nordschleife laps, its clear EVs can be made quick, if not quite truly fast, but then youd expect it of a 560kW/ 1000Nm supercar, whatever fuel delivers that power. Ferrari is already joined at the upper end of the exotic hybrid segment with the McLaren P1 knocking out similar acceleration and top speed figures, despite sporting just 673kW, and the Porsche 918 Spyder making do with 653kW yet still a c h i e v i n g s i m i l a r performance. HSV flexes muscles with Tata Tuff Truck The Tata Tuff Truck is not likely to make it into production but some of its accessories could Joshua Dowling THE new challenger in the bargainbasement end of the ute market, the Indian Tata Xenon ute, has heralded its arrival with a highriding concept pick-up styled by the head of design at Holden Special Vehicles. The new Australian distributor of Tata pick-ups has unveiled a oneoff show car ahead of the brands showroom debut next month. The Tata Tuff Truck is not likely to make it into production but some of the locally-designed accessories may become a reality. Tata vehicles are distributed by a company owned by the Walkinshaw family, who also happen to represent Holden Special Vehicles, which is where the design services of Julian Quincey came in. The same person who styled the new HSV GTS had a hand in the added extras on this Tata Xenon ute. We wanted to create a concept car that reflected Australians love of the outdoors and the ruggedness of our landscape, said Darren Bowler, the managing director o f T a t a d i s t r i b u t o r Fusion Automotive. By engaging Julian Quincey and the Walkinshaw Automotive engineering and design teams in the development of the concept vehicle we have been able to leverage over 25 years in vehicle design and styling to produce a concept vehicle. Quincey thinks the humble crew-cab ute has already become an object of desire in its own right. We wanted to show how well the Xenon design works when carefully visually developed to suit the local market., he said. The Tata brand will return to Australia next month but the vehicle it is most famous for the tiny Nano city runabout, at $2800 the cheapest car in the world will not be among the models for sale. Tata will relaunch with a new range of utes called the Xenon later this year b e f o r e a d d i n g p a s s e n g e r cars next year. Prices and model details of the ute are not yet announced but the company said the range will offer a greater level of value than what is currently available in the market'. The prices of Chinese utes start at $17,990. Tata vehicles have been sold on and off in Australia since 1996 after a Queensland distributor began importing them mainly for farm use. There are an estimated 2500 Tata heavy-duty pick-ups on Australian roads already. But there are many more Indianmade cars on Australian roads, albeit with foreign badges. More than 20,000 Indian-made Hyundai i20 hatchbacks and more than 14,000 Indian-made Suzuki Alto small cars have been sold in Australia since 2009. But other, Indian-branded ve hicles have not been so successful. Australian sales of the Mahindra range of utes and SUVs have been so weak the distributor is yet to report them to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. The original Mahindra ute scored a poor two stars out of five in independent crash tests and was later upgraded to three stars following engineering changes. The Mahindra SUV launched with a four-star rating at a time when most vehicles are awarded five stars. There is as yet no star-rating for crash safety on the new Tata ute range. However, the new distributor for Tata vehicles in Australia believes the origin of the vehicles will be a competitive advantage. There is no tougher place on Earth to test vehicles than on the tough and demanding roads of India, Darren Bowler, of Fusion Automotive, the newly-appointed distributor of Tata vehicles in Australia, said. Tata Motors, Indias largest automobile company, acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from the Ford Motor Company in June 2008, in the grip of the Global Financial Crisis. The acquisition gave Tata access to Jaguar and Land Rover designers and engineers but Tata is yet to release an all-new model with their input. The Tata Xenon ute was released in 2009 and is also sold in South Africa, Brazil, Thailand, the Middle East, Italy and Turkey. Monaro dreams Joshua Dowling A MODERN version of the Holden Monaro (pictured) has gone viral after a secret design study was accidentally leaked via social media. The images were meant to appear briefly on a big screen during the recent 35th anniversary celebrations of the Monaro Car Club SA and never be seen again. But the photos have since appeared in the mainstream media after they were posted on a Holden designers Facebook page. Holden fans calling for the revival of the homegrown coupe almost eight years after the last Monaro rolled down the Holden production line at Elizabeth have been told it will only ever exist on a computer screen. The photos look like a real car because they were created using the same technology that Holden uses to design production vehicles. The image of the modern Monaro was originally used in a Holden design training exercise. Melbourne-based Holden designer David Kaylor blended existing parts from the new VF Commodore with the Coupe 60 concept car that was unveiled in 2008 to celebrate Holdens 60th anniversary. Senior Holden designers Mike Simcoe and Peter Hughes who were instrumental in the 1998 Commodore Coupe concept car that led to the rebirth of the Monaro in 2001 were so impressed they took the images with them to surprise the SA Monaro Car Club at its anniversary bash in Camden Park. The 104 guests at the gala event were briefly shown the images of the cyber Monaro and were told its what the two-door coupe version of the VF Commodore would have looked like had it been approved. The last Holden Monaro ever made was sold at auction six years ago for $188,000 to raise money for charity. But the last brand-new Monaro in dealer stock was sold only last year. The burnt orange HSV GTO Coupe with just 15km on the clock was kept by Holden dealer Alan Mance as a collectors piece. But the dealership in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray was urged by Holden to get the car off the books because it was old stock.
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