The Northern Territory news Sat 6 Nov 2010
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8 NT NEWS. CARSguide www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 6 -N O V -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 3 0 8 C O L O R : C M Y K CARS GUIDE l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l ntnews.com.au The Lexus RX 450h is one of the hybrid models to get an extreme makeover Lexus rolls dice The gambling capital of theworld brings out the daring in somemanufacturers The greenest and meanest luxury saloon, the LS 600h is in Glacier Green By MARK HINCHLIFFE PIMPING your ride has never been so green. Lexus has let loose some of Americas top custom car specialists to modify its hybrid models for the Las Vegas SEMA auto trade show this week. The result is very un-Lexus giant rims, flared wheelarches, dazzling paintwork and outrageous body kits, plus high-performance suspension and brakes. The gambling capital of the world brings out the daring in some manufacturers who wouldnt risk showing such outrageous modifications at conventional car shows. Even the staid Swedish manufacturer, Volvo, has used SEMA to show the street cred of its marque with pimped-up versions of its C30 in recent years. A highlight of the unorthodox Lexus display is a mod version of the words first compact luxury hybrid car. The flash little CT 200h F Sport debuted last month in Sydney at the Australian International Motor Show. Its already a sporty model with its sports wheels, body performance damper and twomode dynamics function. The first luxury car to make a top-three ranking on the Australian Governments Green Guide will go into production in December and arrives here early next year. But it wont quite look like the SEMA display model with 18 x 8-inch alloys with Pirelli PZero Nero 225/40R/18 tyres, adjustable suspension and shocks and a high performance Big Brake Kit, with mighty 12.9 x 11-inch cross-drilled front discs. The other Lexus hybrid models to get extreme makeovers included the GS 450h with a huge rear wing, RX450h and the greenest and meanest luxury saloon, the LS 600h in Glacier Green and riding on 20-inch wheels. Other car manufacturers with vehicles on display include Chevrolet, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai. SEMA is billed as the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world and is not open to the general public. Each year the motoring extravaganza attracts more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries displaying automotive parts, tools and components. One Australian company displaying products at the show is Maxtrax, invented by Brisbane 4WD expert Brad McCarthy. Maxtrax is a tough piece of orange plastic about the size of a bodyboard which is placed under the wheels of a bogged 4WD for recovery without the use of a snatch strap. The product has been used by Dakar competitors including Australias Bruce Garland. Gauci tells where to go AUSTRALIA has a new voice at least on TomTom GPS devices. Brisbanes James Gauci has been chosen as the typical Australian accent to be heard on the satnavs worldwide. The 23-year-old Griffith University psychology student has a history of performing, singing and comedy ... skills he put to good use in his audition tape, which can be heard at www.bethevoice.com.au. Where are you headed? 2020 at the Gabba nice work! At the end of the road, hang a leftcruise a coupla hundred metres past turn on to Wellington. Oh! You know what e are a couple of these sweet four-hour parks in Pott St. Turn right here. Beauty, were here. Have a beer for me, ay. Gauci was the $10,000 winner in a competition run by the Dutch company to find the typical Australian voice for use with its GPS devices. Selection of the winner was done with a combination of Tomtom judging quality and correctness of voice instructions, plus votes from the general public. A 224kW turbocharged SUV is being hailed as the saviour to Saab as it begins rebuilding its Australian presence. But the Saab 9-4X the Cadillac SRX-based wagon that starts production in Mexico early next year isnt expected in Australia until late 2011 or early 2012. The company, now owned by Dutch carmaker Spyker after being sold this year by General Motors, has yet to set up a head office in Australia. Saabs new sales director Adrian Hallmark is on record as saying Australia was an important market and that the 9-4X had huge potential. He wants an Australian office by February next year and says the allwheel-drive 9-3X wagon will lead the sales charge. In that month, Saab is expected to have the 9-3 sedan and convertible on offer. The bigger 9-5 sedan which shares the 9-4Xs Holden-made 224kW/ 400Nm 2.8-litre turbo V6 engine follows in April. The 9-4X makes its world debut at next months Los Angeles Auto Show. It features a crossover body structure with Saabs all-wheel drive system XWD, and adaptive chassis control. The ignition is a start/ stop button which, in Saab tradition, is between the front seats.
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