Connect with us
Byron Bay News and Weather copy
Mt Warning News and Weather copy
Kyogle News
Grafton News and Events copy
Byron Bay News and Weather copy
Mt Warning News and Weather copy
Kyogle News
Grafton News and Events copy
previous arrow
next arrow

Motoring News

‘N LAYS THE TRACK FROM SPORT TO STREET

Published

on

Advertisements
Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

‘N LAYS THE TRACK FROM SPORT TO STREET

Based on the high-performance Hyundai rally car, the i20 N is not short on comfort and convenience

In motoring terms, the letter ‘N’ mostly stands for ‘neutral’ (aka going nowhere). But in the case of the Hyundai i20 N, nothing could be farther from the truth. The maker has been spruiking the compact as bringing the DNA of its World Rally champion to the street as a daily driver.

And there is little evidence to seriously doubt this. Powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection petrol engine, mated with six-speed manual transmission, maximum power of 150 kW is enough to fire the hot hatch from zero to 100km / h in 6.7 seconds.

Based on the third-generation Turkish-built i20 hatch in Europe, the N version is no stripped out model on steroids. There’s much to admire in comfort and convenience for this class of car.

Pitted against the Ford Fiesta ST, Volkswagen Polo GTI and Suzuki Swift Sport, it serves up an encyclopedic list of performance goodies. And the price of $34,990, plus on-road costs, which recently went up by $2000, is nothing to be sniffed at.

It can be had in five different colours: Polar White and Performance Blue, at no cost; or Metallic Sleek Silver, Mica Phantom Black and Mica Dragon Red, all $495. A black roof adds $1000.

STYLING

The rally inspired look is designed to match high performance by minimising drag and boosting power. Up front, air duct and splitter look the part, while out back a rather ragged design is topped off by a pared back rally-inspired roof mounted twin-layer spoiler that here looks more of an afterthought. Hopefully, it makes up in aerodynamic efficiency.

A black radiator grille, based on a chequered flag, is dominated by the Hyundai badge and (you’ve guessed it) the letter N. LED headlamps on both sides incorporate tick-shaped daytime running lights.

Fog lamps flank a second grille strip low down. Whiz-bang wheel design, featuring red brake callipers peeking out from behind five Y-spoke 18-inchers, put the finishing touches to the hot hatch.

INTERIOR

Inside it’s Ns all round, with letter-specific touches such as N sport leather-trim seats with integrated headrests, leather wrapped N steering wheel and gear knob, plus sporty N alloy pedals. The iconic red steering wheel-mounted Rev Button chips in with a tempting finishing touch.

Wheels pushed out to all four corners of the car offer up a spacious cabin, capable of carrying five grown-ups in relative comfort. Front bucket seats offer ample support in recommended enthusiastic driving, while shoulder and leg room in the back can take all but the bulkiest footy front row at a push.

Storage is king, with spades in versatility. For example, there’s a multi-level boot with a movable floor, incorporating a fitted cargo net, in the upper position. Drop the 60/40 rear backrests and there’s a flat load area.

Taking the floor out unveils a deep cubby in spite of there being a space-saver spare underneath.

INFOTAINMENT

Where do I start? The i20 N encompasses a plethora of computer-age automotive menus presented in twin 10.25-inch dashboard digital displays, offering instrument and entertainment info.

In fact, there’s almost too much to take in. Included are worldwide track maps with lap times; personalised throttle response settings, exhaust note and stability control all accessed at the touch of two steering wheel-mounted switches.

Also on hand is a red button that calls up rev matching tech for optimised downshifts. The instrument cluster has a range of display functions. On a more relaxing note, the car is fitted with a Bose eight-speaker premium sound system.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

A 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder pumps out 150 kW and 275 Nm, matched with a six-speed manual gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential that drive the front wheels.

SAFETY

Hyundai’s Smart Sense Advanced Drivers’ Assistance System tops up an already comprehensive safety package with such things as Forward Collision Assist City / inter-urban / pedestrian, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, which warns when the speed limit has been exceeded; Lane Following Assist, which keeps the car centred between lane markings; and Blind Spot Collision Warning, an alert when a vehicle approaches the driver’s blind spot.

Passive safety is in the hands of six airbags.

DRIVING

Fuel (regular unleaded) consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres is claimed by the maker on the combined urban / highway cycle. On test the lively hatch recorded 10 litres per 100 kilometres and 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres respectively.

An N Power Sense Axle up front and Dual Coupled Torsion Beam Axle at the rear provide stiff ride and handling, which did not miss a bump on the ubiquitous uneven Aussie road surfaces. Trackwork is more to the hot hatch’s liking.

Steering is precise and direct thanks to reduced steering gear ratio over the standard model, while the limited-slip diff, plus 215/40R18 Pirelli P-Zero tyres, developed specifically for the i20 N, has the car efficiently carving through corners.

High performance brakes with bigger front discs resist fading, produce consistent pedal feel and maximise heat endurance.

SUMMARY

Hyundai has put the brake on sending the i20 N Down Under, with the order book full and wait times approaching two years, so the above chance for fun and games would appear academic. Know what I mean? Say no more.

RATINGS
Looks: 7/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 6/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
Hyundai i20 N Hatch $32,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Hyundai i20 N 1.6L T-GDi Turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 6sp manual, FWD)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.598 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 5500-6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 275 Nm @ 1750-4500 rpm (overboost 304 Nm, 2000-4000 rpm)
Fuel Type: Regular unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.9 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed manual, mechanical limited-slip differential, front-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4075 mm
Wheelbase: 2580 mm
Width: 1750 mm
Height: 1440 mm
Turning Circle: N/A
Kerb Mass: 1190 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 40 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres (including non-competition track driving, with fitment of performance-oriented tyres.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

Local News

Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

Published

on

By

NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News
Advertisements
Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Nissan is set to maintain a versatile approach for its Qashqai SUV, continuing to offer petrol, hybrid, and electric powertrains to cater to varying market demands. While the next-generation all-electric Qashqai is on the horizon, Australia is likely to continue with petrol and e-Power options for the time being.

Continued Production of All Powertrains

Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK will keep producing the Qashqai for global markets, complemented by production in Dalian, China, for the local market with partner Dongfeng. The Sunderland facility supplies Qashqais to over 100 countries, including Australia. Speaking to Australian media, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Planning Officer for the AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania) region, Francois Bailly, confirmed that the electric Qashqai will not replace existing models but will be produced concurrently to meet diverse market needs.

Electrification Strategy and Market Adaptation

Bailly emphasized the variability in market readiness for electrification. “The markets around the world are so diverse, there’s a speed of electrification that we could imagine different technologies at the same time in different markets,” he said. However, he did not confirm the all-electric Qashqai for Australia specifically, noting the growing but still relatively low EV market share in the region.

Current and Future Qashqai Offerings in Australia

In Australia, the Qashqai is available with two powertrain options:

  • A 110kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine.
  • A 140kW/330Nm e-Power range-extender hybrid, which pairs a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor driving the front wheels.

For emissions-restricted markets like Europe, the Sunderland factory also builds a mild-hybrid version.

The facelifted Qashqai, expected to arrive in Australian showrooms by the end of the year, will likely retain the current powertrain options. It will feature updated exterior styling, improved cabin materials, and a new Google-powered infotainment system, although the latter is yet to be confirmed for Australia.

Investment and Production Plans

To prepare for the new all-electric Qashqai, Nissan has invested an additional £30 million ($AU57.7 million) in the Sunderland plant to accommodate the installation of heavy battery packs and high-voltage components. The Qashqai EV will share the production line with the internal combustion engine and e-Power hybrid versions, as well as the Juke small SUV and the upcoming new-generation Leaf crossover. This strategy allows for a seamless transition from the current Qashqai to the new models, ensuring continuous production of the popular SUV.

In conclusion, Nissan’s multipronged approach with the Qashqai ensures that the SUV remains adaptable to market trends and consumer needs, offering a blend of petrol, hybrid, and electric options. This flexibility positions the Qashqai to effectively meet the demands of diverse global markets, including Australia.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

Local News

Cadillac’s Future Sedans: Embracing Electric Power

Published

on

By

Cadillac Celestiq Sedan
Advertisements
Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

Cadillac’s Future Sedans: Embracing Electric Power

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Cadillac, the luxury arm of General Motors (GM), has reaffirmed its commitment to sedans, hinting at a future where these models could be electric. This revelation was made by Mike Simcoe, GM’s Vice President of Global Design, during a recent media roundtable. Simcoe, an Australian and former design boss of Holden, emphasized that while SUVs dominate the market, sedans remain a vital part of Cadillac’s future, potentially powered by batteries.

A New Generation of Sedans

Despite the industry’s heavy lean towards SUVs, Cadillac is preparing to introduce a new generation of sedans. These models will be a key part of Cadillac’s lineup in the coming years, according to Simcoe. “We will certainly have a sedan in the portfolio at some point in the future,” he confirmed. This statement underscores Cadillac’s intention to diversify its offerings beyond the ubiquitous SUV trend.

The Celestiq: Cadillac’s Luxury Electric Sedan

Cadillac already offers the Celestiq, an electric vehicle that it refers to as a sedan. However, the Celestiq, priced at $US340,000 ($AU520,000), is designed to compete with ultra-luxury brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley. This places it out of reach for most consumers, signaling Cadillac’s ambition to produce more affordable electric sedans that can cater to a broader market segment.

The Need for Affordable Electric Sedans

Simcoe indicated that while the luxury market appreciates high-end electric sedans like the Celestiq, there is a significant opportunity for more affordable electric sedans within Cadillac’s lineup. He remarked on the dominance of SUVs, calling them a “necessary evil” due to their market prevalence and practicality. However, Simcoe pointed out that many consumers, particularly those with higher disposable incomes, still desire a second vehicle that isn’t an SUV. This opens the door for sedans, especially those that are electrically powered.

Current Sedan Offerings and Performance Models

At present, Cadillac’s sedan lineup in North America includes the CT4 and CT5. These models, particularly their performance variants, are powered by twin-turbo V6 and supercharged V8 engines, aiming to rival BMW’s M3 and M5. These sedans showcase Cadillac’s commitment to performance and luxury, a tradition it aims to continue even as it shifts towards electric powertrains.

Cadillac’s Return to Australia and Electric Future

In a significant move, Cadillac announced its return to the Australian market in late 2024. This return is marked by an exclusive offering of electric vehicles, aligning with the global shift towards sustainable transportation. While Cadillac previously committed to transitioning to an all-electric lineup by 2030, recent updates indicate that petrol-powered models will continue to be manufactured into the new decade. This dual approach allows Cadillac to cater to diverse market needs while progressing towards a greener future.

Conclusion

Cadillac’s reaffirmation of its commitment to sedans, coupled with its strategic pivot towards electric vehicles, highlights the brand’s adaptive and forward-thinking approach. By continuing to innovate in the sedan segment and introducing more accessible electric models, Cadillac aims to maintain its legacy of luxury and performance. As the automotive industry evolves, Cadillac’s blend of tradition and innovation positions it well to meet the demands of modern consumers and sustain its competitive edge in the luxury market.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

Local News

BYD Sets Third Australian Sales Record in Four Months

Published

on

By

BYD Sales Record
Advertisements
Alumy Creek Angus - Stud Angus Sires Tenterfield - Top of the Range Angus Genetics

BYD Sets Third Australian Sales Record in Four Months

 

By Jeff Gibbs

In a significant achievement, BYD has set its third Australian sales record in four months, with close to 2000 electric vehicles sold last month. The momentum is set to increase further with the introduction of a new range of hybrid cars.

Record-Breaking Sales Record Performance

BYD’s sales in Australia continue to soar, driven by the growing demand for Chinese-branded cars. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reported that 1914 BYD electric vehicles were sold in May 2024, marking a 32% increase compared to May of the previous year. This remarkable performance underscores BYD’s rapid expansion and acceptance in the Australian market.

Upcoming Hybrid Models

The boost in BYD sales is expected to be further amplified by the upcoming launch of a new range of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This range includes a family SUV, the Sealion 6, and a utility vehicle (ute), both of which were announced last month. Although deliveries of the Sealion 6 plug-in hybrid SUV have not yet started, anticipation is high, and its introduction is expected to drive sales even higher.

Top Sellers and Market Dynamics

In May 2024, the majority of BYD’s reported sales were electric vehicles, with the Seal sedan leading the pack at 1002 units sold. This was followed by the Atto 3 with 737 units, despite a year-on-year decline of 49%, and the Dolphin with 175 units. BYD’s previous best monthly sales were recorded in March 2024 with 1622 deliveries, and in February 2024 with 1549 vehicles.

Despite BYD’s impressive performance, Tesla remains a formidable competitor, delivering nearly twice as many cars as BYD in May 2024, totaling 3567 vehicles. However, BYD’s sales trajectory is notable, with a 67% increase over the first five months of 2024 compared to the same period in the previous year. This growth positions BYD to potentially surpass 20,000 deliveries by the end of the year, though this falls short of their goal to double sales year-on-year.

Rapid Market Penetration

BYD’s rapid market penetration is unprecedented for a new automotive brand in Australia. It took BYD just one year and seven months to report more than 1900 new vehicles sold in a month. In contrast, other emerging brands such as MG, LDV, and GWM took significantly longer to achieve the same milestone, highlighting BYD’s exceptional growth rate.

Industry-Wide Trends

The rise in electric vehicle deliveries in Australia is part of a broader trend. Year-to-date, electric car sales have increased by 26.8%, totalling 40,636 vehicles. This follows a temporary dip in April 2024, the first since the pandemic. Electric vehicles accounted for 8% of new vehicle sales in May 2024, reflecting their growing popularity.

Similarly, plug-in hybrid sales have surged by 118% year-to-date, reaching 6099 deliveries. Although starting from a lower base, this growth indicates a strong interest in hybrid technology among Australian consumers.

China’s Position in the Market

China remains the third-largest source of new motor vehicles sold in Australia, trailing only Japan and Thailand. This places China ahead of other major automotive exporters like South Korea, Germany, and the United States. Sales of Chinese-made vehicles have risen by 7.9% year-to-date compared to the same period last year, further solidifying China’s role in the Australian automotive market.

Conclusion

BYD’s continued success and rapid growth in the Australian market illustrate a significant shift in consumer preferences towards electric and hybrid vehicles. With new models on the horizon and a strong sales trajectory, BYD is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for environmentally friendly transportation options. This momentum not only sets a new benchmark for emerging automotive brands but also contributes to the broader adoption of sustainable technologies in Australia.

 

For more motoring news, click here.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

NRTimes Online

NGULINGAH LALC MEMBER’S MEETING

Advertisement

National News Australia

Latest News

Verified by MonsterInsights