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Motoring News

TOYOTA HIACE VAN TAKES ON ADDED ATTRACTIONS

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TOYOTA HIACE VAN

TOYOTA HIACE VAN TAKES ON ADDED ATTRACTIONS

No standing still for Toyota’s iconic HiAce van

By DEREK OGDEN

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it: this could well be the case with the HiAce, Toyota’s iconic van, which the company stuck with for 15 years without replacing. The light commercial was around until a 2019 rebirth, now it becomes the subject of a range of upgrades.
The HiAce van, and related Commuter bus and Granvia wagon, have been boosted with added technology and comfort and convenience features while offering a streamlined choice for customers.
Long the leader in the 2.5 to 3.5 tonne van segment with sales this year increasing by 51.9 per cent, customer preference for diesel power, has led to the 3.5-litre petrol V6 for HiAce being discontinued in favour of Toyota’s tough 2.8-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, mated with an automatic transmission.
New safety and security technology come with the fitment of Toyota Connected Services to all models. Inside, all benefit from upgraded features, with Granvia incorporating a higher level of luxury with rear privacy glass and carpeted front floor mats now standard.
For HiAce, a large centre console box has been added to store paperwork while Commuter GL grades gain an LED lamp inside the box to aid vision, as well as upgraded USB charging ports.
The added features adopted for HiAce come with price increases of just $990 across the range, while upgraded Granvia prices rise by less than two per cent.
Both HiAce and Granvia are covered by the five-year Toyota Warranty Advantage and seven-year Toyota Warranty Advantage Extended Engine and Driveline. On test was the HiAce GL long wheelbase automatic van, selling for $47,230, plus on-road costs.

STYLING
The bonnet-forward design has enabled the engine to be ahead of the front axle and seats compared with the previous model where the engine sat under the front seats directly above the axle. It also provides easier access to the engine bay, improved safety and greater stability and ride comfort.
The wide track gives the vehicle a planted stance, while the solid sides of the front bumper have been rounded off at the grille to improve working in tight CBD spaces.
Aerodynamics are enhanced by a raked windscreen and side mouldings, chamfered rear corners and five stabilising fins on the side of the rear lamps. French Vanilla is now the only paint choice.

INTERIOR

TOYOTA HIACE VAN

TOYOTA HIACE VAN INTERIOR

Lack of a dedicated space for clipboard storage is a drawback, a centre console storage box as standard, replacing the existing console tray. Included in the new storage box is a removable in-box tray, an A4-sized binder rack, and a moveable partition at the rear of the box that can be used as a cupholder.
Other range-wide standard equipment additions include front all-weather floor mats, 1.5-litre bottle holder and storage bin in each front door, with cup holders in the centre and on either side of the dashboard. There’s also a glovebox and spot to the left of the gearshift for small stuff.

INFOTAINMENT
The multimedia system – Toyota’s latest – can be controlled via steering-wheel controls or the touchscreen that now offers pinch, swipe and flick gesture operation.
The latter also incorporates AM / FM / DAB+ radio, USB and Aux inputs, full Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic alerts, voice recognition, and Toyota Link apps including weather, fuel finder and travel times. HiAces will also come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Other new applications include Siri eyes-free mode for iPhones and Miracast, which allows compatible smartphone screens to be duplicated onto the touchscreen. Delivering high quality audio are two front-mounted speakers.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
All versions of the HiAce and Granvia are powered by Toyota’s 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, mated to an automatic transmission, with a six-speed manual gearbox also offered on HiAce LWB van.
The turbodiesel engine develops 130 kW and 450 Nm when teamed with the six-speed automatic, however with the manual gearbox maximum torque is 420 Nm. In the HiAce Commuter, the turbodiesel engine produces maximum outputs of 120 kW of power and 420 Nm of torque.

SAFETY

2019 Toyota HiAce SLWB Van.

The addition of Toyota Connected Services automatically generates an emergency call to Toyota’s around-the-clock emergency call centre and relay the location of the vehicle in the event of a collision that requires intervention, or if an airbag goes off.
Occupants can also manually trigger an emergency call to the call centre via an SOS button, allowing the determination of the vehicle’s location and co-ordination with emergency services.
If the vehicle is reported stolen, Toyota Connected Services can help track the vehicle’s location through the stolen vehicle tracking service.

DRIVING
The tried-and-tested diesel powerplant is muted and there’s little wind noise, leaving road rumble to intrude into the cabin. Adding loads to the cavernous cargo area puts paid to much of this unwanted driving accompaniment.
There was not much to argue with Toyota’s combined urban / highway fuel consumption figure of 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres, with the test vehicle recording 9.7 litres per 100 kilometres under city delivery duties and 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres on a highway run.
The stop / start system is one of the best encountered in any vehicle, with instantaneous fire-up from rest. For the automotive equivalent of ‘anti-vaxxers’ it can be switched off.
Driver and passenger seats are shapely, with thick cushioning for comfort and support. They are finished in quality, durable fabric. The driver’s seat offers six-way adjustment for height, slide and recline.
Payload is up to 1095 kg, while the van is rated to tow a 1500 kg braked trailer. With 1268 mm between the rear wheel arches, there’s room for two standard Aussie pallets. Total load volume is 6.2 cubic metres.
Loading through wide side doors was easy thanks to their easy slide functioning. The vertical lift tailgate – no barn doors offered – is no friend to the forklift but is a handy shelter while manual loading in wet weather.
Ride and handling on test improved with load, as you would expect from a goods hauler with rear-wheel drive. Inclines offered little limit to performance and filtering into motorway traffic presented no white-knuckle stress.
Extensive glassed areas all round and large exterior mirrors were complemented by a single window in the left side door, giving the driver confidence in overtaking, or pulling out from the kerb. A reversing camera was especially welcome in tight parking manoeuvres.

SUMMARY
While the HiAce relied for many years on its solid reputation to lead the field, Toyota has been quick to add fine touches to the latest generation of the iconic van in a bid to stave off any challenges from close rivals.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
HiAce LWB van manual $44,230
HiAce LWB van automatic $46,230
HiAce LWB van 4-door auto $46,230
HiAce GL LWB van auto $47,230
HiAce Crew LWB van auto $49,230
HiAce SLWB van auto $54,230
HiAce SLWB GL van auto $55,230
HiAce SLWB Commuter bus auto $69,230
HiAce SLWB Commuter GL bus auto $72,230
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota HiAce GL 2.8L 4-cylinder turbodiesel, 6sp automatic, RWD van)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 2.755 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 130 kW @ 3400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 450 Nm @ 1600-2400 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.2 L/100km
CO2 emissions 219 g / km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 5265mm
Wheelbase: 3210 mm
Width: 1950 mm
Height: 1990 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 2205 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

Motoring News

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ADDS EXCITEMENT

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2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ADDS EXCITEMENT

The blacked-out grille on this Mustang Special pays respect to the original Mustang.

2022 FORD MUSTANG CALIFORNIA SPECIAL

The blacked-out grille on this Mustang Special pays respect to the original Mustang.

Based on the 2022 Mustang GT fastback and convertible models, the latest California Special Appearance Package pays respect to the original version’s blacked-out grille, lower bodyside accent stripe and rear fender scoop.

The heritage-inspired GT/CS side stripe trademark traces from the front guards to the signature rear scoop. A California Special badge in Ebony Black and Race Red script decorates the bootlid, while the honeycomb grille with GT/CS badge provides a unique look.

A performance rear wing is available for the fastback model, while spoiler delete is standard for the California Special convertible.

The California Special wears new design five-spoke 19-inch painted machined wheels. Interior appointments include rich black Miko suede door trim inserts and suede-trimmed seats with the embossed “GT/CS” logo and red contrast stitching.

The instrument panel is finished in carbon hex aluminium with a signature California Special script badge on the passenger side.

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2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S

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2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S


By EWAN KENNEDY

BODY COPY
The German car makers are all very serious about the need to lower the emissions of greenhouse gases, so are working hard on reducing them by designing electric vehicles. As a high-performance marque Porsche is one of the leaders in the field.

Hence the introduction of the all-electric Taycan high-performance sedan – yes sedan, this is a four-door family car, not a two-door coupe.

Porsche tells us the name Taycan is composed of two terms of Turkic origin and can be roughly translated as “soul of a spirited young horse.” Porsche tells us its first fully-electric model will be: “lively, impetuous, vigorous, light-footed on long stretches without tiring, and free-spirited.”

Okay, this may sound like a bit of over-blown waffle to we down-to-earth Aussies, but once we drove it, we did tend to agree with the way the Porsche Taycan felt. See our comments on this in the Driving segment of this report.

STYLING
Taycan looks slightly odd at the front to my eyes, with its slightly bulbous “bonnet” and the vertical lines beside the headlights. Beauty is of course in the eyes of the beholder and others may love it.

I reckon the rear is much better from a styling point of view, with a swooping coupe-like tail and a large black sunroof which merges beautifully with the black glass of the rear window.

INTERIOR

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

There’s a very wide dash array, with three screens. The one in front of the driver is large and contains plenty of information on the Taycan’s state of play. The centre screen gives access to numerous features, including speed, current power consumption, distance to empty, navigation and temperature control.

The left screen is in front of the passenger and lets them keep an eye on the map to assist with navigation.

There more space inside than you might expect, partly due to the fact that it’s almost five metres long. There’s seating for four and those in the back won’t have to ask those in front of them to give up any of their space. However, tall people in the back might brush against the roof.

The front seats are heated and cooled and are nicely shaped to support without being too aggressive.

INFOTAINMENT
A 14-speaker Bose audio provides excellent output and we found it easy to adjust it to our preferences.

POWERTRAIN
There are two electric motors one at the front the other at the rear. The front has a 175kW/400Nm on the Turbo S, the rear provides up to 335kW and 550Nm when it’s over boosted to give even more grunt.

The range of the Turbo S is rated as 390 to 416 kilometres by Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure.

As a strong selling point the Taycan in Australia is that it comes with a free three-year Chargefox subscription.

SAFETY
Porsche Taycan was awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP in 2019.

DRIVING

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

2021 PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO S Interior

We have always enjoyed the way electric powered vehicles leap off the line and have tremendous torque – but the Taycan is something else again. Zero to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds!

The first time I did it my head was thumped back into the headrest and my neck felt strained. I didn’t make that mistake again, making sure it was against the headrest – thereby avoiding the neck strain and enjoying to the full the dragster-like performance.

Back when I was a young fella road testing high-performance cars in the 1970s anything under six seconds to 60mph (97 km/h) and quicker than 15 seconds for the quarter mile was the goal. And that need a large hot V8.

This electric Porsche is well under three seconds to 100 km/h, and single figures for the quarter mile. How times have changed.

On the road Taycan has clever electronics to assist cornering by feeding just the right torque front and rear and side to side. You can feel it happening but we didn’t have access to a race track to test it to the limits. Maybe some other time…

Comfort is good for a high-performance car and keep in mind that this is a four-door sedan not a two-door sports coupe. On some surfaces there a fair bit of tyre noise, on others it’s as peaceful as any upmarket mid-size luxury vehicle.

THE FIRST PORSCHE ELECTRIC CAR

Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton

Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton

The Taycan isn’t the first Porsche electric car. In 1898 Ferdinand Porsche designed the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. The vehicle was powered by an octagonal electric motor with three to five horsepower. It had a top speed of 25 km/h.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Taycan RWD sedan: $156,300
Taycan 4S AWD sedan: $194,700
Taycan Turbo AWD sedan: $276,300
Taycan Turbo S AWD sedan: $345,800
Taycan Cross 4 Turismo: $176,600
Taycan Cross 4S Turismo: $205,300
Taycan Cross Turbo Turismo: $279,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Porsche dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Porsche Taycan electric four-door sedan)

ENGINE:
Capacity: Not applicable
Configuration: Not applicable
Maximum Power: 560 kW
Maximum Torque: 1050 Nm
Fuel Type: Not applicable
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): L/100km
CO2 Emissions: g/km

DRIVELINE: Two-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4963 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1966 mm
Height: 1378 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 2295 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: Not applicable litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited kilometres

RATINGS
Looks: 7/10
Performance: 10/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst : 6/10 **
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 9/10
Value: 7/10

** Note that we have rated Thirst low because its range is well under that of a conventional car.

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KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

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KIA'S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

KIA’S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

By EWAN KENNEDY

Slim front bold tail are an indication of the future of all-electric Kias.

Kia’s first dedicated BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) has been subjected to Kia Australia’s rigorous Ride and Handling Program.

The company’s Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold, who has localised the ride of over 50 Kia models during the last 10 years, came away astonished by the performance of the EV6.

“I just love driving the Kia EV6, it’s a car that just wants corners. It is so engaging and so rewarding to drive.

“Personally, as a chassis dynamist, I think the biggest part of that enjoyment is the width of the battery in the car. A typical ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle has an engine and a drivetrain that has a high centre of gravity but it’s all in the centre of the vehicle therefore it works like a moment in roll. But with a dedicated BEV, it has a big flat battery in it, so it has to lift the energy on the inside to actually upset the car, creating a very flat roll dynamic. This makes the EV6 feel very light, nimble and responsive.”

KIA'S FIRST PURE ELECTRIC VEHICLE IS UNDER TEST DOWNUNDER

Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold

“One of the things we are always tuning for in Australia is large body movements on country roads at 100 km/h and that is always manifested with a high centre of gravity roll dynamic in conventional cars. Electric cars don’t have as much of that, they have a lot of vertical movement, because of the weight but they don’t have the lateral roll, so we can use that as a bit of a tuning tool.” Graeme explained.

General Manager of Product at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, is very proud of Kia Australia’s commitment to its Local Ride & Handling Program.

“Our local tuning program is part of our DNA and a key component to Kia’s success in Australia. We’ve aimed to inject a fun-to-drive character in our products, but most importantly give drivers the feeling of control and confidence when driving a Kia in a variety of conditions.” said Rivero.

Kia EV6 is the first dedicated Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’.

EV6 is the first of 11 new BEV models due from Kia arriving by 2026 with seven built on E-GMP architecture and four derivative EVs based on existing models.

2022 KIA EV6

Along with the EV6, the Concept EV9 represents the brand’s recent leadership in designing and developing desirable, high-tech, zero-emissions vehicles and recently set out its vision to become a truly sustainable, responsible, and innovative mobility solutions leader, announcing a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

Around 500 units of the EV6 have been earmarked for Australia during 2022 and the allocation will be staggered throughout the year. Kia Australia says it’s in continuous dialogue with head office about this number with hopes of increasing it.

The EV6 will be sold through the Kia dealer network and over 90 per cent of the Kia dealer network is currently set up to sell and service EV6.

Kia EV6 will initially be introduced in Australia with the long-range (77.4 kWh) high-voltage battery pack only and offered in two grades; base in rear-wheel drive only and GT-Line with RWD or all-wheel drive AWD options, the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.

The performance ‘GT’ version of the EV6 with follow in late 2022 or early 2023.

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