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The Mercury Cars Guide : October 10th 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au ---3 king of green machines Hyundai is using the Global Chal- lenge to launch its 2010 Santa Fe wagon, promising more power and reduced fuel consumption, which will attract caravan owners looking for an alternative to heavier four- wheel drives. Hyundai's Team R has entered two Santa Fes, one of which will be driven by CarsGuide. The wagon gets Hyundai's new R turbo diesel and a new six-speed manual transmission along with a recalibrated suspension and steering package for our tougher road condi- tions. A six-speed automatic will be optional. The Santa Fe goes on sale at the end of the year. While all eyes will be on the known brands, one entry which will likely steal the limelight will be the all electric Tesla roadstar --- the world's first production all-electric car, which is being entered by broadband company Internode. The company's managing director Simon Hackett imported the first car to Australia recently. GLOBAL GREEN CHALLENGE WHAT IS IT: Conceived out of the World Solar Challenge. This year's event is split into two events run in tandem: a world rally strictly for solar powered cars with entries from 17 countries, the other for real world production or near production ready cars to test fuel efficiency and low emissions using a variety of power sources including hybrid and alternative fuels. ENTRIES: 21 production ready cars and 38 solar cars. WHEN: October 24 to October 30 THE ROUTE: Darwin to Adelaide, distance 3000km through tropical rain forests, savannah country and gibber plains with overnight stops at Katherine, Tennent Creek, Alice Springs, Coober Pedy and Port Augusta before finishing in Adelaide. HOW IT IS JUDGED: The car which delivers the best improvement over its official fuel consumption rating over set, timed stages wins. Entries have to maintain a minimum average speed and stay within posted speed limits. Cars are weighed and fuel tanks sealed. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT: It showcases fuel efficient cars of all sizes, most of which you can buy now. The chase for motoring's holy grail Hybrids to prove future potential Kia's Forte Lpi Hybrid WHILE most of this year's Eco entries are diesel, there is a small hybrid fleet setting out to prove combined fuel sources are the way of the future. Kia has entered two LPG electric hybrid Fortes, independent Deep Green Research has come to the party with an electric Honda and students from South Australia's An- nesley College have built a petrol/ electric hybrid Holden Viva. The all-girl Annesley team has taken part in previous solar chal- lenges, but this is the first time they have entered the production car class. The students will be driving the car on the 3000km journey. The Kia Forte has the potential to make it to the Australian market next year for less than $30,000. Based on the Cerato, the Forte uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a small electric motor and lithium-polymer batteries --- a first for a mass-production small automatic car. Kia says it can return 5.6l/100km. The Forte was launched in South Korea in August and displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. Meanwhile, research and develop- ment company Intex is entering a four-cylinder petrol Ford Spectron Van with a retrofit hybrid system that converts the drivetrain to a plug-in hybrid electric.
September 26th 2009
October 17th 2009