by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Mercury Cars Guide : April 10th 2010
14--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, April 10, 2010 small torque John Cooper Works Cabrio Mini Price: From $56,900 Engine: Four-cylinder/16-valve, with twin-scroll turbocharger, 1598cc Power: 155Kw @ 6000rpm Torque: 260Nm from 1850-5600rpm (280Nm from 2000-5300rpm with overboost) Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 6.9sec Economy: 7.1L/100km (combined) Transmission: Six-speed manual Options: Bonnet stripes (no cost), rooster red ($250), rain sensor and auto lights controls ($200), non-metallic chilli red (no cost). Grand design pays off OUT IN FRONT: The Chevrolet Camaro has taken out this year's World Car Design of the Year award. A CAR that GM-Holden designed but cannot be bought in Australia has snared a global design award. The Chevrolet Camaro has taken out this year's World Car Design of the Year award. GM-Holden design direc- tor Tony Stolfo says the Holden design team is proud of the Camaro's win. ''They are proud to have played a leading role in the revival of such an iconic vehicle,'' he says. ''Even in its early stages, we felt the Camaro design was something special. ''To have the talents of the Holden design team recognised in this way is a great honour and true rec- ognition of the endless hours spent developing and honing the final theme. ''Great credit should also go to our engineers, who managed to keep the pro- duction vehicle faithful to the original concept and deliver the performance ex- pected of a vehicle rep- resenting the Camaro nameplate. ''It's yet another demon- stration of the unique auto- motive talent that we have in Australia.'' The Camaro shares its underpinnings with the Commodore family sedan. Apart from design, the car's engineering work was also done by Holden. Itwasbornaspartofa GM global program that made GM-Holden the home base for large rear-wheel- drive cars. Since its launch last year, the Camaro has been pra- ised by the US press for its handling and steering. Stolfo's enthusiasm for the design was echoed by Tom Peters, design director for Chevrolet's global rear- wheel-drive performance cars and full-size trucks. Peters says recreating a modern sportscar, ''we have proven that people are just as passionate about Chevy as ever''. ''We have been delighted about the strong reaction to the Camaro,'' he says. ''Even in markets that are new to Chevy, it has been creating an emotional appeal for the brand.'' More than 80,000 Ca- maros have been sold since the car's launch. In the US the two-door muscle car has outsold its closest competitor, the Ford Mustang, for the past 10 months. Despite GM-Holden's de- cision not to sell the Ca- maro here, two Australian companies are converting left-hand-drive models for local enthusiasts. NEIL McDONALD Mini shakes, rattles and rolls NO SENSE: Practicality goes out the window in the Mini Cabrio --- and fun goes through he roof. We ve said it before and we ll say it again --- some great things come in small packages. Mark Hinchliffe checks out the new Mini Cabrio AT what price do you put on a smile? I'm not just talking mon- etary value, but also con- venience, comfort and safety. I recently went into a tirade about another manufacturer who released a sports version of their convertible. It just doesn't make any sense. The engine and suspension are just too much for the compromised chassis to deal with. The laws of physics are just against it. Besides, isn't a convertible all about opening up to the warmth of the sunshine and the smells of the countryside as you amble along a country road? It's not about taking off the top and scorching through so fast you can't see, hear or feel anything except the bodywork shaking, rat- tling and rolling under duress. Then I jumped into the Mini JCW (John Cooper Works) Cabrio and my angry-old-man arguments exploded in my face. Here is a car that is way over- powered and over-sprung for its chassis. It should have me turning purple with apoplexy. Yet somehow I couldn't stop grin- ning every time I drove it. I even dropped the lid on one occasion and took my wife to the park for a twilight walk and put on a silly sparkly green hat for the photos. A Mini convertible can do that to you. They put a smile on your face, even when everything practical in- side you is screaming''this just doesn't make any sense''. This one now comes packed with 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged en- gine that pumps out 155kW of power and 280Nm of twisting torque on overboost. The poor old steering and chassis just can't cope. Plant your foot and it's like trying to wrestle a python. The steering wheel yanks and twists this way and that way while the chassis contorts, mak- ing the whole thing shudder and quake. It's just ridiculous. Yet something inside me wants to giggle like a schoolgirl when it happens. So every time I got into this car I gave it the berries just to wrestle with it. I also discovered that if you sud- denly released the throttle when the revs are about 4500rpm, you get a nice exhaust ''woof'' as the unburnt fuel rolls out the back in a big glob. With the top down it sounds even better. That's the sort of ludicrous and juvenile behaviour you tend to get up to in this car. And instead of passersby scowling, they look up, smile and wave. I'd still like a little more give in the suspension. It's just so uncomfort- able. I swear that you could drive across a manhole cover and read the words imprinted on it. Torque steer, bump steer, scuttle shake, rattle and roll, it's got it all. Our test came with silly GT stripes, bright chromed eyes like a cutesy bunny rabbit, lairy spokes 17-inch alloys and a chintzy JCW badge on its bum. Inside, there are the usual fiddly toggle switches, the school clock-sized speedo in the centre dash area and impossible-to-read instruments. The front sport seats are actually quite comfortable and it's not too difficult to get in and out. But there is next to no room in the back and forget about any cargo space. Thankfully the soft top folds down on to the top of the back deck, rather than taking up any more boot space. There are so many accessories and customisation options available, it is possible you can customise it into a unique model. It's no mistake that Hertz refers to the Mini convertible as ''The Hawaiian shirt of rental cars''. The JCW version adds some GT stripes to that shirt. A Daimler Brand Visit Performance Automobiles to book a test drive today. An invitation open... www.mbhobart.com.au 2010 B-Class Model from $39,990 Drive away Limited time only. Price refers to B180 manual petrol model. A Daimler Brand Visit Performance Automobiles to book a test drive today. www.mbhobart.com.au 2010 CLC-Class Sports Coupé Model from $49,990 Drive away Limited time only. PERFORMANCE AUTOMOBILES CNR. ARGYLE & BURNETT STREETS, HOBART 6210 7000 ...but not open-ended. 20th Anniversary Event B Surprised! The new CLC-Class Sports Coup What will you dream about now?
March 27th 2010
April 17th 2010