The Road Ahead : June July 2010
54 THE ROAD AHEAD JUN/JLY 2010 WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU NEW AUDI A4 HAS SWORN OFF THE DRINK, BUT IT'S NO WOWSER Audi's new 2.0-litre, A4 TDIe proves that environmentally frien ndly cars can still be interesting and fun to drive. In fact it looks and drives just like a conventional A4, while returning a very admirable bl 4.8 litres/100 km and emitting just 124 grams of CO2 per km. Based on Audi's Modular Efficiency concept, it incorporates Stop-Start technology, an Energy Recovery system, optimised engine management system, improved aerodynamics and a Driver Efficiency program. The Stop-Start system, which can save up to 1.5 litres/100 km, switches the engine off when the vehicle comes to a stop, neutral is selected and the clutch is released. It restarts automatically when the clutch is depressed. The Energy Recovery system reduces fuel use by up to 3 percent by storing (S)TOP STARTER energy in the battery during coasting and braking, and releasing it when the car next accelerates. The driver's contribution to fuel consumption hasn't been overlooked either. A gearshift indicator shows when to change and which gear to use for best fuel efficiency, while the Driver Efficiency Program continually analyses and displays the vehicle's energy consumption, along with recommendations for efficient driving. If there is a downside to this car, it's that there is no automatic transmission option. Prices start from $49,990. MOTORING IN THE SHOWROOM overland over here Limited to 50 vehicles, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland is now available, priced from $68,990. Equipped with Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive and an upgraded 5.7-litre HEMI®V8 engine, Overland comes with HID Xenon headlamps, front and rear parking assist, reversing camera, auto windscreen wipers, 18-inch alloys, leather trimmed seats, genuine Walnut Burlwood accents, power front seats and sunroof, dual-zone airconditioning, heated door mirrors and heated front and rear seats. There's also a 276-watt premium sound system with six speakers and a 3D satellite navigation system with a 30GB hard drive and bluetooth. Overland features HEMI's Multi-displacement System (MDS), which shifts from V8 performance to four-cylinder economy mode (when less power is needed). It joins three others in the Grand Cherokee line-up. navara nirvana Nissan's new top-of-the-range Series 4 Navara ST-X Dual Cab utility comes with the choice of an upgraded 140 kW, 450 Nm, 2.5-litre, turbo-diesel engine along with exterior and interior styling changes and improved equipment levels. There are four variants available: petrol manual ($47,990) and auto ($50,240), and diesel manual ($50,990) and auto ($53,240). Nissan cites a 13 percent improvement in fuel economy to achieve 8.5 litres/100 km for the diesel manual. The petrol variants are powered by the 198 kW, V6, 4.0-litre engine previously offered. The 2010 ST-X gains dual zone climate control plus power folding mirrors, bluetooth hands- free phone connectivity, auxiliary input for MP3 devices and a drive computer. There is also a complete inventory of airbags -- dual front, side and curtain. Electronic stability control is standard on ST-X diesel variants. a good sport Renault is claiming best power-to-weight ratio in its class (73.5 kW/tonne) for its new Clio Sport. Available in two variants -- the 200 Cup and 200 Cup Trophée -- the French 'pocket rocket' boasts a more aggressive design, with F1-style frontal aerodynamics, new alloy wheels and rear diffuser. The suspension and steering have been revised and both versions feature a more powerful, normally aspirated, 147 kW, 2.0-litre, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine with improved low- down torque, economy and emissions. Seats designed and developed in association with Recaro are fitted as standard to the Cup Trophée. The Clio Sports is equipped with lateral airbags, plus a rigid, glass-fibre/polyamide- injected shell, which provides the sort of all-enveloping experience associated with motor sport. Prices start at $36,490 for the 200 Cup.