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The multi-award-winning Volkswagen Amarok has completed one of Australia’s toughest driving challenges, a point-to-point drive across the Simpson Desert on one tank of fuel.

To show the strength, durability and most importantly, efficiency of the Volkswagen Amarok, a group of Australian motoring journalists crossed the Simpson Desert on one tank of fuel; travelling from Mount Dare in South Australia to  Birdsville in Queensland.

With over 505km between the fuel stops, over 1,100 dunes and temperatures soaring over 40 degrees, the crossing of the Simpson Desert via the French Line, from Mount Dare to Birdsville, is one of Australia’s most iconic and challenging drives.

Supported by a local expert and Volkswagen staff driving support Amaroks, the journalists drove standard TDI420 diesel dual-cab Amarok Trendlines featuring permanent 4MOTION and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

All vehicles were equipped with jerry cans carrying spare diesel and water as a precaution.

Arriving at the famous Birdsville Hotel and marking the end of the Simpson Desert challenge, the Amaroks covered the distance with fuel to spare.

The Amarok with the best result used 67.3 litres and covered 513km in total.

Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Philip Clark, commented on the expedition.

“The Simpson Desert can make or break a vehicle, and the Amarok has shown it is well-equipped to handle these conditions,” Mr Clark said.

“While every measure was taken to ensure the safety of our drivers on the challenge should the unforeseen occur, it’s fantastic the Amaroks can not only complete the drive comfortably, but were so efficient they could have kept going beyond Birdsville.”

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:00

All-New Nissan X-TRAIL Revealed

FRANKFURT, Germany (10 September 2013) – Muscular, modern and packed with technology, the new Nissan X-TRAIL has made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Building on Nissan’s respected 4x4 heritage but adding world-leading crossover know-how, the new X-TRAIL re-defines the compact SUV segment.

  • One of two global Nissan crossover SUV designs announced today, along with Nissan Rogue
  • New X-TRAIL builds on Nissan’s 4x4 heritage and the company’s crossover leadership
  • Stylish, comfortable and quiet, yet...
  • ... highly capable off-road for every adventure
  • Fully connected via new NissanConnect system with suite of applications
  • Nissan Safety Shield with an extended range of safety features
  • Premium design and technology:
    o Full length panoramic sunroof
    o Two and four-wheel drive options
  • Seven seat option and flexible luggage area

The US version, called the Nissan Rogue, made its world debut today. As a high-volume global growth product built on the new jointly-developed Nissan/Renault Common Module Family (CMF) platform architecture, it is projected to be available in 190 countries around the world.

At the same time as enhancing its predecessor’s go-anywhere credibility, new X-TRAIL takes inspiration from Nissan’s market-leading crossovers – Qashqai, JUKE and Murano – to create the ultimate, all weather, highly capable, modern family vehicle.

New X-TRAIL is just as tough and accomplished as the previous generation model, but adds crossover style and efficiency, exciting design, innovative technology and exceptional comfort to set a new benchmark in the fiercely competitive C-SUV market.

A hugely important car for Nissan, X-TRAIL will be built at nine different manufacturing sites around the world for a vast array of markets, with other market versions also revealed today. After its global reveal, new X-TRAIL will be launched in the first quarter of 2014 with worldwide sales starting in July 2014.

 

Globally, its predecessor was one of the company’s biggest selling vehicles and the new version is expected to make a significant contribution to Nissan Power 88, the company’s mid-term business plan covering fiscal years 2011-2016.

New X-TRAIL in detail

 

Design

 

The design brief behind new X-TRAIL was to blend the sleek and stylish lines of a modern crossover with the robust appeal of a typical SUV. In place of the rugged, squared off lines of the previous generation, new X-TRAIL has a premium and dynamic appearance.

Sculptured muscular lines create a distinctive silhouette framed by elegant curves and high wheel arches and feature a number of Nissan signature cues such as the ‘boomerang’ rear lights, structured headlights with LED daytime running lamps and the characteristic D-pillar shape. LED headlights – for both high and low beams – are standard on high grade models while 19-inch alloy wheels also give new X-TRAIL an imposing look.

Inside, premium features include chrome, geometric metallic and piano black finishes. Options include a sophisticated cloth fabric covering plus a full leather offering with contrasting stitch accents. The spacious interior has theatre-style seating and the option of two extra seats to make room for seven inside.

Practical touches include rear side doors that open to almost 80 degrees – far wider than normal – to allow not just easy access but also to ease the loading and unloading of a child’s safety seat. Middle row seat comfort has been improved thanks to extra knee room generated by the longer wheelbase and the new front seats having more heavily sculpted seat backs.

The middle row seats recline and slide while, where fitted, the third row folds forward to increase luggage space.

Helpful touches include, for example, a large between-the-seats console box. The box itself is large enough to take an iPad or 10-inch tablet.

The versatility pioneered in the previous model goes further in new X-TRAIL thanks to a smart and innovative double load floor providing flexible storage options.

 

The cargo area can be portioned into upper and lower areas in a simple single-handed move. In its top most position, the board can hold up to 10 kilograms of luggage, or 75 kilograms in its lower position. This split cargo solution enables the user to store, for example, a stroller and large items below while creating a fully usable upper load surface for smaller, lighter items.

In addition, access to the luggage area has also been made as easy as possible with remote operation of the power tailgate.

The result is a dynamic mix of progressive exterior styling with a spacious, functional and high quality interior.

 

Technology

 

New X-TRAIL will be one of the most advanced cars on the road when sales start next year. Fully connected, X-TRAIL is the first model to benefit from the latest generation NissanConnect in-car navigation, information and entertainment system. Drivers will also benefit from a comprehensive suite of assistance features that make up the X-Trail’s Nissan Safety Shield system.

As has become expected practice from Nissan, all the features have practical benefits to make life easier for the driver and occupants.

New NissanConnect is one of the foremost examples of Nissan’s engineering innovation. In its latest form, NissanConnect has evolved to offer Smartphone connectivity, to keep owners connected to the outside world wherever their journey takes them. With access to a projected range of apps covering music, social networking, entertainment and travel through a large, 7-inch colour touch screen, the new NissanConnect is a the perfect fit for new X-TRAIL.

The latest generation satellite navigation integrates with Google® to reveal a host of useful information from weather forecasts to the location of fuel stations, hotels, restaurants and many other points of interest. The ever-popular send-to-car function also allows drivers to plan a trip at home and send it to their in-car NissanConnect system at the click of a button. The system includes Bluetooth audio streaming and mobile phone integration as well as Aux-in and USB slots.

In addition to mobile phone integration, the system also includes Bluetooth audio streaming The driver also benefits from one of the most advanced meter displays yet seen with 5 inch TFT colour display incorporating no fewer than 12 graphic displays accessible on rotation offering advice and warnings covering such things as average and actual speeds, navigation turn-by-turn instructions, audio content, traffic sign recognition, eco driving advice and torque distribution settings in 4WD mode.

Chassis

 

In keeping with the class leading standards set by the previous generation model, new X-TRAIL adopts Nissan’s advanced electronic four-wheel drive system, ALL MODE 4x4i. Controlled via a rotary switch on the centre console, it offers a choice between two-wheel drive, Auto mode or Lock offering permanent four-wheel drive.

 

In the ‘default’ Auto mode, the system constantly monitors throttle opening, engine speed and torque to anticipate wheel spin and to distribute torque between front and rear axles as needed, at speeds of up to 80 km/h.

 

Above that speed, the system reacts to wheel-spin, again shifting drive rearwards to restore traction as required. For tricky conditions and at low speeds, Lock gives new X-TRAIL permanent four-wheel drive, while drivers also have the option of a two-wheel drive only version.

Ready to exceed the expectations of compact SUV drivers, four electronic systems have been designed to make life with X-TRAIL more comfortable and even safer: two are world firsts and a third is currently found on the premium Infiniti M.

The two world firsts are Active Ride Control and Active Engine Brake. Active Ride Control monitors the road surface to detect undulations which could potentially upset the pitch of the car body and alters the damping to compensate. Active Engine Brake, meanwhile, harnesses the power and controllability of the Xtronic transmission to add a degree of engine braking while cornering or when decelerating to a standstill. The benefits are greater braking control and enhanced feel with less pedal effort.

The third system, pioneered in the premium segment, is Active Trace Control. By using on board sensors to monitor speed, steering angle, throttle opening and braking effort, Active Trace Control brakes wheels individually, as required, to reduce understeer and help the driver steer a safer path through bends: it is particularly effective on slippery, wet roads.

Finally new X-TRAIL benefits from Uphill Start Support and Advance Hill Descent Control.

Drivetrain

During new X-TRAIL’s development, refinement, environment and economy targets were to be best in class.

This has been achieved on all counts by reducing weight wherever possible, even though new X-TRAIL has a larger surface area than the previous model. The tailgate, for example, is largely plastic, saving seven kilograms.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the car’s aerodynamics with carefully shaped door mirrors, and even a spoiler that covers the exhaust box and rear panel.

Engineering innovation will also allow new X-TRAIL to lead its class in terms of engine efficiency thanks to downsizing. By reducing power sapping friction in its drivetrains, new X-TRAIL provides excellent performance from the latest generation of downsized engines, providing the pace of a bigger powerplant with the economy and emissions of a smaller one.

Further details of new X-TRAIL engine and model line-up will be released closer to the car’s on sale date in Europe next year.

CalOffroad have now released a new adjustable upper arm kit for Toyota hilux, FJ Cruisers, Prado and Nissan Navara D40/550.

It is common for these vehicles to run out  of factory adjustment when wheel aligning after installing lift kit or new suspension.

The CalOffroad  new upper control arm provides approximately an additional ±2° of caster and 0° to +5° of camber change. Built with an OE style ball joint and bushings, this arm is designed to correct alignment angles while maintaining factory ride quality. These arms can be used in standard trucks or lifted trucks and are great as a race truck or touring fitment.

Freecall 4WD World on 1800 807 176 to discuss further

 

Lightforce have released a 50 Watt H.I.D. conversion kit to suit the Genesis 100 watt range.

The kit includes all the necessary components and full fitment instructions.

The kit will transform the Genesis into a superb long range lights ideal for all conditions.

Contact 4WD World on 1800 807 176 for pricing details.

Or visit www.lightforceworld.com.au

A Firestone 'Coil Rite' Airbag Kit to suit the new Holden Colorado 7 2013 has just been developed!

Coil-Rite airbags are designed to fit inside existing coil springs to provide levelling control to a vehicle when under load. These airbags are made of durable polyurethane, providing years of comfort and stability to a vehicle. You can adjust for varying loads and road conditions by simply inflating or deflating, just like inflating a tyre.

Coil-Rite airbags provide extra support for front and rear coil springs. Airbags are used for front-to-rear and side-to-side leveling control of a vehicle. This enables a vehicle to "level up" when towing caravans, boats and trailers or when a vehicle is carrying heavy, uneven loads.

Coil-Rite airbags will:

  • Maintain a level vehicle - adjustable
  • Maximize the safe load carrying capacity
  • Increase vehicle stability
  • Improve steering and balance
  • Improve ride quality
  • Greatly reduce "bottoming out"
  • Reduce coil suspension fatigue
  • Keep headlights aimed on the road
  • Reduce tyre wear

  • Nissan Navara ST-X Blackline Edition 4x4 Dual Cab for $54,888 driveaway
  • Micra Plus, X-TRAIL Adventure and Pathfinder Adventure Special Editions also on-sale now

Nissan is building on its successful Navara with the launch of a special edition Navara ST-X Blackline Edition 4x4 Dual Cab.

The Blackline Edition is on sale now for $54,888 driveaway*, packed with over $7000 of extra equipment over the standard ST-X Dual Cab model that comes with the class leading V6 turbo diesel engine with 170kW of power, 550Nm of torque and seven-speed automatic transmission, making the Navara ‘Australia’s Most Powerful Tradie’.

The news of the Blackline Edition comes off the back of a record breaking result for Navara, with over 27,000 units sold in Nissan’s last financial year (1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013).

“The Nissan Navara ST-X Blackline Edition offers exciting value for consumers from what is one of our standout models,” said Nissan Motor Co (Australia) Managing Director and CEO William F Peffer Jr.

Features over and above those that feature on the usual ST-X Dual Cab grade include:

  • Nissan Genuine black nudge bar
  • Nissan Genuine driving lights
  • Nissan Genuine tow bar with wiring kit
  • Satellite Navigation with HEMA tracks (over 60,000km of 4WD tracks)
  • Reversing Camera
  • Nissan Navara branded cool box
  • Nissan Genuine tub liner
  • Nissan Genuine black sports bar with high mounted stop light
  • Nissan Genuine black soft tonneau cover
  • Nissan Genuine carpet floor mats
  • Exclusive Blackline Edition badge
  • Free metallic paint

Nissan Special Editions Offer Consumers Exciting Features, Outstanding Value

As well as the Navara ST-X Blackline Edition, Nissan is also offering consumers special editions in the Micra, X-TRAIL and Pathfinder ranges.

The Micra Plus Special Edition is based on the existing ST-L grade with 1.5-litre engine and automatic transmission, but with the addition of metallic paint, Rear Park Assist, Plus Special Edition badge and an Apple iPad Mini with branded case and Auxillary cable, all for $17,990 driveaway*.

The X-TRAIL Adventure Special Edition is based on the X-TRAIL Ti AWD with Constant Variable Transmission and comes with over $3,200 of extra value, including Nissan Genuine roof bars, two Nissan Genuine bike carriers, an Adventure Special Edition badge and your choice of one of four Avanti bicycle packages, all for a driveaway price of $42,990*^.

The Pathfinder Adventure Special Edition is based on the Pathfinder ST-L and comes with over $5,500 of extra value. With the choice of either manual or automatic transmission, the Adventure Edition features satellite navigation with HEMA Tracks, front DVD player, Nissan Genuine alloy nudge bar, Nissan Genuine tow bar, Nissan Genuine smoked bonnet protector, Nissan Genuine roof bars, a 41-litre branded cool box and Adventure Special Edition badge, with pricing starting at $56,990 driveaway* for manual transmission.

All four special edition models are on sale now.

*Maximum recommended driveaway price for vehicles ordered between 14/4/13 and 30/4/13 and delivered by 30/6/13 including dealer delivery and statutory charges. Private buyers and ABN holders only. Prices may vary between dealers. Nissan reserves the right to vary, extend or withdraw this offer. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Metallic paint $495 extra on Pathfinder Adventure Special Edition and X-TRAIL Adventure Edition models.

^Offer of Avanti Bike Pack available with X-TRAIL Adventure Edition models ordered and delivered by 30/6/13. Limit one bike pack per vehicle purchased and subject to availability. Offer is not redeemable for cash and not available in conjunction with any other offer.

The all-new Hyundai Santa Fe’s advanced and highly-functional interior was acknowledged by the editors of the USA’s ‘WardsAuto’, on this year’s Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list.

“The latest model Hyundai Santa Fe is the essence of a midsize family SUV: well-crafted, tastefully appointed, and affordable, despite a decidedly upscale look and feel,” said Tom Murphy, executive editor, WardsAuto. “Hyundai is consistently delivering excellent interiors that reinforce the brand’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language.”

WardsAuto editors have been evaluating vehicle interiors since February 2013, choosing the 10 winners from a field of 46 vehicles. The selection process mimics that of the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, in which editors rate vehicles based on their daily commutes in and around metro Detroit, USA. Unlike the 10 Best Engines listing, the interior competition has no price cap and rates all eligible entrants across the industry.

“The instrument panel is defined by its sculptural centre vents from which the flowing form develops,” said Christopher Zarlenga, design manager of Santa Fe’s interior. “Colour is also an important differentiator for the interior, emphasising the wing-shape outward from the centre stack through the doors.”

During the selection process editors pay close attention to fit-and-finish, climbing in and out of all vehicles closely inspecting overall comfort, head and leg room levels for all passengers - including rear and third rows occupants in the larger SUVs models. Driver information has become increasingly more important with Bluetooth® phone technology now commonplace, thus editors actively check linking and voice-activation systems.

The 2013 interior winners will be honoured during the WardsAuto Interiors Conference on May 22 at The Henry hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. An extensive package profiling the winners is available on WardsAuto.com and in the May issue of WardsAuto World magazine.

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 00:00

Suzuki’s 4WD History

“If only we could drive on rugged dirt roads, through forests, across mud, rocks and stones, to places where no car has ever been before…”

“Can’t we build a truly unique vehicle, one that takes advantage of the special features of Japan’s domestic mini-car category?”

In the spring of 1968, the dreams of engineers merged with the hopes of Chairman Osamu Suzuki. Suzuki began development of the Jimny, a vehicle registered as a mini-car – but with genuine off-road capabilities.

It was the starting-point of Suzuki's 4WD development.

In the 45 years since then, Suzuki has refined its 4WD technology and realized the dreams of its early engineers: to create cars that can drive over practically any type of terrain.

Suzuki has also developed 4WD technology as a safety feature, responding to the varied demands created by driving in different places and at different times. With the latest ALLGRIP 4WD technology in the new SX4, Suzuki has developed a new answer to the challenges facing today's 4WD vehicles.

The birth of the Jimny series and the 4WD
By the spring of 1968 Suzuki had developed experience with front-wheel drive vehicles, thanks to its Suzulight model, and also with rear-wheel drive vehicles, thanks to its mini truck, the Carry. At that time the company began to consider combining the two vehicles.

Meanwhile, it had just taken over ownership of the production rights for the four-wheel drive vehicles made by a small vehicle maker, the Hope Motor Company. In August 1968, Suzuki created a prototype vehicle using a Hope body and transfer case, plus its own transmission and differential system. The developers, including company executives, test drove the vehicle and concluded that development would be feasible. In order to enhance its performance further, the vehicle was tested on the volcanic ash roads around Mount Fuji and a large amount of data was amassed through a process of trial and error. Finally, that autumn, the company began serious design work.

For the basic build of the first-generation Jimny, the car’s body was placed on a ladder frame together with an air-cooled, two-stroke 360cc Carry engine and main transmission. A propeller shaft placed in the transmission, located in the central part of the chassis, powered the front and back wheels. The Jimny had leaf-sprung solid axles at the front and rear, each coupled with large lug military tyres. Suzuki reduced the vehicle’s weight so that its small 360cc engine would be able to power it. After repeated testing, the first Suzuki 4WD was ready for the road at the end of 1969. The car was launched on the Japanese market the following April.

That first generation Jimny was intended for such uses as farming and landscaping work. In 1972, the company changed the engine from air-cooled to water-cooled and a van model was introduced. As a result, sales surged in Japan's cold, snowy regions. As times changed, more and more people began to use the Jimny for recreational purposes. With the development of the second generation Jimny in 1981, engineers endeavored to make the vehicle more fashionable, targeting not just male consumers, but women as well. The comfort and ride of the vehicle were improved, while noise and vibration were reduced. The addition of a turbo engine also increased the Jimny’s sales prospects. And in 1995, an even smoother ride was achieved with the shift from leaf suspension to coil springs.

The current Jimny was launched in 1998, basically unchanged in structure compared with the original Jimny, with a ladder frame and rigid suspension. A highly popular model, it is used for a wide range of applications – from city driving to hunting.

The development of the Vitara
A new era began for Suzuki 4WD cars with the launch of the Vitara in 1988. Based on a robust ladder frame chassis, it featured struts at the front and a center wishbone at the back, producing a simple yet effective undercarriage that ensured nimble driving. It was launched as a radically lighter off-road alternative than its main competitors, with a short wheelbase of 2,200 mm to increase maneuverability and a body weighing in at less than 1,000 kg.

In 1994, the incorporation of a newly designed “Drive Select 4x4” transfer case made it possible for drivers to switch from 2WD to 4WD while on the move and to respond to road conditions speedily.

The first Grand Vitara was launched in 1998 in a push for improved on-road performance as a number of crossover SUVs were beginning to be released. The suspension was also changed, with the trailing arm rear suspension swapped for a 5-link rigid suspension, creating a major gain in rigidity. Rack and pinion steering was introduced also, giving the Grand Vitara more direct handling. In particular, the stability of the vehicle in sharp turns drew praise from customers.

The convenience of the vehicle was further improved in 2000 when it became possible to change between 2WD and 4WD at the flick of a switch.

The Grand Vitara as we know it today was launched in 2005.

Continuing the traditional front engine FR (front-engine, rear-wheel-drive)-based longitudinal engine layout, the weight balance of the vehicle was distributed more or less equally on the front and back wheels. Furthermore, the FR layout enabled the front wheels to be positioned closer to the front of the vehicle and the transfer of heavy parts such as the engine and transmission to within the wheelbase led to sharper handling.

Within the body of the Grand Vitara, the designers united tough off-road performance, stable cruising performance and sophisticated comfort. The adoption of a monocoque body with a built-in ladder frame – less liable to distortion compared with a separate construction – makes it possible to drive in a variety of settings. Creating most of the main chassis components out of light yet strong high-tensile plate steel preserved torsional rigidity and flexural rigidity while at the same time making the vehicle lighter. A die-cast aluminum rear differential housing was also used to reduce vehicle weight still further.

The use of independent four-wheel suspension for front and rear enabled the vehicle to strike a balance between the need for stability at high speeds on the road and offroad performance requirements. Ventilated disk brakes on all four wheels meant better heat dissipation and less brake fade, producing better performance on rapidly changing road surfaces. In addition, the adoption of a dial switch allowed the driver to change the drive mode at will and in a single movement, depending on road conditions. Four modes were selectable with the dial: 4H mode, providing the smooth and stable ride which only fullscale 4WD can offer; 4H Lock mode for added torque on rough roads; 4L Lock mode for rugged ups and downs where maximum torque is needed; and N mode for towing.

The new ALLGRIP technology is the latest evolution of this 4WD system.

Bringing 4WD to passenger cars
Suzuki is adopting the 4WD technology developed for its offroad models to its mini-cars in order to give motorists who live in cold or mountainous regions more peace of mind during everyday driving. The dramatic advances in this technology can be seen in the crossover SX4 4WD system.

The current SX4 is equipped with an electronically controlled 4WD system. With this system, a controller evaluates road and driving conditions accurately on the basis of information from sensors which monitor acceleration and deceleration, braking and tyre grip. An Electric Control Coupling Device apportions torque rapidly and precisely wherever it is required, depending on driving conditions.

The coupling incorporates a light, compact and electronically controlled wet multiplate clutch system, allowing control of the wet multiplate clutch engagement through the use of electromagnetic force, while maintaining the smooth assignment of torque to the rear wheels.

Drive mode can be changed by a single switch. In 4WD Auto mode, in which torque distribution is controlled automatically, the vehicle uses 2WD under normal driving conditions to maintain fuel economy. Slippery or poor road surfaces are detected instantly from the drive data and torque is apportioned to the rear wheels automatically to produce 4WD traction, thereby enhancing stability. The 4WD-Lock mode maintains the vehicle’s full traction, providing a near direct proportion of torque to the front and rear wheels and making it easier to get out of swampy terrain or negotiate poor road surfaces.

Furthermore, Suzuki’s first D-segment model, the Kizashi, is equipped with an electronically controlled 4WD system featuring feedforward control, which intuitively adjusts the amount of engine torque to the rear wheels in response to road conditions and data on how the car is being driven, such as acceleration and steering. The result is smoother takeoff, acceleration and cornering. In addition, the car is equipped with Suzuki’s own synergetic vehicle dynamics control system, which improves drive stability by monitoring steering and vehicle direction continuously in tandem with the 4WD system and the electronic power steering.

New ALLGRIP 4WD technology
ALLGRIP is Suzuki’s new-generation 4WD created by evolving the company’s renowned 4WD technologies to provide driving enjoyment and peace of mind under diverse conditions while promoting economy and limiting the strain which 4WD cars place on the environment.

The four-mode 4WD system in the new SX4 embodies ALLGRIP technology.

Four-mode 4WD system
The 4WD system has four driver-selectable modes – auto, sport, snow, and lock – to enable optimal control according to the road and driving conditions. The driver selects the modes using a simple push-and-turn dial on the centre console.

• AUTO
The AUTO mode prioritises fuel economy in typical driving conditions. The system uses 2WD by default. It switches to 4WD if it detects wheel spin.

• SPORT
The SPORT mode is ideal for twisty roads. The system makes maximum use of 4WD in response to accelerator inputs. At low- and mid-range engine speeds, the system alters the accelerator/torque characteristics to optimise engine response and cornering performance.

• SNOW
The SNOW mode is optimal for snowy, unpaved, and other slippery surfaces. The system uses 4WD by default. It optimises 4WD control in accordance with steering and accelerator inputs in order to enhance traction and stability on low-friction surfaces.

• LOCK
The LOCK mode is designed for extricating the car from snow, mud or sand. The system distributes high torque to the rear wheels continuously.

The new SX4 is at the forefront of Suzuki’s development work. Offering motorists greater opportunities thanks to the four-mode 4WD system, the SX4 is the perfect family car, suited to daily use and weekends away. This new 4WD vehicle is set to be enjoyed by more people than ever before.

Suzuki will continue to develop and offer new 4WD values, which is one of its core competencies, through ALLGRIP to meet changing demand addressing performance, safety and economy.

Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:00

Important Safety Ratings for 4x4 Buyers

ANCAP today announced safety ratings for a handful of vehicle choices for 4x4 buyers including the Toyota Landcruiser, Mitsubishi Pajero and Foton Tunland.

All variants of the 2013 Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series now hold the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating following a production change to include dual knee airbags as standard across the 200 Series range from this year. Previously only the VX and Sahara variants offered knee airbags (enabling 5 star ratings for these variants from 2007) with other variants such as the GX and GXL missing out on the knee airbags and hence only reaching a 4 star ANCAP safety rating prior to this year.

Likewise, Mitsubishi Pajero variants built from April this year will hold the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating following safety upgrades to reduce the risk of serious injury to the driver and passenger.

"4x4 buyers are sure to be pleased with the announcement of 5 star ANCAP safety ratings for all variants of the Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series and Mitsubishi Pajero models. These are very popular choices for fleets and families alike and we now know they'll be better protected in these upgraded models," said ANCAP Chairman, Mr Lauchlan McIntosh.

Conversely, recent market entrant, the Foton Tunland, only achieved a 3 star ANCAP safety rating (for the 4x4 dual cab variant). The Tunland had relatively poor crash test performance and lacks electronic stability control (ESC). ANCAP established ESC as a mandatory requirement for 5 star ratings from 2008 and for 4 stars from 2012.

"ESC is a life-saver - particularly in vehicles with a higher centre of gravity. There really is no excuse for a new vehicle coming into the market today to be without ESC, which is now mandatory for passenger cars," said Mr McIntosh.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

To search individual crash test results for over 425 vehicles, learn more about safety technologies, explore interactive features, watch videos and to download images and media releases visit

Page 11 of 46

 

Featured 4WD Product

Firestone Airbag Suspension

This product gives vehicles an air adjustable rear suspension.

This makes the vehicle safer when loaded by keeping the front wheels in contact with the road, eliminating sway and improving cornering.

Firestone Airbag Suspension

Tyre Pressure Monitoring | Tyre Pressure Monitoring System