New Car Diary - The Best of 2016

It's been a bumper year for the new car industry in Australia and New Zealand. Records are being smashed left right and centre, with Fieldays in June helping to break the biggest month in history for new car registrations.

If you're considering a new ride, with half of the year still yet to go we've hand picked 5 of the most exciting releases recently upon us or still yet to come in 2016.

Images and words courtesy of



Ford Focus RS 

Ford Focus RS

The latest edition of Ford's most popular hatch has recently hit New Zealand shores with a handful already on the road.

At an RRP of $69,880 in New Zealand, the price tag may raise a few eyebrows, with Volkswagen's Golf R coming in just $2.5k more at $72,390, and Audi's S3 Sportback only a little pricier at a list price of $82k. When comparing with the likes of the Golf and the S3, many may not be able to see past the origins of the Focus to dish out the extra cash. However boasting 257kW of power, (24kW more than the entry Level Ford Mustang), all from a 2.3 litre engine power plant, the RS promises to provide plenty of punch when it comes to coming up against it's European counterparts.

More information on the Ford Focus RS here.



 Nissan Nismo GT-R

Nissan GT-R 2016

Although only a facelift is on the way for the famous GT-R, this beast is one of our office favourites and we just couldn't pass up on the opportunity to drool over our keyboards a little more.

An altered front bonnet is designed to allow the 3.8 litre twin turbo engine to cool more effectively - which has also been tuned to pump out an incredible 441kW at 6,800rpm, an increase of 22Kw over the regular GT-R. This is largely thanks to the introduction of larger turbochargers, the same ones used in Nismo's GT3 competition cars.

Additionally, weight reductions have been made across the board with an increased use of carbon fibre, alongside more efficient aerodynamics. The GT-R has always been a car designed only for speed, but damn have they done a good job of making it look good at the same time.

An exact launch date is not yet known, however Nissan initially made noises about the release of this latest installment down under in late 2016, if not early 2017.

More on the GT-R here.



Honda NSX

 Honda NSX

The lone Honda NSX in Australasia is pictured here in a prominent Melbourne Honda dealer - while Honda has not confirmed the Australian spec, it notes that the only display model (technically a pre production variant) is 99% of what will hit Down Under for sale in the last quarter of this year, with sales in New Zealand more likely to be mid 2017.

Honda Australia's General Manager has already admitted a big part of the strategy of the NSX is not having plenty of the models on the road, and indeed many pre existing Honda owners and fans will not even contemplate buying an NSX. However, Honda intends for it to be a brand halo and serve as a magnet attracting people into dealerships, showcasing their growing product range.

The NSX is actually driven by a hybrid powertrain - a 3.5 litre turbo V6 with three electric motors touting an impressive 427kW and 646nM of torque - which Honda is convinced will not turn off any traditionalists.

More on the NSX here.



Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok 2017

While Volkswagen's trademark Ute will only receive a facelift for the 2017 model year, with the popularity of the Utility in Australia and New Zealand we couldn't pass up the opportunity to read up on what VW has in store for us - and we weren't disappointed.

While many of the Ute manufacturers are on a mission to downsize their engine sizes (The Navara with a 2.3L, the Hilux with a 2.8L, and the Colorado also with a 2.8L), Volkswagen have seemingly gone the other way by beefing the previous 2.0L Diesel up to a fully blown 3 Litre.

With increasing competitiveness in the light commercial space, VW has come out with a defined strategy to showcase the Amarok as the power player in the market. The German's have beefed up power and torque to 165kW and 550Nm respectively, making it one of the most powerful in it's class. The Holden Colorado Auto with 500Nm is the only one to come close.

It's also the only 6 cylinder diesel in the market - Ford's Ranger and Mazda's BT-50 only run on 5, and while Toyota does have a V6 4.0L petrol engine in it's line up, it is thirsty and down on power when compared with it's diesel counterparts.

While the underlying chassis remains the same, aesthetic changes in particular to the Ute's interior are sure to impress, alongside restyled headlights, an improved bumper and grille, and smoked out tail lights. The top of the line model will also feature an improved 20 inch rim design.

Check out more on the updated Amarok here.

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