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In this month’s issue we tackle the value question. The European manufacturers produce some fine machinery but by the time their products end up in New Zealand showrooms they carry a pretty premium, particularly the performance variants. And so we pit equally quick machines from Europe and the Orient and Oz against each other this month with the $125k HSV GTS taking on the $180k C 63 AMG, and the $50k Subaru WRX fronting up to the $65k Golf GTI Performance model. Both these comparisons see the competitors equally matched on dynamics and performance but does value outweigh the cachet of the Euro badge?

In other features we drive a Kia you may aspire to in the form of the new Proceed GT performance hatch, and the newest RS model, the small but scorching RS Q3 SUV. There are also road tests of the new Quattroporte S, the one with the V6, the new X-Trail range from Nissan, and a twin test of both the new Mk3 Cooper and seriously fun Cooper S models from Mini.
Also driven and rated are the Jaguar F-Type Convertible in base V6 trim, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, a revised Kia Optima, the new Soul and the E 400 from Mercedes-Benz.
On the motorsport front there’s a feature on Brian Green, NZ’s most prolific rally driver, and we take to the track in Toyota’s TR 86 racer.
For the bikers we have a review of the new Suzuki V-Strom 1000 adventure bike, and the revised Honda CBR600RR, plus more in the new issue out on April 24.

Discovery discovers curves

Discovery discovers curves
Land Rover has revealed this design concept for the new Discovery.

Along with smart glass displays, intelligent laser headlamps and gesture-responsive controls, it further advances LR’s off-road technology by using cameras to scan the terrain ahead, enabling its various systems to set themselves appropriately to conquer all in its path. The styling is certainly more curvy but it still looks like a Discovery which is what matters. Here the designers talk about their new creation.

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Peugeot's Exalted One

Peugeot's Exalted One
Also on the concept buzz, Peugeot has revealed this stunner, a five-door saloon called Exalt. The hand-beaten panels are left in bare metal while the rear is clad in a shark skin-like material to improve aeros. It’s a hybrid, utilising the 201kW 1.6-litre engine from the RCZ-R and the firm’s Hybrid4 technology with a 50kW motor powering the rear wheels. It could be the genesis of a CitroŽn DS-style premium sub-brand for Peugeot, which could use a lift in revenue.

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New Murano styling almost normal

New Murano styling almost normal
Nissan has previewed its 2015 Murano. The third-generation crossover continues with Nissan’s ‘refined intensity’ styling, and the distinctive V-Motion front end is in evidence, as are boomerang-style lights, and a floating roof. Interior features include a lower-height instrument panel and a powered panoramic moonroof. Under the hood is Nissan’s 3.5-litre V6 connected to a CVT and driving all-four wheels. Check the video to get more intimate with its curves.

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Going invisible

Going invisible
LR has experimented with an advanced camera system for its new Discovery Concept. Using forward facing cameras mounted in the grille, the system relays images via the vehicle’s head-up display, effectively making the bonnet invisible. Check the video to see how it works.

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Peugeot Returns to the Desert

Peugeot Returns to the Desert
Peugeot will return to the Dakar event next year with its 2008 DKR racer. It’s loosely based on the 2008 design, but there’s really nothing the two share in common apart from the badge. Though few details are revealed, the racer will use a rear-wheel drive set-up rather than AWD to allow for increased suspension travel up front and the fitment of bigger 37-inch tyres. The two-car team features drivers Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres.

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