PETROLWOWSER Mazda’s new 2.0-litre four-cylinder SkyActiv-G petrol engine will allow the Mazda3 to consume as little as 5.9L/100km, the company claims. Despite the increased frugality the new engine’s power has increased over the current port injection unit, from 108kW to 115kW, and its torque from 182Nm to about 200Nm.
OH, NOT AGAIN This sound familiar? Toyota is recalling some 308,000 SUVs in the US to fix problems related to ‘‘unwanted airbag deployment’’. The recall affects about 214,000 vehicles of the 2007 and 2008 RAV4 models and 94,000 vehicles of the 2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV SUVs. The problems stem from the specific models’ two sensors in the airbag system. If both fail ‘‘nearly simultaneously’’, it may lead to an inadvertent deployment of the airbag, according to the Japanese carmaking giant.
TOUGH ALL OVER The European new-car sales figures for the first quarter of this year show sales across Europe were down on last year. Despite improved February sales figures, March fell by 4.6 per cent. VW remains the leading brand, selling 425,863 units in the first quarter. Only France and Germany were up, 8.9 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively. The UK dropped 8.7 per cent — but sales were disastrous elsewhere: Italy slid 23.3 per cent and Spain 27.3 per cent.
ASTON’S SMARTEST Bonhams has a rare 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Cabriolet (one of two known to have been built by Bertone) on the block at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Previously owned by the legendary race driver, Innes Ireland, the Aston is a highlight of this year’s Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia at Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 1. The recently restored cabrio has attracted a pre-sale estimate of between $773,000 and $1.08 million. Not too bad.