Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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