NZ Autocar - - New Car Market -

Holden will have a new Spark on sale here next month. It’s said to be the first of Holden’s ‘next-gen­er­a­tion prod­uct’ and along with fresh styling, gains new safety and tech fea­tures. “The ar­rival of the Euro­pean-sourced Astra, Cas­cada and In­signia last year sig­nalled a new and ex­cit­ing di­rec­tion for Holden’s fu­ture prod­uct story. That story con­tin­ues this year with the all-new Holden Spark, which we ex­pect to re­ally shake-up the grow­ing mi­cro-car seg­ment,” said Holden New Zealand Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Kris­tian Aquilina.

The new Spark sits on a fresh plat­form with a longer wheel­base for im­proved pas­sen­ger room, and with a re­duc­tion in over­all height the Spark is bet­ter pro­por­tioned, more stylish. In­side, Holden is promis­ing a rise in qual­ity with up­graded ma­te­ri­als. This mi­cro-mini gets its spark from a new 1.4-litre petrol four pro­duc­ing 73kW and 128Nm of torque. While de­signed pri­mar­ily in GM’s South Korean fa­cil­ity, it’s said that Holden Aus­tralia en­gi­neers had ‘a sig­nif­i­cant in­volve­ment’ in the de­vel­op­ment of the Spark’s sus­pen­sion.

Holden’s Di­rec­tor of Ve­hi­cle Per­for­mance, Ian But­ler, said “We have been work­ing with GM Korea since the be­gin­ning of the pro­gram and were able to col­lab­o­rate to en­sure the car is ag­ile and nim­ble in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments whilst re­main­ing com­posed and com­fort­able on the open road. Key to de­vel­op­ing the drive char­ac­ter­is­tics was a sig­nif­i­cant round of test­ing and de­vel­op­ment con­ducted by our en­gi­neers at our Lang Lang Prov­ing Ground in Mel­bourne.”

Safety wise, Spark will fea­ture six air bags and ESC while the LT model will get a rear view cam­era. On the tech­nol­ogy front, the Spark will of­fer con­nec­tiv­ity via both Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto. It will also be avail­able with a range of gen­uine ac­ces­sories which Holden says will make it ‘the most in­di­vid­u­ally-cus­tomis­able Holden ever. Ex­pect a full re­port from the launch next month.

Subaru’s XV Cross­over gets a few MY16 up­dates for the new year. Th­ese in­clude new 17-inch wheel de­signs, a restyled front grille and bumper, a shark fin an­tenna, a black rear spoiler and clear LED com­bi­na­tion rear lamps. The 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S also add chrome door shoul­der mould­ing. There are two new blue colours too, Dark Blue Pearl and Hy­per Blue. In­side the 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S gain Siri com­pat­i­bil­ity and sat nav with three years of com­pli­men­tary map up­dates. The 2.0i-S also adds a smart key.

And un­til the end of March, Subaru is of­fer­ing a Thule roof­box on all new 2016 XVs for just $20, while stocks last.

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