Women’s best choice

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

HE count­down has started to de­cide the best car in the world, as judged by women for women.

“A re­port from Mat­tingly & As­so­ciates in Australia con­cluded, in part, that busi­nesses that didn’t un­der­stand (women’s) in­flu­ence would be hard­pressed to stay in busi­ness. That re­port was aptly called ‘When I’ve Made Up Our Minds’,” Ms Myhre said. How­ever, the child fac­tor is just one of the cri­te­ria by which the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year will be judged. There are four cat­e­gories – Fam­ily Car, Lux­ury Car, Sports Car and Econ­omy Car.

Points are al­lo­cated to each of 10 cri­te­ria: drive­abil­ity, en­gi­neer­ing, com­fort, child friend­li­ness, style, in­te­rior, stor­age, dash­board ef­fi­ciency, car­bon foot­print and colour range.

The 20 judges from 11 coun­tries have sub­mit­ted their own per­sonal short list and more than 300 cars were sug­gested. These in­di­vid­ual choices were then whit­tled down to form a mas­ter list of 32 in terms of pop­u­lar­ity. Judges will now al­lo­cate points for these cars from a cri­te­ria list.

The win­ners will be an­nounced be­fore the end of March with the supreme award tro­phy and cat­e­gory cer­tifi­cates pre­sented to the car com­pa­nies con­cerned at the Paris Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber.

For full de­tails go to cars­guide.com.au.

MAZDA CX-5 RIGHT ON TREND

TRENDS may last just months in fash­ion, but it’s dif­fer­ent for cars. Re­mark­ably, the SUV mar­ket con­tin­ues to grow, sap­ping first the large-car sec­tor and now the medium-car seg­ment as buy­ers opted for ver­sa­til­ity in their new ve­hi­cles.

In Jan­uary, SUV sales as a whole rose 29.8 per cent as the Aus­tralian pas­sen­ger-car seg­ment fell 2.21 per cent. The month’s big­gest rise was in the small-suv fra­ter­nity which rock­eted 65 per cent on the pre­vi­ous Jan­uary as the Skoda Yeti, Jeep Com­pass and Subaru XV de­buted.

The medium-suv sec­tor rose 26.2 per cent with 8068 sales in Jan­uary, pushed by Mazda’s CX-7 sell-off as the model de­parted the show­rooms and re­newed in­ter­est in the Holden Cap­tiva 5 (up 142.5 per cent), Kia Sportage (up 82.4 per cent), Volvo XC60 (up 48.4 per cent), Nis­san X-trail (up 51.2 per cent) and the CX-7 (up 66 per cent or 1167 sales for the month).

Mazda Australia’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Doug Dickson says the CX-5 “is in the sweet spot for buy­ers”.

“We didn’t want two cars in the same seg­ment,” he says, ex­plain­ing the de­par­ture of the CX-7.

Check out our re­view of the new CX-5 on Page 4.

MOST POW­ER­FUL FER­RARI

FER­RARI has un­veiled its most pow­er­ful car yet, the 544kw F12 Ber­linetta. It was re­vealed to the world for the first time on Fer­rari.com with its of­fi­cial de­but at the Geneva In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show this month.

The re­place­ment for the 599 coupe, the F12 Ber­linetta, re­flects the mid-mounted V12 Fer­rari sportscar of the same name built be­tween 1973 and 1984. Its 6.2-litre V12 en­gine is the most pow­er­ful ever fit­ted to a Fer­rari road car, with an out­put of 730 horse­power or 544kw.

It is also more pow­er­ful than the Lam­borgh­ini Aven­ta­dor V12 which has an out­put of 700 horse­power (520kw). How­ever, the arch ri­val all­wheel-drive Lam­borgh­ini is quicker.

Fer­rari says the Ber­linetta does 0 to 100km/h in 3.1 sec­onds and has a top speed in ex­cess of 340km/h.

The Lam­borgh­ini Aven­ta­dor reaches 100km/h in 2.9s and has a claimed top speed of 350km/h.

The F12 Ber­linetta, de­signed by Fer­rari’s long-time styling part­ner Pin­in­fa­rina, is due to go into pro­duc­tion by the mid­dle of this year.

It is due in Australia early next year when lo­cal prices and spec­i­fi­ca­tions will be an­nounced.

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