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Performance News - 9 November 1999


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  • If you liked the Mitsi Scorpion ("Scorpion Sting") that we featured a few months ago, you might want to know that it's for sale. Contact Garry on 08 8152 0221. The car's in South Australia.
  • Low rolling resistance Michelin tyres were worn by nine of the 12 Australian entries in this year's World Solar Challenge. Of the first 12 vehicles to cross the finish line, 11 were running on Michelin Low Energy tyres. Look for a story on the winning Aurora 101 solar car in an upcoming AutoSpeed.
  • Audi has announced that it will make voluntary technical modifications to its TT sportscar, with a view to altering the vehicle's road behaviour. This action is in response to recent criticism of the cars handling in certain situations at high speed, close to the limits of stability. Changes include: modified stabilisers fitted to the front suspension of front-wheel-drive models, with the quattro versions having these stabilisers fitted at both front and rear. A correspondingly-modified wishbone will be fitted at the front, together with firmer damper settings at the front and rear. In addition, the TT will receive a rear spoiler.
  • A Daewoo Musso 2.9 Turbo Diesel recently travelled from Melbourne to Brisbane on less than one tank of fuel! The total distance travelled: 1,703km, total fuel used: 78 litres - a consumption of 4.58 litres/100km.
  • The Mercedes-Benz E-class and Mercedes M-class have both won honours at the inaugural NRMA/RACV Best Cars judging. The Mercedes E320 executive limousine won the award for Best Luxury Car over $56,000 while the Mercedes ML320 won the Best Recreational 4WD trophy. The E320 won out over tough competition including the BMW 528i and 740iL, Lexus LS400, Volvo S80 and Jaguar S-Type V8. Look for a test of the E320 in an upcoming AutoSpeed.
  • Ford enthusiasts from around Australia will converge on Melbourne (Australia) in the last week of March 2000 to celebrate Ford's 75th Anniversary. Ford-organised convoys will leave from Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth, captained by well-known Ford celebrities and accompanied by factory mechanical support crews. Participants will receive a Rally Pack, including a specially-struck badge, a commemorative t-shirt, a souvenir limited-edition Rally Road Book, a meal voucher, a family pass to the Ford Discovery Centre, autograph sessions with race and celebrity Ford drivers, and entry to many special Rally social events. Queries can be answered by calling 1800-000-751 toll free.
  • At a ceremony held last week at the DaimlerChrysler's Jefferson-North Assembly Plant, the keys to the 2,000,000th Jeep? Grand Cherokee built at the plant were presented to their proud owner by Robert Eaton, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler.
  • Ford Australia has announced that its new range of performance cars, the T-Series and Ford Cougar, will be sold in Western Australia through FTE Melville.
  • Rod Easdown, Kia Australia's zany PR manager, recently issued the following press release:

    "In a high technology breakthrough, it's now possible to turn on the heater in a Kia Ceres truck without stopping and opening the engine bay by folding the passenger's seat. Until now, turning on the heater in a Ceres has involved the following four steps, as detailed in the Owner's Manual:

    1. Fold the passenger's seat.
    2. Open the water cock valve in the engine room.
    3. Start the engine.
    4. Push the heater fan switch.

    Now, however, with a handy genuine spare part which Kia foppishly calls a heater control cable (available through Kia Australia's national dealer network) turning on the heater is as easy as pulling a dashboard knob..."

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