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Cut and run: Honda’s Mean Mover makes cutting the grass bearable with a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.0 seconds.

Weekly wrap: Next Mazda2, Honda super-mower, Hyundai mini-SUV, reborn VW Phaeton


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19 Jul 2013

Next Mazda2 revealed… sort of

A SCANNED image from a Japanese magazine has revealed what could be the next Mazda2 light hatch well ahead of an official reveal sometime next year.

The image, posted on Japanese website Minkara, is a computer generated image and what is widely believed to be an artist’s rendering of the car, as opposed to an official image leaked from within Mazda.

While the Japanese car-maker is yet to confirm the validity of the image, it reveals a restyled front-end reflecting Mazda’s Kodo design language and features a very similar nose to the CX-5 SUV and the next-generation Mazda3 small that was officially revealed two weeks ago.

The third generation Mazda2 is expected to go on sale internationally in the second quarter of next year.

Honda’s mean machine will mow you down

HONDA’S latest performance machine can race from zero to 100km/h in just four seconds, but all the while keep your lawn beautifully manicured.

In teaming up with British Touring Car Championship partner Team Dynamics, Honda UK has produced the Mean Mower – possibly the world’s fastest lawn mower.

Based on Honda’s HF2620 lawn tractor, Team Dynamics added a new fabricated chassis made from 4130 chromoly steel for a strong but light platform and fitted a 1000cc engine from a Honda Firestorm motor-bike combining it with bespoke wheels and suspension.

The Mean Mower produces around 80kW of power and 96Nm of torque and weighs just 140kg, no doubt assisting its four-second 0-100km/h sprint time.

Hyundai ponders compact crossover

HYUNDAI is considering filling a hole in its SUV line-up by producing a sub-ix35 crossover to better compete in global markets.

Hyundai Motor America president and chief executive officer John Krafcik told journalists at a US media event that the Korean car-maker is “very under-represented” in the SUV segment and that the company would look at crossovers for future product growth.

“I think it is something that we have to look at,” he said. “We don't have any plans. (But) it does seem like there is a lot of action in stuff below RAV4- and Tucson-sized vehicles. A new segment is emerging.”

If Hyundai went ahead with a crossover, it would sit below the ix35 compact SUV in its line-up and compete against the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Nissan Juke, Holden Trax and Opel Mokka.

Volkswagen banks on Phaeton

THE CEO of Volkswagen has highlighted the German auto giant’s need for a flagship model in the US market, hinting at a return of the S-Class-sized Phaeton sedan.

VW chief Martin Winterkorn told Bloomberg the brand needed a halo car in the luxury segment and reports suggest that a new Phaeton could share underpinnings with sister company Audi’s A8 limo, with a likely debut at next year’s Detroit motor show.

While the current Phaeton still enjoys sales success in the Chinese market, it only lasted a few years in America before being dumped in 2006 due to slow sales. Volkswagen has never sold the vehicle in Australia Volkswagen hopes the move to re-introduce the Phaeton will rejuvenate its US passenger car line-up that has dipped this year after experiencing a sales surge on the back of the Jetta and Passat that launched in 2011.

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