Fieldays - Hydrogen Haulers and Rough Trucks
As is the tradition, midway through June the Mystery Creek Events Centre hosts the annual Fieldays event. It’s an opportunity for the public to get in and around some of the latest and greatest farm machinery while the local car industry use the chance to boost yearly sales and show off their fresh wares.
Hyundai extended an invite for us to see “the future of motoring,” which turned out to be the fuel cell-powered Nexo. This is the first time we’d seen one in the metal, and it’s a good looking thing. Sleek, with curves in all the right places and a tech-laden interior of which NASA would be proud. Range is a claimed 605km and thanks to a 120kW/395Nm electric motor, acceleration to 100km/h supposedly takes 9.2 seconds. The only byproduct of hydrogen-powered vehicles is water, which Hyundai demonstrated by connecting the Nexo’s tailpipes to a tank filled with fish swimming around happily.
While we’ll reserve final judgement for when we get to drive the hydrogen beasty, it’s interesting to see that Hyundai is committing to bringing the Nexo to New Zealand. We don’t yet have an established network of hydrogen refuelling stations (or any we know of for that matter) and while Hyundai says it is working with Ports of Auckland on refuelling solutions, that leaves the rest of the city in the dark. Auckland will get the first lot of Nexos with Taranaki to follow, where more hydrogen refining is set to kick off in the near future.
Moving on, Mercedes-Benz turned up to the party with its X-Class X 350 d, alongside an RVE-fettled unit which received unique body and suspension lift kits, 18-inch wheels with mud terrain tyres and a number of distinctive styling elements. There was also the Sprinter, G-Professional cab/chassis and GLE SUV, to add an urban element.
Across the way was Holden, which also sent a ute to RVE for some new goodies. This one’s a concept, as opposed to the 10-of-250 Merc’, meaning Holden is still unsure if it will put it on the market. It has huge 35-inch Blackbear mud plugging tyres, fatter flares, a six-inch suspension and body lift kit, carbon fibre high-rise bonnet, a rear deck cargo system with 500mm tray extender and RVE sports seats front and rear.
Toyota was there too, showing off a couple of off-road-ready units, including a blue digital camo Land Cruiser 70 with a beefed-out rear storage unit. Inside the tent was the new RAV4, Highlander and a TRD-spec Hilux.
Ford made an appearance and a half, spreading out Rangers, Mustangs and hatchbacks across a healthy plot of land. The first new Fiesta ST in the country was there with just nine kays on the clock, alongside Fanga Dan’s epic drift Mustang. Hidden at the back was a second-gen Ford GT, in all its stylish glory. If you like supercars, this is one stand you won’t want to miss.
Even Lexus was there, with a smattering of luxury SUVs and its epic-looking LC500 grand tourer. One of the Lexus guys was more than happy to start it up for a few onlookers, although was quickly rebuked for health and safety reasons.
Motorbike fans are well catered for, with Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki all on show. Big Red has the new Talon 1000 side-by-side in R and X forms. The R is designed for high-speed open-terrain driving while the X is more designed for challenging climbs and precise manoeuvrability.
Yamaha also has its off-road range on show, with a handful of Wolverine side-by-side models and its dirt-bike range, while Kawasaki will have championship-winning riders Courtney Duncan and Avalon Biddle on site both Friday and Saturday.