Fieldays 2024: five must-see things for an auto fan at Mystery Creek

David Linklater
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Fieldays is not a car show. But it's probably the closest thing New Zealand has to one, and it's the ideal place for brands to roll out their latest models to a big audience.

Fieldays 2024.
Opening time on day one, June 12. Fieldays runs until June 15.

This year's event runs from June 12-15 at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton, and there are a number of key model introductions. We've picked our five favourite attractions from the opening day, but nothing to stop you seeing it all.

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado MHEV

Fieldays 2024.
Pre-production Prado Adventure: first all-new model in 15 years.

The new Land Cruiser Prado is certainly one of the stars of Fieldays. It'll also be one of the stars of the new-vehicle market for 2024: Toyota NZ says it has received 2000 expressions of interest for the retro-look new SUV, a number which it can't possibly deliver - and wouldn't want to, in the interests of keeping its Clean Car Standard books balanced.

It's still the cleanest Prado yet, though. The first all-new model in 15 years features a 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine with 48-volt mild hybrid system and AdBlue. The car on display is a pre-production example of the $103,990 Adventure model; customer test drives of Prado will start in August and first deliveries are expected in October.

Fieldays 2024.
Hilux mild hybrids nose into the hydrogen generator area.

Prado is sharing the stand with the new Hilux hybrid, which is available in automatic/4WD form only for now (2WD/manual continues as a non-hybrid) and shares the Cruiser's 48-volt electrification (but comes sans AdBlue).

Toyota NZ's Fieldays site is once again powered by hydrogen. The generator, built by Toyota in co-operation with European company EODev, is also on show, running quietly and emitting only water. It uses fuel cells similar to those in the Mirai hydrogen car.

BYD Shark 6 PHEV ute

Fieldays 2024.
Minister of Transport Simeon Brown (left) and BYD brand manager Warren Wilmott with Shark 6.

The public unveiling of the BYD Shark 6 plug-in hybrid ute was a big draw on the opening day (June 12). The combination of a new ute + electric power + a Fieldays crowd was enough to get Minister of Transport/Minister for Energy Simeon Brown up on stage with BYD NZ brand manager Warren Wilmott to pull the covers off.

Wilmott was firing on all cylinders with electric boost, claiming "utes are not dead, but the way they have previously been powered is", decrying "dirty diesel" and emphasising the Shark 6 is a "proper hybrid", waving the workings of a Hilux-style 48-volt mild hybrid system next to the shell of a BYD Blade battery.

Fieldays 2024.
Man on far right called in to chat with Brown (left) and Wilmott (centre) following Shark reveal.

Brown said the Shark 6 would "meet the needs of NZers" and emphasised the Government's commitment to more charging infrastructure for both BEVs and PHEVs.

Unfortunately, BYD NZ doesn't have any more to share about the Shark 6's pricing or specification beyond what we know already. Expect more in September. But it's now taking pride of place on the brand's Fieldays stand, so this is your chance to have a good crawl around it.

Fieldays 2024.
Sealion 6 is a medium SUV that also uses plug-in hybrid power.

Also on display is the Sealion 6 SUV, which uses a similar "Super Hybrid" PHEV system to the new ute.

Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid

Fieldays 2024.
Hyundai not backing down on the bold styling: Santa Fe striking in the metal.

Hyundai is a premium sponsor of Fieldays and tends to dominate the automotive space; metaphorically rather than literally, because it's also located away from the motor industry precinct on site.

There's a vast number of current models on display, but the star of the stand is undoubtedly the all-new Santa Fe, with several examples of the 1.6-litre hybrid model on display.

Fieldays 2024.
Santa Fe looks very different depending on colour choice.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed and the car isn't expected to hit mainstream sale until September, but this is a great chance to view the model up close. The cars are open, jump in.

Seventh-generation Ford Mustang

Fieldays 2024.
You can't miss it: seventh-gen Mustang takes centre stage at Ford stand.

Fieldays is the final chance for Ford NZ to show off its pre-production seventh-generation Mustang fastback; it's been seen a bit since March, including a preview event in central Auckland and on location at the ITM Taupo Super400 race.

Following this event it's being shipped to Australia for similar duties, with first deliveries of the new model expected here in April.

Fieldays also equals Ranger of course, with a number on display including the new Tremor model - a blend of Wildtrak X (2.0-litre biturbo engine, automatic AWD) and Raptor (trick off-road suspension).

Fieldays 2024.
Global Transit engineering manager Alistair Hunt is here to talk vans with Kiwi customers.

Ford also has a "tradie hub" dedicated to the all-new Transit Custom, on display in diesel form; there's a pure-electric model on the way this year, too. Expect to see a special guest there: Alistair Hunt, global Transit and Tourneo Custom vehicle engineering manager. He's in NZ for a Ford dealer training event, but also to talk Transit at Fieldays with customers. 

Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster

Fieldays 2024.
Grenadier's latest incarnation is a ute; cab-chassis to follow.

The Ineos Grenadier isn't a common sight on Kiwi roads yet, but at Fieldays you'll see the whole range, headlined by the newest in the lineup: the Quartermaster ute, which will soon be joined in the market by a cab-chassis model.

Anything else?

Fieldays 2024.
LDV NZ has created a T60 ute that references the 42 Traverse walking track.

Plenty of other automotive-related things to see of course, and the handy aspect is most of the motor industry brands are arranged in a couple of adjacent blocks, so you can walk a lap and pretty much see it all.

Take a look at LDV's limited-edition T60 Traverse ute, which the Kiwi distributor says is inspired by the "intrepid nature of the infamous central North Island track, the 42 Traverse" in the Tongariro Forest Conservation Area.

It wears a bullbar, roof-mounted platform, DTM wheels, all terrain tyres, snorkel and a few other detail touches. LDV is putting together 150 examples of the model in grey, black or white for $67,990.

Fieldays 2024.
GMSV bigging it up with the full Silverado range.

GMSV says Fieldays is the first time all three variants of the 2024 Silverado models range have been displayed together. Possibly because there's never been enough space.

Appearing alongside the trucks is ambassador and drift guru Mad Mike Whiddett, who's on hand to meet and greet on Friday June 14 and Saturday June 15, 12-3pm.

Fieldays 2024.
Restored 1988 Mitsubishi V300 police car: whoop whoop.

Mitsubishi is keen to show off its all-new Triton of course, but if that doesn't grab you there's some retro wow-factor with the brand's newly restored "flying wedge" 1988 V3000 police car and a lovely beige 1980s L200 ute.

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