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Wheels Wheels Year Book 2017

Wheels is Australia’s original motoring magazine. Launched in 1953, we’ve been trusted by generations of Australians to provide entertaining and forthright opinions on the good, the bad and the ugly of new and used cars. A world-class car mag with a formidable international reputation, Wheels covers the full gamut of cars – from sports cars to four-wheel-drives, economy to family cars – but it also covers the people, personalities and the power plays behind one of the world’s most dynamic industries.

Bauer Media Pty Ltd
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6 Issues


access_time3 min.
editor’s letter

Quiz engineers on the future and their faces fill not with despair, but excitement and possibility Do you feel it? That twinge of worry, that pinch of concern deep in your gut, the slow realisation that if you’re one of the diminishing few that care about cars and driving, our future is bleak. Feeling this way is justifiable when you consider the facts. Righteous, environmentally conscious governments the world over are judiciously banning internal combustion. Naturally aspirated engines and manual gearboxes are nosediving to extinction. Electrification and autonomy are the new altars of devotion as car companies desert the pursuit of analogue pleasures and instead plunge unreservedly into a tech-infused future that asks not how the driver can be more involved, but how they can be removed altogether. It mightn’t have the…

access_time6 min.
tesla’s 400km/h smackdown

WHEN IT dropped, the announcement of Tesla’s Roadster 2 caught everybody on the hop. As Elon Musk unveiled the company’s much-anticipated semi-truck project, the rear doors opened and out rolled the Roadster, the successor to the car that established Tesla’s bona fides back in 2008. “It turns out there was some cargo in the truck. We thought we’d bring it out,” Musk hammed, before introducing the Roadster as “the fastest production car ever made, period.” That may be up for debate. What’s not is the scale of Tesla’s ambition here. “This is the base model,” explained Tesla’s frontman. “We’ll talk about things beyond base maybe next year sometime.” The figures, at first viewing, appear beyond feasible. Zero to 160km/h will take 4.2 seconds. By comparison, the $2.8m Koenigsegg Agera R gets…

access_time7 min.
engine-free f-type

IN A RADICAL move, Jaguar’s iconic two-door sports car will soon do without an engine. A top-secret project currently underway at the brand’s design and engineering centre in Gaydon will see petrol engines dropped altogether for the radical all-electric F-Type replacement due as early as 2021 or 2022. Despite the lack of internal combustion, the futuristic Jaguar two-door sports car will be the fastest car ever to wear the leaper badge courtesy of electric motors and a bespoke new architecture tailored to take advantage of the design freedoms offered when a traditional drivetrain is not part of the equation. The bold decision to drop petrol engines is in line with Jaguar Land Rover’s promise of ensuring every model features some form of electrification by 2020. It’s that promise that also prompted the board-level decision…

access_time4 min.
advantage aston

CARBON REDUCTION Brake discs are iron in all corners (400mm front, 360mm rear) with no carbon-ceramic option yet announced. LIVE CARCASS Pirelli P Zero boots were developed specially for the Vantage. It runs 295/35 rubber at the back and 255/40 rollers on the front axle. AERO Functional aerodynamics feature far more than in the previous Vantage with ffront splitter, side gills, boot duck-tail and underbody a all contributing to downforce and high-speed stability. ASTON MARTIN has tossed its cookie cutter in the bin. The unapologetically styled Vantage you see here is a dramatic departure from the previous-gen model and not only slashes another tether to the fading Ford ownership era but silences sceptics who predicted the new version would simply downscale the DB11 design language. But, as important as the aesthetics of an Aston are, this…

access_time4 min.
a slippery slope

The New Zealand proving ground is already working on plans to build a “fully autonomous testing facility” THE MARCH towards an autonomous future isn’t just speeding up, it’s set to start slipping sideways and possibly spinning out of control with the world’s first winter-testing facility for self-driving cars to be built just across the ditch. Steve Gould, a manager at the Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground, just outside Queenstown in New Zealand, told Wheels that planning is well advanced for the facility, and hints that several companies have already approached them about starting autonomous winter testing. The reason, Gould says, is that the idea of self-driving cars, which use cameras to read lane markings and road signs, having to deal with total white-out conditions doesn’t just worry the world’s car makers, “they’re scared shitless…

access_time4 min.
the class of 2018

Kia Stinger Coke-bottle hips, a rear-drive chassis and a thrusty twin-turbo V6 give Stinger a heart vote. But can it also convince hard-bitten judges tthat it does enough to move the game on? Volvo XC60 Fifty percent like the XC90, and 50 percent better too. And more rewarding to drive. Here’s hoping the Swedes have also nailed XC60’s finesse. Mazda CX-5 A complete refresh for Australia’s best-selling SUV carries the weight of two consecutive COTY wins for Mazda on its s shoulders. And no manufacturer has ever won three on the trot. Alfa Romeo Giulia Passion and panache have been propping up Italian cars for decades, but this one is actually good. Really bloody good. But are we talking COTY good? GIVEN the intensity of Wheels Car of the Year testing at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground, there…