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 / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels August 2018

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.

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6 Issues


3 min.
editor’s letter

Missing this year’s event had a particular sting. Not only had Wheels negotiated its way into the passenger seat of the Brabham BT62, which was making its global dynamic debut (Ben Oliver, lucky bugger, took my spot; p14), but the scuttlebutt was Goodwood would finally deliver our first proper look at the fifth-gen Toyota Supra; a car that, along with the all-new Corolla, shows Australia’s largest car brand is committed to dialling up the excitement, and driver appeal, throughout its model range. (A camouflaged Supra did hit the hillclimb; see p60). Then there was the intrigue of Volkswagen’s ID R prototype; the bewinged and fiendishly complicated electric racer that arrived at Goodwood hoping to obliterate the record for the fastest run up the hill, just as it had done at Pikes…

1 min.
drawing the line

If you’re a subscriber, you’ll notice your cover is radically different this month. Drawn by Wheels art director Felipe Ubilla, the striking image of Toyota’s forthcoming A90 Supra is a homage to the anime/manga-style sketches sometimes found in Japanese car magazines. With Toyota’s upcoming onslaught of exciting models set as the cover theme, and no shots of the production Supra available to work with (we’re expecting to finally see the Supra in full just before its international launch in September), Felipe’s solution is a departure for Wheels, but we hope you agree that it’s a good one.…

5 min.
one for the fans

IN THE tech industry, ‘vapourware’ describes products that get hyped but never actually appear. Sadly, most sports car start-ups deserve the same description. Too often we get a press release announcing a new player or the rebirth of a famous old name, a launch party and an image or a clay model, but ultimately no car. But the only vapour emanating from Brabham Automotive is curling gently from the twin tailpipes of its new BT62 track car as it idles on the start line at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, just three months after it was unveiled at Australia House in London. David Brabham is already strapped in, and motions me into the passenger seat. “Come on in, mate,” the Le Mans winner says. “Welcome to the office. Sorry it’s so…

1 min.
ford australia appoints first female ceo

Holden isn’t the only local brand to see movement at the top of its corporate hierarchy. Ford Australia and New Zealand announced the appointment of Kay Hart as its new President and CEO in July, replacing outgoing boss Graeme Whickman. Hart has prior form as a Ford MD, having helmed Ford Philippines between 2013 and 2015, however she comes to Australia from Ford’s ‘Team Edison’ battery-electric division, based in the USA. She has also worked for many years in marketing-related roles for the Blue Oval.…

2 min.
david brabham on building a legacy

How important was it to you to build your car in Australia? The other automotive companies leaving Australia has been hard for Australians to take; it’s like, “why?” So when we popped up it took everybody by surprise, but everybody embraced it, because I think it showed a bit of faith in the country. There’s a lot of expertise there, in the supply chains of those manufacturers. And racing down in Australia is good business and there’s a lot of very skilled people there. Put the Brabham name on top of that and you’ve got something quite credible. How does it feel to have your family name on a car again? I truly don’t think it has sunk in yet. You’re so busy with the project that it’s very difficult to pull back…

4 min.
subaru forester

1. EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED But at the same time, it’s stayed the same. Forester now sits on the Subaru Global Platform that first appeared under the current Impreza and XV, and the rest of the car has been overhauled to suit. It’s a big step forward, but Subaru hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Much of what has made Forester appealing in the past to a legion of buyers has carried over. It may be all-new, but there’s a likeable familiarity about the fresh Forester. 2. IT’S GROWN The Forester’s body is now 20mm wider and 15mm longer, and 30mm has been added to the wheelbase. This brings 20mm more room between front occupants’ shoulders, and 33mm more rear legroom – a lot considering the old car was among the roomiest…