Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels November 2019

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

in this issue

4 min.

I WAS RECENTLY told the tale of a McLaren designer who spent 10,000 British pounds on a fish. The story goes that while on holiday in the Caribbean, Frank Stephenson became so intrigued by the sailfish that he stopped off at a fishmonger in Miami on the way home, bought one on the company credit card, had it stuffed, and then sent it back to Woking. “I’m sorry, but what a colossal waste of money,” said a friend when I told her the anecdote. “How ridiculous,” she concluded with an exaggerated eye roll. Discounting for a moment that that fish inspired the McLaren P1, which is a design that only seems to be improving with age, it’s a reaction that sums up the sentiment that some people (actually, a lot of people)…

4 min.
amg is back in black

IT’S ENDOWED with big wings, big power and could well take some big scalps. The upcoming AMG GT Black Series is destined for sale in Australia, complete with GT3-inspired aerodynamics, a new AMG engine and tech from the AMG One hypercar. There’s also the not insignificant matter of power, said to be in excess of 520kW. For the likes of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, consider this your notice. With the most power and torque of the current AMG range, it’ll more than fulfil its status as the halo model. Sitting down with the boss of Mercedes AMG, Tobias Moers, it’s clear to see he’s excited for his creation to be revealed to the world – just not quite in full yet. Moers is a car guy, and his passion for the…

1 min.
03 reasons why you should always bet on black

1. The GT Black Series will feature a huge Panamericana grille with a GT3-style bonnet including detailed cooling aids. Active aero from the GT R Pro is also expected at a minimum. 2. The dual-plane (fixed) rear wing is a first for AMG, while the rear diffuser helps suck the Black Series to the ground. Testing mules also suggest a move to a revised quad-exhaust system. 3. Tobias Moers says that the Black Series will continue with ICE powertrains despite the push towards EV and hybrid set-ups, stating there will “still be room” for traditional engine configurations.…

1 min.
mercedes’ new charge

THIS ISN’T THE NEW S-CLASS. But importantly, the production version of the Mercedes Vision EQS concept (first shown at Frankfurt) will sit alongside the flagship sedan as an alternative in the future. With all the forward-thinking electric technology crammed within the minimalist lines of the Mercedes Vision EQS, the design as a whole is a paradigm shift for the German marque. The interior and exterior design stretches the envelope, but a production version of this concept is coming. While the EQS features the obligatory big wheels and aerodynamic proportions, the finer details reveal 229 individually illuminated stars to create a light bar at the rear and 188 individual LEDs at the front to form a 3D effect. Inside, the Vision EQS gains the latest Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) and the dashboard is clutter…

3 min.
not your dad’s defender

EVOLUTION not revolution. It’s a refrain so often uttered when iconic models are due for an update. Think BMW 3 Series, or possibly the biggest culprit, the Porsche 911. Engineers and product planners want to tweak and refine, without risking customer alienation with a radically new recipe. Well, no-one told Land Rover, which has just revealed its all-new Defender to the world at the Frankfurt motor show, 71 years after the original Series 1 Land Rover launched, and 36 years since the last generational update. And we really do mean all new, with not a single part on the L663 shared with its forebear. The early meetings that shaped what would underpin the L663 were held around chief engineer Nick Rogers’ kitchen table, his personal Series 1 parked in the garden as…

2 min.
id.3: vw puts the house on electric

THE SIGNIFICANCE of the name shouldn’t be lost on anyone. When Volkswagen talks of the ID.3, it means that this is the company’s third genre-changing vehicle. Beetle and Golf were iterations one and two. In order to achieve this mass shift in buyer behaviour towards electric vehicles,VW plans to democratise the EV, to remove it from the preserve of early adopters and tech nerds. VW boss Herbert Diess stood at the lectern and made the company’s intent crystal clear, claiming that the Golf-sized ID.3 is “not just a new car, it is the beginning of an electric offensive”. The target price for the entry-level car has been pitched at “under €30,000” (which is still over A$48,000 before local taxes), and three versions of the ID.3 have been announced, offering between 330 and…