category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels December 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.

Bauer Media Pty Ltd
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6 Issues


access_time3 min.
editor’s letter

It feels like yesterday that we were all gasping and shaking our heads in wonderment at the million dollar price tags of the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder – a sold-out trio catchily called the ‘Holy Trinity’. Now, though, that same million is being commanded by some Porsche 911 variants. To access the truly special stuff – cars of the ilk of the AMG One and Aston Martin Valkyrie, which in many ways pick up the Holy Trinity’s performance mantle and transport it to a new dimension – you’ll need to fork out close to $5 million. If you’re lucky enough to be chosen, that is. Despite the booming number of mega-dollar exotics, the top end of town remains exclusively an invite-only club. I’d challenge the notion that more…

access_time1 min.
skill seeker

An interesting extension of the argument that some performance cars are now too fast for the road is that the same logic can be applied to the drivers themselves. After all, how many Aston Martin Valkyrie owners will possess the required skills and confidence to drive it properly? Consider that most of the Valkyrie’s performance lurks in the dark and confusing world of aerodynamics, and that Aston claims it’s capable of qualifying inside the top 10 on the F1 grid, and you start to realise its abilities exist on a plane well beyond those of even very good drivers, no matter how big your wallet. Still, I’d love to have a go.…

access_time5 min.
son of an f1 gun

IF THE incoming McLaren Speedtail is a window into the British brand’s future, then you best strap in. There’s a good chance the future is going to look a little bit weird. Because, and there really is no tactful way to say this, the mightiest McLaren to date looks somehow unfinished. It’s as though some crucial elements (you know, pesky things like wing mirrors and alloy wheels at the front, or even some kind of downforce-inducing protuberance) have been forgotten in the rush to get it ready for its unveiling, and that, mere moments after the black silk was whipped back, someone at head office must have surely been receiving an Olympic-level bollocking for the cock-up. Not that it’s hurt sales, mind you. Just 106 will be built, and each will wear…

access_time1 min.
exit sandman

Triple Eight is spring cleaning, and its awesome 525kW shaggin’ wagon Sandman tribute race car is up for sale. Built as a promotional tool, Project Sandman placed a two-door wagon body onto a proper race-winning Supercar chassis, with a wicked-up 5.6-litre V8 making around 525kW at more than 8000rpm. During 2017, the Sandman served as a test-bed for the development of a twin-turbo V6 engine intended for the ZB Commodore race car but since shelved. Price? Make Triple Eight a generous offer.…

access_time3 min.
holden halts production

HOLDEN HAS made an extraordinary decision to stop production of many of its popular models, affecting factories as far flung as Germany, Thailand and Mexico. The order to stop the boats delivering more new cars was made to address a worsening stock-oversupply crisis due to slow sales. Fresh from its worst-ever sales result – just 3927 cars in July – and months of market share below five percent, recently appointed Holden boss Dave Buttner has negotiated to halt production and deliveries of core models to clear existing stock. Holden has thousands of cars gathering dust in paddocks and holding yards, a result of excess orders placed before anyone predicted the dire position the brand would be in once it ceased local manufacturing late in 2017. “You have to be able to turn production down,…

access_time3 min.
“design is not dead”

“WE WERE annoyed by this notion that we’re all going be riding around in white boxes,” smiles Renault senior design VP Laurens van den Acker. “I’m not saying we won’t – for most of us, 90 percent of the time, that will be the reality – but we won’t only be doing that. I like to think there is hope for design, even in this new world. Who wouldn’t want to be driven in this? Tell me this is a white box!” There’s nothing like a deadline to set minds racing and change in motion. But when CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that a Renault robo-taxi would be a reality by 2022, you can’t imagine van den Acker and his design team were very inspired. Isn’t the ride-sharing, electrified, connected, autonomous pod…