category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels January 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

As I watched the Aussie attack tear through the English top order, I wondered, “could I give that a go?” A quick and rather brutal assessment of my meagre skill with bat and ball concluded that no, I couldn’t. Nor could I beat Novak Djokovic at tennis, nor Rob Cross at darts. Why then, if presented the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car, or even a V8 Supercar, would most of us instantly think, “I could do that!” Reading this magazine suggests you enjoy the thrill of driving and, like me, probably consider yourself to be above average behind the wheel. Yet when was the last time you actively worked on improving your driving ability? As in, consciously zeroed in on the skills required to drive quickly and safely: braking,…

access_time6 min.
bmw’s powertrain masterplan

TWIN turbos make BMWs fast today, but the company has a plan that will eventually put triple-motor EVs at the very top of its performance car hierarchy. Sometime by the middle of the next decade, BMW’s most desirable car is likely to be an EV that’s quicker than today’s M5, with a greater driving range than the current Tesla Model S, and which looks like the i Vision Dynamics concept revealed in Frankfurt last year. “The trend towards e-mobility is irreversible,” according to BMW sales chief Ian Robertson. The experienced exec was speaking recently in Munich at an exclusive workshop to brief media on the company’s latest product strategy. The problem for BMW is that the world isn’t moving towards an electric-powered driving future at a uniform pace. “Governments have been inconsistent,”…

access_time9 min.
2018’s most wanted

IT’S HARD to deny that 2017 was a vintage year for new metal. Cars like the HSV GTS-R W1, the Volvo XC60, the Porsche 991.2 GTS, the Toyota C-HR, the McLaren 720S, the Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio and the Range Rover Velar all made last year one for the ages. Or so we thought. It seems that it’s about to be upstaged quite unceremoniously by the onslaught of new model reveals slated for the next 12 months. Such is the pace of change in new-car development, driven both by disruptive technology and emerging Asian powerhouses, that the traditional seven-year lifecycle for new cars is being compressed. This accelerating conveyor belt of newer, shinier and better product is creating a buyer’s market like never before. In real terms, cars are around 40 percent…

access_time2 min.

What is it? Audi’s latest exploration of combustion engine fuels that don’t rely on petrochemicals sucked from the ground. A pilot factory is being constructed in Switzerland that will produce up to 400,000 litres of e-diesel per year using nothing but renewable energy and water. How does it work? When complete, the industrial lab in Laufenburg will use electricity from a neighbouring hydroelectric power station to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. In the second stage of processing, the hydrogen is combined with CO2 that is either extracted from the atmosphere or waste from other industrial processes instead of being released to the environment as a greenhouse gas. In a secret reverse water-gas shift reaction, the hydrogen and CO2 form long hydrocarbon chains, and in the final stage, a Fischer-Tropsch reactor trims the…

access_time2 min.
market place

HIGHLIGHTS November’s record result, cracking more than 100,000 sales for the month, has pushed the Aussie new-car market well past the million mark – 1,086,296 to be exact – and 0.6 percent ahead of the same period this time last year. The Toyota Hilux (4103 sales) and the Ford Ranger (3576) dominated, though much of the heat was in SUV sales, up almost 11 percent over October. Hyundai’s new hybrid, the Ioniq, made its VFACTS debut, while the brand’s now stand-alone premium spin-off, Genesis, also listed this month snaring 26 sales. And the number of Honda NSX sales in 2017 now stands at two. LOWLIGHTS Strip away Ford’s booming commercial-vehicle sales and the Blue Oval brand’s health doesn’t appear so rosy, despite the evergreen Mustang (711 sales) remaining its second-biggest seller.…

access_time2 min.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY BMW 3 Series facelift, 6 Series GT and i3S; CITROEN C3 hatch; HOLDEN ZB Commodore/Calais; JAGUAR XF Sportbrake; LAND ROVER Discovery Sport update and Range Rover Evoque update; MERCEDES-BENZ S-Class facelift; MAZDA MX-5 update and MX-5 Limited Edition; MITSUBISHI Eclipse Cross; NISSAN Navara update; SUZUKI Swift Sport; VOLKSWAGEN Golf GTI Original three-door MARCH-APRIL ALFA ROMEO Stelvio; GENESIS G70; HYUNDAI i30 N and Ioniq hybrid; JAGUAR E-Pace, XJ update and XJR 575; KIA Cerato sedan; LAND ROVER Range Rover Sport facelift and Range Rover facelift; SUBARU Forester; VOLKSWAGEN Mk6 Polo 70TSI/85TSI DUE FEBRUARY Holden ZB Commodore/Calais Hitting Holden showrooms late in February, the German-built ZB Commodore and Calais range will attempt to offer something for everyone (besides a V8 engine...). Starting at $33,690 for the Commodore LT 2.0-litre front-drive ‘liftback’ and stretching to $56K for the…