category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels July 2016

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


access_time3 min.
editor’s letter

I want to experience the spirit, the excitement, the Italian flair that Alfisti reminisce about Since I started in this game, I’ve not driven a single new Alfa Romeo that’s helped me understand the reverence or respect in which the 106-year-old Italian brand is held… usually by children of the ’50s and ’60s. To me, Alfa Romeo has always been yesterday’s hero, a shadow of a former glory last seen in cars like the 1964 Giulia Sprint GT and the gorgeous 1967 Tipo 33 Stradale (below). Will the new Giulia be the vanguard for Alfa Romeo’s resurgence? I drove the Giulia’s 159 predecessor way back in 2006. Italian styling, good value, competitive safety kit, practical… Faint praise, right? The 159 exuded Italian flair in the cabin, but not in the way it drove. The…

access_time3 min.
300kw supra hybrid targets 911

Toyota will have hybrid versions of every model by 2029 Next-gen Toyota 86 slated for 2020 Supra shares BMW Z5 platform In showrooms globally by 2018 Batteries good for 50km of pure electric driving TOYOTA will switch to hybrid power for its next-generation 86 sports car and upcoming high-performance Supra revival. The Japanese carmaker is already well advanced in the development of batteries and electric motors for its soon-to-expand sports car range. Insiders tell Wheels the company is confident it can deliver performance gains and meet stricter emissions standards being phased in across the US and Europe by the end of the decade. First out of the blocks will be the new Supra, due in 2018. Previewed as the FT-1 Concept at the 2014 Detroit motor show, and later presented in striking grey (pictured above) at Monterey in…

access_time6 min.

“The BMW 2002 Hommage is our way of raising a glass to all these achievements”BMW Group Design senior vice-president Adrian van Hooydonk tips his hat to the original 2002, reimagined here as part of the brand’s centenary celebrations Kia confirms $40K rear-drive sports sedan Kia will launch a RWD sports sedan in Oz next year. Wheels has learned the car, codenamed CK, could be here in July and will boast styling taken from Kia’s well-received GT4 Stinger and four-door GT concept cars. Kia Australia is eager to run a two-tier range, with a more powerful, performance-focused version priced around $50,000. Kia’s 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 is the likely power source. “Engines are yet to be decided, but our strategy shows those two entry points are where we need to be,” said Kia Oz…

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dial up the drive experience

Tetsuya Tada let a few crucial clues slip regarding the facelifted 86 shown at the recent New York motor show. Sure, output gains are modest – up just 4kW and 9Nm from the largely unchanged 2.0-litre Subaru-sourced boxer four-cylinder – but he says the revised final drive ratio means performance gains are more substantial. Spring and damper rate tweaks ensure a more engaging track machine, and team with a new stability control program to make the most of the rear-drive sports car. Tada is also adamant the 86 will improve its already excellent electric steering system. Criticism of the 86’s bland interior and lack of a digital speedo are also being addressed. One thing that won’t change is value, although the recent shift in the Japanese exchange rate could put pressure on…

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what next for toyota 86?

TETSUYA Tada smiles a lot as he artfully evades questions about the next-generation Toyota 86. The project leader and ambassador for the much admired sports coupe, Tada (left) is a practised diplomat. But he isn’t about to let slip anything that might be frowned upon back in head office. Push the right buttons and touch the right topic, though, and Tada-san will open up. Twin-clutch or direct-shift transmissions, for starters. He’s no fan. DSGs won’t be considered for the next-generation 86, he declares unequivocally. DSG gearboxes are “in the past”, he adds. Yes, he agrees, DSGs are faster and more fuel efficient than manual gearboxes, but they are not the latest technology. “There will be better automatic transmissions – faster, more economical and very sporty. Better than DSG.” With paddles, of course. Tada, visiting Australia for…

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hsv’s noise works

Mechanical sound enhancer to beef up induction noise Black highlights pump up the visual aggression Grange nameplate to retire in October Track Edition gets stiffer springs and 6-piston AP brakes GET set for the meanest, loudest HSVs ever produced – and the best sound you’re likely to hear from a Holden for years to come. HSV has announced a trio of limited edition atmo models – R8 SV Black (sedan and ute), Grange SV and R8 Track Edition – that will bring back (briefly) the 6.2-litre Chevrolet-sourced LS3 engines for the Holden performance arm. Between them only 650 will be produced, 50 of which will be the last HSVs to wear the Grange nameplate ahead of the badge’s retirement in the lead-up to the end of manufacturing. All have to be sold by the October 31…