category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels June 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

We had no right to be there, really. As two working class car nuts from the country visiting the big smoke of Sydney, the Porsche showroom in Willoughby, with its huge glass windows, shiny white floor and glittering metal (championed by a white over red 996 GT3), seemed to belong to another universe. Perhaps the dealer principal had a son of his own. Or maybe we just caught him on a good day. Whatever the reason, instead of rebuffing our uncertain approach, he welcomed us inside. I was even allowed to sit in the cars, including the GT3, and on the way out, we were given two thick, stiffly bound brochures (which I still have). It left an ineradicable mark. I’ve been trying to understand why, of all the brands, Porsche is…

access_time1 min.
covering all bases

If you bought this magazine off the shelf then you’ll have (hopefully) noticed that you had three cover designs to choose from. Each celebrates Porsche’s 70th birthday with a different colour palette and hero car: our first blast in the 911 GT3 RS (red), or two icons from Porsche’s back catalogue – the Carrera GT (silver) and 918 Spyder (yellow). Subscribers also get a unique cover design, taking the total number of covers for this special, collector’s edition of Wheels to four. If you missed out on your favourite hero car, or you fancy the subs design the most (turn the page to see all four covers), email wheels@wheelsmag.com.au to arrange purchase.…

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run for the hills

VOLKSWAGEN’S first-ever racing EV is designed for Pikes Peak, which just happens to be a place that could have been purpose-designed for EV racing. Volkswagen Motorsport, which designed and constructed the 500kW racer, dubbed I.D R, in just eight months, won’t say how much the project is costing. But they do admit the budget needed approval at the highest level ... the VW board of management. VW saw an opportunity to add some go-fast gloss to the image of EVs ahead of the 2019 launch of the first of its battery-powered I.D. line-up, while also promoting its established high-performance R sub-brand. So it’s important the I.D. R Pikes Peak does well. Romain Dumas, the French-born endurance racing specialist who will pilot the car on 24 June, brims with confidence. “If you speak about…

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trayed war

Almost as quickly as Mercedes-Benz could apply the three-pointed star to the NP300 Nissan Navara in the genesis of its X-Class ute, stalwart tuner of the Stuttgart marque Brabus has binned the Benz badges for its trademark ‘ B’. The Brabus ute brings quad tailpipes, dual overhead LED light bars and 20in wheels. A plug-in tune-up brings an extra 15kW and 60Nm, taking the X250d to 155kW/510Nm. But with the forthcoming X350d poised to deliver 190kW/550Nm, it may pay to wait for the Brabus version of that variant, which is in the works.…

access_time3 min.
toyota’s ascent

SAYING Toyota is on a roll is quite an understatement. Traditionally, understatement is a very Toyota quality – but that’s changing fast, and soon you won’t be able to avoid seeing the signs of Toyota’s newfound flair and confidence. In its engineering, styling and ambition, Toyota is getting loud and proud. The company is going through fundamental and far-reaching changes in what it makes and how it’s made. Fuel efficiency continues to be a priority, but it’s now joined by vibrant motorsport and performance car divisions. Its previously deadly dull family hatch has just had a complete overhaul that ramps up its desirability, while its SUVs and crossovers are set to stand out from a packed field. The brand’s latest platform – Toyota New Global Architecture, or TNGA – underpins most of…

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toyota’s five-step path to an exciting future

1 MAKE MORE POWERFUL HYBRIDS If you think Toyota has been going big on hybrids, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Half its new passenger car range has a hybrid powertrain variant. The familiar 1.8 is being joined by a more powerful 2.0-litre option in the new Corolla. 2 SHUN DIESEL Toyota’s investment in hybrids looks spookily prescient. It currently does not offer any oil-burning passenger cars in Australia, limiting diesel engines to its SUV/4WD line up, and its big-selling Hilux range. 3 GO WILD WITH THE STYLE The next Corolla and RAV4, like the C-HR, may not be to everyone’s taste, but Toyota’s designers are turning heads not just with marginal models but with the big-sellers. 4 BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO THE LEGEND We’re expecting a Supra with substance. Developed with BMW, the rear-wheel-drive coupe will be…