category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels November 2017

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_time4 min.
editor’s letter

Without questioning why, I became a “tribal bonehead”. And I wasn’t the only one IT’S THE DUST I REMEMBER MOST. STANDING ATOP MOUNT PANORAMA, MY TINY HAND CLINGING TO MY DAD’S AS WE WAIT IN THE LINE OF THE MERCH TENT, BATHURST’S SCORCHED EARTH IS KICKED INTO THE STILL AIR BY A FLOOD OF FOOT TRAFFIC THAT JOSTLES US AS IT PASSES, most carrying armfuls of glistening Tooheys tinnies as they hustle back to their track-side vantage points, jealously guarded by their mates. Beyond them, early 1990s touring cars burst across the top of the Mountain, the violence and energy of their flame-spitting V8s leaving an indelible mark on one particular youth. I was so young my memory is hazy, like peering through a window that’s cracked and discoloured with age,…

access_time4 min.
holden’s corvette

A HOLDEN-POWERED Corvette, under development by General Motors in Detroit almost 60 years ago, has finally surfaced from the archives to reveal what might have been: an Australian-engined roadster for the world. Until now, the shock project – code-named XP-85 – has remained top secret, only coming to light when Wheels dipped into the GM archives on a recent visit to Detroit. Detail is scant, but the few internal documents and photographs lay bare a two-seat sports car, positioned below the production, V8-only Corvette, most probably aimed at the popular British Austin-Healey 6, Triumph TR3 and, from the photographs, VW’s Karmann Ghia. The XP-85 (the ‘XP’ stood for Experimental Project) was just one of a number of sports cars being developed by GM during the 1957-58 period. Project XP-87 eventually became the 1963…

access_time5 min.
leaner porker

Sprung Top-line Turbo gets a fast-reacting, three-chamber air suspension system similar to that in the equivalent new Panamera, plus active anti-roll bars and electric rear-wheel steering. All this is likely to be optional in several less costly Cayenne models. Thrum Base Cayenne’s 250kW single-turbo 3.0-litre V6 and the S’s 324kW twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 deliver less power than they do in Audi’s new S5 and RS5. New Cayenne Turbo’s 404kW twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is the same engine as found in the new Panamera Turbo. Stagger To improve handling, all new Cayenne models feature wider tyres at the rear than the front (unlike the Audi Q7, which runs same-size in all four corners.) The minimum wheel diameter on the Porsche also has been increased to 19 inches. THOUGH based on the same platform and built in the same…

access_time3 min.
spark of genius

“ [Kia Stinger] can handle more grunt and all those things. I don’t think they’ll have any problem winding the wick up.” Graeme Gambold, chassis developer SQUASHING an air/fuel mixture until it spontaneously combusts has, until now, been the preserve of diesel engines. In 2008, Mazda started a project to develop a petrol engine with Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) but, like Daimler before it, was defeated by the technical challenges. Mitsuo Hitomi, Mazda’s Managing Executive Officer in charge of the Technical Research Centre, explains. “Initially we started with pure HCCI combustion but we realised it’s impossible to control. If the intake air temperature is too high the combustion rate is too high and the engine is very noisy. If it’s too low, the combustion process is unstable. You have to control…

access_time4 min.
jaguar’s future and fantasy

IF YOU’RE going to show a car that doesn’t exist and won’t exist, it makes no sense to actually build a physical model of the thing. That was Jaguar’s logic when previewing its glimpse into the shape of motoring in 2040. The Jaguar Future-Type virtual representation is, as Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design explains, “part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable in a more digital and autonomous age.” While we’ve been inundated with autonomous, electric concepts of late, many of which focus on a lounge-like experience, the Future-Type is one of the few that includes a steering wheel. The Sayer wheel, named after Malcolm Sayer, designer of the E-Type, is the way in which Jaguar proposes you’d connect to online services. Jaguar…

access_time6 min.
dopey crackdown

“Magistrates are literally guessing; some people get three, six or 12 month suspensions” DAVID SHOEBRIDGE, NSW GREENS MP YOU PROBABLY know that hundreds of thousands of Mobile Drug Tests (MDTs) are now being carried out in Australia every year. But what might surprise you is that you can fail those tests, and lose your licence, even if you had ingested the drugs several days ago and your driving was not impaired at the time of the test. As NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge explains, “it’s like you went to a barbecue on the weekend, had a few beers, and three days later they bust you for drink driving because there are traces of alcohol in your system.” Shoebridge is perhaps the loudest voice calling on police and authorities to “stop this madness” and…