category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels October 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

Brands like Porsche, AMG and Ferrari face an existential challenge with a driverless future Autonomy has a lot of hurdles to clear before it dominates the marketplace. But while the debate rages about the true timeline to autonomy, all parties agree it is the future. This driverless future presents an obvious existential challenge for brands like Porsche, AMG, BMW M, Ferrari, Maserati… And it’s not just a problem for the top end of town. Any brand that differentiates itself wholly or even partly on dynamic prowess and driver involvement is at risk. Oh what a feeling… Zoom-zoom… Robots won’t give a shit. All brands, whether they like it or not, are staring down an evolutionary tsunami with massive potential to destroy or at the least significantly alter the landscape. For corporate examples of once-dominant…

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tickford is back!

Global Ford recognition separates PRA Garage from rival tuning houses A HOT Ford Ranger and hyped-up Mustang will be the first two models from a road car business established by the Blue Oval’s former factory V8 Supercars team, Prodrive Racing Australia (PRA). The venture has been registered as PRA Garage but is expected to be marketed under the Tickford name associated with local fast Fords in the 1990s and early 2000s. But while the old Ford Tickford Experience (FTE) high performance brand was a joint-venture sanctioned by the factory (see breakout), as was its successor Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), PRA is going it alone without official backing of Ford Australia’s local sales and marketing arm. But there is some involvement from Ford internationally, as parts and accessories are being developed by PRA Garage in…

access_time7 min.

Focus RS500 slated for Oz FORD is yet to confirm the existence of an even more hardcore RS500 version of its Focus RS hatch, but company insiders say the car is headed for Australia. The secret car is rumoured to produce as much as 295kW from a tweaked 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo. Sources tell us that the Australian allocation would be extremely limited, with only a scheduled 500 of the beefed-up RS hatches expected to roll off the German production line. The Focus RS500 is expected to further reduce the RS’s already impressive 4.7sec 0-100km/h sprint time. “Thanks for doing that, I think we just made our country even more proud”Daniel Ricciardo after getting Mark Webber to drink champagne from his racing boot Auf Wiedersehen Beetle… again Australia will be one of the first markets…

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why tickford?

While Rod Nash is happy to confirm PRA Garage as the legal name of his race team’s new performance tuning business, he won’t comment on whether Tickford is the name it will be marketed under. However, a Wheels search has established that the Tickford name was trademarked in Australia by PRA Garage Pty Ltd of Campbellfield earlier this year. Tickford Vehicle Engineering was the British business that started developing performance models for Ford Australia in 1991. By 1999 a family of higher-performance AU Falcons and Fairlanes had been developed under the Ford Tickford Experience banner to take on HSV. Tickford also ran the factory racing operation. But in 2002, after Tickford was taken over by rival British firm Prodrive, a new joint-venture was established with Ford Australia as Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), with Ford Performance…

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the line-up

Ranger The Ranger will kick off the Tickford revival with a circa-180kW tune for its 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel. Suspension mods by Supashocks and 20-inch alloy wheels are designed to improve dynamics. Everest Tickford will apply the same drivetrain and styling tweaks from the Ranger to the Everest SUV for a 2017 launch. Think 180kW diesel engine, alloys, fender flares and suspension tweaks. The addition of coil-spring rear suspension will require a retune of the rear. Mustang Next on Tickford’s list is Mustang, tipped to land just months after Ranger. Mustang performance parts for are common and Ford Australia is looking to offer a suite of options, including a supercharger kit for the 5.0-litre V8. Full details of Tickford’s plans for Mustang are not yet known. And then… Tickford has not revealed its next move beyond Ranger, Mustang and…

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wheels farewells the falcon

IF YOUR blood bleeds blue, or you have a passion for true-blue Aussie metal, you’re going to love our next issue. We’re putting together a special edition to celebrate the life and times of the mighty Ford Falcon, which sadly ends production on October 7. Australia’s longest-running nameplate will be farewelled in true Wheels style with a mega 196-page issue covering everything from Falcon’s beginnings to its final days. You’ll be able to read it one week earlier than normal, too: Our special edition goes on sale on October 6, the day before Broadmeadows closes its doors forever.…