category_outlined / Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels Wheels Year Book 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.

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6 Issues


access_time3 min.
editor’s letter

No, I’m talking about the type of driving we all try to forget. The tedious, infuriating, mind-numbing grind of traffic, speed cameras and tailgaters that, truthfully, makes up 95 percent of our time at the wheel. Unless you’re a truckie, a cabbie, or you own a Camry, and are therefore an Uber driver, statistics suggest that your daily commute is 16km, one way. That’s the Australian average. So around 32km a day; 160km travelled in a working week. Even accounting for ambitious weekend adventures, it’s likely you won’t drive more than 300km in a week – a distance well within the reach of most modern EVs. Now ask yourself this: will your next car purchase be an electric one? Again, the data shows your first mental response will be “nope”. I genuinely…

access_time1 min.
step change

Good news. Not only will your next issue of Wheels contain our COTY 2019 coverage, but it will also look and feel markedly different. We’re relaunching the brand, a move that will transform Australia’s bestselling and most influential motoring title. It’ll usher in a fresh design, a more detailed and cutting-edge content mix and heftier paper stock, while retaining our core values of world-class writing and photography. It’s an exciting new take on a proven product; one that positions Wheels as a leader in the future of mobility space, while simultaneously scratching the itch of diehard enthusiasts. I hope you’ll like it as much as we do.…

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three to the fore

AN ALL-NEW generation of Mazda’s evergreen small car is preparing to launch locally in mid-2019, handing one of Australia’s most popular vehicles a new lease of life. Mazda whipped the covers off its fourth-generation Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan at a preview event in Los Angeles on the eve of 2018’s last major motor show. Heavily restyled sheetmetal for both body shapes introduces an evolved version of the brand’s now ubiquitous Kodo design language. The two models are distinctly different in appearance, sharing only their windscreen and bonnet. The hatchback is now slightly longer, narrower and taller than before, whereas the sedan is significantly longer, having grown by more than 80mm. Stand-out design elements include extremely low bonnets that lead to oversized grilles and headlight assemblies pared back to the bare essentials. Their…

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beaming in

In a potential retrograde step, a torsion beam rear suspension layout has been adopted for all front-wheel-drive variants, rather than the more desirable independent set-up of the outgoing third-gen car. Refinement is the cited reason, though future-proofing the platform with space for a hybrid battery pack is likely to have had an impact. Whether Mazda has managed to maintain the 3 s dynamic capability with a torsion beam remains to be seen, though Peugeot and Renault – amongst others – have demonstrated that a well-tuned torsion beam is no impediment to great handling.…

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feel the noise

“It’s a concern. I’d rather Ricciardo stayed where he was” IT’S NOT difficult to imagine the world’s supercar makers huddled in a bunker somewhere, nervously laying out their defensive strategy as the tidal wave of electricity set to wash over their industry barrels ever closer. Because with it comes the inevitable loosening of their kung-fu grip on world-beating performance. Lamborghini is on the cusp of announcing a patent that will change the way we view (and hear) electric cars The fact the Tesla Model S is technically faster than the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, at least to 100km/h, has surely stirred some espressos over at the Italian brand’s HQ. And that’s only the beginning; as more and more mainstream brands embrace battery-powered performance, things are only going to get faster. Worse still, these makers of…

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fake you make it until it

The path most trodden by EV makers is to create an artificial soundtrack, with manufacturers promising everything from a deep V8 rumble to the futuristic bubbles of a car from The Jetsons. Interestingly, though, we once celebrated the sweet silence that accompanied the introduction of electric vehicles, picturing cities free of the noise pollution ICE vehicles create. But that was before studies found near-silent EVs were as much as 40 percent more likely to have an accident with a pedestrian, owing mostly to the fact that people couldn’t hear them coming. Now, the EU has legislated that, by July next year, all new EVs will need to make some sort of noise when travelling at city speeds.…