Wheels December 2020

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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3 min

THERE WAS AN obvious symbolism to it. Shane Van Gisbergen had just won the Bathurst 1000 when, while cruising the sparsely attended Mount Panorama circuit, he stopped in his Commodore on Conrod to grab a Holden flag from a punter who – in my memory, a faceless, nameless bloke – represented hundreds of thousands of Australians watching at home. As Van Gis cruised the track, roaring-lion flag fluttering (and falling off its stick, at the end, to form a sad lump on the track, also somewhat symbolic but let’s forget that bit), I dare say there was not a single member of the General’s old legions watching who didn’t tell their better half there was some stubborn object stuck in their eye. A bit of a timely moment for us, too. This…

3 min
gen3 takes shape

ON THE EVE of the Bathurst 1000, Supercars finally revealed (part of) its technical regulations for the 2022 season. The big news is the category has successfully negotiated with GM to use the IP of the Chevrolet Camaro from 2022 for the ‘Gen3’ rules. Supercars also confirmed the first technical details for the new rulebook. The chassis will be an evolution, but with a lower front roll hoop, lowering rooflines by 100mm, and widening the body by the same amount. Supercars hopes this will fix the Frankenstein proportions of the current Mustang. Making sure the racers resemble their road-car counterparts, Supercars has mandated that doors, roof, windows, and bonnet must all be interchangeable between the two. The technical change with the biggest impact on racing will be a significant reduction in downforce –…

1 min
holden brand winds up

AT THE SAME time as signage is being removed from buildings and doors are being shut forever, Holden dealers are also being told by the newly formed GMSV to return any customer deposits they may have taken for the C8 Corvette. As it turns out, Holden dealers were being cheeky taking deposits in the first place. The GM distributor has issued a bulletin to buyers interested in the new Corvette, warning any deposits placed at Holden dealers do not guarantee a car. GMSV is yet to finalise a ordering process for the C8, as it nuts out how its own dealer network will be structured. It’s another step towards oblivion for the Holden brand, which is in the final stages of being shut down forever. Holden Aftersales will continue to operate in Australia…

3 min
how to nail 532.93km/h

JUST WHEN you thought the V-max game was over, the SSC Tuatara has reset the world’s fastest production car benchmark, wrestling the title from the grasp of Koenigsegg, and kicking Nevadan desert sand in the face of Bugatti in the process. The Tuatara hasn’t just broken existing records, it’s completely obliterated them, recording a two-way average of 508.73km/h; a whopping 61km/h faster than the previous mark recorded by the Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017. Like Koenigsegg, SSC used an 11km stretch of the State Route 160 highway outside of Las Vegas in Nevada, setting the record on the morning of Saturday, October 10. In order to claim an official world record, two speed runs must be made in opposing directions within an hour of one another, which is why the Bugatti Chiron Super…

1 min
more power, lower price

PORSCHE HAS REVEALED the fastest version of its updated Panamera, mating turbo V8 grunt with plug-in electric shove so each member of the family can have their face rearranged in unison. The Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid (it rolls oh so easily off the tongue) is good for 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.2 seconds, and a top speed of 315km/h. In order to slow the two-tonne-plus heifer back down, ceramic composite brakes are standard, along with every chassis and control system that is optional on lower-grade Panameras. A 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 420kW on its own is paired with a 100kW electric motor and 17.9kWh battery. Combined outputs are an eye-widening 514kW and 870Nm. Woof. That makes the Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid comfortably the most powerful car you can buy in Australia with…

1 min
05 things to know about 500km/h nut jobs

1 SSC worked hand-in-hand with Guinness World Records to draft the world’s fastest production car rules 2 No custom rubber here, with SSC using bog-standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres filled with nitrogen 3 The Tuatara never reached top gear on its way to 533km/h, with Webb rolling out of the throttle in sixth gear 4 Each Tuatara is powered by a bespoke hand-built Nelson Racing engine made from billet aluminium. Shiny 5 The flat-plane crank V8 has two huge turbos, with SSC claiming the record was broken without ‘race fuel’…