Wheels October 2019


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.

Are Media Pty Limited
6 期号



“THEY’VE GONE stark, staring mad.” That was the opinion of a friend of mine in the tech industry who’d recently visited the UK and had been subjected to the new normal of Brexit politics. The public over there were, he reckoned, “like frogs in a pot of boiling water.” They didn’t even realise how bad things had become but, to an outsider, it was desperately apparent. The more he bemoaned the situation, the more I was reminded of a conversation I’d had with him regarding the automotive industry some time previously. With such a profusion of automotive brands and the egregious nature of some manufacturer cheating, he couldn’t believe that some marques hadn’t become entirely toxic. Were we the frogs in the pot, meekly accepting the way that certain car manufacturers lied,…

is aston martin in trouble?

SPECULATION HAS been rife about Aston Martin’s financial health. Like its most famous customer in Goldfinger, the laser is heading straight for Aston’s nether regions and CEO Andy Palmer will need to do something smart – and soon – to switch it off. There’s no wriggle room. Even if Aston can get DBX and Valkyrie on sale on time, its future is by no means guaranteed When it floated a year ago on the London Stock Exchange, Aston was valued at £4.3bn ($A8bn), and returned £1.1bn to its Italian and Kuwaiti private-equity owners. That valuation was based on the glorious future envisioned in Palmer’s ‘Second Century’ plan, in which SUVs, sedans and EVs double Aston’s volumes to 14,000 cars by 2023, finally giving it the scale and stability it has always lacked.…

key new models

2019 DBX Aston’s first SUV is the single most important car in Palmer’s plan and launches later this year. It is critical to Aston’s success in China, which loves an SUV, and to attract a greater proportion of female buyers. Production of confirmation prototypes has already begun at the new St Athan plant and will ramp up over 2020. Valkyrie Aston’s pinnacle mid-engined hypercar, designed with the Red Bull Racing F1 team and Adrian Newey. Will cost $4.5m and carry an 865kW hybrid V12. Followed by the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro, if the road-legal one isn’t quite enough for you. Rivals the Mercedes-AMG One. Only 150 road cars will be made, and 25 AMRs. Rapide E The first all-electric Aston, the Rapide E will be made at St Athan in limited numbers – only 155 will…

fine state of affairs

THE AUSTRALIAN public has long held a deep distrust of how and when police hand out fines on our roads. Police will respond with affront when asked if there are quotas, and yet in the last month there have been two separate incidents that showed the apparent ‘myth’ of quotas might not be as fanciful as police press offices want you to believe. To recap, Queensland Police have been accused of having quotas after emails surfaced revealing how top cops pressured members of the force to write more tickets. The revelation comes amid a bullying case in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission being brought by a former Gold Coast cop. “Broadbeach as a whole is under-performing with regards to traffic enforcement,” senior cop Leanne Major is reported as telling officers in an internal…

plug‘n’ repay

IT’S A STRANGE concept to fathom, but in the near future cars like the Nissan Leaf will act as both an energy source and a storage system to support the smooth operation of electricity grids. The process, known as vehicle to grid (V2G), will essentially optimise the electric car’s potential as both a receptacle and provider of electrical energy. It’s widely accepted that 90 percent of cars aren’t in use 90 percent of the time. But while you can’t do much with your petrol or diesel car when it’s parked in the garage, the same can’t be said for electric vehicles and hybrids, which have both electrical charge and storage capacity when in a static state. Hence why V2G works in a bidirectional fashion, meaning it can both enable the recharging of…

30 secs

128,000 The distance in kilometres that a fully electric vehicle must travel before the environmental benefits of an EV are cleaner than a new, small-capacity petrol-engined vehicle, according to Austrian electrification specialist AVL. It stated that the greenhouse gases emitted in the manufacture of a 60kWh battery were equal to those from building an entire C-segment ICE car in the USA. SUMMER OF ’69 Movie director Quentin Tarantino borrowed more than 2000vehiclesfor Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1969 Los Angeles. Car co-ordinator Steven Butcher said the number of vehicles was necessary to appease Tarantino’s notorious OCD. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character drives a 1966 Cadillac deVille, a replica of Michael Madsen’s own car that featured in Tarantino’s first feature,1 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. HERO TO ZERO An ingenious US man, evidently with a little knowledge…