Wheels December 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



GOD IT WAS a good Bathurst 1000. One for the ages. A titanic seven-hour tussle full of intrigue, close racing, crushing crashes, controversy, and daring passes. And don’t get me started on the final 30 minutes. It was so exciting that my stepfather, who is an unusually calm and quiet man, suddenly leapt from the sofa and proceeded to shout and punch the air while bouncing on the balls of his feet. And being Bathurst, half the fun is what happens off the track. I grew up a stone’s throw from The Mountain and my enduring memories of the wild and dusty camp sites that hug the circuit are of shining seas of crushed beer cans, of crude and unsavoury behaviour, and of a fierce, tribal rivalry. The line might have…

america: truck yeah!

REMEMBER WHEN American pick-up trucks were considered nothing but oversized oddities in Australia? These lumbering giants loomed large on roads clogged with comparatively tiny car-based utes, and had usually been converted to right-hand drive in the kind of questionable backyard labs that wouldn’t look out of place on Breaking Bad. No longer. Any vacuum left by locally built workhorses has been comprehensively filled (and then some) by American-built pick-ups, with trailblazers from Ram and Chevrolet now set to be joined by a stream of new and gigantic metal – all with names so macho they’d get Rambo excited – from Nissan, Toyota and Ford. These jumbo dual-cabs haven’t just grown a market segment, but uncovered a whole new one, somehow revitalising Australian automotive manufacturing along the way. Cars aren’t made here any…

max capacity

If large lumps set your heart racing, feast your eyes on the 7.3-litre V8 Ford’s cramming into the engine bays of its F-250 and F-350 trucks. The pushrod/overhead-valve unit cranks out 320kW and 644Nm. While this capacity might seem like flipping the bird to fuel economy, Ford insists the beefy powerplant was created with frugality in mind, the pushrod two-valve design enabling the engine,mated to a 10-speed automatic ‘box, to produce peak power at low revs. Sadly, it’s not an option for the F-150.…

thinking big

CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 Engine 6.2-litre V8 Outputs 313kW/623Nm Load capacity/Towing 1021kg/4218kg Likelihood for Oz All but confirmed. Expect in 2020 FORD F-150 Engine 5.0-litre V8 Outputs 295kW/542Nm Load capacity/Towing 1483kg/5261kg Likelihood for Oz 50:50. Next-gen due in 2020 NISSAN TITAN Engine 5.6-litre V8 Outputs 298kW/560Nm Load capacity/Towing 875kg/4381kg Likelihood for Oz All but confirmed. Expect in 2020 TOYOTA TUNDRA Engine 5.7-litre V8 Outputs 284kW/544Nm Load capacity/Towing 784kg/4626kg Likelihood for Oz 50:50. Next-gen due in 2020/21…

blue oval, fair and square

Technically the R-Specs are not official Ford products, with the blown ‘Stangs built under Second Stage Vehicle Manufacturer status, an accreditation Herrod Performance has held since 2016. However, every R-Spec is built to Ford’s exacting OEM standards, with the local Special Vehicles unit completing a thorough testing and homologation process. This has given Ford Australia the confidence to sell the performance hero through its dealerships with a full five-year factory warranty, albeit it with shorter service intervals of every six months or 10,000km.…

true built blue

CARS WEARING the Blue Oval are again being built in Australia. Well, kind of. No, it’s not the full mass production that once created such a singular and cherished automotive culture, but Aussie workers are being tasked with assembling supercharged V8 Mustangs in a secret building at Ford’s Campbellfield facility. The small-scale production line has been reignited to pump out the new R-Spec Mustang, which you can read all about in our feature on p58. There are subtle technicalities involved when describing who builds the cars (see sidebar, right), but the simple version is that Herrod Performance employees are responsible for the assembly at a Ford-owned facility, with Ford Australia selling the 522kW/827Nm vehicles through its dealer network. Only one other company has been able to ink a similar deal: Shelby. “This is the…