Cars & Motorcycles

Wheels Wheels Year Book 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.

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6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.

FOR THE LONGEST time, it was the default response. Corner a shiny suited car company MD at a motorshow to ask when their new piece of whiz-bang technology would actually make production (invariably it’d be a new electric vehicle, or a ‘next-gen’ autonomous system) and the answer would be fired back with a reassuring surety. “By 2020,” they’d say with a knowing smile, as if they were in on some joke the rest of us weren’t. And for the longest time, we believed them. Well, why wouldn’t we? Back then, 2020 seemed so far away. Plus, it had a nice ring to it. As though it offered some arbitrary line in the passage of time when we’d all be commuting to work in luxuriously appointed driverless pods and parking Teslas in…

4 min.
f1 tech drives new porsche hypercar

PORSCHE HAS reaffirmed plans for a hypercar to crown its line-up – and, in a bid to provide a clear link between its motorsport activities and road cars, it could use a hybrid driveline originally developed in an aborted Formula 1 engine program. However, the Aston Martin Valkyrie rival remains at a conceptual stage, with an introduction unlikely before 2023 at the earliest. High-level sources at the German car maker’s Weissach technical centre confirmed that a definitive production go-ahead for the successor to the 918 Spyder is dependent on a decision from Porsche’s board on whether to commit to a pure electric or hybrid drivetrain for the new hypercar. This is in keeping with comments made by Porsche chairman Oliver Blume earlier this year. Initial plans for the car, first hinted at…

3 min.
hot competition

PLACED THAT Porsche Cayman GT4 order for a January 2020 arrival? BMW has given you a reason to hesitate on the down payment with its beastly M2 CS. The beefed-up 2 Series halo takes the M2 Competition and turns the volume up to 11. Is it worthy of having the venerable CS moniker placed on its rump? Yep, we reckon so. Think the Cayman GT4 comparison is a bit of a stretch? With M4-equalling figures of 331kW and 550Nm, the Bavarian offering, with the seven-speed DCT, will reach 100km/h in 4.0 seconds (Cayman GT4 reaches the same marker in 4.4sec). Like the Porsche, the CS is a rear-driver, and yes, it is also available with a six-speed manual. As far as farewells go, this is a big one. Not only is it…

1 min.
bmw’s little track-day warrior

If the CS isn’t hardcore enough, you can go racing with its, ahem, CS Racing twin. It follows on from the M235i and M240i track versions and it’s eligible to attack categories like the VLN Endurance Championship and TC America racing series. The CS Racing uses a detuned version of the S55, with the kilowatt count dropping to between 205 and 268kW. The seven-speed DCT is used exclusively, while the aero package is significantly upgraded. The CS Racing wasn’t confirmed for Australia at the time of press, however, BMW Australia has said that it is keen to offer it.…

2 min.
the future of suvs...

MAZDA MX-30 LET’S START WITH those ‘suicide’ rear doors. Mazda calls them ‘freestyle’, some of you may say, “Just like those from the COTY-winning RX-8!” (Others may note, “And rather like those from the COTY-winning BMW i3...”) We’ll reserve judgement until we get the full operational experience of Mazda’s first-ever production EV, which is likely to happen in the second half of 2020. An Australian arrival date is unconfirmed but tipped for late 2021. In terms of the mechanical package, Mazda appears to have played an uncharacteristically conservative hand with the MX-30. Its single motor, driving the front axle, has outputs that are fairly unremarkable – 105kW and 264Nm – and is fed by a modest 35.5kWh battery providing a range of 209km. But that instant torque should still be sufficient to provide…

1 min.
vw id space vizzion

IF YOU’RE A fan of fast wagons, as opposed to SUVs, and can see a time when you’ll be ready to join the EV revolution, then VW may be able to tempt you with a production version of this, the ID Space Vizzion concept unveiled at the 2019 LA motor show. This is the seventh ID concept VW has rolled out, and the company says it’s serious about production, targeting a 2022 on-sale for Europe, North America and China. The concept has a 205kW rear-mounted motor fed by an 82kWh lithium-ion battery, but VW says the wagon will likely be offered with a two-motor, AWD layout delivering a combined system output of 250kW, enough for 0-100km/h in just over 5sec. As for range, that’s expected to be aided by the…