Wheels May 2021

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

3 min

IF YOU’RE A long-term owner of a classic car, as I am, depending on what it is, you’ve no doubt sussed out its value lately, done a double-take, called your insurer and had an argument over what it’s worth. You’re newly nervous about where you leave it, or even if you should be driving it at all. You may even feel a pang of guilt over your accidental good fortune, then have had all sorts of upsetting thoughts about whether your pride and joy is now a house deposit on wheels. Or is that just me? It’s not just classic cars, either. The general used market in Australia has gone ballistic, and even new-car makers are now cashing in on pent-up demand with plenty of clandestine price rises which we will investigate…

1 min
laferrari replacement spotted at fiorano

THE SUCCESSOR to Ferrari’s ballistic LaFerrari hypercar has been spotted testing at the Italian marque’s Fiorano test track, at least two years ahead of release. The prancing mule, flanked in shoddy-looking matte black LaFerrari Aperta body panels, looks to be sporting a new front bumper and splitter combination, as well as a bespoke engine cover and uniquely shaped roofline. While LaFerrari had a mild-hybrid system, the V12-engined test car was seen testing silently on track in what appears to be an electric-only mode.…

2 min
toyota 86 powers up

SAY HELLO TO the new Toyota GR 86, a heavily revised version of the brand’s back-to-basics sports car. Once its Subaru BRZ twin had been announced, it was only a matter of time before the Toyota broke cover – but thankfully reports that its reveal had been delayed to the end of 2022 have proved wide of the mark. Local pricing, specification and timing are still to be confirmed, but a number of technical details have been released, as well as confirmation of the car’s new name. Now known as ‘GR 86’, the new coupe moves under Toyota’s Gazoo Racing umbrella to sit beside the GR Supra and GR Yaris. Like the Subaru, the 86’s familiar horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine remains, but an 8mm bore increase has upped capacity to 2.4 litres…

1 min
corvette from $145k in oz

GMSV HAS PRICED its highly-anticipated C8 Chevrolet Corvette from an aggressive $144,990 in Australia – $91,000 less than the cheapest Porsche 911. The Australian-delivered C8 will be the first factory-built right-hand-drive Corvette in the moniker’s 68-year history and will arrive here in Q4 in five different models – three coupes and two convertibles. Entry model will be the 2LT coupe, complete with the Z51 Performance Package (dual-mode performance exhaust, Magnetic suspension, bigger Brembo brakes, electronic LSD), Front Lift and rear spoiler as standard.…

3 min
kia’s quickest ever car

KIA’S FIRST batteryelectric vehicle, the EV6, boasts classleading features that could upset the traditional players in the EV market. The sleek-looking crossover is based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP electric vehicle architecture, shared with Hyundai’s recently unveiled Ioniq 5, and sits on a long 2900mm wheelbase. It goes into production late this year. Entry-level EV6 and mid-range EV6 GT-Line will be available with either a standard-range 58kWh battery pack or a long-range 77.4kWh pack, and can also be specified in either rearwheel drive or all-wheel drive. The 2WD 58.0kWh model will produce 125kW/350Nm and the AWD version 173kW/605Nm, while the 2WD variant of the longer-range 77.4kWh battery pack is rated at 168kW/350Nm and the AWD version 239kW/605Nm. Models with the smaller battery pack and AWD will be capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in…

2 min
merc readies tesla fighter

WITH ITS 770km driving range, the ultra-aerodynamic Mercedes-Benz EQS 450 Plus will be a true Tesla beater, able to travel over 100km further on a charge than anything the American company currently sells. And it is only one of the company’s family of purpose-designed EVs… EQS is the first model to use Mercedes’ new purpose-designed EVA electric vehicle architecture. Sales in Europe begin in June, and it will reach Australia very late this year or early 2022. EQS vehicle testing head Frank Wundrak told Wheels the EQS 450 Plus is one of two versions of the long and large five-seat hatch that will be available from launch. It has a single 245kW/550Nm motor driving the rear wheels and a 108kWh underfloor battery pack. “I’m sure your family will need a toilet stop…