Wheels November 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

4 min

I PLAYED A small part in creating a moment of pure joy recently. An Audi R8 was passing through the road-testing garage and on my way home from shooting it for the Wheels YouTube channel (check it out, if you haven’t already), I decided to stop at a friend’s place. Their son is a toddler and obsessed with cars, so I casually assumed he’d appreciate a look. I didn’t give it much more thought until I arrived and spotted the top of a small head behind their front fence. It was moving excitedly from side to side and bouncing up and down as he strained to catch a glimpse of the noisy blue supercar. What followed was both heart-warming and a moment of unexpected perspective. Kids have an amazing ability to…

4 min
porsche 718 set to electrify!

THE 2023 Porsche Cayman will be offered with an electric powertrain, following the path of the electric Taycan, Taycan Cross and forthcoming Macan BEV as the brand heads towards its goal of half of its new-vehicle sales made up of EVs by 2025 – and 80 percent by 2030. The Porsche Mission R concept revealed at the IAA Motor Show in Munich teases an extreme version of the direction the next-generation Porsche Cayman EV will take when it hits showrooms in 2023. Porsche has spoken publicly about a fully electric version of the next Cayman, which continues the 718 designation, since 2019, with chairman Oliver Blume citing battery weight and packaging as the biggest hurdles. Now, with Mission R, the path to electrification looks set, with an electric Cayman to rival the second-gen…

1 min
path to power

2011 BOXSTER E Boxster E RWD used a 90kW rear axle motor for a lethargic 9.8sec 0-100km/h, AWD added front axle motor for 180kW and more Porsche-like 5.5sec despite additional 341kg. Range just 170km from 29kWh lithium-ion battery after nine-hour 240v charge. Three built. 2017 CAYMAN E-VOLUTION Evolution indeed: Cayman E-volution showcased to promote swift 800-volt ‘Porsche Turbo Charging’, a JV between Porsche, Audi, BMW, Daimler and Ford. E-volution’s AWD and 38kWh lithiumion battery pack saw 199km range with 0-100km/h in a Cayman S-beating 3.3sec. 2021 MISSION R Whopping 800kW peak power, AWD and 0-100km/h in 2.5sec. Rapid replenishment thanks to 900-volt charging capability of 80kWh battery. Range and weight not disclosed but bet on Taycan-like (or better) 350-400km between e-drinks, with 80 percent charge in 15 minutes.…

3 min
next-gen ranger hoists the flag

THE CURRENT Ford Ranger is edging closer to retirement – but that hasn’t stopped it achieving big things in 2021 with the promise of even more to come in the coming months. Twice this year the Ranger has taken the crown of Australia’s bestselling four-wheel-drive – wrestling out the hallowed Toyota HiLux from the top spot. So when Ford gave us our first official taste of the new 2022 Ranger recently, everyone was paying attention. In the teaser, released ahead of the ute’s expected reveal later this year, the off-road credentials of the new Ranger were put on display for the world to see – with the vehicle hammering across the outback, diving into tracks in the bush, and facing cold-weather testing in New Zealand. Despite being a global model, the Blue Oval…

1 min
raptor’s heart

WHILE THE RANGER is expected to retain its smaller single- and twin-turbo diesel engines across different markets, rumours out of the US suggest the Ranger Raptor could adopt a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 from the Explorer ST performance SUV, with outputs of 300kW and 560Nm. Whatever is under the bonnet, Ford will be hoping the changes will be enough to strengthen the Ranger’s position as Australia’s favourite four-wheel-drive, and topple the Toyota Hilux as the country’s overall best-selling passenger vehicle.…

4 min
the only way is up

BIG PLAYERS such as Jeep and Honda are “going upmarket” – and while many will still argue there are enough affordable new cars for lower-end buyers, the under $30,000 wedge is starting to look a little thinner. Last year around 187,000 vehicles under the $30K threshold were sold Down Under – roughly 20 percent of total new-car sales. Fast forward to 2021 and market research carried out by Wheels shows there are 33 models available to buy in Australia right now priced below that bracket. Of these, many are only the entry-level variant, with prices for higher spec models rising well beyond. Only three featured in the top 10 most popular in recent months: the Hyundai i30, Toyota Corolla and MG ZS. Of course this comes as no surprise. Aussies’ infatuation with SUVs…