Wheels February 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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in this issue

3 min
in wood

FEELS DIFFERENT, DOESN’T IT? Chunkier. Heavier. More substantial. And then there’s the way it looks. Hopefully you’ll have already noticed the cleaner appearance, the new fonts, the thicker paper and greater emphasis on hero photography. Welcome, then, to a new chapter; to the first issue of a totally redesigned Wheels, and to the starting gun of a wholesale reinvention of Australia’s best and most widely read car magazine. It’s a step-change that’s been a year in the planning; one we believe will further cement Wheels as the leader in all facets of this brilliant, thrilling, occasionally baffling thing known as the car. Hopefully that excites you, though I’m equally aware that at a time of rapid change in the motoring world, suddenly transforming your favourite magazine might alienate, too. So rest assured: what…

3 min
supra finally ditches the camo

01 991-gen Porsche 911 has a 1.6:1 ratio between wheelbase and track. Toyota claims Supra’s 1.55:1 delivers even greater agility 02 Launch control fitted as standard for crisp step-off. 4.3 secs to 100km/h identical to Wheels’ figures for $150k 718 Cayman S 03 Arc of integrated rear spoiler intentionally designed to reprise the profile of much-loved A80 Supra’s high-mounted rear wing IT’S BEEN teased for what seems an eternity, but the fifth-gen Toyota Supra has finally been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Spy photographs and leaked images of the much-anticipated A90-generation car had primed many for what to expect beneath the red, white and black dazzle camouflage, but the undisguised Supra undoubtedly espouses chief designer Nobuo Nakamura’s philosophy he terms ‘Condensed Extreme’. The wheelbase is shorter than a Toyota…

2 min
forget turbos, this is perfection

“IF YOU don’t come away frightened, then there’s something wrong with you.” That’s the warning Cosworth MD Bruce Wood gave media before his company’s 6.5-litre V12, built for the Aston Martin Valkyrie, was unleashed on an engine dyno for a huddled mass. Producing 735kW and 740Nm, with a redline of 11,100rpm, the Valkyrie’s engine is something to be both feared and celebrated. In an era when internal combustion is being threatened, Cosworth has created what could well be the greatest engine of its kind. The Valkyrie’s powerplant is the most powerful naturally aspirated V12 ever produced, including dedicated racing units. Valkyrie is a collaboration between Aston and the Red Bull F1 race team, spearheaded by Adrian Newey. The design guru’s famed attention to detail went so far as to ensure the 130-gram lacquer on…

1 min

DUE JAN JEEP WRANGLER Jeep’s off-road icon is imminent in Sport, Overland and Rubicon spec, with 2.2-litre turbo-diesel power and torque allied to an eight-speed auto, a classier cabin, more refined road manners and better ride. Will potential buyers be spooked by the one-star Euro NCAP safety rating? DUE JULY NISSAN LEAF Second-gen Leaf could change the electric car game if priced right. It’s a more conventional-looking package with greater energy density and therefore battery range, as well as improved performance, and a focus on driver assistance tech that allows some self-driving functions. DUE MARCH TOYOTA RAV4 The bigger, all-new RAV4 promises to be from the ‘New Toyota’ mould, which means driver appeal and ride/handling smarts are part of the package. A petrol/ electric hybrid, torque-vectoring AWD and off-road focused ‘Adventure’ version with multi-terrain modes all have our…

1 min
2019 arrivals

JANUARY ALFA ROMEO Stelvio Quadrifoglio AUDI RS5 Sportback, Q7 e-tron quattro, Q8 FORD Endura, Everest update JAGUAR F-Pace update, SVR JEEP Wrangler LAMBORGHINI Urus LAND ROVER Range Rover P400e plug-in LEXUS CT200h update MERCEDES-BENZ X350d, C63 AMG update MITSUBISHI Triton SKODA Fabia facelift SUZUKI Jimny, Vitara update FEBRUARY / MARCH AUDI A1 and A6 BMW 3 Series, 8 Series, i3 update, X7 30d and M50d, Z4 (Feb); BMW i3 update (March) HYUNDAI i30 N Fastback, Kona Electric, Veloster KIA Cerato hatch + GT, Picanto GT PORSCHE Macan facelift ROLLS ROYCE Cullinan TOYOTA RAV4 and Prius…

1 min
the market 2018; not a bolter year

HIGHLIGHTS The total market for 2018 tallied 1,153,111 units in a year that was good to SUVs (43 percent of the total market), utes (light commercials represented 21 percent of the market) and small cars (17 percent of the market). Toyota (with an 19 percent market share), Mazda (10 percent), Hyundai (8 percent), Mitsubishi (7 percent) and Ford (6 percent) filled places one to five respectively, with both Mitsubishi and Toyota up compared with 2017. LOWLIGHTS A tough economic climate on the back of declining residential property values, tighter lending and drought among other factors saw the 2018’s total market drop by 36,005 sales or 3 percent compared with 2017’s record year. While three of four SUV sub-segments and 4x4 utes grew, most other segments took a hit. Worst were medium,…