It’s been a tumultuous week, what with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles first extending, then withdrawing, a merger offer to Renault that would have made it one of the world’s largest automakers. Things move fast in car-land.
And speaking of moving fast, there’s been plenty of news in the performance car realm. The hot Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has landed on our shores and Wheels man Andy Enright has dutifully given the supercharged V8 coupe a thorough going-through, while over in Germany Mercedes-AMG has whipped the sheet off its next-gen turbo four-cylinder, declaring it the world’s most powerful production engine of its type. How much oomph does it have? Head here to find out.
Alex Rae travelled to Europe to sample the Porsche Cayenne Coupe, the first ‘fastback SUV’ to be produced by the German performance car specialist and one that shows BMW and Mercedes precisely how the genre should be executed – but wait until you see what its most peculiar option is.
That wasn’t all for the Porsche Cayenne, though, which got the WhichCar treatment again this week courtesy of Dan Gardner’s explainer on precisely how the Porsche Cayenne E-hybrid and its clever plug-in powertrain works.
Still on the subject of SUVs, Tony O’Kane was sent to the top of Tasmania to discover that the new Volkswagen Touareg has gone to the top end of town, with the quasi-luxe Launch Edition catapulting VW’s big wagon to near-luxury status. Fancy, but will a hefty pricetag hurt it?
Another mainstream brand with premium aspirations these days is without doubt Mazda, and its Mazda 3 sedan joins the recently-launched hatchback to flesh out the Japanese brand’s small car range. We’ve driven it, and we declare it to be just as good as the hatchback – and in some ways, even better.
Other all-new arrivals to Australia this week also include the Range Rover Evoque, the trail-conquering Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and the jacked-up crossover from the Blue Oval brand, the Ford Focus Active.
As always, WhichCar isn’t just about driving new product – we take a look at the automotive landscape in general. In the wake of the election, is the Liberal party’s lack of electric vehicle policy putting a dampener on manufacturer’s plans to embrace electrification? Volkswagen says it’s certainly not wavering in its EV resolve.
After-sales care meanwhile continues to be another field where carmakers are keen to refine and innovate, and now BMW says it’s aiming to streamline servicing to a mere 90 minutes, while also wheeling out clubhouse-style waiting rooms likely to make customers wish their maintenance visits went for a smidge longer.
The first trailer for the upcoming Ford v Ferrari movie starring Matt Damon the great Carroll Shelby as dropped this week, which is shaping up to be a superb dramatization of one of the most legendary rivalries in automotive history. Not enough auto entertainment for you?
Tune in for the final episode of WhichCar TV on Sunday 3.30PM, where we wrap up all of the best moments from WCTV’s inaugural season! Can’t wait? Head here for a sneak peek at what’s on the last show of season one!