WhichCar weekly news round up

Like a burger with the lot, here’s all of the tastiest news from the week, all wrapped up in one convenient bite

Subaru Levorg Protoype 5 Jpg

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OCT 26 - The cricket is yet to kick off, the days are getting longer, the chances for a long drive are getting better and the weekend is here. What could be better?

It’s been another capacity week of automotive output from the various WhichCar teams, punctuated by the launch – finally! – of the latest Volkswagen Golf.

We papped the Mk8 a few times ahead of its debut, and it’s fair to suggest that the new, softer, more sophisticated design language will take a little while to translate to its audience.

2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8

As well, it looks like Australia will cop the rough end of the pineapple when it comes to engine choice for the Golf, thanks to our relatively terrible fuel quality.

In fact, the issue of poor fuel may see Australia end up as a dumping ground for less efficient, more polluting engines, as companies continue to struggle to make their best tech work with our high-sulphur petrol and diesel.

It’s a source of frustration to the wider industry, and it’s something that’s relatively easy to solve.

Elsewhere in our automotive game, we previewed what might well be the Holden Commodore’s first nip n’ tuck job, which resonated strongly with our audience.

2019 Buick

Its bigger, more powerful sibling, the Chevrolet Corvette C8, raised eyebrows when it dynoed a fair bit above its advertised power and torque numbers during a magazine test. A particularly fit version? Something more? You be the judge…

We also examined the likelihood of more oversized pick-up trucks joining the fray down under – if RAM sales are any indication, we reckon that more than a few product planning offices have a folder marked ‘big ute’ on a desk somewhere.

From Tokyo this week comes the news that Toyota Australia is keen as mustard for hybrid versions of its HiLux and LandCruiser models, along with the reveal of a number of real – and not-so-real – concepts, like the new Subaru Levorg and the Lexus LF30.

The Tokyo Show also showed the world Mazda’s first EV, the curiously named MX-30, and also brought us the disappointing news that the cute little Honda e isn’t a starter for Australia… but closer to home, a locally built electric version of the trusty Toyota LandCruiser ute probably turned more heads.

There’s a lesson there… build the right EV for the right market segment, and the buyers will come.

Zero EV Toyota Landcruiser EV

Elsewhere, we examine just why Daniel Ricciardo was kicked out of the Japanese Grand Prix, preview Motor magazine’s Performance Car of the Year 2020, check out the new specs and pricing of the evergreen Mitsubishi ASX and ask what you’ll miss in your next new car.

And as we roll into our Saturdays, don’t be like this guy, who was fired from his job as a TV presenter this week for disgracing himself at a car show. How? You’ll have to click through and find out…

To keep in touch with us over the weekend, make sure you follow the WhichCar and 4x4 Australia Facebook page, the Wheels and MOTOR Instagram accounts and Street Machine’s amazing YouTube channel.

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Reporter jumps on classic car

OCT 19 - You’d be forgiven for thinking this week was dominated by sombre news and some of the more depressing facts of driving in Australia along with the risks and dangers of getting in the car.

In the last seven days, numerous reports have surfaced, highlighting how deadly SUVs are to other road users, we also ran a story about a staggering number of Australians who refuse to wear seatbelts and some of the other things that are likely to bring you to an untimely end. You may not even know they are dangerous!

SUVs more likely to kill other drivers

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the law has been bearing down on some drivers before they have had a chance to hurt themselves, for some seemingly innocent acts, while a proposed congestion charge would hit other drivers in the pocket. Ouch.

But before you completely lose faith in society, there was plenty of great news too. The Blue Oval confirmed that not only would it deliver lots more high-performance hardware under the Ford Performance brand, but there would also be another mighty Mustang on the Supercars grid next year, running under the Kelly Racing banner.

More to come from Ford Performance, says Ford Australia boss

Fans of the game-changing Porsche Taycan will also be delighted to hear that the high-performance EV will be offered as a more affordable variant in the near future, BMW tuner Alpina will boost the driver-focused carpark in Australia further still with the new B3 Touring arriving next year too. Want an M3 wagon? This is the next best thing.

And there were heaps to get excited about when it comes to new models rolling out from the more affordable and accessible perspective too. Kia’s eagerly awaited Seltos finally touched down filling a huge gap in the South Korean line-up, while the next-generation Toyota Yaris was unveiled, revealing a smart and thoroughly likeable little hatch to go live in 2020.

And while there are no plans for it to make a local showroom appearance just yet, the Japanese manufacturer kept the flow of amazingly cute small cars going with its first GR-branded convertible. What’s not to like?

2020 Kia Seltos range

Our journalists that like to spend too much time in darkened rooms also have lots of fresh news for you from the virtual world. If you haven’t yet noticed, WhichCar is now delving deep into the gaming industry and bringing you all the latest, such as the latest on Need for Speed and Drift 19. While your hand is on your phone, check out our list of essential Instagram accounts.

And if all you’re after is some shameless entertainment, look no further than our pages. The Big Block Barina had a fun day out at the Haunted Hills, the boys at 4x4 filmed an incredible drag race in the desert (the photography is stunning), and if you thought a 2.0-litre for a Barina was excessive, then what about a twin-turbocharged V8 for a car that was 3D printed? Yes – someone actually did that too.

If you’re a creature of habit and just like a little routine in your life then make sure you catch up with all our favourite regular features, including the WhichCar Weekly Podcast which, once again comes to you from the stunning Hotel Esplanade, and the weekly quiz. This week’s is a real stumper.

Sign up here to get the free weekly WhichCar eNewsletter 

OCT 12 - Saturday salutations on this big motoring weekend, friends of WhichCar.

It’s also been significant week for Aussie car lovers, capped off by the unveiling of the Australia-exclusive supercharged Ford Mustang R-Spec that’s set to arrive in early 2020 for around $99,980, with its circa 520kW/820Nm blown V8 backed by a full five-year factory warranty.

Ford Mustang R Spec Engine Jpg

The team at Motor has dug deep present everything known so far about this incredible muscle car, including pricing and features, the engineering work behind it, and why this overnight sensation has been years in the making

Another home-grown performer was revealed this week too, with Nissan announcing it’ll be bringing out a new top-spec Navara called the N-Trek Warrior to do battle with other tricked-up 4x4 utes such as the Ford Ranger Raptor, Toyota Hilux Rugged-X and the HSV SportsCat.

Speaking of battle utes, one pickup that received plenty of interest this week was the military-spec Ranger by Ricardo, the UK company responsible for the design and construction the British Army’s attack Land Rovers.  

Ricardo Ford Ranger Mil Spec Jpg

And while we’re still in 4X4 land, it turns out Aussies are turning to big-American pick-up trucks like the RAM 1500 in droves, Isuzu teased its all-new 2020 D-Max … and would you pay $150,000 for a meticulously restored 1981 Toyota LandCruiser FJ40?

Toyota also dropped a bombshell this week, revealing a “concept” version of its second-generation Mirai hydrogen huffer that boasts some seriously sexy sheetmetal. Is it cool to be into hydrogen now? Toyota’s certainly doing its best to make it so.

On the general news front, alarming video shows autonomous emergency braking isn’t very good at avoiding pedestrians, the legendary Autobahns might get speed limits, and there’s been another Toyota recall, with the hugely popular Prado SUV having fuel leak issues.

2020 Toyota Mirai

It was also a big week for us at WhichCar with our first outside broadcast of the WhichCar Weekly podcast, where yours truly joined Dan, Scott and Andy at the legendary Espy hotel in St Kilda to chew the fat over some of the big topics mentioned in this email.

Meanwhile we reviewed an eclectic range of vehicles including the revolutionary Porsche Taycan EV, the Porsche 911 Turbo-crushing BMW M8 CompetitionAudi Q3 TFSI 35Renault Megane RS280 hot hatch, updated Lexus RX, and Tony O’Kane bid farewell to our Hyundai Ionic Electric long termer.

We’ve also previewed this weekend’s big motoring events, Motorclassica in Melbourne and of course the Bathurst 1000 to arm you with everything you need to know.  Our Motorsport section will feature more Bathurst news as it happens.

Mt Panorama Bathurst house for sale

Oh, if you’re tired of watching the Great Race on TV, you can buy a house at Mt Panorama on 40 hectares with 288m long stretch of absolute frontage right onto Conrod Straight. Prefer to drive on race tracks yourself? Tony O’Kane paid a visit to the fearsome Nurburgring Nordschleife to have a stab at the world’s most famous race track, but not after spending plenty of time getting some virtual practice in first – here’s why.

To keep in touch over the weekend, make sure you follow the WhichCar and 4x4 Australia Facebook page, the Wheels and MOTOR Instagram accounts and Street Machine’s amazing YouTube channel.

OCT 4 - If there’s one thing that can remind us of how quickly this year is ending, it’s the arrival of a sunny 27-degree day we just experienced in Melbourne – summer will be here in no time!

Unfortunately, the warm weather was over just as soon as it started, with the mercury dropping to a measly 15 degrees on Friday. Can’t win ‘em all – at least it gives us a taste of things to come.

If you are in Melbourne, we hope you didn’t come into contact with this fail that brought the city’s transport system to a halt yesterday. Yes, it’s as though this truckie is trying to dethrone the infamous Montague Street bridge as the biggest threat to our nation’s heavy haulers.

Speeding motorists to be sent to the sin-bin rather than fined

But enough fails; let’s catch you up on what WhichCar has been up to this week.

We first learned that a nation whose road toll is increasing will trial giving drivers a “timeout” instead of fining them for exceeding the speed limit.

Innovative, but will it work? We also recapped the fashions on the field from the 2019 Goodwood Revival, and explored whether the days of making a quick buck on classic cars are over.

Classic Car Market Jpg

Another win, one of our photographers stumbled upon a brand new SUV from Lynk & Co while on holiday in Europe – there’s nowhere in the world you can hide from WhichCar!

On the other side of the Atlantic, Arnie lent a hand to climate activist Greta Thunberg’s North American mission by supplying her with a zero-emissions Tesla Model 3 to travel around in, Toyota USA went retro with its Heritage Edition Land Cruiser and we told the story of Australia’s role in creating the Land Cruiser legend.

How Australia shaped the legendary Toyota LandCruiser

In our own locale, we set a blisteringly quick 0-100 time for the Lotus Exige, put a high-riding Lamborghini Urus and more conventional Huracan Evoonal Huracan Evo through their paces, compared a pair of Godzillas and had a date with the Demon killer, the Hennessey Exorcist.

It wasn’t all performance cars though; we spent time in Holden’s Acadia LT, had a run in Audi’s diesel-powered S4, tested the 2020 Hyundai i30 range, enjoyed our first spin in its Veloster counterpart and experienced the newly-updated Peugeot 308 GT.

Lotus Exige Sport 410 acceleration performance test feature

It was a busy week in terms of reveals too: WhichCar covered off the new BMW X5 M and X6 M twins, Toby Price lent his name to a Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota added a hybrid powertrain to the facelifted its C-HR, Mazda revealed its race-ready Mazda3 TCR, Chevrolet dropped the top on its new Corvette and Porsche celebrated 10 years of the Panamera.


Leading into the weekend, we took a look at 20 of the weirdest car names (we would have loved to be a fly on the wall during product planning) and of course, we fired a new quiz at our readers to test whether they’ve been paying attention.

Top 20 weirdest car names

To keep in touch over the weekend, make sure you follow the WhichCar and 4x4 Australia Facebook page, the Wheels and MOTOR Instagram accounts and Street Machine’s amazing YouTube channel.

Have a nice weekend, stay safe and we’ll see you on the other side!


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