Here's the stories that we featured this week on WhichCar.com.au
Tomorrow marks 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing. And no, it wasn't faked, as these hilarious moon-walking bloopers released by NASA prove (check out the kangaroo hopping at 1min 25sec). It's also eight years to the month since NASA last launched astronauts into space on the Space Shuttle, which I was lucky enough to witness. These incredible achievements expanded humanity's frontier, but we're seemingly no closer to living in space despite the combined $400 billion (inflation adjusted) that America alone has spent on the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.
That hasn't stopped Toyota, the world's biggest car brand, starting work on a Lunar Rover for model year 2029. Interestingly, Toyota says the prototype will be "a modified version of a standard production vehicle". Get ready for the 2030 Toyota LandCruiser: for all roads on Earth … and beyond. Presumably it'll roll on these self-inflating, shape-shifting, talking tyres of the future, too…
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, WhichCar revealed how you can get a $3 million Aston Martin Vulcan hypercar for free. We met the luckiest man alive, who survived a crash in a 400km/h Bugatti Veyron. We also test drove the new BMW M135i hot hatch -- and didn't crash – and learned the next BMW M2 will stay rear-drive.
Big news for us this week! Season 2 of WhichCar's TV show on Network Ten has not only been green-lighted, we're doing 30 episodes instead of 20! Read more about Australia's favourite new car show here.
On the subject of Road Safety, a ticked off Mark Webber teed off on Australia's parochial road safety policies, encouraging our legislators to "pick up the phone" to other countries setting a better example. It appears the UK is also leading Australia in supporting EV adoption, too, with a proposal for all new homes to have electric charging points.
On the subject of electrification, we took a closer look at Rivian, the EV ute startup now bankrolled by Ford and Amazon, adjudicated a power struggle between the Nissan Leaf and Australia's wide brown land, investigated the cheapest ways to charge your EV, and learned about a Nissan-based electric ute launching in China next month that can do 400km per charge.
Also this week, Ohmie Go launched Australia's first EV sharing program, German gearheads ZF unveiled a two-speed EV motor that could dramatically increase EV touring ranges, Nissan rolled out some Navara updates, and Ford added AEB to Everest SUV models.
Skoda launched a 'Parent Taxi App' via which kids can 'buy lifts' by doing chores. Skoda also confirmed a hotter RS version of the Kodiaq SUV for Australia. This 'high-performance' bi-turbo diesel model was previously ruled unfit for Australia's 'hot and dusty' climate, so Skoda Oz had its engineers reclassify Australia as 'moderately hot'. That's good news for climate change, too, right?
Happy birthday to Audi's RS performance brand which turns 25 this year. We flew to Germany to join the celebration and learned about a raft of new RS models which we'll tell you about over the coming weeks.
Disclaimer: Don't do this at home folks! The ingenuity of Australians always amazes us, but this bloke who fitted a leaf blower to supercharge his Commodore, leaves us speechless.
Have a great weekend!