WHAT makes a fitting send-off for one of the most significant models in Australia’s all-too-brief carmaking history?
Our cover story this month is a heartwarming salute to the Aussie-made Ford Falcon. Writer Nathan Ponchard and photographer Thomas Wielecki take the Ford Falcon Sprint XR8 on one last three-day, octane-fuelled tribute to a half-century of Falcon heritage. We’ve caught the XR8 at its playful best; sideways, in a freshly ploughed paddock just outside Mullalley in central NSW. Says Wielecki: “I love photographing cars in the outback; I just love the dirt, the dust. It’s much better than photographing cars on a race track.”
In news, we take an in-depth look at the new Holden Commodore hatchback. Yep, that’s right, the fully imported replacement for the Aussie-made Commodore will ditch a traditional boot for a liftback. Before you choke on your Chiko Roll, though, it’s worth remembering it’s not the first time Holden has tried the idea.
We also take a deep dive into Maserati’s bid to woo a new class of SUV buyers, with the Maserati Levante setting the go-fast luxury brand’s sights directly on the V8-powered Porsche Cayenne, investigate who Mercedes-Benz reckons is evolving as its most feared rival in the luxury car game, and wonder why buyers are switching off manual gearboxes.
We’ve had our first drive, too, of Jaguar’s SUV-led future. The Brit brand reckons the F-Pace will be at home devouring challenging roads, and we’re not about to disagree. We also have our first steer of the turbo-four Porsche 718 Boxster – with mixed feelings – experience a much-improved second-generation Tiguan, and fang a harder, faster Ferrari California.
Journalist Bruce Newton features prominently in this issue. First, he talks with Mike Simcoe, the former Holden designer now in charge of shaping GM’s entire suite of future products. Then he turns up the heat, taking a Land Rover Discovery Sport to the eerie, deserted epicentre of Australia’s nuclear tests.
Jez Spinks, meanwhile, gets to punt the BMW M2 around Targa Tasmania’s challenging roads. Is it a better all-round performance BMW than the BMW M3/M4? We then chuck the bent-eight Lexus GS-F straight into the lion’s den, benchmarking it against the blown HSV Clubsport as well as a few others.
Missed out on this month’s great content? Our next edition will go on sale on June 16.