Wheels’ best news stories of 2018

This year’s 10 most popular news stories

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TAKE a look back at the most popular news stories published by Wheels  online this year. Interesting to see that Holden and Ford monopolised the top five stories you clicked on.

‘Holden halts production of Commodore and Equinox’ by Toby Hagon

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No other story captured our readers’ imaginations like this bombshell from Toby Hagon, revealing Holden’s shock decision to cease production of the ZB Commodore and Equinox mid-size SUV.

Almost as shocking as the news, was then-newly appointed Holden Boss Dave Buttner’s honesty during the interview.

The taps will remain turned off for the new Commodore into the New Year, and 2018 will be one to forget for Holden, July in particular marking an all-time nadir with just 3927 new registrations.

‘Lone ranger: Holden Commodore cops Texas’s fastest speeding ticket’ by Barry Park

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Despite ceasing production last year, the Holden Commodore broke records in the US, with a Chevrolet SS earning the title of the highest velocity speeding ticket issued to a car in Texas

The Seppo Commo was clocked hooking along a road in the Lone Star State at 250km/h, just 15km/h slower than its estimated top speed.

Texas Highway Patrol caught the driver on a road marked at 130km/h, but despite being 120km/h over the limit, the driver was fined just A$380.

Second fastest on the list? A BMW i8 Roadster in 2014, which was 20km/h slower than the V8 sedan.

Both were outdone by the fastest two-wheeled speeder, with a Honda CBR1000 nabbed doing 290km/h.

‘Aussie turns Ford Falcon into Mustang sedan’ by Cameron Kirby

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We didn’t really know what to say about this monstrosity when we first saw it, and we still don’t.

This, ah, unique creation entered our radar when it came up for sale (again) this year. It proved a popular story with our readers, perhaps due to morbid curiosity.

‘Six things Holden would prefer you didn't know about the ZB Commodore’ by Byron Mathioudakis

Interest around the imported Holden ZB Commodore was high earlier in the year.

This special report from Byron Mathioudakis dug into the development of the imported Commodore, and revealed some nuggets that Holden would have really preferred stayed buried.

‘The 525kW one-off V8 Supercar wagon is for sale’ by Tom Fraser

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Wagons are for families right? Wrong! They are for shoving a great big V8 under the bonnet, and going racing with.

That’s exactly what Triple Eight Race Engineering did, kinda. This epic creation started life as a legitimate race-winning Supercar, before being transformed into a wild ride day demonstration vehicle.

The unique car’s sale had our readers searching under all their couch cushions trying to scrounge up some extra cash.

‘Mazda’s Apple CarPlay retrofit coming soon’ by Cameron Kirby

Mazda Australia’s decision to provide customers with the chance to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto retrofitted to their cars was incredibly popular.

Readers flocked to our story detailing the tech upgrade, eager to find out more.

A follow-up story in November revealed demand has been so high for the retrofit that Mazda has been forced to put parts on backorder.

‘Monster Yank utes a slow burn in Australia’ by Cameron Kirby

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This story investigating the proliferation of monstrous Yank utes that are beginning to invade Australia prompted a passionate response from readers.

Vehicles like the Dodge Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado are now entering the market, both of which are being converted in Australia at Walkinshaw’s facility in Clayton, but are yet to set the sales charts alight.

Time will tell if Aussies warm to the oversized pick-ups.

‘That’s it: Holden Ute sells out ahead of 2018 Commodore’s launch’ by Barry Park

We all knew it was coming, but that didn’t make it any easier. The last of the iconic Aussie-built Holden Ute left showrooms this year.

Some dealers were so desperate to get their hands on the few remaining cars in stock in February that pleas were posted to social media.

The timing of the news, just before the ZB went on sale locally, made it all the more poignant.

‘VFACTS May 2018: Ford Mustang outselling Holden’s ZB Commodore’ by Barry Park

Another month, another dismal sales result from Holden.

VFACTS in May was a bitter pill for Holden to swallow, with the Commodore falling out of the top 20 list as the market turned away from passenger cars.

That didn’t stop Ford’s Mustang from continuing to dominate sports car sales though, as well as outselling the Commodore.

‘Wheels special investigation: Australia’s own Dieselgate’ by Phil Scott

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Phil Scott’s Dirty Diesel investigation is a must-read for any Australian with a diesel-powered car in the garage.

With one in five new vehicles sold in Australia being diesel-powered, his story of how the oil-burners can be a financial ticking time bomb had readers’ interest.

If you have a diesel car in your drive way, make sure to give it a read.


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