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Wheels February 2018 – New issue out this week

By Cameron Kirby, 20 Feb 2018 News

Wheels February 2018 New issue out this week

Our new issue hits the shelves and mailboxes this week, headlined by the Ford Ranger Raptor and a 3000km stress test in Holden’s imported Commodore

THE February 2018 issue of Wheels goes on sale this Thursday, headlined by two must-read stories from traditional rivals, Ford and Holden.

Gracing the cover is the new Ford Ranger Raptor, with our feature story on the 500Nm twin-turbo Baja beast containing exclusive photography and in-depth interviews with the men and women who engineered the newest entry into the booming performance ute market.

We also grab Holden’s ZB Commodore weeks ahead of every other outlet in Australia to subject it to its toughest test yet: a five-day, 300km road trip from Melbourne to Bourke. The two-part feature sees us drive both the flagship VXR and oil-burning front-drive Calais from Melbourne to Sydney, and then Bourke and back; the final leg acting as a homage to Peter Robinson’s classic one-day 1700km tale in Holden’s HQ Kingswood.

Deputy editor Andy Enright sits down with the men who helped prepare the German-built ZB for Aussie conditions, which provides a rare glimpse at what it takes to try and make Bratwurst taste like a true-blue Aussie snag.

Meanwhile, editor Alex Inwood escaped to Queensland to spend a day driving a Porsche GT3 RS, digesting data, and receiving tutelage from racing ace Steven Johnson. He says it was in order to find out exactly if data and telemetry can elevate your driving skill to the next level, but we suspect he just wanted to practice ahead of the next staff karting session.

While SUVs continue to receive an undeserved reputation for being as engaging as a wet loaf of bread, we’ve collated six of the best to bust the myth. The sporty high-riders, headlined by the Volvo XC60 and Audi SQ5, are aimed at drivers just like you.

We also delve into the minds of the men concurrently attempting to shatter the world speed record and try to understand why they risk their lives in pursuit of speed.

Faithful subscribers have been rewarded again this month with a pared-back exclusive cover.

Also in this issue:

  • We put the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q to the test on the fearsome Jebel Jais mountain road
  • Small SUV comparison: Hyundai Kona vs Mazda CX-3 vs Toyota C-HR vs Subaru XV
  • Driven: Suzuki Swift Sport; Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet; Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation; Subaru BRZ tS; Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI; Jaguar F-Type 2.0
  • Our garage: Honda CR-V, Renault Megane, Lexus LC, Kia Picanto, and Subaru Impreza
  • Explained: Brake-by-wire
  • Plus … columnists, Marketplace, Showroom, and all this month’s motoring news