ALLURING lines, ample sparkle along with lustful looks...and that was just the models.
The week-long Australian Motor Show that took centre stage in Melbourne over the past week gave us an intriguing look at what to expect over the next year.
Nearly all manufacturers showcased new models and many revealed a raft of alternative-energy plans for the future.
There was also plenty of showmanship from the marques.
Dancing with the Stars judge Todd McKenney, backed why a bevy of scantily clad dancers, stole the show with his Go to Rio number that accompanied Kia’s updated hatchback. He was closely followed by a hilarious take on the trio of new offerings from Volkswagen (Touareg, Jetta and Scirocco) by musical comedians Tripod.
Audi also was striking, with Melbourne soul star Paris Wells delivering a compelling welcome to the A6 sedan with her version of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good – as was Toyota, with the unveiling of its slick new Yaris small car and the FT-86 coupe, courtesy of Havana Brown and dancers.
While there was plenty of fun, it was apparent the motoring industry has become serious about energy alternatives.
Among the brands to showcase hybrids and electric power to be on sale here soon were Volvo with its V60, Mitsubishi and the Concept PX-MiEV, Lexus unveiled its performance LF-GH and Honda took the wraps off the CR-Z.
Honda claims its CR-Z will be the first performance hybrid – a claim Lexus may scoff at, after its CT200h – armed with a slick six-speed manual transmission.
BMW’s show-stopper was the Vision concept car. This futuristic offering has a three-cylinder turbo-diesel, with a hybrid synchronous motor at the front axle and a full hybrid engine at the rear axle, enabling a maximum power output of 241kW.
It’s reported to be able to achieve 0-100kmh in just 4.8 seconds, all while consuming 3.76 litres per 100 kilometres and producing a CO2 emission rating of 99/km.
It marks the beginning of a new BMW sub-brand from 2013 – the BMW i3 and BMW i8, the latter being based on the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept.
Better Place also officially revealed its partnership with GE and Renault, unveiling its plans to bring world’s first mass-market, zero-emission car with a switchable battery to Australia.
While many brands displayed their intentions going into the future, there were also some exciting announcements from our big local manufacturers that will take near-immediate effect.
Holden will reinvigorate its line-up over the next 12 months, with a meaner looking Barina and Cruze hatch, as well as a tougher Colorado.
Ford revealed its Focus hatchback and Ranger ute, as well as the Mad Max Interceptors that will be used in the upcoming Mad Max movies.
But the star of the show was from Lamborghini, the V12 Aventador LP700-4 that can reach 100kmh from standstill in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 350kmh. For the privilege, you’ll have to part with about $750,000.
AUSTRALIAN MOTOR SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
- Toyota’s FT-86 concept will become the company’s first rear-wheel sports car since the Celica, arriving here next year.
- Audi revealed its new A6 is here to take on the Mercedes E-Class and the BMW 5-series.
- Peugeot’s large sedan, the 508 will be priced from $36,990 when it’s released on July 15.
- FPV took the wraps of its first concept car, which is all black including 20-inch black alloy wheels.
- Get set for a Skoda invasion, with the new Fabia hatchbacks priced from $18,990.
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