The Sydney Motor show provided the public viewers with excitement, glitz and glamour. The dazzling lights, shuffling feet, breathtaking automobile design and, of course, the snapping cameras further added to the amazing spectacle of what was a very memorable and satisfying Sydney motor show. All credit has to go to the organisers of such a mammoth event. In the last days before the Motor Show opened, Sydney’s Exhibition Centre was a hive of action as manufacturers worked overtime to erect and prepare their stands.
Held over a ten day period in mid-October, the motor show was fittingly kicked off with the G.M stand, where the Clubsport R8 speared the line-up from Holden. Holden’s E Commodore stationwagon looked one of the most balanced and sweeping designs at the show with its very sleek lines finished in gun-metal grey. Ford would have to come up with something pretty special to compete with this exceptional concept wagon from Holden.
The products which Ford unveiled with great drive were the stylish new Ford Mondeo and the luxurious Ford Territory FPV FX6. Sitting inside this FPV FX6 family wagon was pampering to say the least. Not a bad response to Holden’s Commodore stationwagon! The power output of this machine makes it one of the quickest SUVs around.
Toyota’s new 200 Series LandCruiser 4WD was a huge drawcard at the show. Such was the anticipation that the launch was added to by Australian country and western legend, Lee Kernaghan. In diesel form, the torque of the big V8 power plant is astounding. The pleasant detailing of the front nose and the overall excellence in build quality of the body shell gives the LandCruiser 200 a sense of strength and toughness that is typically fitting for the big Toyota’s success in Australia’s Outback conditions. The LandCruiser is an icon which has lasted the test of time in Australia’s toughest climatic conditions over many past decades. It is great to see the fresh new design being accepted by onlookers who exuded plenty of good vibes in response. The future looks great for the massive, eight seater 4X4; and with a world first – the technologically advanced crawl control – and boasting up to 10 airbags, this machine is as safe as houses.
The synchronization of an impressive orchestral performance prepared Lexus’s perfect entry. Lexus is tipping the LS 600hL luxury hybrid, the IS-F performance sedan and the LX 570 luxury off-roader to become future classics. Visually, the sleek new Lexus IS-F is an outstanding masterpiece that is harmonious in design, and aggressive in its stance. Music delights the soul and the IS-F certainly does too. It will remain a classic in years to come without a shadow of a doubt. Bring it on!
But what about other Japanese and Asian manufacturers?
The all new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution looked just about as nice as the ladies – dressed in long, black, strappy evening dresses – showcasing the car did. The girls complemented the fabulous design package Mitsubishi brought in their new EVO. Scintillatingly quick around any track, the racy design complements the car’s pace credentials. This was to be a well visited and popular display.
Hyundai’s Veloster concept car stunned many onlookers. The concept coupe design, if it comes into production, will be an instant success. The sleek and sexy back end is finished superbly with the chrome exhaust outlet. With a 2 litre DOHC engine, a panoramic glass roof and an interior design that will send the conservative purists running elsewhere, the Veloster is uninhibitedly futuristic and chic.
Mazda showed some very clean lines with its hot red Mazda3 MPS Extreme. This small hatch has grace and pace to burn, as it truly looks the part front on. The Mazda6’s tear drop shape is clean and functional, while on the inside, the cabin is spacious and very classy. The all new Mazda6 performance versions will be vehicles that will raise the eyebrows, not to mention the blood pressure and pulse rate.
The Kia Rondo looked good on the stand floor in purple metallic. This good look is set to continue on many a school run around Australia. Certainly the Ronda is a car that the kids won’t mind being picked up in.
Subaru’s Impreza WRC Concept boasted STi styling. This ain’t no wimpy piece of metal. The blue metallic glistened and sparkled as the reflections of camera flashes were cast off the car’s bodywork from all angles. The “Soob” is a real head turner, and the performance on offer will have the EVO engineers shaking in their boots. Chances are this one will be heading the WRC leaders’ table before too long. Go Subaru! The standard Impreza styling was different and a bit unexpected, to say the least, but pleasing on the eye. With more room, 20 percent more power on the normally aspirated engines and more lower down torque for the turbocharged versions, the Subaru Impreza has got it together nicely. By the way, all Subaru models scored an exemplary 5 stars in the Aussie safety crash tests. Not bad!
But, what news of the Europeans?
Audi’s class shone through in the new A4. The car is relatively conservative in its design; however, this is what a lot of Audi fans like. The build quality of the four circles is, of course, second to none. The R8 is simply gorgeous, and many people stopped to appreciate the high levels of artistic skill that have been implanted into the uniquely tasteful design.
I can’t wait to get my mitts on the new BMW M3 – to experience the stunning CS concept for real one day will be a day worth waiting for! The BMW CS is most definitely one of the main stars of the Sydney motor show. The design, albeit in the concept stage, looks in itself to be already a classic in the making. Wow! Seeing one of these storming down the roads will be a sight not to miss. I want one of these for Christmas, Santa! Simply exceptional. Simply stunning.
Not quite swinging from the rafters was the Maserati Grand Turismo; however, the show girls fittingly put on a dazzling and athletic display in the air. Maserati have a winner in the Grand Turismo’s design and performance.
One of the ultimates in four wheel drive machines, the Volkswagen Touareg R50, has class shining all over it. It seems that Volkswagen will never get caught with their pants down. The Touareg R50 is simply awesome. The large silver grille slips nicely over the nose sitting agreeably over the front air dam. Under the bonnet lies a 250KW powerhouse that is so smooth, making it one of the most powerful SUVs in the world. Colossal room, colossal power, and yes a colossal price tag, but oh it’s so good! Furnished with touches of glittering chrome on a refined midnight-blue exterior created such a complimentary package with the “best in the business” interior panache to boot.
On a par with BMW’s concept CS, the Bentley Continental GT Speed held beautiful form and presence. Simply stunning from whichever angle you look at it. With excellence in engineering and design and parked in a class all to its own, the Bentley does not disappoint. If you’ve got the money, then why not purchase the best. The Bentley, of course has phenomenal performance and excellent on-road manner that give new meaning to the phrase “civil engineering”.
Ladies and gentlemen, living up to our pre-release expectations, the Skoda Octavia has landed in Oz. The range of beautiful exterior colours was perhaps best illustrated with the vivid yellow Octavia RS. Excellent design and build quality, at a very affordable price, means that the classy Octavia, Roomster, and Yeti concept will prove a moving drive for many Aussies.
Nothing quite captures a car-nuts imagination than does the mention of the fabulous car manufacturer’s name, “Lamborghini”. The new Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, dressed in yellow, captured the heart of many onlookers, as did Emily Hughes seated in the jet black $992 000.00 Lamborghini Murcielago Versace. “Dreams are free,” as they say. Ferrari’s floor display also glistened in the limelight.
Mercedes Benz’s lineup looked good, particularly with the dark and sleek C 320 Cdi. Agile and ready to move with 510Nm of torque available from a very low 1,600rpm, the muscular V6 diesel Mercedes Benz is looking good to push forward into the future.
Speaking of moving forward, Peugeot’s new 308 was razor sharp. The Pug’s styling, more room and improved economy will be a winner for one of Aussie’s longest serving car marques.
Volvo has its wheels firmly planted on the ground with the a third generation XC70 AWD. The tweaked styling features new headlamps that, in my view, improve the big Volvo’s appearance, making it one of the best looking cross-over vehicles shown. Beautifully safe and beautifully desirable, the Volvo models exuded refinement, classy looks and superb engineering to all open-eyed (goldfish-resembling!) viewers.
Gorgeous new arrivals were revealed from Renault. The new Clio and Laguna models look sumptuous and enchanting to say the least, as does Bufori’s Mk III La Joya. The Bufori is a car that pulls the heart and allows you to capture styling from the past while having the leading technology of today. You gotta like it!
Lotus will go as hard as ever particularly round corners in the very fast and fabulous 211 and Exige Sport 240. The Exige Sport 240 will be pretty rare on Australian roads as only six of the cars will initially be sold in Australia. The lucky owners will be flung from 0-100 km/h in a whisker over 4 seconds and catapulted on to a top speed of 250 km/h. Let your hair down in one of these and you’ll be like the girls who flung their hair around in the opening display for the Lotus manufacturer.
Unfortunately not all brands were able to make a showing. Perhaps most missed were the Jaguar and Fiat brands. However, “the show must go on”, and on it went. Chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Andrew McKellar, stated that:“In any year, brands come and go. Some brands are there every year come hell or high water; others are in some years and not in others. It really depends on the timing of new products, or what they can get from other markets,”.
The Sydney Motor show went off and was a delight to eyewitness. Perhaps the best looking designs of all were undoubtedly the glamour girls (perhaps one day, they’ll realise that women buy cars too and put in some beefcake boys at a motor show in the future).