Become an armchair expert with this list of last week’s 10 most popular – or most interesting – news stories.
Stories about people paying big money for older cars remain of keen interest, including $437,000 paid for a rare R34 Nissan GT-R, and speculation about how much a 1980 Holden Commodore raced by Peter Brock, and a Valiant Charger ‘Big Tank’ in original condition might fetch.
Our coverage on how the Federal Budget and the instant asset write-off extension will impact car buyers also received a lot of feedback. Buy now and pay later? When do the cars bought under the incentive scheme need to be in the traffic? Find out more here.
We also covered a feel-good story about NSW Police supporting a learner driver program, by setting up a mock Random Breath Test site on a race track, so novices know what to do – rather than getting flustered – in the real world.
A week after Toyota sold out of its initial allocation of 1000 GR Yaris hot hatches at $39,990 drive-away (before announcing a $5000 price rise), our spies in Germany grabbed photos and video of an even hotter version.
To be clear, this latest Nurburgring spy shot is not the Toyota GR Yaris Rallye edition (with lightweight alloys, sticky tyres and front and rear limited-slip differentials). Toyota has confirmed 250 examples of the Rallye will follow the first 1000 regular GR Yaris hatches some time in early 2021. Price is yet to be announced.
What we are talking about here is an even hotter version again, dubbed by overseas media as the Toyota GRMN Yaris, said to be an even more hardcore model.
The images show winglets on the front bumper, a larger roof spoiler, and sensors on the wheels and rear bumper. It’s unclear what this car is, but it appears there will eventually be at least three versions of the Toyota GR Yaris.
We got to reveal the Volkswagen Amarok W580, a top secret project developed by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group and Volkswagen Australia. While the Amarok is now one of the oldest utes in the segment and lacks rear airbags and advanced safety tech, the imminent demise of the Mercedes X-Class means the Amarok is the only turbo diesel V6 with permanent all-wheel-drive.
The engineers at Walkinshaw have taken what is already one of the most powerful and best handling utes in the class and sent it to finishing school, with sticky tyres, a wider track, and twin tube shock absorbers.
Volkswagen dealers reportedly received more than 1000 expressions of interest within the first 24 hours of the W580 being unveiled.
We got a sneak peak of the next generation Isuzu MU-X. Isuzu Thailand released a teaser video of the seven-seater 4WD ahead of its official unveiling on 28 October 2020. Based on the Isuzu D-Max ute (but with unique rear suspension) it is expected in Australian showrooms in the second half of 2021.
Eagle eyed ute fans in the Middle East caught on camera a facelifted Nissan Navara, due in Australian showrooms in the first half of 2021. It’s the second time spy photos have appeared of the new Navara; last month a heavily camouflaged Navara was spotted in Thailand.
Ford confirmed the iconic Mustang Mach 1 is coming to Australia, keeping the muscle car fresh as it approaches the twilight of this generation model. Price and specs are yet to be confirmed, but expect it to cost close to or in excess of $80,000. Only 700 will be imported, the same number as Mustang Bullitt editions (sold in late 2018 and early 2019).
The safety rating came in for the Jeep Gladiator 4WD ute and, unsurprisingly, it scored a poor three-star rating, the same as the Wrangler with which it shares much of its architecture. Jeep maintains it is difficult to achieve a five-star safety rating in such a heavy duty vehicle, however the Toyota LandCruiser and Mercedes G Wagen have five star safety scores.
MORE: Old cars, big money