Audi Holden Vauxhall

Germany v Australia

Audi RS4 v Vauxhall VXR8

Steve Sutcliffe from Autocar brings us a clash of cultures with a great V8 estate debate. It’s the Audi RS4 versus the Vauxhall (nee Holden) VXR8. Germany v Australia. David v Goliath.

We love fast wagons here at AUSmotive and, really, who doesn’t love a V8! Which would you choose?

[Thanks to John for the tip]


BMW 5 Series Touring – Australian pricing & specs

BMW 5 Series Touring

BMW Australia recently launched its new F10 5 Series Touring down under, albeit a little later than first expected. There’s two models to start the range, both with turbo charged engines, the 520d and the 535i.

The 2.0 diesel four cylinder in the 520d produces 135kW/380Nm and has a manufacturer’s list price of $92,800. While the petrol powered 3.0 litre straight six in the 535i has peak numbers of 225kW/400Nm and pricing starts from $138,900.

Euro Estate driving doesn’t get much better than a BMW wagon, but as you can see, you have to pay to play. You can access full Australian specs from this 4.2mb PDF. After the break you will find more pics and BMW Australia’s official press release.


New VW Jetta Estate rendering

VW Jetta wagon

Earlier this year Volkswagen Australia launched a new Golf wagon model. It’s the first time such a variation of the familiar Golf platform had been offered down under. And, well, it looks a bit of an afterthought. Clearly not one of VW’s greatest triumphs in automotive design.

This new rendering from Car and Driver, then, gives new hope to those who like a bit more practicality in the Golf-sized segment. They reckon this is what a new Jetta wagon might look like. Or, more to the point, it’s probably what the next Golf wagon will look like. The article states the next “SportWagen” will remain based on the Golf VI chassis. Remember, the Jetta is now an independent model line.

Whatever the underskin origins of this new Estate car, one thing is certain, it is shaping as being a vast improvement over its predecessor.

[Source: Car and Driver]


2010 Skoda Superb Wagon – Australian pricing

Skoda Super Wagon

Recent vehicle sales may indicate an upward trend in the SUV segment, but Euro wagons will always rate highly on the AUSmotive cool wall. If you need a large family-sized car, buck the trend and get a Euro wagon. They have a je ne sais quoi that cannot be matched by any SUV.

The new Skoda Superb Wagon perfectly fits the estate car mould that says no to bling and just goes about its job without fanfare and without screaming look at me.

Space aplenty, quirky features and an engine range catering for all desires are just some of the attractions with the Superb. An entry list price of $40,990 is also quite a hook for a car of this ilk. That gets you the excellent Volkswagen Group 118TSI four cylinder in Ambition trim. As you move up the price range you can say yes a 125kW TDI ($43,990), and you can even say yes again to the 118TSI, this time in Elegance trim ($46,990). What you really want, though, is the V6 powered 191FSI 4×4 ($57,990).

The V6 is sourced from the very tidy Volkswagen Passat R36 and while marketing forces rob 19kW when the 3.6 litre narrow angle engine is found under a Skoda bonnet it will still provide enough poke to give you one of the coolest sleepers on the new car market today.

A Skoda wagon with a Haldex IV all-wheel drive system that accelerates to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds, while sounding as angry as a Rio Tinto executive at a Labor Party conference, well, sign me up!

Skoda have stuffed plenty of kit inside the Superb Wagon, too. Park Assist is one example you will find across the entire range. For more info and a full list of prices take the jump and read what Skoda’s PR team has to say.

Skoda Targa Tasmania

Skoda Octavia RS-P ready for Targa Tasmania

Skoda Octavia RS-P

Skoda Australia’s wicked one-off creation, the Octavia RS-P, is all set to make its tarmac rally debut at Targa Tasmania which kicks off next week.

The recipe is pretty simple, take one standard Octavia RS, turn up the boost of the 2.0 litre turbo, fiddle about with the intake and exhaust. This will see you increase power from 147kW to around 190kW. Then throw on some adjustable suspension, a few strut braces, some uprated brakes and fit semi-slick tyres to great looking 18″ alloys and you’ve just cooked yourself one very cool, and surprisingly rapid, Euro estate. Five stars!

At the wheel of the Octavia RS-P will be Mike Sinclair, Editor-in-chief of, with Justin Hunt guiding the way in the nav seat. Further detail, and extra pics are available after the jump.


Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept

Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept

Euro wagons are cool, it’s the AUSmotive edict, and this snazzy new Shooting Break Concept from Mercedes is no exception. Inspired by the F 800 SRV, SLS ‘Gullwing’ and the 2008 ConceptFASCINATION the “four-door Coupé CLS” is set to make its public debut at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show.

Under the bonnet is a next-generation 3.5 litre V6 which pumps out 225kW (306bhp) and 370Nm of torque. There’s full LED headlights, as is the style these days and there’s even a special storage compartment in the back for your golf balls. Brilliant!

Mercedes reckon what you see here paves the way for their future design language, which means we should be seeing some very sharp looking Benzes in showrooms near you in the not too distant future.

Plenty of pics and a brief video can be seen after the jump.


BMW 5 Series Touring – Aus launch in October

BMW 5 Series Touring

Following a series of leaked images over the weekend BMW have released official pics of their new 5 Series Touring, which will have its full public reveal at Leipzig in early April. Regular readers will know AUSmotive approves of all Euro wagons, and this new 5 Series is no different. It’s a nice evolution of the F10 5 Series saloon, and while I was a big fan of the previous generation 5 Series, the new models are starting to grow on me.

The 5 Series Touring is due in Australia in October September, and surprisingly BMW Australia have given us a tip on the expected engine line up at launch. It is stated in the press release (available below) that Australian customers will have the choice of two models, 520d and 535i. The 520d is powered by a 135kw four cylinder diesel engine, while the 535i gets the 225kW twin turbo 3.0 litre straight six also found in the Z4, among others. All engines meet EU5 emissions standards. Both models will be available with an 8 speed automatic transmission, although local pricing and specs won’t be confirmed until closer to the launch date.

As expected you can achieve a multitude of layout and boot opening arrangements. The rear window can be opened to offer quick access to the rear luggage compartment. Plus, there is an auto open/close function for gaining full access to the rear compartment. In its regular format the cargo space offered by the latest estate from Munich is 560 litres, which can be expanded to a maximum of 1670 litres. Instead of the more common 60:40 or 50:50 split folding rear seats this wagon provides a 40:20:40 set up. Which is also a hint that the rear bench is really best suited to two adults and a lap dog. If you need to fit five adults in your 5 Series Touring then make sure you bags the front seats first, as it might get a bit squishy in the back.

Like the saloon, the 5 Series Touring shares many components with the up scale 7 Series and all roll off the Dingolfing production facility. Further detail and a number of pics (you can click on each to load a 2000px super image) can be found after the jump. There’s also a brief intro courtesy of BMW’s YouTube channel.

UPDATE 3 August: BMW Australia have announced list pricing for the 5 Series Touring, which is now due in September:

  • 520d – $92,800
  • 535i – $138,900

2010 Golf Wagon – Australian pricing

2010 VW Golf Wagon

Volkswagen Australia have just released an Estate version to their volume selling Golf range. Known in Australia as the Golf Wagon, it will be initially offered in two model lines—Trendline and Comfortline.

Entry level pricing, before those nasty delivery and government charges, starts at $26,990. That gets you a 90kW 1.4 TSI Trendline with 6 speed manual. The top of the range model, 103kW 2.0 TDI Comfortline with 6 speed DSG, is priced from $36,490. The usual range of options is also available and a list of prices is available below.

Four engines will be available for those wanting the maximum 1495 litres of cargo space the Golf Wagon provides. Two 1.4 TSI engines, with either 90kW or 118kW are complemented by a 77kW 1.6TDI and a 103kW 2.0 TDI. The full gamut of Volkswagen transmissions is on offer, including 5 and 6 speed manuals in addition to 6 and 7 speed DSG offerings. At a basic level you can choose a manual or DSG with all engine choices, the numbers of cogs you get depends on the engine choice.

This is the first time we have seen a Golf Estate/Variant/Wagon in Australia and it remains to be seen how successful this addition to the Golf line up will be. I know one thing, though, they’d sell a lot more of them if they bothered to get Volkswagen to design the rear of the car. Instead, it looks like they just picked up some 1990s Honda Accord tail lights, stuck them on the back and thought, that should do it. When the rest of the Volkswagen range is, generally, so expertly styled—and of particular note here is the Passat Wagon—one has to wonder just how on earth they came to this conclusion.


Audi A4 allroad quattro

2009 Audi A4 allroad quattro

Soccer mums rejoice! Audi’s newest allroad model is set for its public debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. However, the lads from Ingolstadt have been kind enough to show us a few pics before it goes on display.

Based on the A4 Avant the allroad has plenty of visual clues that hint at its alleged off road capabilities. The cosmetic clues include flared guards and a revised grille treatment, giving the car a more rugged look. I think it looks great, and, if anything, looks better than the regular tarmac-locked A4 Avant.

Of course, there is the 37mm increased ride height, as well, giving the car a total ground clearance of 180mm. Not so immediately obvious is the wider track, which has been increased by 20mm.

The metal bash plates at either end of the car are said to be stainless steel, so, depending on how far under the car they go, they could actually provide some bona fide protection should the A4 allroad ever see dirt road duties. Of course, the allroad is never going to displace the role of the Land Cruiser, but having previously owned a 2001 Subaru Outback it is surprising how far these types of cars can be pushed, if you remain sensible.

Being an Audi there is enough electronic trickery on board to assist the driver as well, including Offroad Detection (ORD). Okay, it sounds a bit daft and obvious, but the system will modulate the ESP capabilities to suit the road conditions. For example, in off road conditions the system allows more slip than usual which therefore enables the torque to be sent more quickly to the wheels with grip. In regular road situations the quattro system sends 60% of the car’s torque to the rear wheels.  When required, a maximum of 85% can be sent to the rear wheels, or a maximum of 65% to the front wheels.

Buyers can choose from three engines, all meeting EU5 emissions targets, and include a new 155kW/350Nm 2.0 TFSI four cylinder (which will also power the next Golf GTI), a 125kW/350Nm 2.0 TDI four cylinder and a 176kW/500Nm 3.0 V6 TDI. Six speed manual or S tronic transmissions will be available. Although, with the news that the new Q5 will come to the Australian market in S tronic guise only, it will be interesting to see if Australian buyers will be offered a manual option in the A4 allroad.

UPDATE: No need to wonder what transmissions will be available for the Australian market, I’ve just had it confirmed that the A4 allroad is not on Audi Australia’s radar.

More pics and press releases from Audi UK and Audi AG can be viewed after the jump.


Audi A4 Avant arrives in Australia

Audi A4 Avant

Regular AUSmotive readers will know of my love for Euro wagons, a love nurtured by Audi’s über RS2 estate from the mid 90s. Having the keys to an RS4 Avant for 24 hours last year only strengthened these feelings of mine. To say I’m keen to check out the new A4 Avant would be an understatement. I know many don’t necessarily share my views about wagons, and if that’s you, well, you’re just wrong! One thing is certain, a Euro estate is a damn sight more cool than a new SUV-SAV-POS-whatever you want to call it. So, this new A4 number then, according to the press blurb, “it marries elegance with intelligent functionality”. Of course, I reckon Audi is bang on the money there.

At launch there will be two engine options on offer, the very sweet 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre TFSI and the familiar 2-litre oil burner with 105kW/320Nm. Axle positioning has been shifted around a bit from the sedan to ensure the Avant keeps weight distribution under control. All the expected improvements in cabin and cargo space, along with increases saftey features, have been introduced over the previous model. You’re looking at an entry price of $56,400 for the 1.8 TFSI multitronic with no manual transmissions available at this stage.

If you’re looking for a stylish and convenient saloon that’s a bit more practical, then change your thinking and get on down to your local Audi dealer to check out their new A4 Avant. All the cool kids want one.

More pics and Audi’s press release below.


Family touring in a 308

Peugeot 308 Touring

Remember your old summer holidays, with a long family drive in scorching heat. Your dad’s big 308 would scream past the semis on the highway and you just knew when you grew up you wanted a a beefy 308 too! Well son, I’m sorry to tell you, things have changed a bit. Holden doesn’t make a 308 any more, it has turned into a 427—stone the flamin’ crows, that’s 7 litres—and you need to be a Russian oligarch to afford its fuel bill. Fear not, because Peugeot shared your dream and they have already given us a new worldy, grain-fed 308. Yes, a small European hatchback is now what the kids of today dream of, and their memories of summer holidays will not be of long highway drives, but trips to the solarium or to the latest organically approved market to pick up some lima bean fed yak milk, or something. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, Peugeot Australia, in a fit of family fury, has just announced their 308 Touring range. So you see, your 308 dream car can come alive once again. This time with as many as five are-we-nearly-there-yets in the back. Seven seats in all. Happy days indeed!