Unless your local police force harbors a crop of non-conformists, it’s easy to believe rear-drive Chevrolet sedans bowed out in the 1990s.
Of course, that’s not true. General Motor’s Australian Holden division saw fit to continue sending a limited number of rebadged Commodore sedans our way, long after the Impala and Caprice faded into the history books. Gussied up with a few tell-tale styling cues, the Commodore easily morphed into the performance-oriented Chevrolet SS and fleet-only Caprice PPV. Both models sell in limited numbers on this side of the Pacific, but not for long.
With Holden poised to pull the plug on Australian manufacturing later this year, the old-school Commodore has only months left to live. That means the exotic, badge-engineered American brothers will cease to exist after the 2017 model year.
High-tech computer-aided design has made relative child’s play out of laying out new ideas when building cars and eliminates tedious, expensive, and time-consuming trial-and-error. Some Australians have taken to YouTube to show off what they can do when they turn their multi-core processors toward the most basic form of motorsport: Formula Vee.
Don’t you hate it when you’ve bragged to your friends for months about the brawny V8 engine in your Ram 1500, only to check the oil one day and discover it’s a V6?
That’s the joke Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accidentally played after a badging mix-up at the assembly plant. Also in the news this week is a Canadian town that tortures drunk drivers with godawful Nickelback tunes, as well as an Australian suspect who stopped for gas a number of times during a high-speed police pursuit.
Even though Ford hasn’t confirmed it, we know a reborn Ford Bronco is on its way.
Long before a UAW rep spilled the beans about the manly model’s return, Bronco buffs were already giddy with anticipation. TTAC’s managing editor has hardly slept a wink.
Now, word comes that there is indeed a development team hard at work on the model (expected to appear sometime in 2018), but you won’t find them in the vast lands bordered by the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. (Read More…)
After posting sales gains that most automakers would sell their souls for, Jeep’s skyrocketing climb hit the upper limits of the atmosphere in September, with sales dropping by 3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
Maybe the Jeep brand isn’t bigger than Jesus. With the new vehicle market cooling off and two of its oldest — but still strong-selling — models being pared down to one, Jeep needs to branch out to keep the momentum going.
It has products up its sleeve — a Wrangler pickup and $140,000 luxo-ute to name a couple — and has factories planned for developing nations everywhere, but Jeep could reap a sales reward if it stopped screwing up in one obvious but overlooked market. (Read More…)
It’s a sad day in Australia as Ford Motor Company closes the door on 91 years of domestic vehicle production.
Some 600 Ford employees are now out of work after the automaker shut down factories in Melbourne and Geelong. This marks not just the end of Australian Ford production, but the death of a long-running nameplate. (Read More…)
Anything that happens in Australia is already sort of funny, because we all remember the Simpsons episode where the Aussie locals play knifey-spoony and Homer salutes the toilet.
Well, from the land of Midnight Oil, Nicole Kidman and the defunct Ford Falcon Ute comes this story, thanks to Jalopnik, the South Australia Police, and a man who wouldn’t let a missing steering wheel end his motoring dreams. (Read More…)
Every country has its linguistic eccentricities. The Brits continue to call transport trucks “lorries” (and then there’s all that “boot” and “bonnet” stuff), while other locales adopt their own unique terminology for the same object or thing.
The first-generation Buick LaCrosse was sold as the Allure in Canada because “lacrosse” is Quebecois slang for something to which an entire Seinfeld episode is dedicated.
Australia is no different, but many people Down Under aren’t happy with a new term that is creeping into the country’s vernacular: “truck.” (Read More…)
There’s sad news from Down Under. No, Paul Hogan is still alive, and no, dingoes didn’t get into a local kindergarten.
The last Ford Falcon Ute rolled off the assembly line in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows today, ending 55 years of continuous production, Car Advice reports. The death of the FG X Falcon Ute heralds the looming demise of Australian Ford assembly, and leaves just one (doomed) ute in the marketplace of the country that invented it. (Read More…)
Update: Automotive News is reporting General Motors is now focusing “on the higher end of the market while the Japanese firm sticks to selling vehicles for everyday commercial purposes,” strongly hinting that GM is the one that broke off the collaboration. We’ve added detail below.
After announcing a new bromance with Mazda just over a week ago, Isuzu is calling it quits with its old beau General Motors.
(Or maybe GM caught Isuzu cheating behind its back. Who knows? The relationship dynamics at play between automakers are difficult to flesh out.)
Regardless, midsize trucks — badged as both Isuzus and Chevrolets — will be no more in the Land of Smiles. The duo, which has a truck plant each in Thailand, will decouple their R&D efforts as they move toward engineering new global midsize pickups.
If you’ve ever though the backseat and trunk in your 3 Series would be a perfect place to put a long, flat cargo space for hauling dirtbikes, start planning a move to Australia.
According to Motoring, the German automaker is considering fielding a pickup variant Down Under — a move once thought impossible, but now looks much more likely, thanks to Bimmer’s rival. (Read More…)
As U.S. customers await the unannounced Santa Cruz-like sort-of ute they’ve been promised for some time, Australia is getting traction from Hyundai on a genuine midsize pickup.
Following much lobbying from down under, Hyundai Australia’s chief operating officer Scott Grant told Car Advice that company brass in South Korea are slowly coming into agreement on the need for a bona fide pickup, but fans will have to be patient. (Read More…)
A diesel version of the Mazda3 is dead in Australia, reports CarAdvice, leaving just the gasoline-powered version of Mazda’s compact on the market.
The removal of the diesel model comes ahead of a mid-cycle refresh that will bring Mazda’s hatchback and sedan inline visually with the refreshed Mazda6 and CX-5, and the new CX-9.
A number of circumstances played into Mazda’s decision to discontinue the compression-ignition option.
One supermarket’s loss was Ehren Thompson’s gain.
The Sydney, Australia man was able to use a 77-pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese he found at a local grocery store to get himself into a used Peugeot hatchback, according to BuzzFeed News. (Read More…)
It beats hooning your mom’s Honda Odyssey.
A teenager took the top spot in the first three races of the Toyota 86 Racing Series this past weekend, beating back the 38 entrants in the fledgling event.
Former kart champion Cameron Hill’s win is exactly what Toyota had in mind when it crafted the three-year series. Designed as an entry point for up-and-coming drivers, the series pits up to five professional drivers against a field of amateurs, with training being top of mind. (Though a $125,000 prize pool sweetens the deal). (Read More…)