It’s our turn to capture the imagination of the motoring world, writes Paul Gover
THE greatest show on wheels returns to Australia’s motown next month. Melbourne is hosting the born-again Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) for the first time with the promise of nearly 50 new and updated models, as well as 10 hi-tech concept cars.
The event, which starts on July 1, marks a massive change in the history of Australian motoring, with a new date and a new approach to the country’s biggest and brightest newcar showcase.
The event is now a joint venture between the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, and ends the interstate rivalry that saw the Melbourne and Sydney shows competing for attention each year.
The first amalgamated show was run in NSW last year and now it’s Victoria’s turn.
The plan is to alternate the host city and help build an event with an Asia-Pacific appeal that will turn the global motoring spotlight on Australia.
The Melbourne Exhibition Centre will host big and small brands, affordable and outrageous cars, with the world’s headline makers vying for bragging rights.
BMWis shipping its Vision ED concept car to Australia for the show, and it will be up against the futuristic Mazda Shinari, which points to the next generation of production cars from the Japanese maker.
On the production-car front, Lamborghini has the first Australia appearance of its new headliner, the Aventador LP700-4. Its 6.5-litre V12 engine makes 515kW of power and 690Nm of torque, able to blast it to 100km/h in less than three seconds.
Among the other concept cars are a plug-in electric Audi eTron, Hyundai’s HMD-6, the good-looking new Subaru XV and the Lexus LF-Gh — complete with a Darth Vaderinspired nose— which will arrive to preview the luxury brand’s upcoming mid-sized GS.
Car companies estimate the cost of splashing at the show in the $1 million-plus range, an investment that’s obvious to show organiser Russ Tyrie. Having only one major motor show in the country each year means manufacturers are more willing to sink resources into making an impact, Mr Tyrie says.
If they want to make an impact with the general public, they only have one chance to do it, which is great news for our visitors.
The chance to see hyper-cars such as the new Lamborghini for the very first time, or a concept car like Mazda’s Shinari, is always a drawcard for motor shows.
But, away from the dream machines, there will be plenty of chance for back-to-back comparisons of the latest production cars.
Kia will have its new Rio, Land Rover will show its baby Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz has its latest hi-tech green engines, and other brands with something to trumpet include Audi, Ford, Holden, Hyundai, Jaguar, Lexus, Maserati, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Skoda, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.