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Wheels (Australia) - - Your Say -

MAKE US A LE­MON AID

I’VE USED Wheels mag­a­zine as a ref­er­ence guide for all things au­to­mo­tive for over 40 years – back when Robbo was young and we could both do the 100 me­tres in un­der 12 sec­onds (shanks’s pony, that is).

Here’s an idea for Wheels to keep its spot as a hard-copy ref­er­ence guide to the 60-years-plus bri­gade: with the class ac­tion against Toy­ota’s 2.8-litre diesel DPF system, the petrol and oil di­lu­tion prob­lem in Honda’s 1.5 turbo, VW Diesel­gate and so on, it would be great if Wheels could have a ‘le­mon’ col­umn which iden­ti­fies cur­rent au­to­mo­tive is­sues and the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ ac­tions to cor­rect or clar­ify them.

Not only could we be more knowl­edge­able about our next pur­chase, but the car com­pa­nies would also not be able to im­i­tate a bunch of ostriches and give us the mush­room treat­ment.

Keep up the good work, and I look for­ward to be­ing buried with my thou­sands of back copies of Wheels.

Doug Cro­ker, But­ler, WA

Good sugges­tion, Doug. Con­sider it added to the next meet­ing’s agenda – Ed

MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO IM­I­TATE A BUNCH OF OSTRICHES “

QUIET ACHIEVER

I WAS FAS­CI­NATED by the ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle by Peter Robin­son on the Audi Quat­tro all­wheel-drive system ( Wheels, Septem­ber 2019). One could be for­given for get­ting the idea that Audi was the first man­u­fac­turer to en­gi­neer, de­velop and mar­ket such a system but that would be a big mis­con­cep­tion. You see, most jour­nal­ists and his­to­ri­ans over­look one of the min­nows of the auto in­dus­try, Subaru, who were the first on the mar­ket with a sen­si­ble all-wheel-drive system.

Un­til the re­lease of the AWD Leone wagon in 1972/73, all pre­vi­ous AWD sys­tems were mas­sive in size, very heavy and rather crude in op­er­a­tion. The Subaru system, while not per­ma­nent AWD at first, was sim­ple in de­sign and use, light (it only added 60kg to the car) and was driver-se­lectable on the move. The Audi system, whilst so­phis­ti­cated as far as its engi­neer­ing was con­cerned, was very ex­pen­sive to man­u­fac­ture.

In June 1982, Subaru in­tro­duced its Tour­ing Wagon here, which was the world’s first car with an au­to­matic gear­box and press-but­ton 4WD en­gage­ment. What the small Subaru team achieved was ground­break­ing, but they have never re­ceived the ac­co­lades they so richly de­serve.

Gavin Farmer, Bridge­wa­ter, SA

They have now, Gavin. Well played – Ed

AUSSIE CARS? AU YES WE CAN!

THE RE­CENT STORY in the news on bring­ing back the AU Fal­con gave me a chuckle. But then I thought, what if it were taken se­ri­ously and we ac­tu­ally brought to­gether as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to crowd-fund re­ac­ti­va­tion of one of the many lo­cal car pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties? I re­alise there‘s a lot in­volved, but we still have all the right peo­ple and ex­per­tise, all the right in­fra­struc­ture, and clearly still a rea­son­able level of de­mand for Aussie-built cars. If aimed at a smaller sales tar­get and with suf­fi­cient pri­vate and gov­ern­ment back­ing, I reckon build­ing a lo­cally de­signed and man­u­fac­tured range would be a goer.

Darcy May­nard, Can­berra

We ad­mire your op­ti­mism, Darcy, but sorry, you’ll have to con­sider us non-starters for that par­tic­u­lar crowd-fund­ing project – Ed

A POINT OF STYLE

THANKS FOR PUBLISHING Andy En­right’s won­der­fully con­tro­ver­sial claim that the early’90s RX-7 was a high-wa­ter mark in styling for Ja­panese cars ( Wheels, Au­gust 2019). Love it! I can only sug­gest you step off the sushi train, Andy. Even within the Mazda pan­theon the MX-5 NB2 is a bet­ter-pro­por­tioned and styled car (I have to say this, be­cause I own one!). Then there’s the early-‘70s RX-3 coupe, but best of all there’s the cirac-1967 1500 sedan as styled by Ber­tone, and I’ve got a funny feel­ing that the short-lived 1800 that fol­lowed looked even bet­ter.

Fraser Faith­full, email

Sound points, Fraser – how­ever, this is sound­ing like a de­bate for which the old phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the be­holder’ was per­fectly coined – Ed

CADDY’S NO COM­MODORE

I SEE FROM YOUR web­site that Wheels is get­ting all ex­cited about a new Cadil­lac ar­riv­ing for test­ing, and the pos­si­bil­ity of it re­plac­ing the cur­rent Com­modore.

Fact is, the world has moved on since the demise of the Aussie-made Com­modore. The lat­est im­port has been a sales disas­ter.

Since 1948, Holden has told the public that you must have six cylin­ders and rear-drive. No one knows why. Then it had the stu­pid­ity to try and sell a 2.0-litre four-cylin­der front-driver as a Com­modore. (Yes, I know there is a V6 AWD.) Well, guess what: you’d be bet­ter off with a Camry, which also of­fers the op­tion of state-ofthe-art hy­brid tech­nol­ogy.

I note that the base Caddy is also a 2.0-litre turbo, but RWD, so that won’t cut it as a Com­modore. Then there’s the small is­sue of price. If it’s $40K in the USA, just do the con­ver­sion: about $70K-plus start­ing price here, which puts it in Ge­n­e­sis, Lexus ter­ri­tory.

What I think you can be cer­tain of is that if they mar­ket it here, it will be as a Cadil­lac.

Lind­say Tay­lor, Sor­rento, WA THE RAGGED EDGE

YOUR RE­PORT DIS­CUSSING the Toy­ota RAV4 vs the Subaru Forester 2.5i-s ( Wheels, Septem­ber 2019) doesn’t ad­dress any driv­ing be­yond tar­mac. Given there are a lot of soc­cer mums who push the bound­aries when driv­ing around the grassy verges of school yards and sub­ur­ban sports fields, it would be nice to know which of these two can han­dle the light off-road ac­tion. There is more to all-wheel-drive SUVS than ur­ban fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures.

Paul Collinson, Camira, Qld

Fair enough, Paul. Both Forester and RAV4 are off-road ca­pa­ble, but it would take very spe­cific ter­rain to sep­a­rate them in terms of abil­ity. The Forester has a the­o­ret­i­cal ad­van­tage due to slightly greater ground clear­ance and con­stant all-wheel drive – Ed

DATA RES­CUE

I EN­JOY Wheels’ car tests and ob­jec­tive re­views. I al­ways use the pric­ing and spec­i­fi­ca­tion ta­bles at the back of the mag­a­zine to look at the sec­tion re­lated to the ve­hi­cle I’m con­sid­er­ing, and see in which is­sues over the past few years you have re­viewed that ve­hi­cle or some­thing sim­i­lar.

It seems that this spe­cific in­for­ma­tion is no longer in­cluded in those ta­bles. Please ad­vise where this crucial in­for­ma­tion is avail­able. With­out it, of course, I would have to go trawl­ing through all older mag­a­zines one by one in the hope of find­ing rel­e­vant road tests – what a ridicu­lous night­mare!

Greg Mor­timer, via email

We’re all about cre­at­ing dreams, not night­mares, Greg, so you’ll find the newly ex­panded Data­bank sec­tion in the back of this is­sue. En­joy – Ed

“STEP OFF THE SUSHI TRAIN, ANDY

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