Over in Australia, the Holden Commodore is considered a national treasure, a model that has been around since the 1970’s and is considered as one of the most popular models down under.

So you can imagine why the recent debut of the 2013 VF Commodore, particularly the upscale Calais V trim, is a big deal in the land of the Aussies. Our mates over there love this car and everything it represents as a high-powered luxury sedan with some hints of muscle attached to it.

Unfortunately, it’s rumored to be headed to the trash can in a few years - unlike its American twin, the Chevrolet SS - so the debut of the 2013 VF Commodore is even more special than normal because, well, this could very well be the last version of the almighty Commodore to grace Australia before it’s discontinued.

Let’s all hope that the model has a life left in it, but for now, we’re here to rejoice in the present. And the present says, "Welcome to the world, 2013 Holden VF Commodore!"

Find out more after the jump

The Land Down Under is fixing to get an infusion of M awesomeness after BMW’s Australian division launched a series of limited-run M Sport models as part of the company’s "Festival of M".

That’s really great, made even more so by the fact that the M Sport lineup will feature a number of models, each coming with their own unique modifications. The biggest of the bunch is the X5 M Sport Limited Edition and BMW Australia decked with a bevy of new components. The M Sport body kit is obviously fitted into the SUV, as was a chrome M Sport tailpipe finisher, bi-xenon headlights and a set of 20-inch M double spoke alloy wheels. Looking at the photo of the SUV, though, there doesn’t appear to much of a difference from the standard model.

Meanwhile, the interior is dressed up too, at least to a certain extent. There’s the M leather-wrapped steering wheel with gearshift paddles and electric seats. Other components include a Navigation Professional package, an automatic tailgate, a rearview camera, voice control and anti-dazzle exterior mirrors. This one isn’t exactly our cup of tea, at least compared to what the other M Sport limited edition models.

The next two are the 5-Series and Z4 , both of which will receive an M Sport package that includes an M Sport suspension, a new aero kit, a leather steering wheel, a set of bespoke 18-inch alloys, blue leather-piped velour floor mats, chrome-plated "Limited Edition" door sill finishers, an anthracite headliner for the coupe, and blue-stitched upholstery. Now this is more like it. The mixture of aesthetic and aero upgrades is definitely right in our wheelhouse. If you can get aftermarket performance upgrades on that Z4, then you really have something there.

Finally, the 1-Series and 3-Series Coupe and Convertible have received M Sport Plus packages, comprising of an aluminum glacier silver interior trim with glossy-black kidney grilles. The 3er, in particular, also has new sport seats, black exterior mirror caps, and stainless steel foot pedals.

If given a choice, we’re definitely rolling with the Z4 M Limited Edition. Its program is comprehensive enough without being too tacky.

Check out the price list of all M Limited Edition models after the jump.

While we are all waiting to see the new generation M3 sedan, BMW decided to offer us a new special edition based on the coupe version. The new M3 Pure Edition has been specially designed for the Australian market and is priced at $AUD 125,000 ($131,400 at the current exchange rates) - or about $AUD 30,000 ($31,500) below the standard $AUD155,100 ($163,000) M3.

Despite its low price, this M3 Pure is highly equipped. It offers standard features like: bi-xenon headlights, Professional satellite navigation, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, front and rear parking sensors and a new carbon fiber roof replacing the standard sunroof option. For the interior BMW is offering new seats trimmed in Anthracite cloth and black leather, black Novillo leather headrests embossed with the BMW M logo, and Titanium Shadow interior trim.

If the list of standard features is not enough for you, BMW is also offering a pretty impressive list of optional features: BMW’s M Drive, dynamic damper control, Competition Package and metallic paint.

Deleted from the standard M3 package — helping to drop the $AUD 30,000 from the base price — are the keyless entry and ignition, adaptive headlights, high-beam assist, heated seats, harmon/kardon audio, CD changer and the folding mirrors. This makes the Pure Edition a pure driver’s car with no real frills, besides a monstrous engine, to write home about.

Unfortunately, this option is only available in the Australian market and doesn’t look like it’ll make its way to the U.S.


Australians, for the most part, are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It’s rare to have a conversation with one and not say "he’s a pretty cool dude.” So, when news broke out that our friends from “Down Under” recently set a new world record, we were interested to see what it was they actually accomplished.

Low and behold, it was about something that fit right in our wheel house.

At the Summernats Car Festival 2013 in Canberra, 69 cars set a new Guinness Book world record by performing the world’s largest simultaneous burnout . As you can see, the amateur video of the record-setting achievement, posted by YouTube user "lolsupkent," comes with a lot of smoke, a lot of burnt rubber, and presumably, a lot of ecstatic people for being involved, or having witnessed the record-setting achievement.

If for nothing else, the video goes to show how fun a burnout really is. Having 69 cars do it simultaneously is, well, 69 times more enjoyable. If you’ve ever wondered how clouds are made in Australia, look no further than this video for the proof.

Australian racing company Austech Motorsport has spent a large part of its time developing a GT race car based on the Hyundai Genesis Coupe . The team has actually been around for quite some time now and its objective has always been to provide privateers with an affordable race car that can be homologated to take part in different racing series with minimal work.

According to Austech’s website, the Genesis Coupe racer has yet to be homologated for racing use in GTE, GT3, and Grand Am classes, but Austech made it clear that the car can be raced in a number of international racing series, as well as endurance events, like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

Austech designed the Genesis Coupe GT Race Car with an emphasis placed on strength and serviceability of its components, allowing engineers to be able to work on the car with minimal hassle. That being said, there’s some acknowledgement due for a company that takes the time to develop a car specifically for racing use.

This Genesis Coupe carries a 5.0-liter V-8 engine and can produce anywhere between 470 to 520 horsepower, depending on the category restrictions for each racing series. Torque peaks out at 368 pound-feet. Austech also fitted the Genesis Coupe with a 100-liter (26.4-gallon) fuel tank capacity and a sequential shifting gearbox.

The Genesis Coupe race car looks the part of an affordable entry to a racing series, and according to Austech, will be available to race beginning in the 2013 season with a price of €280,000 ($370,860 at the current exchange rates).

Lexus of Brisbane recently made a pretty important purchase to bolster its standing as one of the premier Lexus dealerships in Australia. This all-important purchase was three IS-F race cars built by Mauer Racing of Switzerland.

Bought initially to become demonstrators and customer experience racers, Lexus of Brisbane is also thinking of unleashing these three bad boys out on a race track in the future. And why not, especially when you consider that Mauer Racing built these cars to serve that sole function.

For one, these cars are powered by the same TRD-developed, 600-horsepower, 4.7-litre V-8 engines that powered several Daytona prototype race cars in the United States. In addition, the race cars have also been given a slew of new race-specific features, including Motec engine management systems, ZF Sachs dampers, H&R springs, AP racing clutches and AP airlocks.

Other design details of the IS-F Race Cars include a wide-body cage monocoque that significantly helps in cutting down the car’s weight to just 1,290 kg (2,843 pounds). A six-speed, rear-mounted Hewland transmission was also installed, as were a set of 18-inch BBS wheels – 11-by-18-inch center-lock fronts and 12.5-by-18-inch center-lock rears - wrapped in racing tires.

Considering the history of how Lexus Brisbane purchased these three cars — a customer made the suggestion, and it went out and sealed the deal — there’s no telling what the plans are for it, apart from what it’s already mentioned.

Undisciplined drivers on the Australian roads now have a new reason to think twice before putting the pedal to the metal, as the highway patrol has just added a new Ford Falcon GT to its fleet. With 536 horsepower under the hood (up from the car’s standard 449 ponies), this is the most powerful police car to ever patrol Australian roads. These extra ponies are thanks, in part, to a bigger exhaust system and high-flow fuel injectors.

The car has been specially developed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the NSW Police. It comes equipped with the latest radar unit, number-plate-reading technology and a suite of on-board computers that will make catching the bad guys really easy. In all, the Falcon GT police cruiser cost in excess of $100,000 and there is no mention of whether it will see actual police use, or just be a show car. We assume it will be relegated to the latter.

’’It’s a conversation starter,’’ says Inspector John Lipman, the commander of the traffic technology section. ’’It’s about interacting with car enthusiasts and having a similar vehicle to what they would have or what they might aspire to.’’


For the first time in 20 years, Nissan is set to compete in Australia’s Supercar V8 Series and they’re doing so with the 2013 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar.

The car was unveiled at a special event in Melbourne and marks one of the first vehicles that aren’t Ford Falcons or Holden Commodores to compete in the V8 Supercar Series.

Together with its partner Kelly Racing, Nissan is planning to bring four of these models to compete in the 2013 season under the Nissan Motorsport banner. As far as modifications are concerned, the Altima V8 Supercar will get a NISMO-developed 5.0-liter VK56DE V8 engine. Incidentally, this Nismo-sourced V8 powertrain is the same engine that powered the Nissan GT-R FIA GT1 to the FIA GT1 World Championship title back in 2011. To comply with the V8 Supercar regulations, the engine’s displacement was actually reduced from 5.6 liter to 5.0 liters.

Talking to Australia’s Herald Sun, Kelly Racing co-owner and overseer of the Nissan Altima project Todd Kelly has high hopes for the Altima V8 Supercar leading up to its run in the 2013 season of the V8 Supercar Series.

"Factory support is the key to teams winning Bathurst and V8 Supercar championships," Kelly said.

"There’s nothing more exciting for a drive than to unveil a car with a brand new chassis that takes it to a new level.’’

UPDATE: 11/05/12: A week after Nissan pulled the covers off of the Altima V8 Supercar Racer, the automaker finished its first run of testing at Calder Park Raceway. At the end of the test session, the team seemed happy with the results, although they also cautioned that there’s more work that needs to be done to make the Altima V8 Supercar racer up to speed. Check out the video of the car’s test run by clicking on the photo above!

UPDATE 02/13/13: A few months after unveiling the Altima V8 Supercar Series Race Car, Nissan took it one step further with the debut of the actual race cars with their liveries in tow to go with the driver announcements for the two teams the Japanese automaker will be fielding in the V8 Supercar Series. Check out the fresh batch of pics in the gallery below!

Source: Herald Sun

Hyundai Australia is making a serious statement at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show. Not content with just one concept showing, the Australian-based arm of the Korean automaker is presenting another one in the form of the Veloster Race Concept.

The car, which was developed in the country, is the company’s take on a new race car that was designed and engineered to meet FIA and CAMS tarmac rally competition regulations. Short of saying, this baby is ready for some racing.

The Veloster Race Concept is based on a Veloster Turbo and has been stripped down and rebuilt to become a full fledged rally car. Among the more notable modifications done to the car are a number of rally-spec components, including the installation of Kevlar high-performance fuel lines, a new DMS four-way adjustable suspension, competition brake pads from Project Mu, Super Pro brushes, and a new set of 18" Team Dynamics race wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tires.

Inside, you’ll find no traces of a production Veloster Turbo. In place of all those goodies, Hyundai Australia opted for a carbon fiber-clad interior that comes with Recaro carbon seats and multi-point three-inch seat belts, a Sparco race steering wheel, an anti-glare dashboard, and most importantly, a CAMS-FIA-compliant roll cage.

Under the hood, the Veloster Race Concept carries a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

All told, Hyundai is prepping the Veloster Race Concept as a car that’s ready to plow its trade in a number of racing series, including the Australian Production GT and the Australian Rally Championship.

Sounds like its ready to roll to us, too.

The 2012 Australian Motor Show has been a pleasant surprise to us, largely because of the number of models that made their debuts Down Under.

One vehicle that caught our eye comes from Subaru and what appears to be a partnership with New Zealand-based racing outfit Possum Bourne Motor Sport involving the BRZ .

The BRZ Race Car was customized to be a club-level race car and comes in three track-ready packages. For the entry-level package, the features include a number of carbon fiber parts, including the mirror caps and the door panels, a full-on roll cage kit with Recaro motorsport seats, Sabelt six-point harness, and fuel system modifications.

The second package comes with more added components. First, there’s the new set of 18" Enkei lightweight wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R motorsport tires. From there, PBMS also added driveline and suspension modifications, highlighted by a new Cusco height and damper adjustable coil over suspension system. There’s also a brake package that includes AP front and rear rotors and calipers and an STI handbrake, as well as an electrical kit that comes with wiring and circuit breakers. Last but not least, lightweight battery Recaro winged-HANS seats round out the upscale package for the BRZ race car.

Then there’s the third option, which includes a complete performance parts package, including engine and gearbox enhancements, all of which catered to the customer’s unique requirements.

Talking about the car, Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior, said: “We’re delighted to display the PBMS BRZ motorsport project car. This car will take the BRZ thrill to a whole new level for those that want some serious trackwork.”

“From day one we have always imagined the BRZ would appeal to the ‘weekend warriors’ - people who enjoy club level motorsport activities. PBMS has developed packages that will appeal to these enthusiasts.”


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