Here’s where we round up all the latest Aussie car news. This week: Sydney road closures, Ford’s last ever Falcon, GoCatch launches it’s Uber rival and we take a deep dive into Lexus’s Multi Stage Hybrid System.
£2,434,500. That’s what the only public sale of the Aston Martin DB10 driven by Daniel Craig’s James Bond in Spectre sold for, at an auction at Christie’s in London overnight. That money, nearly $5 million, goes straight to Médecins Sans Frontières, and the DB10 goes straight into the garage of one lucky car collector.
This particular DB10 is the only car of the 10 models created to go on public sale. Of the 10 built by Aston Martin, eight were constructed for and used in Spectre, one was saved for public display and the final one — the only one ever to be released into the wild — is what just sold for nearly $5 million.
Construction for the new CBD and South East Light Rail network with start near Sydney’s The Rocks region on 11 March and continue for the rest of 2016, Transport for NSW has announced. This means traffic changes for the area.
Transport for NSW said in a statement it is “working closely with the residential, tourist and business community to ensure The Rocks remains a great place to live, work and visit during and after light rail construction.”
Ford’s last ever Falcon has been revealed, and it’s a beauty. Under the bonnet of the barnstorming 4.0-litre turbocharged XR6 Sprint, though, it’s more Australian than ever — with a carbon fibre air intake designed and built in Geelong that is a first for the 120-year-old car company.
The 2017 Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo Sprint will likely be the fastest Falcon ever produced by Ford’s Australian factories in Broadmeadows, with a big power bump from the last model’s 270kW/533Nm in the standard model to a huge 325kW/576Nm in the Sprint edition and overboost temporarily pumping things to 370kW and 650Nm. The $54,990 car will be faster in a 0-100km/h sprint than the XR8 Sprint it shares a nameplate with, and part of that is due to Ford Australia’s uniquely designed carbon fibre air intake.
Ford has had third-party power upgrades for its Falcon for decades, with Tickford and then Ford Performance Vehicles using the stock cars as a base to do some pretty impressive stuff. Ford in Australia has taken that idea a little further, though, with the long-awaited introduction of Mountune performance parts for the smaller Fiesta ST and Focus ST.
Coming into the country as part of the new Ford Licensed Accessory program, the Mountune gear will be sold in kits that will give both the zippy Fiesta ST and the already-quick Focus ST significant power gains. The 1.6-litre Fiesta, for example, jumps from 134kW of peak power and 230Nm of torque to 158kW/320Nm, and the 2.0-litre Focus goes from 184kW/345Nm to 202kW/400Nm.
The new Lexus LC500h announced this week is the first car to use Lexus’ next-generation hybrid petrol-electric drivetrain, the technology inside which will flow on to future Lexus cars in the future. The LC500h is the first luxury car with a 10-speed automatic transmission, but it’s the fact that Lexus is using a gearbox on the electric motor as well that’s really interesting.
Lexus’ Multi Stage Hybrid System is the new technology on show, pairing a Lexus-developed 220kW 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 44kW electric motor and lithium ion battery pack and delivering drive to the hybrid LC500h’s rear wheels — just like the 5.0-litre V8 Lexus LC500 introduced at the Detroit Motor Show in January. The new tech also allows for Lexus to implement the world’s first manually-activated gearshifts on a true series-hybrid car, with paddles on the steering wheel for drivers to tap away at.
GoCatch have launched GoCar, “the country’s first locally-owned ride-sharing service”, in Sydney.
The service is available through the regular GoCatch app, and aims to “offer passengers and drivers new levels of choice and usher in an alternative to the unpopular surge fare pricing, favoured by other operators.”
McLaren has two unique cars on display at the Geneva Motor Show this year. McLaren’s skunkworks Special Operations group has created an all-carbon-fibre tribute to the outgoing P1, and there’s also a carbon-fibre-bodied bespoke version of the new 675LT Spider, McLaren’s fastest ever street legal convertible.
These two cars are beautiful. The bare carbon fibre looks great on the one-off McLaren P1, the amazing hybrid petrol-electric hypercar competing with the LaFerrari and Porsche’s 918 Spyder. And while the carbon fibre bodywork on the MSO-designed bespoke 675LT Spider is covered by a layer of Ceramic Grey paint, that doesn’t stop it being bonkers fast — zero to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds, zero to 200km/h in 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 326km/h. If you happen to be in Geneva when the show kicks off at the start of March, go have a look.