Tired of walking? Future Movers is our roundup of the week’s biggest news in powered transport. Whether it’s a car or a plane or something in between, you’ll find the Aussie angle on it right here.
The New Toyota Corolla Gets Hybrid Power
Australia’s most popular car is about to get some more green credentials in the form of a hybrid petrol-electric drivetrain. The new Toyota Corolla, set to debut in the middle of the year, will use a third less fuel than the already efficient petrol-only hatchback, and marks the fifth vehicle in Toyota’s Aussie line-up to get an electric boost.
The Corolla has been sold for 50 years continuously in Australia, and from 2012 onwards has well and truly been Australia’s most popular car. The new mid-year update will add the first hybrid drivetrain to the nameplate; previous models in recent years have used a 1.8-litre in-line petrol four cylinder producing 103kW.
A Tesla Supercharger Station Is Planned For Port Macquarie
Tesla’s plans to expand its Supercharger network for the Tesla Model S up the east coast of Australia are well underway, with the approval of a Supercharger station in Port Macquarie being announced. Currently Australia has Supercharger installations in Melbourne, Euora and Wodonga in Victoria, and Gundagai, Goulburn, Sydney City at the Star casino and North Sydney in NSW.
It only takes half an hour of charging at a Supercharger Station to add up to 270 km of travel range, or around three hours worth of highway driving. If you’ve got a little longer to spare, you can get 502km out of a charge — the rated maximum — with the full battery option selected in a little over an hour.
Qantas’s New In-Flight Safety Video Also Shows Australia In All Its Beauty
Video: It’s probably hard to get a plane full of restless travellers to pay attention to a safety video, especially when they’re about to take off in a 575-tonne aircraft and travel for over 12 hours to reach the other side of the world. Qantas’ new in-flight safety film, though, catches your attention by also being one of the most beautiful and visually stunning looks at the Australian landscape that you’ve ever seen.
The video is a collaboration between Qantas and Tourism Australia, and visits 17 iconic locations around the country, like Cradle Mountain in Tasmania and Hamilton Island in Queensland.
How Pro Cyclists Cheat Using Motorised Bikes
If you thought Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal would be the last controversy to rock the world of professional cycling — you were wrong.
In the latest reports of ongoing corruption in pro cycling, the international governing body Union Cyclist International confirmed that a 19-year-old rider Femke Van den Driessche cheated in the World Championships using a small motor to power the rear wheel. The revelation is part of a growing problem in professional cycling that forced the UCI to add a clause to the rulebook about “technological doping” early last year.
Watch The Last Flight Of Air France’s Boeing 747
Video: The beautiful, venerable Boeing 747 is reaching the end of its lifespan at many airlines across the world. Take-up of the new-generation 747-8 has been slow, with many carriers choosing the smaller Boeing 777 alongside the behemoth Airbus A380. Air France has just retired the last of its once-68-strong fleet of 747s, and it flew the final jumbo jet around France with an escort from the country’s premier aerobatic team, the Patrouille de France.
The final flight occurred a few days ago, and saw the Queen of the Skies travel around France’s Camargue region, in formation with the French Acrobatic Patrol’s 12 Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets. The video above is absolutely beautiful — you really get a sense of the 744’s beautiful lines, including that exclusive upper deck section. It’s a fitting send-off to one of the most iconic aircraft of the 20th century. (I strongly recommend you read 747: Creating The World’s First Jumbo Jet.)