The Australian international motor show returns to the harbour city in October in what is now the third year the event has alternated annually between Melbourne and Sydney.
While a number of vehicles locked in to make their global and local debuts promise to make Sydney 2012 a show to remember, the absence of some traditional eye-candy brands like Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Citroen, Ferrari, Maserati and Mini will be disappointing for visitors.
CarAdvice will be reporting live from the Press Day on October 18 to bring you all the unveilings and all the stories as they happen.
In the meantime, here’s a quick guide to what to expect from each of the manufacturers lining up at this year’s show, which is open to the public from Friday October 19 to Sunday October 28.
Not an official manufacturer stand as such. Instead, the sole Australian owner of the Aston Martin One-77 has decided to give motor show goers a treat by showcasing their recently acquired 559kW/750Nm 7.3-litre V12-powered super coupe in Sydney. Delivered only a few months ago, the ultra-rare (only 77 were made, and one has been written off) coupe was estimated to have set the owner back more than $2.5 million. One of the most sought-after cars on the planet, the One-77 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds and can reach speeds in excess of 350km/h.
SUVs and V8s headline Ford Australia’s motor show exhibition, which will this year include an interactive outdoor display allowing punters to get hands-on with its new vehicles and technologies. The Fiesta-based Ford EcoSport and the mid-sized Ford Kuga will both debut locally ahead of their 2013 launches, while the fastest production Falcon in history, the FPV GT RSPEC, will be joined by FPR’s V8 Supercars ‘Car of the Future’ prototype in a celebration of the brand’s performance pedigree. The Fiesta Metal and Focus ST will also be on display for fans of racy hatches.
Holden, the local lion, will be showing off its new ute-based seven-seat Holden Colorado 7 SUV that will sit above the brand’s two existing Captiva SUVs when it reaches showrooms next year. Practicality will meet passion on the red stand as HSV celebrates a quarter of a century in the muscle car business with the launch of the 325kW/550Nm 6.2-litre V8-engined HSV GTS 25th Anniversary limited edition, along with an updated HSV line-up that includes the return of the HSV Maloo ute and HSV ClubSport sedan.
The all-new Honda CR-V and the Honda Jazz Hybrid will headline the Japanese manufacturer’s Sydney stand. Launching in mid-November, the fourth-generation CR-V promises to be the cheapest one yet, with Honda Australia introducing a front-wheel drive, entry-level model for the first time. The Jazz Hybrid, which hits showrooms early next year, will become the smallest and cheapest petrol-electric model in Honda’s range, and will take on the Toyota Prius C with a sub-$25,000 price tag.
Hyundai is playing its cards close to its chest ahead of the 2012 Sydney show, but insists there will be plenty of surprises on display to draw in the punters. Hyundai’s recently launched showrooms models, including the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, are also expected to make an appearance.
Australia’s newest automotive brand will head to Sydney with its full showroom line-up, including the FX luxury crossover and the M sports sedan, as well as the G37 Coupe and Convertible, which goes on sale in December. The G37 variants are equipped with a 235kW/360Nm 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The Coupe will be offered with Infiniti’s four-wheel active steering system, while the Convertible features a folding hardtop roof that can be opened or closed in 25 seconds.
After its world premiere in Paris last month, the Jaguar F-Type – the British brand’s most anticipated model since its predecessor, the iconic Jaguar E-Type –will pounce into Sydney giving the public only its second ever look at the new sports car before it goes on sale in mid-2013. The updated 2013 Jaguar XF and XJ range will also bring further class and luxury to the big cat’s stand.
The Kia Track’ster concept will inject some attitude to the Korean manufacturer’s 2012 Sydney motor show stand. Kia has been testing the water with the 186kW bulldog-inspired three-door around the world, and will monitor the local crowd’s reaction to the Soul-based model as it continues to mull a production version. The 2013 Kia Rondo MPV will also make its local debut ahead of the all-new compact seven-seater’s local launch around April.
Lamborghini is one of the few true supercar manufacturers to feature at this year’s motor show and with a stand that will include a car driven by Batman himself, a V10-powered performance car concept never before seen in Australia and a couple of other highlights from the Raging Bull, the Italian marque will be sure to do what it does best and draw crowds.
Land Rover/Range Rover
Land Rover fans’ attention will be focused on the all-new fourth-generation Range Rover SUV with the latest iteration of the leader and pioneer of luxury four-wheel driving bringing with it not only heritage and well-known capabilities but also the British brand’s first-ever hybrid powertrain.
Australia will be the first country in the world to experience the 370kW hybrid- powered all-wheel drive Lexus LF-LC II concept, a car the Japanese luxury manufacturer describes as an evolution of the dramatic Lexus LF-LC coupe that first broke cover at the 2012 Detroit motor show in January.
The world premiere of the new-look Mazda CX-9 will headline the Japanese manufacturer’s display in Sydney, with the seven-seater embracing the brand’s new ‘Kodo’ design theme ahead of its launch later this year. Australia will also get its first look at the all-new Mazda6 sedan and wagon, with the third-generation medium car launching locally in the first quarter of 2013. A total of 17 cars will fill a packed stand for Mazda, including the updated Mazda MX-5 roadster coupe.
Three top-secret AMG vehicles built specifically for the Sydney motor show promise to attract big crowds to the Mercedes-Benz stand. Mercedes is keeping its cards close to its chest for now, but has revealed the three models will be similar in concept to the red and black SLS AMG and the bright orange C63 AMG Concept 358 that were unveiled at the 2010 edition of the Sydney show. The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class will also make its local debut at Sydney, where the German manufacturer will reveal pricing details ahead of the small hatchback’s early 2013 launch.
The Mitsubishi Mirage nameplate will return to Australia in January in the form of the Japanese manufacturer’s new global city car, which will make its local debut in Sydney. The new Mirage will be smaller, cheaper and more fuel efficient than the discontinued Colt, giving the brand a competitive player at the budget end of the market. Joining it will be the all-new third-generation Mitsubishi Outlander, which for the first time will be available with a diesel engine option from December, ahead of the launch of the innovative plug-in hybrid variant in the second quarter of 2013.
Seven years after being replaced by the unloved Tiida, the Nissan Pulsar returns to Australia in 2013 to take on the ultra-competitive small-car market. On display in Sydney, the Pulsar sedan will hit showrooms in January, while the high-volume hatch will arrive around April. At the other end of the spectrum, the all-new 298kW/560Nm 5.6-litre V8 Nissan Patrol will also take to the stand, giving local off-road enthusiasts their first look at the brand’s more luxurious, high-tech flagship 4WD.
The Opel Astra OPC will headline the recently introduced German brand’s first Australian motor show stand ahead of its local showroom debut in early 2013. The Astra OPC is powered by a 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which propels the three-door hot-hatch from 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds. Tipped to be priced around $40,000, the front-wheel drive German pocket rocket should provide strong competition for the likes of the Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane RS265 and the Volkswagen Scirocco R.
Following its own hometown motor show in September, the French brand will give local fans a good look at the fresh-faced 2013 Peugeot RCZ coupe, showing off its new hexagonal grille and LED daytime running lights for the first time on Australia soil. The new Peugeot 208 city car, which launched locally last month, will also make an appearance on the Peugeot stand.
Two of the latest model variants to spawn from the new Porsche 991-series 911 base car, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S, will both be at this year’s motor show giving the public a look at the brand’s all-new, all-paw coupes. The 294kW/440Nm 3.8-litre 911 Carrera 4S and 257kW/390Nm 3.4-litre 911 Carrera 4 will be sure to continue the German marque’s habit of impressing all with naturally aspirated in-line six-cylinder engines.
The Proton Preve will become the most advanced model in the brand’s history when the all-new small sedan launches in Sydney. Pronounced ‘pre-VAY’, the compact Malaysian will come standard with six airbags and stability control and the option of either a five-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, with a starting price below $20,000 driveaway. The Proton Preve will be joined at the show by the seven-seat Exora, which will reach local showrooms by the middle of next year.
The Volkswagen-owned Czech budget brand, Skoda, will be hoping its new Skoda Rapid small liftback can impress the Australian public ahead of the four-door’s showroom debut in early 2013. Offering large interior space but small exterior dimensions, once on sale the Rapid will sit between the Fabia city car and the medium-sized Octavia.
Joining the recent Subaru line-up additions of the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car, Liberty Exiga wagon and high-riding Liberty X, an exciting STI-related BRZ vehicle is also set to highlight the Japanese manufacturer’s stand at this week’s motor show in Sydney.
A one-off Suzuki Swift Sport made by program chief engineer Naoyuki Takeuchi, seen earlier this year at the Tokyo Auto Salon will take pride of place on the Suzuki stand. With a unique paint job, body kit, 18-inch wheels, sports brakes and a specced-up interior featuring Recaro bucket seats, the bespoke Swift will sit alongside the updated Suzuki SX4 and Grand Vitara ranges and a selection of the Japanese brand’s motorcycle and marine products. Unfortunately, Suzuki Australia couldn’t get the Suzuki S-Cross concept here in time for the show, following the compact crossover’s international premiere at last month’s Paris motor show.
The Toyota stand will be an exciting place at this year’s motor show with the all-new 11th-generation 2013 Toyota Corolla being joined by the Nurburgring-conquering Gazoo Racing 86 and a vintage Toyota 2000GT. With sharper, sportier looks and the promise of a more exciting drive, the new Corolla will be looking to continue the car’s 45-year streak as an Australian favourite.
Volkswagen will be appealing to buyers after the versatility of an SUV but the style and practicality of a conventional passenger car with the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. With 30mm greater ground clearance than the standard Passat wagon and the benefits of the Haldex all-wheel drive system used in the Volkswagen Tiguan crossover and Golf R hot-hatch, the Passat Alltrack presents an affordable Volkswagen Group option beneath the limited edition Audi A4 Allroad and larger A6 Allroad.
Brands not attending the 2012 Sydney motor show: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Chery, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Great Wall, Lotus, Maserati, McLaren, Mini, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Ssangyong, Volvo.