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No Golf GTI manual: Is this the beginning of the end?

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No Golf GTI manual: Is this the beginning of the end?

Well, that's it. No manual transmission for the powered-up Volkswagen Golf GTI range announced this week. Worse, this obituary follows news that the new Polo GTI will also be a DSG-only proposition...

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It's because you're fat
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It's because you're fat

Pundits have been mansplaining the increasing popularity of SUVs ever since it became evident SUVs were increasing in popularity. And make no mistake, they are very popular and getting more so. Last year, Mitsubishi sold 19,403 ASXs, Mazda flogged 17,490 CX-3s, and Nissan’s Qashqai was parked in 13,495 garages. These are all considered small SUVs under $40,000...


No Takata fix? No registration. It's time.
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No Takata fix? No registration. It's time.

We’re more than five years into the biggest global automotive recall of all time, to rectify a potentially faulty component that has killed at least 20 people and injured hundreds. Yet the saga’s end appears some time away, despite one major potential solution staring us in the face. But first, background...


Proof: Speed cameras aren't working
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Proof: Speed cameras aren't working

Like clockwork, each year the state governments of Australia rake in a little over $1.1 billion in revenue from speed cameras. And, that figure generally increases each year, ensuring a revenue stream for each state. Most of that money goes back into improving the road network and driver education – but are speed cameras and their income actually helping make us better, safer drivers? The statistics say no...


Hyundai's i30 N is a proper hot hatch, and a Golf GTI beater
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Hyundai's i30 N is a proper hot hatch, and a Golf GTI beater

Dethroning a king is never easy. Historically, even knifing a king in the back is a dangerous business, let alone removing one as publicly as we have done this week. You’ll see, through our comprehensive comparisons, Hyundai's i30 N has ended the Volkswagen Golf GTI's reign as the quintessential hot hatch...


The Bugatti Veyron experience, a decade on
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The Bugatti Veyron experience, a decade on

It was just over 10 years ago this month that Anthony Crawford, Paul Maric and I (plus Karl Peskett, our then videographer and now occasional contributor) paid our own way to visit Bugatti’s factory in Molsheim, France, and spent two days with the Veyron. Then, the world’s fastest and most expensive car...


Today, more pedestrians were killed by human drivers than autonomous cars
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Today, more pedestrians were killed by human drivers than autonomous cars

Bridget Driscoll isn’t exactly a household name. But thanks to being in the wrong place at the wrong time on 17 August, 1896, Ms Driscoll entered the annals of automotive history by becoming the first pedestrian killed by a car, according to Guinness World Records...


I drove a Chinese-made MG and... I liked it
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I drove a Chinese-made MG and... I liked it

For those of you that made it to our recent Sydney open day, you would’ve seen that our garage is an L-shaped mess, with a stack formation of cars that means first in, last out. As a result, when a car needs to get out, it requires half a dozen people to move those behind it. On one recent occasion, I was handed the keys to the new MG ZS small SUV so that it could make way for another car heading for a photo shoot...


We need Motorsport in the Olympics
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We need Motorsport in the Olympics

We have some rather strange sports now in both the winter and summer Olympics. Now excuse me, but how is trampoline an Olympic sport? Or what about ‘race walking’, where fully grown adults walk as fast as possible without running? Those are just the active ones, but back throughout the history of the Olympics there have been some even stranger ones, like live pigeon shooting, rope climbing, tug of war, long and high jump for horses, tandem cycling and more...


Japan owned the 2018 Detroit motor show
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Japan owned the 2018 Detroit motor show

Michigan may well be home to the ‘Big Three’ US brands, but the North American International Auto Show held in Detroit this week had a strangely contrarian element. The three most interesting concept cars - the lifeblood of any self-respecting motor show - were produced by brands with Japanese roots: the Infiniti Q Inspiration, Lexus LF-1 Limitless and Nissan Xmotion...


The neat little features every new car should bloody have by now
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The neat little features every new car should bloody have by now

It was only when I sat down to begin writing this rant that I realised the immense pettiness of it… but, you know what, I'm running with it. Let's start 2018 with a big bloody whinge. Here it is. Nothing grinds my gears more in a new car than the absence of a little feature that ought to be standard by now...


HSV SportsCat? That's not the whackiest name in history, but it's up there…
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HSV SportsCat? That's not the whackiest name in history, but it's up there…

When Sir Jez Spinks returned from HSV's big event last week with news of the performance company's latest offering, I cringed. Not at its over-the-top design, and not even at the absence of any additional power. But… that name. SportsCat. Not just HSV SportsCat, either...


Tesla Roadster launch is an illusion, nothing more
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Tesla Roadster launch is an illusion, nothing more

Who saw that coming? Tesla, having announced its semi-trailer to the world, whipped the covers off a successor to its first vehicle last week, the Roadster. Its claimed numbers are seriously impressive: the 'base' car dispatches the 0-96km/h sprint in 1.9 seconds, and will have a top speed around 400km/h. Oh, and range is expected to be around 1000km...


Autonomous driving: Kill or be killed?
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Autonomous driving: Kill or be killed?

When the inevitable finally happens, and the Nannies in Charge decree that humans are too stupid and/or dangerous to be allowed on roads and that computers should drive, the scariest thing won’t be worrying over whether your autonomous car can keep you safe, it will be the fear that it might one day decide you need to die...


The most infuriating fake bits on today's cars
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The most infuriating fake bits on today's cars

As manufacturers look to establish new, clear identities among their competitors, car design has taken a few interesting turns. In some cases, that's a good thing – interesting LED signatures, for example – but there are some that don’t actually serve a purpose, and look terrible to boot. Here are our least favourite non-functional styling touches, and where to find them...


Cars that should be sold in Australia
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Cars that should be sold in Australia

Australia is one of the most diverse, fragmented automotive markets in the world. We have more brands to choose from than the US, where 15-times more vehicles are sold. Yet local product planners across the 60-plus car makers that sell their wares here regularly opt not to import and distribute certain models, usually citing a lack of projected demand or a difficult “business case” — code for “too bloody expensive”...


Toll roads: I want a refund
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Toll roads: I want a refund

Imagine buying anything, and I mean anything at all, and it didn’t work as advertised. Imagine a TV, for example, that only broadcast three channels. Or a toaster that refused to pop up. Or imagine buying a box of chocolates and when you opened the box, you discover half of them are missing...


Mocking BMW's niche cars says more about you, than it
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Mocking BMW's niche cars says more about you, than it

Forget the aphorism about opinions being like arseholes. Not everyone has them, and many of those who do are bang on. Yet like clockwork, any yarn about a niche model, strange derivative, new body type, is met by derisive fervour - sourced from those clearly unaware of irony...


Electric cars are nowhere
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Electric cars are nowhere

The Frankfurt motor show is big. It’s like if they took Sydney’s international and domestic airports, tripled it in size, took away any form of cohesive internal transport and put lots of cars in it. Even then, I think the Frankfurt show is bigger. Every two years when I attend the show I always vow that next time, I will actually see things...


2017 Frankfurt motor show: Hits and misses
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2017 Frankfurt motor show: Hits and misses

The opening press days of the 2017 Frankfurt motor show have now wrapped up, with the year's biggest motor show now open to the public. This year's event brought us a host of new production models and concepts, and more than a few hints at what we can expect to see on the road in the years ahead. For a full list of the big unveilings, see our What To Expect article...