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Pricing and specs confirmed for 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63

http://behindthewheel.com.au/pricing-specs-confirmed-2018-mercedes-amg-e-63/

Significant weight savings promised in new-gen Audi A8

Significant weight savings promised in new-gen Audi A8

Body weight to be cut by up to 28% thanks to new Audi construction method…

The 2018 Audi A8 looks set to be a significantly more nimble and efficient offering with Audi utilizing cutting-edge construction technology to shave hundreds of kilos off the saloon’s waistline.

The big change is the introduction of four lightweight materials, including carbon-fibre, aluminium and magnesium in the Audi A8’s chassis.

Known as the Audi Space Frame (ASF), Audi tell us that using this mix of materials makes not only for a lighter chassis, but also a significantly stiffer chassis as well with torsional rigidity up 25%.

Extra weight will also be shaved off the new Audi A8 through the replacement of steel body panels with aluminium, in total, 58% of the body panels will be crafted from the lightweight metal.

Check out more on the Audi Space Frame here…

Stay up to date with the latest Audi News here.

Toyota HiLux Australia’s best-selling vehicle in March 2017

Toyota HiLux Australia’s best-selling vehicle in March 2017

VFACTS data shows Toyota and HiLux on top again…

The VFACTS car sales data for March 2017 is in and once again it was Toyota that finished on top with the highest number of new vehicle sales and the best-selling model in the Toyota HiLux.

Overall, 105,410 new vehicles were delivered to Australian customers in the month and that number represents a 0.9% increase on the same month last year.

While once again it was light commercial vehicles and SUVs that dominated the market with more than 60% of total sales coming from those non-passenger car segments.

March 2017 Car Sales Data – Top Selling Brands:

March 2017 Car Sales Data – Top Selling Models:

Stunning sales growth for Kia in March 2017

Stunning sales growth for Kia in March 2017

Global and domestic car sales on the up for Kia in March…

We are still awaiting Australian car sales data for March with VFACTS data set to be released at midday tomorrow, however we do know that Kia has had a terrific result in March on the global stage.

Sales data released by the South Korean car company tonight shows domestic sales for the brand jumped ahead a mammoth 21.6%, global sales in March 2017 climbed 4.1%.

In total, Kia sold 238,222 vehicles in March 2017.

The domestic/global sales increases come despite a 15.2% slump in Kia vehicle deliveries in the U.S. last month (details here).

Kia’s bestselling model on the global stage in March was the Sportage, the small SUV gaining 41,781 sales in the month.

The Sportage was followed by the Cerato (25,720) and Sorento (18,835).

Keep up to date with the latest Kia News here.

Design award for Mazda MX-5 RF

Design award for Mazda MX-5 RF

Second Red Dot design award for current Mazda MX-5…

The Mazda MX-5 RF has been named the winner of this year’s Red Dot: Best of the Best award.

Coming two years after the current series Mazda MX-5 picked up the same award for the convertible version, judges said the retractable fastback (RF) MX-5 brings coupe practicality along with open top driving fun.

Adding that ‘the RF features a one-of-a-kind lightweight power retractable hardtop that looks fantastic, and in a remarkable display of origami, opens and closes in just 13 seconds‘.

Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s Global Head of Design, welcomed the recognition.

“We’ve taken the MX-5 down an exciting new road with the RF.

“Whenever I see this car, I am reminded of an unprecedented team effort, not only by our designers but also our engineers and production specialists,”

“Every single one of them deserves some of the credit for this achievement.”

The Mazda MX-5 RF is priced from $38,550 and you can check out a recent review of the new Mazda offering here.

2018 Subaru XV about to launch in the U.S.

2018 Subaru XV about to launch in the U.S.

All-new Subaru XV (Crosstrek) coming soon to the U.S…

Here it is, the new-generation Subaru XV and we can confirm that it will be in Australia soon.

Known in the U.S. as the ‘Crosstrek’, the 2018 model has just debuted there and Subaru of America tell us it offers enhanced performance, safety, capability and comfort over the previous generation XV/Crossover.

Built on an all-new platform, the U.S. spec cars will come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Active Torque Vectoring.

The car company saying the system helps reduce understeer and keeps the vehicle on the driver’s intended cornering path.

The new-gen model welcomes more interior space and a significantly more rigid body.

While power will come from an updated and slightly more powerful version of the 2.0 litre boxer engine mated to a CVT auto transmission.

We’ll bring you more details on the new 2018 Subaru XV as it comes to hand and you can follow those developments in our Subaru XV News section.

Next-generation Infiniti QX80 teased

Next-generation Infiniti QX80 teased

Details still sketchy on Infiniti’s New York Auto Show reveal…

Infiniti has just released the above teaser image of a vehicle that it says will be uncovered at the New York Auto Show next week.

Believed to be the new-generation of the Infiniti QX80, at this stage no other details have been revealed.

Infiniti isn’t even saying whether this is a concept vehicle, or if it’s a production ready model.

All will be revealed next week in New York.

What we do know is that the current Infiniti QX80 is certainly no spring chicken and dates back around 7 years.

Launched in Australia in mid-2015, the styling of the full-size Infiniti SUV has certainly proven a talking point and perhaps cost the Japanese manufacturer some local sales.

We will keep you updated as further info comes to hand in our Infiniti News section.

Toyota Prado Altitude back for 2017

Toyota Prado Altitude back for 2017

Ever-popular special edition Prado back once again…

As John Laws famously said “when you’re on a good thing, stick with it”, now the car company he promoted for years is sticking with that philosophy with the 2017 Toyota Prado Altitude.

The special edition version of the top-selling 4×4 is becoming an annual offering and again this year the Prado Altitude is based on the Prado GXL turbo-diesel.

Priced $5,000 above that offering, the model picks up $10,000 worth of extra gear, including;

  • Spare tyre located underneath vehicle (rather than on tailgate)
  • Unique 18” alloy wheels
  • Tilt-and-slide moonroof
  • Auto-levelling LED headlamps
  • Chrome side mouldings
  • Black leather-accented upholstery
  • Power-operated front seats
  • JBL 14-speaker audio system with digital radio
  • Rear Blu-ray rear entertainment system

Sales and marketing chief at Toyota Australia, Tony Cramb, says prospective Prado buyers should make sure they don’t miss out on the Altitude version.

“Buyers will appreciate all the new features that make Prado Altitude even more luxurious and practical, including a lighter tailgate that is easier to open – particularly useful in tight city parking.”

Take note, the positioning of the spare wheel under the rear of the Prado replaces the auxiliary (second) fuel tank and therefore negates the vehicles driving range.