EVENT: AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW

– Words: Jason Hanif. Photos: MJ Digital.

With the doors officially closed on this year’s Australian International Motor Show, here’s the-lowdown on new models and concepts coming your way in the near future.

In comparison to previous shows, the exhibition hall wasn’t filled with concepts from exhibitors, instead manufacturers focused closely on debuts, resulting in more than 40 new production vehicles on show.

Over the last year, Lexus has been on a rampage reviving their models with more attention given to power. On this years stand, Lexus had three noteworthy models on display, the LF-A, CT-200H and IS350, all of which are due to arrive down under.

Toyota have been making quite an impact this year, and large crowds were drawn to their stand to view the FT-86G. In an attempt to once again interact with their younger target market, Toyota have focused on the roots of their youth orientated vehicles. If current production and timeline plans continue as scheduled, expect to see the FT-86 on our shores sometime in 2012.

In a further effort to capture the younger market, the FJ Cruiser will be hitting our shores soon.

Finally, the Lexus IS350 is coming to Aus! Sitting in between the IS250 and IS-F, the IS350 is powered by a 3.5 litre V6, capable of producing 228kW of power, and pacing out 0 – 100km/H in just 5.6 seconds! Lexus have come in and set the price point quite low with this model, listing the Prestige variant with a base price of $64,800 (plus on-roads).

Audi seemingly brought out all their exclusive models this year, with their new A8, a white R8 Spyder, and Red RS5 all on display. In the VIP lounge upstairs a special optioned A8 was also on show. However it seemed that their smallest package was creating the most buzz.

At the launch of the Motor Show, Audi surprised the media with a new small car and a matching small price to appeal to the younger potential market. Starting at just $29,990 (plus on-roads), this is now the cheapest Audi available in the new car market, with deliveries prepared to begin early next year.

In contrast to the huge Volkswagen stand only a couple of years ago, theirs was stashed away towards the end of the convention centre this year, hidden near the aftermarket arena. Volkswagen have come a long way these past few years, expanding their market and closely following their unique marketing campaign and worldwide quest to overtake Toyota as the worlds number 1.

The most notable new launches from the Volkswagen stand included the new Amarok ute and Polo GTI. This years Motor Show has also seen the launch of a few new utilities (such as Mazdas BT-50 and Fords new Ranger) and Volkswagen have set the bar high with their new high end ute.

The new Polo GTI gained a positive general consensus, with the body finally losing its box shape, the new sculpture sprinting 0 – 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds.

Also on display was Volkwagen’s Blue Motion Golf, capable of 3.8L/100km, and their newly launched Golf R. Missing from the stand this year however, was their new model Touareg, set to be on sale here sometime next year.

The Ford Focus RS had its public debut at this years Motor Show, powered by a 2.5 litre straight 5-cylinder turbocharged motor, delivering 224kW of power and 440Nm of torque. This engine has the punch to match it’s aggressive looks. With only 315 units heading to Australia, this is sure to heat up the hot hatch rivalry. Competing directly with Renault’s new Megane Sport 250, expected to go on sale next month. Both of these models will also give the Golf R a decent run for it’s money, despite being more performance based.

Dubbed as the new age CR-X, the Honda CR-Z uses a hybrid motor capable of both petrol and electric power, pushing the sports concept further, this one is tweaked by Mugen.

Here is the SLS AMG, with an optional <em>60k (!)</em> matte black paint job.

Mercedes C63 AMG Jaffa Concept.

New Range Rover Evoque, another one of the many new models arriving here next year.

Porsche stand had some fantastic racing machinery.

Overall, this years show was dubbed as one of the best, featuring one of the largest number of new vehicles launched at any show. This large number kept the crowds entertained, although we did feel a little disappointed with the lack of presence from some manufacturers. With Ferrari, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep giving this year a skip, the convention centre didn’t feel as packed out as previous years. Until the next show, we’ll leave you with some more glitz and glamour from the 2010 Australian International Motor Show.

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