launches into cricket with Renegades sponsorship.

Australia’s No.1 auto website,, has expanded its sponsorship portfolio to cricket and will be a major sponsor of the Melbourne Renegades men’s and women’s teams in their T20 Big Bash title bids.

The partnership covers the next two BBL seasons and the next WBBL season and will see the company’s branding displayed on the player’s jerseys, ground signage and other Renegades collateral.

carsales Chief Marketing Officer Kellie Cordner said the company was excited to branch into cricket and support a growing form of Australian family entertainment.
“Mums and dads are our biggest and most important audience and if you look at the attendances of the Big Bash League last season, it shows the public has really taken to the short form of the game. The Renegades derby against the Stars saw a sell-out crowd at Etihad Stadium. The fans simply love it.

“We are thrilled to be part of the ongoing growth and popularity of the Melbourne Renegades ahead of what will be a huge season of sixes and crowds on their feet applauding,” Cordner said.
Ms Cordner said that sponsoring both the men’s and women’s Renegades teams is a clear alignment to the brand and its audience. “There may be a perception that buying and selling a car is a male domain but we see that women are just as involved in the purchase process and are very proud to be sponsoring both teams this season.”

Melbourne Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry said the Club was proud to be partnering with such a recognisable national brand.
“We’re delighted to welcome to our Renegades family for the seasons ahead. Buying or selling a vehicle is a process millions of Australians go through and is working harder than ever to develop new technologies and make the process as smooth as possible. When it comes to hard work and giving people the best experience this summer, the parallels with what we deliver in BBL and WBBL were obvious,” Coventry said.

“This is an exciting time for our club following the highly successful launch of the WBBL last season. There’s no doubt we deliver the best family entertainment package over the summer and we’re proud to have working with us to achieve our goals.”

(Content supplied by Red Agency)

Tesla Takes The Next Step To Hands Free Driving

Self-driving vehicles will play a crucial role in improving transportation safety and accelerating the world’s transition to a sustainable future. Full autonomy will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver, lower the financial cost of transportation for those who own a car and provide low-cost on-demand mobility for those who do not.

We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing (Tesla radar) provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.

To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.

Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production, and customers can purchase one today:

Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over-the-air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features. As always, our over-the-air software updates will keep customers at the forefront of technology and continue to make every Tesla, including those equipped with first-generation Autopilot and earlier cars, more capable over time.

(With thanks to Heath Walker at Tesla Motors Australia for content)

2017 Hyundai Veloster Street Turbo: Car Review

Hyundai’s quirky four door hatchback, the Veloster, has been given a limited edition model run of just 200 units. Painted Dazzling Blue Mica and given some cool looking black clad alloys, the Veloster Street Turbo spent a week with A Wheel Thing.With a starting price of $35750 plus on roads for a six speed manual version and $2500 for the seven speed dual clutch auto, the Veloster Street Turbo is off to a tough start. Using the outgoing Veloster SR Turbo + as a base ($34750 + ORCs), as Hyundai have realigned the Veloster into a two tier range, means that some extra equipment is required to justify the cost.Here’s what you get: push button Start/Stop, keyless entry, dusk sensing HID xenon headlights, LED running lights, tyre pressure monitoring, a seven inch navitainment touchscreen (but no RDS, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or digital), leather appointed seating with colour coded inserts, colour coded plastic highlights on the door grips and centre console, blue seatbelts, branded door mats and Street badging on the fenders and the sweet looking Ray Grams Lights 18 inch alloys. Being based on the SR+ you’ll get steering wheel mounted phone controls, Bluetooth streaming, heated AND ventilated (huzzah!!!) front seats and a punchy eight speaker sound system.Up front is the same 150 kilowatt/265 Newton metre 1.6 force fed four. That’s connected to the aforementioned six speed manual and this, unlike the recently tested i30 SR, has a far better manual selector feel. There’s a proper sense of movement and placement, a satisfying “snick” to the gate and a real mechanical feel overall as opposed to the numbness experienced in the i30 SR.That torque is available between 1750 and 4500 revs, and compared to the last time A Wheel Thing and Veloster Turbo partnered up (Veloster Turbo review 2015) didn’t seem to move the car along as quickly. Perhaps it would be the manual versus the auto, it simply didn’t feel as wound up. Having said that, it still provided a tractable and useable driving style, with a smooth and fluid torque delivery.The ratios in the manual are closely stacked, meaning revs drop only minimally when changing, and also means you can keep the engine spinning and take advantage of the torque from 1750 onwards. It helps that the clutch has a decent pressure requirement to push and that the pickup point is appropriately mid travel. The combination allows a sporting aimed driver to bang through the gears and see 100 kmh reasonably quickly. Given that the car isn’t that heavy as well, at around 1400 kg, the overall fuel consumption figure of 7.9L/100 km was reasonable from the fifty litre tank.Inside, apart from the blue trim, the Veloster remains much the same. The design and look of the plastics is dating and not well, there’s sharp edges on the door grab handles however the deeply bolstered and very comfortable bucket seats make up for that. Being the oddity that it is in regards to entry and exit, the driver has slightly less issue in getting in and out thanks to the single door on the right hand side. Those using the left side, especially the rear door, will have to duck their head and slide across the centre rear seat mounted cup holders in order to fill the space behind the driver. Rear head room, thanks to the steeply raked roofline, is a touch tight for average sized humans, ok for kids but would be, erm, difficult to deal with for anyone of a bigger frame. There is, though, a 320 litre cargo space and a space saver spare to consider.

There’s more refinement in the suspension, with a taut yet supple suspension combination providing a ride that errs on the side of sport but with just enough give to not rattle the fillings on smooth roads. Toss the Veloster Street onto anything else and expect a choppy, jiggly, teeth rattler. That initial level of sporting compliance disappears and there’s even some sideways skip when covering a corner with ripples or broken surface, even with the 225/40/18 Hankook rubber.Hyundai painfully continues with the three mode power steering and it’s rare that any one the modes (Comfort/Sport/Normal) tend to be on the money. Sport generally comes over too heavy, Comfort too light and well, just like the porridge, Normal is generally all you need for a reasonable facsimile of a communicative tiller setup.

At The End Of The Drive.
Given the dollars required, one could buy the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, a Renault Clio, or a Mazda MX-5 and have some seroes to spare. The Veloster’s aging interior is one thing, the exterior looks are another. The engine is usable but, in honesty, not the firecracker A Wheel Thing remembers. Their is a respectable five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, 12 months roadside assist, plus you’ll get a complimentary first service at 1500km. There’s also a lifetime service plan with scheduled services with prices ranging from $159 to $259 for the first three years or 45,000km. They’re due due every six months or 7500km.
There’s an undeniable appeal about the Veloster, however, with sales consistent and even a quarter of these two hundred already sold since release. More info can be found here: 2016 2017 Hyundai Veloster range and info

Holden Special Vehicles Clubsport R8 Track Edition: HSV Goes To Bathurst.

There’s a calling that emanates from a relatively innocuous hill in the central west of New South Wales. But this bump in the earth’s surface, just to the south of the former gold mining town of Bathurst, is home to a road that doubles as a race track and, once a year, becomes the home of “The Great Race“. That calling, to a place known as “The Mountain”, to Mount Panorama, entices the faithful and the dedicated with their almost tribal allegiances to a driver or a team, and since the 1990s, has coloured their blood red or blue exclusively. You’re either a Holden bloke or a Ford bloke, such is the Special Vehicles, HSV, was born out of the breakdown in the relationship between car manufacturer, Holden, and its formerly favourite son, race car driver Peter Brock. Brock had taken over the running of the Holden Dealer Team and had formed an after market division, which eventually lead to Holden breaking off their supply deal. In 1987, Holden signed an agreement with Scottish born driver and businessman, Tom Walkinshaw, forming a joint venture that was named Holden Special Vehicles.2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-bonnet-badgeOne of the first products of that union was based on the Holden VL Commodore; HSV fitted an aerodynamically tested body kit, painted in a silver with hints of blue. Known colloquially as “The Batmobile” due to the add ons, the Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV would set the tone for many of the following products.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-sill-badgingIn 2016, HSV unveiled two limited edition models. Using the Clubsport as the donor, there is the Limited Edition SV Black, available in both sedan and ute bodies. The other is a car that harkens directly to the history of motorsport and was driven in Bathurst, the HSV Clubsport R8 Track Edition. Clad in “Sting” red paint, with yellow AP Racing brake calipers visible through gunmetal grey “Blade” alloys at 20 inches in diameter, the Track Edition makes for an ideal way to nod at Australia’s diverse and rich motorsport Panorama is unique amongst the world’s motorsport circuits; its peak is 874 metres above sea level and there’s a height differential of 174 metres between the peak and the lowest point of the track, the starting straight. There’s slopes as tight as one in six and a corner said to have the highest tyre load of any race circuit in Australia plus the fastest corner in touring car racing. There’s a couple of cold isn’t cold is the warmth the place generates for the fans of motorsport that make the annual pilgrimage “out west”. There’s good natured rivalry, with supporters of the red and the blue sharing campsites, gags, memories and, importantly, a love of a good Track Edition packs a 340 kW/570 Nm 6.2L LS3 V8, pinched from Chevrolet. There’s a real transmission, a six speed manual, with an almost too light clutch. It’s unlike older cars, where the joke ran along the lines of being able to tell a HSV owner due to the size of the calf muscle in the left leg. It’s easy to push and balance on the throttle when required and it helps that the gear selector is couched in a definitive feeling gate mechanism. There’s a satisfying snick/snick/snick as you change up or down, as satisfying as the sound of a cold one being opened in the camping grounds.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-bootIt’s a big heart, the LS3 V8. There’s a bore of near as dammit 104 mm, a stroke of 92 mm, with a free revving nature to boot. That peak power comes in at a typically high 6000 rpm, and the peak torque at 4600 rpm. It’s a gentle upwards slope for that torque, though, with just over 400 of them waiting to be told what to do at just 1000 revs. Just like the denizens that pack The Mountain every October, it’s easy going, relaxed, unfussed…until it’s pushed. Leave it in sixth at legal speed and press the loud pedal. It’s called the loud pedal for a good reason. There’s a low, long, subterranean, growl that builds and builds and builds from the front, as the induction system sucks in litres and litres of air, mixing with dinosaur juice and spitting out the remains via the quad exhaust.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-engine-badgeThat quad exhaust is linked to a dial in the humble looking cabin. There’s a choice of Touring, Sport and Performance. Leave the dial on Touring and at idle you’d be pressed to say the engine’s running. Move it to either of the other two and a pair of baffles open in the inner banks of the mufflers, opening the throat of the LS3 and letting the world know it’s an eight in a vee. From a standing start and driven the way a muscle bound car should be sees license goodby speeds reached in a few seconds, a roaring, chest thumping snarl from both ends as you pluck the gears, easily finding each cog as the beautifully weighted selector falls to hand and the clutch and accelerator dance in unison. At Northern Territory legal speeds, the engine is barely ticking over at 2000 rpm.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-front-seatsThe MacPherson struts up front and multilink rear end are sprung with linear rate coil springs and for a car weighing over 1800 kilos it’s adept, comfortable in the ride, eats unsettled surfaces and totally undermines any perception that a muscle car should be uncoordinated in the way it drives. Even the electrically augmented steering is light, two fingertip light and responds instantly, changing the direction of the red machine instantly, as the Continental 275/35/20 tyres grip at either end of the 2915 mm wheelbase.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-boot-wingThe suspension is taut, specially engineered to give an intoxicating mix of Supercar inferring ride, a superbly flat stance into corners and that slow in/fast out response a track aimed driver expects. In fact, the whole package is genuinely one your gran could drive, it’s that docile to use when not exploring the outer limits of the ability the Track Edition has. The car industry uses the term “surprise and delight” to describe certain aspects of a car and that applies to the way the HSV flows on the road.2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-bathurst-hell-cornerInside, the lack of visual differentation is a surprise and not entirely a delight. HSV eschews the fabric stitched into the centre line that the donor vehicles have but has stayed with the dash mounted fabric found in the Holden SS. There’s the standard dash plastic and layout, with Holden’s MyLink touchscreen systen with Pandora and Stitcher apps. HSV’s EDI, Electronic Driver Interface, didn’t seem to be enabled in this car. There’s a thumping Bose sound system, beautiful in its clarity buck lacking a DAB tuner.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-touchscreenIt’s hard to suggest any changes however as 2017 beckons and with it the knowledge that Australia’s Own will close the doors as a big car maker down under.2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-pole-positionIt’s an engine of many personalities, the LS3, just like those found around the camp sites at The Mountain, especially those at the top, called Skyline. A Wheel Thing commentated from the tower there in the mid noughties, alongside the great Barry Oliver, with an enduring memory being watching Army helicopters doing aerobatics…below the level of Skyline. 2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-bathurstIt provides a sweeping vista north, across the circuit, over Bathurst itself and east to the western fringe of the Blue Mountains. Regulars will have their campsites setup with heaters, fencing, signs, and the obligatory ambers on ice. There’s jackets adorned with badges, faces adorned with beards, and kids faces wreathed in smiles when the HSV R8 Clubsport Track Edition visits the top of The’ve got the dial set to Touring, so as to not draw the ire of the campers as we seek a suitable site for some pictures. Photo session over, it’s into the campsite and espy a site with both the blue and red colours on the flags. Photographer Scott grins and says he has an idea. Moments later the rear of the red car is up against the fenceline, with a horde of the curious swarming over the car. They note the working bonnet air vents, the lack of visual identification that it’s a Track Edition outside, door sill and centre console the only places Track Edition is mentioned.2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-front-left-wheelThere’s an eyeballing of the body coloured and black wing, the contrasting black inserts in the front bumper against the red and the slim black skirting along the sills of the near five metre long machine…a Ford bloke nudges his Holden mate and points towards the yellow six piston calipers from AP racing with HSV embossing, visible through those “Blade” alloys. Comments are made about the gloss black highlight of the bonnet badge, with the consensus being that it looks wrong. “Where’s the chrome?” asks one. Another in the crowd asks “Howsitgomateorright?” A nod, a smile and then the inevitable question…”Can we check out the donk?”2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-engineThe aluminuim bonnet is lifted and instantly the population around the car doubles, as does the number of cameraphones. The engine’s being quietly idling in the background, feeding the dual zone aircon a steady flow of cooling air inside, across the non heated or cooled leather seats and suede wrapped steerer.2017-hsv-r8-clubsport-track-edition-bonnet-ventsIt takes only a moment’s breath before “Goonmategiveitago!” The 6.3L alloy block snarls in response, effortlessly sending the mechanical needle spinning past the over emphasised numbers on the tacho, eliciting a cheer from the red lion faithful, an appreciative nod from some of the blue oval brethren, before one grins, walks away, and starts up his blue oval badged V8 to answer the challenge issued by the HSV. It’s no contest, say many, the red car sounds best.2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-tail-lightsThere’s a price to pay for that exuberance. You can’t call 6.2 litres of Chevrolet’s finest economical, unless you own Saudi Arabia. Even those few stabs on the throttle have shifted the fuel needle, as fuel is sucked in from the 71 litre tank, nestled near the 496 litre boot… The LS3 prefers a liquid diet of 98 RON unleaded and will show nothing less than 12.0L of liquid gold being consumed for every 100 kilometres covered, and that on the return trip from The Mountain on a greasy highway after light crowd have dispersed, with many words of thanks, plenty of pictures taken, and thoughts turn towards the coming weekend of endurance racing at the Mountain. HSV is inextricably linked with the history of the place, with Tom Walkinshaw himself having raced in a Jaguar XJ-S. The Track Edition, at $68990, is a wonderful nod and counterpoint to The Great Race, with Holden Special Vehicles building just 150 of the car for Australia and six for New Zealand, making it a rarity, unlike the variety of characters found around Mount Panorama.2017-hsv-clubsport-r8-track-edition-left-front-quarter-skylineHSV was born, in a way, of The Mountain, so it was fitting to take the Track Edition there. The place is iconic, there’s names etched forever into the history of Mount Panorama and motorsport runs deep in the souls of those that journey there every year for their annual pilgrimage. That’s the allure of The Mountain and the allure of HSV.

Go here for the latest in HSV’s range:

A Wheel Thing thanks Damon Paull at HSV and Scott Richardson for photos.

BTW 2016private_fleet_logo

Hyundai i30 SR: Car Review

Hyundai‘s i30 has quickly become a staple on Australian roads, taking the fight up to Ford’s Focus, Kia’s Cerato and Toyota’s Corolla. It’s an award winning car and for good reason, with a high quality level of fit and finish plus Australian tuning for the ride. Hyundai’s bundled everything into one package for the manual i30 SR and it comes out the other side holding its head up high.What a buyer will find in the near 1300 kilo SR is Hyundai’s non turboed Nu 2.0L gasoline direct injection engine, with peak power and torque of 124 kW and 201 Nm. Naturally, both come in at high revs, with 4700 of them needed to see peak torque. The transmisson is a six speed manual and it’s here, in the car provided, that something didn’t feel right. The gate mechanism is loose, sloppy, undefined, and changing from second to third to fourth and back feels as if the selector is moving up and down, not left to right to left.The clutch itself seemed initally quite soft and lacking in any real spring pressure, with a seemingly indeterminate pickup point on the travel, with the subsequent revving of the engine past where a normal pickup would bring them down telling the story. When it all gels, however, it’s smooth and usable, it just lacks a real presence.In amongst all this is a frugal powerplant, with a combined total, from the 50 litre tank, of just 7.0L per 100 kilometres. If you’re in freeway mode, 5.5L/100 km is what Hyundai quotes and around town is where a lighter foot may be needed, at 9.5L/100 km.The test car was painted Brilliant Red, matched by the Start/Stop button’s surround. Otherwise, the interior is standard i30, save for red additions and stitching to the seats, and alloy pedals. There’s a seven inch full colour navitainment touchscreen, sans RDS, a peculiarly Korean thing. There’s an impressive list of tech: Apple CarPlay is on board, as is Bluetooth audio, auto head lights, rain sensing wipers, dual zone climate control air conditioning, and auto windscreen defogging. There’s a reverse camera, hidden under the boot mounted badge that folds out and in. It’s a tad noisy and momentarily distracting. Behind the tail gate is 378 litres of usable cargo space, expanding to just over 1300 when the 60/40 split rear seats are folded.Outside there’s LED DRLs in the front, an SR badge on the rear along with two on the front flanks, gorgeous gunmetal grey tuning fork style alloys at 17 inches in diameter, shod in 225/45 Nexen rubber. It’s Hyundai’s fluidic design in profile with the headlights flowing back into the guards, bracketing the newish corporate grille that is a one piece design. It’s cohesive, good looking and suits the colour the test car was covered in.It also cuts a fine figure on the road. Hyundai’s engineered a wonderful road holding chassis, with tenacious grip, a beautifully weighted steering feel using the Normal mode (it feels too artificially heavy in Sports, too light in Comfort), a ride quality that balances front and rear in the way the SR rebounds from bumps and undulating roads, thanks to revalved dampers and retuned springs. Even on unsettled and broken surfaces, it ducks and weaves through them with aplomb, exhibiting a high level of body control. And although it’s a normally aspirated engine, there’s enough pluck in the powerplant to provide enough performance without seeming underpowered. Rev through the numbers and there’s a steady pull through the range without running out of puff at the top end.

At The End Of The Drive.
The SR raises the i30 above the entry level and sits comfortably below the Premium, offers a well thought out feature list and priced from $25590 plus ORCs it’s a good value package. On the road it’s a solid handler, with a willing enough engine, with the weakspot being the lacklustre gear selector. Work around that and the i30 SR stands out as a suitable alternative to the Japanese big sellers. Go here:Hyundai i30 SR for more info.

2016 Kia Sorento Si Petrol: Car Review.

2016-kia-sorento-si-profileWhen an SUV is nominated for, and wins, best car awards, there’s a fair bet something is being done right by the company that builds it. Kia’s Sorento was carsguide’s 2015 Car of the Year, Drive’s best SUV for 2015, and a winner in Australia’s Best Cars Family Wagon and SUV categories. A Wheel Thing looks at the current entry level model in the range, the Kia Sorento Si with auto and V6 petrol engine.2016-kia-sorento-si-engineThe Si is two wheel, front wheel, drive. The 3.3L V6 powers those front wheels with 199 kW and 318 Nm of torque. Kia says fuel consumption is: 9.9L per 100 km – Combined, 13.5 L/100 km – Urban and 7.8L/100 km out on the highway of standard unleaded from a 71 litre tank. There’s a tare weight of 1875 kilograms…why are these numbers important? It’s where the maximum torque figure is delivered, and that’s at a very high 5300 rpm. What does this mean for a daily driver? We’ll come back to that.

What you’ll find inside and out is a mix of the quality buyers expect from the Korean car maker. There’s Kia’s three modes for driving (Eco, Sport, Normal), safety in the form of Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Hill Start Assist Control, and even the Euro style Emergency Stop Signal. Front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera with parking guidance, auto headlights, curtain airbags as standard and pre-tensioning seatbelts add to the package.2016-kia-sorento-si-rearSorento has been a solid looking car and the 2017 model year version is no different. The Si rolls on a set of 17 inch alloys, bolted to a 2780 mm wheelbase. Overall length is 4780 mm, just slightly shorter than Kia’s brilliant Optima but stands at 1690 mm, giving the Sorento an imposing presence. A slight makeover for the current model involved a broadening of Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille, a freshening of the front and rear whilst largely remaining the same in profile. Rolling stock is 235/65 Kumho Crugen rubber on those ten spoke alloys.2016-kia-sorento-si-wheelInside, it’s cloth seats (all seven of them), with the rear two and centre three folding flat by virtue of a pull strap (rear) and a handle mounted in the base (centre). They’re easy to deploy at the rear and only slightly less so in the middle. Raising the centre seats is a bit more of a problem and for the slightly built it could be a struggle. There’s plenty of padding and support up front in the seats themselves, allowing both comfort and security for the passengers, and the rear row also gets separate air conditioning.2016-kia-sorento-si-centre-row-seatsThe cabin’s upper dash is a swathe of black textured plastic, with a curve running from each door to around and underneath the windscreen and highlighted by a grey plastic wood trim. It’s good looking and feels soft enough to the fingers. Underneath it’s the smooth, more matte than gloss, plastic and the typical synergystic ergonomics expected. There’s little thought needed to where your fingers need to go as once you’ve eyeballed the layout, it’s instinctive as to what you do.2016-kia-sorento-si-dashThe steering wheel houses the usual array of cruise control, Bluetooth and audio controls, and is thick enough to impart a feeling of security and control when under way. The material feels like leather and is cool to the touch. The Si uses a standard key for starting, rather than the push button system found elsewhere in the range. The actual steering feel was lighter than expected but also didn’t feel over assisted on the road.2016-kia-sorento-si-cargo-22016-kia-sorento-si-cargoAt the rear there’s the aforementioned third row of seats, with their separate aircon zoning. With these and the centre row seats up, you’ll have 320 litres of cargo. Lay them flat and that jumps to 1077 litres. If you’ve just bought a new flatscreen tv and need some extra room, the middle row goes down and cargo goes up to an astonishing 2066 litres. You’ll also see an extra USB and 12V port pair.2016-kia-sorento-si-rear-usb-and-12v

Ride and handling surprised in the stiffness of the suspension; the square kerbs in A Wheel Thing’s suburb provided a unique opportunity to test the suspension’s suppleness. Bearing in mind the Si is two and front wheel drive, not all wheel drive, the Sorento would “cock a leg” coming off the verge and kerbs at an angle. However, that stiffness added to the stability and handling characteristics of the Sorento, ensuring any driver will feel the car is firmly planted on the road. There’s just enough give in the suspension’s setup to allow for the normal lumps, bumps, and ripples to be dialled out for the sake of comfort.2016-kia-sorento-si-frontBack to the engine: it’s a free spinner when required and does actually move the two tonnes, when loaded, away well enough. Sink the slipper and although there’s a cost in economy, there’s an engaging and throaty roar, coupled with the swift and smooth changes of ratios. It’s not raucous yet has a metallic keen and it’s not thrashy yet there’s a sonorous buzz as revs climb.

The transmission itself is actually more smooth in its changes when pushed than when under light load. The changes are more noticeable, feel as if they take longer yet become invisible under a heavy throttle. There’s the manual shift option for the selector however Kia has elected not to fit paddle shifts.2016-kia-sorento-si-front-seatsAt The End Of The Drive.
Kia make damned nice cars, there’s no doubt about that. The perception of the brand IS increasing and slowly not being seen as a cheap Korean alternative but rather a maker of quality vehicles. There’s some great concepts and variations hopefully on the way but until Kia addresses the consumption figures, there’ll be a wariness from buyers. A Wheel Thing has just spent time with a HSV V8 powered vehicle, with an engine capacity of 6.2L up front. That finished on an average of 12.0L per 100 km, which puts the quoted figures of the Sorento Si under the spotlight. And with a driveaway price of just over $45K catching the eye of many families, fuel costs are a consideration.
For further details, go here: Kia’s 2016 Sorento

Tesla Looks Further Towards The Future.

Tesla has announced a new, over the air, software upgrade, for the Model S and Model X. This brings a new, redesigned, User Interface (UI) to the massive touchscreen. With the upgrade due in Australia sometime from October 2016, here’s what Tesla Australia had to say:

tesla_model_s_profile-1-980x420Tesla makes the only cars on the road that continue to get safer, smarter, and more capable over time, thanks to free, over-the-air software updates. While traditional cars have static features, a Tesla is more akin to a smartphone, adding new functionality and enhancements throughout the life of the car.
Software update 8.0 kicks off a significant over-the-air overhaul of the Tesla touchscreen and introduces the biggest UI revamp since the launch of Model S. Customers who purchased their car in 2012 will receive the same value of functionality and improvement as customers who purchased vehicles last month. 8.0 combines a modern look with updates to Autopilot, Navigation with Trip Planner, Maps, and the Media Player for a safer, more advanced driving experience. In an industry-first safety measure, we’re also introducing Cabin Overheat Protection, focused on child (and pet) safety. This feature keeps the car at a safe temperature, even when the car is off, and is made possible by our uniquely large battery packs.
Intuitive media player
The media player has been redesigned and personalised to put your favourite content front and center. Search is now simpler to access and more powerful, accessing streaming radio, live stations, podcasts, and any USB device to help you quickly find what they’re looking for.                          
Voice commands
Voice controls are now easier and clearer to use. Initiation is quick, and clear visual feedback lets you focus on the road without compromising convenience or control.
  • Voice commands initiate with a single tap
  • Feedback in the form of a transcript now appears on the instrument panel to confirm your command
  • Visual tips remind you what commands are available tesla-update
Maps and navigation
Maps have been updated to span the entire touchscreen, displaying the most important details of your trip. The control bar fades automatically for an uncluttered navigation experience.
  • Search for destinations with a single touch or voice command
  • Zoom adjusts based on location to display what you need to see most
  • Navigate to home or work with a single swipe
  • When at home, swipe the navigation button down in the Maps app and navigation will automatically route you to work. When away from home, swipe down and navigation will route back
Cabin Overheat Protection
In an industry-first safety measure, we’re also introducing Cabin Overheat Protect, focused on child (and pet) safety. This feature keeps the car at a safe temperature for hours, even when the car is off. This feature is only made possible by an electric vehicle with Tesla’s uniquely large battery packs.
Trip Planner
Trip Planner provides a clear overview of your journey before you leave, with maps that zoom out to show your entire route. Putting your Tesla into Drive automatically starts navigation to your first waypoint.
Autopilot Enhancements
Advancements in signal processing use the Tesla’s onboard radar to persistently capture snapshots of its surroundings, creating a 3D picture of the world. Learn more about seeing the world in radar.
Displays now show angled vehicles as they enter a curve and the Autosteer indicator has been updated to more clearly indicate when Autosteer is engaged. We won’t list all 200 improvements to Autopilot in 8.0, but here are a few additions:
  • Autopilot has been tuned to be more responsive and smoother in stop-and-go traffic
  • Enhanced safety requirement which disables Autosteer during trip when safety warnings are ignored
  • Autosteer now navigates highway interchanges
  • Redesigned Autopilot indicators
  • Curve speed adaptation now uses fleet-learned roadway curvature
  • Autopilot now controls for two cars ahead improving reaction time to otherwise-invisible heavy braking events
  • Car offsets in lane when overtaking a slower vehicle driving close to its lane edge

Head to for further information.