Mike Stevens | Oct 13, 2010

This week's Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) is shaping up to be one of the biggest in the country's history, with a number of new models, concepts and even a couple of world-firsts set to appear at the Sydney event.

"This will be one of the best-supported shows on record and is a real boost for the automotive industry," AIMS Director Mr Ross Tyrie said.

"Everyone on the AIMS committee is gratified with the overwhelming confidence and support the industry has shown in wanting to make this the best show possible."

The Motor Report will have a full team at this year's show, bringing you all of the news as soon as it happens. But what should you keep an eye out for? Well, we've listed a few of the standout debuts below.

 

2011 Ford Ranger And 2011 Mazda BT-50

Announced late last month, the new 2011 Ford Ranger is set to make its world debut at AIMS this week. Billed as a global model and developed largely in Australia, the new Ranger forms part of Ford's company-wide 'One Ford' strategy.

Two weeks after Ford Australia announced its plans for the Ranger, Mazda confirmed it would unveil the Ranger's sibling, the 2011 Mazda BT-50, at AIMS this week.

While Ford has released little more than a close-up shot of the Ranger's grille, Mazda has revealed two illustrations, hinting at the BT-50's sporting aspirations.

They may have partnered on the development of their new utes, but neither Ford nor Mazda are going to give the other any advantage when it comes to getting eyes on the end result.

 

2011 Holden Barina Spark

2011 holden barina spark 01

Holden confirmed last week that the new Chevrolet Spark, revealed at January's Detroit Auto Show, will soon go on sale in Australia as the 2011 Holden Barina Spark.

Launching at AIMS this week, the Barina Spark will join the Holden range as the company's entry-level model, with the Chevrolet Aveo likely to follow in the new year as the 2011 Holden Barina (although Holden has yet to confirm any plans on this front).

Holden will, for a change, get the jump on GM's home market, with the Spark not due for a US-market launch until early in 2012.

 

2011 Kia Optima

It won't go on sale here until early next year, but that isn't stopping Kia Australia from putting its best foot forward with the all-new 2011 Kia Optima at AIMS this week.

Sharing its platform with Hyundai's recently-launched (and soon to be updated) i45, the new Optima marks yet another leap forward for the growing brand as it looks to step out of Hyundai's shadow.

In Europe, the new Optima is powered by a range of engines include the company's new 100kW 'U2' 1.7 litre VGT diesel engine and a 125kW 2.0 litre CVVL petrol engine.

Australian pricing and specifications have yet to be confirmed, but more information is likely to be revealed this week.

 

2011 Volkswagen Amarok

2010 volkswagen amarok 02.jpg

Another model shunted out of the 2010 launch diary into next year's schedule is the 2011 Volkswagen Amarok, but the German carmaker has promised Australian buyers a glimpse of its all-new ute at AIMS this week.

Full details for the Australian line-up have not yet been revealed, but the Amarok is expected to launch with a four-door double-cab layout, followed by a single-cab model.

Forming part of Volkswagen's assault on Toyota's position as the world's number-one carmaker, the Amarok will be powered by a pair of 120kW and 90kW four-cylinder turbodiesel engines offering 400Nm and 250Nm of torque respectively.

Whether the small but torque-laden engines will be enough to sway Australia's six- and eight-cylinder ute fans remains to be seen.

 

Subaru's Secret New Model

Confirmed early last month, a special new Subaru model is set to make its world debut at AIMS this week. However, while most carmakers have been happy to drop a hint or two, Subaru is revealing none of its secret.

Speaking with TMR, a Subaru spokesperson declined to confirm exactly what would be shown, but described it as "a variation on a theme."

Asked if this meant that a Liberty STI would be coming, the answer was no - suggesting the Forester may be getting a high-performance variant instead.

For now, we can only wait and see.

 

2011 Lexus IS 350 And The Lexus LFA

One will be a welcome addition for buyers of performance-oriented luxury cars, while the other will stand as an all-but unattainable symbol of the brand's technical expertise: the 2011 Lexus IS 350 and the Lexus LFA supercar.

Filling the void between the IS 250 and the V8-powered IS F, the IS 350 is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, delivering 378Nm of torque. With those figures under its belt, the IS 350 will sprint to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

The IS 350 carries impressive numbers, but it's no IS F and it's certainly no LFA.

Powered by a 4.8 litre naturally-aspirated V10 developing 412kW at 8700rpm and 480Nm at 6800rpm, the LFA will hit a top speed of 325km/h, wrapping up the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.7 seconds.

 

2011 Volkswagen Golf Blue Motion

2011 volkswagen golf bluemotion australia 09

After winning last year's World Green Car of the Year award, it was only a matter of time before Volkswagen introduced its fuel-sipping BlueMotion models to the Australian market.

The first confirmed model for Australia is the Golf BlueMotion, powered by a tweaked version of Volkswagen's 77kW turbodiesel four-cylinder and listing fuel consumption figures of just 3.8 l/100km.

Pricing and availability for the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion will be announced closer to its launch in 2011.

 

Toyota FT-86 G Concept

Perhaps the most anticipated debut for Australian tuning fans, the Toyota FT-86 G concept will make its first local appearance at AIMS this Friday.

Based on the FT-86 concept unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show late last year, this modified, turbo-charged show-piece was developed to help promote Toyota's new G Sports styling kits, exclusive to the Japanese market.

Toyota Australia has also confirmed the production version of the FT-86 is tentatively scheduled for a local debut in 2012 - although this will undoubtedly hinge on the car's international launch.

This year's Australian International Motor Show will be Australia's first major motor show since the Melbourne Motor Show (MIMS) last March.

It will also be the first motor show to be held as part of the joint venture between AIMS organiser FCAI and the organiser of the Melbourne event, VACC. Where both cities have held a motor show each year in the past, 2011 will see the AIMS event return to Melbourne before again returning to Sydney in 2012.

The 2010 Australian International Motor Show will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, from Friday October 15 to Sunday October 24.

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