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Trevor Collett | May 9, 2016

Toyota dropped a bomb at an Australian motoring media event this week, unveiling the 86 Shooting Brake Concept - marking the concept’s global debut.

In the unassuming surrounds of Canberra’s Sutton Road Driver Training Centre, Toyota Australia’s design chief, Nic Hogios, pulled back the covers on the second offical Toyota 86 concept, joining the 86 Open Concept of 2013.

Billed strictly as a design study, Hogios explained how the local team took the Shooting Brake from sketch to clay scale model, before submitting the concept to Toyota Japan.

The three-door MINI John Cooper Works hatch will soon be joined by a topless sibling, with the unveiling of the go-fast convertible model overseas.

With the rest of the MINI Convertible range having only recently gone on sale in Australia (read our review here), it will take a little while for this newest variant to reach local shores.

When it does, expect the same 170kW and 320Nm turbocharged 2.0 litre engine as the hatch, paired with either a six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

April’s new car sales figures prove once again that previously stable and predictable sales charts are now a thing of the past.

And it’s in the middle of the field that things are most volatile. Ford has now sneaked into fourth place above Holden - the first time the blue oval has claimed a victory over Holden since September 1997.

Ford’s shining light is the Ranger, with almost half of Ford’s sales attributed to the ute range.

In other news, Volvo’s motorsport partners not only announced their withdrawal from Australian touring car racing at the end of this year, supplier Cyan Racing has declared it will recall the race cars and their engines.

Audi’s latest wagon, the A4 Avant, is now on sale in Australia priced from $63,900 for the front-drive A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI Sport and $72,900 for the all-wheel drive A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI quattro Sport.

New safety, new infotainment, and a new appearance package are all part of the adjustments made to the Land Rover Discovery Sport for the 2017 model year - check it out.

Holden announced the new Trailblazer will replace the Colorado 7 in its SUV line-up, arriving later this year.

Staying with Holden, and the carmaker reintroduced its Colorado LS-X special edition pickup this week available with special drive-away pricing for a limited time.

Ford is reportedly preparing to enter the ‘affordable’ electric vehicle fray, by developing a direct rival for Chevrolet’s Bolt and the Tesla Model 3.

Volkswagen revealed its first major update for its Amarok utility - and it's a big one, including a new 165kW/550Nm turbo-diesel V6.

BMW will soon add a new model to its i3 electric car range in overseas markets, but the new car will become the '2017 i3’ for Australia.

Hyundai’s Elantra and the Kia Picanto each scored the maximum 5-star safety rating from ANCAP during the latest round of testing.

One of the brightest and most interesting chapters in the history of the Australian automotive industry closed with the death this week of journalist Bill Tuckey at the age of 80.



Toyota’s Festival Of 86 may have brought us the 86 Shooting Brake concept, but we were equally interested in the carmaker’s 86 Racing Series-prepared coupes. Check out our review.

We drove Hyundai’s 2016 Accent Active, finding the light hatch to be a value buy and a little larger than most in its segment.

Mazda’s 2016 CX-3 Akari proved to be a very likeable little bus - handsome on the outside, with a premium look and feel inside; yours from $35,290 plus on-roads.

We found the 2016 Fiat 500 Lounge is the ‘little black dress’ of the micro-car segment - just a little bit practical, but more than anything stylish and timeless; a statement.

Another Fiat 500, the 2016 Abarth 595, also underwent the TMR test this week, proving less can be more with a new entry-level price for the Abarth range of $27,500 plus on-road costs.

We drove the 2016 Audi A4 Avant this week, finding it more than justifies its $3000 premium over the sedan, bringing a little more utility to a luxury car while keeping buyers away from the ‘me-too’ SUV set.

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport 4Matic has improved massively - the 4Matic badge on its hatch will remind you of that - but can it keep up with the Volkswagen Golf R or the upcoming Ford Focus RS?

Finally, we pitted the 2016 Toyota Fortuner Crusade against the 2016 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed in our large ute-based SUV comparison. See which one came out on top.

And that’s… the week that was.

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Filed under News the week that was 2016