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The Week That Was - Ford Falcon Sprint | Mazda6 | Personal Vehicle Import Laws Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Feb, 15 2016 | 1 Comment

Ford announced details of its special edition Falcon XR6 Sprint and XR8 Sprint this week, showing unique styling and boosted performance.

Just 1400 Falcon Sprints will be produced, 550 XR6s and 850 XR8s, with New Zealand set to receive 50 of the XR6 and 100 of the XR8.

But the big news is what’s under the bonnet. The XR6 Sprint becomes the most powerful six-cylinder factory-Falcon ever, thanks to 325kW at 6000rpm and 576Nm 2750 rpm from its turbocharged 4.0 litre straight six engine.

Mazda announced a number of safety upgrades for its Mazda6 range of sedans and wagons, with rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and auto-dimming rear view mirrors now standard on all Mazda6 models.

On the higher-grade Mazda6 Touring and Mazda6 GT, the autonomous braking system also functions when reversing.

Existing standard safety equipment carries over, including stability control, ABS, six airbags, hill launch assist and a reversing camera.

In a move described as "a big win for consumers", the Federal Government has announced it will lift personal import restrictions on new and near-new vehicles sourced from Japan and the United Kingdom from 2018 onward.

The timing is designed to coincide with the end of local manufacturing by Ford, Holden and Toyota, and it is estimated the rule changes will only see around 30,000 cars enter the country as parallel or "grey" imports - representing roughly 2.5 to 3 percent of the overall new car market.

While the move will open up consumer choices beyond models that are currently offered by those manufacturers with a dealer presence in Australia, there are restrictions to the scheme, and Luxury Car Tax will apply.

In other news, Shane Van Gisbergen guided McLaren and the Tekno Autosports team to victory in the 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour at Mount Panorama.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that next month’s Model 3 event may not be a ‘full reveal’, as fans may only be treated to pictures of the new model.

Jaguar Australia Managing Director Matthew Wiesner told TMR that local sales for the Big Cat are expected to double (almost) upon the arrival of the F-Pace SUV later this year.

Peugeot’s RCZ coupe was tagged with a new $49,990 drive-away price for Australia by the French carmaker as the last 40 examples are switched to runout mode.

It’s not on the radar for Australia at this stage, but a new hybrid version of Honda’s Odyssey people-mover went on sale in Japan this week.

MINI announced pricing and features for the new Convertible range ahead of its local arrival, with the new model replacing the Cabrio in the carmaker’s line-up.

Honda gave us a first glimpse of its all-new Civic hatchback, which will join the already-unveiled Civic sedan and coupe when it debuts at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

Ferrari added the new four-seat GTC4 Lusso to its range, stepping in for the previous FF and joining the refreshed 488 and California T.

The first photos of the new Volvo V90 jumped the gun and snuck out online this week, giving us a preview of the new wagon ahead of its official unveiling.

The Kia Niro hybrid SUV showed its face to the world for the first time this week at the Chicago Auto Show, destined to join the Optima in Kia’s hybrid range.



The 2016 Jaguar XF range arrived in Australia this week, and we drove the classy and sporty Prestige, R Sport, Portfolio, and XF S variants.

We found Mazda’s 2016 BT-50 XT 4x2 to be a fit and capable entry-level cab/chassis pickup, that combines a diesel engine with automatic transmission for a starting price of under $30,000.

The 2016 Haval H8 Premium AWD proved to be roomy and well-equipped, but the $44,490 plus on-roads price-tag is perhaps a little high when compared to more-established rivals and resale values.

The updated 2016 Range Rover Evoque TD4 180 SE has been worth the wait, with a cracking new engine, good looks and plenty of scope for personalisation.

Mazda’s MX-5 2.0 took on the Toyota 86 GTS in our Sports Car Showdown for around $35,000. Check out our comparison to see which car takes home the silverware.

Finally, we pitted the Lexus IS 200t F Sport against the BMW 318i Luxury Line for midsize premium sedan supremacy. With the price of entry (no options ticked) below $60,000, check out which should be your first test drive.

And that’s… the week that was.

Filed under News the week that was 2016
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