The Week That Was: Skoda Yeti And Rapid, FCA’s Future Plan, VFACTS Photo:

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Trevor Collett | May, 11 2014 | 0 Comments

This week was a busy one for Skoda, with the Czech carmaker launching three new models for the Australian market.

The Skoda Yeti gets updated styling, new features and a simplified model range for 2014, along with a cheaper entry-level price of $23,490 plus on-roads.

Price is also a talking point for Skoda’s other new arrival – the Rapid Spaceback – with the $18,990 plus on-roads starting price making the Rapid the cheapest small-segment European hatch on the Australian market.

The newly-formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced its five-year strategy, with a number of new models and ambitious sales targets among the carmaker’s plans.

On the American side, we can expect a host of new models and a significant shake-up for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and the SRT performance badge.

While on the Italian side, we can look forward to new offerings from Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari.

New car sales for Australia in April were detailed this week, showing a downward trend overall that could partly be attributed to Easter, ANZAC Day and school holidays.

But, as always, there are exceptions that buck the trend, with Subaru announcing a record sales month for its WRX performer; breaking a record that previously stood for 15 years.

Toyota sold 3345 fewer cars in April than it did in March, prompting TMR Managing Editor Tim O’Brien to assess the bigger picture for the Japanese giant in Australia.

In other news, BMW announced local pricing and features for its M3 and M4 performers and X4 SUV models this week, ahead of June and July arrivals respectively.

Staying with BMW, the German carmaker celebrated 30 years of the M5 this week with a limited-edition model, announcing that 15 of the 300 examples will be available to Australian customers.

Ford confirmed its FPV GT F swansong will have a power output of 351kW, unveiling the car’s 351 badge designed to pay tribute to performance Falcons of yesteryear.

Maserati announced pricing and features for its Ghibli sedan ahead of a local arrival in the coming months, with pricing for the V6 diesel model kicking off at $138,900 plus on-roads.

Kia added a special edition variant to its Rio light hatch range, adding around $1000 in extra value to the ‘S’ five-door model.

Audi’s updated A8 and S8 luxury models are now on sale in Australia, priced from $195,000 plus on-roads for the entry-level 3.0 litre diesel variant.

New motorcycle licence laws are on the way for Victoria, with the Graduated Licensing System set to include a new on-road assessment for learner riders from next year.

Tata announced end of financial year price-cuts for its Xenon pick-up, ahead of an upgraded model arriving in August.

The TMR spy photographers were busy as always this week, capturing shots of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz MLC and possibly the new BMW M2 during testing.

Volvo’s Drive-E engines are now available in Australia, with the S60, V60 and XC60 models the first to offer the new power plants.



Audi’s 2014 A8 and S8 premium luxury sedans have arrived in Australia, and we drove the 3.0 TDI, 4.2 TDI and S8 4.0 TFSI models this week.

We drove all three variants of the updated 2014 Skoda Yeti, with the new model offering a great value-for-money equation and plenty of standard features.

Staying with Skoda, we also drove the new-to-Oz 2014 Rapid Spaceback Ambition 77TSI Manual and the 90TSI Automatic in both Ambition and Elegance variants. Check out our reviews.

Finally, we found the 2014 Kia Optima SLi Petrol Automatic to be a well-equipped, value for money package with stand-out styling in the medium sedan market.

And that’s… the week that was.

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