The Week That Was: Volkswagen Dieselgate, HSV Gen F2, Lexus IS Photo:
Trevor Collett | Sep, 28 2015 | 0 Comments

This week was dominated by the events that saw Volkswagen admit to having cheated emissions testing in the US, and possibly elsewhere, using a ‘defeat device’ in its vehicle software.

From an inkling that the German carmaker may have used some underhanded tactics with its diesel models in the US, the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal quickly blew open to involve millions of cars in virtually every market the Volkswagen Group trades.

Dieselgate is far from over, and expect to see more news as the pages unfold in future editions of The Week That Was - including implications for the Australian market - or our Dieselgate tag page.

Holden Special Vehicles has confirmed it will supercharge the majority of its range, with a detuned version of the GTS flagship's 6.2 litre supercharged LSA V8 now available in the Clubsport R8, Clubsport Tourer R8, Maloo R8 and Senator Signature.

With the Commodore-based HSV line-up now updated to "Gen-F2" standard, the broader application of the 6.2 litre LSA engine is undoubtedly the headline change.

Cranking out a mighty 430kW and 740Nm in the GTS, the LSA makes 400kW and 671Nm in the R8 and Senator. HSV is confident the power boost will be "well received". We're inclined to believe them.

Lexus’ first turbocharged IS model is now available in Australia, with the IS 200t arriving on home soil this week.

As revealed earlier this year, the 200t replaces the 250 in the IS line-up with its 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 180kW and 350Nm - up 27kW and 98Nm on the 250’s 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated V6 engine.

The 2.0 litre turbo unit is the same engine that powers Lexus’ NX 200t SUV, but power has been lifted 5kW for the 200t.

In other news, despite the distraction Volkswagen soldiered on with the release of the limited edition Golf R Wagon Wolfsburg Edition into the Australian market.

Another new Golf arrival this week was that of the Golf Alltrack wagon, which is now available as a single petrol-powered variant priced from $37,990.

Away from Volkswagen, and BMW released pricing and specifications for its 2016 X1 SUV ahead of an Australian arrival next month.

The updated Mazda BT-50 pickup arrived this week, bringing with it a subtly-revised and less-polarising exterior, a new infotainment system, new alloy wheels, and added equipment across the range.

Renault added limited edition versions of its Captur and Clio models to the local range, with each now available as the Expression+.

Toyota announced its fan-favourite LandCruiser 70 Series will receive an update in the second half of next year, aimed at lifting the model’s ANCAP safety rating to 5-stars.

Lamborghini announced it has big plans for a surprise supercar in 2016, as the Italian brand celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder: Ferruccio Lamborghini.

Alfa Romeo announced its 4C Spider will be priced from under $100,000 (just), and is on track for a November arrival into local showrooms.

A study revealed electric vehicle sales have now topped the one million mark worldwide, with the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Tesla Model S at the top of the charts.

Hyundai teamed up with performance tuners Bisimoto for the fourth straight year to produce a 528kW monster Tucson SUV for the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas.



We drove the 2015 Ford Focus Trend Automatic this week, impressed by its list of standard features, improved refinement and value-for-money equation.

The 2015 Toyota Corolla ZR Sedan proved to be a ‘small’ car that is far from small on the inside, while offering an injection of sex appeal and stylish new lines on the outside from its 2015 model-year update.

In case you missed it earlier, Volkswagen’s 2015 Golf R is now available as the Wagon Wolfsburg Edition and we tested the new model on both the highway and the track this week.

Joining the R Wagon on the list of new Volkswagen Golfs was the Alltrack SUV wagon, which we found packed a lot of car into its $37,990 starting price and offered a compelling argument against Volkswagen’s own Tiguan model.

Lexus’ 2015 IS is now available with turbo-power for the first time with the arrival of the IS200t, and we found the IS’s new turbo makes it a better car. Check out our review.

Mercedes-Benz has a pair of new SUVs to show its local customers, and we found the 2015 GLE wagon’s (formerly ML-Class) new front end, new dash and new safety features should see it at the pointy end of luxury SUV sales.

The GLE’s partner is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, which morphs the GLE into a ‘four-door coupe’ to tackle the likes of BMW’s X6 in the sales race. We called it iron fists in a hulking iron glove.

We found the 2015 Mazda BT-50 XT Dual-Cab 4x2 Automatic to be better looking and packing more standard features, as the updated-for-2015 model arrives in local showrooms.

Finally, the 2015 Mazda6 GT Wagon Diesel continues to be one of the best-looking of the medium wagon brigade, along with one of the best-buying, although its $47,200 plus on-roads price tag is pushing the upper limit.

And that’s… the week that was.

Filed under 2015 News the week that was
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