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Australian International Motor Show – Melbourne 2011

By BenCee on 17 Jul 2011

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It’s been a while since I visited a motor show. Singapore’s very own show whimpered out due to lack of interest back in 2008, which is a real dampener for local car enthusiasts.

On a recent holiday trip to Melbourne, I was lucky enough to drop by the 2011 Australian Motor Show, which was held from 1-10 July at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Granted, it’s not really anything like the major stuff such as Geneva and Frankfurt, but it was well worth a visit anyway.

Here are some highlights.


Audi


Audi’s star was the e-tron concept, very striking in orange.

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The new A6 was there too.

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As was the stripped down, hard core R8 GT

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BMW


BMW only had one car on their stand, the Vision EfficientDynamics concept. Stunning car, but it was a bit of a shame that the rest of their products weren’t there.

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Bentley


Bentley’s stands were one of the few that were limited to VIPs only. I took what I could of the new Continental GT and Mulsanne though.

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Ford



Ford’s stand was the biggest, and attracted the most people, partly due to the various interactive activities and games they offered for kids and families.

They also had hometown favourites, like this FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) GT Black Edition.

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The classic utes were there too.

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This one had a Boss 315 engine…

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The Territory is a widely-acclaimed SUV in Australia.

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Not to forget, the classic Falcon

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The Ford Ranger looks refreshingly modern for a pick-up truck

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There were also familiar products to us too, like the new Focus and Fiesta, in sedan form.

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Holden


Ford’s Aussie rivals Holden, meanwhile, flooded their stand with new products.

HSV, or Holden Special Vehicles, had Black Editions too.

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As well as their usual large sedans and estates

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And souped-up versions of them

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Not to forget, the ute…

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Holden is part of General Motors, and so, some of their products come from the same GM line that are badged Chevrolet elsewhere.

Examples include the Cruze

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The recently launched Cruze hatchback

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The Barina will make it to Singapore as the new Aveo

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There was also the Captiva, looking slightly different from the version we get

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Finally, the Colorado is a new global pick-up for GM

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Honda


Honda didn’t really have any new products to showcase, so their standard line-up was present, such as their hybrids Insight and CR-Z.

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There was also the Legend luxury sedan, and European Accord.

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And one that is all too familiar to us, the City.

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The Civic looked interesting in rally guise.

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Hyundai


Hyundai chose to showcase only their new models, which meant a total of just six cars on their stand, and lots of wide open space in between.

Their highlight was the Blue Drive concept.

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But for me, Hyundai’s star was arguably the Veloster

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There was also a new Accent, in hatchback and sedan form.

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As well as the new Elantra and i40

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One thing that impressed me the most about the new Hyundai cars were the vast improvement in build quality in the interior. Cheap plastics no longer abound, and the new Hyundais all have a somewhat classier feel to the cabin.


Jaguar


Jaguar shared a stand with Land Rover, and in truth, there weren’t much to see at their stand.

There was the facelifted XF.

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And hot performance versions of the XK, namely the XKR-S

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And the Jaguar XKR-R

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Kia


Kia had a decent stand at the far corner of the hall, but there was only one major product breakthrough, the new Rio. It certainly had a very European-look.

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Other familiar sights…

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And one not quite so familiar, the Carnival MPV

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Lamborghini


Lamborghini’s stand was out of bounds, but that did not stop the crowd from trying to catch a glimpse of the Aventador. This was the best picture I could take.

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Land Rover


Another wildly popular car was the new Range Rover Evoque. The Aussies simply couldn’t get enough of it.

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The classic Defender was also present.

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Lexus


Lexus chose to separate its stand from Toyota, and they had a couple of highlights.

The LF-Gh concept took pride of place, and provided an indication as to the new GS.

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There was also the LFA supercar.

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And the IS F

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An interesting looking CT200h Hybrid

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The Lexus LX570 is merely a dressed-up Toyota Land Cruiser

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Maserati


Yet another closed off, VIP-only stand. There was nothing new to see here too anyway.

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Mazda


Mazda had a couple of stunning concepts which, for me, were the stars of the show.

First up, the Minagi

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Then the awesome Shinari

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Compared to them, the other models seem tame by comparison. Such as the BT-50 pick-up

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And the Mazda 3 MPS hot hatchback

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Mercedes-Benz


All attention was on the new C-Class Coupe, notably in AMG form.

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The SLK and ML were new products as well.

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The SLS AMG also grabbed its fair share of attention

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As did the new CLS AMG

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Other novelty stuff from the three-pointed star included the classic G-Class, and the smart car.

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Mitsubishi


Mitsubishi’s focus was on its electric cars, with the PX-MiEV and i-MiEV its main stars.

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The i-MiEV was shown with its charging stand

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Nothing really interesting else of note for Mitsubishi, except for perhaps this ASX decorated with pictures of Mitsubishi owners. Odd.

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Nissan

Another manufacturer with a green focus was Nissan, who brought its Leaf EV to the show.

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They ran one on a rolling road, to demonstrate its ‘power’.

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Aside from the Leaf, Nissan also had a bevy of off-roaders, like the new Patrol and Navara

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As well as its usual sports cars

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Peugeot


Peugeot had the coveted stand right at the entrance, but they had nothing interesting to show.

The new 508 was there, in estate form.

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There was also the 4007 crossover

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And this odd-looking raised 207SW

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Porsche


Porsche’s stand was partially closed, but I tried to take what I could anyway. First, the new Cayman R

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The stunning Porsche 911 Speedster

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This was cool…

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Unfortunately, the 918 Spyder was there in picture form only.

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Renault


Renault weren’t actually there, but they had presence in the form of the Fluence Z.E., or Zero Emissions, their contribution to the green theme of the show. The car was brought in by Australian energy firm Better Place, who will be running the EV scheme for Renault in Australia.

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Skoda


Skoda’s stand in the corner was dwarfed by parent Volkswagen’s, but they put up a decent display nonetheless.

The limited edition Fabia Monte Carlo was there.

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While the Yeti and Octavia Scout proved popular

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This Octavia Estate looked nice all dressed up.

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Subaru


Subaru had its bright green XV Concept at the show.

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There was also the new Impreza, but in dull grey, nobody knew any better.

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The Tribeca lives, but not for much longer

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Guess what car this is?

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Yes, it’s a Legacy…

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Suzuki


Suzuki had one main star, the Swift S-Concept. In yellow especially, it looks reminiscent of the previous Megane hatchback.

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The new Swift was also there.

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And the new Alto, which is a small, sub-Swift model.

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The Kizashi looked cool in racing livery, and hinted at a turbocharged model.

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Toyota


Toyota had a few interesting stuff on their stand, but none more so than the FT-86 Coupe.

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There was also the Prius C Concept

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And the Prius V MPV

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The new Yaris was perched high up on a ledge.

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Other, semi-interesting cars on Toyota’s stand include the FJ Cruiser

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And the Rukus, which we know here as the bB

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There was also the hardy Hilux, and Kluger SUV.

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Volkswagen


Volkswagen had a big stand, but mostly mundane cars, such as the recently launched new Jetta.

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The Golf BlueMotion

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Something we don’t get, the Golf Wagon

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The Amarok pick-up is not sold here too.

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Finally, the Volkswagen Transporter Edition 25

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Volvo


Volvo, always the champion for safety, had a crashed C30 on show.

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The car was a C30 DrivE electric car.

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There was also a V60 Plug-In hybrid

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Others


As mentioned, the show had a general green theme to it, so electric cars abound. Australian company EDay presented their creation.

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A little more about the company

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The Aussies also love their racing, so there was no shortage of performance models. Another Australian company, Joss, unveiled their supercar.

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Walkinshaw Performance is a tuning company, and they showcased this vicious ute.

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They also had this Australian V8 Supercar racer on show.

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Finally, what on earth…?

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The Australian International Motor Show was most certainly an interesting experience, most notably because it probably is one of the few major ones around our region now. As I understand, the show is now an annual affair, alternating between Melbourne and Sydney, with a nominal July date. So, if you happen to be around Sydney this time next year, I recommend a visit.

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BenCee
Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...



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