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I’m constantly amazed at the number of cars on the market in Australia, not to mention the vast variety of brands to choose from.

There a dozens of cars that never fail to make waves on the sales charts, and after six months of new car registrations in Australia, the usual suspects are riding on the back of what could be a record year.

But there are cars that don’t attract as many buyers as they should, those vehicles that often rank well in our comparison tests but seemingly don’t have as much of an impact on buyers.

It could be that they’re from brands that are somewhat unknown, or they’re built somewhere that cars of previous generations may have suffered bad long-term ownership reputations with. (You’ll notice a theme with this list…).

Whatever the case, here’s our list of the ten best cars that Aussies aren’t buying. The higher the car’s rank, [...]

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Porsche reveals styling, local pricing and some spec details for upgraded 2.0- and 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo Boxster roadsters

Porsche has revealed its new 718-series Boxster models – and in addition, confirmed local pricing and the unexpected arrival of both 2.0 and 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engines.

Set to make its public debut at March’s Geneva auto show, the 718 will be offered in Boxster and Boxster S models initially, priced from $113,100 and $143,400 respectively. Porsche Australia says local deliveries will commence “in mid-2016”.

The price increase of $8400 and $12,300 respectively is expected to effectively re-position the roadster above its Cayman coupe counterpart, which is currently priced from $106,200. But the bigger news is the offering of two high-performance four-cylinder engines of 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre capacity.

Initially, Porsche hinted at two differing-output 2.0-litre fours. The production cars, however, will arrive powered by [...]

Ford V8 and turbo six Sprint confirmed

The all new Ford Falcon 2016
Merry Xmas Ford fans; powered up six and V8 Falcon ‘Sprint’ models confirmed

Ford Australia has finally confirmed its worst kept secret… The release of a limited-edition Falcon XR Series sedan badged Sprint “in 2016”. However, in contrast to most speculation to date, the Sprint will be offered in both turbo six-cylinder and supercharged V8 versions.

“There has been a lot of speculation around what our plans are for Falcon in 2016 and today we’re happy to confirm that Ford will build a special series to celebrate Australia’s large sedan,” said Graeme Whickman, Ford President and CEO via a statement issued just minutes ago.

 “The Falcon XR Sprint is aligned to the understated look of our notable historic performance Falcons; they will be styled with design and dynamic influences that are distinctly different in feel, presence and execution,” Whickman said.

“The XR Sprint will be a limited-edition series and one we think [...]

How to beat speeding fines

between 10 and 14km/h over the limit can be warned instead of fined

thousands of speeding motorists how they can get off with just a warning. Its newly published policy states motorists caught doing between 10 and 14km/h over the limit can be warned instead of fined if they haven’t been nabbed in the previous three years.

Cops

The policy previously said only those busted doing less than 10km/h over the limit, and who hadn’t been fined in the previous two years, were eligible to apply for an official warning to escape their fine. Victoria Police Supt Dean McWhirter denied increasing the number of motorists who could apply for warnings to include those travelling up to 14km/h over the limit was a new policy.

But he agreed it had not previously been published. Speed camera watchdog Gordon Lewis criticised the force for not previously telling thousands of busted motorists they were eligible to apply to have their fines scrapped. He [...]

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The new Ford Mustang arrives in local showrooms by the end of this year. The $45,000 starting price is much less than it used to be, but is still almost $20,000 more than what US customers pay.

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A new Ford Mustang will cost half what it did a decade ago when it goes on sale later this year – but Australians will still pay up to $20,000 more than US buyers for the exact same car.

Ford Australia has confirmed the starting price for the new Mustang range is $44,990 plus on-road costs.

The price is a little more than half the cost of the 2001 Ford Mustang, which was $85,000 for a coupe and $89,000 for a convertible.

TESTED: The four-cylinder Ford Mustang

MORE: Police could get Ford Mustangs

But there are a couple of caveats. The $44,990 price [...]

Dodge Charger, F-250 popular with car theives

Auto thefts decline because of technology, but statistics conflict

img-1The most theft-prone vehicle in America might be the Dodge Charger. Or it might be the Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Those are the contradictory conclusions of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the insurance industry-funded Highway Loss Data Institute.

Still, the government agency and private group agree that the theft of late-model vehicles is on a rapid decline in the United States. One reason: automakers’ increasing use of ignition immobilizers, which stop thieves from hot-wiring cars. Nearly 90 percent of 2012 models are equipped with them.

In a report released on Monday, NHTSA said the car stolen most often during the 2011 calendar year was the Charger, with 4.8 thefts for every 1,000 cars produced in 2011. It was followed by the Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet HHR among vehicles with more than 5,000 units produced that year.

Pickup trucks took the top [...]

img-2Global sales of BMW Group’s core brand rose faster in June than at Audi and Mercedes-Benz as demand from China and the United States helped the premium carmaker to extend a lead over the two rivals in the first six months of the year.

Sales at the brand were up 9 percent last month to 153,075, the group said today, compared with growth of 5 percent to 140,300 and 8 percent to 131,609 at Audi and Mercedes respectively.

Six-month sales at BMW brand rose 8 percent to 804,000 cars, expanding the lead over runner-up Audi to 24,000 from 11,000 after five months. Half-year sales at Audi and Mercedes rose 6 percent each to 780,500 and 694,000 respectively.

“BMW has stronger momentum than Audi and Mercedes, that won’t change in the second half,” said Hanover-based NordLB analyst Frank Schwope. “Design of their cars has improved and they’re ahead [...]

img-3Tesla Motors Inc., the world’s best-performing automotive stock this year, will join the Nasdaq-100 Index next week, filling the spot vacated by Oracle Corp., which is moving to the New York Stock Exchange.

The electric-car maker will be added to the gauge, which tracks the biggest companies on the Nasdaq, before the start of trading on July 15, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said in a statement Monday. Oracle, which last month said it will join the NYSE, is the biggest company to jump between the competing exchanges.

Shares of Tesla, the carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, have more than tripled this year as the popularity of its new Model S sedan helped the company turn its first quarterly profit. Gaining entry to benchmarks tracked by investors is attractive to public companies because it provides a guaranteed shareholder base.

“It’s a coming of age, recognition that a [...]

img-4The Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic, the top-selling mid-size and compact cars in the U.S., face risks of reduced production as inventories of the models rise, an RBC Capital Markets report said.

Toyota’s Camry exceeded its seasonal historical average inventory by more than 15 days supply in June and Honda carried about 25 days more Civics than usual, Joseph Spak, a New York-based analyst for RBC, said in today’s report. Camry and Civic were the only models identified as at risk for reduced output among 16 of the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. market. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all added U.S. market share in the first six months of 2013, the first time that all three gained first-half share in 20 years. Models such as GM’s Chevrolet Cruze compact and Ford’s Fusion mid-size sedan, leading Detroit’s most competitive set of [...]

Fiat exercises option to buy additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares

Purchase brings closer a merger of the two automakers

img-5Fiat today exercised an option to raise its stake in Chrysler by 3.3 percent.

The move is part of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s step-by-step purchases intended to lead to full control of Chrysler and the creation of a merged company that would be able to compete better with industry leaders Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.

Fiat has been exercising options since mid-2012 to buy holdings of about 3.3 percent from the VEBA, a medical-benefits trust for the U.S. carmaker’s retirees.

Including today’s purchase, Fiat has exercised three of its six-monthly options, increasing its stake to 68.49 percent.

Fiat has said it wants full control of Chrysler, which would give it access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models.

Chrysler has become Fiat’s most reliable profit generator as the Italian company struggles to end losses in Europe that totaled 704 million euros ($903 million) in [...]

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