Melbourne International Motorshow 2011
Colours and details from the July show from an Australian point of view. Obviously for any Aussie it's all about Holden v: Ford, or in Motorshow terms it's the performance affiliates of each of those and therefore HSV v: Prodrive (in the form of Ford Performance Vehicles). Black was the theme for both of these and also for a number of other manufacturers.

HSV had the "Black Edition", none of which were black but all of which were picked out with black details. I'm not sure how it's possible to describe black as garish, however the final look of the HSV's was less than inspiring. The "Black Edition" is a market item should you disagree and find beauty in there somewhere.

FPV just went black, ...all black (which should go well with New Zealands rugby community) with a package including (among other items) suspension and ride enhancements that were totally invisible on the stand but should get some comment after the show when the car is handed over to the journalistic community. The FPV car however is distinctly a concept package, which despite the eager howling of fans is unlikely to see the light of day in this particular format (apparently the pipes growl way beyond registerable specifications for instance).

Prodrive inscribed on exhaust of concept car at the Melbourne International Motorshow 2011.
Prodrive's logo inscribed in the tips of the custom 3" quadport exhaust on the FPV concept vehicle. Unfortunately punters were unable to hear the growl during the show since none of the cars were ever run up.

Pushing the wind back this far (had it been fired up) is the existing Miami 335kw supercharged engine currently available in the GT-P that will keep pushing you back into the drivers seat until well past 260km\h if you can find an un-monitored space to do so.

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Red, Holden Red. Holden Racing Team emblem on the HSV 'Black Edition'
Red, Holden Red. Holden Racing Team emblem on the HSV 'Black Edition'. Not the prettiest car, but nice attention to details of which there were many. I haven't been made aware of any serious enhancements (unless you still count plugging in fondleslabs of decreasing life expentancy) but being HSV you will no doubt find the performance is well beyond the capability of world+dog to exploit unless they also can find some out of the way place to try tapping the boot on the firewall

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Subaru's concept car and it's amazing 'highlighter' paint job.
Subaru's concept car and it's amazing 'highlighter' paint job.

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Mazda's striking new front ends, presumably for next year.
Mazda's striking new front ends, presumably for next year.

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random concept vehicle that reminds me of a Johnny-Cab

A random concept vehicle that reminds me of a Johnny-Cab.
What would a motorshow be without one of these, every young designer must have to draw one of these things up in class before they are let out into the world. There's an empty space, fronted by a central column, usually with some sort of seat behind it. The Johnny-Cab reference by the way is from one of the few Arnie movies that ever caught my attention, "Total Recall". I'm not sure the movie actually got any other recognition hence I'm explaining it instead of just assuming you know what I'm talking about. Fortunately, either because Arnie has a thing about design students, or because the plot called for some macho overpowering of machinery, Arnie rips the rotatable head off the forward mounted, central column and somehow takes control of the cab manually. Not sure how you manipulate the flow of electrons with hands more suited to throttling iguana's but there you go, that's Hollywood.

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Nick Percat from Walkinshaw racing, leaning on what I doubt is Fabian Coulthards car since the motorshow and the Townsville V8 Supercars event cross timeslots.

Nick Percat from Walkinshaw racing, leaning on what I doubt is Fabian Coulthards car since the motorshow and the Townsville V8 Supercars event have conflicting timeslots.

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Walkinshaw's Supercharged offering.

This is the other face of Walkinshaw, performance engines. I think this is the WP230 Edelbrock based unit. The 230 seems to be related to the 2.3 litres (of supercharger capacity, not the VE engine it's integrated with). I didn't see a kilowatt figure, feel free to email it in if you know what it is (not the E2 please).

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ISUZU 'exploded' engine

Having brought up attention to detail earlier, ISUZU have a strong case to be declared the winner. I don't mind a tough ute at any time, but one with LED's inside the engine is always going to grab my attention. A couple of other engines were around the show. Subaru's was beautifully presented with cutaway's highlighting the auto and VW had an shiny-engine-on-a-stick although without any cut-away sections. ISUZU however cut into the componentry, not just the casings and has even picked it out with red LED's for the firing chambers in operation.

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Frosty and Will on the FPV stand at the motorshow.

Frosty and Will on the FPV stand at the motorshow covering off such things as their aspirations for the current years championship and the movie CARS 2 where Frosty cameo's as Frosty and has a quick word with Lighning McQueen and Lewis Hamilton. I have since seen Will referred to as "Mater"..

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Evans' and Weston's Honda Civic Type-R Rally Victoria car at the Melbourne International Motorshow 2011.

Evans' and Weston's Honda Civic Type-R Rally Victoria car at the Melbourne International Motorshow 2011. Who knows, the way they build the cars these days, it might be the real deal but either way if you haven't seen this (or something that looks exactly the same but dirtier) in real life, you should. If you can't or can't be bothered, at least youtube it. (for you city kids, it's like Ken Block but for points.)

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What didn't I show you.. heaps of stuff. The Lamborghini Aventador for one. Everything on it is a bent hexagon, or suggestive of such. At the other extreme is the latest plastic-fantasic 4x4, Toyota's sort-of re-release, the FJ40. Don't for one minute think I'm not a fan of it, it's shown itself to be very capable but.. well, it sort of reminds you of the 'new' mini in that it's the same basic shape, a decent bit of kit in it's own right but the designers used to be in the model car industry or something. I'm sure it will come into it's own with a bit of help from IronMan, TJM, ARB and those sort of chaps.

The new Subaru Outback was at the show, it hasn't quite recovered from the attempt a couple of years ago to turn it into the Forrester. In fact the Mondeo wagon looks more like an Outback than the Outback does. Next year I hope it's back to it's sleeker (but still capable) format, even though I won't be able to afford one myself for a while.

flick..flick.. ah, the Toyota FT-86 II, no idea but it looks like the boy-racer of choice for city kids who don't share the evo or focus passion. In my head I can already hear the turbo blow-off popping through traffic up Ballarat Rd.

The Mad Max concept cars. round about 1/8th clay's of two design concepts for any potential Mad Max re-iteration. To be honest, without a belt looping up and over through a hole in the bonnet, the entire point seems somewhat diminished. The job would have been simpler if someone had just poked a hole in the 'power-bulge' in the bonnet of a Miami powered GT-P and finished of the edging with a bit of carbon-fibre.

Still scrolling through the thumbnails, the beautiful black FPV again, a GT and a GS Ute, someone walking off with an FPV shift knob.. no, just kidding..(although, some people have no life, that stuff does indeed happen)

Ford Ranger Wildtrack, nicely presented too. I'm actually starting to like the Rangers a little bit. There were Tritons and 'cruisers and Hiluxs, Especially there was also the new BT 50 which looks like it's going to be a nice work/play job for some of us.

Pininfarina and those cute little 'flutes' in the guard...oops Ferrari and Cute in the same line, I may be consigned to hell just for that.

Maseratti, an entire row of Porche' (what's the plural for those things? Porche's just sounds too common.) and we go, stunning blue Jaguar R5, now if only I had the brass to pocket one of those.

Lovely little yellow(ish) Audi with fetching turbojet look wheels, and oh dramatic drop in stunning-ness as we pass by the re-cycled hitler-mobile, the Wiggles' Big Red Car.

The 'floating lady' at the Kumho ecotyre stand who must surely hold a masters in ignoring the public since however many thousand people came through the motorshow, all inspected her derrier most closely trying to work out just how she can be sitting apparently in thin air for who knows how long. Still, the speculation is the point, so if you do happen to know how it was done, keep it to yourself please.

Royal Auto club.. Rolls Royce's, Jag's, Delage, 351 phase 3 GT, Merc's original gullwing.

..and tucked in the corner, "Bufori".. designer cars, and a registered Koenigsegg even. The plate on it is WATTHE, but the real "What the .." moment is that among all this glitter and shine, among the most prestigious and luxurious cars that the industry can cram into dusty old Jeffs Shed, is a very badly handwritten sign on a sheet of A4 advertising Koenigsegg caps for $20. Scroll down if you don't believe me.

No expense spared at Melbourne International Motorshow 2011.
".. and I think the same was written with a thumbnail dipped in tar..."
Banjo Patterson :: Clancy of the overflow

ps: I'm no motoring journo, errors are likely to be included. Email me if you spot something.

Out There 4x4 Warragul Mark A. Biggs, Author