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Sydney show: A to Z guide

Full metal jacket: There was a flood of shiny new metal in all shapes and sizes at the Sydney motor show.

Our A to Z guide of highlights from this year's Sydney motor show

30 Oct 2002

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE in SYDNEY

STRIP away the hyperbole and glitz, and the Sydney motor show was all about the increasing muscle of Australia's small but ambitious automotive industry.

Holden previewed its next all-wheel drive step with the road-going SSX hatchback concept, while performance partner HSV showed the muscular HRT 427. Ford emphasised its product revival with the debut of the FPV Falcon GT and Pursuit Ute, while Mitsubishi also concentrated on the here and now with Magna AWD. (Reports on these cars are in the Future Models section of the GoAuto site) Supporting that lot was a flood of shiny new metal in all shapes and sizes.

Our A to Z guide for the Sydney motor show (apart from the reports previously mentioned) follows:

Audi

SWIMMING champion Ian Thorpe stepped out of an all-new A8 top-shelf luxury car to launch Audi's component of the show, which also showcased the blistering new RS6 sports sedan and the A4 Cabriolet previously seen in Melbourne.

Audi Australia managing director Graham Hardy opened proceedings by claiming a healthy 22 per cent sales increase so far this year, before announcing that first A4 Cabriolet deliveries would occur before Christmas.

The first convertible to offer a continuously variable transmission, the new A4 Cab has a soft-top that opens in 24 seconds and will be priced around $105,000.

Meantime, at more than double that price, the RS6 is due on sale Down Under next June and will feature a 331kW/560Nm 4.2-litre bi-turbo V8 capable of propelling it to 100km/h in a claimed 4.7 seconds.

Expected to be priced around $230,000, just 25 RS6s have been allocated for Australia, 11 of which are already spoken for.

Also making its Australian debut was the A8 flagship, fresh from its Paris premiere - one of many new large and luxurious offerings to appear in Sydney.

Featuring all-wheel drive, all-alloy construction, air suspension and a new multimedia interface, the new A8 is due here in May and will be available in two specification levels from around $200,000.

Bentley

THE resurgent British super luxury marque fired its shot before the show, inviting media and potential customers to have a look at a convincing mock-up of the Continental GT at Sydney's overseas passenger terminal at Circular Quay.

With about 250 guests attending a series of presentations, the company confirmed the order book continued to swell for the turbocharged W12 2+2 coupe, which is not launched for 12 months in Europe and will not make it to Australia until December 2003.

"We had 75 deposits in the Australian market and we added to that yesterday," said Bentley Motor Cars Asia-Pacific chief Derek Davies.

"Over the next couple of months I'm sure we'll go well over 100 deposits, which will exceed our 2004 quota." Considering the GT is predicted to cost somewhere between $350,000 and $400,000, that's a fair effort.

BMW

WHILE the new Z4 two-seater was the expected star of the stand, the Munich manufacturer revealed another drop-top as well, the M3 convertible.

Boasting the same 252kW six-cylinder powerplant as its coupe relation, the M3 convertible will arrive in May 2003 priced at $158,000.

The Z4 will be here soon after that offering 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre straight-six power for a price "possibly not far from the level of the outgoing Z3", BMW Australia managing director Franz Sauter predicted.

Also debuting were the X5 3.0-litre turbo-diesel crossover which goes on sale in January 2003 for $78,200 in manual guise and $80,200 for the auto.

BMW hopes the oil-burner will eventually account for as much as one-third of X5 sales, which could mean as many as 500 per year.

Other new models included the V12 760Li which goes on sale in early 2003 and an individual version of the 745i, with an extra $39,450 of luxury equipment.

Chrysler-Jeep

STAR of the Chrysler-Jeep stand was the Australian Viper R/T10 Roadster, a product of what Chrysler Jeep Australia says is the first right-hand drive factory refinished program approved by Detroit outside the US.

On sale from this month, a mix of 25 roadsters and coupes will be available through five Viper dealerships nationwide, with pricing announced at $254,830 for the R/T10 Roadster and $265,080 for the GTS Coupe.

Produced continuously since 1992 - since which 14,000 Vipers have been sold worldwide - Viper has been described as the most outrageous car ever built by a major car-maker.

It is powered by an 8.0-litre alloy V10 producing 336kW at 5200 and 664Nm at 3700rpm. To mark the 10th and final year of production of the original Viper before it is replaced, the 2002 model will be available in Graphite metallic paint along with Viper Race Yellow and Viper Race Red.

CJA managing director Judith Wheeler said a total of 64 locally produced parts were built to exacting specifications in the conversion process by specialist Melbourne vehicle restorer and adaptor Viperformance Factory, including a new steering system, pedals, dash assembly, centre console, radio, heater/air-conditioning and mirrors.

Citroen

CITROEN used the Sydney motor show to officially launch its new small car, the C3 - despite the fact first deliveries of the new Peugeot 206/Renault Clio rival will not arrive here until December.

As expected, the C3 range opens at $19,990 for the 1.4-litre C3 SX manual, which includes remote central locking, power front windows, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery and electric power steering as standard.

The 1.4-litre C3 Exclusive adds ABS, fog lights and velour upholstery for $20,990, with the automatic version also offering climate control air-conditioning for $22,990.

While the 1.4-litre models released in Sydney will represent the bulk of Australian C3 sales - with Citroen Australia still aiming to double sales this year - the 1.6-litre C3 models are not expected in Australian Citroen dealerships until mid-2003.

They will bring the option of a manual transmission or the Sensodrive automated manual gearbox.

"Our plan for 2002 was to use the Citroen C3 to double Citroen sales in Australia," said Citroen Australia general manager Miles Williams. "However, intense demand for the C3 ... saw our launch delayed.

"Nevertheless, demand for the existing Citroen range has enabled us to almost reach our 2002 target of doubling our sales.

"So, with the C3 in full supply in 2003, as well as supply catching up with demand for models such as C5 and the arrival of the new Citroen Berlingo, we expect 2003 to be a special year for Citroen in Australia."

Daihatsu

THE Toyota-owned Japanese car-maker was not part of the official presentation trail in Sydney this year, despite showing a production version of its steel-roofed Copen convertible for the first time.

There to gauge reaction following its release in Japan two months ago, Copen is likely to be a sub-$30,000 proposition if it goes on sale in Australia.

Ferrari

IN somewhat of a coup, Australian Ferrari distributor Maranello Imports secured the world's first Enzo supercar - along with model and author Tara Moss to unveil it - direct from its world debut in Paris only weeks earlier.

Not due to enter production until January 2003, just 399 Enzos will built before 2004. Though all of them are already spoken for - including the nine destined for private local collections, every one of them is left-hand drive.

Priced around $1.8 million, the limited edition supercar, named after the Ferrari founder himself, was shown in Sydney alongside the classic F40 and F50 supercars of the 1980s and '90s.

Available in rosso (red), giallo (yellow) or nero (black), Enzo's 485kW/657Nm 6.0-litre V12 sees it accelerate to 100km/h in just 3.5 seconds - and on to a top speed of more than 350km/h.

Honda

THE Jazz called the tune on the Honda stand, shown to the public just weeks before its November 1 on-sale date.

The five-door hatch is sold with a choice of two engines - 1.3 and 1.5 - and three specification grades - GTi, VTi and VTi-S. Pricing starts at $16,990 but it's an extra $2000 for air-conditioning.

The other stars for Honda were the Dualnote 3.5-litre i-VTEC hybrid sports car and Asimo, a humanoid robot which demonstrated its array of human-like movements and interaction abilities on the first four days of the show.

Hyundai

THE local Hyundai distributor presented its take on a Getz hot hatch called TC3.

The black three-door had been styled up with an Astrel bodykit (Astrel is Hyundai Australia's in-house accessory maker), leather trim, larger wheels, low profile tyres and bigger brakes. A turbocharger will be added to the equipment list soon.

The TC3 follows on from the forced induction Accent Mach T2 and Elantra 3 SC that debuted in Sydney 12 months ago.

While those cars failed to excite South Korean interest, Hyundai Australia will notify headquarters about its latest concept, with the hope that a Getz hot hatch will become a production reality.

Jaguar

ANOTHER luxury limousine still blinking in Sydney from its Paris motor show world debut was the seventh generation Jaguar XJ saloon.

Although not the very same polished alloy unit that wowed Parisian crowds, the much larger, much lighter new Jaguar flagship nonetheless stole plenty of local limelight in front of a gaggle of recently facelifted XK coupes and convertibles.

Due on sale in Australia by mid-2003 at a price to be announced, the new all-alloy XJ represents the most serious British opposition yet for the Mercedes-Benz S-class and BMW's 7 Series.

Sixty per cent more rigid, 40 per cent lighter, longer, taller, wider and with a 25 per cent bigger boot than before, the new XJ features air suspension, voice activation and adaptive cruise control from the 2003 XK.

Expected to be available in new 3.0-litre XJ6 guise, the line-up should also include a new 3.5-litre V8, the 4.2-litre V8 and, eventually, the supercharged 298kW XJR.

Kia

THE Sorento mid-size four-wheel drive and the facelifted Rio small car were the stars here.

The Sorento is a separate chassis off-roader with low-range gearing that will come in two specification levels starting around $36,990, while the top-speccer will be $39,990 with an equipment list that includes leather trim, cruise control and a sunroof.

The Rio is straight from its Paris world introduction and is tipped to kick off at $14,990 driveaway, complete with air-conditioning.

Kia says the more significant changes are under the skin and are aimed at improving refinement, road holding and handling. Both the Sorento and Rio are launched in January.

Land Rover

ALONG with Sydney's first look at the new Range Rover, which went on sale here in August, Land Rover Australia revealed a number of Australian debuts, including a cheeky new Defender 90, luxurious HSE-spec versions of both Defender and Freelander, a couple of Tangiers orange liveried G4 Challenge Landies and what LRA calls the New Look Discovery.

On sale in November and comprising 700 different components including a distinctive new Rangie-style front end, the updated 2003 Disco features twin-pocket headlights and a new grille and bumper with round foglights and increased step height. Cosmetically, there's also a revised tail-light clusters and three new interior trim colours in both cloth and leather.

Attention to noise insulation and body mountings, plus revised suspension location, is said to improve refinement in both the 4.0-litre V8 and 2.5-litre turbo-diesel Td5, while all models now come standard with a locking centre differential, further increasing Disco's off-road capability.

Upgraded brake callipers and pads at both ends aim to improve braking feel and response, while new equipment includes Park Distance Control.

Due to arrive Down Under by Christmas, the legendary short-wheelbase Defender 90 goes on sale for the first time here early next year.

The go-anywhere, Euro-chic Defender will be available as a two-seat hard-top wagon, powered by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel producing 90kW at 4200rpm and 300Nm at 1950rpm.

Also featuring a two-speed transfer case and locking centre differential, the steel chassis/alloy bodied Defender 90 Xtreme Wagon is said to offer best-in-class payload and towing figures.

It will be offered in Amazon green, Dysart black, Lightning silver, Tempest yellow and Simpson red, and standard equipment will include coil suspension, four disc brakes, ABS, Electronic Traction Control, air-conditioning, alloy wheels and nudge bar.

Finally, higher specified HSE models have been added to both the current Freelander and forthcoming Discovery line-ups.

Freelander HSE scores Alpaca leather trim with an all-black interior, Command front seating, a tilt/slide sunroof, Harmon/Kardon six-speaker/six-CD sound system, cruise control, power windows, twin illuminated vanity mirrors and 17-inch alloys. Discovery HSE adds a DVD player as standard.

Lexus

IT'S limited edition time at Lexus where the IS200 Caliente was revealed before its November on-sale date and the GS300 L-Tuned prototype previewed before going on sale in 2003.

The latter is the more significant vehicle because it pioneers the local installation of performance accessories by Lexus Australia.

The L-Tuned GS300 uses stiffer suspension, wider 18-inch OZ wheels, a free-flow exhaust system and recalibrated steering to sharpen performance, while looks are boosted by a sports mesh grille, clear side indicators and - of course - limited edition badging on the front guards.

All the componentry has been developed by Lexus engineers in the US.

"The success of the GS L-Tuned will be evaluated with a view to the possibility of producing other Australian-developed modified editions of Lexus models," said Lexus Australia senior manager John Roca.

Despite that cautionary comment, it does look almost certain the L-Tuned will be with us in the first quarter of 2003, with an initial run of 25-30 units offered.

Just 75 examples of the Caliente (which stands for "hot" in Spanish) will be sold, all painted in the same shade of red. Pricing is $60,990 for the six-speed manual and $61,990 for the four-speed auto.

New exterior equipment includes a bodykit, 11-spoke alloy wheels with 45 aspect ratio sports tyres, a moonroof, privacy glass and limited edition badging.

Inside there's leather trim, heated and power-adjustable front seats, metal sports pedals, metallic scuff plates and a number identification plaque.

Models with six-speed manual transmission will also get a shorter 4.100:1 limited-slip differential and sports stabiliser bars front and rear.

Lexus also had the "off-system" sports car on its stand. This is the car featured in Tom Cruise's recent movie Minority Report, which is set in the year 2054.

Mr Roca also confirmed the new generation RX330 (although he coyly referred to it as RX only) would be on sale in Australia in 2003 - expect it in April.

Mazda

MAZDA'S all-new light car entrant, the Mazda2, made its first Australian appearance in Sydney.

Due to replace the 121 around mid-November, Mazda2 will face stiff competition in the form of Honda's Jazz, Holden's Barina and VW's Polo.

However, Mazda claims its new generation 82kW 1.5-litre engine makes Mazda2 at least 24 per cent more powerful than all of them.

Three specifications of the new five-door will be offered, with the entry level Neo and mid-range Verve model names revealed in Sydney, while a sports model that is called Genki in Japan will join the range in February next year. We get the car, but not the name.

It will will be available in Spicy orange and Honey yellow paint schemes.

There were no developments on pricing in Sydney with Mazda officials still saying it will start "from close to $18,000 with air-conditioning" - although Mazda also says the Mazda2 Neo will be priced below the base model Honda Jazz GLi which is $18,990 with the $2000 air-conditioning option.

Although it is already on sale, Mazda6 also made its first Sydney show appearance, while the 184kW rotary RX-8 was also on show. It is on sale here next year.

"The Mazda2 opens the next exciting chapter in the renaissance of the Mazda brand," said Mazda Australia managing director Malcolm Gough.

"And mid next year our brand icon, the RX-8 rotary-powered sports car, will join the line-up priced below $70,000."

Mercedes-Benz

TWO Benz blasters were highlighted at Sydney - the E55 AMG sedan and the SL55 AMG convertible sports car.

The two cars share the same 5.5-litre supercharged V8, although the SL has a handy 368kW, compared to the E55's more conservative 350kW.

The result is claimed performance that sees them both accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds, with an electronically governed top speed of 250km/h.

The SL is on sale in November for $359,474 while the E55 is priced at $219,900 and also goes on sale in November.

The C-class also received a significant update with the M 271 family of supercharged four-cylinder engines launched. All measuring 1796cc, they come in a variety of power and torque levels determined by their level of tune.

The 105kW/220Nm C180 Kompressor goes into both the sedan and Sports Coupe, the 120kW/240Nm C200 Kompressor into the sedan, wagon and Sports Coupe, while the 141kW/ 260Nm C230 Kompressor is reserved solely for the Sports Coupe.

The existing 2.0 normally aspirated and supercharged engines are gone, prices are up slightly across the range, while the new C230K Sports Coupe comes in at $70,900.

Bi-xenon headlights are not optional across C-class while the Distronic radar controlled cruise control system is optional on sedan and wagon.

Nissan

NISSAN chose Sydney to reveal the pricing and model line-up for the 350Z two-seat sports coupe which goes on sale from February.

Kicking off the range at $59,990 is the 350Z Touring equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the optional five-speed auto with manual mode adds $1800.

Standard mechanical equipment includes the 206kW VQ35 3.5-litre V6 engine, independent multi-link suspension front and rear, traction control, viscous limited slip differential, drive-by-wire throttle, 17-inch alloy wheels and dual outlet exhaust.

Safety and comfort features include six airbags, pretensioners, ABS with EBD and brake assist and load limiters for the seatbelts, cruise control, heated leather sports seats, automatic climate control air-conditioning, Bose 240-watt sound system with seven speakers and a trip computer.

Then there's the 350Z Track, which adds 18-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, rear spoiler, front under spoiler and Vehicle Dynamic Control. The Track starts at $65,990 for the manual, with the auto an additional $1800.

Nissan is aiming for 600-800 sales in 2003, but is hoping to gain a clearer picture from a pre-sell campaign launched in Sydney. Nissan also confirmed at the show that a 350Z roadster would be on sale here in late 2003.

The Pulsar hatchback was presented in updated form in Sydney, with new look front and rear and the addition of standard ABS with EBD, a lap-sash centre rear seatbelt, 16-inch alloy wheels, new seat fabric two-tone dashboard treatment and new four-spoke steering wheel and gear lever knob. The Q model adds a one-touch facility for its power windows.

In five-speed manual form the ST hatch goes up $300 to $21,990, while the Q is unchanged at $23,990. Add $1800 for the four-speed auto option. The British-built hatch continues to only be available with a 1.8-litre engine.

In other new model news, the Maxima mid-size V6 sedan range was refreshed with a new sports oriented ST-R model added and the base S dropped. The range now comprises the $39,990 ST (down $300), the $42,990 ST-R and the top spec Ti, for an unchanged $47,990.

On top of a comprehensive level of kit, the ST changes its trim, gets a new dash design and a new alloy wheel design.

The ST-R adds a bodykit including side skirts and rear spoiler, gunmetal dash and door surrounds, powered sunroof, front foglights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Ti gets the trim, dash and alloy wheel changes.

Finally, the venerable Pathfinder soldiers on through another adjustment, with the ST base model rising $1000 to $41,490 in exchange for standard ABS, a passenger airbag and luxury seat trim previously seen on the top-spec Ti.

That model also goes up $1000 - to $48,490 - and for that Nissan has added black leather seat trim, a leather steering wheel and front foglights.

Peugeot

THE spanking new 206-based station wagon - called, naturally enough, the 206 SW - was the star attraction on the Peugeot stand, alongside the far more aggressive 206 WRC forest rocket.

Originally not due for release until after the 307SW, which is in unprecedented demand in Europe and will not arrive here until late 2003, Peugeot says the 206SW will now be added to the range in Australia around mid-2003.

A more practical version of the popular 206 hatch, the SW has a 190mm longer rear overhang, 28 per cent more luggage space below the parcel shelf, a flat and lower boot floor, and a power-operated tailgate window.

Four petrol engines ranging between 1.1 and 2.0 litres, plus 1.4 and 2.0-litre diesel engines, are available in Europe, while the 206SW show car was badged a GTi.

But it is likely a single 206SW model will be made available here with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, priced and specified slightly above the XT hatch at around $25,000 and expected to attract 200-300 sales annually.

The 206SW will lead a Peugeot revolution in the middle of next year when the more powerful 206 GTi 180 is expected to be launched alongside the current GTi in the $34,000-$35,000 range.

By late 2003, a couple of 307SW models should go on sale for about a $2000 premium over their 1.6 and 2.0-litre hatch donor cars (meaning a $27,000 starting point), along with the 307CC steel-roofed convertible priced to rival the Astra Convertible.

Porsche

ALTHOUGH it did not make an official presentation, Porsche did have a Cayenne Turbo off-roader on its stand and also announced prices for both models.

The "entry level" S will be priced at $129,900, while the Turbo will be offered at $203,400. The arrive in April.

Saab

SAAB used the Sydney motor show to officially launch the new 9-3 "Sport Sedan", its most important new model in more than a decade.

Boasting the most interior space in class, 120 per cent more torsional rigidity than its predecessor and more power and torque than its rivals, the new 9-3 is the first genuine Saab contender for compact executive sedans like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Volvo S60.

Officially, only the 9-3 Arc and 9-3 Vector went on sale from show day, with the national 9-3 press launch not due to be held until October 31. However, pricing for the entire 2003 9-3 range - and the revised 2003 9-5 range, which was also shown in Sydney - was revealed for the first time.

The 110kW/240Nm 9-3 Linear kicks off the new range at $48,900 ($51,400 auto), while the 129kW/265Nm Arc is priced at $52,900 ($55,400 auto). The similarly powered Vector will cost $56,900 ($59,400), although the range-topping 155kW/300Nm 9-3 Aero's price is yet to be announced.

Optional on all 9-3 models is metallic paint, which costs $1200, with bi-Xenon headlights priced at $1500, a power sunroof costing $2000 extra and Saab Parking Assistance available at $750. The 9-3 Convertible continues to be available until the new model arrives around this time next year, and is now priced at $67,900 ($70,000 auto) for the Turbo and $84,900 ($87,000 auto) for the Aero.

Saab also showed its revised auto-only 9-5 range, including a streamlined 9-5 SportEstate line-up that now includes the 9-5 Linear SportEstate ($68,900) and the 9-5 Aero SportEstate ($87,900).

The 184kW/350Nm 2003 9-5 Aero sedan (now $85,900) gains steering wheel actuation of the Sentronic semi-automatic transmission, plus ventilated front seats, electrically folding side mirrors and auto-dimming mirrors all round.

Pricing for the other 136kW/280Nm 9-5 sedans reads: 9-5 Linear $66,900, 9-5 Arc $75,900 and 9-5 Vector $77,900.

Smart

THE introduction of the Smart two-seat mini-car to Australia took another step towards fruition with a city-coupe on display in Sydney.

The city-coupe and its close relation, the cabrio, go on sale in the second quarter of 2003, the former for under $25,000 and the latter for under $30,000.

All Smarts sold in Australia will feature the highly specified "smart & pulse" performance and equipment package as standard.

That was the version of the city-coupe on display in Sydney, complete with interchangeable panels and a three-cylinder Suprex turbo engine that delivers 45kW via a six-speed sequential transmission.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, dual airbags, CD player electronic traction control, glass roofs with sunscreens, leather steering wheel, ABS and alloy wheels.

Later in 2003 the roadster arrives for around $40,000.

Subaru

THERE was no un-bugeyed Impreza direct from Paris, instead Subaru appealed to the group that established its name here originally by adding an entry level version of the six-cylinder 3.0 H6 to its Outback range, which now numbers four.

Slotting in between the base four-cylinder Outback manual ($38,180) and the Outback with Luxury Pack auto ($44,480), at $43,990 the auto-only Outback 3.0 H6 is about $8000 cheaper than the $51,990 Outback 3.0 H6 with Luxury Pack.

Aimed largely at rural buyers wanting six-cylinder power, Subaru says the discounted Outback six offers Japanese build quality, high levels of safety and equipment and all-wheel drive for similar money to the Berlina or Verada wagon alternative.

Besides the 154kW/282Nm six-cylinder boxer engine, standard items are similar to those found in Outback 2.5, including ABS, dual front airbags, five lap-sash seatbelts with front pretensioners and load limiters, air-conditioning, alloy wheels, six-speaker CD audio, cloth trim, cruise control, foglights, remote central locking and roof rails.

The H6 also gets self-levelling rear suspension and electro-luminescent instrumentation, but misses out on the H6 Luxury Pack's side airbags, dual sunroof, power driver's seat, leather trim, Momo steering wheel, six-CD stacker and Vehicle Dynamics Control.

Subaru also took the opportunity to launch its first STi Australia parts and accessories.

Aimed at turbocharged Impreza and Liberty drivers and available through Subaru's STi dealer network, there's an STi handling upgrade kit, the Impreza WRX MY1998-2000 engine performance upgrade (from 160 to 180kW) and STi performance parts including a Prodrive bodykit.

Volkswagen

THE W8-engined Passat's first Australian appearance was the highlight here, along with the announcement of model change details for the rest of the 2003 mid-size prestige car range.

The W8 will be here in May 2003, with pricing around $100,000 and laden with equipment including the first Volkswagen eight-cylinder engine, in this case laid out in a W formation and producing 202kW. It is mated to five-speed tiptronic transmission and VW's 4Motion AWD system.

Other more conventional equipment includes alloy wheels, bi-Xenon headlights, a plethora of airbags, satellite navigation, cruise control and a booming sound system.

Volkswagen Group Australia hopes to sell 100 W8s per annum. It sees the model as a stepping stone to the new luxury Phaeton limousine which arrives here in 2004. Before then the Touareg off-roader and the Beetle Cabrio are expected here in July and August 2003 respectively.

The company is hoping for bigger sales from the rest of the range, which now includes a 2.3-litre V5 engine to replace the 1.8 turbo unit, and two specification levels rather than one across the range - S and SE.

The 2.3 V5 produces 125kW at 6200rpm and 220Nm at 3200rpm. The other engine in the range continues to be the 140kW 2.8 V6, available in either front-drive or 4Motion configuration.

Equipment additions include side curtain airbags, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise control buttons, a net partition for wagon models and an in-dash CD changer for V6 models.

SE is distinguished from S by the addition of 17-inch alloy wheels, electric glass sunroof and leather seats.

The V5 S kicks off the range at $49,990, then progresses through the V5 SE ($55,130), the V6 S at $55,800, the V6 SE at $60,940, the V6 4Motion S at $59,800 and the 4Motion SE for $64,940.

The only transmission choice across the range is a five-speed tiptronic auto, while the wagon is only available as a V6 SE.

The new pricing compares to $48,000 for the old 1.8T auto (manual was $45,900), $57,400 for the old 2.8 V6 and the 4Motion at $68,300.

VGA also displayed a new 150kW 2.8-litre V6 version of the eight-seater Caravelle, which goes on sale from November 30 with a starting price under $60,000.

The V6 model launch marks the start of a VW commercial vehicle offensive in Australia, which will include the all-new T5 Transporter range in 2004.

Volvo

THE XC90 all-wheel drive wagon made its Australian debut, with Volvo confirming more than 100 orders already for the two models - the XC90 2.5T five-cylinder and the six-cylinder bi-turbo 200kW XC90 T6.

Pricing will begin in the mid-$70,000 bracket for the 2.5T, with the T6 in the mid-$80,000 range.

Complete pricing and specifications will not be confirmed until closer to the mid-2003 launch.

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