Five American cars received, and we want
I just got off a plane from the United States, and I’m jealous.
Australia is an incredibly crowded automotive market, with over 60 brands vying for a tiny slice of the sales pie, but we’re still missing out on a lot of the most exciting metalwork on offer in the US. Ky.
From small sports sedans to oversized electric pickups, here are five cars I’ve seen on American roads that I’d most like to see Down Under.
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Rear-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive super sedans with V8s are extremely rare in 2023, but Cadillac hasn’t given up yet.
The CT5-V Blackwing is Cadillac’s top-of-the-line combustion-engined passenger car model in the US, with a 6.2-liter turbocharged V8 underneath. Hood pump out 498kW and 893Nm.
Forget all-wheel drive, the Blackwing is rear-wheel drive only. Although there is a 10-speed automatic transmission on offer, it is the 6-speed manual that is what enthusiasts crave most.
GM estimates a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) acceleration time of 3.7 seconds with the automatic transmission and a top speed of over 200mph (321km/h).
Inside, it looks suitably modern. Just because the powertrain is old fashioned doesn’t mean the whole car needs to be a dinosaur.
I’ve only seen a CT5-V Blackwing with my own eyes, but I immediately knew what it was… and I wanted one. Come on GMSV, give us the HSV GTS replacement we deserve.
Maverick, like Hyundai Santa Cruzwill fill a perfect gap in the Australian market.
For all that’s good about the Ranger, it’s much larger and heavier than most people need. It dwarfs the old Falcons, even when disguised as a traffic controller, and drives like a refined truck instead of a car.
The Maverick has a tray with space for weekend warriors loaded with bikes, boards or potting mix, and it has enough towing capacity to carry a trailer, jet ski or even a boat with optional boxes matches are marked.
It can do most of the truck tool The average Ranger or HiLux buyer asks, but there’s no baggage involved in actually driving a ladder truck.
The hybrid powertrain is good for the claimed 5.9L/100km on the combined cycle as standard, but you can add all-wheel drive and growl more if that’s your thing. Oh, and did we mention you can buy one for the equivalent of $26,000 in the US?
Most of the Mavericks I’ve seen are entry-level models, but even without all the trimmings, it’s still a fun pickup truck.
Honda Civic Si
Honda has recently undergone a significant shift in Australia, downsizing production as part of its transition from a traditional dealer franchise sales model to a fixed-price dealer model.
That means the new Civic is a rarity on local roads. With 865 units sold in 2022, it’s significantly rarer than the Volkswagen Golf (sales 3223) and Toyota Corolla (25,284) it once went head-to-head.
In the US, though? Citizen cars are everywhere, in sedans and sedans, and the most beautiful of them all is the Civic Si.
With 149kW of power and 260Nm of torque, it won’t overwhelm you with sheer performance. But peak power isn’t reached until just 500 rpm before the 6500 rpm red line, so you need to work with it and the only transmission on offer is a six-speed manual.
Honda’s manual is generally one of the hottest in the business, and we hope the Si is no exception.
Given how much Australians love performance cars, the Si seems like the perfect choice. If only it was done in the right hand drive.
In danger of becoming malicious with the LDV eT60, this is the electric ute we Actually want to watch Down Under.
The R1T looks amazing. It has the presence of an old-fashioned pickup truck, but the minimalist surfaces and lighting make it look much more modern than the likes of the Ford F-150 or the Chevrolet Silverado.
You’ll never mistake it for anything else on the road, that’s for sure.
The R1T has a range of up to 505 km thanks to its lithium-ion battery pack, and the fastest model reaches 60 mph (97 km/h) in just 3 seconds.
It can wade water up to 1m deep, load 800kg and trailer load 5000kg. Of course, carrying will eat into your range.
Rivian has marked a concern before Coming Down Under. Come on guys, make it happen.
It’s easy to be bothered by the constant influx of new electrics and brands at the moment, but the Lucid Air stands out from the crowd.
With its sleek exterior and luxurious, spacious interior, it presents as a reliable alternative to not only the Tesla Model S, but the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQE and BMW i5 as well.
You’ll get up to 836km from the Dream Edition Range on a single charge, so it has better road warriors than any electric vehicle sold in Australia today, and the three-engine Sapphire topping the range reaching 60 mph in less than two seconds.
A quarter mile passes in less than nine seconds and the Sapphire will reach speeds of more than 320 km/h.
Lucid says that Sapphire won’t just be a straight line rocket. The rear motors can be controlled independently, so the outboard motor can deliver full power while the inner motor brakes regeneratively.
If the CT5-V Blackwing is the ideal sports sedan for classic style enthusiasts, the Lucid Air Sapphire is for the next generation.