2021 Jeep Gladiator price and features: Boosted payload capacity for Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Ram 1500 rival
Jeep Australia has simplified its Gladiator pick-up range, slimming the...
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Australia is spoiled for choice when it comes to new models, with more than 40 brands all offering a variety of vehicles to choose from. But we want more.
This year has seen some exciting new cars revealed but, sadly, for a variety of reasons they aren’t coming to Australia; at least not yet.
Obviously, we don’t know the ins and outs of each brand’s business case for not offering these models, but in our books these five cars would make a welcome addition to the smorgasbord of new vehicles we can choose from here.
This one just seemed like a no-brainer. Ford Australia’s most popular model is the Ranger, the new Bronco is built on an evolution of the Ranger platform and Aussie’s love rugged, go-anywhere SUVs. But, alas, Ford said ‘no’ and we have been denied the Bronco.
Both the fully-capable Bronco and its smaller-but-still-competent Bronco Sport would have been a nice fit in the Ford Australia showroom. The Bronco could have lived alongside the seven-seat Everest, giving the blue oval a rival to the iconic Jeep Wrangler and Land Rover Defender, for those seeking adventure (or just looking like they do).
But Ford Australia has made it clear the Bronco has not been engineered in right-hand drive, with a lack of volume the official reason. Even though the Ranger ‘T6’ platform it’s built on is available in right-hand drive because Ford Australia led the development...
Not to pick on Ford – it’s actually the opposite because we’re genuinely disappointed we’ve missed out on two potentially great new models – but this is another hard decision to understand.
Sure, Australia is a relatively young electric vehicle market, but something like the Mustang Mach-E could have been a game-changer – for both EV adoption in Australia and Ford’s local image.
What better way to shake off the ‘Falcon Car Company’ tag forever, and forge a new, contemporary identity, than with a Mustang-badged EV SUV? The success of the traditional Mustang, the continued boom in SUVs and the growth of EV sales all suggest it would find a market here.
Australia has long been a key market for Mazda, one of the best-performing in the world per capita, which makes our miss on the turbocharged small car even more disappointing.
Apparently this warmed-up hatch, with a 186kW/434Nm 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, was built for the American market, so right-hand drive was factored into the development. While it’s not strictly a hot hatch, those outputs would make it competitive, in pure output terms, with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Hyundai i30 N.
It would undoubtedly give the more-premium targeted Mazda3 a more powerful halo model.
But maybe we shouldn’t give up hope just yet, because at the launch of the Skyactiv-X engine in the Mazda3, a key executive said: “I should first clarify, the turbo is left-hand drive only for now. We have no plans to introduce that car to Australia.”
Why is that hopeful? Because they said the same thing about the CX-8, and we got that eventually. In fact, Australia is the only Mazda market in the world with both of the brand’s seven-seaters for sale – the CX-8 and CX-9, so if anyone could build a business case for the Mazda3 Turbo, it would be us.
Yes, it’s great that the Gladiator is available in Australia with a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine making 209kW/347Nm. But the recently revealed EcoDiesel sounds very impressive on paper, with its 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel offering a lot more torque for extra on- and off-road performance.
The new EcoDiesel is the same V6 oil-burner found in the Ram 1500 and it makes 194kW and a whopping 599Nm, almost double the petrol ‘Pentastar’ V6. It’s paired with the same eight-speed automatic transmission as the petrol version too, and although Jeep hasn’t released fuel economy figures, it’s a safe bet the EcoDiesel out-performs the Pentastar.
Unfortunately for fans of torque, Jeep Australia has maintained it will only be offering the petrol-powered ute for the foreseeable future.
The American luxury brand hasn’t officially taken the wraps off this one yet, but it has been teasing the arrival of its new sports sedan for the better part of a year. The Blackwing nameplate will be given to only its most potent models, and the new CT5-V version is reportedly set to offer some serious performance.
The industry speculation points to a 485kW 6.2-litre supercharged V8 under the bonnet of this BMW M5 rival. And, in a big plus for driving enthusiasts, it will reportedly be available with a manual transmission; which will make it a standout in its segment amid a sea of autos.
It sounds like just the car to fill the gap left by the HSV GTS and FPV GT, with a small but die-hard audience of muscle car fans still out there despite the demise of the locally manufactured models.
Unfortunately, Cadillac never got off the ground in Australia so there’s no guarantee we will ever see the CT5-V Blackwing down under.
Could the CT5-V Blackwing join the Chevrolet Corvette in an expanded GM Specialty Vehicles range? We certainly hope so.