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It's a brand new car world

An array of futuristic hybrid concept cars, mainly from Japan, will join exotic supercars and new and updated models at the Darling Harbour show from October 9-19.

And there will be increased interest for children at this year's show with two family days featuring TV characters.

Organisers this week announced two new carmakers to the Australian scene, Cadillac and Isuzu, will unveil models at the show.

Cadillac will display its US award-winning 3.6-litre V6 CTS sedan ahead of its Australian showroom debut later this year.

Isuzu, meanwhile, will show its new D-Max range of one-tonne utes, in a return to the Australian car market. It is effectively the latest version of the Holden Rodeo which, designed by Isuzu, has sold here for the past 28 years.

But now Isuzu is selling the car under its own name. Holden has since released its Rodeo replacement, the Colorado.

Organisers say they will be among more than 40 concept vehicles and all-new or updated models on show. Futuristic fuel-efficient machines on display include the Mazda Taiki concept car, the Nissan Mixim electric car, Toyota's Hybrid X, the Lexus LF-Xh and the latest Suzuki Kizashi 3 machine.

Toyota will also be displaying its Camry hybrid, which will become the first locally made hybrid car when it goes on sale next year.

VW will have two of its BlueMotion economic range on show, a Passat and a Polo.

Nissan will show off its next generation GT-R supercar while Holden will have its Coupe 60 concept. Volvo's take on the future is on a different path. It will show the new

XC60 SUV, the latest in advanced safety technology — a car that avoids crashes by using distance-monitoring sensors. The City Safety technology seeks to prevent front-end collisions at speeds below 30km/h.

Safety will also be the theme on the RTA stand, where NSW cricket team players will make guest appearances to meet showgoers.

But the stars of every motor show are usually the ultimate exotic supercars. This year organisers have brought them together in the new Supercar Central area to showcase the latest in dream machines. Starring this year will be the $2 million Koenigsegg CCX, capable of just under 400km/h. Going from standing still to 100km/h takes just 3.2 seconds.

The super Swede will be joined by the $1.5 million Pagani Zonda Roadster, a new Elfin to be unveiled on opening day, a Lotus Elise S, Bolwell Nagari, Gemballa Avalanche GTR 800 Evo, Morgan Aero 8, Chamonix 550 Spyder and the retro Bufori La Joya.

Children's favourite TV character Roary The Racing Car will attempt to steal the limelight from the real cars, with two family days on each Saturday. Roary and his sidekicks, plus other TV characters, including Bob The Builder, will greet children and their families.

“Family day is extremely busy and in previous years we've found there's just not enough time to accommodate the huge number of children and families on one Saturday,” event organiser Robby Clark says.

“By adding an extra day dedicated to families and children, we can provide an even more enjoyable day for all visitors.”

Outside, 4WD fans will again be able to assess the value of the latest machines on the Waeco 4WD Action Track. Showgoers can

be chauffeured up and down the track, which includes serious rocks, hills and a see-saw.

Shannons has 25 rare and classic cars to display ahead of the last day auction. Last year the headline act was a Falcon GT-HO. This year a Ford from the same era, but of different heritage, will be the most valuable classic on show: a fully-restored American 1969 Boss 429 Mustang, complete with a 7.0-litre V8 engine (top speed above 320km/h), and likely to sell for between $320,000 and $350,000.

A '69 Falcon XW GT HO Phase I is expected to sell for up to $200,000, while Holden fans will admire a black, four-door 1977 Torana A9X and an original 1950 ute.

And a yellow and black NSW Z number plate is tipped to fetch up to $25,000.


Ten cars not to miss at the show

* Mazda Taiki

* Suzuki Kizashi 3

* Toyota Hybrid X

* Nissan Mixim

* Lexus LF-Xh

* Nissan GT-R

* Koenigsegg CCX

* Cadillac CTS

* Holden Coupe 60

* Peugeot 308 CC

Australian International Motor Show

Where: Darling Harbour Convention and Exhibition Centre

When: Thursday, October 9-Sunday, October 19

Opening hours: opening day 5pm-10pm, other weekdays 10am-10pm, Saturdays 9am-10pm, Sunday October 12 9am-9pm and Sunday October 19 9am-7pm

Tickets: adult $18, under 16 $11.50, under 5 free, senior $14, family of two adults and up to three children under 16 $44

Don't miss the official motor show program free in The Daily Telegraph on October 10.


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