Quickshift: What people were reading this week

Fiat 124 Spider Spy Shot

WILL people pay $50 a month to watch V8 Supercars races live on Foxtel? Or will most simply grumble that every race should still be free on Channel 7 – while predicting a dire drop in viewer numbers for any that aren’t?

Strong interest in Peter McKay’s report of a ratings disaster for the V8 round at Queensland Raceway pointed firmly towards the latter, perhaps fuelled by the natural human fascination for seeing our gloomier prophecies confirmed.

Was it fears that the Bathurst 12-Hour might be moved behind the same paywall that drew readers to McKay’s companion piece on why V8 Supercars had bought the popular GT car event? Or just general curiosity about the future of an evolving lounge-room classic?

And what of our spy pictures of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe? That’s easy: when someone tries to prevent us from looking at something, it is natural to want to look at it. No less so when the something is a sportier version of the acclaimed, mid-priced Benz mid-sizer.

Plenty of Wheels readers were curious too about why Mazda would welcome a faster, Fiat-branded MX-5. Or maybe you just wanted to share a Mazda executive’s acerbic assessment of Fiat’s status in Australia, as delivered to Wheels features editor Stephen Corby.

And then there was Alex Inwood’s review of the bruiser from Ingolstadt, the new Audi Q7. Days after Corby observed that the featherweight new Mazda sports car sometimes struggled to haul you up hills, Inwood attributed embarrassingly prodigious pace to a hulking seven-seat diesel.

“Shifts from the new 8-speed auto are seamless and fast and make the response to flattening the throttle a revelation,” Inwood wrote of the 2135kg luxury SUV. “It’s like watching a two-tonne turtle effortlessly destroy Usain Bolt over the 100 metre sprint.” 

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