Melbourne Motor Show wrap-up

The 2011 Australian International Motor Show is in full swing, so here’s our wrap of the best fresh metal that graced the halls of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

In the dream corner were the Lexus LF-A – 10 of which are coming here priced at $700,000 – and the V12-engined Lamborghini Aventador, followed closely by Audi’s lightweight R8 GT (pictured), and the track-focused Maserati MC Stradale and Jaguar XKR-S. Eco-supercar concepts also were found in the electrifying Audi etron and BMW i8.

At the other end of the pricing scale, emerged something of a light-hatch feud – Toyota previewed its all-new Yaris, Holden took the cloak off its fresh Barina, Skoda announced the 1.2-litre turbo Fabia (pictured) will arrive with a sharp $18,990 sticker, Hyundai returned its Accent to market, and Kia’s sharp-looking new Rio will feature 1.6-litre direct injection four-cylinder engine – with 103kW, it’ll be the most powerful in its class.

Step up a rung to the small car segment, and a new Skyactive 2.0-litre and six-speed auto were introduced in a new SP20 variant of the Mazda 3 and Holden showed off its Cruze hatch – in snappy SRi-V guise with new alloys and projector headlights. Hoping to muscle in on those model’s sales success is Ford, with the all-new Focus priced from $21,990 for the 1.6-litre Ambiente, extending to $36K through 2.0-litre petrol and diesel Trend, Sport and Titanium models.

Peugeot revised its 308, and released pricing for its all-new 508 mid-sized sedan – the latter arriving from a competitive $36,990 for the entry-level 1.6-litre turbo-petrol Active and topping out at $52,990 for the flagship 2.2-litre turbo-diesel GT. Arch German rival, the Volkswagen Jetta, was also previewed, but its pricing will be announced closer to the October launch.

Speaking of mid-sizers, the C7-series Audi A6 debuted in $93,300 2.8 FSI, $116,500 3.0 TDI and $121,500 3.0 TFSI guise. It’s without an entry-level diesel for now, something that Jaguar has addressed with its freshly-facelifted XF – a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel/eight-speed auto variant will retail for $78,900 plus on-roads.

There were less new SUVs to be found on stands than most years, with the exception of the VW Touareg (pictured - $62,990 150TDI, $77,990 V6 FSI or TDI, and $82,990 TDI with low-range 4x4) and 1.2-litre turbo Skoda Yeti compact SUV ($28,690 front-drive and $35,690 4x4) models.

Finally, it was a blackout for our big, burly Aussie-built sedans – specifically the black-painted FPV Concept (with tighter, righter suspension mods and 10kW extra) and the, er, white-painted HSV Black Edition (mostly a series of cosmetic upgrades). The more prosaic dedicated-gas Falcon LPI was also on show … but still no sign of Falcon Ecoboost.

For more details on the models featured at this year’s AIMS, see the Wheels August issue, out Wednesday July 20th.

In the market for a new car? Check out Australia's Best Value Cars.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!