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Chris Teazis, Pascoe Vale, Vic

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LETTER OF THE MONTH

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TOP MARKS

Well said, Mark Webber! I couldn’t agree with you more (‘Webber: Beyond the circuit’, Redline, April). As a teacher who taught driver education to Year 10 students for many years and who completed two advanced driving courses, the low driving standards and skill levels are a major concern. Unlike Webber’s catch phrase, mine would be: “I’ve never seen so many idiots on the road in such a short space of time!”

I would even suggest that this poor skillset he cites and our fixation on using mobile phones while behind the wheel are key factors in the increase of road rage and the carnage we now see on our roads.

Thank goodness for the safetyrelated technology we now find in modern cars that improve ANCAP crash-test ratings and ultimately, helps save lives.

Chris Teazis, Pascoe Vale, Vic

TRASH TORQUE

I was brought up on a staple diet of Aussie sixes and eights. However, now in my 60s, I’ve seen the light; I’ve driven several modern four-cylinder turbo petrols and love them.

This brings me to the new Commodore. The four-cylinder petrol version produces 191kW at 5500rpm and 350Nm at 3000rpm; The V6 produces 235kW at 6800rpm and 381Nm at 5200rpm.

I’d like to know the power and torque figures for the V6 at the same (much lower) revs where the four produces its peaks. I suspect the six may be lower. This is relevant because maximum torque at 5200rpm is as much use as tits on a bull, and revving that old V6 to 6800rpm for max power must be like strangling a cat!

Ray Kapel, Dalmeny NSW

“New ZB Commodore’s maximum torque at 5200rpm is as much use as tits on a bull”

TRASH TORQUE II

Am I right in saying the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia 2.0-litre four-cylinder is available in Europe with 400Nm of torque, while our badge-engineered 2.0-litre turbo produces just 350Nm?

Now, why would that be?

Cynics may suggest it’s to protect the honour of the atmo V6 they shoehorned into the AWD jobbie. It’s difficult enough understanding why Holden bothered with the expense/weight/fuel inefficiency of a V6; having the four-cylinder model out-grunt it just wouldn’t do.

Except in the real world it probably does … I’m guessing all the 350Nm from the 2.0 turbo is available from where we actually drive, 2000-2500 rpm, while the 381Nm max torque of the V6 is probably made closer to 5000rpm, where drivers rarely go.

At 2000-2500rpm the V6 is probably struggling to produce 300Nm. We’re left to wonder if a full-fat 2.0 turbo, in the Aussie-tickled AWD, would have been a nicer thing.

Brian Wood, via email

Letter of the month winner

You’ve hit the nail on the head, there, Chris Teazis – where would lesser drivers be without all that technology to help them with the basic task of driving? Enjoy the next 12 issues of Wheels on us.

NOT A COMMODORE

I own a 2016 VFII SS-V manual Redline sedan and was keen to like the new car, but not with the old name. It’s a good-looking design, if a tad conservative, with a slightly fussy grille. All the reviews are positive and I’m in no doubt it’s a good car but a Commodore it is not. That name should’ve died with the VFII.

I understand what Holden was trying to do; lure in traditional Holden buyers with the old name but also attract new customers with the four-cylinder petrol and diesel options. But new buyers and badge snobs will see the old name and may not bite, while traditional buyers will scoff at the front drive and lack of V8 propulsion.

As good a job as Holden and its engineers have done, the imported Commodore should remove its Akubra and not be afraid to strut its lederhosen.

William Campillay, Bentleigh East, Vic

SPEED BERATING

Years ago, an ABC journalist said it had become common practise for Australians to talk (and write) with authority about things they know nothing whatsoever; nowhere can you see better how right he was than reading some of the letters in Inbox.

Peter Steele (Inbox, March) compares the ZB Commodore with the Australian-made one, and says anything that takes more than 7.0 seconds to get from 0-100km/h is just plain slow. The Australian-built Commodore Evoke took 8.1 seconds.

Winfried Kutzner, via email

TRADING IT IN

It pains me to say this, but I feel it is time to start including dual- cab utes in this fine magazine.

While I appreciate that the dual cabs have had more coverage in recent issues (Ford Ranger Raptor, for example), in order for this magazine to continue being the most relevant to the Australian people, it’s time to up the dual-cab content.

Brad Andersen, via email

Thanks Brad. It remains a bit of a devisve issue, but yes, we’re onto it. Stay tuned. – Ed

“For Wheels to continue to be relevant, it’s time to increase the dual-cab ute content”

AIR HEADS?

I was reading my dad’s magazine when I noticed in your article on Audi E Diesel (‘Explained’, January) you said Audi would use electricity “to split water into hydrogen and oxygen’’.

Water – H2 O, – has two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule but in the diagram you show O2 (two molecules of oxygen) and H2 (two molecules of hydrogen) being split. This is not the correct formula for water. It is impossible to split water and get O2 (two oxygen molecules) and H2 (two hydrogen molecules), suggesting that your diagram is wrong.

But I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article and I am fascinated by environmentally friendly ways of drawing us away from fossil fuel.

Ella Somerville, Auckland, NZ

Well spotted, Ella. You have all the makings to be a fine scientist when you’re older. –Ed

“Given the F90’s weight gain, April’s M5 comparo missed the mark”

BULK ORDER

I enjoyed the nostalgia piece comparing the E34 and the F90 M5s (‘Dream chaser’, April) but maybe not as much as Ryan. Haven’t we all drifted back in time and done the same thing?

However, the test missed the mark as apart from the Mazda MX-5, most vehicles usually grow a little and put on some beef with each generation.

So each year most vehicles grow until they are hundreds of kilos heavier, nowhere near the same class as the original. Compare the original Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Golf with the current models. So given Ryan’s history with the E34, the comparo should have been with the M3 or even the M2!

Mike Riordan, Campsie, NSW