Who’s got the time to follow everything happening in the world, let alone all the stories coming out of car companies here in Australia. So, welcome to “Flipsy’s Wrap” – my quick look at some of the key stories that took my fancy this week and links to places with far more detail if you’re keen!

Ford F150 – thousands of Australians have already placed orders. Have you?

More than 8000 Aussies have expressed interest in Ford’s F-150, due to arrive in Oz in 2023. Of those, Ford claims that thousands of people have already placed orders with dealers. Were you one?

The Aussie lineup is said to include short and long wheelbases and the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6. There is no word on when or even if the all electric ‘F-150 Lightening’ will be available. Pricing is yet to be confirmed but it won’t be cheap. Check out Ford’s site for more details..

RAM Truck sales also at record highs.

When you look at the success of RAM in Australia it is easy to see why Ford were so desperate to get in on some big pick-up action! In sharp contrast to what we saw on a recent trip to Canada, where brand new RAM trucks were being advertised at a significant discount (remember those days?), demand for local deliver is huge and continues to outstrip supply. November saw a record number of RAMs come out of the Melbourne factory.

Bob Graczyk, Head of RAM International, recently visited the Melbourne factory and commented, “When we first looked into the business opportunity 7 years ago and asked how big the market could be, no-one really knew what to expect, maybe 3,000, 4,000 – perhaps 5,000 units. It has completely exceeded our expectations and 10,000 vehicles is now realistic – who knows, we could go up to 15 or 20,000 units. The acceptance of full-size pick-up trucks by Australians is just phenomenal.”

With the demise of local manufacturing and an insatiable demand for products from the home of the brave and land of the free I think we should just do away with conversation to right hand drive and other import restrictions, open the gates and let rip, I say. My favourite website for USA car sales is Autabuy. I can lose hours here just dreaming about yank tanks!

Mazda 6 turns 20!

It doesn’t feel that long ago that Mazda’s competent but boring 626 turned into the rather compelling ‘6’. That was 20 years ago! To celebrate, Mazda has released a limited edition ’20th Anniversary’ 6. It is based on the top spec Atenza and comes with baubles and trinkets to make the already highly competent 6 just a little bit more special.

With SUVs continuing to dominate the sales charts, the 6 is a breath of fresh air and certainly worthy of your consideration. Check out Mazda for more details.

Range Rover wins Production Car of the Year award… but is it any more reliable?

I adore Range Rovers but it is fair to say that they have a mixed record when it comes to reliability. The current $230000 Rangie has just won the prestigious Production Car of the Year award – an award focused on design as judged by industry experts. And it’s well deserved too!

The 2023 Range Rover is utterly gorgeous. What I simply can’t understand is why other manufacturers replicate the beauty of the big Brit in their lineup. Imagine a Range Rover type aesthetic in a, say, Toyota or Honda platform. I’d buy one! Mike Duff has a wonderfully detailed ‘first drive’ review on the Ranger Rover over at Drive.com.au.

Busy times at Nissan with the launch of a new Pathfinder and X-Trail.

Nissan is getting set for a huge 2023 with the launch of two important models – the beefed up Pathfinder and family friendly X-Trail.

Since it’s launch in 2001, nearly 300000 X-Trails have found their way into Aussie garages. The X-Trail is a hugely important model for Nissan locally and this latest version promises not to disappoint. Priced from the high 30s to the low 50s, the new X-Trail is structurally more rigid, more aerodynamically efficient, introduces a host of new active and passive safety features, has a revised cabin layout with premium features and materials, and introduces a raft of new technical aids including ProPILOT and more standard additions to the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite.

Importantly, a more powerful engine sees towing capacity increased by 500kg to 2000kg braked. Proving even further that Nissan is serious about towing, the X-Trail now has Trailer Sway Control.

Speaking of getting serious, Nissan promises that the new 5th Gen Pathfinder has returning to it’s rugged, off-roading roots. Priced from mid 50s to low 80s, the Pathfinder has had some serious gym work and can now tow 2700kg. The drivetrain has also been optimised for more rugged off-road work. Anthony Crawford has a full launch report over at CarExpert.