The likes of Renault, Rolls Royce and Rover are world-famous car manufacturers whose names begin with the letter ‘R’.
But off the top of your head how many cars make starting with that initial can you come up with?
We can think of over 50 different varietals, although some have long since disappeared from the Australian car scene. Additionally, others were never officially available in Australia in the first place, while some have remained popular for many years.
Trying to think of what they might be? Well here are 7 models to get you started.
Which one of them is your favourite?
Forming part of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, the Mercedes R280 is a luxury crossover SUV that was sold in Australia between 2006 and 2012. It was notable for having a design that combined the luxury of a sedan with the practicality of an SUV.
Powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine it was available in both petrol and diesel versions, with the diesel variant being the more popular choice among Australian buyers. The car was equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, which made it a capable vehicle both on and off the road.
As impressive as it was, the R280 was unfortunately not as popular in Australia as Mercedes-Benz had hoped it would be. This was due in part to the vehicle being relatively expensive, starting at a price of around $85,000 for its base model.
It also faced stiff competition from other luxury SUVs in the Australian market and was eventually withdrawn by Mercedes-Benz In 2012 as a result of poor sales.
Despite its lack of popularity in Australia, the Mercedes R280 remains a notable car in the country’s automotive history. It was part of a trend towards luxury SUVs that became popular in the early 2000s, and some of its design features helped to set a new standard for luxury vehicles in the Australian market.
The Audi R8 first came to the world’s attention in the 2004 Hollywood blockbuster movie iRobot starring Will Smith. But it wasn’t until 2006 that the company’s futuristic two-seat, mid-engined sports car launched.
A high-performance sports car, it is widely regarded as one of the most impressive vehicles on the market and boasts a combination of stunning design, cutting-edge technology, and thrilling performance.
The R8 is available in a range of different models, including the R8 Coupe and the R8 Spyder convertible. It is powered by a V10 engine mid-mounted which is capable of producing up to 602 horsepower and can go from 0-100km/h in as little as 3.1 seconds. The car also features Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, which has excellent traction and handling even in challenging driving conditions.
The Audi R8 has won numerous awards and accolades in Australia since its introduction in 2007. It has been praised for its stunning design, which combines sleek lines with aggressive styling cues. Likewise, it has also been lauded for its exceptional performance, which makes it a popular choice for sports car enthusiasts and racing enthusiasts alike.
Range Rover Sport
Launched in Australia in 2005, the Range Rover Sport is a luxury SUV which is much loved for its high-end luxury features, impressive performance and exceptional off-road capabilities.
It comes in several different models including the SE, HSE, and SVR. All of these feature Land Rover’s advanced Terrain Response system, which allows drivers to optimise the car’s performance for different driving conditions.
Arguably its most impressive feature is its spacious and deluxe interior, which incorporates high-quality materials and advanced technology features like a premium sound system and a digital instrument cluster.
It also comes equipped with a range of safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking, to give drivers and passengers the peace of mind of knowing they will be safe on the road.
Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Sadly, the Skoda Rapid Spaceback was discontinued in Australia in 2020 due to declining demand for small passenger cars in the Australian market. However, when it first came out it made quite a splash with consumers.
Taking the form of a compact hatchback, it was introduced by the Czech automaker Skoda in 2012 and was based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf. It also shared many components with other Volkswagen Group vehicles.
One of the car’s most notable features was its large cargo area, which accommodated up to 1,380 litres of space when the rear seats were folded down. It also had ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear passengers, which made it quite comfortable to ride in.
Known for being a practical and affordable option, it came with a range of petrol and diesel engines that included both a three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine and a diesel 1.6-litre engine.
Its standard features included air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, and a touchscreen infotainment system. While higher-spec models came with additional features like a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
Aston Martin Rapide
Even though it is no longer sold in Australia, other than via import channels, the Aston Martin Rapide remains a dream motor vehicle for many Aussie car enthusiasts.
Produced by British automaker Aston Martin, the luxury sports sedan was designed to offer a four-door luxury sedan with the same performance and styling as the Aston Martin sports cars. It was introduced in 2010 and featured a sleek, aerodynamic design with a long hood and a low roofline, which gave it a distinct and elegant appearance.
Under the hood, the Rapide was powered by a 6.0-litre V12 engine that produced up to 470 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. This powerful engine was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which enabled the Rapide to go from 0 to 60 mph in around 5 seconds and also hit a maximum speed of 188 mph.
The interior of the Rapide was designed to offer the same level of luxury and sophistication as other Aston Martin models. It featured high-quality materials such as leather and wood and offered a range of amenities such as heated seats, a premium audio system, and a touchscreen infotainment system.
Sadly, the Aston Martin Rapide is a rare sight on Aussie roads these days. But for those who still own one, it is very much their pride and joy.
For several years now the Toyota RAV4 has been a popular choice among SUV buyers in Australia.
Produced by the Japanese automaker Toyota, it is available in Australia in a range of trim levels, including the GX, GXL, Cruiser, and Hybrid variants. The vehicle’s design is modern and sporty, with sharp lines and a more aggressive stance than previous models.
The RAV4 comes with a choice of two powertrains, a petrol engine or a hybrid system. The petrol engine is a four-cylinder 2.0-litre unit that produces 127 kW and 203 Nm of torque, while the hybrid system uses a four-cylinder 2.5-litre engine that is combined with an electric motor to produce a total output of 163 kW. The hybrid powertrain is also available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
Inside, the RAV4 features a spacious and well-designed cabin with high-quality materials and comfortable seating. It also comes equipped with a terrific range of features, including a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and dual-zone climate control.
Additionally, it also has adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking to keep you safe on the road.
The Tesla Roadster is a high-performance all-electric sports car produced by the American electric car manufacturer, Tesla Inc. The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 and is expected to be available in Australia once it enters production.
The new Roadster features a futuristic design with sleek lines and a low-slung, aerodynamic body that gives it a sporty and aggressive appearance. It is powered by a massive 200 kWh battery pack that delivers a claimed range of over 1,000 kilometres on a single charge, making it one of the longest-range electric vehicles on the market. To put this into context you will be able to drive from the Gold Coast to Mackay in Queensland in one run!
The Roadster also boasts impressive performance, with the company claiming it can go from 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 1.9 seconds, which ranks as one of the fastest production cars ever made. It also has a top speed of over 400 km/h, making it a true supercar in terms of performance.
While the Roadster is not yet available in Australia, it is highly anticipated by enthusiasts and is expected to be a popular choice among those seeking a high-performance electric vehicle with cutting-edge technology and features.