We publish a ton of car news stories during the working week (70-odd as a rule), and it can be tough to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend list.

    In short, here are some key articles from our news desk since Monday of this week summarised, just in case you missed them at the time.

    Plug-in Pony time!

    Electric SUVs are rapidly growing in number in Australia, and Ford wants a piece of the action. CarExpert understands the long-awaited Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV will finally make the trip Down Under, giving the Blue Oval brand a rival to the Tesla Model Y among others.

    It’ll be one of the previously announced five electrified Fords due here by 2024, following the Escape PHEV (launched this year) and the electric E-Transit and E-Transit Custom vans, due in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

    It’s perhaps no surprise the Mustang Mach-E is coming here, considering right-hand drive deliveries began in the UK and Ireland last year and Ford recently confirmed it for an early 2023 launch in New Zealand.

    FULL STORY: Ford Mustang Mach-E EV finally set for Australia

    Toyota’s huge hybrid pickup on the way

    Toyota has started work on getting the hybrid-powered, Ram 1500-rivalling Tundra pickup truck to Australia to sit above the top-selling HiLux.

    The company confirmed an “extensive program is underway to re-engineer Tundra” for right-hand drive in partnership with Walkinshaw Automotive Group, which already re-engineers the Chevrolet Silverado for GMSV, and the Ram 1500 for Ateco Group.

    Toyota says it will draw on “key components” from its global parts catalogue in the re-engineering process, including the steering column and rack, pedals, and shift lever from the right-hand drive LandCruiser 300 with which the Tundra shares a version of its platform.

    FULL STORY: Toyota Tundra Hybrid Australian launch in sight, development kicks off

    California ZEV mandate charging ahead

    California has followed through on a proposal to require all new cars, pickups and SUVs sold there beyond 2035 to be capable of zero-emissions driving.

    Transportation is responsible for approximately 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions (when accounting for fuel production emissions) and 80 per cent of air pollutants in California – the US’ most populous state, and one that many others follow.

    The sheer scale of the California car market will by default ramp-up output of ZEVs by car brands. This will not prevent Californians from owning existing petrol- or diesel-powered cars beyond this time, nor will it stop them buying or selling them on the used-car market.

    FULL STORY: California demands new cars be EV or PHEV from 2035

    Special licence required?

    South Australia’s Premier has pledged to reform road safety laws so high-powered sports car drivers face stricter new licensing standards.

    The rules propose drivers of “high-powered super sports cars” complete specific training, similar to that required for motorcycle or heavy vehicle licences. They also include banning the disabling of traction control in high-powered vehicles.

    South Australia also wants to strengthen laws banning drivers accused of killing a person from holding a licence until their case is resolved.

    FULL STORY: South Australia pledges new licensing rules for powerful cars
    MORE: Why a special licence for high-powered sports cars is a great idea

    Corolla Cross ticks the boxes

    The anticipated Toyota Corolla Cross small SUV has been detailed for the Australian market, with the eight-variant range to kick at $33,000 before on-road costs when it arrives in October.

    Three trim levels and three drivetrains will be offered, including the brand’s new 2.0-litre hybrid system in both 2WD and AWD form. The range will feature the GX, GXL, and flagship Atmos.

    Hybrid versions will start at $35,500 before on-roads for the GX 2WD Hybrid; $2000 less than hybrid versions of the smaller Toyota C-HR, which is based on the same platform as the Corolla and Corolla Cross.

    FULL STORY: 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross pricing, here in October from $33,000

    Kia’s EV king gets closer

    Kia’s largest electric vehicle yet, the three-row EV9, has been teased undergoing testing ahead of its world premiere.

    The camouflage will come off in the first quarter of 2023. Kia Australia has yet to officially lock in the EV9 but has previously confirmed it’s putting its hand up for any electric model it can get.

    The large crossover has been developed over a period of 44 months, and was first revealed in concept form at last year’s Los Angeles motor show. It’s currently in its final testing phase at Kia’s R&D centre in Namyang, South Korea.

    FULL STORY: Kia EV9 teased ahead of early 2023 debut

    Another cheap Chinese EV on the way

    The GWM Ora Good Cat EV has landed on all fours in Australia, with the electric hatchback spied outside the company’s headquarters in Victoria.

    These photos obtained by CarExpert show a right-hand drive version of the small EV wearing Victoria registration plates, which is here for local testing and evaluation purposes.

    At the rear, the spied vehicle wears GWM, Ora and Good Cat badges. Good Cat is this car’s name in China, while in the UK it’s called the Funky Cat.

    FULL STORY: GWM Ora Good Cat EV hatch spied in Australia

    Skoda’s new style

    Overnight Skoda sketched out what its upcoming Vision 7S concept will look like, giving us our first real glimpse of its new Modern Solid design language.

    The Vision 7S is a seven-seat electric crossover that’s set to debut on August 30, European time, and likely previews a model that will sit above the Enyaq in both price and size.

    Up front the thin vertical headlight stack is topped by a daytime running light strip that fades into a black grille that has more than passing resemblance to a smiling mouth.

    FULL STORY: Skoda Vision 7S sketch previews new design language

    Haval goes EV-only from 2030

    Chinese brand GWM Haval wants 80 per cent of its global sales to be plug-in hybrid or pure-electric by 2025, and to stop offering internal-combustion drivetrains entirely by 2030.

    The Baoding-based brand held a ‘new energy strategy conference’ in Beijing this week outlining its plans, which will have implications for its rapidly-growing Australian operation.

    The company has been falling behind the likes of BYD in the so-called ‘new energy’ market at home, and is therefore changing tack.

    FULL STORY: GWM Haval to stop making petrol or diesel cars by 2030

    Update time for Kia’s small SUV

    The refreshed 2023 Kia Seltos range will land during the fourth quarter of 2022, sporting a range of enhancements headlined by an updated design, more tech, as well as a more powerful engine option.

    Kia Australia confirmed new details for the Australian market today, with the same four-variant model walk as before (S, Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line) as well as a standard 2.0-litre MPI FWD petrol and optional 1.6-litre T-GDI AWD turbo petrol powertrains.

    However, the Seltos 1.6 T-GDI has been updated for the 2023 model year, and is mated to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission instead of the outgoing dual-clutch. While not confirmed in the local media release, the updated version of the 1.6-litre turbo in Korea now makes 147kW and 265Nm –17kW more than the pre-update model.

    FULL STORY: 2023 Kia Seltos initial details for Australia, here Q4

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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