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.
Australia’s new vehicle sales (checked against registrations) rebounded in August, up 17.3 per cent over the same month last year to 95,256 cars.
It was the best August in five years, suggesting the supply of vehicles is steadily improving. It also takes the year-to-date tally to 717,575, down 2.1 per cent on 2021.
The Toyota HiLux retained its number-one position ahead of the Ford Ranger and Toyota RAV4, but it was the EV market that showed some of the best growth.
With Model Y deliveries finally underway alongside the Model 3, Tesla finished as the seventh top-selling brand overall, and helped drive EVs to an overall 4.4 per cent market share – a figure that doesn’t include any BYDs, deliveries of which commenced September 2.
Nissan will tackle the Toyota RAV4 hybrid head-on early in 2023 with a new electrified X-Trail, but it’ll be missing out on one bragging right.
Nissan’s new dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain – called e-Power with e-4ORCE – will be available locally only in five-seat X-Trail models.
That’s despite a seven-seat option set to be offered in other markets, giving the Nissan an edge in versatility over its popular Toyota rival.
The e-Power with e-4ORCE X-Trail models will begin local deliveries in early 2023, following shortly after the combustion-powered range in the fourth quarter of this year.
The updated 2023 Toyota HiLux Rogue range-topper is set to arrive in Australian showrooms in October, with “significant mechanical upgrades” claimed to improve both on- and off-road performance.
Refreshingly, the updated HiLux Rogue will be priced from $70,200 before on-road costs – which is same price as the pre-update model.
For context it is about the same ($10 more expensive) than the Ford Ranger Wildtrak with the V6 turbo-diesel. It’s also $5770 more than the current HiLux SR5+ dual-cab pickup automatic flagship.
The 2023 Lexus RX is set to go on sale locally in early 2023 with four variants, but no plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
The Japanese competitor to the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 will be available with one petrol engine, and three separate hybrid setups.
It seems Australian buyers are going to miss out on the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the Lexus RX at launch.
FULL STORY: 2023 Lexus RX: Australian line-up detailed
MG has sliced $2000 from the price of its ZS EV at launch, making it Australia’s most affordable electric vehicle… except in Tasmania.
The new starting price of $44,990 drive-away for the MG ZS EV Excite is down from the $46,990 drive-away sticker announced in March, and means the ZS undercuts the BYD Atto 3 in every state barring Tasmania.
Where MG absorbs the difference in on-road costs such as stamp duty and registration to offer a nationwide drive-away price, the BYD sticker is different depending on where you’re buying it.
FULL STORY: MG ZS EV price cut makes it Australia’s most affordable EV
FULL STORY: 2023 MG ZS EV review
FULL STORY: 2023 MG ZS EV price and specs
ANCAP has announced the electric Tesla Model Y, Genesis GV60 and Kia Niro, along with hybrid versions of the latter, have received five-star ratings in safety testing.
It singled out the Model Y for praise, saying the SUV’s safety assist rating is the highest such score in this category to date. The Model Y’s adult occupant protection rating is also the highest thus far under the current 2020-22 rating criteria.
Speed camera operators in New South Wales have to follow new rules following criticism their vehicles were being hidden from view.
Transport for NSW has responded to criticism of vehicles’ placement, telling officials in a Budget Estimates meeting late last week it has revised its protocols.
In its revised protocols, speed camera operators now must park 10 to 15 metres from the nearest vehicle, both in front of and behind the camera vehicle.
This is to make the speed camera signs more visible, following complaints speed camera vehicles have been parked in rows of cars or obscured by foliage.
Maserati’s upcoming entry-level SUV range has been priced for Australia ahead of its arrival in the first quarter of next year.
The 2023 Maserati Grecale range opens at $109,500 before on-road costs for the base GT, with the mid-range Modena priced at $128,000 before on-roads and the flagship Trofeo at $165,000 list.
That slots it between the related Alfa Romeo Stelvio ($80,950 to $158,000), with which it shares its Giorgio platform, and the larger Maserati Levante ($145,000 to $300,000).
FULL STORY: 2023 Maserati Grecale price and specs
Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), now owned by Australian mining giant Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), has revealed a modular high-performance electric vehicle (EV) architecture for hypercars.
Dubbed EVR, it’s the latest of WAE’s EV architectures and was revealed at the Low Carbon Vehicle show at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK.
The UK-based engineering firm has said it will have a EVR-based prototype in the next 12 months, with delivery of a production vehicle in 24 months.
Greenpeace East Asia has ranked the world’s biggest carmaker Toyota dead last in a new report detailing the efforts of major auto brands to reduce their emissions, saying it’s stuck in the past with its devotion to hybrids and fuel-cell hydrogen cars.
Its Auto Environmental Guide 2022 is billed as a “comparative analysis of decarbonisation efforts by global auto-makers” – looking at their EV sales, phasing out of combustion vehicles, and cleaning up their supply chains.
The report looked at 10 major carmakers, all of which have their own sub-brands. General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen lead the pack; Ford, Hyundai-Kia, Renault and Stellantis sat in the middle tier; and Nissan, Honda and Toyota were labelled failures.
Coinciding with this report, Greenpeace Australia Pacific released its own report which it claims “exposes Toyota’s track record of lobbying against measures to reduce climate pollution from vehicles, greenwashing and advocacy for fossil-fuelled hybrid vehicle technology”.
Jeep has previewed its first three electric vehicles, two of which have been designed for global markets and all of which will launch by 2025.
Launching first is the Europe-targeted Avenger, which will be followed by two global models: the off-road focussed Recon and the family-friendly Wagoneer S.
It also confirmed it wants electric vehicles to account for 50 per cent of its sales in the US by 2030, and 100 per cent of its sales in Europe by the same year.
In addition to introducing its first electric vehicles, it plans to expand its range of 4xe-branded plug-in hybrids with an electrified powertrain in every model range by 2025.
FULL STORY: Jeep introducing three EVs by end of 2024