Australia may be more cluttered with car brands than ever before, with even more due in 2023, and yet that doesn’t mean the floodgates are opened for every new car launch.
Our fairly stringent safety regulations help keep out a lot of vehicles, while the fact we’re part of a minority of right-hand drive markets means various vehicles are non-starters for us.
And so it goes, we cover myriad new vehicle launches every year and all too often we have to bear the bad news: said vehicle isn’t coming to Australia.
Here are the cars revealed in 2022, thus far ruled out for Australia, that we’re most disappointed to not see on our shores.
The Acura Integra might be a Honda Civic in a sharper (or should that be sportier) suit, but I’m sad it’s not coming Down Under.
The regular model is offered with a manual transmission in the USA, something I’d love to see here, and the recently confirmed Type S shapes as the perfect foil to the all-out Type R hatchback.
Sure, the new Type R looks far more dialled down than the outlandish car it replaces, but the four-door-coupe-ish body on the Integra has appeal of its own, and the promise of a more luxurious interior is tempting as well.
Given how hot demand will be for the Civic Type R, the Integra Type S would also be able to absorb a chunk of the rampant demand.
Unfortunately, given it’s an Acura, we’ve a snowflake’s chance in hell of ever seeing it. Damn.
For me, Ford is building some really exciting vehicles these days (they always have), which is why I already have an allocation for the 2024 Mustang Dark Horse, but I’m also a sucker for the new-generation Ford Bronco Raptor.
I saw a standard Bronco in the US a month ago and wanted one of those, but a Raptor version, well that’s just a must-have in my book.
Surely Ford Australia won’t give up on the idea of securing a Bronco Raptor or the F-150 Raptor. That would make a triple-Ford garage for me.
Mercedes-AMG S63 E Performance
These are the sort of cars you want someone else to buy, so you can buy them secondhand for half the price in three years.
Unfortunately, it seems like Mercedes Australia has run out of people to buy the S63 saloon, so people like me can spend hours, years later, daydreaming about how great a daily it would be, showing the wife, and being told to “go to bed, its 2am”.
I don’t mourn the fugly old model, but rather bemoan Toyota’s decision not to bring the surprisingly sexy (yes, I said it) new model.
The world’s biggest car company fretted over how to reinvent its hybrid icon in an era defined by full-electric vehicles, settling on giving it some newfound panache. It looks great – sleek, stylish and entirely unlike what we’ve come to expect from Toyota’s long-standing eco leader.
And yet it’s this latest version, which has me all starry-eyed, that will be the first Prius Toyota won’t sell in Australia. In making this decision, it took the wrong lesson from the old model’s failure to resonate, and pulled the pin at precisely the wrong time.
Ford Bronco Raptor
It’s fair to say if I had to choose between the Ranger Raptor and the Bronco Raptor – I think I’d need to go with the Bronco.
You’re right in thinking I have absolutely no need for a dual-cab ute, nor a Bronco Raptor. But the thought of an SUV that’ll do big jumps and make an absolute racket while doing them sounds like one I could get away with calling a family car.
Anyway, it’s not coming here, so I need to get that idea out of my head and continue trying to convince my wife I really needed a Ranger Raptor.
I could bemoan how China gets a new Ford Mondeo or Europe gets a new Mitsubishi ASX and we don’t, but I’m most saddened I won’t see the new Cadillac Celestiq on Australian shores.
GM Specialty Vehicles continues to be coy about its future plans beyond the Chevrolet Corvette and Silverado, though we did find a trademark filing for the electric Cadillac Lyriq crossover that has me giddy.
As CarExpert’s resident Cadillac enthusiast – one of the best drives of my life was in a third-generation CTS one night on Mulholland Drive – I’m cautiously optimistic about the brand finally coming here after its aborted relaunch back in 2009.
Cadillac is a brand that has had numerous leadership and strategy changes and never seems to reach its full potential – a flagship sedan project was cancelled during GM’s bankruptcy, and the CT6’s North American run was cut abruptly short.
But then what does Cadillac do? They go ahead and reveal the Celestiq, an electric flagship where each individual vehicle is personally commissioned and the starting price is in the upper reaches of the Bentley Flying Spur’s range. Its pricing is lofty, its styling is polarising, and I want one.
Ford Bronco Raptor
I still find it so baffling that Ford doesn’t offer some version of the Bronco in Australia, given its local development roots.
The hardcore Bronco Raptor seems like an absolute beast in my eyes and I’d love to see it on Australian roads. I mean, I wouldn’t really like to be tailgated by one, but you see where I’m going.
I also think it would be quite popular and sell well locally, given how sought after the Ranger Raptor currently is.
Sadly though it doesn’t seem like the Bronco or its baja-ready Raptor version will be coming Down Under any time soon.
Um, hello Toyota? You finally make something that’s cool and sexy and different and then tell me I can’t get one here?
I know sedan sales are in freefall Down Under, but the Crown is one of the few really exciting cars Toyota makes. And would you just look at the cool personalisation options?
The Crown also is one of the first Toyota models to offer the brand’s new 2.4-litre Hybrid MAX turbocharged drivetrain that will debut locally in the new Lexus RX500h. It certainly sounds like the goods.
It’s also got heaps of Lexus bits inside, giving it quite the luxurious feel, plus there are ‘bi-tone’ exterior paint options that give off Bentley and Maybach vibes.
Oh please Toyota, would you reconsider?