This week in car news: July 11-15

Here are some of the more interesting developments from the past week in Australian automotive news – in case you missed them.

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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.


Hyundai electrifies its N sports cars

We’ve been talking about it for a long time now, but Hyundai this week confirmed its first all-electric N model, the Ioniq 5 N, will arrive in 2023.

Simultaneously, it showed off two zero-emissions concepts which reveal the high-performance N sub-brand’s “electrification vision”.

The RN22e is an all-electric concept car based on the recently-detailed Ioniq 6 fastback. The N Vision 74 is a retro-looking concept powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid (FCEV) set-up. It looks… amazing.

FULL STORY: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N confirmed for 2023 launch
FULL STORY: Hyundai RN22e and N Vision 74 concepts revealed


Crowning glory

The flagship Toyota Crown has undergone quite the metamorphosis for 2023, becoming a range comprising four distinct body styles.

There’s the signature Crown sedan, aimed at chauffeurs. But there are three more members of the family called – in Toyota’s own parlance – Crown (Crossover type), Crown (Sport type), and Crown (Estate type).

Alas, for now none of the above will come to Australia, where Toyota already sells a vast array of products. While it hasn’t been sold in Australia since 1988, the Crown badge is incredibly important to Toyota – only the LandCruiser matches its vintage.

FULL STORY: 2023 Toyota Crown flagships revealed, not for Australia


Two new Honda SUVs outed

The sixth-generation Honda CR-V is the largest yet, and includes a much classier interior and updated drivetrains. The company’s Australian arm says it can’t confirm exact launch timing for the new version of its top-seller, but it’s “more than 12 months away”.

Meanwhile, the smaller ZR-V e:HEV was unveiled this week in Japan. While it’s essentially a rebadged American-market (different to ours) HR-V, there are a host of small changes, and few big ones under the bonnet.

The Japanese domestic market version of the ZR-V provides further clues about the new, name-to-be-confirmed crossover Honda Australia is planning to slot between the HR-V and next-generation CR-V.

FULL STORY: 2023 Honda CR-V unveiled, Australian timing unconfirmed
FULL STORY: 2023 Honda ZR-V hybrid debuts in Japan


Is downloadable car stuff the future?

You pay monthly for service subscriptions like Spotify and Netflix, and BMW figures you may be happy doing the same for features like heated seats.

With its in-car technology supporting over-the-air updates, this has opened the door for BMW Australia to offer features that can be added after purchase on its ConnectedDrive store.

You’ll be able to buy features such as heated seats, a heated wheel, or an in-car drive recorder – either paid for by the month, or once-and-forever. The hardware for all comes fitted, with the software pulled down over-the-air.

FULL STORY: BMW will offer heated seat subscriptions in Australia


Ranger demand grows and grows

Ford dealers will take delivery of 10,000 new-generation Rangers across Australia during July and August, getting the long-anticipated new ute off to a hot start.

Early demand is sky high. As previously reported the company had taken about 17,000 new Ranger orders as of a month ago and, while it hasn’t provided an updated figure today, it’s clear the order intake and wait list has grown even greater.

Currently, the Ford Australia website says you’ll be waiting up to eight months for a Wildtrak V6, and up to nine months for a Raptor. There are “much shorter wait times” on the XLT and Sport V6, according to the website, while the Wildtrak 2.0 is “now available”.

FULL STORY: Ford Ranger, 10,000 cars hitting dealers for launch, waits hit 9 months


Hyundai Ioniq 6, a Tesla Model 3 rival?

Hyundai has revealed all the details about its Ioniq 6, a dramatic ‘streamliner’ and the second of its ground-up electric vehicles (EVs).

The 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 is locked in for an Australian launch early in the first half of 2023, though the model line-up, pricing, and exact specifications haven’t been confirmed.

Pricing for Australia is expected to be similar to the Ioniq 5 as well, according to a Hyundai Australia spokesperson, and hover around the $70,000 to $80,000 range.

FULL STORY: 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV detailed, launch timing confirmed


RAV4 Hybrid getting a new rival from Nissan

The intensely popular Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is about to get some much-needed extra competition.

Nissan Australia has now confirmed (as expected) that the new-generation X-Trail SUV will be offered with its e-Power series hybrid technology following the initial rollout of core petrol models – exactly when though, remains a bit unclear.

The Nissan X-Trail e-Power hybrid will follow the smaller Qashqai e-Power, which is earmarked for a late-2022 or early-2023 release in Australia.

FULL STORY: Nissan X-Trail e-Power hybrid coming to Australia, but when?


A new RS4 Avant spotted?

A plug-in hybrid Audi A4 mule, potentially an RS4, has been snapped testing in Europe. The wagon (or Avant in Audi speak) wears a subtle PHEV sticker on its rear windscreen, and was testing with an Audi RS6 on public roads.

Our spy photographers report this mule was singing a much louder tune than a standard A4, suggesting it’s actually being used to test the powertrain for the hot RS4.

When it launches, likely in 2023, the new RS4 will go head-to-head with the Mercedes-AMG C63 and its new plug-in hybrid setup. It’ll also take on the non-hybrid, turbocharged inline-six BMW M3 Touring.

FULL STORY: 2023 Audi RS4 PHEV mule spied


A grand return, of sorts

There’s a new Suzuki Grand Vitara headed for India. Maruti Suzuki has confirmed it’ll reveal the new Grand Vitara – a relatively rugged, mid-sized four-wheel drive – on July 20, 2022.

CarExpert understands it’s not been offered to Australia just yet, but Suzuki’s local office is pushing Japan hard to get a version of the car locked in for our market.

The Indian-market car has been developed by Suzuki, but will be built at a plant in partnership with Toyota, which will also sell its own version of the car called the Hyryder.

FULL STORY: Suzuki Australia pushing hard for Grand Vitara’s return


Polestar looks to boost output as orders spike

Polestar’s order intake spiked 350 per cent across the first half of 2022 relative to the same period last year. The next challenge is delivering them in a timely fashion.

The now-publicly traded Swedish-Chinese EV startup – Volvo and Geely remain its main shareholders – says it has taken 50,000 Polestar 2 sedan orders since the start of 2022, including the first portion of its major fleet deal with rental company Hertz.

That figure, 50,000 cars, is also the number of vehicles it plans to deliver to customers across the entire year. In other words, its first-half order bank equals its full-year target, potentially bad news for those looking to order…

FULL STORY: Polestar’s EV order bank expanding rapidly, looks to boost production

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.

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