This week in car news: July 18-22

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.


Honda Civic Type R revealed!

The hottest member of the new 11th-generation Civic, the Type R, has been revealed ahead of a local launch in early 2023.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R hatchback will be most powerful Type R ever according to the company, though it hasn’t released power and torque outputs.

It has, however, confirmed its hot hatch will retain a turbocharged 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder, albeit retuned for a higher output and greater responsiveness. The outgoing model produced 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque

FULL STORY: 2023 Honda Civic Type R revealed, in Australia early 2023


Canberra plans ICE ban

The Australian Capital Territory has officially announced its plans to end sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 as part of a wide-reaching electric vehicle strategy.

By 2030, it’s aiming for 80-90 per cent of new vehicle sales to consist of what it calls zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), or battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles.

The targets were first reported by The Guardian and are part of the ACT Zero Emissions Vehicle Strategy, which aims to make EVs both more plentiful and affordable in our nation’s capital.

FULL STORY: ACT EV strategy revealed, new ICE vehicles banned from 2035


Cupra isn’t going to die wondering

It took Skoda more than a decade to sell 7000 cars in a year Down Under. Cupra wants to do it in three.

The sporty Spanish brand – which sits alongside Skoda, Volkswagen, and Audi in the Volkswagen Group – wants to sell 1600 cars in Australia in 2022, and plans to grow that to 7000 cars per year by 2025.

For context, that’s more cars than Land Rover sold here last year, and about as many as Renault did. It also wants five per cent of the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market in Australia. The compact Born hatchback will be its first EV in Australia, but more will follow.

FULL STORY: Cupra locks in ambitious Australian sales goal


Tesla Australia expects delivery spike

Tesla Inc. Chair Robyn Denholm, an Australian, said this week she “wouldn’t be surprised” if the number of Teslas on local roads doubled by the end of the year.

Ms Denholm reportedly told the Clean Energy Summit in Sydney this week that “we now have more than 26,500 Teslas on Australian roads, and the momentum is there”.

“I personally wouldn’t be surprised if we double that number by the end of the year,” Ms Denholm claimed.

MORE: Tesla hopes to supercharge Australian deliveries in rest of 2022


ANCAP dives into new areas

Australian independent crash testing authority ANCAP will start assessing how vehicles function underwater as part of its updated 2023 testing protocols.

ANCAP will once again make getting a five-star safety rating more difficult, with vehicle submergence testing only one of a few new areas of testing that are set to go into force from January 2023.

This new vehicle submergence criteria will be introduced as an extension of ANCAP’s existing rescue protocols which assess a vehicle’s accessibility following a crash.

FULL STORY: Why underwater performance could impact your next car’s safety rating


X-Trail hybrid incoming

Nissan today revealed the Japanese-market X-Trail, which will come standard with the company’s e-Power petrol-electric drivetrain, available with dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD).

As such, it’s our best look yet at Nissan Australia’s confirmed competitor for the top-selling Toyota RAV4 hybrid, currently subject to wait lists of up to 18 months.

While it won’t form part of the petrol-only X-Trail launch range due here around October this year, the X-Trail e-Power will definitely join the range – likely during 2023.

FULL STORY: 2023 Nissan X-Trail e-Power AWD revealed, to tackle RAV4 hybrid


Tax cut for new 4×4

The Ineos Grenadier four-wheel drive wagon has received a luxury car tax (LCT) exemption, saving prospective buyers between (roughly) $4000 and about $15,000 depending on how they configure their vehicle.

The startup today issued a note to those who’d placed pre-orders, saying it has “been working with the Australian Tax Office on a Private Ruling” to exempt its new workhorse from the LCT.

“The ATO has recognised that due to the Grenadier’s design, engineering and capability, it is not considered a Luxury Car for tax purposes and therefore all Wagon models, options and accessories are exempt from LCT,” it added.

FULL STORY: Ineos Grenadier exempted from luxury car tax, slashing price


GM staple blazes new path

Chevrolet has revealed the 2024 Blazer EV, its first electric vehicle to wear the SS badge and offer a pursuit-rated variant for police.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y rival will also offer, unusually, the choice of front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, with a range of different albeit as-yet unspecified battery sizes.

The range will open with the front-wheel drive 1LT with a claimed 398km of range, followed by the front- or all-wheel drive 2LT with 472km of range.

FULL STORY: 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV revealed to rival Tesla Model Y


An icon returns, sort of…

Suzuki has dusted off one of its most iconic badges, by relaunching the Grand Vitara SUV.

However, there’s no guarantee that Australia’s army of Grand Vitara drivers will soon have a readymade replacement.

The vehicle revealed today is initially for India, and is called the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara – Maruti Suzuki being the dominant car brand in the world’s second-most populous country.

FULL STORY: Suzuki Grand Vitara returns… but not to Australia


Behind the scenes with the Bavarian mega-wagon

The 2023 BMW M3 Touring is the first production M3 wagon, but if the team behind its suspension setup has done its job it should feel just like the sedan.

Frank Weishar doesn’t consider himself a professional race driver, but he’s driven the Nürburgring 24 Hour no fewer than 12 times. He’s also notched countless test laps over Europe in various prototypes of the first ever BMW M3 Competition Touring.

His main gig these days is project lead for driving dynamics for the G81, also known as the M3 Touring.

FULL STORY: BMW M3 Touring, inside the ‘extensive’ tuning program

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.

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