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.

    Raptor sales going wild

    Ford has notched a whopping 4000 orders for the new $90,000-plus Ranger Raptor before launch, equal to nearly a quarter of all Ranger pre-orders.

    Demand is so high that customers who order one today will in all likelihood have to wait approximately nine months to take delivery.

    As reported separately, the Blue Oval brand has recorded more than 19,000 orders for its combined next-generation Ranger ute and related Everest SUV range in Australia before they hit showrooms (17,000 Ranger, 2000 Everest).

    FULL STORY: Ford Ranger Raptor sold out until 2023

    Honda and Sony climb into bed

    Sony and Honda are officially teaming up to sell “high-value-added electric vehicles” and “provide services for mobility”. The company will be headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

    The first vehicles from the Sony Honda Mobility Inc. joint venture will roll forth in 2025, with mobility services (likely ride-hailing or car-sharing) set to kick off at the same time.

    Honda looks set to take care of the manufacturing and servicing part of the joint venture, while Sony will take the lead on “the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunication, network and entertainment technologies”.

    FULL STORY: Sony and Honda detail new EV joint venture

    Toyota’s cute electric 4×4

    Toyota has offered a closer look at its electric answer to the Suzuki Jimny.

    The Compact Cruiser – or LiteCruiser, as it may be known – was revealed alongside 15 other electric cars in 2021, as part of a plan to sell 3.5 million electric cars annually by 2030.

    More images of the car have been released on the back of its category win at the 2022 Car Design Awards in Milan, Italy.

    FULL STORY: Toyota Compact Cruiser EV off-roader revealed in more detail

    Self-driving cars aren’t perfect yet

    The US government agency responsible for road road safety reported 392 crashes attributable to ‘SAE Level 2’ driver-assist active safety functions such as lane-centring aids and adaptive cruise control, between July 2021 and May 2022.

    Two-thirds of these Level 2 ADAS incident reports, or 273 to be exact, involved Teslas, although there’s a caveat to why the brand accounted for so many of the accidents, on account of its more advanced telematics. This was followed by Honda (90) and Subaru (10).

    The collected data was compiled following the issuance of a Standing General Order from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about a year ago.

    FULL STORY: Tesla accounts for most US driver-assist crashes, but there’s a caveat

    Ludicrous load-lugger looms large

    The BMW M3 Touring still hasn’t been revealed, but it’s already setting lap records.

    The first-ever production M3 wagon lapped the Green Hell in 7:35.060 in testing, shaving 10 seconds from the previous record for wagons set by the Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

    It’s still 15 seconds off what the lighter M4 CSL will do, but you won’t be able to get a Labrador in the back of the CSL.

    FULL STORY: BMW M3 Touring sets Nurburgring wagon lap record

    Chinese EV with hint of Hollywood

    The electric MG Mulan has been developed with global markets in mind, and it could touch down in Australia within a year.

    “We are currently reviewing the MG Mulan for the Australian market and exploring different variants,” said a spokesperson for MG Australia.

    “It is unlikely that we will see this model before H1 2023.”

    FULL STORY: MG Mulan EV hatch firms for 2023 Australian launch

    No flak for this Maybach

    Its previous-generation models, the Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 (and their derivatives) failed to make a global impact, with less than 3000 sales in 16 years, for myriad reasons.

    The company’s latest creation, the V12 Mercedes-Maybach S680, is the absolute pinnacle of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class family. Priced from $574,000 plus options and on-roads, the S680 is 235 per cent more expensive than the standard S.

    By the Germans’ own admission, the Maybach is not meant to be driven by its owner. The Maybach is the sort of car one would buy for its extensive and highly advanced features. Features such as…

    FULL STORY: Five epic features of the new Mercedes-Maybach S680

    The Sting’ in this tale

    Who said big sedans are dead? The Kia Stinger has once again defied market trends, setting an all-time monthly sales record in May.

    The Kia Stinger is refusing to let larger passenger cars die, with 428 sales in May marking an all-time monthly record.

    As of May 31, the Kia Stinger has racked up 1371 sales in Australia – growth of 76 per cent on the Jan-May period in 2021.

    FULL STORY: Kia Stinger sets new sales record in May

    New Bimmer M2 might belt big bro

    It’s no secret the 2023 BMW M2 is just around the corner now – with the company this week confirming it will use the new M3 and M4’s engine, have manual and automatic transmissions, and remain rear-wheel drive.

    We’ve already seen countless spied camouflaged prototypes and a leaked image of the rear, but now BMW has confirmed the new M2 will be revealed in October 2022 ahead of an April 2023 market launch.

    BMW has confirmed the upcoming M2 “boasts a similar performance level to the BMW M2 CS“, and has the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine.

    FULL STORY: 2023 BMW M2 reveal set for October, new info revealed

    The CarExpert EV calendar

    Electric vehicle sales are spiking in Australia, albeit from a very low base, with all States and Territories now offering purchase incentives in various shapes and sizes.

    Lack of customer choice is a problem for those wanting to get a new EV, however. Buyers in Europe, North America and much of Asia have far more electric cars to choose from.

    Many of Australia’s car brand executives say they battle to convince their overseas bosses to allocate EV stock to us – in large part because Australia lacks a CO2 emissions-reduction scheme.

    FULL STORY: All of the EVs coming to Australia

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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