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This week in car news: May 16-20, 2022

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, 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.


Demand for VW’s electric vans on the charge

Volkswagen Australia says there’s already high demand for its electric vans here – including the retro-cool ID. Buzz people-mover and ID. Buzz Cargo work spinoff – but don’t expect to see them until late 2024 at the earliest.

Volkswagen Commercial vehicles announced this week it had started taking orders on the ID. Buzz MPV and cargo vans in Germany, with the rest of Europe to follow shortly.

But Australia, despite demand from customers and fleets looking to burnish their green credentials, appears some way down the global pecking order – not helped by our lack of binding CO2 targets, a key determiner of supply, according to VW.

FULL STORY: Volkswagen ID. Buzz and Cargo EV vans in high Australian demand


Stop driving. Now.

Mercedes-Benz Australia is recalling 17,687 examples of the ML-Class, GL-Class and R-Class due to a problem with the fitted brake booster. This recall affects model years between 2005 and 2013, as well as privately-imported R-Class vehicles up to 2016.

If you own an affected vehicle, Mercedes-Benz says you should stop driving your vehicle immediately and contact an authorised Mercedes-Benz service centre to arrange an inspection as soon as possible.

Seeing the affected cars shouldn’t be driven until they’re inspected by a Mercedes-Benz service centre, a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said, depending on the service centre, they’ll either send a technician to you or arrange a tow truck.

FULL STORY: Mercedes-Benz tells 17,687 Australian owners to ‘stop driving’ immediately


Tesla wait times keep growing

Waiting on a Tesla Model 3? You might be waiting a bit longer than initially expected.

Shipping tracker VedaPrime reports Tesla Australia “sales advisers are ringing and emailing everyone progressively to expect deliveries in the second half of the year”.

Customers on social media claim they’ve been contacted by Tesla spokespeople confirming their orders have been pushed back. It’s not clear exactly when delayed orders will touch down during the second half.

FULL STORY: Tesla Model 3 deliveries delayed for Australia


New Lexus RX around the corner, teased

The fifth-generation Lexus RX SUV will make its debut at 8pm on May 31, New York time, or 10am June 1 on the east coast of Australia.

If recent models are anything to go by, the new RX will have toned-down version of the Lexus signature styling elements we’ve come to know. It should also feature smoother creases and rounder surfacing.

Up front, we can see the RX will retain the company’s spindle grille design, albeit with a non-function body-colour top section. This is flanked by headlights with the brand’s L-shaped driving light swoosh.

FULL STORY: 2023 Lexus RX teased, reveal timing confirmed


Another day, another delay. This time it’s the Ford Ranger

Ford has advised arrivals of its much-anticipated Ranger and Ranger Raptor models have been pushed back by a month.

The Blue Oval brand is now advising the Ranger will arrive in July, with the Ranger Raptor following in August.

“We continue to face global semi-conductor and COVID-related supply chain challenges. A combination of both of these factors means there will be some wait times, but we’re doing what we can to make them as short as possible,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.

FULL STORY: 2022 Ford Ranger delayed by a month


Kia pares back Niro, ditching PHEV

The next-generation Kia Niro is just months away from an Australian launch, but it looks like the family could be missing a member.

According to Kia Australia’s local preview page for the all-new Niro, the company says the new-generation crossover will be “available in two, distinct identities – a hybrid and a fully electric”. Notably, the PHEV is left out in this description.

CarExpert reached out to Kia’s local division, but the company declined to comment further. Presumably, we’ll find out the full details at the Niro’s Australian media launch in due course.

FULL STORY: Kia Niro PHEV to be dropped in Australia


At last, the M3 wagon draws near

Following the reveal of its lightweight M4 CSL coupe, BMW executives have confirmed the upcoming M3 Touring will make its debut at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

BMW confirmed this reveal date at a press event where executives once again partially showed off an uncamouflaged M3 Touring pre-production model.

We already knew that BMW was going to be reveal a new M car at 2022 Festival of Speed, but it wasn’t clear exactly what the car would be.

FULL STORY: BMW M3 Touring set for 2022 Goodwood reveal


Toyota retires Prius in Australia – a legacy

Hybrids today make up a critical part of Toyota’s sales strategy.

The latest petrol-electric Corolla, RAV4, Camry and Kluger command a small additional cost compared to their internal combustion-only counterparts, and offset this with substantial advantages in fuel economy, refinement and even initial response.

Almost one-third of Toyota’s sales in Australia were hybrids in 2021, and if models such as the HiLux ute and other commercial vehicles (such as the HiAce van) are excluded, this figure rises to almost 45 per cent of the marque’s sales. This was not always the case.

FULL STORY: Toyota Prius, a look back as it’s retired from Australia


Volkswagen and Walkinshaw cement their bond

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia will again turn to local engineering partner, Walkinshaw Group, to develop more capable and tougher-looking derivatives of its still-unrevealed next-generation Amarok dual-cab ute.

With global development partner Ford (the new Amarok is based on the new Ranger) topping off its range with the global Ranger Raptor, it’s imperative that Volkswagen Australia has a similar halo Amarok offering to lure adventure seekers.

Since Australia will be the world’s biggest market for the new Amarok, any more hardcore or sporty vehicle project is arguably best done in this country – in such a way, from VW’s perspective, as to tempt people away from the well-resourced aftermarket.

FULL STORY: Volkswagen and Walkinshaw in talks over new Amarok flagship


SsangYong hangs on, with new Torres near

SsangYong’s bold-looking upcoming SUV has a name: Torres.

Named for the stunning Torres del Paine National Park in Chile (“Torres” means “towers” in Spanish), the new SUV will slot between the mid-sized Korando crossover and the large Rexton SUV.

Production of the Torres – previously codenamed J100 – will begin in June, and it’ll offer an electric powertrain. A spokesperson for SsangYong Australia said the Torres is in the company’s plans. Timing has yet to be confirmed.

FULL STORY: SsangYong Torres SUV teased, Australian launch planned

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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