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.
Say hello to the most powerful production Volkswagen Golf ever. Volkswagen has revealed the 2023 Golf R 20 Years, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the R nameplate.
A Volkswagen spokesperson has confirmed the Golf R 20 Years is coming to Australia. It’s set to arrive during the third quarter of 2022.
It’ll be available for approximately 12 months, with more details around pricing and standard specification set to be revealed closer to its Australian launch.
Renault Australia’s importer Ateco has further detailed plans to sell the Megane E-Tech electric car, telling us this week to expect first deliveries near the end of 2023.
The chic little (just 4210mm long) crossover will broaden Renault Australia’s electric vehicle (EV) range, with the Kangoo E-Tech electric van on track to arrive here in early 2023.
The Renault Megane E-Tech is the French brand’s answer to the Kia Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric, MG ZS EV, Volkswagen ID.3, and numerous others. It would, of course, be remiss not to mention the bigger Tesla Model 3 and Model Y too.
The current state of global affairs means it’s no sure thing electric vehicles will continue to get cheaper in the near future, reports the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Its most up-to-date 2022 Global EV Outlook report states the prices of raw materials commonly used in batteries such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel have surged. Batteries are the most expensive part of electric vehicles (EVs), so price rises are a natural conclusion to draw.
For example, lithium prices in May 2022 were more than seven times higher than they were at the start of 2021. “Unprecedented” demand for EV batteries as global sales boom, and the cited lack of structural investment in new supply capacity, are listed as driving factors.
BMW is commemorating 50 years of its M division with a raft of new model launches, and the new M2 coupe could also appear as part of the celebrations.
Camouflaged M2 prototypes have been spied testing countless times already, but BMW has now officially released a 36-second teaser video on its social media announcing the high-performance coupe is on its way.
It hasn’t, however, announced a reveal date just yet. Like the majority of teaser content, the video is filled of attractive people doing attractive things and there’s only a couple of blurry, fleeting glimpses of the car itself.
FULL STORY: 2023 BMW M2 teased
Shannons auctions regularly offer up a smorgasbord of classic cars going under the hammer, and the latest iteration was no exception.
But headline news from the last Shannons Timed Online Auction that closed on May 24 involved a number plate.
Not just any plate, but one of just 90 two-digit Victorian Heritage plates in circulation. The plate, numbered ’14’ to be specific, sold for the frankly staggering sum of $2,275,500.
Ford Australia has effectively encouraged next-generation Ranger buyers to shop around in light of high delivery fees being charged by some dealers.
The company has said it neither sets these fees nor recommends a fee amount, which has led its franchise dealers to charge as little as $903 and as much as $5995 – according to buyers on social media.
“While dealer delivery fees are set independently by dealers, we are keen to remind customers that we have more than 180 dealers nationwide and they are welcome to work with a dealer of their choice,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.
BMW Group Australia says it has “no current plans” to move away from its franchise dealer sales channels in favour of a Honda- and Mercedes-Benz-style ‘agency’ model that would give it more control over pricing and inventory.
That’s despite the company moving towards the more direct-to-consumer business model across Europe, as reported earlier in the week.
The agency model takes responsibilities away from licensed franchise dealers (separate private or public entities) and gives the car company greater control over inventory and pricing.
Alfa Romeo’s leader says the company is benchmarking Lexus when it comes to the build quality of its new models, led by the Tonale small SUV.
While a star when it comes to design appeal, dynamics and a certain type of brand cachet, the Italian marque’s products aren’t always regarded as top of the pops in this area.
“My quality benchmark is Lexus,” said Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato at a Tonale launch event, as reported by attending media Automotive News.
FULL STORY: Alfa Romeo targets Lexus quality levels
The peak body for Australia’s car brands has used the change in federal government to again call for clear CO2 emissions targets backed by penalties for non-compliance – as apply in Europe.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) put the introduction of a CO2 reduction scheme onto the agenda for the government of Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Both the FCAI and various car brands – which fund the lobby group in question – have long demanded the introduction of CO2 emissions plans with teeth.
The argument behind such a policy is that it would force the overseas factories that produce low- and zero-emission cars to send more of them to Australia, to avoid fines. Their absence has led to Australia being called a “dumping ground” for less efficient cars.
Mahindra’s first new Scorpio body-on-frame SUV in 20 years will be sold alongside its predecessor and offer a choice of petrol and diesel engines.
The Indian automaker has released images and further details of the new Scorpio-N, though many details remain unconfirmed.
Mahindra says it’ll launch the Scorpio-N in India on June 27, 2022. CarExpert understands that, unlike the old Scorpio, the new Scorpio-N will also likely come to Australia.