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This week in car news: May 30-June 3, 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 (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.


Kia goes bang!

Sales of new vehicles in Australia fell by 6.4 per cent in May, to 94,383 units – something the car brands are blaming on continued lack of supply.

It wasn’t a bad May for all car companies though: Kia posted a stunning result, finishing second overall for its best-ever finish. Market leader Toyota, Kia’s bigger sibling Hyundai, plus MG, Subaru, and Suzuki all posted strong growth too.

There were no surprise revelations when it came to the most popular models: the Toyota HiLux on top, ahead of the massively supply-constrained Toyota RAV4 (which has wait lists beyond 12 months), and the runout Ford Ranger, still strong to the end.

FULL STORY: May 2022 car sales figures


The longest new Defender yet

The extended-length Land Rover Defender 130 has been revealed, offering up to eight seats.

The extra length in the 130 is all in the overhang, as the eight-seat Defender rides an identical 3022mm wheelbase to the Defender 110.

Land Rover says there’s comfortable seating for three adults in the 130’s third row. The 110 offers a third row of seating, but there are only two seats and they’re best suited for children.

FULL STORY: 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 priced from $124,150


The electric 500e is coming Down Under

Stellantis Australia has finally been able to confirm it will bring the Fiat 500e electric city car here, with expected arrivals commencing in the first half of 2023.

The small, retro-cool electric vehicle (EV) was always on local arm’s wish list, but production has largely been dedicated to Europe.

This Australian news follows Fiat’s recent announcement that it plans to axe all non-electrified vehicles (hybrids and EVs) in the UK from July 1.

FULL STORY: Fiat 500e EV set for Australia in 2023


The Mercedes-AMG One is finally ready

The tortured development of the AMG One is over.

Mercedes-AMG has unveiled its Formula 1 car for the road in production guise, and it’s every bit as wild as you’d hope.

Initially meant to launch in 2019, the One has been held back by the challenge of making a powertrain derived from F1 work on the road, and meet ever-tightening emissions standards.

FULL STORY: Mercedes-AMG One revealed in production form


BMW lobs new entry EV

BMW Australia’s growing range of electric vehicles will expand further in the first quarter of 2023 with the just-revealed iX1 small SUV, an entry point to replace the defunct i3 hatch.

The new, 4.5-metre-long iX1 will slot into the range underneath the iX3 SUV, as well as the i4 GT and the radical iX range flagship.

“In its third model generation, the BMW X1 also offers a gateway to BMW i-style electric mobility for a wide target audience,” the company says, adding it’s the first compact model “based on a flexible vehicle architecture to feature an all-electric drive system”.

FULL STORY: BMW iX1 entry level EV due early 2023


Gen-two GLC revealed

Mercedes-Benz has revealed its vital, second-generation GLC mid-sized SUV, with a range of electrified powertrains and styling that draws from the new C-Class.

The first Australian arrivals of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC are expected in the first half of 2023. More details about the local range, including pricing and engine line-up, will be revealed closer to its launch.

With the new C-Class not being offered in wagon or All-Terrain crossover forms in Australia, the GLC will be required to plug this gap, and build on the car’s success against the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

FULL STORY: 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC revealed


Lexus has an all-new RX SUV

Lexus has revealed its fifth-generation RX large SUV – built on the latest company GA-K platform, with an entirely redesigned exterior and interior, and a new selection of engines including various hybrids.

The company’s latest competitor to the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE is confirmed for Australia, but the company will keep us waiting until later in 2022 to reveal local powertrains, specifications, pricing and arrival timing.

This new RX closely follows the reveal of the smaller new-generation NX mid-size SUV, larger (Toyota LandCruiser-based) LX body-on-frame SUV, and the RZ all-electric SUV.

FULL STORY: 2023 Lexus RX revealed


Two-seat GR Corolla!

Can the Toyota GR Corolla be any more bonkers? Of course it can. Enter a new two-seat variant, known as the Morizo Edition overseas.

The lighter, torquier, two-seat GR Corolla will arrive in Australia in 2023.

Toyota Australia plans to open the order book for both the regular four- and two-seat GR Corolla models in the fourth quarter of 2022, with details to be revealed closer to that time.

FULL STORY: Toyota GR Corolla two-seat ‘Morizo Edition’ for Australia in 2023


Hyundai and Kia have launched app connectivity

Hyundai Australia buyers will soon be able to remotely check the temperature, lock or unlock, and see their vehicle’s location using a smartphone app.

The Bluelink application will be debut on the 2023 Palisade for Australia, and will “gradually” roll out across the Hyundai range from there.

Over at Kia, the function will debut on the new Niro hybrid and EV.

It’ll be standard on both the hybrid and electric GT-Line variants in the new Niro range, and Kia says every model in its broader range will get the option when they’re facelifted or replaced with a new model.

Hyundai Bluelink here, and Kia Connect here


Ditch the luxury tax, says car industry

There’s been a bigger leap for the Luxury Car Tax threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles than for other vehicles for the 2022-23 financial year, but the 21-year old tax remains the target of criticism.

From July 1, the threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles will be increased by 6.6 per cent to $84,916, while for all other vehicles it’s up by only 3.9 per cent to $71,849.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the industry’s peak body, has once again called for Luxury Car Tax to be abolished and replaced with a road-user charge.

FULL STORY: Luxury Car Tax thresholds increased, FCAI slams ‘poor tax’

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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