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.
This week was a busy one for spy photographers, both professional and amateur. Vehicles spied included:
- The production Kia EV9 electric SUV, completely undisguised ahead of its reveal this year
- Tesla’s updated Model 3, which could be revealed on March 1
- A right-hand drive version of the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV wearing manufacturer plates
- The next-generation Skoda Kodiaq, expected to be revealed this year
- An undisguised version of the updated Hyundai Sonata
- A replacement for the Mercedes-Benz CLA with an electric powertrain
- The upcoming long-wheelbase Volkswagen ID. Buzz
- BYD’s new ute, set to be offered with both electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains
- A new full-sized, body-on-frame SUV from Haval
Orders for the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado-rivalling Ford F-150 pickup have now opened ahead of first arrivals in the third quarter of this year.
The F-150 range starts at $106,950 before on-road costs for the XLT SWB in Australia, and extends to $140,945 before on-roads for the Lariat LWB.
The first batch of vehicles set to be remanufactured from left- to right-hand drive is now on a boat to Australia from Dearborn, Michigan.
FULL STORY: Ford F-150 now on sale and it’s cheaper than we expected
FULL STORY: 2023 Ford F-150 price and specs
Mini Australia has confirmed it won’t return a manual transmission option to its current-generation models.
This latest development follows the company axing the manual option due to semiconductor and wiring harness shortages in May last year and the local division saying it would originally return in early 2023.
Supply of the Volkswagen Tiguan has seen its share of interruptions, and CarExpert understands the German brand is choosing to wind up sales ahead of the arrival of a replacement.
Volkswagen has already confirmed it has paused orders for the all-wheel drive 132TSI, 147TDI and 162TSI, but CarExpert understands these are unlikely to be reopened.
With the debut of a new-generation five-seat Tiguan imminent – as seen in increasingly revealing spy photos, suggesting a reveal this year – CarExpert understands orders will likely remain paused until the new model arrives.
Anyone buying a new Cupra will need to fork out for servicing from the end of March.
Having launched Down Under with three years of free servicing across its range, the Spanish subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group will charge customers $990 for a three-year maintenance pack from March 31, 2023.
That price applies to the Ateca, Formentor, Leon, and incoming Born EV.
FULL STORY: Cupra ending free servicing deal in Australia
After revealing the updates for the X5 and X6, BMW has shown off their flagship M Competition variants.
The 2024 BMW X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition’s new twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine has 48V mild-hybrid technology, while the hi-po SUVs receive various interior and exterior upgrades like their less expensive stablemates.
Customer deliveries of the updated performance SUVs are expected to begin in the third quarter of this year, with the X5 M Competition priced at $241,900 before on-road costs and the X6 M Competition at $247,900 before on-roads.
Bentley will end production of its iconic W12 engine in April 2024, sending it off in the exclusive Batur.
Just 18 examples of the Batur will be handcrafted by the brand’s Mulliner division, powered by an uprated version of the twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 producing 552kW of power at 5500rpm and 1000Nm of torque between 1750 and 5000rpm.
It has received reworked intake, exhaust and cooling systems to free up the extra power and torque, along with a heavily revised engine calibration. The transmission has also been recalibrated to handle the extra grunt.
Mazda has priced its updated CX-8 range, due in showrooms in March.
The updates largely mirror those applied to the related CX-5, including a new Touring Active trim level, available in the three-row crossover exclusively with the 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine.
However, this has come at the expense of last year’s petrol and diesel Touring SP and GT variants, all replaced by a GT SP trim.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed its new E-Class’ tech-loaded interior, with new features such as a selfie camera, TikTok capability, and immersive sound technology.
Initial deliveries of the new-generation E-Class will begin in Europe in the northern summer, with the model expected to arrive locally closer to 2024.
The dashboard of the new E-Class can be equipped with the MBUX Superscreen which, like the MBUX Hyperscreen of the EQE and EQS, sees screens cover the dashboard from pillar-to-pillar.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Lexus RX have both received five-star ratings from safety authority ANCAP.
The former scored a record high 97 per cent in the adult occupant protection area of assessment, which puts it on par with the Tesla Model Y SUV in this category.