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.
Mitsubishi has offered its first official look at the next-generation Triton ute, in the form of a tough concept car.
Revealed at the Bangkok motor show, the XRT Concept appears to be a pumped- and liveried-up version of an otherwise production-ready ute.
It will debut before the end of this month in concept form, with the first production models to hit Thailand sometime during ‘fiscal 2023’ (March ’23 to April ’24 inclusive) before rolling out around the world.
FULL STORY: New Mitsubishi Triton revealed in concept form
Kia has revealed the Concept EV5 electric SUV, which previews a smaller sibling to the recently revealed EV9.
Unveiled as part of Kia’s Chinese EV Day, the production EV5 will initially be released in the Chinese market later this year.
Kia says that details on the global availability of the EV5 “will be made in due course.”
FULL STORY: Kia previews a new Sportage-sized electric SUV
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 will start arriving in local showrooms from August this year, with pre-orders now open for the brand’s biggest, most luxurious model.
Powered exclusively by 48V electrified inline-six engines at launch, the CX-90 will not only compete with the likes of the Hyundai Palisade and Nissan Pathfinder, but also entry-level versions of the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90.
As with the smaller Mazda CX-60, which rides on the same rear-drive platform, the CX-90 will be offered in Australia with three trim levels.
The inline sixes (one petrol, one diesel) are the only options available at launch, though a 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid is expected to be offered sometime next year.
Lexus Australia has detailed the local line-up and pricing of its first electric vehicle built on a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform, the RZ, ahead of its arrival in May this year.
The Lexus RZ will be available in two trim levels initially, with pricing starting at $123,000 before on-roads for the RZ450e Luxury, and extending to $135,000 before on-roads for the RZ450e Sports Luxury.
This pricing is line-ball with the likes of the Genesis Electrified GV70, Mercedes-Benz EQC, and BMW iX, but a little higher than the likes of the BMW iX3, Genesis GV60, and the Tesla Model Y.
More and more Chinese brands are entering the Australian market, and fortunately they’ve picked up their game since the days of asbestos recalls.
However, while Chinese vehicle quality has improved, there’s still a gulf between the best and worst automakers there.
The Chinese Automobile Quality Network has published its 2022 Brand Quality Ranking of domestic automakers, as well as a separate ranking for electric vehicle brands.
Mazda Australia expects stock to dry up of its CX-9 by the end of this year as it welcomes some fresh new product.
In addition to the refreshed CX-8 and all-new CX-90, both due here this year, Mazda has confirmed it’s launching the CX-80 – a three-row counterpart to the CX-60. It will confirm local timing for the CX-80 later this year.
That squeezes out the CX-9, but the news comes as little surprise given Mazda’s US arm had already confirmed it was replacing the CX-9 with the new CX-90 and the outgoing model was developed with a strong US focus.
FULL STORY: Mazda CX-9 finishing up in Australia
FULL STORY: Mazda CX-80: Third premium SUV locked in for Australia
Honda says it may miss its volume target in 2023 for the second year in a row, but it has no plans to leave the Australian market or switch to an SUV-only line-up.
It is continuing to roll out hybrid models but has ruled out introducing any electric vehicles for at least the next five years.
Despite the upcoming introduction of a new mid-sized SUV this year – the ZR-V, complete with a hybrid option – the Japanese brand warns it could fall short of its volume target of 20,000 vehicles, citing supply issues.
FULL STORY: Honda says supply is why it may miss sales goal
FULL STORY: Honda won’t go SUV-only in Australia
FULL STORY: Honda Australia: ‘We’re not going anywhere’
FULL STORY: Honda Australia won’t sell electric cars before 2028
The Chevrolet Camaro has run its race, for now, although the company is promising “this is not the final chapter for nameplate”.
Chevrolet hasn’t confirmed when the Camaro name will return, or whether it will still be exclusively used on two-door vehicles.
A report at the end of last year claimed GM is considering turning Camaro into a sub-brand with a pair of all-electric three- and five-door crossover coupes, which could later be joined by an EV sports car based on the same architecture as the Corvette EV.
Production of the sixth-generation Camaro at the company’s Lansing, Michigan plant will end in January 2024.
The Cupra Leon and Formentor will get electric successors, while the sporty Spanish brand is aiming its sights even higher.
It’s looking to enter the US market and to do so, it believes it needs a larger SUV – and Australia would be in line for it.
Company CEO Wayne Griffiths confirmed that, should such a vehicle be produced, it would be a global product, manufactured in both left- and right-hand drive, with a “provocative” design.
Mr Griffiths also told CarExpert there “may be at some point in the future the chance of a nice sports car from Cupra”.
The Ateca, however, is on the chopping block. It’s set to be indirectly replaced by the upcoming, larger Terramar.
FULL STORY: Cupra considering larger SUV as it eyes US rollout
FULL STORY: Sporty brand Cupra considering a… sports car
FULL STORY: Cupra is readying electric Leon, Formentor
FULL STORY: Second-generation Cupra Ateca unlikely
The Full Federal Court has dismissed appeals from both Mazda and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerning a ruling it made in November 2021.
The ACCC had appealed the ruling, arguing Mazda did in fact engage in unconscionable conduct in its dealings with nine consumers.
Mazda, in contrast, appealed the Court’s ruling as it argued it didn’t make 49 false representations to consumers about their consumer rights.
The Wildtrak X nameplate is back on the Ford Ranger, but the new special edition is specified quite differently from the rest of the line-up.
While it uses the familiar 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine, it features a full-time four-wheel rive system with a 4A mode that can be used on pavement like V6 versions.
Ford has noted the Ranger Wildtrak X is the first variant to meet Light Duty Truck Euro 6 emissions level, which means it requires AdBlue.
Another highlight of the Ranger Wildtrak X is its suspension setup that has been “specifically tuned” for touring and payload.
Having last week alluded to introducing an electric Cadillac in Australia, General Motors appears to have been busy laying the groundwork for a full-sized, combustion-powered SUV.
A trademark filing on the IP Australia database points to a potential introduction for the GMC Yukon. The filing was published on March 17, 2023 and currently awaiting indexing.
The Yukon and Yukon XL are the GMC brand’s counterparts to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, respectively, and all these SUVs – plus the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV – are underpinned by GM’s body-on-frame T1 platform.
Mini has revealed the final version of its Clubman before it launches a revamped line-up next year.
The Mini Clubman Final Edition is fitted with a range of exclusive finishes both inside and out. Only 1969 examples of the model will be produced.
“Mini will not offer the Mini Clubman Final edition for the Australian and New Zealand markets. However, we will continue to offer the Clubman Cooper S and JCW variants until the model’s official end of production in February 2024,” said Mini Australia head of product and planning James Orlov.
FULL STORY: Mini farewelling Clubman with 1969 special cars
The Ford Explorer has been reborn with a smaller body, electric-only drivetrains, and a distinct European accent.
The new Euro Explorer is the first of two confirmed vehicles from the Blue Oval to be based on the all-electric Volkswagen MEB architecture. The other is a “coupe” version, which rumours suggest will be known as the Explorer Sport.
Production of the Explorer EV will take place in Cologne, Germany, previously home to the Fiesta. It’s unclear if the European Explorer will be sold outside the region.