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.

    A Bavarian icon reborn

    We’ve seen official teasers, and even a few unintentional leaks, but here’s the second-generation BMW M2 in all its official glory.

    Pilfering powertrain and chassis tech from the bigger and more expensive M3 and M4, the new M2 launches globally in April 2023, and will roll into BMW Australia showrooms soon after.

    Click here to read the Australian price and specs story for the M2, due to arrive in Q2 of 2023 from $119,900 before on-road costs.

    FULL STORY: 2023 BMW M2 revealed with 338kW punch

    Toyota pushes back on laggard claims

    Sean Hanley, vice president of sales and marketing for Toyota Australia, has again sensationally contested the notion the Japanese brand is lagging behind the industry in electrification – in a rare unscripted moment of passion this week.

    Speaking with media during the Australian launch of the new hybrid-heavy Corolla Cross, Mr Hanley made his feelings very clear about the path to net zero in Australia, which he believes requires a diverse set of powertrain technologies to “take everyone on the journey”.

    “First of all, Toyota is not opposed to battery electric vehicles. Second is that we believe that to get to carbon neutrality, you have to take everyone on the journey – you have to have a solution for the market you’re operating” Mr Hanley claimed.

    FULL STORY: Toyota – we’ve been reducing CO2 since before it was ‘trendy’

    Little brother plays catchup

    Ten years ago, Kia’s market share in Australia (2.6 per cent) was less than one-third that of its major shareholder, Hyundai (8.5 per cent).

    Yet the brand has spent the past decade steadily whittling away this gap, to the point where in 2022 Kia actually sits ahead of Hyundai in the sales race.

    To the end of September, Kia Australia has registered 60,200 vehicles, against 58,103 from Hyundai.

    FULL STORY: Kia’s rapid growth tracked, as it overtakes Hyundai in Australia

    Polestar’s first SUV outed

    Recently listed electric vehicle brand Polestar, a venture between Volvo and its parent Geely, has whipped the covers from its first SUV after a long-running teaser campaign.

    The Polestar 3 is a distinctive-looking five-seater destined to join the existing Polestar 2 liftback in the company’s growing line-up from late 2023 in North America, Europe and China, and 2024 for other regions including Australia.

    It will be the first Polestar made in two countries: starting in Chengdu, China, and then in the United States from 2024 at a plant in South Carolina.

    FULL STORY: Polestar 3 electric SUV revealed

    Lexus EV gets range boost

    The updated Lexus UX300e electric car will arrive in Australia in 2023, with the headline act being a much larger battery offering a greatly extended driving range.

    The MY23 model gets a 72.8kWh battery, up from the old 54.4kWh pack, extending the driving range from 315km to a claimed 450km in WLTP testing.

    The electric motor is as before, producing 150kW of power and 300Nm of torque.

    FULL STORY: 2023 Lexus UX300e EV gets range boost

    SsangYong road to recovery

    SsangYong just managed what appears to be its best Australian monthly result, delivering 400 cars in September to be up 71 per cent on the same month in 2021.

    Year-to-date (YTD) the brand has sold 2565 cars, up 17 per cent, putting it on track for between 3400 and 3500 sales across the calendar year – another high-water mark. It sold 2978 vehicles in 2021, and 2645 way back in 2005.

    Its best performer is the Musso dual-cab ute with 222 monthly sales and 1120 year-to-date, though it’s the Rexton large SUV that’s grown the most.

    FULL STORY: SsangYong Australia primed for sales record

    Mazda’s premium push gets inline-six

    The Australian 2023 Mazda CX-60 range will feature a new 3.3-litre turbocharged inline-six with 48V mild-hybrid technology, which is different to the 3.0-litre e-Skyactiv X supercharged petrol destined for Europe.

    With outputs of 209kW and 450Nm, the new 48V MHEV-assisted 3.3-litre inline-six turbo will join the 241kW/500Nm 2.5-litre e-Skyactiv Plug-in Hybrid, as well as the 187kW/550Nm e-Skyactiv D 3.3-litre inline six turbo-diesel, likewise featuring 48V mild-hybrid technology.

    Mazda Australia confirmed the 3.3-litre turbo confirmed as part of today’s CX-60 announcement won’t be offered in the CX-60’s other core markets, but will make its way to North America – however, North America won’t be getting the CX-60, as far as we know.

    FULL STORY: 2023 Mazda CX-60 to debut 3.3-litre turbo petrol

    Toyota’s first EV delayed… again

    Toyota’s first electric vehicle is still nearly 12 months away from hitting Australian showrooms.

    The 2023 Toyota bZ4x has now been earmarked for an Australian launch during the second half of 2023, the company has confirmed.

    After initially being slated for a late 2022 arrival, Toyota’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley told media this week at the launch of the Corolla Cross that the brand’s first electric vehicle won’t be here for at least another 8-12 months.

    FULL STORY: Toyota bZ4x EV delayed, coming to Australia second half of 2023

    New Carnival rival nears

    In addition to its first electric people mover, LDV’s local line-up is getting a new petrol and diesel-powered model. Government documents show the LDV G90 petrol and diesel people mover has been approved for sale in Australia alongside its MIFA 9 electric counterpart.

    While the presence of approval documents doesn’t always mean a vehicle is coming to Australia, CarExpert understands the G90 range will be launched locally – though whether its launch coincides with the November arrival of the MIFA 9 is unclear.

    The G90 will serve as a replacement for the G10 people mover, discontinued earlier this year.

    FULL STORY: 2023 LDV G90, Chinese Kia Carnival rival set for Australia

    Hyundai rates EV utes as suitable – for some

    Hyundai Australia says it sees the potential for an electric ute here, at least for some people.

    The company has also called for the Albanese-led government’s impending National Electric Vehicle Strategy to consider ways to encourage availability of EV pickups that are the right size for local buyers.

    While not in any way confirming an EV ute was in development, Hyundai Australia COO John Kett told CarExpert last week that a zero-emission solution represented a strong opportunity for the brand here – among some, not all, buyers.

    FULL STORY: Hyundai Australia believes electric ute will work – for some

    EV survey findings posted

    Electric vehicles will reach price parity with combustion-powered vehicles in Australia by 2031 but those who live in our nation’s outer suburbs risk being left behind.

    That’s the word from professional services firm KPMG, which also predicts the average electric vehicle range will increase from 340km to 480km in that time.

    It has compiled a report called Accelerating local electric vehicle uptake where it matters, and has developed a platform that tracks EV volumes at a postcode level and the ensuing emissions reductions, as well as changes in electricity demand.

    FULL STOEY: KPMG says EVs should be subsidised for people in outer suburbs

    Toyota seeks software-led profits

    Australia’s top-selling car company Toyota is rolling out a range of app- and cloud-based ‘connected services’ – some for free, and others for an eventual monthly fee.

    It’s a potentially lucrative move for a company that sells more than 200,000 new vehicles here each year. Its decision to charge subscription fees will no doubt be closely watched by rivals.

    The first vehicle to get Toyota Connected Services here is the new Corolla Cross SUV, with the technologies to be rolled out across the range as they get regular updates.

    FULL STORY: Toyota Connected Services arrive with subscription plans

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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