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.
Volvo wants to sell its last petrol-powered car in Australia during 2025, as part of an ambitious plan aimed at making it one of Australia’s largest luxury brands.
The Chinese-owned, Swedish-headquartered brand has committed to selling only electric cars by 2030 worldwide, but Volvo Car Australia managing director Stephen Connor last week told media he thinks the brand’s local buyers will be ready before then.
“We’re not going to wait for 2030, we’re not going to wait for the global strategy to come out. I put a proposal to Gothenburg the other day, and we will be fully electric by 2026 in Australia,” Mr Connor said.
New vehicle sales in October grew 16.9 per cent over the same month last year, to 87,299 units, according to VFACTS industry data released today. It’s the best October tally since 2018, and indicates that supply chain woes are beginning to ease.
The strong October tally also means the year-to-date figure for 2022 – 898,429 sales – has pulled ahead of 2021’s cumulative tally at the same time, by 0.9 per cent.
Toyota topped the brand charts while Ford finished second, and the Blue Oval brand’s new Ranger took top spot as the overall top-selling model for the month.
Is this the long-awaited Kia ute?
Photos of a camouflaged (and slightly ragged) test mule posted to KiaClubOfficial show a Kia-branded pickup testing on Korean roads, wearing what appears to be the front-end of the Mohave SUV. Although the images are tight crops, it’s clear in one of the pictures the cabin cuts off behind the rear seats to create a dual-cab ute body.
Details about the Kia ute are thin on the ground, but the company earlier this year committed to building “a dedicated electric pickup truck and a strategic model for emerging markets”.
FULL STORY: Kia ute snapped testing in Korea
Volkswagen Australia is targeting an entry price of about $60,000 for its first EV, the Tesla Model Y-rivalling ID.4 SUV, which is due to hit local showrooms in late 2023.
At around the same time as the ID.4 arrives, Volkswagen will also bring the fastback-style ID.5 crossover, giving it a two-prong EV range.
The company says it is seeing high levels of enquiry already, and expects people on lease plans due to end next year to start putting their names down. It will open a register-your-interest waitlist for customers before Christmas this year.
Subaru will replace its Impreza after all, even as its sales continue to be dwarfed by the related XV/Crosstrek.
The sixth-generation Subaru Impreza will be revealed at the Los Angeles motor show, which runs from November 18-27, 2022.
The company has released a single teaser of the car’s silhouette in hatchback guise and, unsurprisingly, it closely resembles the upcoming, XV-replacing 2023 Subaru Crosstrek.
FULL STORY: 2024 Subaru Impreza teased
Volvo Australia could team up with its corporate parents at Geely in China to bring the electric Radar ute Down Under.
Were it to come to Australia, Radar products wouldn’t wear a Volvo badge. Instead, Volvo Australia managing director Stephen Connor says the brand could offer back-office support for Geely and assist in distributing the car Down Under.
“What I would love to do is talk to our Geely counterparts, and say to them ‘we will be the sales company for Radar’. That could be a possibility,” Mr Connor told media, although he confirmed Volvo Australia hasn’t yet reached out.
As submissions close for the Australian Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy consultation paper, 100 companies have called for several key actions.
In a two-page ad taken out by the Electric Vehicle Council, the 100 companies have called for one million electric vehicles to be on Australian roads by 2027. A raft of automakers are among those supporting the goal.
Other companies expressing their support include rental agencies like Europcar and Hertz, charging infrastructure providers like Evie, Jetcharge and Tritium, and other major companies like IKEA, Origin, Uber and the Woolworths Group.
The tale of the Ford Fiesta begins with the fuel crisis brought about oil production cutbacks instigated by OPEC, and ends with a climate crisis forcing a shift to EVs, as well as a growing preference for crossovers rather than hatchbacks.
Production of the Fiesta stops in 2023 at Ford’s Cologne, Germany plant to make way for a new electric crossover based on Volkswagen MEB architecture. Across its seven generations and 47-year production run, 22 million Fiesta-branded vehicles have been sold across the world.
While its current innings is coming to an end, we shouldn’t rule out a revival of the popular nameplate as Ford isn’t averse to reviving historic badges – sometimes on similar vehicles such as the Bronco and Escort, and other times on something completely different, like the Galaxy and Puma.
FULL STORY: Farewell, Fiesta – how Ford’s city hatch evolved
MG’s first electric sports car is now set for a reveal early next year, though the vehicle’s showroom debut is still some time away.
Autocar reports the reveal of the production MG Cyberster has been delayed, with plans to unveil it at this month’s Guangzhou motor show scrapped due to concerns the show will be postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19.
It’s now reportedly set for an April reveal, ahead of UK deliveries beginning in 2024 as had previously been reported – in time for the centenary of the MG brand. The company’s local arm is also weighing bringing the electric roadster here, as it will be built in right-hand drive.
FULL STORY: MG Cyberster reveal delayed to April – report
Audi Australia has made some progress on securing the Q4 e-tron EV, with a local launch looking likely for early 2024.
That’s the good news. The bad news is the small electric SUV will be about three years into its life cycle by the time it does arrive, having been revealed in April 2021.
That puts Audi at a disadvantage considering it lacks a challenger to the increasingly popular Tesla Model Y, BMW iX1, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Lexus UX300e, and Mercedes-Benz EQA.
Ford has made no secret of the fact the Ranger Raptor ute has been inspired by the world of Baja off-road racing.
Now, a version of the Raptor, modified for racing by Kelly Racing in Melbourne and Lovell Racing in the USA, will take on the Baja 1000 desert race on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico between November 15 and 20, 2022.
It’ll be powered by a “low-carbon” biofuel developed by Shell, which is a mix of ethanol and a product derived from vegetable oils and other organic waste, dubbed bio-naphtha.
The European Union has locked in new regulations that will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars, SUVs, and light commercial vehicles from 2035, although boutique manufacturers have been handed some concessions.
Niche manufacturers building between 1000 and 10,000 cars per year will be allowed to sell their petrol vehicles for an extra 12 months, opening the door for an extra year of Lamborghini and Ferrari supercars featuring ICE power in some form.
Brands building fewer than 1000 cars per year will be saved from the rules entirely… for now.
Thanks for your support and readership as we bring you all the latest car industry news across the week. Any feedback or thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
Have a great weekend.