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This week in news: November 14-18

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.


Now THAT’S a dream ‘SUV’

Porsche has gone ahead and done it. It’s finally revealed the production version of that high-riding 911 we’ve seen lapping the Nurburgring over the last few years, dubbed the 911 Dakar.

No version of the 911 is what you’d call common, but the Dakar will be rare. Just 2500 will be offered worldwide, with pricing to kick off at $491,400 before on-roads costs. The optional Rally Design Package adds $54,730 before on-roads to that sticker.

Power comes from a 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six making 353kW of power and 570Nm of torque, the same as you get in a Carrera GTS, mated with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. The 100km/h sprint takes a claimed 3.4 seconds.

FULL STORY: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar revealed, priced for Australia


Toyota’s EV rollout picks up pace

Toyota has previewed its bZ Compact SUV Concept at the Los Angeles motor show, though it stopped short of providing any specifications.

The bZ Compact SUV was one of the 16 electric Toyota and Lexus concepts previewed late last year, though Toyota didn’t reveal its interior at the time.

It has now showcased the electric crossover’s futuristic, rather industrial-chic cabin, which uses eco-friendly materials – for example, the seats are made from plant-based and recycled materials.

FULL STORY: Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept revealed


Australia’s desert warrior

The Aussie-developed Ranger Raptor set to compete in this week’s Baja 1000 off-road race in Mexico “isn’t far off what you can drive off the showroom floor”, according to Ford Performance.

As with the 2017 class-winning F-150 Raptor, the Ranger Raptor Baja racer has been built to comply with the stock category, which means the 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, 10-speed automatic transmission, driveline, and suspension are all from the road version you can buy.

“The Baja 1000 is known around the world as one of the toughest off-road races on the planet,” said Ford Performance engineering manager in Australia Justin Capicchiano.

FULL STORY: Aussie-developed Ford Ranger Raptor Baja racer specs, behind-the-scenes


Will solar roofs on EVs take off?

The Genesis Electrified G80 sedan’s solar roof panel can add about 1100km of additional driving range over the course of a year, according to the company’s own research in Europe.

The rooftop solar array made of photovoltaic silicon material trickle-feeds power into the car’s 87.2kWh battery when driving and when parked, augmenting regular plug-in charging.

The panels in good sunlight will produce electricity equivalent to that needed for two 100W bulbs or 11 household LED fluorescent lamps, Genesis claims.

FULL STORY: Genesis G80 EV’s solar-panel roof adds 1100km range per year


SsangYong seems back, baby

A newly stabilised SsangYong says it plans to accelerate the rollout of more SUVs and electric cars to underpin its planned ongoing return to profit and viability.

The Korean minnow brand said on November 11 it had cleared rehabilitation debts using funds from its acquisition by the KG Group, and has therefore completed its corporate rehabilitation procedure after some 18 months.

SsangYong Motor has been under court receivership since April 2021 as its former parent company Mahindra & Mahindra failed to find a new investor amid the pandemic and financial problems.

FULL STORY: SsangYong’s rebuild kicks off in earnest, as Australian sales grow


Will EV-ICE cost parity arrive soon?

Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan says he expects the brand’s electric vehicles to reach price parity with its combustion-powered models within the next 2-3 years.

“We think we get [to price parity] … around 2025, where there’ll be enough technology that’s driving down cost on the battery,” he told Automotive News Europe. “Technology will drive range up. Less batteries, but more range, at less cost — we’ll get there.”

Volvo aims to reach battery pack costs of $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2025-26. The CATL-sourced lithium iron phosphate battery in the Tesla Model 3 is currently the global leader in affordability according to a recent teardown, with a cost of $131 per kWh.

FULL STORY: Volvo CEO predicts price parity between EV and ICE vehicles by 2025


EV ecosystem has some gaps, says industry body

The Motor Traders’ Association of New South Wales (MTA NSW) is calling for government support amid concerns the service and repair industry will be left “severely underprepared” to meet 2030 electric vehicle targets.

The industry association says there are 49,000 auto workers in NSW that need to be upskilled to safely service and repair EVs.

The NSW Government is working towards a goal of EVs accounting for 52 per cent of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030, with the “vast majority” being EVs by 2035. The Australian Government has gone further, with a target of 89 per cent EV sales by 2030.

FULL STORY: NSW body warns auto industry “severely underprepared” for EV targets


Badass Honda Civic Type-R priced

Honda will open orders for the Civic Type R on December 1, with the first customer deliveries scheduled to begin in February 2023.

It’s priced from $72,600 drive-away, or $25,400 more than the base VTi-LX. For reference, the outgoing model closed out its run with a price tag of $54,990 before on-road costs.

It will be the final variant to join the local 11th-generation Civic range, slotting in at the top above the imminent e:HEV LX hybrid.

FULL STORY: 2023 Honda Civic Type R priced from $72,600 drive-away


First national EV plan taking shape

The federal government says it has received more than 500 submissions to a discussion paper designed to shape the country’s first, long-awaited National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen revealed the number of submissions on Twitter, adding the government would “be working through these closely over coming weeks and months”.

The discussion paper on Australia’s first national EV policy – to augment the current myriad state-based rebate and tax break plans – was released in late September.

FULL STORY: National EV strategy paper nets more than 500 submissions


New Impreza revealed

The sixth-generation Subaru Impreza, only available as a five-door hatchback, has made its debut at the 2022 Los Angeles motor show.

Compared to the Crosstrek unveiled at the end of October, the Impreza sits lower to the ground, has different grille and bumper designs, and misses out on plastic wheel arch extensions.

“Impreza has been part of the Subaru family for 30 years, and we look forward to sharing more details for the Australian market in due course,” said a spokesperson for Subaru Australia.

FULL STORY: 2023 Subaru Impreza unveiled, Australian timing unclear


Breathtaking drop-top from Genesis

Genesis has completed its trio of X electric vehicle concepts with a shapely convertible with a folding hardtop and seating for four.

Revealed in Los Angeles ahead of the motor show there, the Genesis X Convertible concept shares its architecture and electric powertrain with the 2021 X Concept and 2022 X Speedium Concept.

Beyond that detail, Genesis hasn’t confirmed any other technical specifications of the X trio, nor has it indicated whether these presage production vehicles – though, notably, Genesis has trademarked the X Speedium name.

FULL STORY: Genesis X Convertible concept revealed as electric drop-top


What’s this? A sexy Prius?

Toyota has revealed a prettier Prius, but don’t expect it to come here

CarExpert understands the new fifth-generation Toyota Prius hybrid and plug-in hybrid won’t be offered in Australia following the discontinuation of the fourth-generation model earlier this year.

While that left Toyota Australia down a hybrid, it shortly thereafter introduced the new Corolla Cross hybrid that’s expected to sell in much greater numbers than the Prius.

FULL STORY: 2023 Toyota Prius revealed

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