Happy New Year!
We publish a ton of car news stories during the work week (70-odd as a rule), and it can be hard to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend’s list.
In short, here are some of the key articles from our news desk since Monday this week summarized, in case you missed them at the time.
The results are in!
New vehicle sales rose 3.0 percent in 2022 despite widely publicized supply issues, ending at about 1.08 million units for the calendar year.
Annual sales data (VFACTS) shows that 1,081,429 new cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were delivered in 2022, making it the best result since 2018 when 1,153,111 vehicles were sold.
Industry-wide sales for December 2022 jumped 12.1 percent, giving the market some momentum heading into the new calendar year.
MORE: Australia’s new car sales results for 2022
Japanese icons collaborate on EVs
Two of Japan’s industrial giants are working on a new EV joint venture, with the prototype seen here set for a 2025 launch.
The joint venture between Sony and Honda to make electric cars will be branded Afeela, the company announced at the CES technology show in Las Vegas.
The first Afeela EV from Sony Honda Mobility Inc. will be a sleek sedan, somewhat reminiscent of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 or Tesla Model 3, with a production start target of 2025.
MORE: Sony Honda Mobility’s EV brand to be called Afeela
Toyota will tackle the Ranger Raptor… sort of
Toyota has revealed its tougher-looking and more powerful flagship HiLux, which will go on sale here this year.
The Toyota HiLux GR Sport has what the brand calls a Dakar-inspired design, and will be the most powerful diesel HiLux ever offered in the country.
The company says it expects the dual-cab GR Sport to arrive in the second half of 2023. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but it will almost certainly exceed the $70,200 before on-road sticker for the current Rogue range-topper.
MORE: 2023 Toyota HiLux GR Sport revealed for Australia
Santa Fe’s new style
The bolder, all-new Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seat large SUV will be launched this year, but may not arrive in Australia until 2024.
Hyundai confirmed as much in the sales package for 2022, saying its three big launches for 2023 are the new-generation Kona, the Ioniq 5 N electric hot hatch and the new Santa Fe.
The current Santa Fe has only (relatively) recently received a major upgrade, with Hyundai claiming a 2021 mid-life update will see it move to a new platform shared with the Kia Sorento.
MORE: Brash new Hyundai Santa Fe to be revealed in 2023
Concept cars abound
Concept car. We all love them, both for what they offer and for what they promise.
Last year had some crackers, previewing the next generation of largely electric and connected vehicles before they hit the road.
From near-production renderings to moonshot passion projects, here we check out 20 that caught our eye – with no more than one per brand.
MORE: The 20 coolest concept cars from 2022
What’s in a name? a lot
The company’s SsangYong has been saved, but the SsangYong name will be consigned to the scrap heap.
In a statement reported by Korean media, Kwak Jae-sun – chairman of SsangYong’s new corporate parent company KG Group as well as the automaker itself – said the firm would be renamed KG Mobility and new models would be launched under the KG brand.
“We have decided to use a new name to make full use of SsangYong Motor’s strength,” Kwak said at an event organized by the Korea Association of Automobile Journalists.
MORE: SsangYong name dropped under new ownership
Ram charges forward with an EV pickup
Ram has unveiled the 1500 Revolution BEV concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The concept previews the 2024 production Ram 1500 BEV that will be on display “in the coming months”.
It will compete with vehicles including the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Hummer EV, GMC Sierra EV, Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck.
MORE: Ram 1500 Revolution EV pickup concept revealed at CES
Which EV was the most popular last year?
The five most popular electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia last year were all made in China.
Electric car sales across Australia will almost double in 2022 to 33,410 vehicles, equivalent to about 3.0 per cent of the total new vehicle market.
Factors such as high fuel costs, a strong shift to BEVs from luxury brands, and the proliferation of state and federal rebates and tax benefits are all helping. Persistent shortages do not…
MORE: Australia’s best-selling EV in 2022
3 Next series previewed?
BMW has revealed the futuristic electric concept i Vision Dee at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
BMW i Vision Dee – Dee stands for Digital Emotional Experience – the concept gives a glimpse of the design and technology in the German automaker’s upcoming EV range based on the modular Neue Klasse platform.
As previously reported, the Neue Klasse platform is set to debut in 2025 on the 3 Series-sized vehicle, which will compete with the Tesla Model 3. The X3-sized electric SUV is understood to be the second vehicle.
MORE: i Vision Dee EV concept revealed at CES
Weird name, brutal design
BYD’s promised premium sub-brand has unveiled its first vehicle, the Yangwang U8, a tough-looking SUV in the Land Rover Defender mold – but with four electric motors.
Reports from the launch in China show an upright design with a blingy grille, somewhat Nissan Patrol-like headlights, square wheel arches with blistered sheet metal, aerodynamic flush door handles, and thick D-pillars in front of the tailgate-mounted spare. wheels
But instead of being mechanical like the Defender, it’s more akin to the upcoming all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQG, although at a reported 5300mm it’s longer even than the GLS.
MORE: BYD unveils luxury electric SUV
It’s not all gloom for Tesla
Tesla said it delivered more than 400,000 electric cars to customers in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 31 percent from the Q4 figure from 2021.
The company also reported calendar year 2022 deliveries of more than 1.31 million cars, 40 percent greater than what was achieved in 2021.
To put Australia into context, Tesla claims 17,328 cars were delivered to the end of November, meaning it should spend around 20,000 for the full year of 2022.
MORE: Tesla posts all-time record deliveries amid high winds
Great Wall Motor (GWM) has unveiled the new, more premium Shanhai Cannon pickup at the Guangzhou Auto Show, following the vehicle’s original reveal in August last year.
Billed as a “new large-scale high-performance luxury pickup” to be sold alongside the regular GWM Ute, the new Shanhai Cannon will offer V6 petrol power, or a boosted 2.4-litre diesel option.
Based on GWM’s “off-road tank platform” – understood to be close to the new Tank 300 SUV – the GMW Shanhai Cannon looks more capable than the existing and cheaper GWM Ute.
MORE: New GWM ute launched, with petrol and diesel power