chasing cars I had the opportunity to do this on two very important cars this week – the Toyota GR86 and the Lexus LX – and you can read more about those below.
Beyond the reviews, we’ve seen confirmation that an electrified Corvette is on the way and our team has set some release dates on Mercedes-Benz’s growing arsenal of electric vehicles.
New car launches are coming in strong and fast right now and we have a lot to cover, so let’s jump right into it.
Volkswagen Amarok arrives in 2023
Volkswagen Australia is determined to bring the second-generation Amarok to Australia before the end of the year – even if it will initially do so in small numbers.
Although it shares the same platform and engines as the new Ford Ranger, the Amarok will have its own flavor thanks to the Australian development team, which is expected to apply a radically different interior and exterior design language than the Blue Oval-badged ute.
Four grades have been confirmed: the Base Amarok, followed by the Model, the Focus Off-Road Panamericana, and the Aventura. Pricing and specifications are still under wraps.
The new generation Amarok will be revealed in July after the launch of the Ranger, with the Volkswagen ute set to arrive here either in November or December of this year.
Ford Everest Group Confirmation
Ford confirmed this week that the closely related Everest SUV follows the Ranger, as it will be sold in Australia with a choice of four classes.
The entry-level Everest Ambiente and Trend entry will be powered exclusively by the 154 kW / 500 Nm 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, while the new Sport and Platinum models will achieve 184 kW / 600 Nm 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.
Ford Australia has confirmed specs for every grade, with the Ambiente lineup to offer a host of standard features including LED headlights, a 10.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay, and modern safety features like rear AEB and blind spot monitoring.
Group travel adds leather seats in the Trend, while the Sport is the first to benefit from Ford’s new permanent all-wheel drive system. The Platinum makes its intent as a luxury SUV clear with features like quilted leather seats and a 12-speaker B&O Play stereo.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet but we expect those details to follow soon since Ford Australia has already done so with the Ranger.
Mercedes-AMG C43 revealed
After widespread rumors and excitement, Stuttgart’s performance department ripped the covers off the new-generation C43 this week, replacing the outgoing 300kW/500Nm 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol from the hot hatch A45.
Mercedes-AMG continues to use the ‘4Matic’ rear-biased all-wheel drive system that is attached to the tarmac to provide a sprint time from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds.
Adaptive dampers and four-wheel steering will be fitted as standard, and the C43 will be sold in both sedan and wagon variants – although the latter won’t be available in Australia.
The C43 will arrive here during the first half of 2023, with the full-fat C63 set to follow later when using the same engine paired with a plug-in hybrid system.
All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Nathan Bonchard scored a short first drive of the new-generation Toyota GR86 and was quickly impressed by its superb handling and generous ESC tuning, as well as its subtle but noteworthy differences compared to the Subaru BRZ. Read or watch our review.
Is the Lexus LX just a Land Cruiser 300 Series, or is it a vehicle that takes things to the next level in its own right? We test drive the LX in F-Sport form to find out.
The BMW i4 is an all-electric 3 Series sedan (in the 4 Series Gran Coupe drag), which means it has huge boots to fill, and Tom Baker was generally pleased with the results—and gave his recommendation on which one you should buy.
The Cupra performance brand will be launching in Australia soon, and the Formentor mid-size SUV is expected to be the mass-selling model, is that ok?
Other auto and SUV news we covered this week: