This week in car news: September 19-23

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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.


C63’s V8 cut in half!

The iconic Mercedes-AMG C63 muscle car is about to get a seismic makeover, with the new model ditching the famous V8 for a 500kW plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain.

The new model, called Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance, will roll into Australian showrooms around the middle of 2023 in sedan form – at which point it’ll be sure to polarise.

“As always, judgment should be reserved for when the vehicle has been experienced,” a Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman said this week.

MORE: Deep dive into new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance
FULL STORY: Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance hybrid hits Australia mid-2023


Reborn Renault 5 Turbo concept outed

Renault’s electric car strategy involves not only mining for minerals, but also digging up the company’s past, with the Renault R5 Turbo 3E recalling the brand’s rallying salad days.

In the same vein as the Porsche Taycan Turbo models, the R5 Turbo 3E is a fully electric car that references non-existent turbochargers for the historical reasons.

According to Renault, the Turbo 3E is designed to drift, and as such has two electric motors, one for each of the rear wheels, generating a total of 280kW and 700Nm.

FULL STORY: Renault R5 Turbo 3E concept revealed


Haval smashes crash tests

Australian crash tester ANCAP has awarded the increasingly big-selling GWM Haval Jolion the maximum five-star safety score against its latest criteria, based on local testing.

The Chinese small SUV managed scores of 90 per cent for adult occupant protection, 84 per cent for child occupants, 64 per cent for vulnerable road users, and 92 per cent for safety assist features.

The result means all of GWM’s core vehicles – the others being the GWM Ute and GWM Haval H6 medium SUV – carry the highest safety ratings under the latest 2020-22 ANCAP protocols.

FULL STORY: Haval Jolion earns five-star ANCAP safety rating


New Euro version of SUV staple

After 12 long years there will be a new Mitsubishi ASX, but three-diamond fans here shouldn’t pop their champagne corks just yet.

According to the company’s French division, the new ASX unveiled overnight is “designed specifically for the European market”. It’s since been ruled out for Australia.

It’s unclear what plans Mitsubishi has for the ASX/RVR/Outlander Sport model sold in the rest of the world. Launched in 2010, the car we know as the ASX has been through four facelifts so far.

MORE: Current Mitsubishi ASX sticking around, new entry variant for 2023
FULL STORY: 2023 Mitsubishi ASX, Euro model launched as a rebadged Renault Captur


Bimmer’s mad-wagon priced

The first BMW M3 Touring wagon will be priced from $177,500 before on-road costs when it hits the market in early 2023, primed to challenge the Audi RS4.

Fresh from its recent Goodwood premiere after being announced in 2020, BMW’s über wagon becomes the fourth body type in the M3/M4 family.

As we’ve come to expect from BWM Australia, the M3 Touring will be offered only in harder-core Competition guise, with xDrive all-wheel drive.

FULL STORY: BMW M3 Touring priced, in Australia early 2023


Toyota hits another snag amid demand spike

Toyota Motor Corp has again been forced to cut a global production plan, this time for the next three months, due in large part to continued parts shortages.

The company said this week it would have to trim back its planned output over the current three-month window by at least 150,000 cars.

Its production forecast for the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) remains unchanged at approximately 9.7 million cars, compared to 10,063,895 cars in the last fiscal year – which would mean a drop of 3.6 per cent. But each production cut makes that goal harder to hit.

FULL STORY: Toyota cuts production again


New EV safe, even by Volvo’s standards

The upcoming LiDAR-equipped EX90 SUV will be capable of monitoring the world around it more closely than any Volvo before, both inside and outside.

Volvo will reveal the EX90 on November 9, at which point it’ll debut a new “driver understanding system”.

Using two cameras, the electric SUV will monitor the driver’s eye patterns. It measures how long the driver is looking at the road and, “allowing for natural variations”, works out why they might not be paying full attention.

FULL STORY: Volvo EX90 SUV designed to be company’s safest car ever


Renault’s third electric van

Renault has rounded out its range of European electric vans with the reveal of the mid-sized Trafic E-Tech Electric this week.

The Trafic E-Tech Electric sits between the smaller Kangoo E-Tech (now into its second EV generation) and larger Master E-Tech, giving the French company a full range of plug-in vans.

The Trafic E-Tech Electric will feature the same 52kWh battery as the Master offering a claimed WLTP driving range of 240km – more than enough for urban couriers and so-called ‘last-mile’ logistics.

FULL STORY: Renault Trafic E-Tech Electric revealed with 240km range


Engine upgrade for Grand Cherokee?

The new WL Grand Cherokee can be engineered to accept Jeep’s new inline six-cylinder petrol engines, the company’s CEO has confirmed.

“That’s feasible. That is a question of priority and potential business case,” Jeep CEO Christian Meunier told CarExpert when asked whether the Hurricane six could be introduced as an up-level engine in the Grand Cherokee range, noting there are not many vehicles where this engine would be a logical fit.

Currently, the Grand Cherokee is offered in Australia only in three-row L guise and exclusively with Jeep’s venerable Pentastar 3.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V6. The two-row version is due here in the first quarter of 2023.

FULL STORY: Jeep Grand Cherokee could get powerful new inline-six


Tesla to ramp up production

Tesla’s upgrades to the Shanghai plant where it builds Model 3s and Model Ys for the Australian market are completed, with output set to scale up.

That’s according to a new report from Reuters, citing a statement on a Shanghai government platform for companies’ environmental information disclosures.

That could be good news for buyers on the wait list for Australia’s two top-selling EVs (by a big margin), which are currently subject to advised wait times of between five and nine months.

FULL STORY: Tesla’s plant expansion could cut Model 3, Model Y wait times

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