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Motoring News

2022 PORSCHE MACAN

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2022 PORSCHE MACAN

New Macan harks back to the instantly-recognisable Porsche 911 in its shape.

Porsche Macan received a pretty thorough update late in 2021 for the 2022 season. A considerable number of changes were made, this isn’t simply a mild revamp of the car initially released in 2015. It’s virtually all-new in some areas both inside and out.

More details about this in the various sections of this road test that follows this intro.

STYLING

Porsche stylists have worked hard to give their Macan a generic look that harks back to the instantly recognisable Porsche 911. Its nose slopes down nicely, though the radiator grille is a giveaway. The headlights are obviously ultra-modern LED units and make no bones about that as the elements are clear to see.

The tail is obviously not given any reference to the shape of the 911. It’s got a nicely squared-off look that gives it a sporty style while at the same time providing good luggage space.

The side windows carry all the way through at the same level in the lower area as the designers have been smart enough to not go for any upward swooping lines which spoil the view out for shorter rear seat occupants – that is the kids.

INTERIOR

The cabin is fine for most people, but those in the rear may find themselves a bit cramped as there’s not enough legroom if the person in front of them is tall. Obviously the two people in left seats can decide to how to share the seat.

But the person behind the driver may not have enough legroom. This is the sort of thing that has to be discussed by all likely occupants of the of the rear compartment before deciding which car to buy.

Boot space is 488 litres and a pretty impressive 1503 litres when the second-row seats are folded down. The rear seats are set up 40/20/40 so there’s a variety of ways they can be configured.

The boot is very usable with an almost flat floor.

INFOTAINMENT

The Macan has a 10.9-inch infotainment system with wireless and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as digital radio broadcasting.

Our test car had the optional Bose 14-speaker surround-sound system. Quality of sound is excellent and we enjoyed it for the way it reproduced our favourite songs.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

There’s excellent news here. The 2022 Macan is powered by a new-design 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 195 kW of power and up to 400 Nm of torque, the latter spread across a wide range of the rev band that makes it feel strong virtually all the time.

Power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic to all four wheels. There is a bias toward the rear wheels for everyday driving. More about that in the Driving section of this road test review.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS

The 2022 Macan we tested is powered by a new-design 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 195kW of power and up to 400Nm of torque. The latter spread across a wide range of the rev band that makes it feel strong virtually all the time.

Power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic to all four wheels. There is a bias toward the rear wheels for everyday driving. More about that in the Driving section of this road test review.

As well as the four-cylinder engine we tested there are also the Porsche Macan S and GTS. With a twin-turbo petrol V6 engine with the S having 280kW and 520Nm and the GTS 324kW and 550Nm.

SAFETY

Primary safety – that is, the ability to not have a crash – is excellent. Thanks to the fact this machine has been designed for ‘ordinary’ road users, not just those who love to have a sports machine.

DRIVING

I was comfortable in the driver’s seat, with just the right amount of shaping of the base and rear of the seat to support me when peddling hard around bends. There are multiple adjustments to set it up to your personal preference and you would have to be very fastidious to not find something to suit your personal desires.

The view of the instruments is excellent as this is obviously a machine meant to be driven in a sporting manner. There’s a large central tachometer with a small digital speed readout in its centre. There’s a conventional speedometer on the left, and a digital panel on the right.

On the road it’s a delight to drive with plenty of feel through the steering wheel and the ability to corner hard when take it out onto your favourite driving roads. You know the ones I mean, those roads which invite you to get out of bed just on sunrise, ideally on a Sunday when everyone else is having a lie-in and there’s no one about.

RATINGS

Looks: 9/10

Performance: 8/10

Safety: 9/10

Thirst: 8/10

Practicality: 8/10

Comfort: 7/10

Tech: 8/10

Value: 9/10

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE

Macan 2.0: $89,300

Macan 2.0 T: $92,700

Macan 2.9 S: $112,400

Macan 2.9 GTS: $137,300

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Porsche dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Porsche Macan 2.0-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)

ENGINE:

Capacity: 1.984 litres

Configuration: Four cylinders in line

Maximum Power: 195 kW @  5000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ 1800 rpm

Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol

Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 9.5 L/100km

CO2 Emissions: 217 g/km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:

Length: 4726 mm

Wheelbase: 2807 mm

Width: 1927 mm

Height: 1606 mm

Turning Circle: 12.0 metres

Kerb Mass: 1798 kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres

BRAKES:

Front: Ventilated disc

Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:

Three years / unlimited kilometres

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Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

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Nissan Keeps All Options Open for Qashqai SUV: Petrol, Hybrid, and Electric

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Nissan is set to maintain a versatile approach for its Qashqai SUV, continuing to offer petrol, hybrid, and electric powertrains to cater to varying market demands. While the next-generation all-electric Qashqai is on the horizon, Australia is likely to continue with petrol and e-Power options for the time being.

Continued Production of All Powertrains

Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK will keep producing the Qashqai for global markets, complemented by production in Dalian, China, for the local market with partner Dongfeng. The Sunderland facility supplies Qashqais to over 100 countries, including Australia. Speaking to Australian media, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Planning Officer for the AMIEO (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania) region, Francois Bailly, confirmed that the electric Qashqai will not replace existing models but will be produced concurrently to meet diverse market needs.

Electrification Strategy and Market Adaptation

Bailly emphasized the variability in market readiness for electrification. “The markets around the world are so diverse, there’s a speed of electrification that we could imagine different technologies at the same time in different markets,” he said. However, he did not confirm the all-electric Qashqai for Australia specifically, noting the growing but still relatively low EV market share in the region.

Current and Future Qashqai Offerings in Australia

In Australia, the Qashqai is available with two powertrain options:

  • A 110kW/250Nm 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine.
  • A 140kW/330Nm e-Power range-extender hybrid, which pairs a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor driving the front wheels.

For emissions-restricted markets like Europe, the Sunderland factory also builds a mild-hybrid version.

The facelifted Qashqai, expected to arrive in Australian showrooms by the end of the year, will likely retain the current powertrain options. It will feature updated exterior styling, improved cabin materials, and a new Google-powered infotainment system, although the latter is yet to be confirmed for Australia.

Investment and Production Plans

To prepare for the new all-electric Qashqai, Nissan has invested an additional £30 million ($AU57.7 million) in the Sunderland plant to accommodate the installation of heavy battery packs and high-voltage components. The Qashqai EV will share the production line with the internal combustion engine and e-Power hybrid versions, as well as the Juke small SUV and the upcoming new-generation Leaf crossover. This strategy allows for a seamless transition from the current Qashqai to the new models, ensuring continuous production of the popular SUV.

In conclusion, Nissan’s multipronged approach with the Qashqai ensures that the SUV remains adaptable to market trends and consumer needs, offering a blend of petrol, hybrid, and electric options. This flexibility positions the Qashqai to effectively meet the demands of diverse global markets, including Australia.

 

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Cadillac’s Future Sedans: Embracing Electric Power

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Cadillac’s Future Sedans: Embracing Electric Power

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Cadillac, the luxury arm of General Motors (GM), has reaffirmed its commitment to sedans, hinting at a future where these models could be electric. This revelation was made by Mike Simcoe, GM’s Vice President of Global Design, during a recent media roundtable. Simcoe, an Australian and former design boss of Holden, emphasized that while SUVs dominate the market, sedans remain a vital part of Cadillac’s future, potentially powered by batteries.

A New Generation of Sedans

Despite the industry’s heavy lean towards SUVs, Cadillac is preparing to introduce a new generation of sedans. These models will be a key part of Cadillac’s lineup in the coming years, according to Simcoe. “We will certainly have a sedan in the portfolio at some point in the future,” he confirmed. This statement underscores Cadillac’s intention to diversify its offerings beyond the ubiquitous SUV trend.

The Celestiq: Cadillac’s Luxury Electric Sedan

Cadillac already offers the Celestiq, an electric vehicle that it refers to as a sedan. However, the Celestiq, priced at $US340,000 ($AU520,000), is designed to compete with ultra-luxury brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley. This places it out of reach for most consumers, signaling Cadillac’s ambition to produce more affordable electric sedans that can cater to a broader market segment.

The Need for Affordable Electric Sedans

Simcoe indicated that while the luxury market appreciates high-end electric sedans like the Celestiq, there is a significant opportunity for more affordable electric sedans within Cadillac’s lineup. He remarked on the dominance of SUVs, calling them a “necessary evil” due to their market prevalence and practicality. However, Simcoe pointed out that many consumers, particularly those with higher disposable incomes, still desire a second vehicle that isn’t an SUV. This opens the door for sedans, especially those that are electrically powered.

Current Sedan Offerings and Performance Models

At present, Cadillac’s sedan lineup in North America includes the CT4 and CT5. These models, particularly their performance variants, are powered by twin-turbo V6 and supercharged V8 engines, aiming to rival BMW’s M3 and M5. These sedans showcase Cadillac’s commitment to performance and luxury, a tradition it aims to continue even as it shifts towards electric powertrains.

Cadillac’s Return to Australia and Electric Future

In a significant move, Cadillac announced its return to the Australian market in late 2024. This return is marked by an exclusive offering of electric vehicles, aligning with the global shift towards sustainable transportation. While Cadillac previously committed to transitioning to an all-electric lineup by 2030, recent updates indicate that petrol-powered models will continue to be manufactured into the new decade. This dual approach allows Cadillac to cater to diverse market needs while progressing towards a greener future.

Conclusion

Cadillac’s reaffirmation of its commitment to sedans, coupled with its strategic pivot towards electric vehicles, highlights the brand’s adaptive and forward-thinking approach. By continuing to innovate in the sedan segment and introducing more accessible electric models, Cadillac aims to maintain its legacy of luxury and performance. As the automotive industry evolves, Cadillac’s blend of tradition and innovation positions it well to meet the demands of modern consumers and sustain its competitive edge in the luxury market.

 

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BYD Sets Third Australian Sales Record in Four Months

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BYD Sets Third Australian Sales Record in Four Months

 

By Jeff Gibbs

In a significant achievement, BYD has set its third Australian sales record in four months, with close to 2000 electric vehicles sold last month. The momentum is set to increase further with the introduction of a new range of hybrid cars.

Record-Breaking Sales Record Performance

BYD’s sales in Australia continue to soar, driven by the growing demand for Chinese-branded cars. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) reported that 1914 BYD electric vehicles were sold in May 2024, marking a 32% increase compared to May of the previous year. This remarkable performance underscores BYD’s rapid expansion and acceptance in the Australian market.

Upcoming Hybrid Models

The boost in BYD sales is expected to be further amplified by the upcoming launch of a new range of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This range includes a family SUV, the Sealion 6, and a utility vehicle (ute), both of which were announced last month. Although deliveries of the Sealion 6 plug-in hybrid SUV have not yet started, anticipation is high, and its introduction is expected to drive sales even higher.

Top Sellers and Market Dynamics

In May 2024, the majority of BYD’s reported sales were electric vehicles, with the Seal sedan leading the pack at 1002 units sold. This was followed by the Atto 3 with 737 units, despite a year-on-year decline of 49%, and the Dolphin with 175 units. BYD’s previous best monthly sales were recorded in March 2024 with 1622 deliveries, and in February 2024 with 1549 vehicles.

Despite BYD’s impressive performance, Tesla remains a formidable competitor, delivering nearly twice as many cars as BYD in May 2024, totaling 3567 vehicles. However, BYD’s sales trajectory is notable, with a 67% increase over the first five months of 2024 compared to the same period in the previous year. This growth positions BYD to potentially surpass 20,000 deliveries by the end of the year, though this falls short of their goal to double sales year-on-year.

Rapid Market Penetration

BYD’s rapid market penetration is unprecedented for a new automotive brand in Australia. It took BYD just one year and seven months to report more than 1900 new vehicles sold in a month. In contrast, other emerging brands such as MG, LDV, and GWM took significantly longer to achieve the same milestone, highlighting BYD’s exceptional growth rate.

Industry-Wide Trends

The rise in electric vehicle deliveries in Australia is part of a broader trend. Year-to-date, electric car sales have increased by 26.8%, totalling 40,636 vehicles. This follows a temporary dip in April 2024, the first since the pandemic. Electric vehicles accounted for 8% of new vehicle sales in May 2024, reflecting their growing popularity.

Similarly, plug-in hybrid sales have surged by 118% year-to-date, reaching 6099 deliveries. Although starting from a lower base, this growth indicates a strong interest in hybrid technology among Australian consumers.

China’s Position in the Market

China remains the third-largest source of new motor vehicles sold in Australia, trailing only Japan and Thailand. This places China ahead of other major automotive exporters like South Korea, Germany, and the United States. Sales of Chinese-made vehicles have risen by 7.9% year-to-date compared to the same period last year, further solidifying China’s role in the Australian automotive market.

Conclusion

BYD’s continued success and rapid growth in the Australian market illustrate a significant shift in consumer preferences towards electric and hybrid vehicles. With new models on the horizon and a strong sales trajectory, BYD is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for environmentally friendly transportation options. This momentum not only sets a new benchmark for emerging automotive brands but also contributes to the broader adoption of sustainable technologies in Australia.

 

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