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Motoring News

2023 Cupra Born

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2023 Cupra Born

The Volkswagen Group has finally passed the baton to Spanish upstart Cupra to take on the top-selling Tesla Model 3.

Cupra’s first electric car, the Born, is effectively the ID.3’s sportier cousin and is named after a progressive neighbourhood in Barcelona that blends medieval and gothic heritage with new boutiques, cafes, and bars as well as art museums.

Based on the Group’s MEB electric toolkit, the Born is a rear-drive hatch aimed at proving electrified motoring can still be fun and attainable. The Born is available in a single variant with the flagship 77kWh (usable) long-range battery pack offering a claimed 511 kilometres of WLTP-certified range, making it the only EV in Australia below $60,000 to offer over 500km of driving range.

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Cupra is expecting big things from the Born, forecasting over 1000 deliveries in 2023 should all go to plan with supply and logistics, with 700 builds secured for the Australian market so far and more than 500 sold already.

The Born comes with a starting price of $59,990 plus on-road costs, and Cupra Australia recently detailed national drive-away pricing which varies between states and territories. The Born’s positioning is competitive, given the size, packaging, performance and driving range. The Born’s most natural rival in Australia is the Nissan Leaf e+, being a similarly sized electric hatchback around $60,000.

However, the flagship Leaf’s $61,490 starting price is dearer the newer Born, and its 385km range according to WLTP specifications is well off the pace. The outgoing Hyundai Kona Electric Extended Range starts at $60,500 for the Elite, offering a crossover body (if more compact than the Born) and the backing of a more established brand, though it can’t match the Born’s range (484km).

The biggest threat, however, is Tesla which offers the Model 3 from $61,300 after recent price increases.

The Model 3 offers 491km of range in base trim, as well as a 6.1-second 0-100 time from its RWD single-motor drivetrain. The Polestar 2 is also worth cross-shopping, currently starting at $63,900 for the Standard Range Single Motor, with a facelifted model due later this year with rear-wheel drive and 518km of range in base specification.

Overall, the Cupra Born is an impressive electric car, offering an impressive range, performance, and price. While it may not be the first electric car on the market, it is certainly one of the most competitively priced in its class.

Cupra Born e-Boost 77kWh: $59,990 Price excludes on-road costs Drive-away pricing: ACT: $61,990 NSW: $62,490 QLD: $63,490 SA: $64,490 VIC: $64,990 WA: $66,490 Note: Drive-away pricing does not include state- and territory-based EV rebate schemes.

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Hyundai Launches New Santa Fe Hybrid in Australia: Rivalling Toyota Kluger and Kia Sorento

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Hyundai Launches New Santa Fe Hybrid in Australia: Rivalling Toyota Kluger and Kia Sorento

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Hyundai has unveiled its latest offering in the family SUV market with the 2024 Santa Fe, a seven-seat hybrid vehicle designed to compete directly with the Toyota Kluger Hybrid and Kia Sorento. This new model introduces significant enhancements and a variety of options tailored to meet diverse consumer needs and preferences.

Model Range and Pricing

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The new Santa Fe comes in three distinct grades: the base Santa Fe, the mid-tier Elite, and the top-of-the-line Calligraphy. The entry-level front-wheel-drive Santa Fe starts at $55,500 before on-road costs, marking a nearly $10,000 increase from its predecessor. Customers looking for enhanced stability can opt for all-wheel drive for an additional $3,000. The Elite variant, priced at $65,000, includes all-wheel drive as standard, while the range-topping Calligraphy is available from $75,000 and offers both seven- and six-seat configurations.

Power and Efficiency

Each model in the lineup features a hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, delivering a total output of 172kW and 367Nm of torque. This setup achieves an impressive fuel efficiency of 5.6 litres per 100km, matching the fuel consumption of its main competitor, the Toyota Kluger.

Design and Features

The 2024 Santa Fe boasts a bold, boxy silhouette reminiscent of classic Land Rovers, enhanced by dynamic H-shaped headlights and a distinctive light bar across the front grille. Standard features on the base model include 20-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, and rear privacy glass. Inside, the vehicle sports dual 12.3-inch digital displays for multimedia and driver instruments, cloth seats, and comprehensive safety features including 10 airbags and a suite of active driver aids.

Technology and Comfort

The Santa Fe is equipped with Hyundai’s Bluelink app, offering over-the-air update capabilities and smartphone mirroring, along with a wireless device charger. All-wheel-drive variants benefit from multiple driving modes such as Snow, Mud, and Sand, enhancing the SUV’s versatility across different terrains.

The Elite trim upgrades the interior with synthetic leather-wrapped seats, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable driver’s seat, and an additional wireless device charger. It also replaces the standard six-speaker stereo with a premium Bose sound system for an enriched audio experience.

Calligraphy models elevate luxury with Nappa leather upholstery, a sunroof, power adjustments for the front passenger seat, and a head-up display that projects essential driving information directly onto the windshield.

For added convenience and health safety, the Calligraphy variant includes a UV-C sterilisation tray located in the dashboard above the glove box, capable of sanitising items in just 10 minutes.

Conclusion

Hyundai’s 2024 Santa Fe positions itself as a strong contender in the competitive hybrid SUV market in Australia, blending performance, luxury, and advanced technology to cater to the modern family’s needs. With its comprehensive features and competitive pricing, the Santa Fe is set to challenge established rivals and appeal to a broad audience seeking a reliable, stylish, and efficient family vehicle.

 

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Genesis Australia Poised to Enter High-Performance Market with Magma Sub-Brand

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Genesis Australia Poised to Enter High-Performance Market with Magma Sub-Brand

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Genesis Australia is eagerly positioning itself to launch its new Magma performance sub-brand, aiming to compete directly with established high-performance divisions like Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi Sport. The Magma brand, unveiled at the New York motor show in March 2024, signifies Genesis’ commitment to performance models, starting with the G80 sedan in Middle Eastern markets.

While plans for the Australian launch remain preliminary, Justin Douglass, the head of Genesis Australia, expressed strong interest in bringing Magma to the local market, known for its appetite for high-performance vehicles. “The Magma range seems to resonate well with what we anticipate the market will welcome. We’re excited about the potential of introducing it here once available,” Douglass remarked.

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In Australia, performance models form a significant part of car sales, with AMG variants constituting about 28% of Mercedes-Benz’s overall sales in 2023, or approximately 6,808 units. Similarly, BMW M’s sales surged by 19.7% in 2023, with about 6,664 units sold, underscoring the market’s robust demand for high-performance cars.

Genesis aims to develop a high-performance Magma model for each vehicle in its current lineup, potentially introducing six models based on the G70, G80, G90, GV60, GV70, and GV80. However, the G90 large sedan, not available in right-hand drive, will likely be excluded from the Australian market, leaving five potential models for introduction.

Among these, the GV60 electric vehicle is a frontrunner to debut the Magma sub-brand in Australia. A concept version was showcased in New York featuring distinctive orange paintwork and performance enhancements. The GV60 Magma concept not only promises a more aggressive styling but also improved electric motor technology, offering a glimpse into the potential capabilities of a production model, which might parallel the mechanically related Hyundai Ioniq 5 N with its 448kW/740Nm output, significantly more powerful than the current top GV60 Performance Lux variant.

 

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Introducing the 2025 Ferrari 12Cilindri: A Bold New Chapter for V12 Enthusiasts

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Introducing the 2025 Ferrari 12Cilindri: A Bold New Chapter for V12 Enthusiasts

 

Keypoints:

  1. Enhanced V12 Engine Performance: The Ferrari 12Cilindri boasts an upgraded F140 6.5-litre V12 engine, delivering 610kW at 9500rpm—significantly enhancing its power and rev range compared to the 812 Superfast for faster speeds and superior responsiveness.
  2. Revolutionary Design and Aerodynamics: The 12Cilindri features a radically streamlined design with a monolithic bonnet, minimal cooling vents, and wrap-around headlights, complemented by advanced aerodynamics such as a speed-responsive twin-element active rear wing for optimal performance.
  3. Cutting-edge Interior Technology: The interior of the 12Cilindri is outfitted with three advanced displays and offers optional high-end features like a 15-speaker Burmester sound system, blending luxury with the latest technology for enhanced comfort and entertainment.

By Jeff Gibbs

In 2025, Ferrari is set to launch the 12Cilindri, its most ambitious V12 model to date, replacing the celebrated 812 Superfast with a vehicle that promises not only a continuation but an evolution of Ferrari’s illustrious V12 heritage. Unveiled at a glamorous event on Miami Beach just before the Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix, the 12Cilindri signifies a radical departure in design and engineering while paying homage to the iconic front-engine V12 configuration that Ferrari aficionados have long revered.

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Powering the 12Cilindri is the enhanced version of Ferrari’s storied F140 6.5-litre V12 engine, which first roared to life in the Ferrari Enzo and later powered models like the F12 and 812 Superfast. Through extensive modifications and updated internals, this engine now delivers a staggering 610kW at a dizzying 9500rpm. This represents a significant increase from the 812SF, pushing the boundaries of performance further with a rev limit that exceeds the previous model by 1000rpm. This elevation in power is complemented by a more accessible torque distribution, ensuring that 80% of its 678Nm is available from as low as 2500rpm, despite a slight decrease from the 812SF’s torque figures.

2025 Ferrari 12Cilindri Engine

2025 Ferrari 12Cilindri Engine

Aesthetically, the 12Cilindri strikes a distinct pose with a cleaner, more streamlined design characterised by a monolithic bonnet and minimal cooling vents, diverging sharply from the 812SF’s sculptural and vent-infused facade. The design features wrap-around headlights and, in the coupe version, a strikingly large glass roof, contributing to a bold reinterpretation of Ferrari’s design language.

The chassis of the 12Cilindri has been completely reengineered, utilising a new aluminium structure that is 15% stiffer than its predecessor, paired with a slightly shorter wheelbase but increased overall dimensions. This new framework supports advanced aerodynamic features, including a twin-element active rear wing, which adapts dynamically to speed variations to optimise performance.

2025 Ferrari 12Cilindri Interior

2025 Ferrari 12Cilindri Interior

Performance-wise, the 12Cilindri mirrors the impressive capabilities of the 812 Superfast, achieving 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 340 km/h. The Spider variant, while slightly heavier, boasts nearly identical performance metrics, ensuring that the exhilarating Ferrari driving experience is preserved across different model configurations.

Underpinning the mechanical prowess of the 12Cilindri is a suite of sophisticated systems designed to harness and refine the raw power of the V12. The introduction of an 8-speed DCT transmission from the SF90, enhanced for quicker shift times, and a comprehensive array of control systems including advanced four-wheel steering and a new evolution of the Side Slip Control, ensure that the 12Cilindri is as agile as it is powerful.

The interior of the 12Cilindri is a testament to Ferrari’s commitment to blending technology with luxury. The cabin is outfitted with three high-definition displays and offers customisation options like a state-of-the-art 15-speaker Burmester sound system, setting a new standard in automotive interior design.

Slated for European delivery in late 2024 with Australian deliveries expected by mid-2025, the 12Cilindri is poised to become a new benchmark in high-performance sports cars. Priced at EUR 395,000 for the coupe and EUR 435,000 for the Spider, it is set to continue the V12 legacy, providing an exhilarating blend of traditional Ferrari power and innovative design to the discerning enthusiast.

 

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