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Motoring News






 The Kia Sorento Hybrid model can be distinguished with reworked front end and unique designer alloy wheels

The Sorento has been a major part of the Kia playbook for two decades, with the fourth generation seeing the light of day in 2020 in petrol and diesel variants. Now the range has been topped up with petrol / electric hybrids.

Kia’s only seven-seat sports utility vehicle comes in the top GT-Line specification only, the straight hybrid version in front or all-wheel drive guise, while the hero model is a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle.

The common-or-garden hybrid Sorento kicks off the range with the front-wheel-drive variant selling for $66,750 before on-road costs. The all-wheel-drive version carries a $3000 premium, pushing the price up to $69,750. The plug-in hybrid Sorento is on sale from $80,330 before on-roads.

More spacious, more versatile with class-leading innovations wrapped in finely tailored style, says the maker, the new Sorento not only is the most high-tech Kia car ever made, but also leads the way in SUV design.


While retaining much of the Sorento family physical features, the Hybrid has evolved with a new interpretation of the trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille, with a wider shape wrapping around the integrated LED headlights on each side. This assertive nose is complemented by a wider lower air intake, incorporating wing-shaped air curtains to channel air around the car.


Quilted Nappa leather appointed seats (front heated and ventilated) set the theme for a cabin of quality materials and craftsmanship. Three-stage climate control air-conditioning means comfort all round for occupants, while a panoramic sunroof lets in light, while keeping heat at bay with a blind.

Finding a long journey on the boring side? Take time out to choose one of the 64 colours that bathes the cabin in ambient light, pick something from the Sounds of Nature soundscape, or just switch off entirely with the quiet of the passenger talk in-car intercom.

Connectivity is front and centre with a 10.25-inch colour multimedia touchscreen linked to

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 7-inch LCD instrument display carries range of system info.

The position of the touch screen on the centre dash of the test car had its problems, with air-con controls underneath easy to catch accidentally while resting the palm on working
the screen.

Audio is handled by a six-speaker system, while dual-zone air-conditioning keeps
occupants in relative comfort.

Customising is the name of the game with a 10.25-inch full colour touchscreen atop the centre console, plus a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster directly in front of the driver who also has a colour head-up display, including speedo and speed limits on the windscreen.

The touchscreen comes up with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, satellite navigation details, including a sharp map display, and access to the 12-speaker Bose audio.


The Sorento Hybrid is powered by Kia’s 132 kW / 265 Nm four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine combined with a 44 kW / 264 Nm electric motor, charging a 1kWh lithium-ion battery situated under the boot floor.

Power is put to ground via a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission and constant all-wheel drive.


The Sorento gained a five-star safety rating in 2020 and includes autonomous emergency braking with vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist detection, junction assist, lane-keep assist, lane follow assist (centring), blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert, parking collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control with stop and / go, front and rear parking sensors, driver attention alert, multi-collision braking and safe exit assist

As well as 360-degree view of the vehicle when parking and blind-spot assist, on activation of a turn indicator, the wide-angle surround view monitors will display live footage of other vehicles in your blind spots on the instrument cluster. It also helps wheels keep their distance from scuffing the sidewalk.

Passive safety is taken care of with seven airbags, including front-centre side.


“Children should be seen and not heard,’ as the saying goes (or went until the Baby Boomers were born). The Kia Sorento Hybrid has slipped quietly (literally) into Australia, harking back to those salad days.

And this well-bred youngster has brought a new purpose to the Sorento family, thanks to a sophisticated powertrain and some of Kia’s most advanced technology.

Setting off is under the auspices of the electric motor alone producing maximum torque on tap instantly. The petrol engine joins in tandem only when needed for added acceleration or under load.

These switches back and forth are so smooth as to undetectable to the driver. Indeed, the only indication that the car is acting only as an electric vehicle is by the letters EV displayed on the instrument panel. It is not possible to control these actions manually; they are automatic powertrain decisions.

Drive modes, such as ECO, Normal, Sport and Smart can be dialled up by means of a centre-console knob. I found Smart worked well for me. Kia claims a combined urban / highway patrol consumption of 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres. The test vehicle recorded 7.1 litres per 100 kilometres in the CBD and suburbs and 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres when let loose on the open road.

Anxiety about where the next battery charge is going to be is none existent as the engine and regenerative braking do that automatically. There is a petrol price premium here as opposed to the cheaper charging of the fully electric, or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Terrain Select is also on offer to help take care of tricky conditions off road in sand, mud, snow etc.

By activating the turn signal, the wide-angle surround view monitors will display live footage of other vehicles in your blind spots on the instrument cluster.

Loading is made easy by the hands-free smart power tailgate, which can be brought into operation by the key holder pausing behind the vehicle for three seconds for the tailgate to automatically open. There’s 187 litres of cargo space behind the third-row.

Fold these seats flat to increase space to 616 litres. With the second-row seats folded flat 2011 litres of space is freed up.


The Kia Sorento Hybrid may be a quiet achiever but it states a compelling case for being one of the best large seven-seat sports utility vehicles around.

Looks: 5/10
Performance: 6/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 6/10



S petrol $47,650

Sport petrol $50,270

S diesel $50,650

Sport diesel $53,270

Sport+ petrol $54,850

Sport+ diesel $57,850

GT-Line petrol $62,070

GT-Line diesel $65,070

GT-Line Hybrid FWD $66,750

GT-Line Hybrid AWD $69,750

GT-Line PHEV $80,330

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

SPECIFICATIONS (Kia Sorento GT-Line Hybrid 1.6L turbocharged, 4-cylinder petrol engine / electric motor, 1kWh lithium-ion battery, 6sp automatic, AWD SUV)

Capacity: 1.597 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 132 kW
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm

Fuel Type: Regular unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 5.8 L/100km

CO2 emissions: 133g/km

Electric motor: 44kW / 264 Nm

Combine Total: 169 kW / 265 Nm

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4472 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Width: 1841 mm
Height: 1574 mm
Turning Circle: 11.5 metres
Mass (tare): 1530 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres

Front: Disc
Rear: Disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres

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2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW




2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Debuts with 675kW


By Jeff Gibbs

Lotus has introduced the all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, a four-door electric ‘coupe’ poised to challenge high-end Porsche Taycan EVs and stake a claim in the burgeoning hyper-GT segment. Boasting an impressive powertrain and striking design, the Emeya is set to redefine electric luxury performance.

The flagship 2024 Lotus Emeya features a dual-motor powertrain delivering an astonishing 675kW and 985Nm of torque. This setup enables the Emeya to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, rivaling the performance of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. It achieves a top speed of 256km/h, facilitated by a sophisticated two-speed transmission.

Powered by a 102kWh lithium-ion battery, the Emeya supports ultra-fast DC charging up to 350kW, allowing the battery to recharge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. While Lotus has not yet disclosed the exact range, the fast-charging capability ensures minimal downtime.

The Emeya’s exterior combines bold lines and sharp angles, drawing inspiration from designs by Lamborghini and Fisker. It features a wedge-shaped silhouette, slimline exterior lighting, and a striking yellow and black colour scheme. Aerodynamic efficiency is enhanced by an active front grille, air-dam combination, and an active rear spoiler capable of generating over 215kg of downforce, supported by an active diffuser.

Inside, the Emeya continues its aggressive styling with deeply sculpted bucket seats, chunky door trims, a multi-layered dashboard, and a thick steering wheel. The minimalist digital instrument cluster is complemented by a massive 55-inch augmented reality head-up display (AR HUD) that projects crucial driving information onto the windshield.

During spirited driving, the AR HUD can be switched off in favor of a slim display on the dash, showing essential information only. The interior also features adaptive air suspension as standard and a ‘race-grade’ braking system, ensuring the vehicle can stop almost as quickly as it accelerates.

Lotus has incorporated sustainably sourced and recycled materials throughout the Emeya. The cabin includes repurposed fibres from the fashion industry, PVD aluminium, Alcantara, Nappa leather, and Ultrafabrics PU, reflecting a commitment to eco-friendly luxury.

Ben Payne, Vice President of Design at Lotus Group, commented on the Emeya’s debut: “This is a Lotus like you have never seen before. We’ve built on everything Lotus has achieved so far to create a luxury performance car for the drivers, designed to inspire confidence, exhilarate with raw emotion and pure joy – connecting them to the road.”

While customer deliveries have already begun in China, more details about the Emeya lineup, market availability, and pricing will be revealed in the next quarter. The launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, is expected in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya marks a significant leap forward for Lotus, combining blistering performance, cutting-edge technology, and sustainable luxury. As it prepares to enter the market, the Emeya is set to challenge established players like the Porsche Taycan, offering a compelling new option for enthusiasts of high-performance electric vehicles.


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Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted




2025 Toyota GR86

Finally, the Toyota 86 We’ve Always Wanted


By Jeff Gibbs

Toyota could be preparing a radical new version of its GR86 sports car, according to a report from the popular Japanese magazine Best Car, which is known for its well-placed sources in the Japanese auto industry. The new GR86 is expected to debut next year with significant updates that will bring it into direct competition with the Mazda MX-5.

Key Highlights:

  • Potent Powertrain: The new GR86 will reportedly feature the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the Yaris GR, paired with Toyota’s hybrid technology. This hybrid setup is claimed to produce more than 220kW.
  • Design Overhaul: The GR86 is expected to grow in size to accommodate the new engine and electric motor. Best Car’s digital render showcases a drastically redesigned front end with a three-tier lighting structure and a prominent bar running the length of the bonnet. The rear end features LED lighting running the length of the back, a prominent rear spoiler, and dual exhausts.
  • Upcoming Sports Car Revolution: Rumours suggest a new sports car revolution in Japan, with Toyota potentially preparing a new Celica and a micro S-FR. The new Toyota Celica is expected to debut at next year’s Tokyo Auto Salon in January. The mini S-FR sports car, believed to be developed in partnership with Daihatsu and Suzuki, will spawn new versions of the Daihatsu Copen and Suzuki Cappuccino.

Toyota GR President Tomoya Takahashi emphasised the importance of collaboration between companies for the future of sports cars. “The sports car market is shrinking. We cannot maintain sports cars as one brand, Toyota,” said Takahashi. “Collaboration between brands will increase in the future. We don’t know with whom we’re going to collaborate.”

The 2025 Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are set to redefine the sports car segment with their potent hybrid powertrains and innovative designs. As the market gears up for a new wave of high-performance vehicles, Toyota’s strategic collaborations and cutting-edge technology ensure that enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.


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2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record




2024 Lotus Emeya

2024 Lotus Emeya Sets EV Recharge Record


By Jeff Gibbs

The all-new 2024 Lotus Emeya, an upcoming electric super-sedan, has set a new benchmark in DC fast-charging technology. With its advanced 402kW peak charging speed, the Emeya can recharge its 102kWh battery from 10% to 80% in just 14 minutes.

Key Highlights:

  • Record-Setting Recharge Speed: The Emeya achieves a 10-80% top-up in just 14 minutes using a 400kW DC charger, maintaining an average charge speed of 331kW.
  • Rapid Range Addition: This translates to approximately 310km of added range in just 10 minutes.
  • Advanced Battery Technology: The Emeya’s cell-to-back battery structure incorporates a cutting-edge cooling system that significantly enhances thermal performance, surpassing many competitors.

Performance and Competition

The Lotus Emeya was tested against several high-profile electric vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW i7, Tesla Model Y, Genesis G80, XPeng G9, Hyundai IONIQ 6, Nio ET5, and BYD Atto 3. This testing highlights the Emeya’s superior charging capabilities, narrowing the gap between the time required to recharge an electric vehicle and refuel a conventional combustion-engine vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that recharging the Emeya for a 310km range still takes five times longer than refueling a combustion engine car like the Porsche Panamera, which takes about two minutes.

Among its competitors, the XPeng G9 was the closest, achieving a peak charge rate of 320kW but averaging around 233kW as it approached 80% capacity.

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

2024 Lotus Emeya Interior

Power and Speed

Designed to compete with the fastest electric vehicles on the market, particularly the Porsche Taycan, the flagship Lotus Emeya boasts impressive performance specs:

  • Acceleration: 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, matching the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
  • Top Speed: 256km/h.
  • Powertrain: Dual-motor setup delivering 675kW and 985Nm.
  • Transmission: Two-speed system for optimised performance.

Official Statements

Lotus Group CEO Qingfeng Feng emphasised the breakthrough in charging technology, stating, “With our industry-leading charging technology available today, Emeya pushes the boundaries for how an EV performs, providing drivers with the confidence to travel anywhere. We’re bringing an unrivalled driving experience in the ultimate grand tourer package, so drivers want to go electric.”

Launch and Availability

Customer deliveries have already begun in China, with the Lotus Emeya set to launch in right-hand drive markets, including Australia, in the second half of this year.

The 2024 Lotus Emeya not only sets a new standard for fast-charging electric vehicles but also promises exceptional performance and driving experience, making it a strong contender in the luxury EV market.


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