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Motoring News

Volkswagen ID.7 debuts with 700km range

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Volkswagen ID.7 debuts with 700km range

German giant’s biggest EV breaks cover; five-metre electric sedan to enter production this year

 Volkswagen is set to launch its first electric sedan this year, the 2023 Volkswagen ID.7. This new EV will join the ID.3 hatch, ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs, and the ID. Buzz van and people-mover. The ID.7 will be the first Volkswagen EV on the German car-maker’s MEB platform to use an electric motor developed in-house and will have up to 700km of EV range from its biggest 86kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It will launch in both Europe and China in the third quarter of the year, with North American release planned for next year. The ID.7 will be powered by a rear-mounted permanent-magnet synchronous motor and will be launched first as the ID.7 Pro, with a standard 77kWh (net) battery. Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed the more efficient new APP550 motor’s outputs, but they’re likely to be around 150kW and 310-320Nm – around the same as the entry-level ID. Buzz. The ID.7 will charge at 22kW AC or up to 170kW on a DC fast-charger, while the later-arriving 86kWh battery in the ID.7 Pro S will charge at up to 200kW. There is a new trick that automatically pre-conditions the battery on approach whenever the driver approaches a programmed-in fast-charger on the navigation system. The ID.7 will be the biggest sedan yet on the MEB EV architecture at 4961mm, which is longer than even the standard ID. Buzz by 249mm. It’s 377mm longer overall than the ID.4 medium SUV, plus 195mm longer in wheelbase and 10mm in width, at 1862mm wide. It’s also 1538mm high, so it’s no SUV, and its sloping rear roofline does not permit the rumoured third row of seating, so it’s stuck with five seats. The ID.7 will have a new climate control system with active vents, a new HUD and a new 15-inch multimedia display. It will also feature new massage seats, a 700-Watt Harman Kardon sound-system option with 14 speakers and a 16-channel amplifier, plus four pre-configured sound ‘packs’ including Pure, Relax, Speech and Vibrant. The ID.7 will also have a Level 2+ driver-assistance system called Travel Assist, which uses swarm technology to take control of the car at speeds above 90km/h, including autonomous lane-change manoeuvres. A memory function for the parking assistance system allows the car to self-park for up to 50 metres if it has driven that piece of road or driveway before. It can be controlled via a smartphone app, with the driver inside or out. The 2023 Volkswagen ID.7 is set to be a game-changer in the electric vehicle market, with its long range and innovative features. It will be a great addition to the Volkswagen ID lineup and will no doubt be a popular choice for EV buyers.

Volkswagen’s upcoming ID.3 hatch, ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs and ID. Buzz van and people-mover will get a more conservative, longer-range electric sedan brother this year with the launch of the 2023 Volkswagen ID.7.

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Boasting up to 700km of EV range from its biggest 86kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Volkswagen ID.7 will launch in both Europe and China in the third quarter of the year.

Volkswagen remains tight-lipped on when the ID.7 EV sedan will arrive in Australia, where the other VW ID models are confirmed for release by early 2024, but the big battery-powered sedan won’t hit North America until next year, when local production will supplement its German plant.

The Volkswagen ID.7 is the first Volkswagen EV on the German car-maker’s MEB platform to use an electric motor developed in-house and will court controversy by ditching the traditional instrument cluster.

Instead, it will deliver all of the legally mandated driver’s information through a standard, augmented-reality head-up display.

There is a small digital screen in front of the driver, but the ID.7 has a standard HUD to deliver speed and warning information, plus virtual projections of lane markings, road signs, including speed zones and turning information.

Drivers can use the multi-function steering wheel to customise the HUD display, which shows a projection that ‘feels’ around 3.5 metres in front of the vehicle, though the navigation information is typically 10 metres in front of the car.

Powertrain and charging

The 2023 Volkswagen ID.7 will be launched first as the ID.7 Pro, with a standard 77kWh (net) battery to power its rear-mounted permanent-magnet synchronous motor.

Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed the more efficient new APP550 motor’s outputs, but they’re likely to be around 150kW and 310-320Nm – around the same as the entry-level ID. Buzz.

Apart from a water heat-sink and an oil-and-water cooling system for thermal stability, there’s also a new inverter alongside the motor and the two-stage, single-speed gearbox on the rear axle.

Running a 400-volt electrical system, the ID.7 Pro charges at 22kW AC or up to 170kW on a DC fast-charger, while the later-arriving 86kWh battery in the ID.7 Pro S will charge at up to 200kW.

Volkswagen has not released charging times for either variant, but they will be much quicker than the ID.4, which maxes out at 135kW.

There is a new trick that automatically pre-conditions the battery on approach whenever the driver approaches a programmed-in fast-charger on the

navigation system.

The longer-range ID.7 Pro S has the same electric motor, so it ekes out another 85km of range, with Volkswagen claiming a WLTP figure of 700km – 190km more than the ID.4 and 220km more than the entry-level ID. Buzz.

Size and tech

The Volkswagen ID.7 will be the biggest sedan yet on the MEB EV architecture at 4961mm, which is longer than even the standard ID. Buzz by 249mm.

It’s 377mm longer overall than the ID.4 medium SUV, plus 195mm longer in wheelbase and 10mm in width, at 1862mm wide.

It’s also 1538mm high, so it’s no SUV, and its sloping rear roofline does not permit the rumoured third row of seating, so it’s stuck with five seats.

But most of the size is given over to interior space, with a 2966mm wheelbase that is about what you’d expect of a luxury limousine.

It also has its little brother covered for range, with the same 77kWh battery pack eking out another 105km of claimed WLTP range.

Volkswagen hasn’t claimed a weight figure for the ID.7, but the smaller ID.4 is 2123kg with the ID.7’s entry-level battery pack, so expect at least a hundred kilos added on.

It has adopted a handful of significant new safety technologies, including a Level 2+ driver-assistance system called Travel Assist, which uses swarm technology to take control of the car at speeds above 90km/h, including autonomous lane-change manoeuvres.

A memory function for the parking assistance system allows the car to self-park for up to 50 metres if it has driven that piece of road or driveway before. It can be controlled via a smartphone app, with the driver inside or out.

Interior

Unlike the ID.3 and ID.4, Volkswagen has gone radical with the ID.7 cabin, filling it with new technologies everywhere.

There is a new climate control system with active vents, a new HUD and a new 15-inch multimedia display – a near-free standing screen featuring a restructured MMI menu navigation, with a display divided into two permanently visible touch bars and a main home screen.

It runs everything from navigation to audio system and can be controlled via a new voice-assistant system that VW insists is more intuitive than ever.

The ID.7 also features new massage seats, which have 10 air cushions in the base and backrest, adaptive climate control and 14 adjustment options.

There will also be a 700-Watt Harman Kardon sound-system option with 14 speakers and a 16-channel amplifier, plus four pre-configured sound ‘packs’                                                                                    including Pure, Relax, Speech and Vibrant, though the equalizer can be individually adjusted.

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Revolutionary Electric GMC Hummer EV Ute Confirmed for Australian Market

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Revolutionary Electric GMC Hummer EV Ute Confirmed for Australian Market

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Electric vehicles are revolutionising the automotive industry, and the latest entrant to the electrified arena is the iconic GMC Hummer EV pick-up. With the first right-hand-drive conversion underway, Australia is poised to welcome this electrifying behemoth as part of a global export initiative.

The 2024 GMC Hummer EV pick-up, renowned for its rugged prowess and cutting-edge technology, is set to make its mark Down Under, thanks to a strategic partnership with Global Conversions based in the United Arab Emirates. As pioneers in vehicle conversions to right-hand drive, Global Conversions specialises in adapting vehicles predominantly sourced from the United States to meet the specific requirements of international markets.

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Under the skilled hands of Global Conversions, the Hummer EV pick-up is undergoing rigorous testing and evaluation following its transformation from left-hand drive to right-hand drive configuration. This milestone marks the commencement of a comprehensive export program spanning across 77 countries, with Australia positioned at the forefront of this ambitious endeavour.

Chairman Suresh Edirisinghe has affirmed Global Conversions’ commitment to producing the Hummer EV pick-up in right-hand drive, catering to the discerning tastes of Australian customers. Both the entry-level two-motor and the more powerful three-motor versions of the Hummer EV pick-up, equipped with all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering as standard, will be made available for Australian enthusiasts.

While exact pricing and availability details for the Australian market are yet to be disclosed, the US pricing for the two variants provides an initial insight. The base ‘2x’ two-motor version starts from $US98,845 ($AU149,879), while the higher-spec ‘3x’ three-motor version commands a price of $US106,945 ($AU162,062). These figures reflect the Hummer EV pick-up’s formidable capabilities, with the ‘3x’ variant boasting a staggering 745kW of power and a range of 613km between recharges.

Powered by General Motors’ cutting-edge Ultium battery technology, the Hummer EV pick-up promises blistering performance coupled with impressive efficiency. Its 800V architecture facilitates rapid charging, with up to 160km of range achievable after just 10 minutes of charging. These features position the Hummer EV pick-up as a formidable contender in the rapidly evolving electric vehicle landscape.

As Australia embraces the electric vehicle revolution, General Motors remains committed to delivering right-hand-drive vehicles tailored to local preferences. With the GMC Hummer EV pick-up poised to electrify Australian roads, the automotive landscape is set for a monumental shift towards sustainable mobility.

In addition to the Hummer EV pick-up, General Motors’ portfolio of electrified vehicles includes the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, slated for an Australian debut in late 2024. With a steadfast commitment to producing right-hand-drive vehicles, General Motors aims to cater to the evolving needs of Australian consumers while driving the adoption of electric vehicles in the region.

As the automotive industry embraces electrification, Australia stands at the forefront of this transformative journey, poised to embrace the future of mobility with open arms. With the impending arrival of the GMC Hummer EV pick-up, Australian enthusiasts can look forward to experiencing the thrill of electrifying performance, redefining the notion of rugged adventure in the age of sustainability.

 

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Genesis Australia expansion

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Genesis Australia expansion

 

By Jeff Gibbs

Genesis Australia is gearing up for an expansion of its product lineup, with the eagerly anticipated introduction of the GV90 SUV expected to be the brand’s next groundbreaking model. Following the unveiling of the Neolun concept earlier this year, the GV90 is poised to join Genesis Australia’s rapidly growing portfolio of luxury vehicles.

In a recent interview with Drive, Justin Douglass, head of Genesis Australia, revealed plans to bolster the current portfolio by adding at least one more model, with the goal of achieving a total of six models by 2030. While Genesis Australia boasts an impressive lineup, including the G70 and G80 sedans, the GV70 and GV80 SUVs, and the GV60 electric car, the absence of the G90 sedan is notable due to its exclusive production in left-hand-drive configuration.

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The forthcoming GV90 is expected to be a full-size seven-seat SUV, strategically positioned to compete with flagship models such as the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS. While details about the GV90 remain somewhat elusive, insights gleaned from the Neolun concept showcased at the New York motor show offer some tantalising clues.

It’s widely speculated that the production GV90 will be an electric vehicle, likely sharing size similarities with the Kia EV9. However, what sets it apart could be its underpinnings, potentially built on Hyundai Motor Group’s eM electric platform as part of the Integrated Modular Architecture system.
Production of the GV90 is slated to commence toward the end of next year, which could delay its introduction to the Australian market until 2026 or 2027. Additionally, Genesis Australia may explore the possibility of introducing a production sports car, hinted at by past performance concepts like the Genesis X Convertible concept.

While specifics regarding Genesis’ future plans remain closely guarded, there’s a growing likelihood of incorporating more hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains into the lineup, aligning with market demands and the brand’s evolving strategy. Douglass emphasised Genesis’ unwavering commitment to meeting customer expectations, hinting at potential developments that resonate with market trends and customer preferences.

 

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Electric Vehicle Sales in Australia See First Decline in Over Three Years Amidst Ongoing Hybrid Boom

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Electric Vehicle Sales in Australia See First Decline in Over Three Years Amidst Ongoing Hybrid Boom

 

In a notable shift in the Australian auto market, electric vehicle (EV) sales in Australia experienced their first downturn since late 2020, marking the end of a significant growth period. According to the latest industry figures, EV registrations dropped by 5% in April, with 6,194 units sold compared to 6,530 in the same month last year.

This decline interrupts a streak of substantial growth for EVs, which had seen consistent triple-digit year-on-year increases since early 2021. The slowdown began in the latter half of 2023, transitioning to more moderate double-digit growth rates. Year-to-date, EV sales are up by 32%, a decrease from the 46% increase recorded in the first quarter of 2024.

Tesla, a leading name in the EV market, saw a significant sales decrease of 44% year-on-year to 2,077 units, despite remaining the top-selling EV brand in April. The company has recently announced further price reductions for its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV in an effort to boost sales.

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Meanwhile, Chinese automaker BYD reported a 26% increase in year-on-year sales, driven by the new Seal sedan, though its Atto 3 SUV saw a substantial 63% drop in sales. Other newcomers to the Australian EV market, including models from Ford, Subaru, and Toyota, have yet to make a significant impact.

Hybrid vehicles, on the other hand, continue to see explosive growth. Hybrid sales surged by 195% in April 2024 compared to the same month in the previous year, with year-to-date sales of combustion-electric vehicles also up nearly 140%. Plug-in hybrids are enjoying a similar uptick in popularity.

Diesel vehicles have also shown positive movement, with a 14% increase year-to-date following a 22% rise in April. In contrast, petrol vehicle sales have remained relatively flat, showing a slight decrease in April.

This shifting landscape raises questions about whether April’s downturn in EV sales is an isolated incident or an early sign of Australia aligning with trends of declining EV sales observed in markets like the US and Europe.

 

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