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Car news, 25 June ’24: Aussie orders open for new EV brand ‘Xpeng’, Smart #1 and #3 electric SUVs closer to local launch, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Tuesday June 25th 2024. Notably in car news today: the newest electric car brand to Australia, Xpeng, has opened orders for its G6 electric SUV, and Smart cars are coming back to Australia, with the help of Mercedes-Benz distributor LSH Auto.

Browse this issue:

Australian pre-orders open for the Xpeng G6 electric SUV

2024 Xpeng G6 electric SUV front 3/4 angle
This is the 2024 Xpeng G6 electric SUV
  • The latest electric vehicle brand for Australia, Xpeng, has announced it is now taking pre-orders for its G6 SUV
  • Local pricing is set to be announced in September, however those interested can now pre-order a car on Xpeng’s local website. A fully-refundable $1000 deposit is required, with deliveries expected to take place between October and December 2024
  • The G6 will be available with a standard or long range battery. Offered only in rear-drive guise, the G6 will be powered by a 190kW/440Nm electric motor and will have a range of 435km (WLTP)
  • A more powerful 210kW/440Nm G6 will also be available, but with a great range of 570km (WLTP). Battery size is 66kWh usable for the standard range and 87.5kWh usable for the long range. 
  • Standard equipment will include 20-inch Sport alloy wheels, power adjust driver and front passenger seats, an 18-speaker sound system, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen. 

Smart #1 and #3 SUV models detailed for future Australian release 

2023 Smart #1 small electric SUV front 3/4 static
The Smart #1 and #3 are nearing Australia
  • The Smart #1 and #3 electric SUVs are firming for Australia, with local buyers now able to register their interest for the quirky electric cars.
  • Smart became globally recognised in the late 1990s for its iconic microcar, the Smart Fortwo.  
  • Three variants are expected for the #1 and #3 models in Australia: Pro+, Premium and Brabus. Battery size for both models will be 62kWh usable capacity, with electric range to be as much as 435km (WLTP). 
  • The Smart range of vehicles will be distributed in Australia by LSH Auto, the dealership network currently selling Mercedes-Benz vehicles locally. 
  • Launch timing for the Smart #1 and #3 is yet to be confirmed. 

What to expect from Goodwood’s Festival of Speed 2024 

2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed MG centenary feature shot
Goodwood will this year celebrate 100 years of MG
  • The 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed is just two weeks away and this year will be celebrating most of all 100 years of the MG brand. Expect the Cyberster to be a pivotal point in this year’s event. 
  • The highly-anticipated Red Bull RB17 hypercar is also set to debut which has been designed by famed engineer Adrian Newey. It’s a bespoke creation, using a mid-mounted V10 engine. 
  • You can watch the entire livestream of the Goodwood FOS on Youtube at the link here. The event will take place from July 11 to 14, 2024.

Ford, Hyundai dominate at 2024 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 

2024 Ford Performance F-150 Lightning Supertruck front 3/4 driving shot
The Ford Performance F-150 Lightning Supertruck
  • Ford Performance was quickest up Pikes Peak in 2024, with driver Romain Dumas piloting Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric hill climb car to the top in 8:53.553
  • But the quickest time in 2024 didn’t beat the record set in 2023 by Dumas in Ford Performance’s Supervan 4 electric monster. That time was 8:47.682. 
  • Hyundai also sent one of its quickest EVs up the mountain, a Ioniq 5 N Time Attack vehicle, which topped the Exhibition class with a record time of 9:30.852. The Hyundai rocket was driven by Dani Sordo. 
  • Hyundai also sent a production Ioniq 5 N up the hillclimb of Pikes Peak, which set a best time of 10:49.267 without any modifications. 
  • The Pikes Peak hillclimb is a 12.42 mile (20km) event that ascends over 1438 metres with a grand total of 156 turns. The event has been running since 1916. 

Ford Ranger XLT V6 reviewed

Ford Ranger XLT V6 2024 driving side
Dylan Campbell reviewed the Ford Ranger XLT V6 this week
  • Chasing Cars contributor Dylan Campbell’s written review of the 2024 Ford Ranger XLT V6 was published, including his thoughts and feelings about Australia’s best-selling new vehicle.
  • Reviewer Campbell found the Ford Ranger XLT to have many positives, including excellent driver assist systems, punchy turbo-diesel V6 power and hard-wearing, comfortable interior. Campbell said with complete confidence that the Ranger is “still our market’s best ute”.
  • In terms of things that could do with some further work and refinement, Campbell noted that increases to the vehicle’s price, some general engine inefficiency, slow and cumbersome steering and unrefined all-terrain tyres were areas to improve.
  • All in all, Campbell concluded that the Ranger XLT V6 “mixes mod-cons with workhorse in just the right way”, feeling “neither too posh nor too spartan”. Reviewer Campbell also said that there is “something satisfying and effortless about the V6’s power and torque” and that the model is still the benchmark dual-cab ute.

READ: Link to written review

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Wednesday 26th June at 4.30pm Sydney time.