Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Car News, 12 Mar ’24: Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale in Australia, Porsche debuts new Taycan Turbo GT, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Tuesday March 12th 2024. Notably in car news today: Kia has launched its Sportage Hybrid, and Porsche pulls the covers off its most powerful Taycan yet, the Turbo GT.

Browse this issue:

Kia Sportage Hybrid priced for Australia 

  • The Kia Sportage Hybrid is now arriving in Aussie dealerships, with the brand announcing pricing for what will be available in two grades, the SX and GT-Line.
  • The cheaper SX grade will cost $45,950 before on road costs, while the high-spec GT-Line will command $55,420 before on road costs, meaning that we can expect driveaway pricing around the $50,000 and $60,000 mark respectively.
2024 Kia Sportage Hybrid GT-Line rear 3/4 static shot
The Kia Sportage Hybrid will start from $45,950 before on road costs
  • Powered by the same 1.6-litre turbo-charged petrol-electric hybrid system as the bigger Sorento hybrid, the Sportage hybrid features a small 1.49kWh battery and comes exclusively with front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic. Total power outputs are 169kW and 350Nm
  • Importantly, Kia says the hybrid will deliver a fuel consumption figure of 4.9L/100km. While this is expectedly the most efficient figure of the range, the hybrid variants will command price premiums of $3000 and $8400 over the combustion versions of the SX and GT-Line variants respectively.

The Kia Sportage Hybrid 2024 is here to take on the Toyota RAV4. #kia #kiasportage #hybrid #suv

♬ original sound – Chasing Cars | Car Reviews

Porsche debuts most powerful production EV, the Taycan Turbo GT

  • Porsche has revealed its most powerful-ever Taycan electric car, with outputs now reaching up to 815kW in ‘Overboost’ mode. Torque has been rated at a huge 1340Nm. 
  • With revised electric motors, the Taycan Turbo GT can sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 2.3 seconds, or just 2.2 seconds with optional Weissach Pack. 
2024 Porsche Taycan Turbo GT Weissach Sky Purple Metallic side angle driving
The Porsche Taycan Turbo GT can hit 100km/h in as little as 2.2 seconds
  • Key specification highlights include an aggressive-sounding Attack mode, a 75kg weight reduction (compared to the existing Turbo S), CFRP bucket seats, 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels, ceramic brakes and a new adaptive rear spoiler. 
  • The Weissach package adds a fixed wing that can provide up to 220kg of downforce and a further 70kg weight reduction due to deletion of rear seats for a total racecar-like experience. 
  • Australian pricing for the Turbo GT has been confirmed, with both Weisach and non-Weissach cars costing $416,600 before on-road costs, or roughly $81,000 more expensive than a combustion Cayman GT4 RS.
  • The first Turbo GTs will arrive down under from mid-2024. 

The fastest Porsche Taycan ever has arrived! Turbo GT 2024 does 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 2.2 seconds. #porsche #taycan #ev

♬ original sound – Chasing Cars | Car Reviews

Audi reveals facelifted A3, but Australia misses cool Allstreet variant

  • Audi has confirmed it will release a subtly facelifted version of its A3 hatchback and sedan in Australia by late 2024. Updates centre around refining lighting technology and enhancing interior materials while maintaining the A3’s signature crisp styling.
  • Controversy arises with the introduction of subscription-based features such as adaptive cruise control and Apple CarPlay, potentially requiring separate purchases through an app store – at least in Europe. Traditionally, such features are included in the base price.
Audi A3 2024 allstreet python yellow exterior
The facelifted Audi A3 is coming to Australia but the uber-cool Allstreet version is not
  • Notably, the Australian market won’t receive the A3 Allstreet variant, a rugged version that mimics SUV design cues with increased ground clearance.
  • Engine options for the Australian market are expected to remain similar to current offerings, with the 35 TFSI acting as a base model, supplemented by other alternatives. Upgrades extend to technology and interior features, including upgraded matrix LED headlights and Amazon Alexa assistance.

READ: Audi A3 2024 facelift to arrive in Australia late in the year

New Mercedes-AMG E53 six-cylinder hybrid revealed with E63 S power

  • Mercedes-AMG has pulled the covers off its latest plug-in hybrid performance car – the new E53 Hybrid 4Matic+.
  • It features a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo-petrol engine delivering 330kW and 560Nm, mated with a 120kW/480Nm electric motor. Total system power outputs are 430kW/750Nm.
  • It can, however, deliver a maximum burst of 450kW when using Race Start launch control available as part of the optional AMG Dynamic Plus package. That makes for a 0-100km/h sprint of 3.8-seconds. The sprint time drops to 4.0-seconds without this feature.
Mercedes-AMG E 53 HYBRID 4MATIC+ 2024 sedan and wagon
The Mercedes-AMG E 53 will be sold globally as a sedan and wagon
  • The vehicle has a 28.6kWh gross battery under the boot floor with 21.2kWh usable capacity (some energy reserved for boost under high performance driving). Mercedes also says it can travel up to around 100km on pure electric power. 
  • The new E53 will better the current E53’s outputs significantly, bringing power figures in line with the current range-topping E63 which features a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 delivering 450kW/850Nm. There isn’t any official word on whether it will continue into a new generation.
  • Australian arrival timing for the new E53 has not yet been confirmed, with the new sixth-generation non-AMG E-Class lineup expected in Australia in the coming months. 

Porsche to add 48-volt to 911 in 2025: report

  • Stuttgart’s performance car maker Porsche is preparing for a 992.2 update which, according to Car and Driver, is very likely to use a 48-volt system for its iconic model for the very first time. 
  • Set to go on the market as early as next year, the Porsche 911 will continue to have a flat-six engine, but with an integrated starter-generator running off a 48-volt system. 
  • After 2025, it’s expected that the 911 will gain a more extensive hybrid system, which Car and Driver has reported will likely be called T-HEV. 
Porsche 911 Carrera T 2023 rear driving
Porsche will soon at 48-volt technology to the 911 for the first time, according to reports
  • The electric system is said to be developed in collaboration with Rimac, who currently builds the electric Nevera supercar. 
  • The 48-volt system is expected to use a small 2kWh battery pack that can be replenished thanks to either regen braking or the petrol flat-six engine.
  • Expect more news on Porsche’s hybrid future for the 911 very soon.  

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Wednesday 13th March at 4.30pm Sydney time.