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Car news, 8 Apr ’24: Tesla reportedly scraps its budget EV project, Peugeot 2008 facelift arrives in Australia, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Monday April 8th 2024. Notably in car news today: Tesla has reportedly put a stop to developing a budget-focused EV, and Peugeot launches the combustion-powered 2008 SUV in Australia, starting from $39,990 before on-road costs.

Browse this issue:

Tesla scraps development of more affordable electric car: report

Tesla has reportedly cancelled its planned affordable small EV
  • Tesla has reportedly cancelled its smaller ‘cheap’ electric car, widely referred to as Model 2, according to articles by Reuters
  • Instead, it’s been said Tesla is instead going all in with its autonomous Robotaxi program, which is set to debut on August 8. 
  • Previously, Tesla was aiming to build a small EV in its Texas gigafactory starting from around 2025 with an estimated price tag of around USD$25,000, or roughly AUD$38,000.  
  • Tesla is beginning to face several challenges competing with Chinese automakers such as BYD, GWM and MG, all of which have been able to release several models in Australia for less than $40,000 before on-road costs.  
  • Elon Musk has since responded to the original Reuters article on his X platform, with the Tesla chief saying “Reuters is lying (again)”, but did not clarify any further. 

Peugeot launches facelifted 2008 in Australia, pricing confirmed 

2024 Peugeot 2008 facelift front 3/4 static
The facelifted Peugeot 2008 SUV has landed in Australia
  • Peugeot Australia has announced the facelift for its 2024 2008 SUV, with the revised electric E-2008 to arrive at a later date. 
  • Priced at $39,990 before on-road costs for the base Allure grade and $44,490 before on-road costs for the GT grade, prices are up by $1045 for the Allure and $1093 for the GT. 
  • Standard Allure equipment includes a 10.0-inch touchscreen, a 10.0-inch digital cockpit, LED headlights, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, fabric seats and automatic climate control. 
  • The top-spec GT adds features such as wireless phone charging, satellite navigation, leather steering wheel and Alcantara/leather seat upholstery, adaptive LED headlights and front seat heating. 
  • Powering the Peugeot 2008 is a 1.2-litre petrol three-cylinder engine with 96kW/230Nm. The facelifted 2008 is now available in Australia.  

Lexus LBX Morizo RR “highly likely” for production

2024 Lexus LBX Morizo RR concept front 3/4 driving shot
The Lexus LBX Morizo RR is highly likely to go into production
  • A high-performance ‘Morizo RR’ concept version of the new Lexus LBX small SUV revealed earlier this year looks like it has a strong chance of making its debut on Aussie roads.
  • Speaking to Chasing Cars and other media at the recent Australian launch of the new LBX, Lexus Australia CEO John Pappas said: “if that [Morizo RR] became available as a production car and it was confirmed, we’d definitely be putting our hands up for it”.
  • Asked how likely it was that the Morizo RR concept would go into production, Pappas said “highly likely [for production] but not confirmed” for the small SUV which features the same 1.6-litre turbo three-cylinder from the Toyota GR Yaris and GR Corolla, mated to an eight-speed automatic and full-time all-wheel-drive system delivering 224kW and 400Nm.
  • However, a recent promotional video featuring Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Akio Toyoda, driving the concept around the Fuji Speedway last year, suggests production is a done deal, with Toyoda explaining that “this one will be next year [2024]”, meaning the GR-powered LBX could be produced sooner than anticipated.

Renault Captur gets deep facelift, due in Australia in 2025 

2024 Renault Captur facelift front 3/4 static
The new facelifted 2024 Renault Captur
  • Renault has pulled the covers off its latest iteration of its Captur small SUV, which is expected to launch in Australia during 2025
  • Along with a freshly-redesigned front end, the Captur also gains an updated 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and slightly larger 10.4-inch central touchscreen. 
  • In terms of powertrain, things have been carried over from the pre-facelift, which means the Captur will continue to be powered by either a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 66kW, or a 48-volt mild-hybrid assisted 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 103kW
  • An E-Tech 1.6-litre hybrid will also be available, and produces a combined 107kW and uses a small 1.2kWh battery pack.
  • Expect more local information and spec in the coming months for our Australian market.  

BMW 520i 2024 reviewed

BMW 520i 2024 driving front
The 2024 BMW 520i
  • Chasing Cars contributor Dylan Campbell’s review of the 2024 BMW 520i was published in which he provided an in-depth analysis on what could be the dynamic sweetheart of the new 5 Series range.
  • While the electric versions have stolen the show, Campbell found that the petrol base model delivered a capable chassis with proper driver appeal, strong efficiency and refinement, as well as a luxurious cabin and a superbly calibrated driver assist system.
  • In terms of negatives, Campbell noted the high $126K as-tested asking price, lack of front row storage and the lack of tangible buttons amongst other areas.
  • However, overall Campbell walked away from the 520i smitten by it as an incredibly refined all-rounder that was also a ‘nicer to drive’ alternative to an SUV.

READ: BMW 520i 2024 written review

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Tuesday 9th April at 4.30pm Sydney time.

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