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Ford F-150 Lightning unveiled, Isuzu MU-X detailed and Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA reignites the passion


Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news where we find the bits that matter and condense them down into one easy read.

Isn’t it sad when interesting things happen but you’re not invited to the club? 

Living on a little island with a small right-hand-drive market I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still made me a little sad when Ford denied us the F-150 Lightning – which means tradies everywhere were likely in a state of abject panic.

Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series 2021 rear
Lexus was one of a few manufacturers to five us a some very special editions with the LC500 Inspiration Series

Thankfully that wasn’t the case for all brands. We actually got access to quite a few niche limited edition cars from Jeep with their 80th Anniversary models and Lexus with the LC 500 and of course Alfa Romeo with the GTA that looks to live up to its nameplate.

In some electric news we saw Kia launch the Niro small SUV and Hyundai said it was giving serious thought to putting a hydrogen-electric drivetrain in….. a boat? Yup.

Ford F-150 Lightning 2022 work site
Ford announced the F-150 Lightning which is the brand’s first fully electric ute

Ford F-150 Lightning unveiled

It might not impact us much in Australia but the fact remains the F-150 is North America’s best selling vehicle – and therefore making it one of the best selling vehicles in the world.

So the news that an electric version is coming was a big deal, especially when it would come with up to 483km of range (EPA), 150kW charging speeds, a 4.5-tonnes towing capacity and a starting price of around $50,000 in Australian dollars.

What’s more, the plus-sized ute looks really to launch into a market of its own in 2022 with no other fully electric full-size utes available on the market from major brands – and the Tesla Cyber truck continues to spin its wheels with delays. 

Isuzu MU-X 2022 pair
Isuzu partially unveiled the MU-X which will bring unprecedented safety to the brand

Isuzu MU-X sneak peek

One of Australia’s most loved seven-seat SUVs – that can actually handle itself off road – was partly unveiled for the Australian market this week and the news was good.

For starters, we found out that Australia would be getting an extensive safety suite which Isuzu says will go even further than the D-Max ute did, which should make it a lot safer than many of its aging rivals.

The MU-X has been given a solid redesign on the outside and looks a lot better for it (in our opinion) and will come standard with crisp LED headlights and snazzy features on the inside like a nine-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay.

Keen to snap one up? I’d get in now as Isuzu are giving away a Limited Edition Isuzu Ute-branded Casio G-Shock Watch to the first 1,500 registered buyers.

Alfa Romeo Guilia GTA 2021 pair
Alfa Romeo promised 18 units of the Guilia GTA and GTAm but all have been sold

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA renews the faith

Call us tragics but there was something about the new Giulia GTA that really lit a fire under us this week as it seems we’re not alone as all 18 units found buyers almost instantly. 

Alfa has cooked up two versions with the GTA cutting its weight and bumping power up by 22kW to 397kW with the weight cut down a fair bit, while the GTAm went the whole hog and ripped out the backseat, put in a roll cage and fire extinguisher. 

Both have a heap of panels replaced with carbon offerings while Alfa’s Sauber Formula One fitted a range of aerodynamic parts, with the GTAm scoring a huge rear wing and adjustable carbon from splitter.

Mercedes-Benz S580 L 2021 front
Mercedes-Benz unveiled a V8 option for the S-Class and the new Maybach version

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • What’s better than a silky S-Class that continues to take the luxury game forward? An S-Class with a huge twin-turbo V8 making 370kW of power and 700Nm of torque of course. Set to launch late this year.
  • Kia launched the Niro small SUV this week in both a traditional hybrid and also a plug-in hybrid form. Sitting on the same platform as the Hyundai Kona the Niro is a little bit bigger inside and starts from $39,990 (before on-road costs).
  • Lexus announced the LC 500 Inspiration Series was coming to Australia on a strict order-only basis, with less than five expected to arrive. Lexus has added a specially designed spoiler with wingtips that smooth out disruption and make the car more nimble.