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This week on Chasing Cars: BMW 2 Series unveiled, Lotus’ last combustion car and Volkswagen’s drift-ready wagon


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.

The almighty dual cab is a wondrous thing. Logically it makes sense, they can do pretty much anything and is well suited to our Australian landscape which feels downright apocalyptic at times.

We used to call dual-cabs unsafe, but when the Isuzu D-Max strolled into ANCAP last year and brushed off all the latest and toughest safety standards people paid attention and in June that paid off when it shot to the third best-selling vehicle in the country, making it a top three dual-cab lockout in Australia.

Lotus Emira 2022 rear 3/4
Lotus unveiled its last sports car powered by an internal combustion engine and it’s gorgeous

It’s great news for ute lovers, but for those who want to round corners a bit quicker, we saw BMW release full pricing for the M3 sedan and M4 coupe – while Genesis announced it would be adding a more sporting variant to the G80’s fleet.

But we also saw some huge names dropped this week in what either is or could be the final versions of some iconic cars with a combustion engine and you’ll find out all about them below.

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-7
The new 2 Series will keep its straight-six and rear wheel drive, much to the delight of fans

BMW unveils the next 2 Series:

With the iconic M3 sedan and M4 coupe launching to somewhat mixed reactions, the old M2 and wider 2 Series has been a lifeline for hardcore fans, so it was important the folks at BMW got the new one right.

So far the new 2 Series looks to be quite impressive with the car sitting on the same platform as the M3 and M4, and retains the classic combination of offering a six-cylinder engine with rear wheel drive. 

Sadly the manual has been ditched, though he could see that come back for the full-fat M2; buyers also now have the option of all wheel drive in the current top trim M240i xDrive.

Despite being trimmed in a stunning ‘Thundernight Purple’ hue the appearance has failed to resonate with many fans but we’ll have to wait and see if that actually correlates with sales.

Lotus Emira 2022 front 3/4 above
The Emira is available with a manual transmission and is purely rear wheel drive

Lotus Emira revealed

Grab your hanky and dab your eyes because what you’re looking at is the last sports car powered by an internal combustion engine car that Lotus will ever make.

They could just slack off and dress up an old Exige but they haven’t. Engineers have designed an entirely new platform made out of bonded aluminium and given it a stunning appearance that mirrors the all-electric Evija hypercar.

Emira buyers can choose between an AMG-sourced turbo four-pot mated to a dual-clutch or Lotus’ long-running supercharged 3.5L V6 with either a manual or torque converter automatic transmission. Both send power exclusively to the rear wheels.

It might look like a hypercar but it sure isn’t priced like one, and while we don’t have official pricing for Australia yet it will go on sale in the UK from £60,000 (AUD$110,700). Expect more information closer to when it goes on sale in Australia by July 2022.

Volkswagen Golf R Wagon 2022 front 3/4
Volkswagen unveiled the new Golf R Wagon which is more powerful and nimble and ever before

Volkswagen Golf R Wagon uncovered:

Wagon fans rejoiced this week as Volkswagen unveiled the Golf R Variant (known as the wagon here) and it sure didn’t disappoint.

Carrying the same upgrades as the hatch, the wagon will be a good amount more powerful than the last generation with 235kW of power and 420Nm of torque on tap.

That feeds into a seven-speed dual-clutch and a heavily revised all wheel drive system that has a multi-plate clutch pack on the back axle to distribute power more effectively between the rear wheels.

This tech has given the Golf a far more rear-biased nature which engineers have rejoiced by programming in a dedicated Drift Mode to help you do exactly that. Expect it here by February next year. 

Kia Sportage 2022 front
The new Kia Sportage has extensively upgraded the safety and tech features for its lastest generation

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • Looking specifically at SUVs, the Mazda CX-5 was the best seller overall with the Toyota RAV4 losing some ground while the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was the best selling ‘proper 4×4’ overall. 
  • Subaru had a big sales drop in June and it wasn’t because people didn’t want one but rather its been hit by stock delays stretching up to three months on the Forester, Outback and XV.