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This week on Chasing Cars: EV sales double, Rivian spotted down under and AMG muscle reviewed


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

After a brief period of calm, it seems we’ve once again found ourselves drowning in EV news and it serves as a good lesson in staying on your toes.

While Jeep is still considering a hybrid in its local lineup we got the huge shock that Rivian could go a step further and bring its EV dual-cab ute and SUV lineup to Australia.

Rivian R1S side 2022 new watermark
Hello stranger? Could this Rivian R1S spied at a Sydney airport be the next EV to come to Australia?

And it’s not like it’s a huge gamble either, despite EV sales making up a pittance of total car sales those numbers are rapidly changing and aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

Away from EV news, we took a look at what’s going on with the Toyota GR 86, wept over the tragic case of the hardcore Ford Focus ST and even dreamt up some renders of some Toyota’s that we think should get the GR treatment next, so let’s get into it.

Mercedes-Benz EQA 2021 side profile
EV sales have doubled since 2020 and are expected to continue this aggressive growth

EV sales double in Australia

The EV Council released a report this week showing EV sales had doubled from a 0.78 per cent share of the market in 2020 to 1.57 per cent as of August – and these are conservatives estimates.

What’s more, the sales are expected to double again before the year is out with the number of EVs for sale in Australia set to climb from 31 to 58 next year.

Many previously announced EV incentives, such as stamp duty omissions, are about to come into effect in some states which could spur this growth even further.

We’ve also seen the price of multiple EVs already on sale drop notably, including the Hyundai Kona Electric which now has a $7,500 cheaper price of entry than before.

Rivian R1T 2022 front new watermark
Chasing Cars exclusively spotted this Rivian R1T being unloaded at Sydney airport

Rivian spotted down under

This week we got our hands on some very telling images from Sydney airport that showed a Rivian R1T dual-cab ute and Rivian R1S seven-seat SUV being unloaded from the plane out of the U.S.

The rapidly growing startup has previously expressed interest in expanding to Australia before so it’s safe to say these two models are likely being tested for our market.

It may be some time until customers can get their hands on one, however, as Rivian is yet to launch its cars in its home country or in Europe, who will welcome the EV duo in 2022.

For now, we’ll wait for official confirmation but the signs look incredibly promising to say the least.

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S 2021 blue rear end
This week we reviewed the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S which is a truly savage machine

Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S reviewed 

Do you want a car that sits at the extremes of just about everything? If you answered yes, or perhaps wanted to, then the AMG GLE 63 large SUV may be the right SUV for you.

It’s noticeably more subtle than some of its siblings such as the GLS or the G-Wagon but it’s not short on punch with its absurd twin-turbo 4.0L V8 putting out 450kW of power and 850Nm of torque. 

The model we picked up was also fitted with relatively ‘small’ 21-inch wheels that offered a good blend between the firmer shocks required for high cornering speeds and offering a comfortable ride every day.

It’s not cheap to run or buy but that’s unlikely to change your mind if you are already considering this car, and thankfully it has a pretty impressive five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty in comparison to rivals at BMW and Audi.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2022 front 3/4 beach
Mitsubishi released the full details on the Outlander this week which now starts from $34,490 (before on-road costs)

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • Over in NSW, the government promised it would backdate the financial incentives for purchasing an EV in the state if it failed to pass the legislation by September 1 due to Covid-19 related issues.
  • Ford released the Focus ST Edition in Europe this week which targets the enthusiast with preloaded adjustable suspension and lighter alloy wheels but sadly it isn’t coming to Australia.
  • While less likely to be built we also want to see a Toyota GR HiAce so we’ve done up a render of that as well and the potential powertrain options of such a vehicle are fascinating.
  • The very swish Range Rover Velar is getting a small update next year with additions such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with increased customisation options for buyers. 
Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2021-17
John Law reviewed the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack which he said goes like hell but could be a little nicer inside

Other cars we reviewed this week:

Over on our YouTube channel, Nathan Ponchard covered the charming Alfa Romeo Stelvio and talked about why it might suit some buyers who want to stand out from the crowd.

Tom Baker hopped into the funky Citroen C5 Aircross which offers a very unique look matched with strong comfort and practicality benefits that you may not expect.

John Law reviewed the refreshed top-spec Honda CR-V VTi-LX which kicks some real goals with its huge interior space but is let down by its interior tech and lack of a hybrid option. 

Moving onto the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 162TSI, John praised its torque turbo engine but noted it felt more ‘base model’ than it should with the cheap interior plastics found inside.