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This week on Chasing Cars: Kona N unveiled, EV tax delayed and Lotus outlines future


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.

If previous weeks of back-to-back EVs and sensible SUVs are nourishment for the brain then this week packed with quirky performance cars has really been food for the soul.

Kicking off the week we saw rumours indicating the Toyota GR Corolla could get even more power than the GR Yaris, while Aston Martin announced it would make a car without a windscreen as a love letter to its most iconic race car.

Mini JCW 2021 rear 3/4 static
Mini gave us as full rundown on its characterful hatch and convertible range

Mini also gave us a full breakdown on its new hatch and convertible range covering everything from the 170kW JCW pocket-rocket to the fully electric and quite charming SE.

In some EV news, we also saw Nissan released the Leaf e+, which crams a bigger battery in the popular hatchback to achieve a decent range of 385km, while Hyundai’s N Performance division announced it would soon launch a car on its 430kW AWD-capable EV platform. 

Hyundai Kona N 2022 rear
Hyundai unveiled the Kona N which has to same 206kW powerplant as the i30 N

Hyundai Kona N unveiled:

We finally got our first official look at the Hyundai Kona N this week which should not only be a bit more useable than previous go-fast N cars but also an absolute hoot to drive.

Using the same oily bits as an i30 N, the Kona N runs on a 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine making 206kW of power and 392Nm of torque that is paired only to an eight-speed automatic which sends power to the front wheels.

While it’s sad there isn’t an all-wheel-drive option like on the upcoming Volkswagen T-Roc R, Albert Biermann, head of research and development at Hyundai said it was important that they keep the Kona N affordable – and we can’t really argue with that.

Lotus Evija 2022 drifting
Lotus outlined their future which will start with the ballistic Evija

Lotus outlines future 

Lotus has proven itself good at two things over the last few decades: making astonishingly fast cars and almost going bankrupt but never quite falling over the edge.

One of those things changed when Geely purchased it in 2017, and it’s unlikely to be the former. With the brand outlining its future that will begin with the utterly ballistic Evija with 1400kW of all-electric power.

In a bittersweet moment, Lotus said it would be building its final combustion-powered car on an all-new platform with a slew of engine choices – and none of them hybrids. It also looks to delve into the luxury market with an EV SUV – while an all-electric sportscar also looks to be on the cards. 

Peugeot 508 2021 plug-in hybrid
The EV Tax wars have continued as the NSW Government announced it would not introduce the tax until more people purchased EVs in Australia

EV Tax delayed

In some good news in an otherwise bizarre and genuinely baffling situation, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said he would not impose an EV Tax until there was a wider adoption of the technology in NSW – as he didn’t want to stifle the technology in its infancy. 

It seems Victoria missed the memo, that being a huge coming together by everyone from environmental groups to car manufacturers to point out that slapping an additional charge on an already expensive but important technology was a bad idea. 

Regardless, come July 1st Victorians will be paying 2.5 cents per kilometre for the privilege to drive an electric car. We’ve written a full breakdown on this issue as it gets a bit nerdy. 

Aston Martin V12 Speedster twin, front 3/4
Aston Martin unveiled the V12 Speedster which commemorates its most successful racing car the DBR1

Other car and SUV news that mattered this week:

  • Few things are as cool or as impractical as Aston Martin’s new V12 Speedster. Made to commemorate the original DBR1 that won the 1000km Nürburgring and Le Man in the same year!
  • In more Honda news, the company announced it would convert its entire lineup to electric and hydrogen drivetrains. Honda is set to release 10 EVs in China by 2025.
  • Alongside the petrol models Mini released details on the Mini SE, now available in two grades it got a slight bump in price to start at $55,650 (before on-road costs) with a huge list of customizable options. 
  • Ford announced a set of new Ranger models starting with a replacement for the Raptor known as the Raptor X which wears some extroverted styling and will arrive alongside the returning FX4 in July.
  • They’ll also be making a version based on the Levante, we don’t know what engines or specs these two will be putting out but expect them to be twin-turbo V6-based and very, very fast.