We thought it was at least five-ish years away but I think right here, right now, we are seeing the beginning of the end for the combustion engine – at least for accessibly everyday cars.
The reasoning is it costs money to make a new ICE car, and it costs even more if you want to make a good one and, frankly, all that cash is being dumped almost entirely into the EV space right now.
Skoda CEO Thomas Schafer outlined this exact fact this week as he regrettably stated a Fabia RS hot hatch was unlikely to happen this generation as it was hard to justify as the company shifted towards electrification.
Lexus had similar reasoning when announced it had to kill off several models in Australia this week as it stared down the barrel of an EV future that is coming faster than we thought.
That’s not to say it’s all bad news for those who enjoy the suck, squeeze, bang and blow symphony; with the Navara Warrior, facelifted Volkswagen Polo GTI and the stripped out Jimny Lite all coming to Australia.
So as we head towards an electric future at a pace faster than some are comfortable with and much slower than others would hope – we can’t say it was slim pickings before the sun finally set.
Top-to-bottom Aussie manufacturing may be long gone but with an immense amount of talent still available, it’s no surprise we keep seeing locally tuned models like the new Navara Warrior.
We haven’t driven it yet but it looks to be bloody good and the folks at Aussie tuning house Premcar promise it will be the toughest Navara yet.
Backing up this claim is the fitment of a winch compatible bullbar and wider 275mm Cooper Discoverer all-terrain rubber matched with some fender flares that give the Navara an extra 30mm in width.
Most importantly, the engineers have fitted a 3mm bash plate at the front and suspension that sits 40mm higher and can take a right beating when you go off road.
In undeniably the worst news this week, Lexus Australia has been forced to cut the IS sedan, RC coupe and CT hatch from its lineup.
While Lexus didn’t expand on why it cut the RC and CT from the lineup, they said the IS sedan had to go due to issues with a new Australian Design Rule that relates to side impact protection.
Australia has introduced this rule some three years ahead of the European market, while Japan and the US haven’t even set a date yet, so it would be difficult to justify reengineering the IS purely for our market.
Driving this point home further is the fact Lexus is prepared to launch its EV lineup that will shape its entire future, with the UX 300e small SUV the first to make it to our shores.
The Skoda Enyaq iV SUV has now made its debut in the European market and this week we found out what will follow.
Tom Schäfer, Skoda’s CEO, said the funky midsize SUV would be followed by three new EVs and while he didn’t specify what those models would be he said there was an appetite for an electric Octavia and small car – but ruled out an EV Fabia so it will likely be something a bit larger like the Scala.
While EV’s may be the future, Mr Schäfer refused to name a death date for the ICE models with the main reason likely to be the company’s expansion into the Indian market where an EV infrastructure is still lacking.
Mr Schäfer said the company is well prepared to support ‘both sides’, meaning both ICE and EVs, as the company takes on a world running at different speeds.
And that’s all for this weekly’s wrap up, see you next time!
Car news today: new Triton reviewed, Maserati GranCabrio unveiled, and an electric Audi TT replacement – 1 March 2024
Car news, 29 Feb ’24: Infiniti QX80 previews future Patrol look, Renault in talks to build EVs with Volkswagen, and more
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