Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news, where we find all the bits that matter and condense them down into one easy read.
The manual transmission is dying and many sceptics would say that this is a good thing but I generally don’t have time for such people.
We also saw victories in other areas this week with Hyundai getting very close to confirming a Tucson Hybrid and rumours circulating that Mazda is developing a new rotary engine powered by environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel, incredible stuff.
As far as reviews go, we finally got our hands on the Genesis GV70 and reviewed some slick luxury sedans from Jaguar and Lexus but I’ll go into a bit more detail on that in a second.
Wait, haven’t we seen this before? Well yes.
Nissan released the Proto Z concept about a year ago and, after being wildly commended for its design, they decided to stick with it bar a few small changes and personally I think it’s bloody gorgeous.
What really caught the attention of enthusiasts, however, was the fact Nissan has managed to fit a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine under the bonnet, which makes 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque.
That’s more power than a Toyota Supra makes, and if our estimations are correct the Z will also undercut its BMW-developed rival by as much as $20,000 when it lands in Australia next year with an unconfirmed price of around $65,000 (plus ORC).
Buyers can pick from either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic, plus Nissan adds a mechanical locking differential at the rear on the top grade Z.
While it does sit on the old 370Z chassis, it features an interior packed full of modern amenities such as a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, Apple CarPlay and even important safety features such as rear-cross traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.
We knew the details for a while and now the Hyundai i30 N has gone on sale in Australia. Priced at $44,500 before on-road costs it’s a bit more expensive than before but it’s also faster, safer and features more tech for the daily drive.
The biggest change for the facelift however is the addition of the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic option that commands a $3,000 premium over the six-speed manual but is expected to become very popular.
Hyundai engineers have turned up the wick on the 2.0L turbocharged four-banger which now sends 206kW/392Nm to the front wheels, enough for the i30 N to get from 0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds when equipped with the DCT.
Inside we find a 10.25-inch centre touchscreen, wireless phone charger and optional N Light Seats which are trimmed in a combination of Alcantara and leather for a 2.2kg weight saving.
Competing with rivals such as the Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 in the popular luxury midsize SUV segment, we reviewed the brand new Genesis GV70 with the range-topping variant armed with a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6.
With a price of $83,276 (plus ORC) it’s not cheap but it does represent a great value buy compared to its competitors and with 279kW/530Nm at your disposal, this SUV is alarmingly fast.
The interior was also a lovely place to be with its gorgeous leather interior and 14.5-inch superwide touchscreen, though sadly Genesis has yet to add a wireless function for the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you’ll still be faffing about with cables.
It’s also very useful with plenty of backseat room for an SUV of this class and a handy 542-litre boot that can be accessed via the power tailgate. For more details, read the full review here.
Continuing our theme of big luxury sedans we had a look at the Jaguar XF this week and were delighted with how well it flowed along Australian roads and the improvements in build quality.
It only has a single grade in Australia priced at $102,376 (plus ORC) but we think it represents good buying compared with its rivals, offering huge amounts of space in the backseats and boot making it quite practical as well.
Taking a look at the flagship Lexus LS 500h (hybrid) this week, we found a glorious car with a silky 3.5L V6 combined with a strong hybrid motor that creatures a truly luxurious experience.
It’s a great car but we think the non-hybrid LS 500 makes more sense, and if you really love electric power take a look at the incoming Mercedes-Benz EQS.
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