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This week on Chasing Cars: Toyota’s first EV, WRX STI Final Edition and EQS unveiled


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.

For many years people have been making predictions of a time when legacy car manufacturers would finally catch up to Tesla in their development of electric vehicles and it feels like it’s finally happened.

In yet another week of back-to-back EV announcements, it feels like every second car that is coming out runs on electricity, not petrol or diesel – even if they only make up less than one per cent of sales here in Australia the decision is being made for us it seems.

Mercedes-Benz EQB rect
The onslaught of new EVs continued this week with the new Mercedes-Benz EQB

Mercedes-Benz will bring the EQS sedan and EQB midsize SUV to Australia and even Toyota has finally rolled on its sleeves and announced it will launch 15 EVs before 2025. Talk about making up for lost time.

Outside of battery-related matters we saw Ford is bringing a plush new version of the Focus ST to Australia and BMW will bring the all-paw versions of its controversially-styled M3 sedan and M4 coupe.

Subaru WRX STI EJ25 Final Edition 2021 twin
Subaru announced the WRX STI EJ25 Final Edition which farewells the current generation and its iconic engine

Subaru WRX STI Final Edition 2021 unveiled:

While we wait for the brand new WRX to arrive at the end of this year, and the STI version to follow shortly into next year, Subaru has given us a special edition of the outgoing rex.

Nothing much has changed, save for some uber-cool gold 19-inch BBS forged aluminium wheels but the model marks the end of not just the current generation WRX that has been around since 2014, but the iconic EJ25 engine which has been around for a lot longer.

Call me nostalgic, but as a child growing up in the 00s it feels like a big moment, some would call the current WRX outdated but the kinder folk would say it’s one of the last remaining cars that retains a simplistic layout that actually provides mechanical feedback.

With rumors swirling around that the new all-paw four-door could arrive with anything from an all-electric drivetrain to a manual transmission we don’t know what to believe, but we won’t have to wait long now to find out.

Mercedes-Benz EQS 2021 front driving
Mercedes-Benz unveiled two EVs this week the EQS and EQB midsize SUV

Mercedes-Benz can’t stop releasing EVs:

Stuttgart is now announcing so many EVs it can’t even fit a week between them and we aren’t expecting them to slow down any time soon.

First was the EQS, which is pitched to replace the S-Class, which boasts some incredible range figures at 770km (WLTP) but sadly the same design that has seen it stamped as the world most aerodynamic car has also seen widespread comparisons to a computer mouse and the ninth-generation Honda Civic. Ouch.

Next on the order was the EQB, essentially an electrified version of the GLB, the new model retains the ability to seat up to seven people and still boasts a decent range of 419km.

Toyota bZ4X 2022 rear
Toyota unveiled its plan to roll out 15 new EVs by 2025 alongside the bZ4X concept

Toyota outlines EV future:

While Toyota has been hugely successful with hybrid technology it has taken until now for them to go all in on electric drivetrains.

The first one announced is the bZ4X concept which is a midsize SUV that will be coming to Australia in a production form. The bZ stands for beyond Zero which will be a new sub-brand under Toyota that will develop seven EVs before 2025.

Those new models will help make up a total of 15 EVs that will be built before 2025, with all sitting on a new EV architecture named e-TNGA platform.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Events E 300
Editor Tom Baker and I headed out on driving events with both Audi and Mercedes-Benz and gave a full rundown

Other car and SUV news that mattered this week:

  • Genesis announced its first electric car creatively named the Electrified G80. The large sedan looks to be quite a package with 427km of range and 272kW of power and 700Nm of torque on tap. Arrives early 2022.
  • Ford announced a new luxury version of the Focus ST is coming to Australia. For a bit over $3,300 extra you pick up a panoramic sunroof,  B&O stereo, heated seats and some smart headlights that can see corners coming.
  • In some truly outrageous news Hyundai denied us a ute this week, us! We invented the bloody things. While many tradies may have turned their noses up at the unibody Santa Cruz it looks to be quite the little performer but it remains left-hand drive only at this stage.
  • Maserati announced two new hybrids this week, starting with the Levante large SUV which actually cuts down on some weight and keeps its six-second 0-100km/h and yet will still save you money on fuel. Set to arrive by the year’s end.
  • But if you want a Maserati hybrid right now than the Ghibli Hybrid is already here, saving quite a bit of fuel over the twin-turbo six’, it’s also cheaper with a starting price of $139,990 before on-roads.
  • Alfa Romeo announced it will be shaking up the Stelvio range, starting with the introduction of the new Stelvio Sport grade that jumps up in price ($69,450 before on-roads) but is said to pack more bang for your buck than before with a slew of new features added.
  • Could future cars run on thin air? Well it’s a bit more complicated than that but a team at Newcastle University has managed to generate hydrogen out of the air without tapping into drinking sources – and also figured out a smart way to transport it around.