Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

This week on Chasing Cars: WRX STI cancelled, GWM goes outback and why you STILL can’t order a GR Yaris


Welcome back to your weekly wrap up of car news and reviews, where we find all the best stories of the week and condense them down into one easy read

You’d have to think a cheeky smile appeared on the face of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week as she announced her slightly controversial $3000 EV subsidy, at a time when fuel prices are approaching $2.20 per litre.

The $58,000 cap means there are only six EVs that are eligible right now, but who cares about that, says Ms Palaszczuk – come get your discount or go pour a day’s wage into your fuel tank again. It’s a convincing argument to be sure.

2020 Audi S3 Sportback
This week we reviewed the new-generation Audi S3

As we ready ourselves to tick over into the second quarter of the year, we’ve begun to see more cars being launched. Pricing details for the Lexus LX 4WD were finally released and we were finally able to review the new-generation Audi S3.

Back here at the Chasing Cars office, we published our outback expedition where we put our GWM Ute long-termer to the test in some of Australia’s harshest conditions against the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max.

Subaru cancels the WRX STI

There was barely a dry eye in the office this week when Subaru announced it had cancelled the upcoming new-generation WRX STI as it focuses its attention on electrified endeavours in the performance realm.

Subaru Australia has offered WRX buyers a Build-A-Bear opportunity of sorts to construct a pseudo-WRX STI out of STI-branded performance parts but these are unlikely to bring the same kind of next-level performance the red badge is associated with.

Subaru WRX 2022 front 3/4 driving
Sadly the new-generation WRX will not be getting an STI version

Information out of America from a Subaru spokesperson suggests the new-gen WRX STI was killed off as it would have lived only for a very short period due to the rapid influx of strict new regulations – likely of the environmental kind. 

Still, the new-gen regular WRX will launch in Australia before July and it looks like a cracker with its new 202kW/350Nm 2.4-litre turbo-petrol flat-four and an entirely new chassis under the skin.

GWM ute goes outback

Can Chinese utes, like our GWM Ute Cannon-X long-termer, really cut the mustard in some of Australia’s harshest conditions?

It’s a question put to us frequently in the comment section on YouTube and is one we sought to answer when we took our GWM along with the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max deep into the outback. 

Deputy editor Nathan Ponchard was impressed with the general durability and performance of the top-spec GWM ute, especially considering it’s almost $30,000 cheaper than a Hilux Rouge.

We took our GWM Ute long-termer deep into the outback to put it to the test

There were some issues with aspects such as the front suspension damping and amateur lane-keep assistance system but overall it performed well over some seriously rough roads. 

While we were out kicking up red dust we filmed a separate review of the Toyota Hilux to discuss how this iconic dual-cab copes when the going gets tough.

Toyota GR Yaris orders remain on pause

Nine months after Toyota announced that no more orders of the GR Yaris hot hatch were being taken in Australia, the situation remains unchanged.

The pause was designed to help Toyota’s production arm catch up with the overwhelming demand, though parts shortages have made that difficult.

Toyota GR Yaris 2021 red wet weather
Overwhelming demand and limited supply has restricted availability of the GR Yaris

Progress is being made, however, with Toyota delivering an additional 400 units of the GR Yaris since the initial announcement in July 2022, making it a total of 2100 cars delivered to Australia since it launched. 

Toyota Australia has told Chasing Cars it is working to secure additional supply for the GR Yaris but the negotiations are ongoing. 

All the cars and SUVs we reviewed this week:

The BMW 128ti resurrects an iconic badge for the German brand that attempts to add a more playful nature to the F40 1 Series – a claim that we investigated in our review.

Until the new-generation BMW M2 arrives the M240i xDrive Coupe is the range-topping variant, so should you go for this AWD weapon or wait for the M division to work its magic?

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-8
The BMW M240i xDrive is currently the range-topping 2 Series

The Toyota RAV4 Cruiser has come in for a facelift just like the rest of the range, so does Australia’s most popular SUV still justify its reputation?

The BMW iX has just arrived in Australia to become the flagship electric SUV from the Munich brand and as John Law found, it’s a very accomplished vehicle … if you can get over its grille…

Other car and SUV news we covered this week:

  • Reports out of Japan are suggesting that Toyota is developing an eight-speed torque-converter automatic for the GR Yaris and GR Corolla that will arrive in 2024.