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Car news, June 21, ’24: China fights back with proposed tariffs for EU ICE cars, BMW’s 1 Series hatch will get an i1 electric sibling, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Friday June 21st 2024. Notably in car news today: Chinese automakers are proposing to add high tariffs for European ICE cars entering China in response to tariffs in the EU and USA, and BMW is developing an electric 1 Series, called i1, which will exist alongside its combustion sibling.

Browse this issue:

  • China planning to fight back against EU tariffs: report 
  • BMW 1 Series to go electric, likely to be called i1: report 
  • Hyundai announces 2025 pricing and upgrades for its Staria van 
  • Bugatti reveals first supercar, the Tourbillon, since the Chiron

Chinese automakers fight back against EU, propose tariff on large European ICE cars 

2024 MG4 XPower green rear badge
Chinese automakers, including MG, have had tariffs placed on them in several markets
  • Chinese automakers are planning a fight-back against the 38.1 percent tariff recently placed on their electric vehicles by the European Union. Reports from Car News China state they’re planning to put their own tariffs on large European combustion vehicles. 
  • Meetings have reportedly been called with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and four unnamed Chinese automakers to impose a strict 25 percent tariff on large European combustion vehicles imported into the Chinese market. 
  • Although still unconfirmed, this could mean that brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, Mercedes-Benz and BMW could have a much harder time in future when importing and selling vehicles in the Chinese market. 
  • Several Chinese brands, including BYD and MG, are already working against new tariffs by building production facilities in Europe. BYD is currently building a plant in Hungary and GWM is aiming to also build a plant in Europe very soon. 
  • According to Car News China, around 250,000 ICE cars with a 2.5-litre engine capacity or higher were imported into China during 2023. 

Next BMW 1 Series to go all-electric, use i1 name: report 

2025 BMW 1 Series duo front and rear angle shot
A fully-electric 1 Series is set to live alongside a combustion version
  • BMW is already readying to turn its 1 Series into an all-electric hatch, according to detailed reports from Autocar.
  • According to the UK auto outlet’s sources, the BMW 1 Series is set to take the nameplate i1, while the 2 Series will be called, unsurprisingly, the i2
  • However, BMW is set to sell the electric 1 Series alongside the combustion variants when they launch in the latter half of this decade.
  • The overseas reports also indicate that the upcoming Neue Klasse generation of BMWs will use two platforms, NBx for front and all-wheel drive, and NAx for rear– and all-wheel drive; the former of which will likely underpin the i1 and i2 models. 
  • As several automakers move away from the small car segment, BMW’s commitment to the segment is a strategic move we haven’t seen from some other key rivals. For instance, Mercedes-Benz has decided it will axe its A-Class small car in 2026. 
  • The news comes after BMW recently announced its fourth-generation 1 Series, which you can learn more about in our recent YouTube walkaround

Hyundai Staria gets 2025 update, prices start from $49,500

2025 Hyundai Staria side profile driving shot
The Hyundai Staria and Staria Load have been updated for 2025
  • Pricing will now start at $49,500 for the Staria and $46,740 for the commercial-focused Load model, both before on-road costs. Price of entry has increased by $500 for the Staria and a more significant $3500 for the Staria Load. 
  • Hyundai’s Bluelink connected services, rain-sensing wipers, next-gen key fob and additional USB-C ports have been added to the Staria lineup for 2025.
  • Both turbo-diesel and petrol V6 engines remain to be available for the 2025 Staria, however the more commercial-focused Load is offered in diesel only. The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel produces 130kW/430Nm, while the 3.5-litre V6 engine produces 200kW/331Nm
  • Standard Staria features include 18-inch alloy wheels, 8.0-inch touchscreen, 4.2-inch driver cluster, 16 cup holders, a leather upholstered steering wheel and wireless phone charging.   
  • The upgraded Hyundai Staria range is available now in Australia.  

Bugatti debuts its AUD$6.9 billion Chiron successor, the Tourbillon

2024 Bugatti Tourbillon side angle driving shot
This is the new Bugatti Tourbillon supercar
  • French luxury supercar maker Bugatti has announced its next model, the Tourbillon, to rival the likes of other ultra-luxury cars such as the Koenigsegg Gemera and the McLaren Senna
  • Powered by a giant 8.3-litre V16 engine, the Tourbillon also uses a hybrid-electric system that’s supplied courtesy of development partner and co-owner Rimac. 
  • The electric system consists of a 25kWh, 800-volt battery pack and three electric motors, which allows the Tourbillon to travel up to 60km in electric-only mode.  
  • Total system output for the Tourbillon is a significant 1342kW, with its claimed 0-100km/h sprint to be just two seconds flat.
  • In typical luxury Bugatti style, the instrument cluster has been designed with the help of Swiss watchmakers and is made up of more than 600 parts, while the centre console is finished in a mix of polished aluminium and glass. 
  • Only 250 Bugatti Tourbillons will be produced, with many already likely to be sold. 

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Monday 24th June at 4.30pm Sydney time.

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