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Car news, 20 Mar ’24: Electric Isuzu D-Max ute revealed, Ford working on affordable EVs to rival Tesla, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Wednesday March 20th 2024. Notably in car news today: Isuzu has shown its electric D-Max prototype ute set for Australia in 2025, and reports indicate that Ford has a team working on a new electric vehicle platform. 

Browse this issue:

Isuzu electric ute is confirmed for Australia

2024 Isuzu D-Max BEV concept prototype front 3/4
This is the 2024 Isuzu D-Max BEV prototype
  • Isuzu Ute has shown a prototype of what will be the brand’s first electric ute, and has been confirmed for right-hand drive markets including Australia.
  • Called the D-Max BEV, the ute will use two electric motors to produce total system outputs of 130kW/325Nm
  • Although that’s down on the current diesel outputs of 140kW/450Nm, Isuzu says the ute will still be able to tow 3500kg and have a maximum payload of 1000kg
  • The ute is set to be powered by a 66.9kWh lithium-ion battery pack, however range has not yet been disclosed.
  • The D-Max BEV is set to launch in Australia during 2025

Ford working on smaller affordable EVs – report 

Ford Explorer EV front badging
Ford is working to build several new cheap EVs on a new platform
  • Ford is reportedly working on several new electric vehicles that will be better suited to compete with cheaper Chinese cars.
  • According to Bloomberg, a team of fewer than 100 people at Ford are developing a new electric platform, from which a compact SUV, a pickup, and even a ride-hailing vehicle could be built.
  • The first model is set to launch late in 2026, a timeframe we are seeing commonly as being when the next phase of electric vehicles hits the market. 
  • Ford is targeting a price tag for these new EVs of around AUD$38,000, or USD$25,000. 
  • The Ford EV skunk works division is being led by Alan Clarke, who came to Ford two years ago after being initially enlisted to help engineer the Tesla Model Y

Mercedes-AMG GT to get turbo four-cylinder engine

The new four-cylinder variant of the Mercedes-AMG GT range
  • Mercedes-AMG has announced that its GT sports car is going four cylinder for the very first time, named the GT43
  • Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as found in the A45 S hatch and the current C63 S E Performance, the GT43 will produce 310kW of power and 500Nm of torque.
  • The model is also set to feature Mercedes-Benz’s 48-volt electric technology and an electric/exhaust gas turbocharger
  • Six drive programmes, 19-inch alloy wheels and an 11.9-inch centre touchscreen are all standard. 
  • For those after V8 power, instead, the GT will still be available with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 engine that produces 430kW/800Nm

Ford Tremor goes on sale in NZ, could it come to Australia?

2024 Ford Ranger Tremor front 3/4
The Ford Ranger Tremor is now available in NZ, but not in Australia
  • Ford New Zealand has brought a cheaper off-road variant of its Ranger to market, leading many to believe the variant could come to Australia with time.
  • Using exclusively a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four cylinder engine, the Tremor also features unique front grille design and a unique rear sports bar. 
  • A set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in General Grabber AT3 all-terrain tyres and embossed vinyl Tremor seat trim also feature.
  • In New Zealand, the Tremor has been priced from NZ$74,990, or the equivalent of AUD$69,490 – just shy of what a 2.0-litre Wildtrak sells for in Australia. 
  • As for Australian launch possibilities, Ford’s local arm told Chasing Cars that “we have no news to share about any plans to introduce the Ford Ranger Tremor to Australia”. 

Subaru Crosstrek 2.0S long-term wrap up published 

Subaru Crosstrek 2.0S LT 2023 park 2
Journalist Zak Adkins enjoyed his time with the Crosstrek 2.0S over the six months
  • Chasing Cars journalist Zak Adkins’ long-term review of the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0S was published, including his final thoughts on what it’s like to live with Subaru’s small SUV.
  • Adkins lived with the Crosstrek for six months and enjoyed its updated technologies, new 11.6-inch screen, comfortable ride, dependable all-wheel drive grip and day-to-day practicalities.
  • But the Crosstrek was let down somewhat by a loud and unrefined engine and CVT combo, along with thirsty urban fuel consumption.
  • Adkins reflected that the Crosstrek would be a great buy for a couple, or a small family, and with all-wheel drive, would be the perfect adventure companion. 

READ: Link to written review 

WATCH: Link to YouTube video 

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Thursday 21st March at 4.30pm Sydney time.