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Car news, 25 Mar ’24: Isuzu MU-X gains efficient 1.9-litre engine, Cupra’s large electric SUV confirmed for Aus, and more

Olek Novak

Thanks for joining us this Monday March 25th 2024. Notably in car news today: Isuzu has announced a new turbo-diesel engine for its MU-X large SUV and Cupra confirmed its electric large SUV is bound for Australia.

Browse this issue:

Isuzu adds 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine to 2024 MU-X lineup

  • Isuzu Ute Australia has announced it will introduce its 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine into its 2024 MU-X large SUV lineup. 
  • Arriving in dealerships from April 2, 2024, the MU-X will be available with the  110kW/350Nm 1.9-litre engine for the very first time. 
2024 Isuzu MU-X LS-T silver front 3/4
Isuzu has announced the addition of a new turbo-diesel engine for its 2024 MU-X lineup
  • Isuzu claims that the MU-X with this engine fitted will now have a claimed combined fuel economy of 7.4L/100km, or 0.9L/100km less than the existing (and continuing) 3.0-litre 4JJ3 turbo diesel four-cylinder engine. 
  • Maximum towing capacity is rated at 3000kg for the 1.9-litre engine, compared to 3500kg for the 3.0-litre diesel MU-Xs. 
  • Pricing now starts from $47,400 before on-road costs and tops out at close to $70,000 driveaway for the MU-X flagship, the LS-T. 

Cupra’s large EV SUV confirmed for Aus, mightn’t offer seven seats

  • Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths has confirmed the brand’s unnamed electric large SUV, designed primarily for the US market, will be coming to Australia.

  • Not much is known about the SUV, but when asked about its size Griffiths said: “I don’t think it’s gonna have seven seats, but it’s going to be big.”

Cupra Leon V 2023 badge
Cupra has confirmed a new electric large SUV will make its way to Australia
  • The large SUV isn’t expected to hit the market until 2030 but will likely play a key role as the flagship of the Cupra range.
  • The Volkswagen Group’s next-generation SSP platform, due to debut in 2026, will likely serve as the basis of the new Cupra, with the aim of offering greater capability than previous architecture.

Volvo to add Black Editions to S60 and XC60 in Australia 

  • Volvo Cars Australia has announced it will bring out a limited number of Black Edition S60 and XC60s to our local market.
  • Available only for the Ultimate T8 plug-in hybrid models, the Black Edition features a black grille, black window trims, black 21-inch wheels for XC60 (and 19-inch black alloys for the S60), as well as a black interior with nappa leather upholstery.
2024 Volvo XC60 Black Edition
Volvo has announced a limited number of ‘Black Edition’ cars for Australia
  • The S60 Black Edition will cost $88,990 before on-road costs, while the XC60 Black Edition will cost buyers $103,990 before on-road costs. 
  • The limited run of cars are expected in April 2024, before both models are likely to be succeeded by all-electric replacements as part of Volvo’s local all-electric by 2026 strategy.

Lexus plug-in hybrids and shorter wait times on the horizon 

  • Lexus says it’s working hard to reverse an order pause on the plug-in hybrid NX450h+ by the end of the year, with the aim to make a PHEV version of the RX large SUV available to customers in Australia by early next year, depending on supply.
  • Speaking to media at the launch of the new LBX, Lexus Australia CEO John Pappas said that while this is the aim for the NX, on which orders were paused last year due to supply constraints, “it depends on how much stock we can confirm”.
Lexus says NX and RX plug-in hybrids are on the horizon, as well as shorter wait times
  • In expressing his desire to bring the larger RX plug-in to Australia, Pappas referenced learnings from Lexus’ experience with NX, noting the desire for “more certainty on the production outlook” before orders are opened up in order to avoid creating any further frustration with long wait times and order pauses.
  • As well as updates on key plug-in hybrid models, Pappas also gave key updates on wait times across the Lexus lineup: “out of all our models that make up 90 percent of our volume, by the middle of this year, they will all be within a normal regular lead time which is two to four months”.
  • While this is good news for customers, Pappas noted this reference to “90 percent” applies to more volume-focused models in the Lexus range, and not the higher end ‘L’ models like the LX, LM, LC and LS.

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