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Car news, 24 June ’24: Kia Tasman could be in Australia ahead of schedule, Zeekr aiming to have seven models by 2026, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Monday June 24th 2024. Notably in car news today: Korean reports indicate that the Kia Tasman will begin mass production as soon as December 2024 and could be ahead of schedule, and Geely-owned Zeekr is preparing to launch an onslaught of electric models by 2026, including SUVs, people movers and wagons.

Browse this issue:

Kia Tasman could be in Australia earlier than anticipated 

Kia Tasman 2024
The Kia Tasman could be in Australia sooner than expected!
  • Kia’s launch of its highly-anticipated Tasman ute could be brought forward, according to reports out of Korea.
  • The Korean Car Blog has indicated that Kia’s Tasman ute will enter mass production around December 2024 for an early 2025 on-sale date.
  • This is significantly earlier than originally expected, with our own reports indicating that the Tasman would go on sale in Australia before the end of the next financial year, around June 2025.
  • The Tasman is expected to feature a 3500kg towing capacity, single- and dual-cab variants, a four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine but no manual transmission for our market. 

Geely-owned Zeekr aiming for a seven-car lineup by 2026

2024 Zeekr X front 3/4 driving shot
The 2024 Zeekr X SUV
  • Zeekr, the fledgling Chinese electric vehicle brand owned and operated by Chinese car giant Geely, is going full-steam ahead to bring an array of models to several global markets, including Australia. 
  • Founded in 2021, Zeekr has been confirmed for a future Australian debut and will interestingly launch first and foremost with an electric people mover called the 009. It features dual motors with 400kW of power, a giant 116kWh battery pack and over 700km of claimed range.  
  • However, there is much more in the pipeline according to a leaked document found by Car News China. By 2026, Zeekr aims to have four new electric SUVs and a wagon. These new models will join the high-performance 001 and 007 sedans, as well as the Zeekr X SUV in the brand’s lineup. 
  • All are very likely to be built on Zeekr Technology’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) that’s currently underpinning models such as the Volvo EM90 people mover, Polestar 4, Smart #1, the Volvo EX30 and even Lotus’ Eletre and Emeya models. 

BMW cancels $2 billion battery contract with Northvolt

Northvolt production facility image
BMW has cancelled a large battery order with producer Northvolt
  • German luxury automaker BMW has canceled a significant $2 billion battery cell order with Swedish battery maker Northvolt that was initially ordered in July 2020. The cancellation is due to Northvolt reportedly being two years behind schedule
  • The batteries in question were fifth-gen cells destined for the models such as the iX SUV and i4 liftback.
  • However, BMW has locked in Northvolt for its next-generation batteries set to power its Neue Klasse cars from 2026. 
  • In 2022, Northvolt was producing an estimated 16GWh of cell capacity. In 2023, CATL, the largest battery producer in the world, produced 1500 percent more cell capacity, at 259GWh

Ferrari’s first pure electric car won’t be cheap: report 

2024 Ferrari SP 8 concept image
Ferrari’s first electric car will be very pricey!
  • Ferrari’s first-ever electric supercar could cost at least AUD$800,000 list, or over a million dollars on road, when it launches in the late stages of 2025, according to reports from Reuters
  • The Italian performance car maker is currently building a new plant in Maranello to build not just EVs, but also ICE and hybrid models, too. 
  • Ferrari seems to be following in similar footsteps to many other luxury makers, including BMW, who would rather cautiously offer each type of powertrain, offering a more technology-flexible approach as the EV demand increases and decreases with time. 
  • Rival Lamborghini plans to offer a pure-electric supercar by 2028, with its chief executive officer Stephan Winkelmann telling Reuters that the brand wants to make the right product rather than being first.

Nissan X-Trail long term review

  • Chasing Cars’ digital production specialist Tom Place’s long-term review of the 2024 Nissan X-Trail E-Power was published, including his collective thoughts over a five-month long-term period.
  • Place thought that in terms of positives, the hybrid X-Trail’s practicality and driving experience made for a car that is “good to own and live with”. Place also mentioned that the X-Trail had a lot more engine refinement than the segment-leading Toyota RAV4.
  • Some notable downsides that Place mentioned included X-Trail being not as fuel efficient as a Toyota RAV4, while the sound system also could have been better.
  • Place wrapped up his long-term ownership by recommending the X-Trail as a more refined and pleasant driving experience over a RAV4, plus the fact that you might be able to get into one sooner than Toyota’s midsize SUV.

READ: Link to long-term written review

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Tuesday 25th June at 4.30pm Sydney time.

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