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Car news, 22 Mar ’24: Kia unveils all-new K4 small car, BMW reveals its Neue Klasse X concept and more

Olek Novak

Thanks for joining us this Friday March 22nd, 2024. Notably in car news today: Kia has revealed its all-new K4 small car and BMW has pulled the covers off its Neue Klasse X midsize SUV concept, which is said to go into production next year.  

Browse this issue:

Kia’s Cerato replacement revealed in full

  • Kia has pulled the virtual covers off its next-generation small sedan called the K4, widely expected to replace the current Cerato.
  • After having teased the reveal earlier this week, the Korean brand has now showcased the entire exterior and interior which sports familiar current-generation Kia design language such as its vertical front and rear lights. 
Kia has unveiled its new K4 small sedan
  • Details on powertrains have not yet been revealed and it’s not yet known if the K4 is petrol, hybrid or electric. It’s expected that these details will be revealed when the car makes its physical debut at the New York Motor Show next week.
  • While domestic plans for the K4 have not yet been confirmed, local media have previously reported a camouflaged variant being tested on domestic roads earlier this month.
  • A move to the K4 designation globally would bring Kia’s naming conventions into line, with the Cerato known as the K3 and Forte in other markets around the world.

BMW unveils its Neue Klasse X mid-size SUV concept

  • The second model in BMW’s next generation family of all electric ‘Neue Klasse’ vehicles has been revealed in midsize SUV form.
  • The BMW Neue Klasse X prototype SUV previews the next-generation iX3 midsize SUV and BMW says that a car that looks very similar to this concept will be going into production by late 2025.
BMW has revealed its second Neue Klasse concept, this time in SUV form
  • Significantly, this will also be the first Neue Klasse car to be turned into a production version, beating the first Neue Klasse concept that was revealed last year. That model, which previews the future of the BMW 3 Series sedan, will go into production too, but we don’t know when.
  • Like the Neue Klasse sedan concept, the Neue Klasse X also employs a minimalistic design inside and out, while incorporating new battery cell technology which BMW says significantly improves efficiency and range over its current generation technology, with the potential for recharging 300km of range in 10 minutes. 
  • Inside, the Neue Klasse X, like its sedan sibling, sports key features like a pillar-to-pillar display called BMW Panoramic Vision which stretches the width of the dashboard. Chasing Cars contributor Dan Gardner has seen the concept in the flesh – make sure to check out his full walkaround below.

WATCH: BMW Neue Kasse X Full Walkaround and Interior Tour

Is the Mazda 6 getting ready for an electric switch?

  • Mazda has submitted a trademark application in Europe for ‘6e’, which could suggest that the brand’s midsize 6 sedan and wagon could be gearing up for an electric switch. 
  • The trademark – which was filed on March 18 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and is currently listed as ‘under examination’ – also includes a 6e logo, potentially suggesting that plans for an electric 6 could indeed be further along than expected.
Mazda 6 20th Anniversary 2023 driving front 3/4 2
Mazda could be preparing for an electric replacement for its ageing 6 midsize sedan and wagon
  • Earlier this week Mazda also registered the trademarks for the EZ-6 and EZ-60 nameplates in China, as part of its joint venture with Chinese auto manufacturer Changan, however it is speculated that these vehicles will be built on Changan platforms and it’s not known whether they will be manufactured for overseas markets.
  • The current Mazda 6 is one of the oldest models currently on sale in Australia, having launched its current generation in 2012. Earlier this year production ceased for the local Japanese market, however it continues to soldier on in Australia despite diminishing sales, though it continues to maintain its number two position behind the Toyota Camry.

Subaru WRX Club Spec debuts along with bolstered safety for manuals

  • Subaru has updated its WRX range for 2024 with a new Club Spec variant and bolstered safety features for manual variants, bringing corresponding price rises for most grades.
  • The new Club Spec variant, which brings with it a range of performance enhancements like Recaro front seats, 19-inch alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres, Brembo front and rear brakes and specially tuned steering and suspension, will be priced at $52,590 before on road costs for its manual only variant. 
Subaru has now confirmed pricing for the WRX Club Spec
  • Only 150 Club Specs will be produced for Australia, easily recognisable by their STI style rear spoiler and Club Spec badging. 
  • As well as this, all manual WRX sedan variants will also now gain Subaru’s Eyesight driver assist and safety tech which includes features like adaptive cruise control, AEB, speed sign recognition and emergency lane keep assist amongst other features. Correspondingly, prices have risen by $1500 for all manual sedans.
  • Wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto are now included across the range and WRX Sportswagon variants now receive a Harman Kardon 10-speaker audio system, bringing wagon variants up in price by $800. 

Toyota C-HR 2024 reviewed

  • Chasing Cars journalist Olek Novak’s review of the 2024 Toyota C-HR was published after attending the Australian launch for style-focussed small SUV’s second-generation.
Toyota C-HR 2024 GR Sport driving front
Toyota has debuted its second-generation C-HR small SUV
  • Novak highlighted the striking design which turned the heads of a few onlookers during review filming, comfortable drive, cheap servicing, claimed fuel economy and pleasant cabin.
  • While there was much to like about the vehicle, Novak also noted the steep price hike over the previous generation – which has a price of entry that is around $11,000 more expensive than the previous generation – as well as a neglected second row and sometimes laggy CVT.

READ: Toyota C-HR 2024 Review

WATCH: Toyota C-HR 2024 Review

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

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