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Car news, 21 Feb ’24: Toyota Hilux 48-volt priced, Cupra reveals Born VZ, and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Wednesday February 21st 2024. Notably in car news today: Toyota begins to shift its popular Hilux ute towards electrification, and Cupra bites back at people who say the Born isn’t a hot hatch…by introducing a hot new 240kW tune.

Browse this issue:

  • Pricing for Toyota Hilux mild hybrids confirmed 
  • Cupra Born VZ revealed as most powerful electric Cupra
  • Volvo renames XC40 and C40 as EX40 and EC40

Toyota Hilux 2024: pricing confirmed for new mild-hybrid variants

  • Toyota has announced pricing for its facelifted Hilux range that is set to debut 48-volt technology on selected models. 
  • The refreshed Hilux lineup – which goes on sale from March – will reportedly deliver up to 10 percent in fuel savings, but prices will also rise across the board by between $500 and $1600. 
2024 Toyota HiLux SR5
  • The 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which Toyota is calling V-Active technology, will be optional on SR 4×4 double-cab auto variants and standard on the range-topping SR5 and Rogue double-cab auto variants, with other additional changes across the range from a slight refresh to the exterior styling and spec updates.

  • The mild-hybrid system differs from regular Toyota hybrids in that the Hilux won’t be driven in a pure EV mode like full-hybrid vehicles.
  • Prices for the newly facelifted hybrid Hilux range are as follows:
    • SR double-cab chassis: $54,130 (+$1025)
    • SR double-cab pick-up: $56,210 (+$1605)
    • SR5 double-cab chassis: $60,580 (+$590)
    • SR5 double-cab pickup: $63,260 (+$770)
    • Rogue double-cab pickup: $71,530 (+770)

Hot new Cupra Born VZ revealed 

  • Cupra has announced it will bring a spicier version of its Born electric hot hatch to market called the Born VZ
  • The electric hatch will gain significantly more power and torque than before for the VZ trim, up from 170kW/310Nm to 240kW/545Nm and will continue to be rear-wheel drive only.
  • More powerful than a Volkswagen Golf R, the Born VZ is on Volkswagen Group Australia’s wish list, and could launch on local shores in the first half of 2025.
Cupra Born VZ 2025 side profile
  • The Born VZ not only adds more power and torque, but a slightly bigger 79kWh-usable battery, DCC sport suspension, optional Cup bucket seats and a new green exterior paint colour called Dark Forest. 
  • The Cupra Born VZ will compete against other smaller performance electric cars such as the MG4 XPower, the Abarth 500e and the upcoming Mini Cooper SE. 

Volvo renames XC40 and C40 as EX40 and EC40

  • Swedish automaker Volvo has just officially standardised the naming of two of its key electric models as the brand transitions to electric only.
  • The XC40 Recharge small SUV will now be called the EX40, while the C40 Recharge small SUV will also see a name change, and will be called the EC40
  • Volvo Cars Australia director of public relations, Greg Bosnich told Chasing Cars that from MY25, the C40 will transition to its new name EC40.
Volvo EX40 2024 rear three quarter
Volvo EX40 2024 badge
  • Things aren’t as clear for the EX40. Bosnich: “EX40 is currently being evaluated for our market and will be a subject of a later announcement”. 
  • Globally, this will bring the two models into the same naming structure as Volvo’s other recent EV reveals, including the upcoming EX90 (which will join the existing combustion XC90), the EM90 luxury people mover and the EX30 small SUV. 
  • Volvo Cars Australia says it will be one of the first importers in Australia to offer only electric cars as soon as 2026, but will adopt an electric-only lineup globally by 2030. 

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Thursday 22nd February at 4.30pm Sydney time.