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Car news, 4 Mar ’24: Lexus LBX price scoop, Toyota slams emissions plan and more


Every important car news story breaking today, one convenient read

Thanks for joining us this Monday March 4th, 2024. Notably in car news today: Lexus is set to introduce its most affordable model, the LBX, at a reasonably attainable price point, and a senior Toyota Australia executive slams the federal government’s planned emissions scheme rollout.

Browse this issue:

Lexus LBX hybrid SUV pricing revealed ahead of launch

  • UPDATE, 6pm 4 March 2024: Lexus has released official pricing for the LBX grades at $47,550, $52,990 and $56,990.

  • Chasing Cars has seen pricing for the three grades of Lexus LBX small hybrid SUV that will come to Australia weeks ahead of the crossover’s launch.

  • Dealer sources confirm that the LBX, which shares its basic platform with the Toyota Yaris Cross, will be priced from about $47,500 before on-road costs in entry-level, front-wheel drive format – or about $55,600 driveaway.
2024 Lexus LBX front 3/4 red static shot
  • Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants of a higher LBX Sports Luxury specification will retail for more than $60,000 once on-road costs are taken into consideration.

  • The LBX, which undercuts the larger Lexus UX hybrid models by more than $7000, is understood to be a key pillar of attempts by Lexus to bring younger buyers to the brand at an earlier life stage.

READ: Lexus LBX 2024: Australian pricing revealed for brand’s cheapest hybrid SUV

Toyota to charge customers for emissions penalties, says executive

  • Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley has criticised the proposed rollout arrangements for the federal government’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES).

  • The NVES is expected to mandate annual fleet-average CO2 limits for carmakers. The CO2 rating of each individual unit sold by a car company produces an annual brand score. Breaching the limit results in penalties; beating it earns overachieving brands credits they can sell to underperformers.
Toyota Australia Sean Hanley 2024
Sean Hanley
  • In the United States, Toyota North America chief executive officer Ted Ogawa told industry media that his division of the storied Japanese marque would purchase credits under the US’ similar planned emissions scheme.

  • But in Australia, Hanley has suggested that Toyota will not offset the emissions of its highest-pollution models, such as the Land Cruiser and Hilux ranges, by purchasing credits from rivals like Tesla – instead, Toyota Australia’s proposal is to pay penalties levied by the government in part by increasing new car prices for customers.

READ: Toyota says it will charge Australians more under new emissions scheme in break from American position

Kia Tasman name locked in for brand’s new ute

  • Kia has initiated the marketing campaign for its forthcoming Tasman, a body-on-frame pick-up truck expected to launch in Australia in 2025.

  • A television commercial aired in Australian markets over the weekend that included sports stars discussing what the name of the vehicle should be.
Kia Tasman ad
A screengrab from the Kia Tasman ad
  • Tellingly, in the commercial, a dart lands on a map to the east of Tasmania immediately atop the word “Tasman” in “Tasman Sea”.

  • Chasing Cars published extensive information about the Tasman ute last week including targets for towing capacity and the certainty that it would wear the Tasman name, which was proposed by the Australian division of the South Korean company.

READ: Kia Tasman 2024: Ford Ranger-rival officially announced – but Korea’s new ute still not yet named

Hyundai Ioniq 5 to get larger battery and N Line grades

  • In its first major specification update since it was launched in Australia, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 midsize electric SUV will receive a larger 80kWh usable battery when it lands locally in mid-2024.

  • The new battery, first ushered in by the new Ioniq 5 N high-performance model, should boost real-world range by at least eight percent over the outgoing 74kWh usable battery pack.
2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Line grey
The new N Line version of the Hyundai Ioniq 5
  • Along with the battery upgrade, Hyundai says that rigidity will be increased for the SUV. The suspension is said to have received additional refinements while extra sound insulation is added towards the rear of the vehicle.

  • Plus, a new N Line appearance package will become available to Ioniq 5 buyers, adding a few of the sporty cues from the full-fat Ioniq 5 N to standard models of the fully-electric crossover.

Hyundai i30 Sedan N reviewed

  • Chasing Cars editor Tom Baker’s launch review of the 2024 Hyundai i30 Sedan N was published, based on extensive country road and track driving in Northern Victoria.

  • Baker found that the mid-life facelift to the i30 Sedan N retained a relatively affordable and endearing character for the performance sedan, which continues to use a 206kW 2.0-litre turbo engine equipped with a cheerfully loud exhaust.
Hyundai i30 Sedan N 2024 driving rear
  • Hyundai Australia has retained a free choice of eight-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual transmission for the i30 Sedan N, with the manual continuing to be our recommendation.

  • However, Baker criticised the lack of top-end shove from the i30 N’s engine, noting that Hyundai is currently planning an extensive upgrade of the four-door sedan N car – which could include shoehorning in a larger 2.5-litre engine in future.

READ: Link to written review (if available on the CC website)

WATCH: This Is Hyundai’s Last Gasoline N Model (Hyundai i30 Sedan N / Elantra N 2024 Review)

The next issue of Car News Today will be published on Tuesday 5th March at 4.30pm Sydney time.