The automotive industry has been through more turmoil than most during 2023. Sales boomed after previous shortages, new models and brands have been arriving with almost unprecedented frequency, and technology has raced forward (even if “full self-driving” is still more promise than reality).
But it is the shift to electricity that has attracted the most interest and comment, and divided the industry. There are the true believers (even Rolls-Royce has joined that camp) and the chain-draggers, which include the world’s biggest car company, Toyota.
Our motoring editor Tony Davis has been trackside. Here are some of his most-read stories.
Jostling for pole position The most exciting cars of the year… and what’s next | From plug-in hybrids to all-electric, these models from Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche stand out from the crowd. EVs: a quiet success story Not just any Rangie: Enter the Sport Electric Hybrid | A trip to Orange in the Central West of NSW is the perfect testing ground for this new, high-tech, third-generation Sport. This new Rolls-Royce EV will cost nearly $1m (and buyers can’t wait) | The 2890kg two-door pillarless coupe is likely to sting Australian purchasers for close to seven figures. And why not, for an electric vehicle that raises the bar in refinement? The third EV under $40,000 hits Australia | Chinese car company GWM has released the Ora, a hatch ideal for city spinning. Enter the Cupra Born: An electric hatch for under $60k with a 511km range | It’s VW-Golf like, but is named after a hip Barcelona suburb, is roomier, quieter, and built on a purely electric platform. What’s not to like? Audi’s spectacular electric sports sedan is here – and it’s fast | Super-fast and fully electric, both four-door sports sedans have the most powerful drivetrain ever in a road car by the brand. What’s new, Tesla? The Model Y Performance – for $99K-plus | Beyond the price shock, the new car is very comfortable and comes with an excellent app and better range. Internal combustion engines still going strong After a plush SUV? Mercedes-Maybach’s GLS 600 is for you | It’ll set you back $393,969 plus on-road costs, options and customisation. But the ride is probably worth it. This hot hatch accelerates at a pace unheard of for its price | Zero to 100 km/h time in 3.8 seconds for $60k? The MG4 XPower ticks many boxes, but it’s not perfect. This is BMW’s smallest SUV – but it feels big and classy | Equipment levels are high and almost everything works superbly – but why not consider the electric version? This is the best e-bike we’ve ridden around town | The Amsterdam GT from Lekker has all kinds of clever features, including a battery which has five levels of assistance and can be charged on your desk at work. An electric motorcycle for kids? Torrot delivers | Kids have the best playthings these days – aka the Motocross One and Motocross Two. But their parents need ever deeper pockets.
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