Automotive News: Top Stories of the Week, June 5-12, 2022

Automotive News: Top Stories of the Week, June 5-12, 2022

Want to keep up to date with the world of automotive news? These are the biggest stories of the past week.

Every week we’ll keep you updated and bring you the ‘water cooler’ information about what’s been happening in the world of cars and driving with the five biggest stories we’ve covered. Here’s what you need to know…

Australia’s best-selling electric car last month

A title held last year by the Tesla Model 3 sedan, the electric XC40, could take the top spot in the May (and April) 2022 sales stakes as some of its main competitors struggled with inventory shortages.

Volvo sold 174 units of its electric small SUV in May, a record for the model – the brand’s first-ever electric production car.

Volvo’s dominance in the electric sales race didn’t stop there, with the Polestar 2 – a subcutaneous twin for the XC40 from Volvo’s all-electric spin-off brand – taking second place, selling 153 cars last month.

Lexus admits oversized grilles are a “turnoff” for customers

Japanese automaker Lexus has acknowledged that its ever-expanding signature spindle grille – seen on models like the new Lexus RX SUV – could be polarizing for consumers, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from continuing the design in the future.

Koichi Suga, Lexus’ chief designer, has reportedly pointed to US market research showing buyers compared the oversized front grilles to Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

But instead of completely turning away from the new ‘spindle body’ design, Mr Suga said the design team would look for the ‘right balance’ with the proportions.

To learn more about Lexus’ design plans for future cars, click here to read the full story.

How expensive are electric cars in Australia compared to the world?

We hear a lot of discussions about the prohibitive prices of electric cars in Australia – but how expensive are they compared to the rest of the world?

Drives Alex Misoyannis conducted a survey to compare the price of Tesla’s Model 3 in Australia with the price in nine other major markets around the world.

In something of a plot twist, the data suggests we might not be getting such a bad deal Down Under after all.

Australians are pulling the pin on plug-in hybrid cars

While sales of electric and traditional hybrid cars are soaring, it seems Australians are slower to embrace plug-in hybrid cars.

Sales of plug-in hybrids – cars that require both petrol and external battery charging – have nearly doubled this year, but still represent only a small fraction of electric sales in Australia.

Opinions vary on why plug-in hybrids are not yet taking off locally – from the issue of inefficiency to the idea that consumers want only one form of propulsion and not both.

Click here to read more about why the PHEV forecast isn’t looking so rosy.

The car Elvis Presley hated so much, he shot it. Repeatedly.

Originally bought as a present for his then-girlfriend, Linda Thompson, Elvis Presley’s 1971 yellow De Tomaso Pantera was used more for target practice than for his daily commute.

The yellow-tinted Italian sports car was shot at more than once by Presley after he was plagued with breakdowns and driving difficulties.

Presley’s friends and backing singers have said they’ve seen the singer in De Tomaso film stories worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

To find out where the car ended up and whether it survived the repeated rapid fires – read the fascinating story here.

These are the most read stories of the week. You can read all the car news covered by Motive on our news feed here.

Susannah Guthrie

A journalist since she was 18, Susannah Guthrie has spent the past two years writing about cars for Drive, CarAdvice, CarSales and as a car columnist for several flight and hotel magazines. Susannah’s background is news journalism, followed by several years in celebrity journalism, entertainment journalism and fashion magazines and a brief stint as host of a travel TV show for Channel Ten. She joined Drive in 2020 after spending a year and a half at the helm of Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE’s online platforms. Susannah has a BA in Media and Communications from the University of Melbourne and broke her teeth as an intern for Time Inc in New York City. She also completed a television presenting course at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and her one-year-old son who, despite her best efforts, is not yet enjoying a proper road trip.

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