Toyota Corolla Cross

Is there Corolla SUV in your future? And much more.

It’s been a reasonable week at the Auto News Desk with quite a few stories worth repeating as the market slowly starts to find its feet again…

Starting off a close to home – or at least we think so – meet Toyota’s Corolla Cross. The company calls it ‘Corolla meets SUV’ and it was launched in Thailand on Wednesday, where it’s available in a hybrid with 72kW 103Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine backed up by a 53kW 163Nm electric motor for a 90kW maximum output, or a 103kW 177Nm straight 1.8-litre 2ZR-FBE petrol mill with a CVT.

The front-wheel drive, Cross shares the Corolla sedan and hatchback’s TNGA GA-C platform and we did ask Toyota SA if the Cross Corolla was coming to SA and we received a terribly long reply back which boils down to this car being under consideration for local release. We reckon it’s a no-brainer and that Corolla Cross will  become a most significant seller in SA – how can’t you, Toyota…?

Looking at the international scene, Audi’s forthcoming electric Q4 E-Tron SUV will morph into a Sportback previewed by this concept. Both will hit the road next year powered by a 225kW drivetrain and lit by an 82 kWh battery for a range of over 450km. Comprising a 150kW 310Nm full-time synchronous motor driving the rear axle backed up on demand by an asynchronous 75kW 150Nm front motor Q4 E-Tron is good for 100km/h in 6.3 seconds and 180km/h on the Autobahn. 

And then there was this – seems Audi is so busy worrying about electric cars that it completely forgot to tell us about this new A8 60 V8 TDI that seems to have snuck onto the market through the back door. 325kW and 900Nm (yip, you read that right — nine-hundred Newton-metres!) is enough to shunt the 2265kg eight-pot turbodiesel quattro AWD limo to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds and sip 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the average cycle...

Taking a peek into the future, It may look like Starship Enterprise in there, but the all-new eleventh-generation W223 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will get a Tesla-like centre dash display to rival the wide screen in your living room, packed with all the very latest in sci-fi infotainment tech and a super-MBUX system. but will retain its regular driver info displays on another screen behind the wheel

Set for international reveal in a few months and waiting for you in your local dealership early in the new year, the new S will also be lighter, thanks to latest carbon and aluminium techniques on its new MRA II rear-wheel drive platform now with 4-wheel steering agility and level 3 autonomous driving capability. S will come in normal Benz and AMG variants with long and Maybach versions too, but  the coupé and convertible have been canned.

Still looking ahead, it’s all in threes, it seems. Mazda's new 170kW 420Nm 2.5-litre turbo AWD 3 Turbo is due for reveal any time now, while Every time BMW is about to introduce a new M3, the stories start about a Touring version. Once again, it's just speculation, but it'd be so cool, no?

And finally, somewhat against expectation, latest spy images of BMW's forthcoming M3 (yes, that’s is an M3 mule - you can see the rear door knobs) suggest the newcomer may well get a new 4 Series like monster kidney grille. Not sure if that is real or it's just the BMW test car camouflage crew pulling our chain, what do you think...?

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