Sometimes it feels like we miss out on all the good stuff here in Australia.
That’s not entirely true – we do have a remarkably crowded market with dozens of brands, after all.
However, we do start to feel morose after reporting yet again that a cool car has been introduced but it won’t be built in right-hand drive, or otherwise won’t be coming here.
The team here at CarExpert looked back at a list of 30+ models we’ve reported as being ruled out for Australia during 2021 and identified those we were most disappointed to hear won’t be coming here.
The Ford F-150 Lightning and Raptor. I know why we aren’t getting them – because it doesn’t stack up in a business case – but it would be such an epic car to see on our roads.
The Ford Bronco.
This is something that continues to baffle me to this day. The Ford Bronco is built on a version of the T6 platform – a platform initially engineered and honed by Ford’s engineers here in Australia.
But, to this day, Ford keeps saying we can’t have a Bronco. It would sell incredibly well here and given the platform shares so much with what the new Ranger will be based on (which will be built in right-hand drive), it’s a definite head scratcher. I’m probably most excited for the recently teased Ford Bronco Raptor, which looks like it’s primed to tear shreds off the Jeep Wrangler!
Hyundai Santa Cruz
For so long we have been hearing about Hyundai bringing a ute to the Australian market and finally it has one with its Tucson-derived Santa Cruz.
It’s been years since I saw the original concept’s reveal at the LA Auto Show, and yet Hyundai seems to be no closer to bringing a ute here. It’s bizarre that the successful Korean carmaker seems reluctant to take on Ford and Toyota who have been cleaning up with Ranger and HiLux for more than a deacde, respectively. Doesn’t Hyundai know that more people want utes here in Australia than any other vehicle type?
Anything interesting from Ford isn’t coming to Australia.
Sure, the new Ranger looks great, but the fact we don’t get the Bronco or Bronco Sport, the F-150 Lightning, the Maverick, or the Mustang Mach-E in Australia is so frustrating.
We know the Ranger is a best-seller, the Mustang remains a winner, and the Fiesta ST is lovable as ever… but beyond those three cars, there’s nothing remotely exciting about the Ford Australia range.
Despite being good SUVs, the Escape and Puma are footnotes in the most popular segments in Australia, and the Focus range has been brutally slashed for 2022.
The Escape plug-in hybrid was meant to be here in 2020, and then late in 2021, and now won’t arrive until 2022, and as a first step into the world of electrification for the Blue Oval it’s just a bi… sorry, dozed off for a second there.
Ford, give us the good stuff. Please.
Ford owns this list. Where to start? Mustang Mach-E isn’t part of its electric vehicle plans, nor is F-150 Lightning. The Bronco won’t come here despite sitting on an Australia-developed platform, either. Nor will the Maverick pickup.
You could choose any of those. All, and I mean all, would resonate with Aussie buyers. But perhaps highlighting all four better illustrates my contention. Ford’s claims to having a truly global product range are just talk.
I mentioned earlier in my yearly disappointments, but we need to see more electrified products in Australia.
I understand the business case doesn’t always add up, and I understand the Australian market is small, but it would be good to see more brands take a chance and bring stuff here. I mean, look at New Zealand.
Specific examples that come to mind include numerous Volkswagen Group products. Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen all offer a number of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that just aren’t on the table for us at the moment – ID.3/ID.4, Golf GTE, Octavia RS iV and Audi’s range of TFSI e PHEVs all spring to mind.
It’s a consistent theme across many brands from many regions. Hyundai and Kia can’t bring a lot of hybrids and plug-in hybrids here, at least initially, due to global demand. Sportage and Tucson Hybrids would sell their socks off here.
I’m disappointed GMSV hasn’t indicated it plans to bring the Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing here.
I’ve been bitter about Australia not getting Cadillacs since the Global Financial Crisis scuppered GM’s plans to bring the brand here, effectively sending away a ship loaded with second-generation CTS sedans.
For those who haven’t been paying attention to this American luxury brand for the past 20 years, Cadillac has been developing world-class sports sedans.
The latest are the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing which, although arguably not as attractive as the ATS-V and CTS-V they replace, still pack a serious punch. They also both offer the option of a six-speed manual transmission, virtually unheard of in the segments in which they compete.
While the CT4-V Blackwing’s 352kW/603Nm 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged V6 sounds lovely and has an almost identical 0-60mph time to the CT5-V Blackwing, it’s the larger car’s 498kW/893Nm supercharged 6.2-litre V8 that truly tantalises. It’s a bargain, too, priced at US$83,995 (A$117,887) or almost exactly US$20,000 (A$28,000) less than a BMW M5.
It’s a return to Cadillac’s old strategy of offering more metal for your money, bringing the CT5-V Blackwing closer to the BMW M3 in pricing despite dimensions closer to those of the M5. That’s also seen the brand reposition its CT4 and CT5 against the 2 Series and 3 Series, unlike the 3 and 5 Series-rivalling ATS and CTS.
Cadillac is going electric-only by 2030, which makes these hi-po sedans a last hurrah for the internal combustion engine. GMSV, bring them down here.
The GMC Hummer EV just looks bananas!
This electric pickup truck is an absolute monster of a vehicle and I would love (but also hate) to see these in the urban sprawl of Australia. These vehicles would take up so much space… and I love it.
It’s insane to think the Edition 1 launch edition is classified as a heavy-duty vehicle in the US, as it has a kerb weight of more than 4000kg. If this tri-motor variant was sold in Australia it’d also be classed as a heavy-duty vehicle.
All in all, I’d love to have the chance to have a drive of one of these just to experience it for a short while. The four-wheel steering system and the CrabWalk feature sound super interesting and I’d love to see how these work.
It’d be even better if I could do this on Australian soil but so far there’s been no word…
I can confirm the Ford Maverick and Bronco Sport look great in the flesh.
They would probably be much more successful in Oz than the always-struggling Escape, but we’ll likely never know as they’re left-hand drive only.