FAST ‘N’ CU­RI­OUS

Herald Sun - Motoring - - INSIDE LINE -

PICK-UP DROPPED

There are no ute plans at BMW de­spite the rush into light trucks that has even drawn Mercedes — via a Nis­san Navara tie-up — into the work-and-play vor­tex. BMW once built an M3 ute for fun but global mar­ket­ing chief Ian Robert­son says it was a one-off. “I would never say never (on a ute) but it’s ex­tremely un­likely,” he says.

ONE OUT OF THE BOX

The boxy lit­tle Kia Soul could be­come an un­likely per­for­mance hero for the South Korean brand and a po­ten­tial mil­len­nial mag­net in show­rooms. “I like the Soul a lot. It has fan­tas­tic char­ac­ter, it stands out. I told my en­gi­neers I want a Soul GT,” says new per­for­mance boss Al­bert Bier­mann.

XV MARKS THE SPOT

The first spin-off from Subaru’s $1.5 bil­lion in­vest­ment in the new Im­preza is nearly ready. It’s the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion XV com­pact crossover, to be un­veiled at the Geneva mo­tor show in early March. Subaru is copy­ing a VW strat­egy — over­spend­ing on its core model (Im­preza for Subaru, Golf for VW) and spread­ing the en­gi­neer­ing and qual­ity gains over an en­tire fam­ily of new mod­els.

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