The Nissan Ariya is a new electric hatchback, but that’s not the only thing new coming from the automaker for the 2021 model year. PHOTO: FCA

The Auto Sleuth: Hot off the press!

What’s new from Nissan, GM-Nicola electric truck partnership and more

• Nissan changes for 2021 are wide-sweeping:

It’s normal for most larger automakers to introduce two or three new or significantly updated models every year, but Nissan has the pedal to the metal with a host of recently refreshed designs plus couple of new brands, as follows:

2019 model year – Redesigned Altima sedan; redesigned Kicks compact utility vehicle.

2020 model year – Redesigned compact Sentra and sub-compact Versa sedans.

2021 model year – New Ariya electric hatchback plus a redesigned Frontier midsize pickup, Armada full-size utility vehicle, Z sport coupe, Rogue midsize utility vehicle and Pathfinder seven-passenger utility vehicle.

Only a handful of vehicles will be left alone, at least in the short term.

The Nicola Badger will get General Motors Ultium-brand batteries, and GM will get $2 billion in Nicola stock. PHOTO: NICOLA

• GM does some more partnership wheeling and dealing:

Fresh from announcing an electric-vehicle-development arrangement with Honda, General Motors and electric start-up electric truck maker Nicola are also forming a partnership. Specifically, GM will supply its Ultium-brand batteries plus fuel cells and will also build the hydrogen-electric Badger pickup for Nicola (one of a number of planned future models).

In return, GM receives an astounding US $2 billion worth of Nicola shares. The Badger, which is expected to launch in late 2022, is rated for 300 miles (480 kilometres) of electric-only range plus an additional 300 miles of range using hydrogen. A hydrogen-electric transport truck is also in the works.

• BMW’s ambitious electric-car plans:

Most automakers have been developing electric-powered sedans, hatchbacks, utility-style vehicles (crossovers) and sports models. As with its Audi and Mercedes-Benz peers, Germany-based BMW is no exception. Its aggressive plan involves introducing 25 electric vehicles by 2023.

Included in the mix, The Sleuth notes, there’s considerable emphasis on electrifying the brand’s M performance products. For example, the M5 plug-in hybrid sedan will include electric motors plus a twin-turbocharged V-8 producing a net 750 horsepower.

Also rumoured is an electric M5 using three motors (one for the front wheels plus one for each rear wheel) that will make an estimated 1,000 horsepower. Both values exceed the 2021 gasoline-only M5 that uses a twin-turbocharged 617-horsepower V-8.

• A plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler?

Absolutely, confirms The Sleuth, and it’s coming sooner than you think. The Wrangler 4xe that’s expected to arrive in early 2021 will join the existing lineup of internal-combustion engines. The hybrid includes a turbo 2.0-litre gasoline four-cylinder plus two electric motors (one attached to the front axle and another next to the 4xe’s eight-speed automatic transmission).

They’re fed by a lithium-cobalt battery pack positioned beneath the rear seat. Jeep claims a combined output of 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of maximum torque. That would make the 4xe the most powerful Wrangler for now, and likely the most fuel-efficient, although no numbers have been released yet.

The fender flares of the wide-body Dodge Challenger allow wider tires for better traction. PHOTO: FCA

• More wide-body Dodge Challenger models for 2021:

The Sleuth keeps wondering for how many more years Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will maintain the current generation of the sporty two-door Dodge Challenger coupe before a replacement is introduced.

Now entering its 13th season, the Challenger continues with the same chassis and most of the same bodywork as the original 2009 model. If it weren’t for some serious performance upgrades (up to 797 horsepower) that helps keep sales relatively strong, the Challenger would be considered a dinosaur.

For 2021, the wide-body option, consisting of flared fenders that allow for the installation of wider wheels and tires, is now available for four V-8-powered trim levels, up from two. The wide-body option is also offered for the Dodge Charger sedan.

UPS AND DOWNS

The price range of the Lucid Air sedan is US $80,000 to $170,000.
PHOTO: LUCID MOTORS

Up – Lucid Motors pricing, launch info announced:

The Tesla rival is confirming a 2021 launch for the electric Lucid Air sedan. Four different versions include the Base, Touring, Grand Touring and Dream Edition, with prices ranging from US $80,000 to $170,000. Battery range is claimed to top out at 517 miles.

The Cobra Jet 1400 electric Mustang actually produces more than 1,500 horsepower. PHOTO: FORD

Up – Ford Mustang electric drag-race car:

A one-off Cobra Jet 1400 prototype developed by the automaker’s engineers actually produces more than 1,500 horsepower to the rear wheels, thanks to four electric motors.

In a demonstration pass, the Cobra Jet 1400 ran the quarter-mile in 8.27 seconds, with a terminal velocity of 168 mph (270 km/h).

-written by Wheelbase Media

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

AutomotivecarsSUVsTrucks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. Photo: Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News
Interior Health opens up vaccine eligibility in Columbia Valley to 18 years or older

Only local residents can register and book appointments as COVID-19 case counts spike in the region

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

The Rec 9 and driving range are open at Bootleg Gap in Kimberley. Full course opens April 30.
Two Kimberley golf courses open for season

Purcell and Bootleg Gap are partially open today, Trickle Creek May 7

Kimberley is developing a policy on short term rentals. Air BnB screenshot.
Kimberley is developing a policy on short term rentals

The City of Kimberley is continuing the process of adopting a strategy… Continue reading

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read