Volvo’s electric future
The wagon shape is familiar, but the powertrain is not. The Sweden-based automaker is committed to converting half its fleet to battery-electric power by 2025. It’s also aiming for 100 per cent by 2030.
The Concept Recharge has a floor-mounted battery pack and an extended wheelbase with minimal front and rear overhangs. The result is considerable interior space for passengers and cargo. Without an internal-combustion engine up front, the hood has been lowered for improved aerodynamics. The interior is dominated by a 15-inch touch-screen positioned alongside a much smaller digital gauge cluster for the driver. Battery output, range and wagon price are years away from being announced.
Nissan’s premium division readies a new QX60 for 2022
Joining the new five-passenger QX55 tall hatchback for 2022 is the redesigned seven-passenger QX60 utility vehicle. It’s built on the same platform as the Nissan Pathfinder and adopts a visually striking look that conveys a premium presence. Returning is the 3.5-litre V-6 that produces 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. In place of the continuously variable transmission is a nine-speed automatic. For towing, the QX60 can handle up to 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms), which is a 20-per-cent bump.
The MX-5 Miata will be electrified
At some point within the next four years, Mazda will launch the fifth generation of its iconic two-seat roadster. When it arrives, the MX-5’s powerplant will include a 48-volt electric motor plus a small battery. The mild-hybrid system is expected to provide additional power under hard acceleration as well as providing power for the air conditioning, infotainment and various safety systems. Improved fuel economy is yet another benefit. Mazda’s stated intention is to introduce a number of hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid variants and battery-electric vehicles for North America by the mid-2020s.
Subaru’s rally-inspired models will be renewed for 2022
Fans of the automaker’s WRX and WRX STI should be pleased that replacements are just around the corner. The WRX will run with the same 2.4-litre four-cylinder found in the Subaru Ascent that makes 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. That’s slightly fewer horses but a bit more torque than the current WRX engine. The WRX STI gets a much stouter version of the 2.4 that makes 400 horsepower and 361 pound-feet. Both models are rumored to somewhat resemble the Viziv concept that was first shown in 2017.
Maranello’s latest prancing horse
It’s always big news when Ferrari unveils a new car. The ultra-sleek mid-engine 296 GTB plug-in hybrid comes with a 654-horsepower twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V-6. It combines with a 164-horsepower electric motor to generate a net 818 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission directs power to the rear wheels. The 296 GTB can run for up to 15 miles (24 kilometres) on battery power alone. A special option package includes carbon-fibre body panels and a lightweight Lexan rear window to trim 33 pounds (15 kilograms) from the base 3,240-pound (1,470-kilogram) weight. Pricing in the United States is expected to start in the $280,000 range, which would be in the upper-$300,000 range in Canada.
UPS AND DOWNS
UP: A condo for wealthy luxury-car lovers – If purchasing a ritzy residence in Manhattan is right up your alley, then check out one of the five fully furnished 2,400-square-foot Aston Martin properties located on the 60th floor of a high-rise located in the financial district. By the way, your US $11.5 million investment also includes an Aston Martin DBX utility vehicle valued at US $180,000.
UP: Honda’s upcoming electric vehicle will use GM batteries and be built at a GM plant – The dictionary defines ‘prologue’ as “an introductory or preceding event or development.” Honda, with battery support from General Motors, will launch an introductory electric crossover called the Prologue in 2023 as a 2024 model. It will use GM’s Ultium platform and battery technology developed for use in electric such as the GMC Hummer EV. The Prologue will also be built at a GM plant.