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

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read