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

A homeless couple nap on a Langley City bench in 2018. According to new stats, the number of homeless who live outdoors is on the rise in the City and Township. (Langley Advance Times file)
More homeless are sleeping outdoors in Langley than ever, study finds

Number of ‘unsheltered’ is up 26 per cent from previous count in 2017

Township of Langley firefighters wore protective masks at a Nov. 17, 2020 call to a burning van incident (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Langley Township tightens COVID safety rules following fire department outbreak

Among other measures, firefighters are keeping physically separate during shift changes

Langley School District is warning the families of Peter Ewart Middle School of a possible COVID-19 exposure. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Peter Ewart Middle added to list of COVID school exposures

An individual with COVID-19 was at the school on Nov. 26 and 27

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Langley man asks people to remember the true reason for Christmas

Find new ways to mark the holiday season during the global pandemic, a letter writer suggests

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

The westbound lanes of Highway 1 between Clearbrook and McCallum roads were closed to traffic Wednesday morning after a fatal collision involving a pedestrian.
Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle on Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Collision takes place early Wednesday morning between Clearbrook and McCallum roads

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

FILE – A near empty waterfront train platform is pictured in downtown Vancouver, Monday, April 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
TransLink disables some services for second day due to ‘suspicious network activity’

Customers cannot use credit card or debit card at fare gates or Compass card vending machines

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:14 a.m.
Westbound Highway 1 lanes in Abbotsford closed as crews investigate serious crash

Crash occurred between McCallum and Riverside roads at around 4 a.m., next update at 8 a.m.

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Most Read