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

Japanese Canadian citizens being transferred into waiting trucks outside Hope Station House. Photograph courtesy of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre.
Public hearing will see 123 letters in support of saving Hope’s historic train station

Hearing set for May 10 to help council decide on future of Hope’s Station House

Gordon Cook
SLIDESHOW: Hope springs to life in pictures

A collection of images from the Standard and its readers

Chilliwack volunteer drivers are needed to help get cancer patients back and forth to Abbotsford (shown here), Surrey and Vancouver cancer clinics. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Volunteer drivers needed to expand cancer driver program to Chilliwack

Drivers will need to commit to one full day of driving, or two half days each week

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Winnie Peters, centre, spoke about the loss of two husbands over the years, both of who were murdered. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls event in Hope on May 5, 2021 included prayers for men who have been killed as well. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Red dresses hang in Hope’s Memorial Park in remembrance

Group gathers for National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Most Read