A new Nissan Z model will take a few styling cues from the original. Output is expected to be around 400 horsepower: PHOTO: NISSAN

A new Nissan Z model will take a few styling cues from the original. Output is expected to be around 400 horsepower: PHOTO: NISSAN

The Auto Sleuth: Hot off the press!

Next-gen Nissan Z sport, electrification of the Escalade and lots more

Nissan officially announces the next-generation Z sport coupe:

Where does the time go? The Sleuth finds it hard to believe that it has been a half century since the original 240Z arrived on our shores. He’s happy to report, however, that a new Z that was recently displayed in near-finished form called the Z Proto will arrive sometime next spring as a 2022 model.

Likely to be labeled the 400Z, the hatchback coupe’s design is influenced by the original Z, especially from the front and sides, while the rear end appears inspired by the 300ZX from the 1990s. A twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V-6 originally developed for the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 models is standard in the 400Z (Nissan is the parent company of Infiniti), as is a six-speed manual transmission. The Sleuth wonders, with much attention lavished on the new Z, what lies ahead for Nissan’s extra-strength GT-R coupe.

The upcoming Volkswagen Taos will slot in below the Tiguan. It will look similar to the Tharu (pictured) that’s sold outside of North America. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

A new VW’s utility arrives for the 2022 model year:

The Volkswagen Taos (named for a town in New Mexico) will join a compact small-wagon segment that includes, among others, the Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Venue and Jeep Renegade. The Taos is about 25 centimetres shorter than the VW Tiguan (although built using a shortened version of that platform) and will come in front- and all-wheel-drive variants.

The Taos will resemble the Tiguan-like Volkswagen Tharu sold outside of North America. The engine is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder (exact output is currently unknown) and an eight-speed automatic transmission is also standard.

The Taos is likely to arrive by mid-2021 with a Sleuth-estimated base price of $25,000 in Canada.

The electrification of the Escalade

Word reaching The Sleuth is that in the next three to five years General Motors will roll out several cars and light-duty trucks with the automaker’s new Ultium-brand batteries. Included on the list is the Cadillac Escalade, which will be sold alongside the existing V-8-powered luxury utility vehicle.

The gasoline Escalade is built off the full-size truck platform, but the electric model won’t be. In addition, the battery pack’s robust capacity — supplying power to three electric motors — could give the electric Escalade up to 1,000 horsepower, or the same amount that’s expected in the new 2022 GMC Hummer electric.

Is there a super Ford Bronco model on the Horizon?

That’s what The Sleuth hears, and it will likely follow closely behind the early-2021 launch of the regular-strength Bronco models. It appears that the performance version is designed to counteract the upcoming 2021 V-8-powered Jeep Wrangler that spits out 450 horsepower.

Ford won’t counter with a V-8 for the Bronco (to be called either Raptor or Warthog, according to rumours), but will likely go with a turbocharged 400-horsepower 3.0-litre V-6 or possibly the same twin-turbo 450-horse 3.5-litre V-6 used in the current F-150 Raptor pickup. Also anticipated are unique body pieces — including a more distinctive grille — to separate the performance Bronco from the rest of the herd.

The next Hyundai Tucson will be radically different:

A bold new styling direction is in store for fans of the compact utility vehicle that’s expected to launch in mid-2021 as a 2022 model. From recently revealed images, the Tucson is as sleek or sleeker than anything else in its class while projecting just the right amount of toughness.

The base engine will be a 2.5-litre four-cylinder producing 178 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Optional will be a hybrid power system, consisting of a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder with two electric motors with a net output of 229 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. Also expected following the initial launch is a plug-in version of the hybrid as well as an N performance model.

UPS AND DOWNS

The Moke will sell for about $25,000 in the United States. PHOTO: MOKE INTERNATIONAL

The Moke will sell for about $25,000 in the United States. PHOTO: MOKE INTERNATIONAL

Up: The Return of the Moke:

A company in England called Moke International plans to sell replicas of the original 1960s Austin Mini Moke in North America. The beach buggy comes with a 67-horsepower 1.1-litre four-cylinder and either a manual or automatic transmission. It will carry a price of about $25,000 in the United States.

A carbon-fibre body is the hot selling feature of the Shelby GRT500CR Carbon Edition. PHOTO: Classic Recreations/ Shelby International

A carbon-fibre body is the hot selling feature of the Shelby GRT500CR Carbon Edition. PHOTO: Classic Recreations/ Shelby International

Up: Carbon-fibre Shelby:

Oklahoma-based Classic Recreations has teamed up with Nevada-based Shelby International to create the Shelby GT500CR Carbon Edition. Resembling the GT500 “Eleanor” from the 2000 movie Gone in 60 Seconds, the carbon-fiber-bodied car has a supercharged 5.2-litre V-8 engine that makes 810 horsepower. Just 25 cars will be produced at US $300,000 each.

-written by Wheelbase Media

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