Hummer had already announced an electric pickup and now there’s a utility vehicle in the works for spring of 2023. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

Hummer had already announced an electric pickup and now there’s a utility vehicle in the works for spring of 2023. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

The Auto Sleuth: Electric options for Kia + Hummer, Outback gets a boost, and more

Hot-off-the-press news from the auto world

Another Hummer EV is coming

The return of the General Motors’ large-and-in-charge brand will begin for the 2022 model year with an electric pickup.

It’s since been announced that a utility-vehicle version will arrive in the spring of 2023 as a 2024 model. Although similar-looking, it’s nearly nine inches shorter overall that the truck. The two electric motors will produce up to 830 horsepower, or about 170 horses less than the max power of the pickup. Range is claimed to be between 250 and 300 miles (400 to 480 kilometres), depending on the trim level.

According to GMC, zero-to-60-mph (96 km/h) will take 3.5 seconds. At launch, buyers can expect to pay well over $100,000 for the least expensive Hummer SUV, however somewhat less-expensive trims are expected in the following months.

The Outback Wilderness has increased ride height and a front skid plate to prevent damage when off-roading. PHOTO: SUBARU

The Outback Wilderness has increased ride height and a front skid plate to prevent damage when off-roading. PHOTO: SUBARU

The Subaru Outback gets a boost

No, not a new turbocharged engine, but a boost in ground clearance to 9.5 inches (24 centimetres) from 8.7 (22 centimetres).

This is specific to the 2022 Wilderness edition of the all-wheel-drive wagon, which will join the regular Outback in the lineup. Along with a unique front-end design, the Outback Wilderness comes with a front skid plate, unique 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires.

The vehicle gets a 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, which is optional in other Outbacks. Subaru has tweaked the standard continuously variable transmission’s final drive ratio to provide greater low-end torque. All-weather floor mats and water-repellent interior trim are also part of the Wilderness package.

Toyota and Tesla to hook up again?

Rumour has it the two automakers will shake hands on a deal that will see Toyota developing a dedicated battery-electric-vehicle platform, with Tesla supplying the various control systems.

Previously, Tesla provided the powertrain for an electric RAV4, which was produced in limited quantities in 2012, offered a range of 100 miles (160 kilometres) and was sold only in California. There’s further speculation that the Toyota-developed architecture will underpin a new and inexpensive model, which will be added to Tesla’s lineup. It’s expected to sell for about $25,000 in the United States.

Toyota is promising that a number of electric models (including Lexus-branded vehicles) will launch by 2025.

The Kia EV6 will be available in front- and all-wheel-drive and with power levels topping out at 577 horses. PHOTO: KIA

The Kia EV6 will be available in front- and all-wheel-drive and with power levels topping out at 577 horses. PHOTO: KIA

An electric Kia will soon be upon us

Arriving in early 2022 is the EV6, which will use the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV (Kia is a Hyundai offshoot).

The EV6 resembles a modernistic hatchback sedan, but beneath the skin is a floor-located battery pack. The front-wheel-drive model is rated at 167 horsepower and all-wheel-drive model makes 321. The all-wheel-drive EV6 GT is rated at 577 horses.

Depending on the power system, the maximum range is a claimed 300 miles (480 kilometres). The interior includes dual 12-inch curved screens, which display the instrumentation, infotainment, climate and navigation functions.

The second of two upcoming BMW electric cars is the 2022 iX. PHOTO: BMW

The second of two upcoming BMW electric cars is the 2022 iX. PHOTO: BMW

BMW has two new EV models arriving soon

The automaker’s newest electric car — 4 Gran Coupe — arrives late this year. The electric-blue-trimmed four-door sedan has a massive grille that appears similar to that of the gasoline-powered 4 Series.

The i4’s front and rear motors produce a combined 523 horsepower and the battery pack delivers about 300 miles (480 kilometres) of range. Acceleration to 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest is expected in the low-four-second range. A four-door iX hatchback wagon will follow the i4 Gran Coupe in 2022. Pricing for both is unknown.

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UPS AND DOWNS

Down: High-speed thefts – Dodge Charger and Challenger models equipped with the 6.4-litre V-8 or the supercharged 6.2-litre V-8 can, at no cost to owners, be upgraded with electronic-verification software.

Without the owner inputting a four-digit code on the infotainment screen, the engines are limited to just 675 revolutions per minute, which is basically idle speed. That prevents the cars being driven away by thieves who could otherwise endanger the public. The software is installed by Dodge dealers.

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. PHOTO: STELLANTIS

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. PHOTO: STELLANTIS

Down: The great ‘Voltswagen’ prank – In case you missed it, a supposed April Fool’s Day stunt that began well before April 1 had duped many news outlets into reporting that the automaker in the United States was changing the Volkswagen name to Voltswagen as it focuses on electric-powered vehicles.

VW’s U.S. public-relations department stood by the deception, repeatedly confirming the news, according to Detroit-based business publication Automotive News. Only days later did the company admit to the hoax that was intended to gain media buzz. For the most part, the media was not amused.

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