The horsepower war between FCA and Ford has spilled over to the Ram and the F-150 from the Challenger and Mustang. PHOTO: FCA

The horsepower war between FCA and Ford has spilled over to the Ram and the F-150 from the Challenger and Mustang. PHOTO: FCA

The Auto Sleuth

New Ram, new GMC utility in the works, a Bugatti Baby and more

• New 702-horsepower Ram puts the Raptor on notice:

Ford owns the off-road pickup category with the Raptor, but that dominance will be put to the test by the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX. The new model comes with a 702-horsepower supercharged 6.2-litre V-8 that’s identical to the engine installed in the Dodge Challenger Hellcat model. There’s also 650-pound-feet of torque.

Apparently Ford has accepted the challenge and will answer by installing the supercharged 5.2-litre V-8 that originates with the Mustang Shelby GT500. That engine makes 760 horsepower and has a torque rating of 625 pound-feet. There’s no word from General Motors as to if, or when, the company might join the fight with a sand- and-mud-conquering Silverado or Sierra pickup.

The upcoming QX55 is the new blood that the brand needs as it attempts a revival. ILLUSTRATION: INFINITI

The upcoming QX55 is the new blood that the brand needs as it attempts a revival. ILLUSTRATION: INFINITI

• The Infiniti QX series takes the coupe route:

It’s common for upscale automakers to convert squared-off utility models into more attractive (but less roomy) hatchbacks. The latest such brand is Nissan’s Infiniti division, which will reveal the QX50-based QX55 this fall for the 2022 model year. It will also be the first of a number of new gasoline and electric vehicles to wear the Infiniti logo as Nissan attempts to revive what has become a slow-selling brand.

The QX55 will likely use a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that in the QX50 makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The Sleuth is hearing that those numbers might be increased slightly to give the “coupe” a bit more dash with its flash.

• A small GMC utility vehicle is in the works:

The platform and drivetrain used for the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Encore GX are rumoured to form the basis for a similar GMC model. In fact, the General Motors division displayed just such a model a decade ago and labeled it the Granite. Whatever the name, you can expect it to be fitted with a 137-horsepower turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, or an optional turbo 1.3-litre three-cylinder producing 155 horses. The 1.2 uses a continuously variable transmission, while the 1.3 gets a nine-speed automatic. Should this littlest GMC make it to production, it would likely be for the 2022 model year at the earliest.

• Ford is planning a third pickup to slot below the Ranger:

Not content to stick to the full-size and midsize truck classes with the F-150 and Ranger, respectively, Ford is apparently developing a small compact pickup for the 2022 model year to round out its range of haulers.

Maverick is one possible name, but it likely won’t be a particularly tough pickup since it will employ a unitized structure that’s similar to that of the current Ford Escape. That would position the Maverick in direct competition with the upcoming 2021 Hyundai Santa Cruz. It would also offer the same range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines as the Escape, which produce 180 and 250 horsepower, respectively.

Chevrolet trotted out a more aggressive looking Corvette (it was the pace car) at a recent race at Road America in Wisconsin. PHOTO: CORVETTE RACING VIA TWITTER

Chevrolet trotted out a more aggressive looking Corvette (it was the pace car) at a recent race at Road America in Wisconsin. PHOTO: CORVETTE RACING VIA TWITTER

• Is a special-edition Corvette coming soon?

It’s no secret that Chevrolet will introduce more potent versions of its mid-engine Stingray sports car over the next year or two. One such model is speculated to be the Stingray R, a version of which recently served as a pace car at the Road America racetrack near Elkhart Lake, Wis. That ’Vette had unique front and rear spoilers that would be ideal for owners who enjoy outings at their local race facility or at a parking-lot autocross.

There’s no word as to the R’s output, but it’s conceivable that the current 495 horsepower V-8 would be elevated to somewhere in the vicinity of 560 horses. That would be a nice bump while still leaving plenty of room for the upcoming Z06 performance model to grab headlines. The Sleuth’s guess is somewhere around 700 horsepower.

_______

UPS AND DOWNS

The Baby II is a three-quarter-scale version of the Type 35 racecar from the 1920s. PHOTO: BUGATTI

The Baby II is a three-quarter-scale version of the Type 35 racecar from the 1920s. PHOTO: BUGATTI

Up: Buy a new Bugatti for US $35,000:

The company that sells the multi-million-dollar Chiron supercar is making three-quarter-scale versions of the brand’s classic Type 35 racecar that dates back to the 1920s. Called the Baby II (the original Baby was half-scale replica), it uses a 13.4-horsepower electric motor and has a top speed of about 65 km/h. Nearly all of the 500 examples are reserved.

Bentley is producing 12 more 1929 Blower cars in a “Continuation Series.” PHOTO: BENTLEY

Bentley is producing 12 more 1929 Blower cars in a “Continuation Series.” PHOTO: BENTLEY

Up: 1929 Bentley Blower redux:

With the help of 3D laser-scanning technology, the VW Group’s luxury division has commissioned a “Continuation Series” of one of the earliest supercharged racecars. All of the Blower’s components — including body panels, chassis and 4.5-litre four-cylinder engine — will be identical to the original. The release date for the 12 additional cars hasn’t been announced. Prices start in the US $2-million range.

AutomotivecarsTrucks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation CEO, holds information brochures for the Light the Trees campaign, part of an effort to raise $5 million for the new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Million-dollar donation has Light the Trees campaign off to a bright start in Nanaimo

Windsor Plywood Foundation supports Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation

Regional District of Nanaimo will be receiving $1.17 million from the B.C. government in COVID-19 safe restart grant money. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo directors getting started on budgeting decisions

Proposed tax requisitions for 2021 range from 7.3-per cent increase to 2.2-per cent decrease

A sport utility vehicle and a Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools work van crashed on Bowen Road near the intersection with Caspers Way this afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Drivers taken to hospital after head-on crash on Nanaimo’s Bowen Road

Crash happened near Caspers Way intersection Friday afternoon

École North Oyster. (Black Press file)
With more student drop-offs during pandemic, SD68 examines safety outside North Oyster school

Fewer school bus trips and more cars accentuating traffic concerns, say school district staff

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read