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

This Earth Day, Cowichan Valley residents are being asked to clean up where they are. (File photo)
Cowichan ‘Clean Where You Are’ campaign starts on Earth Day

Take a bag, one glove, long tongs, and go pick up!

City of Duncan considering an average 3.51 per cent tax increase for 2021. (File photo)
Duncan considers average 3.51% tax increase for 2021

Homeowners would see a $43 increase over last year

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read