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

Sonja Maas, who lives in Germany, was inspired to draw the 2021 Gold Rush Sled Dog Mail Run art after spending time in Quesnel working with a musher in 2020. (Submitted Photo)
Sled dog mail run artist inspired by 2020 event

Sonja Maas lives in Germany, and spent the 2020 sled dog run in Quesnel with a musher

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Chief Leah Stump communicated the state of emergency news through a Facebook video. (Video Screenshot)
Nazko First Nation tightens borders due to COVID-19

Chief Leah Stump said in a video they will be putting up checkpoints before entering the reserve

Tl’etinqox will be going into lockdown at 6 p.m. Jan 20 due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
House parties, impending lockdown and loss; Tl’etinqox chief grapples with COVID-19 challenges

Tl’etinqox Government west of Williams Lake declared a state of emergency Jan. 18

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is displayed on Jan. 5, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox

Temperature-sensitive vaccine no longer viable after Jan. 18 event

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Most Read