The Hyundai Santa Cruz concept, pictured, is the design inspiration for a production model, and Kia will follow suit about a year later with its own version. Photo: Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz concept, pictured, is the design inspiration for a production model, and Kia will follow suit about a year later with its own version. Photo: Hyundai

Insights into Chevrolet, Fiat, Jaguar and more!

An industry insider spills the beans on new product, tech and personalities

You can spec your 2020 Corvette Stingray right now:

Chevrolet spent more than a couple of years whetting enthusiasts’ appetites for the new mid-engine Corvette through numerous detail leaks and photos of camouflaged test vehicles. With the car’s recent reveal, however, the information floodgates have now been opened wide and with it the ability to head online and fiddle with what’s called the Corvette Visualizer. The 360-degree interactive page at www.chevrolet.com provides a complete 3D view of the car’s interior and exterior so you can examine every angle, select any of the available colours and share what you’ve designed with other ’Vette enthusiasts. The base price in Canada is just under $70,000 with deliveries anticipated for early 2020.

The Corvette Visualizer lets you equip your new 2020 model the way you want, after which you can share with your friends online. Photo: Chevrolet.

Fiat to (finally) restyle the 500, add a new electric offshoot:

The Sleuth’s intel gatherers have uncovered news of the first significant change to Fiat’s tiniest member since it first arrived in North America for the 2012 model year. Although details remain sketchy, the 2020 500 will be restyled at both ends, but will increase in size only slightly. Also anticipated is Fiat’s latest 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower in the all-wheel-drive 500X. It’s likely to be exclusive to the sporty Abarth model while the rest of the lineup carries over with the 135-horsepower turbo 1.4-litre four-cylinder. The electric 500e that’s currently available in California and a few other states will receive much the same updates as its gasoline counterparts, but will be built on a dedicated platform designed for other upcoming Fiat EVs. The 500e will also receive a significant range increase from the current 84-mile (134-kilometre) maximum and it will eventually be available to the rest of the automaker’s North American dealer network.

The current Fiat 500, pictured, has soldiered on essentially visually unchanged since its arrival for the 2012 model year. The updated version will be only slightly larger, however. Photo: FCA.

Is there an electric Escalade on the way?

Along with a Silverado and Sierra EV? That’s the hot rumour originating with The Sleuth’s sources. Along with plans for a high-performance version of next-generation 2021 Escalade — with a 650-horsepower 6.2-litre supercharged V-8 — the luxury Caddy wagon might also be available as an EV a year or two later. The Sleuth is hearing that the Escalade EV’s battery system would provide a maximum range of 400 miles (640 kilometres), which could equal the range for the electric Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups that are also expected in the next two to three years (the three vehicles share platforms).

Jaguar will launch a fourth utility vehicle:

Word has reached The Spy Guy that the Britain-based automaker will introduce a new tall wagon sometime in 2021. The J-Pace will join the compact E-Pace and midsize F-Pace models, in addition to the electrically powered I-Pace that broke cover for 2019. The newest addition will be sized to accommodate three rows of seats and will complete with the similar vehicles such as the BMW X7, Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS and the 2020 Cadillac XT6. The J-Pace will also employ Jaguar Land Rover’s latest MLA platform, which will also underpin the next-generation Range Rover and Range Rover Sport as well as the new Land Rover Defender. Most, if not all of these models will offer gasoline engines as well as plug-in hybrid and battery-electric propulsion.

What works for Hyundai also works for Kia, and that includes a pickup:

The Spymaster’s sources spilled the beans concerning Kia’s plans to join its Hyundai partner in the crowded midsize-pickup category, competing with the Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma. Although the vehicle will be built off the same chassis as the Hyundai Santa Cruz that’s expected to arrive for the 2021 model year, Kia’s version that will follow a year later will have a totally different (as in more conservative) look.

Ups and downs

Up: Spend a night in the Wienermobile:

If you’re heading to the Chicago, Ill., area, you might consider booking a stay in one of Oscar Mayer’s well-known rolling advertisements. The fully furnished eight-metre-long hot dog has a pullout couch that sleeps two, a mini-refrigerator and an outdoor setup with Adirondack chairs, faux grass and a portable bathroom.

A night’s stay costs US $136 and can be reserved through Airbnb.com. Photo: airbnb.com.

Up: The return of the Saleen S7:

The limited-production mid-engine supercar originally created by former racing driver and Mustang modifier Steve Saleen was built from 2000 to 2009. The S7’s 7.0-litre V-8 was rated at 550 horsepower, and with twin turbochargers it put out 750. Now backed by a corporation based in China, a new S7 Le Mans will soon be available with an estimated 1,500 horsepower. It’s claimed to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from rest in 2.2 seconds and attain a 298 mph (477 km/h) top speed. There’s no word as yet as to price or availability.

Photo: Saleen.

-written by Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Angelique Houlihan gets her COVID-19 vaccine jab last week at the community-wide clinic. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
Vaccine clinic continues this week

Plenty of booking spots available

District of Houston
Council adds flexibility to spending decisions

Singles out road works as potential beneficiary

Filling potholes in Houston
Holes filled on Highway 16

Potholes aren’t restricted to District of Houston streets. Lakes District Maintenance crews… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read