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

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Jackson Peters picks, plays and sings on Willows Beach. Peters likes to tour parks in Greater Victoria to practice his music and enjoy the outdoors. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Beach weather strikes in Oak Bay

Willows hosts those looking to swim, play volleyball and build sand castles

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Most Read