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The Auto Sleuth: Kia’s EV6, surprises from the new Bronco, NASCAR news and more

Hot off the press news from the auto world!
The Kia EV6 will be available in three power levels, topping out at 576 horses. All-wheel-drive is optional, but standard for the highest power level. PHOTO: KIA

Kia’s EV6 details announced

The electric hatchback sedan, which goes on sale in early 2022, recently made its debut in New York City. The car comes with a battery pack positioned between the front and (optional) rear electric motors. It will also share its battery-electric platform with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV (Kia is part of the Hyundai family).

The base rear-wheel-drive model will generate 167 horsepower, with a 218-horsepower version available. Additionally, an all-wheel-drive EV6 with front and rear electric motors is rated at 313 horsepower.

Arriving in late 2022 is the EV6 GT (also all-wheel-drive) with 576 horsepower. Kia claims the GT will have an estimated 300-mile range (480 kilometres) and will sprint to 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in 3.5 seconds. There is no word on pricing for Canada.


Ford has upped the power levels of the four- and six-cylinder engines for the upcoming Bronco. Max is 330 horses. PHOTO: FORD
Ford has upped the power levels of the four- and six-cylinder engines for the upcoming Bronco. Max is 330 horses. PHOTO: FORD

Long-awaited Bronco has a few surprises up its sleeve

Whether Ford was sandbagging all along, it recently announced revised performance numbers for both base and available powerplants for its more rugged companion to the Bronco Sport.

The turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder is now officially rated at 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, which is up from the originally stated 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet. The optional turbo 2.7-litre V-6 is rated at 330 horses and 415 pound-feet (originally 310/400). Note that premium fuel is required to enjoy the added power, otherwise the lower values will likely prevail.


Mercedes-Benz’s plans for the next SL roadster

For 2022, a two-seat roadster being developed by Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division will get a redesigned body that includes a return to a folding soft top from the current hard top.

The lineup will begin with the Mercedes-AMG 53, which is equipped with turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 430 horsepower. The optional Mercedes-AMG 63 will come with a twin-turbo V-8 making 600 horsepower.

To help attain those numbers, both engines will employ electric-motor assist (a.k.a. mild hybrid systems). Speculation is that both variants will come with all-wheel-drive, which would be a first for the SL. An extra-potent turbocharged V-12 model is also expected for 2023.


Is Mitsubishi sharpening its performance claws?

Word has it that those in charge of the brand, which is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, intend to revive the Ralliart name that was assigned to performance versions of sedans and hatchbacks more than a decade ago. A return to motorsports involvement, specifically rally racing, is also in the works.

Mitsubishi is keeping silent for now regarding future Ralliart models, but given the dearth of available Mitsubishi product, something in a turbocharged hatchback — possibly borrowed and rebadged from the Renault stable — could be a possibility.

There has also been mention of a Ralliart pickup, but its arrival here is uncertain at best.


Among the major changes, the new seventh-generation NASCAR Cup cars look more like the cars you can buy from the local dealership. PHOTO: TOYOTA
Among the major changes, the new seventh-generation NASCAR Cup cars look more like the cars you can buy from the local dealership. PHOTO: TOYOTA

NASCAR confirms major hardware changes:

Often accused of being technologically behind the times, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is introducing significant updates for the 2022 season to its top-tier Cup cars.

They include a common modular structure with bolt-on front and rear subframes to which a first-ever independent rear suspension will be attached. All cars will also run with 18-inch wheels with a centre lug nut that replace the current 15-inch wheels with five lug nuts.

There are bigger brakes and refueling will be done using a hose that extends from a storage tank behind the pit wall, which means no more hand-held gasoline canisters. The fuel-injected V-8 engines will return, however there’s a new five-speed sequential manual transmission replacing the four-speed manual.


Up: Hyundai to spend big bucks in the next five years

The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), which includes Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles, says it will invest US $7.4 billion through 2025 in the United States to manufacture current and future electric vehicles. Much of those funds are said to be earmarked for the plant in Montgomery, Ala., where a number of different vehicle models are currently assembled. HMG also plans to develop autonomous driving systems as well as hydrogen-fuel-cell propulsion systems for transport trucks.


BMW i4 2022. Photo: BMW
BMW i4 2022. Photo: BMW

Up: Musical notes for BMW’s electric cars:

The nearly silent whirring sounds emanating from battery-electric vehicles has given BMW the impetus to create something special for both passengers and passers-by to hear. Hans Zimmer, the award-winning composer, has been tapped to create some unique musical accompaniment for future BMW electric vehicles beginning with the i4 hatchback sedan, pictured, and iX utility vehicle. Both models will go on sale in 2022.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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