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

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

UPDATE: Catalytic converters stolen from four ambulances being repaired in Delta

The thefts were reported on March 31, and police say they have no suspects at this time

Some Surrey landlords ‘kicking out’ businesses that can’t make rent

Surrey Board of Trade CEO suspects situation will be worse in May

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Update: Coquihalla re-opens, after incident requiring a medevac

DriveBC warns of continued delays and congestion

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Most Read