The Alfa Romeo Tonale is a compact utility vehicle that in base trim comes with a 256-horsepower four-cylinder engine. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version. Look for it for the 2023 model year. PHOTO: STELLANTIS

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is a compact utility vehicle that in base trim comes with a 256-horsepower four-cylinder engine. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version. Look for it for the 2023 model year. PHOTO: STELLANTIS

The Auto Sleuth: Alfa Romeo, Dodge Ram and Winnebago get electrified

Hot off the press news from the auto world

Alfa Romeo debuts its first electrified vehicle

The automaker, part of the Stellantis group which also owns Fiat, Dodge and Chrysler, has announced the 2023 Tonale. The compact hatchback’s conservative design is reflective of others bearing the Alfa badge, especially the larger Stelvio.

Base and Ti trims get a 256-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder. The premium Veloce plug-in hybrid version comes with a turbo 1.3-litre four-cylinder that powers the front wheels, while a 90-kilowatt motor turns the rears. Total system output is rated at 272 horsepower.

Alfa Romeo estimates the hybrid can run for up to 50 kilometres solely on electric power. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard with the turbo 2.0, while a six-speed automatic is used in the hybrid. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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The Winnebago e-RV is based on the Ford Transit platform, but with a third-party power system. The range is estimated at 200 kilometres, meaning you had better like camping more than driving. PHOTO: Winnebago

The Winnebago e-RV is based on the Ford Transit platform, but with a third-party power system. The range is estimated at 200 kilometres, meaning you had better like camping more than driving. PHOTO: Winnebago

Winnebago has an electric camper in the works

The motorhome producer recently revealed the electric e-RV, which is expected to enter production soon.

The basis for the model is Ford’s Transit van, into which Winnebago will install an electric motor (supplied by a third party) and a battery pack.

The company claims up to 200 kilometres of range, while providing electric air conditioning, refrigeration and water heating systems. If that doesn’t sound like much range, it isn’t; Winnebago says that about half of RV-ers travel less than 320 kilometres to the next campsite. So, while some owners will be fine with this, others will have to fully recharge at least once while en route. Of course the long haulers can still buy an internal-combustion Winnebago.

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Ram teases its entry into the electric-pickup realm

There’s been plenty of buzz regarding the coming Ford F-150 Lightning, the GMC Hummer and the Chevrolet Silverado full-size electric pickups.

Yet to be heard from — until now — has been news of an electric Ram.

The Stellantis brand has finally confirmed that such a vehicle is in the works. The Ram EV will arrive in 2024 and will ride on a unique platform designed specifically for larger vehicles, including utility vehicles and commercial vans.

Ram also claims the system will provide a range of up to 800 kilometres. The Silverado EV offers a range of 640 kilometres (the Ford is lower still). Further details will be revealed through www.RamRevolution.com.

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Will Chevrolet replace the Spark with another small car?

The subcompact runabout is on the way out, currently assembled at a General Motors facility in Korea that also makes the Chevrolet Trax and Trailblazer, plus the Buick Encore and Encore GX.

The Sleuth is hearing that the plant is gearing up for another small gasoline-powered hatchback-style vehicle. If true, it might mean that Chevrolet will introduce a new price-leading hatchback to plug the gap left by the departing Spark. That’s a pretty big “might,” given the market’s appetite for small utility vehicles, which Chevrolet of course already makes.

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The Aston-Martin DBX will add a higher performing model called the 707, with 155 more horsepower than the 542-horse base model. PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN

The Aston-Martin DBX will add a higher performing model called the 707, with 155 more horsepower than the 542-horse base model. PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN

Aston Martin reveals an extra-quick tall wagon

The Britain-based luxury automaker recently added the DBX utility vehicle to the lineup for 2022 and equipped it with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V-8 that makes 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.

Although that should be plenty to satisfy most Aston Martin patrons, those with a craving for more could wait for the DBX707 that will launch later in the year as a 2023 model. It gets bigger turbochargers plus other tweaks to increase output to a stout 697 horsepower and 663 pound-feet.

A zero-to-60-mph (96 km/h) time of 3.1 seconds is claimed and the top speed is 193 (310 km/h). Of course, you won’t be accelerating that rapidly if you’re towing up to 5,940 pounds (2,700 kilograms), which is the DBX707’s maximum rating. Both models are connected to nine-speed automatic transmissions.

UPS AND DOWNS

DOWN: Kia Sportage PHEV model announced – The brand’s 2023 compact utility vehicle will be available in gasoline-only and hybrid versions when it arrives later in 2022.

Both will be followed by a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Sportage that uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and a 66.9-kilowatt electric motor fed by a lithium-polymer battery. Net output is 177 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain. The PHEV will offer an estimated electric-only range of 32 miles (50 kilometres).

Kia’s 2023 compact utility vehicle, the Sportage, will be available in gasoline-only and hybrid versions when it arrives later in 2022.

Kia’s 2023 compact utility vehicle, the Sportage, will be available in gasoline-only and hybrid versions when it arrives later in 2022.

UP: Ferrari Purosangue production confirmed for this year – The storied sportscar maker’s all-wheel-drive utility vehicle (Purosangue is Italian for thoroughbred), which has been in development since 2018, will finally see the light of day in late 2022 as a 2023 model. Details remain scarce, but all signs point to a 6.5-litre V-12 engine with battery assist.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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