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

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Castlegar house fire

The fire has since spread to an adjacent property

Zoning hearing scheduled for major Castlegar housing development

Phase two of Twin Rivers Estates needs a zoning change before moving forward

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read