The Corolla GR will be based on the hatchback and will come with a 257-horsepower three-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Photo: Toyota.

The hot-hatch Corolla is a go

An industry insider spills the beans on new product, tech and personalities

The hot-hatch Corolla is a go:

Word has reached The Sleuth that Toyota will introduce a competitor to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai Veloster N and Subaru WRX. The Corolla GR (the initials stand for Gazoo Racing, which is the automaker’s home-grown performance division) is expected to arrive in 2022. The turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine and probable six-speed manual transmission come from the rally-inspired subcompact GR Yaris (not for North America), rated at 257 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The numbers are likely to carry over to the Corolla GR. Also, the Yaris GR’s all-wheel-drive system isn’t expected to transition into the Corolla. A starting price in the low-$30,000 range is expected.

The Corolla GR will be based on the hatchback and will comewith a 257-horsepower three-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Photo: Toyota.

Are you interested in new or used vehicles? Visit TodaysDrive.com today!

Blackwing, fly:

With apologies to the Beatles tune, Blackbird, The Sleuth notes that General Motors’ Cadillac division will use the Blackwing designation for the brand’s top-performing “V” sedans that are due to arrive in late 2020, namely the upcoming CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing. The CT4 version gets a turbo V-6 with an output of about 400 horsepower, while the CT5’s supercharged V-8 could reach 640 horses. There’s no word regarding Blackwing models for any of Cadillac’s utility vehicles, but given that the brand’s key luxury competitors offer higher-output variants of similar vehicles, it’s possible that Blackwing versions for the full range of XT wagons as well as the big Escalade might already be in the planning stages.

Is BMW adding to its X lineup?

That’s what The Sleuth hears is in the works, to be labeled the X8. That makes eight such utility/tall-wagon models, beginning with the X1. The X8 is being designed as a “coupe,” which is essentially a four-door tall-bodied hatchback similar in silhouette to the X4 and X6 models. It’s expected that the new flagship X8 will offer the same turbocharged inline-six-cylinder and V-8 engines as the 8 Series coupe, with output ranging from 335 to 617 horsepower, the latter assigned to a sporty X8 M, which is also expected. A plug-in hybrid model is also likely. At this point, information is sketchy concerning an expected arrival date, but sometime in 2022 seems probable. As for pricing, count on well north of $100,000 in Canada

Mazda’s plans for the Mazda6 revealed:

The Sleuth is hearing that the automaker’s midsize sedan will receive nothing short of a complete makeover for the 2023 model year. The highly touted (by most automotive writers, at least) four-door has been a sluggish seller in a world that’s still in love with utility vehicles. The next Mazda6 will employ a new rear-wheel-drive architecture, replacing the current front-wheel-drive platform. All-wheel-drive will also be available. The new 6’s styling will be inspired by the 2017 Mazda Vision Coupe concept. For thrust, expect an inline six-cylinder gasoline engine and a 48-volt electric-assist motor/generator capable of delivering extra torque when needed. There are rumours of 350 maximum horsepower with this layout, which would likely make the Mazda6 a stellar performer.

Lexus plans a new flagship luxury utility vehicle:

The Sleuth hears there’s a good chance that the sleek LF-1 Limitless concept vehicle that went on display in 2018 will emerge in production form for the 2022 model year wearing the LQ designation. It’s also expected to use the same turbocharged powerplants as the big LS and LS hybrid sedans that make 416 and 354 horsepower, respectively. The arrival of the five-passenger LQ might also mean the retirement of the truck-like eight-passenger LX utility vehicle, although that’s far from certain at this point.

Ups and downs

Up: Music for electric BMWs:

According to a story in the New York Times, film-score composer Hans Zimmer is creating a melodic sound for the BMW’s upcoming i4 electric sedan, which launches for the 2021 model year. By then, European and U.S. regulators will require all electric vehicles (normally silent) to emit noises/sounds to alert pedestrians to their presence. Zimmer has produced music for The Da Vinci Code, Inception, Top Gun (1986), Interstellar, Pirates of the Caribbean and others.

Why just have any sound for the electric BMW i4 when it’s stopped when Hans Zimmer can compose something special. Photo: BMW.

Up: Hybrid Mustang delayed:

Ford is reporting a gasoline-electric power system for the Mustang won’t happen until the start of the 2023 model year, when a next-generation model will roll out. Originally, the option was set to launch later this year for 2021. The Mustang hybrid is said to combine the current 5.0-litre gasoline V-8 with an electric motor at each front wheel.

-written by Wheelbase Media

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