A new-design long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee appeared for 2021. The five-passenger model continued on and now the redesign has arrived. PHOTO: JEEP

A new-design long-wheelbase Grand Cherokee appeared for 2021. The five-passenger model continued on and now the redesign has arrived. PHOTO: JEEP

The Auto Sleuth: The new Grand Cherokee, the return of the Integra name and more

Hot off the press news from the auto world!

Jeep announces the new five-passenger Grand Cherokee

The fifth generation of the brand’s venerable wagon arrived for 2021 with three rows of seats (called the Grand Cherokee L). For 2022, the five-passenger Grand Cherokee joins in.

Other than being close to 30 centimetres shorter than the three-row version — with a wheelbase that’s 13 centimetres less — the five-passenger model looks fairly similar to the L. Both also get a 293-horsepower 3.6-litre V-6 or an optional 357-horsepower 5.7-litre V-8.

Also available for 2022 is the 4xe plug-in hybrid model, which has a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder plus an electric motor. It’s good for 470 pound-feet of torque (80 pound-feet more than the V-8). The hot rumour is that the 4xe will become the Grand Cherokee’s only powertrain option once the V-8 is retired, possibly in a couple of years.

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Acura has provided this teaser image of what a new Integra — clearly a four-door model — would look like. PHOTO: ACURA

Acura has provided this teaser image of what a new Integra — clearly a four-door model — would look like. PHOTO: ACURA

Acura signals the return of the Integra name

Honda’s premium division introduced the Integra line of sedans and coupes for 1986. The nameplate was replaced by the RSX hatchback that was sold from model years 2002 through 2006.

It’s now known that Acura will reintroduce the Integra as a four-door hatchback and will build it using the Honda Civic platform. Rumour has it that the Civic’s available 192-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder will serve as the Integra’s base engine, while something more potent — likely a turbo 2.0-litre producing 252 horsepower — will be found in the Integra R model.

Whatever the final powertrain concoctions, the 2023 Integra is expected to debut sometime in 2022.

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A scattershot of EV developments

A few emerging automakers are breaking free from their R&D cocoons.

First up, the 2022 Rivian RT1 pickup is now rolling off the assembly line in Normal, Ill. According to Rivian, the truck’s four electric motors (one for each wheel) produce up to 800 horsepower and can propel the RT1 to 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in three seconds. A 400-mile (640 kilometres) range is claimed, as is an 11,000-pound (5,000-kilogram) tow rating and a 1,760-pound (800-kilogram) payload capacity.

Also production-bound is the California-built 2022 Lucid Motors’ Air electric luxury sedan. Depending on the model, there’s up to 520 miles (830 kilometres) of range and 933 horsepower. Prototype Air models are currently being tested before full production begins.

Lastly, Foxconn Technology Group has purchased the Ohio facility where the Lordstown Motors electric Endurance pickup will be built. Foxconn will act as the contract assembler. No launch date has been announced. 

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Are the Camaro’s days numbered?

That’s thought to be true, owing to the sporty Chevy’s sales decline. Just 282 were sold in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry publication Automotive News Canada. For comparison, that’s about the same number of Chevrolet Express vans sold in the same period, while 733 Corvettes sold.

The rumour gained credence recently with reports from a General Motors fan-news website that Camaro production will wrap in late 2023 with a 2024 model. The “farewell” package is said to include special interior/exterior trim pieces, but without any special powertrain upgrades.

Along with lackluster sales, the Camaro’s aging rear-wheel-drive platform that once supported the Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans is being retired. There are rumours that a battery-electric-powered replacement is in the works, but nothing concrete. 

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Coming Polestar vehicles are expected to take design cues from the Precept concept, pictured. PHOTO: POLESTAR

Coming Polestar vehicles are expected to take design cues from the Precept concept, pictured. PHOTO: POLESTAR

Polestar announces its upcoming EV lineup

Following the arrival of the 2021 Polestar 2 hatchback, the Volvo-owned brand released details about three follow-up electric models, all of which will be assembled at the automaker’s factory in Ridgeville, S.C.

The Polestar 3, due out for 2023, is roughly the size of the Volvo XC90 tall wagon. The Polestar 4 four-door hatchback that follows will use the architecture of the electric Volvo C40 Recharge. The Polestar 5 will be a performance vehicle that takes direct aim at the Porsche Taycan. The 4 and the 5 are likely to arrive by mid-decade and they’re expected to be modelled after the Polestar Precept concept.

UPS AND DOWNS

The P500 was the prototype for the Countach in the early 1970s. PHOTO: LAMBORGHINI

The P500 was the prototype for the Countach in the early 1970s. PHOTO: LAMBORGHINI

UP: Lamborghini makes a new-old Countach

A fanatic of the brand with very deep pockets convinced the Italian automaker to create a replica of the mid-engine P500 prototype of the Countach, exactly the way it was in 1971. The original car was damaged and consigned to the scrap heap. It took Lamborghini 25,000 hours to complete the project.

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The Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle is approved for police use. PHOTO: FORD

The Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle is approved for police use. PHOTO: FORD

UP: Mustang Mach-E Police Inceptor

Ford is developing a specially equipped version of the battery-electric pony car for police duty. The basis for the Interceptor is the 480-horsepower (and 634 pound-feet of torque) edition of the Mach-E, which has a 250-mile (400-kilometre) range. Already the Michigan State Police — deemed the definitive test authority for police vehicles — has declared the Mach-E fit for duty.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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