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Automotive News - February 2021

A Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 in 2022?

Chevrolet is reportedly working on a high-performance version of its Silverado pickup truck. With Ford and Ram offering the F-150 Raptor and 1500 TRX respectively, does Chevrolet really have a choice but to develop a Silverado ZR2?

Tesla Shuts Down Production at Freemont Plant Until March 7

Tesla is being forced to temporarily cease production of Model 3 and Model Y at its California plant in Freemont. The company did not specify the cause, but recall that last month it had alluded to possible shortages of semiconductors; this could very well be behind the current stoppage.

Revised 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Unveiled

Mercedes-Benz has made a number of revisions for its sixth-generation new 2022 C-Class, but the most notable change can be found under the hood. There buyers will have the choice of 4-cylinder engines, and only those.

Hyundai Finally Unveils the All-Electric Ioniq 5

Hyundai has finally unveiled the Ioniq 5, the first all-electric model to come from its new Ioniq division. Halfway between an SUV and a hatchback, the model has very futuristic styling that should draw a lot attention.

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge First Drive: A Good Transition

The 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge is the first all-electric model from the Swedish automaker, not counting the Polaris sub-brand of course. The SUV represents an interesting test case, in that it’s a fully battery-electric vehicle transformed from an internal-combustion vehicle. Here’s our first-drive review.

Consumer Reports Picks its Top 10 Cars for 2021

Consumer Reports has shared its latest ranking of the best choices for automotive consumers. The magazine’s Top 10 Picks for 2021 reward the models that scored best in several categories including road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, safety and environmental friendliness.

40 Vehicles Recovered from the Bottoms of Nashville Waterways

Authorities recently recovered 40 abandoned vehicles from the bottoms of waterways near Nashville, Tennessee as part of a clean-up operation. Auto123 has more. And each of them likely comes with a story we’d dearly love to know. Unfortunately, chances are we never will.

Ram Dakota: Not Happening For Now

The rumours pointing to the return of the Dakota nameplate have turned out to be just… rumours. Though while the idea is not a top priority for Stellantis, that doesn’t mean the project is dead and buried. Only the future will tell us.

Lexus Introduces IS 500 F Sport Performance for 2022

Lexus introduces a V8-powered version of its new IS sedan. The IS 500 F Sport Performance benefits from the same powertrain as the familiar RC F variant. And it may not be the last F Sport Performance model to come from the luxury automaker.

AJAC 2021 Canadian Vehicles of the Year Category Winners Announced

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada AJAC has announced its members’ choices for the best vehicles in Canada in 2021 in each of eight different cars, SUV and pickup truck categories. The final 2021 Canadian Car of the Year and 2021 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year awards will be handed out next month.

Consumer Reports Picks Top Car Brand for 2021: Congrats to Mazda

Once again Consumer Reports has rolled up its sleeve and poked and prodded this year’s crop of vehicles, and from its resulting data has complied rankings for each brand. The winner this year is Japanese automaker Mazda, which beat out BMW and Subaru, silver and bronze medalists, respectively.

Texans Use Their F-150 Hybrid Trucks to Power Their Homes

Some pickup owners in Texas are using their F-150 Hybrid this week to power their homes during the catastrophic cold snap – and subsequent power failures – afflicting the state. This is probably not a scenario envisaged by Ford at the time of the conception of the model, but they’re happy to publicize its utility in this freakish situation!

Nissan Presents its New 2022 Qashqai for Europe

Nissan has introduced the next-generation 2022 Qashqai for Europe. The model will make its debut there this summer, with its launch here likely coming either late this year or early in 2022. This is the third-gen Qashqai for Europe, and our second.

Honda Introduces Next-Gen Honda HR-V in Japan

The second-generation Honda HR-V has just been shown in Japan – under the name Vezel, which it goes by in its home market. The new images reveal a model that has evolved in an interesting way in terms of its design.

2022 Hyundai Kona to Get New Transmission, More Turbo Power

Hyundai has shared details regarding the power capacities of the revised 2022 Kona coming in the next few months. Those choosing the available 1.6L turbo engine will get more horses to play with, and the two transmissions that are part of the product offering are new or upgraded.

BMW X7: 10 Things Worth Knowing

The BMW X7 is a rather impressive monster, but is it worth the asking price? See 10 things about it, including some questions related to the hefty price tag attached to it.

A Defender Pickup? It Might Happen Yet

The project to produce a pickup carrying the Land Rover name is not dead, apparently. After at one point nixing the idea, the British automaker came to recognize that demand is high for such a format; and so it is that a Defender pickup truck remains a distinct possibility.

Mitsubishi Finally Unveils its 2022 Outlander

Mitsubishi's Outlander SUV is getting a makeover for 2022 and its unveiling reveals the presence of several Nissan elements, particularly from the new Rogue with which it shares structure, mechanics and several other components.

2022 Infiniti QX55: Pricing, Details Announced

Infiniti has announced pricing and details for Canada for its all-new 2022 QX55 crossover coupe set to hit dealerships this spring. Starting price for the base model sits at just over $50,000, and there are three trims to choose from.

Mercedes-Benz EQC Not Coming to North America After All

Mercedes-Benz has backtracked and now says it won’t bring the new EQC electric SUV to North America just yet. The automaker looked at the results of its market analysis and decided now is not the time… but that time will likely still come.

Mercedes-Benz Recalling 1.3M Vehicles Over eCall Glitch

Mercedes-Benz has announced a recall of close to 1.3 million vehicles in the United States over a possible glitch with the eCall emergency communications system, which could direct emergency vehicles to a location other than where the vehicle in need of aid is found.

VW to Begin Production of Taos Headed for Canada

Production of the Volkswagen Taos for the Canadian market is about to begin in Mexico. With the electric ID.4 about to launch as well, the German automaker will in 2021 offer consumers two new SUVs with diametrically opposed approaches.

Volvo Introduces 2021 XC40 Recharge

Volvo has presented - virtually - the all-new 2021 XC Recharge, an all-electric small SUV that could instantly upend the premium EV market. Consumers will decide if that is so…

Peugeot Not Returning to North America After All

Peugeot, which five years had announced a possible return to North America, no longer has plans to do so. Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares stated the obvious, which is that many things have changed – in the industry and for the automaker - since that 2016 announcement.

Toyota Promises Two EVs, One New PHEV for 2022

Toyota has announced it will debut two new all-electric models for 2022. One of them will be an SUV, but the identity of the second remains under wraps. A new plug-in hybrid model is also expected later this year.

Kia Will Produce 11 New All-Electric Models by 2026

Kia announces its intention to develop 11 new all-electric models between now and 2026, which represents an acceleration of its electrification program. It also says that four of those new models will be variants derived from existing models. Let the speculation begin.

Volkswagen is Exploring Idea of Making Flying Cars in China

Volkswagen is currently conducting a feasibility study looking at the possibility of producing flying cars for the Chinese market. Other startups and auto manufacturers are interested in the thing and the question is not if it will become a reality, but when.

Koala Gets Behind the Wheel of an SUV in Australia

Images have ping-ponged around the Internet of a koala bear gripping the steering wheel of an SUV in Australia. The surreal scene took place following an accident inadvertently caused by the koala as it tried to cross a divided highway.

Subaru, Toyota Working on Performance 5-Door Compact?

Toyota and Subaru are said to be working in step on development of a performance-focused five-door hatchback. There are few details to be found so far, but we’ve known for a while that the two automakers have been preparing a new collaborative project.

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo First Drive : Risk and Reward

Over the past few years, Mazda has been trying to redefine itself as a carmaker known for the refinement of its models. Mass market, but a notch above. The new 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo demonstrates the Japanese automaker’s willingness to venture outside its comfort zone. Here’s our first-drive review of the model.

Ford Has No Plans for an Electric Raptor

Ford has confirmed it is not planning to develop an electrified variant of its F-150 Raptor. With GMC set to offer the all-electric Hummer with its big-time off-road capabilities, this was likely given serious consideration, but Ford's priorities are elsewhere with its flagship pickup at the moment.

Super Bowl LV Ads: A Very Different Tone

There were fewer car ads at this year's Super Bowl, but the ones we got were tuned to the moment. The tone was definitely 2021, as the spots looked both to the future and to the recent past, which was revisited and seen in a different light.

Nissan Gives a Preview of the Next Qashqai

Nissan released a first teaser video ahead of the February 18 presentation of its revised Qashqai subcompact SUV. The version previewed is the one destined for the European market, but our Canadian Qashqai shouldn’t be far behind. That said, we’ll wait for confirmation before placing any bets…

Lexus IS, LC and LS Could All Get F variants

Rumour has it that Lexus is preparing three F versions of existing models, namely for the IS and LS sedans, as well as the LC coupe. The same rumour points to this alphabet soup of performance variants being ready and available to consumers before the end of this year.

Jeep recalls Manual-Gearbox Wrangler and Gladiator Models

Jeep is recalling 42,887 Wrangler and Gladiator models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission. The problem is related to the clutch pressure plate, which can overheat and break. It’s not clear yet if any models in Canada are affected, but we will update you.

Ford Unveils its 2021 F-150 Raptor

Ford has finally unveiled the new version of its F-150 Raptor, the automaker’s top-dog off-road pickup. This time around, however, The Raptor is no longer alone in its playground, what with the new Ram TRX having debuted recently. Stay tuned for a Dino Battle Royale.

Mini Will Eliminate Leather Seating

In an effort to make its products greener, Mini will no longer offer leather with its new vehicles. The announcement was made by the brand's design director, Oliver Heilmer.

Days of the V8 Engine Are Numbered, Says Dodge

According to Dodge's big boss, the days of the V8 engine are numbered. The news comes as no surprise, but when it’s the CEO of a brand that relies on this type of powertrain saying it, it likely means the format’s goose is cooked.

First Accessories for the Ford Bronco Make Appearance

The first accessories that will be available with the Ford Bronco are surfacing, ahead of the 300 or so that will be offered by Ford when the model is launched. The automaker is going to make sure buyers have lots – and lots - of ways to personalize their Bronco.

New Teaser Image of Audi e-tron GT Ahead of Reveal

Audi has teased its new 2022 Audi e-Tron GT ahead of the electric four-door coupe’s official debut next week. We’d first met the concept version of the model back at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show; now the model is ready to head into production.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Review: An Alternative to the Rubicon?

Jeep’s decision to add this new Mojave variant to its Gladiator range was a bit of a no-brainer, given the lucrative segment the model sits in. The 2022 Gladiator Mojave orders the same starting price as the Rubicon, and positions itself as a model tailored more for desert speeding than rough off-roading than that version.

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