The G80 — current model pictured — will receive some significant styling changes, although the engine range stays the same. Photo: Genesis

The G80 — current model pictured — will receive some significant styling changes, although the engine range stays the same. Photo: Genesis

Will gasoline-powered Minis become extinct?

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

Will gasoline-powered Minis become extinct?

That’s the scuttlebutt from The Spy Guy’s intel gatherers. They’re hearing that parent company BMW will reduce the number of Mini models in a couple of years to just the current two-door Mini Cooper and the larger Mini Countryman, both of which will use battery-electric power exclusively. For 2020, a Mini Cooper SE electric is expected to join the group. There’s also word that two-seat all-electric coupe called the Mini Rocketman, which was recently viewed in concept form, could possibly join the lineup. If true, that could displace the Mini Cooper four-door and convertible as well as the Mini Clubman wagon. At this point it appears that the current Mini lineup will be maintained at least through to the 2021 model year.

Major changes are afoot at Mini with electrification and the potential of a new Rocketman model (concept pictured) that could displace some other Mini models. Photo: Mini

Ford drops the details for the GT500:

The Sleuth is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Mustang-based hot rod later this year. Think of it as a GT350 with a major power infusion. The 2020 Shelby GT500 will be fitted with a 5.2-litre supercharged V-8 with an official rating of 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque. It will be connected to a seven-speed paddle-shifted transmission from Tremec that will send power to the rear wheels through a carbon-fibre driveshaft. Each shift will take as little as eight/100th of a second, which is significantly quicker than any human can do through a manually controlled gearbox. Zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) is estimated to take less than three seconds, while zero to 100 mph (160 km/h) will take about 10.6 seconds, or nearly the time it will take for the GT500 to reach the quarter-mile mark from rest. The base MSRP is about $95,000 in Canada, but finding one for that price will likely be a challenge.

The GT500’s supercharged 5.2-litre V-8 is rated at 760 horsepower. Photo: Ford

It’s not easy competing with The Big Three domestic automakers in the pickup truck game:

That seems apparent to The Sleuth after hearing that Nissan is dropping the Titan XD truck model from the lineup for the 2020 model year. That cancellation means that the model’s Cummins-built V-8 turbo-diesel — 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque — is also history. At the same time, the regular (single) cab Titan will no longer be available. For 2020, all remaining Titan trim levels will come with the existing 390-horsepower 5.6-liter V-8, but will receive new front and rear styling as well as revised interiors with larger touchscreens.

Nissan is dropping the diesel-powered version of the Titan pickup. Photo: Nissan

Not-quite-new beginning for the Genesis G80:

The Sleuth’s operatives are reporting that a mild makeover is coming for the luxury nameplate. Although the G80’s platform carries over, there’s a new front end (including grille) inspired by the Genesis Essentia coupe. There are also slight changes to the roofline behind the rear doors, and a spoiler is being incorporated into a trunk lid. Although the G80’s 311-horsepower 3.8-litre V-6 and 365-horsepower 3.3-litre twin-turbo V-6 will carry over, there’s speculation that the optional 5.0-litre non-turbo V-8 will form part of a new plug-in hybrid system. The G70, G80, G90 sedans are expected to be joined by a new GV80 midsize tall wagon, to be revealed sometime in 2020.

The G80 — current model pictured — will receive some significant styling changes, although the engine range stays the same. Photo: Genesis

What’s to become of the NSX?

It’s the burning question on The Sleuth’s mind now that details and pricing for the 2020 Corvette have been released. The midengine Chevrolet that comes with a 495-horsepower V-8 should closely match the (also mid-engine) NSX in performance, but the Corvette has a base price of about $70,000 in Canada. That’s about $130,000 less than the base price for the hybrid Acura, of which less than 200 examples were sold in North America in 2018. Without question, the NSX is one quick ride, as The Sneaky One knows first hand, but how will NSX sales be impacted by the new ’Vette? While most of the 2020 Corvette production has been spoken for, NSX sales appear to be unaffected, perhaps implying that NSX fans are just as diehard as Corvette fans.

Base price to base price, the NSX costs about $130,000 more than the new Corvette. Although the higher-end versions of the previous Corvette are probably as capable as the NSX, the new midengine Corvette draws a more direct comparison. Photo: Acura.

Ups and downs

Up: Hybrid engines are coming to IndyCar:

Beginning with the 2022 racing season, all of the league’s racecars will run using internal-combustion/electric power systems. The change is expected to increase output to “at least” 900 horsepower from 550 to 700 horses. Also increasing is the size of the V-6 engines to 2.4 litres from the current 2.2-litre displacement. The hybrids will be part of a new IndyCar body/chassis package that will continue to use Honda- or General Motors-designed powerplants.

Up: Netflix is introducing Hyperdrive:

The new reality series, dubbed “the most spectacular car competition on earth” is available on the TV streaming service. In each of the first season’s 10 episodes, non-professional drivers from various countries the world must navigate a large obstacle course that has been set up in an abandoned industrial complex. Actor Charlize Theron is the executive producer of Hyperdrive.

Interested in new or used vehicles? Visit TodaysDrive.com today!

-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

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Chemainus Art Group creates mural mosaic to celebrate a joyful spring. (Photo submitted)
Art group members celebrate a joyful spring in Chemainus

Each of 33 squares pushed together into one mural

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ district administration centre. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district gets started on new budget amid unknowns

Ministry’s per-student funding increase doesn’t fully cover pay raises for teachers and support staff

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Transfer Beach Dippers have been taking to the waters of Transfer Beach as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo)
‘Transfer Beach Dippers’ group finds community in the cold water

Dippers tend to dip at 6am, 8:45am, or 6pm at Transfer Beach

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read