The redesign of the Honda Civic is extensive with a large lower grille, sharp body creases and an obvious bump in the bodywork below the rear side glass. PHOTO: HONDA

The redesign of the Honda Civic is extensive with a large lower grille, sharp body creases and an obvious bump in the bodywork below the rear side glass. PHOTO: HONDA

The Auto Sleuth: A next-gen Civic and Subaru coupe, Nissan Rogue Sport and more

Hot off the press news from the auto world

Honda reveals the next-generation Civic:

The Sleuth thinks there’s nothing too radical about the automaker’s 2022 compact sedan that’s scheduled to arrive in the spring. The most dramatic change is the Civic’s front end with its fancier headlights and oversize air intake that appears inspired by certain Toyota models.

There are also more creases that extend along the sides and around the wheel openings, plus a spoiler-like lip on the trunk lid.

Honda has yet to provide specific measurements of the new Civic (images of the concept version only have been released), but it appears to be a bit bigger. There’s also no word regarding engine specs for the base Civic, Si and Type R, but some horsepower upticks are expected.

The redesigned Subaru BRZ gets much more aggressive front bodywork with all sorts of ducting. A 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine replaces the 2.0-litre. PHOTO: SUBARU

The redesigned Subaru BRZ gets much more aggressive front bodywork with all sorts of ducting. A 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine replaces the 2.0-litre. PHOTO: SUBARU

Subaru’s second-gen sporty coupe gets a 20-per-cent bigger engine but only 11 per cent more horsepower:

For 2022, the automaker’s rear-wheel-drive BRZ comes with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine packing 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It replaces the current 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 205 horses and 156 pound-feet. The new engine makes 11 per cent more horsepower and 17 per cent more peak torque. Unfortunately, the BRZ won’t be available with the 260-horsepower turbocharged 2.4 that’s standard in the Ascent utility vehicle and optional in the Legacy sedan and Outback wagon. Still, the BRZ’s modestly redesigned body and interior (likely shared by the similar Toyota 86l) should pique the interest of both new and current fans.

• Nissan’s e-Power is slated for the next Rogue Sport:

The Sleuth hears that the automaker’s unique electric propulsion system that was initially installed in Japan-only vehicles in 2018 will be offered in the next-generation 2022 Qashqai. The e-Power system uses a small-displacement gasoline engine to generate electricity for a battery pack that powers an electric motor. Because the system runs on readily available gasoline, e-Power removes so-called range anxiety that owners of plug-in battery-electric vehicles might experience. There are rumours that e-Power availability will be extended to other Nissan and Infiniti models.

• It’s V-8 and hybrid power options for Jeep:

The current Wrangler off-roader has been regularly revised since its arrival for the 2018 model year. For 2021, Jeep will offer a 4xe model that uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine plus two electric motors and a 400-volt battery pack. The plug-in hybrid system’s 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque give it an advantage of 28 pound-feet over the 260-horsepower 3.0-litre V-6 turbo-diesel that joined the Wrangler family for 2020. Also debuting for 2021, the Wrangler Rubicon 392 Unlimited promises to blow the doors off the off-road competition with a 6.4-litre V-8 producing 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It’s your move, Ford Bronco.

The Sleuth thinks the Volkswagen Arteon will be replaced by the Aero — they’re similarly shaped — which would be an electric sedan based on the upcoming ID.4 utility vehicle. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

The Sleuth thinks the Volkswagen Arteon will be replaced by the Aero — they’re similarly shaped — which would be an electric sedan based on the upcoming ID.4 utility vehicle. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

• Will the Volkswagen Arteon be replaced by the Aero?

That is a very real possibility, thinks The Sleuth. Apparently, VW’s major commitment to electric-vehicle development could spell the end for the fastback-bodied Arteon (and possibly the Passat sedan). Specifically, the Arteon’s Aero-branded replacement would be a sleek four-door sedan built on the same modular platform as the ID.4 that arrives for 2021. The Aero and a midsize wagon EV called the ID Space will likely be assembled at the same Chattanooga, Tenn., factory where the Passat is built.

UPS AND DOWNS

Up: And now he’s Sir Lewis Hamilton:

With his victory at the Nov. 15 Turkish Grand Prix, the Mercedes-AMG driver tied Michael Schumacher’s record with seven wins. Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished the 2020 season in second place followed by Max Verstappen, who drives for Team Red Bull, in third. It was also announced that Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth awarded a knighthood to Hamilton on New Year’s Eve, granting him the title Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Ultra-expensive low-volume supercars seem to be popping up everywhere. The Freedom, from a company called Elation, could have close to 2,000 horsepower and cost US $2 million. PHOTO: ELATION

Ultra-expensive low-volume supercars seem to be popping up everywhere. The Freedom, from a company called Elation, could have close to 2,000 horsepower and cost US $2 million. PHOTO: ELATION

Up: A supercar hopeful emerges:

Elation, a company founded by two Californians, will introduce the all-wheel-drive, mid-engine Freedom at the 2021 Geneva (Switzerland) auto show. The two-seater can be ordered with an Audi-based 5.2-litre V-10, but an electrified version with three motors will produce a claimed 1,900-plus horsepower and provide up to 400 miles (640 kilometres) of range. Pricing for each of the 25 planned models starts at US $2 million.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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