The Cadenza, pictured, is on the way out. In its place, Kia will bring to market a heavily redesigned sedan call the K8. PHOTO: KIA

The Cadenza, pictured, is on the way out. In its place, Kia will bring to market a heavily redesigned sedan call the K8. PHOTO: KIA

The Auto Sleuth: Hot-off-the-press news from the auto world

A new Kia. Lynk & Co to sell vehicles in Europe. And is Mazda joining the coupe craze?

Kia is replacing the Cadenza

The Sleuth reports that the brand’s up-market passenger car (comparable to the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon sedans) will receive a major makeover for 2022, including new styling, added luxury and safety content and most likely an all-wheel-drive option.

Going forward, the Cadenza will be labeled the K8, which fits in with the automaker’s rebranding the smaller Optima sedan as the K5 for 2021. The K8 will apparently retain the Cadenza’s 290-horsepower 3.3-litre V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. However rumour has it that a plug-in hybrid system similar to what’s installed in the 2021 Sorento utility vehicle (it provides up to 50 kilometres of electric-only range) will also be available.

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The Zero EV is expected to arrive in North America, with two electric motors producing 536 horsepower. PHOTO: LYNK & CO

The Zero EV is expected to arrive in North America, with two electric motors producing 536 horsepower. PHOTO: LYNK & CO

Details on Lynk & Co’s first model to be sold outside China

The brand owned by Geely of China has been selling cars in its home market for a couple of years. Lynk & Co plans to sell vehicles in Europe sometime in 2021, followed by a possible expansion to North America within a year or so.

All models exported from China will use a new modular electric platform that will also underpin future Volvo electrics (Volvo is owned by Geely). The first to arrive, called the Zero EV, is a midsize hatchback with two electric motors (one for the front wheels and one for the rears) making a combined 536 horsepower.

Lynk & Co estimates a range of 435 miles (695 kilometres) using European test methods, but for North America the official range is likely to be 350 to 370 miles (560 to 590km). Also claimed is a zero-to-60-mph (96 km/h) time of less than four seconds. There’s no word on pricing yet, or how or how distribution in North America would proceed.

***

Is Mazda about to join the coupe craze?

That’s the hot rumour buzzing around in The Sleuth’s world. The scuttle is that when the next-generation CX-5 debuts for the 2023 model year, it will be joined by the CX-50 four-door “coupe,” which is essentially a CX-5 with a fastback roofline (similar to that of the Mazda CX-30).

The new design would get the same powertrain as the regular CX-5, which is rumoured to receive a new rear-wheel-drive platform (with all-wheel-drive optional). In the offing is a new four-cylinder engine linked to a 48-volt electric motor (for both CX-5 and CX-50) for 2023, plus a plug-in hybrid option.

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Toyota remains cool to EVs

In a recent speech, company boss Akio Toyoda expressed some reluctance embracing electric vehicles for his company’s lineup. The automaker, which has led the industry in hybrid-vehicle development, believes the billions of dollars required to develop the necessary infrastructure — plus the fossil fuels needed by many countries to generate the necessary electricity to power such models — makes electric cars and trucks less than environmentally friendly.

Factor in the added manufacturing costs and the job losses stemming from building these less-parts-intensive vehicles, and hybrids appear to be a more viable option. Nevertheless, Toyota is going with the flow and will introduce 10 electric models globally in the next five years.

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The Volkswagen ID.4, pictured, isn’t even here yet and The Sleuth is hearing about several follow-up models. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

The Volkswagen ID.4, pictured, isn’t even here yet and The Sleuth is hearing about several follow-up models. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen is moving quickly on the electric front

The automaker’s 2021 ID.4 has yet to officially arrive and there’s news that other electric models are heading our way.They include a four-door-coupe version of the ID.4 later in 2021, followed by the ID.6 utility vehicle arriving in late 2021 (as a 2022 model) and the much-anticipated arrival of the electric 2022 Microbus.

Rounding out the lineup is the midsize (or larger) ID.5 sedan that’s slated for sometime in 2022. There are also plans for a subcompact ID.1 hatch, but it will likely be a Europe-only model.

***

UPS AND DOWNS

Zoox Fully Autonomous, All-electric Robotaxi

Zoox Fully Autonomous, All-electric Robotaxi

Up: Amazon’s autonomous vehicle

Zoox, a company recently acquired by the e-retailer giant, has revealed its first self-driving taxi shuttle. The bi-directional model measures four metres in length and can carry up to four passengers and their gear.

The Zoox has a top speed of 75 mph (120 km/h), and the 133-kilowatt/hour battery allows it to run for up to 16 hours before recharging. It’s unknown at this time when or where the Zoox will enter service.

***

The Haynes manual for the Delorean time machine is guaranteed to be an entertaining reading. PHOTO: HAYNES

The Haynes manual for the Delorean time machine is guaranteed to be an entertaining reading. PHOTO: HAYNES

Up: How to repair a time machine

Haynes, a name synonymous with automobile shop manuals, will introduce one for the Delorean DMC-12 that played a pivotal role in the Back to the Future movie trilogy. Included in the whimsical tome are details and photos describing how the Delorean was modified, including the engine’s flux capacitor and the Mr. Fusion add-ons.

The manual sells for about $40 from www.amazon.ca for shipment in March.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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