A Defender for the faithful nears the finish line:
The Sleuth’s intel gatherers are reporting that prototypes of the next-generation Land Rover Defender are in the final sorting-out phase and should be ready for a North American debut in early 2020. The off-roader will be available in short-wheelbase Defender 90, standard-wheelbase Defender 110 and long-wheelbase Defender 130, which can accommodate up to eight people. It’s unclear at this point whether all three variants will be sold in North America. For the uninitiated, the Defender has a near-fanatical worldwide following, with older models in this part of the globe selling at a premium.
The classic Land Rover Defender, pictured, will be replaced by a more modern interpretation that will be for sale in North America. The Defender has actually been absent from this market for more than two decades. Photo: Land Rover.
Cadillac will add a four-cylinder XT5:
The Sleuth’s sources are hearing that General Motors’ premium brand will add second powerplant choice to its midsize five-passenger utility model for the 2020 model year. The current V-6 rated at 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque will be joined by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 237 horses and 258 pound-feet. This also happens to be the same engine that’s standard in the smaller XT4. Other changes to the XT5 include a redesigned front end (grille and standard LED headlights), a rear pedestrian alert and a newly available night-vision camera. Updates to the XT5’s interior are also expected. The Spy Guy believes the 2020 XT5’s base price with the four-cylinder could be a bit lower than the current $44,800 (plus destination charges), although that’s just a hunch at this point.
Acura will bring back the Type S, but in a surprising form: The Sleuth can confirm that the inside info he received in 2018 — about Acura returning the Type S to the fold — will actually take place for the 2020 model year. Even more interesting is that the name will be attached to a new midsize sedan that could replace the current TLX. At this point, it appears power will come from a turbocharged 3.5-litre V-6. There will reportedly be additional Type S variants, including hybrids, arriving over the next few years as Acura’s range of sedans and tall wagons is updated.
Will Honda’s next sports car arrive without a gasoline engine?
That appears to be the case, if the Spy Guy’s sources are correct. At this point, it doesn’t look like production of Acura’s hybrid NSX is in jeopardy, but rumour has it that an all-electric Honda sports car — with its motor and battery pack behind the front seats — is in the planning stages. It could follow the new Honda e compact electric hatchback that the automaker is building for Europe and Asia. (A larger version for North America is reportedly in the works for 2021.) The only hint as to the electric sports car’s design comes from the Honda Sports EV concept that was showcased at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan. Should such a model come to fruition, it likely won’t arrive for another two to three years.
The Honda Sports EV concept could provide clues to a new electric sports car from the automaker. Photo: Honda.
A new Nissan Rogue appears to be a year away from launch:
Reports reaching The Sleuth indicate that the Nissan Xmotion concept vehicle is the inspiration for the next-generation Rogue that the automaker will introduce in late 2020 as a 2021 model. That would indicate that the midsize utility vehicle will have a squared-off appearance and will grow to better accommodate three rows of seats. The Rogue’s 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine will return, but less is known about the optional hybrid system (a plug-in variant is a distinct possibility).
Design inspiration for the next Nissan Rogue likely comes, in part, from the Xmotion concept, pictured, the new vehicle will be a bit larger to accommodate a third-row seat. Photo: Nissan.
Ups and downs
Up: Generating electric power from your tires:
Sumitomo of Japan has created an “energy harvester that can be fitted to the inside of tires. The unit is able to capture small amounts of static electrical energy created as the tire flexes while turning. Although the electricity collected won’t be sufficient to power the headlights or the climate controls, it could, for example, handle the tire-pressure monitoring or other low-energy systems. Every little bit helps, it seems.
Up: The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is nearly sold out:
A source at Chevrolet has confirmed that the scheduled first-year production for 495-horsepower midengine Corvette has mostly been spoken for, which has “surpassed expectations.” The automaker hasn’t said exactly how many 2020 Corvettes are being built, but the plant in Bowling Green, Ky., was recently updated and a second shift of assembly workers added to handle the high demand.
-written by Wheelbase Media