Mercedes-Benz puts a new electric minivan in play

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

Mercedes-Benz puts a new electric minivan in play:

The Sleuth’s sources report that the automaker will bring the EQV people mover to North America by late 2019 or early 2020. The new model, one of a number of electric vehicles the automaker is developing under the EQ banner, comes with a front-axle-attached motor rated at 204 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Expected range is 250 miles (400 kilometres). Topping up the lithium-ion batteries to 80 per cent (from 10 per cent) at a commercial quick-charge station will take about 45 minutes. Both commercial vans and eight-passenger non-commercial versions will be available. The Mercedes-Benz EQV will be sold alongside the existing gasoline Metris minivan.

The electric EQV minivan has 204 horsepower and an expected range of 250 miles (400 kilometres). There will be a commercial version, which is a highly logical decision, as well as an eight-passenger van. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Infiniti is (sort of getting) its coupe groove on:

By that, The Sleuth means that a four-door “coupe” is a definite go and will launch in the summer of 2020 as a 2021 model. Details are sketchy, but the vehicle’s QX55 designation indicates it will be based on the QX50 tall wagon’s platform, but will have a slinkier fastback roofline not unlike what BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have created as offshoots for their respective X4, GLE and new-for-2020 Q3 models. It’s also likely that the QX50’s 268-horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be the base powerplant, while a plug-in hybrid system yielding more power along with improved fuel efficiency will be optional.

It appears as though Infiniti will create a four-door “coupe” called the QX55, leading The Sleuth to believe it will be based on the QX50 tall wagon. Illustration: Infiniti

The latest word on Ford’s new size-small off-roader:

The Sleuth believes there’s a large X painted on the back of the Jeep Wrangler, since a number of automakers are offering similar models. For example, Ford is launching the new Bronco model in 2020 (as a 2021 model) that will borrow much from the midsize Ranger pickup, including chassis and running gear. The Spymaster’s sources also confirm that an even smaller utility vehicle will arrive in late 2020, although it adopts a unibody (frameless) structure from the Ford Escape. Both non-turbo and turbocharged four-cylinder engines from the Escape are also expected. It’s likely that the entry-level models will be front-wheel-drive, while upper-level trims will get all-wheel-drive. What isn’t yet known is the name to be attached to the small-fry Ford, although Maverick and Adventurer are apparently being considered.

What about the next-generation Charger and Challenger?

The Spymaster has heard nothing but crickets concerning the future of Dodge’s now-long-in-the-tooth passenger cars since Sergio Marchionne, the late head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), indicated both would be renewed in the coming decade. There are new rumblings, however, that both models are on the update list and that the automaker will retain the basic appearance while making wholesale changes to their shared platforms and powerplants. The possibility looms large that FCA’s Alfa Romeo division — specifically the rear-wheel-drive Giulia sedan — will provide the backbone. The powertrains, however, will likely be homegrown turbocharged four-cylinders and V-6 engines with electric assist. Also possible is a plug-in electric vehicle, allowing Dodge to keep pace with Ford, which is rumoured to be developing an electric Mustang.

The Nissan GT-R will be with us for a while; the 370Z stilling hanging in there:

The Sleuth’s operatives report that those waiting patiently for the next-generation of the automaker’s rapid-transit sports car, referred to by fans as Godzilla, will remain essentially unchanged for at least a few more years. Apparently, Nissan management has yet to decide how or when to proceed with a replacement that will likely include some form of electrification. As for the Z-car, the coupe is back for the 2020 model year with only minor adjustments. The convertible, which has been around since the 2004 model year, has been dropped from the lineup. That could be a sign that the coupe is also not long for this world.

The Nissan GT-R, pictured, will be sold for a few more years while the 370 convertible has been cut from the lineup (the coupe remains). Photo: Nissan

Ups and downs

Up: The Chevrolet Bolt goes the (greater) distance:

For the 2020 model year, the estimated maximum range for the plug-in electric sedan has been increased to 259 miles (414 kilometres). That’s 22 more miles (35 kilometres), compared with the 2019 Bolt, and is considerably more than the 220-mile (350-kilometre) range for the base Tesla Model S. The Long Range Tesla Model 3’s 310-mile (396-kilometres) range wins out, but costs more than the Bolt, which lists for about $45,000 in Canada.

Up: Another new fast-car game is set for release:

Need for Speed Heat, the 24th in the Need for Speed franchise from Electronic Arts, is set for release on Nov. 8. It comes with the usual assortment of stunt-worthy supercars plus the first-timer Polestar 1 coupe (Polestar is Volvo’s performance offshoot). Need for Speed Heat can be played on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming systems.

The 24th version of Need for Speed arrives Nov.8. Photo: Electronic Art

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

-written by Wheelbase Media

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The Nissan GT-R, pictured, will be sold for a few more years while the 370 convertible has been cut from the lineup (the coupe remains). Photo: Nissan

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