A Toyota Supra shown at the recent SEMA360 virtual trade show could signal the arrival of an open-top model, but The Sleuth thinks it would not come with the exaggerated bodywork. PHOTO: TOYOTA

A Toyota Supra shown at the recent SEMA360 virtual trade show could signal the arrival of an open-top model, but The Sleuth thinks it would not come with the exaggerated bodywork. PHOTO: TOYOTA

The Auto Sleuth: A Canoo lifestyle vehicle, an Apple car, an Ioniq 45 and more

Hot off the press news from the auto world

Is Toyota planning a targa-roof GR Supra?

It certainly appears that way to The Sleuth. The automaker revealed a removable-roof version of the coupe — called the Sport Top — at the recent SEMA360 virtual trade show. Included with the one-off concept were aero body add-ons and a rear spoiler that’s reminiscent of those installed on earlier Supras.

The twin roof panels are made from lightweight composite materials that can be stored inside the trunk when not needed. The optional 382-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder was installed in the Sport Top along with an eight-speed automatic transmission (which also connects to the base 255-horsepower turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder).

Toyota hasn’t confirmed the GR Supra Sport Top variant for production, but rumour has it availability will begin for the 2022 model year.

***

The Canoo minivan is expected to go on sale by late 2021 and with a 250-mile (400-kilometre) maximum range. Note that there are 22 windows. PHOTO: CANOO

The Canoo minivan is expected to go on sale by late 2021 and with a 250-mile (400-kilometre) maximum range. Note that there are 22 windows. PHOTO: CANOO

Electric startup prepares to launch a minivan:

Canoo Inc., a California-based publicly traded company founded in 2017, has reportedly developed its own EV platform for a variety of models.

First up is a 22-window electric minivan — Canoo calls it a lifestyle vehicle — with seating for up to seven passengers (including wrap-around rear seating). It will also have an estimated 250-mile (400-kilometre) range and can be charged to 80 per cent of capacity in less than 30 minutes.

The minivan is expected to go on sale by late 2021, followed by an electric delivery van in 2022. Canoo’s vehicles will be available via a monthly subscription plan that includes maintenance and insurance costs.

***

You could be in an Apple car by the mid-2020s:

The on-again-off-again plan by the technology company to build electric vehicles appears to be on again. Apparently Apple will partner with another unnamed automaker that is developing a more cost-efficient battery, one that apparently offers significantly greater range when compared with current systems.

Apple will also go to a separate company to build its electric vehicle, one that has autonomous-driving technology. The car could have a feature that detects windshield cracks and it could also have a holographic head-up display.

***

Details regarding the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are emerging:

An addition to, or a replacement for, the automaker’s current Ioniq small car, is expected for 2022. The Ioniq 5 is rumoured to be based on the Ioniq 45 hatchback concept that was first shown in 2019. If true, the vehicle will be quite a bit larger than the original.

The all-wheel-drive model’s electric drive system is rated at 313 horsepower and can sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in 5.2 seconds.

The Sleuth hears the Ioniq 5 will have a range in the vicinity of 250 miles (400 kilometres). The 800-volt platform means a recharge to 80 per cent of capacity in about 15 minutes. Pricing has not yet been announced.

***

The Roxor utility vehicle looked too much like the Jeep Wrangler, so it was redesigned to look like this. PHOTO: Mahindra

The Roxor utility vehicle looked too much like the Jeep Wrangler, so it was redesigned to look like this. PHOTO: Mahindra

Redesigned Roxor no longer looks like a Jeep, so it’s approved for sale

Mahindra and Mahindra, the India-based maker of the Roxor side-by-side off-roader, has received approval from a U.S. regulator to sell the vehicle in North America.

The styling of the Roxor’s grille and headlights was deemed by the International Trade Commission to have infringed on the Jeep Wrangler’s intellectual property, so Roxor sales were halted and the vehicle was redesigned.

Roxors sold in North America are assembled in Detroit and are available primarily through retailers that sell all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, snow machines and watercraft. The Roxor — which is not legal for road use — comes with a 62-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. It has a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h) and can tow up to 3,490 pounds (1,585 kilograms).

UPS AND DOWNS

Down: Fiat’s prospects

The brand, which is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), has cancelled the 124 Spider roadster and 500L compact wagon for the 2021 model year. That leaves only the 500X — which shares its platform and engines with the Jeep Renegade — as the only Fiat available (the Fiat 500 hatchback was cancelled for 2020).

***

Infiniti will stop selling its road cars in Europe, which The Sleuth assumes is the reason for the brand getting out of Formula One racing. PHOTO: INFINITI

Infiniti will stop selling its road cars in Europe, which The Sleuth assumes is the reason for the brand getting out of Formula One racing. PHOTO: INFINITI

Infiniti and Formula One:

Following a 10-year involvement in the top tier of open-wheel racing, Nissan’s upscale brand is severing its sponsorship with the Renault team. At the same time, Infiniti, which Nissan launched in Europe back in 2008, will no longer sell its vehicles there beginning in 2021. This comes as both Nissan and Infiniti are in the midst of a major product realignment and renewal in North America.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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