The new E-Tron GT uses the same platform as the Porsche Taycan and the Audi will likely cost less. PHOTO: AUDI

The Auto Sleuth: Audi electric, Hyundai compact crossover, Carroll Shelby’s Cobra + more!

Hot off the press news from the auto world

Is this Audi better looking than its Porsche sibling?

If the Porsche Taycan electric sedan doesn’t give you heart palpitations, then check out the Audi E-Tron GT.

Set to arrive for 2022, the stunningly shaped all-wheel-drive fastback uses the same platform as the Porsche as well as the air suspension and battery system (both brands are part of the Volkswagen Group).

The E-Tron GT’s two electric motors – one at each end – produce up to 640 combined horsepower. A single-speed transmission connects to the front motor and a two-speed unit is attached to the rear motor, similar to the Taycan’s layout. The GT’s estimated 200 miles (320 kilometres) of range is also equal to the Taycan’s.

Expect to pay well north of $100,000 for this exotic electric Audi.

***

Hyundai will equip the Kona N with a 247-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, which should be good for a zero-to-60-mph (96 km/h) time of 5.1 seconds. PHOTO: HYUNDAI

Kona receives the performance treatment

Hyundai’s compact crossover is a jack-of-all-trades machine available with a mild-mannered 147-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder or an available 175-horsepower turbocharged 1.6. There’s also a 201-horsepower electric motor with a maximum range of 250 miles (400 kilometres).

A fourth variant — the Kona N — will join the trio later this year as a 2022 model. This performance model will get a 247-horsepower turbocharged 2.2-litre four-cylinder and an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to Hyundai, the Kona N will hit 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in very respectable 5.1 seconds.

***

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz.

VW spills the beans on the Buzz

Of the many electric models slated for production by Volkswagen, one of the most eagerly anticipated is the ID.Buzz.

This reincarnation of the Volkswagen Microbus that once transported families to school and hippies to rock concerts was expected to arrive in electrified form to North America in 2022. VW now says the ID.Buzz will arrive a year later in passenger and two-seat commercial versions (minus side windows).

The ID.Buzz, which will be built on the same platform as the ID.4 hatchback coming this spring, will reportedly have front and rear electric motors that produce a combined 374 horsepower. Range is expected to be about 250 miles (400 kilometres).

***

A new Bronco model appears to be in the planning stages

The Sleuth has learned that a third version of Ford’s iconic off-road nameplate will join the recently launched Bronco Sport and the stouter Bronco model arriving this summer.

The four-door Bronco pickup that joins the group in mid-2024 will use a relatively short cargo bed. It’s also likely that a factory-installed removable roof section will be offered — either as standard or optional — a feature available for the competing Jeep Gladiator pickup from the aftermarket.

The Bronco’s 270-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder and optional 310-horsepower turbo V-6 are both likely to be available for the pickup.  

***

Vinfast from Vietnam plans to sell a trio of electric vehicles in North America, beginning with the VF33 utility vehicle. PHOTO: VINFAST

Never heard of Vinfast? You will soon:

This Vietnam-based multi-national car company has been in existence for less than four years and is embarking on an ambitious plan to export electric vehicles to North America by 2022.

The first of a planned trio of models will reportedly begin with the VF33 utility vehicle that’s roughly the size of the Chevrolet Traverse. The VF33’s 402-horsepower motor uses a 106 kilowatt-hour battery that’s claimed to deliver more than 300 miles (480 kilometres) of range.

The vehicle offers three rows of seats plus a spectrum of dynamic-safety technologies and semi-autonomous driving assistance. Also expected is the smaller VF32 tall wagon that uses a more modest power system. Pricing and sales specifics are currently unknown.

UPS AND DOWNS

Carroll Shelby’s 1965 427 Cobra roadster sells for nearly US $6 million. PHOTO: MECUM AUCTIONS

Down: Carroll Shelby’s Cobra sells for nearly US $6 million – Up for grabs was the 1965 427 Cobra roadster that was personally owned by the man himself until his death in 2012. Following a complete restoration, the Cobra sold for US $5.94 million at a recent Mecum classic-car auction held in Kissimmee, Fla. The car was owned by Shelby since new.

Alpha Motor Corporation’s all-wheel-drive Ace Coupe Performance Edition.

Up: Alpha Motor Corporation – The Irvine, Calif. startup’s all-wheel-drive Ace Coupe Performance Edition has two electric motors claimed to propel the vehicle to 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in 4.6 seconds. The range is projected to be 250 miles (400 kilometres). Pricing starts at $32,000 in the United States with deliveries beginning in 2023.

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