The new Land Rover Range Rover has an incredibly smooth body and a base turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 48-volt electric assist. PHOTO: LAND ROVER

The new Land Rover Range Rover has an incredibly smooth body and a base turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 48-volt electric assist. PHOTO: LAND ROVER

The Auto Sleuth: 2022 Land Rover Range Rover; 4-seater Mercedes-AMG SL + more

Hot off the press news from the auto world

The design of the 2022 Land Rover Range Rover is sleek and simple: The top-of-the-line Range Rover’s classy new look began with a new platform and aluminum body panels that are cleanly shaped and practically devoid of creases. The interior is equally clutter-free, except for the digital gauges plus a mid-dashboard touch-screen.

For the first time, buyers can order a third-row seat for the Range Rover. The base SE trim gets a 395-horsepower turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with 48-volt electric assist. A BMW-supplied twin-turbo 523-horsepower V-8 comes with the Autobiography and First Edition Range Rovers.

Plug-in hybrid and fully electric Range Rovers are expected a year or two after launch.

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With the addition of a small rear seat, the Mercedes-AMG SL is bound to find more customers. PHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ

With the addition of a small rear seat, the Mercedes-AMG SL is bound to find more customers. PHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ

The Mercedes-Benz SL sportscar is back for 2022, but it’s a four-seater

Actually, the official name is Mercedes-AMG SL since the automaker’s tuner division is responsible for the new model.

The back-to-its-roots SL no longer comes with a retractable hardtop, but like earlier SL models it has a folding soft top. Also returning is the 2+2 seating arrangement, so the SL loses its long-standing roadster status.

The all-wheel-drive SL 55 gets a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V-8 worth 469 horsepower, while the more potent SL 63 gets a 577-horsepower version. Both are connected to nine-speed automatic transmissions.

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Hertz will be acquiring a massive number of Tesla Model 3 electric sedans at full list price, totalling US $4.2 billion.

Hertz will be acquiring a massive number of Tesla Model 3 electric sedans at full list price, totalling US $4.2 billion.

Hertz to purchase 100,000 Teslas to use as rentals

The rental-car company caused quite a stir with news that it would be acquiring a massive number of Tesla Model 3 electric sedans at full list price, totalling US $4.2 billion.

Hertz will distribute its Model 3 purchases to North American and European outlets. The Sleuth hopes they’re all the Long Range version of the Model 3, which can travel up to 353 miles (about 565 kilometres) on a full charge, making it ideal for most renters’ travel plans. Deliveries have already begun, but it is unclear when all 100,000 will be in Hertz’s hands.

New and updated models from Ford

The much-rumoured replacement for the automaker’s Fusion sedan is said to be nearly production ready. The Fusion Active midsize hatchback is expected in early 2022 as a 2022 or ’23 model, with added ground clearance for traversing rough terrain.

All-wheel-drive will also be offered, but it could possibly be standard. Powertrain choices will likely include two turbocharged four-cylinder engines plus a hybrid option.

Flying well below the radar in Ford’s recent flurry of launches (the Mustang Mach-E, Bronco, Bronco Sport and Maverick pickup) is the Escape compact utility vehicle. Its noticeably benign design hasn’t done it any favours, but Ford is said to be making character-enhancing revisions for 2023. Likely unchanged are the current Escape’s turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines, plus the hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems.

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The Porsche Macan electric crossover is still undergoing development. Like the Taycan sedan, the Macan (it will likely have a different name when in hits the streets) uses an 800-volt electrical system that allows rapid charge and discharge of the batteries. PHOTO: PORSCHE

The Porsche Macan electric crossover is still undergoing development. Like the Taycan sedan, the Macan (it will likely have a different name when in hits the streets) uses an 800-volt electrical system that allows rapid charge and discharge of the batteries. PHOTO: PORSCHE

The electric Macan will roll a year later than planned

Porsche’s compact crossover is now slated to arrive sometime in 2023 instead of 2022.

Both the electric Macan and similarly sized Audi Q6 E-Tron (which launches in 2022), will use the same Porsche-developed system.

Porsche and Audi are part of the Volkswagen Group. This means an 800-volt system that, according to Porsche, can fully charge the Macan’s battery in as little as 20 minutes. The expected range is about 250 miles (400 kilometres). The Taycan sedan is rated at 227 miles (363 kilometres).

Pricing for the Macan electric — which is likely to have a new name by then — will be announced closer to the launch date.

UPS AND DOWNS

UP: Features that car buyers just don’t want – According to a study by research firm Auto Pacific, autonomous driving — without a steering wheel — ranked No. 1 on the don’t-want-it list. Other forget-about-it technologies included purchasing items online via the vehicle’s infotainment system, info screens operated by hand gestures, and electronically enhanced engine noises.

UP: An Automotive Christmas from Neiman Marcus – As it does every yuletide season, the Dallas, Texas-based upscale department store’s catalog will feature a specially equipped automobile. This year, it’s a one-off 2022 GMC Hummer electric pickup, complete with custom interior and accessories plus a VIP ticket to the Barrett-Jackson collector-car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., in January. As well, $10,000 of the US $285,000 selling price goes to charity.

Compared with the regular GMC Hummer, pictured, the one-off Neiman Marcus edition will have a custom interior and accessories. PHOTO: GMC

Compared with the regular GMC Hummer, pictured, the one-off Neiman Marcus edition will have a custom interior and accessories. PHOTO: GMC

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