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    • By William Maley
      While the focus on the electric vehicles have been on the ultra plush and quick models from the likes of Tesla, Audi, and Jaguar, there is a lot of work being done for electric delivery vans. The combination of reduced maintenance, low fuel costs, and an abundance of torque to deal with heavy loads make them a perfect to do deliveries in urban areas. Rivian is the most-well known player here with plans to build out a fleet of electric vans for Amazon. Another player is ready to join the fight.
      Reuters reported yesterday that General Motors is working on a electric van for the commercial market. Five sources reveal that the van - codenamed BV1 - is expected to go into production late next year. It is expected to use Ultium battery technology that GM first talked about back in March. Utilizing this could solve one of the big issues with EVs, price. By switching Cobalt (expensive) for Aluminum (less expensive), GM says it will drop the cost of a battery to $100 per kilowatt-hour - making it around the same cost as regular gas powered van. Analysis done last year put the kilowatt-hour cost of a battery at $159. 
      One item still being debated internally is whether the van will be sold as Chevrolet, GMC, or a new brand. 
      When asked by Reuters, GM said it is “committed to an all-electric future and is implementing a multi-segment, scalable EV strategy to get there. At this time, we do not have any announcements to make regarding electric commercial vehicles.”
      GM isn't the only company getting on the electric van train. Ford has announced plans for an electric version of the Transit to launch in 2022, and British startup Arrival which has the backing of Hyundai, currently has an order of 10,000 vans from UPS.
      Source: Reuters

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    • By William Maley
      While the focus on the electric vehicles have been on the ultra plush and quick models from the likes of Tesla, Audi, and Jaguar, there is a lot of work being done for electric delivery vans. The combination of reduced maintenance, low fuel costs, and an abundance of torque to deal with heavy loads make them a perfect to do deliveries in urban areas. Rivian is the most-well known player here with plans to build out a fleet of electric vans for Amazon. Another player is ready to join the fight.
      Reuters reported yesterday that General Motors is working on a electric van for the commercial market. Five sources reveal that the van - codenamed BV1 - is expected to go into production late next year. It is expected to use Ultium battery technology that GM first talked about back in March. Utilizing this could solve one of the big issues with EVs, price. By switching Cobalt (expensive) for Aluminum (less expensive), GM says it will drop the cost of a battery to $100 per kilowatt-hour - making it around the same cost as regular gas powered van. Analysis done last year put the kilowatt-hour cost of a battery at $159. 
      One item still being debated internally is whether the van will be sold as Chevrolet, GMC, or a new brand. 
      When asked by Reuters, GM said it is “committed to an all-electric future and is implementing a multi-segment, scalable EV strategy to get there. At this time, we do not have any announcements to make regarding electric commercial vehicles.”
      GM isn't the only company getting on the electric van train. Ford has announced plans for an electric version of the Transit to launch in 2022, and British startup Arrival which has the backing of Hyundai, currently has an order of 10,000 vans from UPS.
      Source: Reuters
    • By William Maley
      This week, Hagerty obtained a document from General Motors' executive director in charge of program management, Michelle Braun that says development on future car and truck programs has been paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But the document also mentions some intriguing information on upcoming powertrains for the C8 Corvette. Here are the details,
      Corvette Z06: 5.5L DOHC V8 known as the LT6 that will produce 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. No mention of any type of forced-induction. Corvette Gran Sport: 6.2L OHC V8 with a hybrid system that's expected to produce 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Corvette ZR1: Twin-Turbo 5.5L DOHC V8, dubbed LT7. Output is expected to be 850 horsepower and 800 pound-feet. Corvette Zora: The powerhouse of the C8, it will take the Twin-Turbo LT7 and augment with a hybrid system. This is expected to produce 1,000 horsepower and 975 pound-feet of torque. Hagerty's report says the rollout of the new engines will begin in 2022 with the LT6, but the COVID-19 outbreak may push the plans back.
      Source: Hagerty

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    • By William Maley
      This week, Hagerty obtained a document from General Motors' executive director in charge of program management, Michelle Braun that says development on future car and truck programs has been paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But the document also mentions some intriguing information on upcoming powertrains for the C8 Corvette. Here are the details,
      Corvette Z06: 5.5L DOHC V8 known as the LT6 that will produce 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. No mention of any type of forced-induction. Corvette Gran Sport: 6.2L OHC V8 with a hybrid system that's expected to produce 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Corvette ZR1: Twin-Turbo 5.5L DOHC V8, dubbed LT7. Output is expected to be 850 horsepower and 800 pound-feet. Corvette Zora: The powerhouse of the C8, it will take the Twin-Turbo LT7 and augment with a hybrid system. This is expected to produce 1,000 horsepower and 975 pound-feet of torque. Hagerty's report says the rollout of the new engines will begin in 2022 with the LT6, but the COVID-19 outbreak may push the plans back.
      Source: Hagerty
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

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