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Jaguar to go all-electric by 2025, though electric XJ scrapped for now

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2021 Jaguar XJ spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Jaguar offers a wide selection of powerful and elegantly styled sport sedans and SUVs, but the vehicles have failed to stand out in what no doubt is a crowded playing field.

To turn things around, Jaguar will reboot itself as a pure electric brand and has set itself a target of 2025 for achieving this goal.

Under a strategy known as Reimagine, announced by new Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore on Monday, Jaguar will develop its own dedicated electric-vehicle platform to help distinguish its lineup from those of Land Rover which in the future will use platforms (MLA and EMA) supporting both electric and hybrid powertrains.

2021 Jaguar XJ spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Jaguar’s decision to develop a new EV platform means the new electric XJ originally due in 2020 (prototype above) has been canceled, as it was being developed on the MLA platform which is being made a Land Rover-only asset. We could still see an electric XJ in the future as Jaguar is unlikely to retire such a significant nameplate.

Land Rover won’t be left out in the EV transformation as the SUV brand by the end of the decade will offer an electric option on every model it sells. The first electric Land Rover is targeted for launch in 2024, and within five years the brand will have six EVs in its lineup.

Not all of the EVs will necessarily be battery-electric vehicles as JLR is developing hydrogen fuel-cell technology, too. The automaker is also known to be developing lightweight vehicle structures to offset the weight of EV tech in a consortium known as Tucana. It’s all part of the automaker’s plan to have net zero carbon emissions by 2039.

Jaguar Land Rover Tucana Project

Jaguar Land Rover Tucana Project

The Reimagine strategy will also see JLR further leverage its ties with its Indian parent company Tata Group. There will be increased sharing of technologies across the group, including in the areas of data and software development which is increasingly becoming a core requirement for the car industry.

JLR won’t close any of its plants, though the volumes at some may be reduced. This won’t be the case at the main plant in Solihull, United Kingdom, where the future electric Jaguars will be built alongside MLA-based Land Rovers. The first MLA-based Land Rover will be a redesigned Range Rover due out shortly.

The Reimagine strategy is a radical plan but Jaguar’s sales are struggling, due mostly to a sedan-heavy lineup. At the same time, demand for EVs is on the rise, due in part to improvements in the technology and generous government incentive programs. Some countries are also preparing to ban the sale of vehicles powered solely by internal-combustion engines, including the U.K. which has set a 2030 target.

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VW marks Golf GTI’s 45th birthday with 296-hp special edition

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2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45

It was in 1976 that the first Volkswagen Golf GTI went on sale, and now VW is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the nameplate with a special-edition model based on the latest eighth-generation GTI.

The new GTI still isn’t on sale in the United States; it arrives here in the second half of the year as a 2022 model. However, it’s been available elsewhere for the past year and in some markets is offered in high-performance Clubsport guise.

It’s this Clubsport version that forms the basis of the special anniversary model known as the Golf GTI Clubsport 45. VW started accepting reservations for the special model in select markets in Europe on March 1 and has priced it at 47,790 euros (approximately $57,250).

2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45

Special touches include a black roof and spoiler as a nod to the black-framed rear window of the first GTI. The 19-inch wheels, which are normally part of the GTI’s available Race package, also feature red accents. A number of “45” markings are also found around the exterior. More “45” markings are found inside, together with the same GTI logo used on the original car.

While the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 powering the regular GTI makes 242 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, the same engine in the Clubsport, including this Clubsport 45, is dishing out 296 hp and 295 lb-ft. Power is to the front wheels only, via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. That isn’t the case with the regular GTI which is offered with a 6-speed manual as an alternative to the DCT.

The last GTI Clubsport wasn’t launched in the United States and the same is likely true for the new generation, which means there’s little chance of the Clubsport 45 special edition making it over. Local buyers looking for a spicier GTI will have to opt for the new Golf R. It also arrives here this year and packs as much as 315 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

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Fire up of the Bitcoin mine, there’s a McLaren F1 for sale

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1995 McLaren F1 (Photo by Issimi)

With just 64 road cars built, it’s not every day that a McLaren F1 comes up for sale. If you have a few million bucks stashed away, though, one is now available through collector-car broker Issimi.

First spotted by GTspirit on Tuesday, this 1995 McLaren F1 is currently located in the U.S., and was originally sold here when new, according to the ad. It’s had two owners and a “well-documented history,” the ad copy says, but no other details were given. The ad doesn’t list mileage, but says the F1 “has covered enough mileage to be usable,” implying the new owner shouldn’t feel guilty about adding more mileage.

Admittedly, you can’t be picky when it comes to buying an F1. With a BMW-sourced 6.1-liter V-12, a central driving position, and an emphasis on lightness, it’s still considered one of the world’s greatest driver’s cars two decades after its debut. The F1 also has an impressive resumé, holding the title of world’s fastest production car when new, and winning the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. Prices reflect that.

1995 McLaren F1 (Photo by Issimi)

The car shown here is the standard road-going version, but McLaren developed additional variants once it decided to take the F1 racing (something designer Gordon Murray never intended). The racing version that won Le Mans was the GTR, and it was followed by a commemorative LM road car, then the GTR Longtail racer, which was designed to keep the F1 competitive against newer machinery.

The F1 remains so iconic that both McLaren and Murray have designed successors. McLaren’s effort is the Speedtail, which keeps the F1’s central driving position, but packs a 1,055-horsepower hybrid powertrain, and aims to be more of a grand tourer than its predecessor.

Murray has launched the T.50, which emphasizes the driving experience with a manual transmission and naturally aspirated V-12 that can rev to a 12,100 rpm. A more hardcore T.50s version bears the name of three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda.

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2022 Kia Stinger coming with new look, engines

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2022 Kia Stinger (Korean spec)

Kia made quite the splash when it pulled the wraps off the Stinger a few years back. The shapely sport sedan offers coupe-like lines, a choice of turbocharged engines, and the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive—and Kia has more in store for the Stinger very soon.

Kia last summer unveiled an updated Stinger in its home market of Korea. Originally thought to be arriving in the United States for the 2021 model year, Cars Direct has learned from order guides that the updated Stinger will arrive here as a 2022 model. Exact timing hasn’t been announced but an arrival at dealerships later this year is likely.

The order guides point to a starting price of $37,135, including destination. That’s up $3,000 on the 2021 model’s starting price, making the Stinger similar in price to the related Genesis G70 sedan, though the G70’s price may soon move upward, too, as an updated version is also in the way, likely for the 2022 model year.

2022 Kia Stinger (Korean spec)

For the updated Stinger, buyers can look forward to subtle changes to both the exterior and interior. From the Korean-market model, we know the internals of the lights are new at both ends and feature more LED detailing than before. For example, the taillights’ integrated turn signals consist of 10 individual LEDs arranged in a grid pattern to mimic a checkered flag.

For the interior, there are better quality materials, new color options, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as voice activation for common functions. A 7.0-inch screen is available for the instrument cluster. A 4.2-inch unit is standard.

The big news is the addition of a new 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 good for 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. It is expected to replace the current model’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 in our market.

2022 Kia Stinger (Korean spec)

2022 Kia Stinger (Korean spec)

Above this will be the familiar 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, though with a new rating of 368 hp and 376 lb-ft versus the 365-hp and 376-lb-ft rating. That extra 3 hp is courtesy of an adjustable exhaust valve that can make the exhaust louder on demand.

The sole transmission will remain an 8-speed automatic and buyers will continue to have the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.

Buyers in some markets are also able to add diamond quilted nappa leather seats, plus a black pack that adds black accents on the side mirrors and fender vents, as well as a set of matte black 19-inch wheels and a trunk lid rear wing.

2022 Kia Stinger (Korean spec)

2022 Kia Stinger (Korean spec)

Detailed specification for the U.S. will be announced closer to the market launch.

Kia’s last update for the Stinger was the introduction of the Stinger GTS for 2020. The more track-focused model featured both software and hardware upgrades to help it slice through corners better.

For more on the Kia Stinger, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.

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