• 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander

News Roundup: AMG-Only SL, Outlander PHEV, Kia Sportage, More

This week, Mitsubishi shows a new Outlander PHEV with a larger battery, Mercedes-AMG launches a new SL, and Kia shows a new Sportage. Meanwhile, Toyota prices its sports car and shows off a new EV and the BC government shows a new lower-emissions plan.

Evan Williams By: Evan Williams November 1, 2021

Mitsubishi has just announced the plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander crossover. The three-row plug-in will get a new and larger 20 kWh battery, along with reworked electric motors that should deliver more range along with more horsepower (. Mitsubishi gave a range of 87 km on the WLTC test protocol, a more generous test than our usual figures. The battery is large enough to qualify for all current Canadian EV incentives. Mitsubishi has given the new Outlander a one-pedal drive mode that can handle most driving, though not complete stops.  The 2023 Outlander PHEV is expected on sale here in the second half of next year.

Mercedes-Benz has revealed its new flagship convertible, and this time the SL will be AMG only. That means launching in Canada with a 4.0-litre turbo V8 in SL 63 guise boasting 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, and the car uses a chassis that was designed by AMG from the go. The transmission replaces its torque converter with a wet start clutch that the automaker says reduces weight and improves response. Mercedes-AMG says that a performance hybrid version will come later. The luxury roadster moves to a soft top to help cut 21 kg that will open or close in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 60 km/h. Also new is a 2+2 seating arrangement, allowing occasional rear seat use and more cargo space. Expect typical AMG levels of luxury and performance including the brand’s latest infotainment and AMG ride control hydraulic anti-roll control. The model is expected to arrive next year.

2022 Mercedes Benz AMG

Kia has just revealed the 2023 Sportage, growing the crossover for more passenger and cargo room and giving it more stand-out styling to carry on from the current version. A 2.5-litre four with 187 hp and front-drive (and eight-speed auto) will be standard while available AWD will raise the ride height for more ground clearance. Hybrid and PHEV models should follow. A full suite of driver assistance features will come standard with more, including blind spot cameras, optional. A new X-Pro model will give the Sportage more rough-road capability including BF Goodrich all-terrain tires as well as easy-clean seat coverings. Interior upgrades include a new available 12.3-inch digital dash and matching infotainment screen. Expect it on sale early next year with more details to follow.

2023 Kia Sportage

Toyota has just priced the GR86, saying that it will go on sale December 1 from $31,490. That’s an increase of about $1,000 from last year, but the new model offers extensive upgrades including a larger cabin, all-new infotainment, and a new 2.4-litre boxer four which slashes zero-100 km/h times more than a second.

2022 Toyota GR6

Toyota also displayed the bZ4X EV crossover, and while the information was for Japan, our model should be similar. The vehicle was shown with an available solar roof said to add up to 1,800 km of range per year, and a Tesla-like yoke (with ultra-fast ratio) in place of the steering wheel. 150 kW charging is available. With AWD, Toyota says approximately 460 km of range will be offered on the WLTC cycle. and it will have 215 hp.

Toyota Bz4X

The B.C. government just announced new measures to help address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plans include higher carbon pricing and emissions caps, but also new standards for renewable fuels and accelerated ZEV targets. Transportation goals include reducing distances travelled by 25 per cent by 2030 thanks to more transit and active transportation. ZEV sales targets are now 26 per cent of new sales by 2026. Right to charge legislation should help home charging while BC’s Electric Highway is expected to be complete by 2024 on the way to 10,000 public charging stations by 2030.