News Updates

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) continue to dominate automotive news headlines, with Toyota’s first mainstream BEV, the BZ4X, set to arrive imminently at its Canadian dealerships, while BMW’s first-ever fully electric 7 Series will be here by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, a Mercedes-Benz electric concept recently completed a 1,000-km journey on a single charge, showing off energy-saving design and engineering tricks that will no doubt show up in future production models.

As if to prove that more traditional combustion-powered sports cars aren’t dead yet, Toyota also announced it has added a manual transmission to its Supra’s option sheet for the 2023 model year.

Finally, Honda revealed the first details of its second-generation HR-V subcompact crossover, which will arrive later this year as a 2023 model.

2023 Toyota BZ4X Battery Electric SUV Priced at $44,900

White 2023-Toyota-BZ4X in front of the ocean

Toyota Canada’s first-ever mainstream battery electric vehicle (BEV), the 2023 BZ4X, will arrive in the brand’s showrooms this spring priced to start at $44,900.

Built on a platform co-developed with Subaru, the BZ4X compact crossover starts in a single-motor, front-wheel drive configuration with 201 hp and 406 km of driving range, while an optional dual-motor, AWD model starts in an XLE trim priced at $54,990 with 214 hp and 367 km of range.

While its sleeker roofline makes it appear smaller than Toyota’s more conventional RAV4 crossover, it’s actually longer and wider, and rides on a longer wheelbase. Toyota says the BZ4X’s dimensions allow for legroom comparable to that of a large sedan and ample shoulder space for rear-seat passengers.

According to Natural Resources Canada, the front-wheel drivetrain promises 406 km of driving range and energy consumption ratings of 1.8/2.2 Le/100 km (city/highway), while the BZ4X AWD will go 367 km and is rated for 2.1/2.5 Le/100 km.

The $44,900 BZ4X L trim will come with 18-inch wheels, passive keyless entry, and a suite of driver safety assists. LE trim gets a larger infotainment touchscreen, heated front seats and steering wheel, a power tailgate, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. XLE models add AWD, a panoramic roof, wireless phone charging, auto-dimming mirror, and rear automatic braking. Finally, XLE can be optioned with a tech package that brings a hands-free tailgate, panoramic view monitor, ventilated front seats, a power driver’s seat, and “softex” upholstery.

The BZ4X will also spawn a Lexus model called the RZ 450e, which Toyota says will arrive in Canada toward the end of 2022. Subaru’s version of this car will be called the Solterra and look similar to the BZ4X when it comes to Canada this year, but the company hasn’t said much more than that.

BMW Canada set to launch new 7 Series with first-ever all-electric i7

Silver 2023-BMW-7-Series

Later this year, BMW will begin selling the seventh generation of its 7 Series full-size luxury sedan, including the model’s first-ever all-electric variant, the i7.

The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 will be among the first versions of the new 7 Series to arrive in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2022, along with a more conventional V8-powered 760i xDrive variant.

In the i7, two electric motors will generate 536 hp and 549 lb-ft of torque, fed by a 101.7-kWh battery BMW says is good for about 500 km of driving range, according to North American energy consumption testing standards.

The 760i xDrive’s turbo 4.4L V8 will crank out nearly identical power ratings with the help of a 48-volt mild hybrid system that places an electric motor inside the eight-speed transmission.

BMW says the 760i will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, while the i7 xDrive60 will do the same sprint in 4.7 seconds.

Among the 7 Series’ notable features are daytime running lights that use Swarovski crystal, a 12.3-inch driver info display that flows seamlessly into a nearly 15-inch central infotainment screen, and for rear-seat passengers, an available 31-inch rear-seat entertainment system controlled by 5.5-inch touchscreens built into the rear doors.

Both the i7 xDrive60 and 760i versions of the 7 Series will carry a starting price of $147,000 when they go on sale across Canada later this year. The lineup will later grow to include more gasoline and plug-in hybrid options. Overseas markets will also get at least one diesel option, but it is unlikely to come to North America.

Mercedes Vision EQXX electric concept car goes 1,000 km on a single charge

Mercedes-Benz-Vision-EQXX-Concept_1 in front of a body of water

If you’re interested in BEV ownership but range anxiety is holding you back, Mercedes-Benz wants you to rest assured it has the future of long-range electric driving in its sights.

At the beginning of 2022, Mercedes revealed its all-electric Vision EQXX concept car, which it claimed could go 1,000 km on a single charge of its battery. It has since made good on that promise with a real-world test that saw the car travel from Sindelfingen in Germany’s southwest to Cassis, France, on the Cote d’Azur, without stopping to charge.

The EQXX pulled off that feat thanks to engineering tech borrowed from Mercedes-Benz’s Formula 1 and Formula E cars (the Formula E series is all-electric, but even today’s Formula 1 cars are hybrids), and by making the concept as light and as aerodynamic as possible. An advanced battery temperature management system also helped, using a cooling plate built into the car’s underside and shutters in the front fascia that open when extra airflow is needed or when the cabin’s climate control system is running.

As a result, Mercedes says the 201-hp EQXX reached speeds up to 140 km/h on a hilly route through the Swiss and Italian alps and arrived in Cassis with 140 km of driving range to spare.

Toyota’s GR Supra sports car gets a manual transmission

2023 Yellow Toyota Supra parked

Driving enthusiasts, take note: Toyota has added a manual transmission option to its Supra sports coupe for the coming model year.

The 2023 Toyota GR Supra (the GR label references the company’s Gazoo Racing division) will be the first version of the car to offer a manual since Toyota revived the Supra name in 2020.

When it arrives later this year, the six-speed manual gearbox will be an option on the Supra 3.0 Premium trim level, where it will be bolted to the car’s existing 382-hp turbo six-cylinder engine. Toyota will also put the new stickshift in a limited-production A91-MT Edition, of which just 50 examples will be sold in Canada.

The new transmission option is one of a handful of changes Toyota has made to the 2023 Supra, along with revised suspension and steering systems and an available 12-speaker JBL stereo.

Toyota says it will announce pricing for the 2023 Supra later this summer ahead of the car’s arrival at the company’s Canadian dealerships.

2023 Honda HR-V

This summer, a redesigned 2023 Honda HR-V will arrive in Canada to mark the arrival of the second generation of the subcompact crossover model.

Honda has not revealed many details beyond a few exterior photos, but the company says the new HR-V will get a longer wheelbase and wider body, thanks to underpinnings shared with the Civic compact sedan. The current HR-V is based on the now-defunct Fit subcompact.

Basing the new HR-V on the Civic platform also means it will likely use one or both of that car’s engines. A 2.0L four-cylinder (158 hp/138 lb-ft) is the most logical candidate to replace the current HR-V’s 141-hp 1.8L. If Honda decides to field a sporty version of the HR-V, the Civic’s 1.5L, 180-hp turbo motor would do the trick. The Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos, two key HR-V competitors, both offer a 195-hp 1.6L turbo.

The 2023 HR-V will also get an independent rear suspension to replace the outgoing model’s less-sophisticated torsion beam setup. Honda says it will reveal more details about the new HR-V in the lead-up to its summer launch.