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The Auto Sleuth: New course for Cadillac; Updated Explorer + more

The Cadillac XT4 sets a course for modest changes
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The updated 2024 Cadillac XT4 gets new front styling and a 33-inch (84-centimetre) curved display to replace the current eight-inch screen. PHOTO: CADILLAC

The Cadillac XT4 sets a course for modest changes

For 2024, the Cadillac XT4 compact utility vehicle receives a freshened front end with vertically positioned headlight beams, and a new rear bumper and new wheel designs.

The updated dashboard replaces the existing eight-inch touch-screen with a considerably larger 33-inch (84-centimetre) curved display with high-resolution graphics and Google Play, Google Maps and Google Assistant programs. A 13-speaker premium sound system has also been added to the options list.

Carrying over is the XT4’s 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is optional.

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The updated Ford Explorer is expected to resemble the version available in China, pictured. PHOTO: FORD
The updated Ford Explorer is expected to resemble the version available in China, pictured. PHOTO: FORD

An updated Ford Explorer arrives for 2024

While other midsize utility vehicles with three rows of seats have been grabbing much of the attention lately (think Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-9), the long-running Explorer keeps rolling along.

For 2024, it receives significant body styling and interior updates. Based on camouflaged versions spotted recently, the latest Explorer, which was last updated for 2020, adopts an appearance that mimics the 2023 Explorer introduced in China. This means you can expect a larger vehicle with increased passenger and cargo space. Along with the returning turbocharged gasoline and hybrid engines, Ford plans a battery-electric Explorer sometime in 2025.

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A ninth-generation Sonata arrives for 2024

It’s hard times for midsize sedans as buyers opt for utility vehicles. For Hyundai, Sonata-sedan sales have dropped nearly 75 per cent (to 52,000 units in 2022) from a decade ago. With a redesigned version arriving later this year, the automaker isn’t giving up on the Sonata.

The exterior makeover is said to be significant with major styling revisions at both ends. The interior will get a much-enlarged infotainment screen along with a driver’s digital gauge display. Powertrains are unknown but buyers can expect a plug-in hybrid to remain. Also expected is the return of the performance-oriented Sonata N with its 290-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder.

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Porsche’s electrification plans are expanding

The brand recently released details regarding the Cayenne utility vehicle and the 718 Boxster roadster, both of which will soon be taking the electric-vehicle path. The battery-powered 2025 718 Boxster will follow the 2024 electric Macan compact utility and, other than a unique front end, will likely look somewhat like the current gasoline-powered version.

Front and mid-mounted motors will be offered, marking the first time the Boxster will be available with all-wheel-drive. The Cayenne uses the same platform as the Audi Q6 E-Tron utility vehicle (Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group), but its propulsion systems are expected to include a four-motor version (presumably one for each wheel) as either standard or optional.

In all cases, gasoline-powered editions of each model will carry over for a year or two before they are retired.

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The short-wheelbase Volkswagen ID.Buzz, pictured, will not be coming to North America. We’ll get a version that’s 25 centimetres longer with three rows of seats. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN
The short-wheelbase Volkswagen ID.Buzz, pictured, will not be coming to North America. We’ll get a version that’s 25 centimetres longer with three rows of seats. PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen gets its ID.Buzz on

The short-wheelbase version of the automaker’s electric minivan is now available in Europe, while the long-wheelbase ID.Buzz coming here isn’t due until late 2023 as a 2024 model. The North American iteration has 25 extra centimetres between the front and rear wheels, which allows for three rows of seats or added space for commercial or camper-van applications. (A California Camper model is said to be in the offing.)

The third row will be accessible via sliding rear doors. Unique to the longer ID.Buzz is a bigger battery pack that is expected to provide more than 400 kilometres of range. Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant will eventually assume production of all ID.Buzz models sold here.

UPS & DOWNS

The 12-cylinder engine in the 2024 Bentley Mulliner Batur coupe is rated at 740 horsepower. PHOTO: BENTLEY
The 12-cylinder engine in the 2024 Bentley Mulliner Batur coupe is rated at 740 horsepower. PHOTO: BENTLEY

Trending down: The final hurrah for the Bentley 12-cylinder engine – Time’s nearly up for the engine that, installed in the Continental GT and other Bentley models, helped rescue the brand from oblivion. (That, plus Bentley being rescued by Volkswagen in 1998.) A 740-horsepower twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre 12-cylinder — its most potent form — will be installed in 18 special-edition 2024 Bentley Mulliner Batur coupes.

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Toyota GR Supra Circuit edition. PHOTO: TOYOTA
Toyota GR Supra Circuit edition. PHOTO: TOYOTA

Trending up: Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition – The special version of the automaker’s perky little hatchback was only supposed to last for the GR’s initial model year — capped at 1,500 units globally — but demand for the Circuit Edition is so high that Toyota will continue to offer the trim level for 2024 and possibly beyond. The GR’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine makes 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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