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News Roundup: The Toyota Corolla GR, GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate, and more

Plus Toronto’s streetcars aren’t playing nice with Tesla’s just-introduced semi-autonomous tech, Elon says

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Welcome to our round-up of the biggest breaking stories on Driving.ca from this past week. Get caught up and ready to get on with the weekend, because it’s hard keeping pace in a digital traffic jam.

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Here’s what you missed while you were away. 

Toyota Corolla GR drops with 300 horsepower and a manual transmission

2023 Toyota GR Corolla
2023 Toyota GR Corolla Photo by Toyota

The family wonder that is the Corolla has returned, blessed by the hands and minds of Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division. With a turbocharged inline three-cylinder engine plucked from the Yaris, the new Japanese hot hatch will tip out 300 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque through to an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring via a six-speed manual transmission. You can browse the full gallery of images here, but the Corolla GR’s visual highlights include a “forged” carbon-fibre roof, a rear spoiler, a triple exhaust setup, and ducts for both engine and brakes. North American pricing for the new Corolla GR has not yet been given, but the car runs around $40,000 in Europe.  

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Tesla’s Full-Self Drive Beta system stymied by Toronto’s streetcars, claims Musk

2021 Tesla Model 3
2021 Tesla Model 3 Photo by Graeme Fletcher

It was an interesting week for some Tesla driver in Canada as the pioneering EV brand rolled out its Full-Self Driving (FSD) Beta into a select number of vehicles across the nation. Updated into those vehicles belonging to drivers with scores of 98, 99, or 100 in Tesla’s Safety Score app, the program allowed drivers to test the semi-autonomous potential of their cars, but not everywhere. In downtown Toronto, for example, users were served an “unavailable” message when trying to activate the FSD Beta. When asked why on Twitter, Tesla founder Elon Musk pointed to one of the city’s permanent forms of transit, the streetcar, as the auto-blocker. “Toronto streetcars are not yet handled well by FSD,” Musk Tweeted. 

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GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate spied wearing very little camo

Spy shot of secretly tested GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate
Spy shot of secretly tested GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate Photo by Spiedbilde

The GMC Yukon Denali (2023 or 2024, we’re not certain) was spotted out on the town in Motor City wearing what appears to be a hot new set of threads. Like the 2022 Sierra Denali Ultimate, the upcoming SUV’s top-end trim will boast big alloy wheels with a multi-spoke design and polished finish. Inferring more changes from the locations of the bits of camo cover, it appears as though the Denali Ultimate will also get chrome fascias with darker elements to assert its position as the top-trim offering. We also predict GM might fit it with GM’s Super Cruise or Ultra Cruise system. More details and lots more photos here

Stellantis announces new “Hurricane” ICE with 500 hp

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The Standard Output Hurricane straight-six twin-turbo from Stellantis
The Standard Output Hurricane straight-six twin-turbo from Stellantis Photo by Stellantis

The winds of change at Stellantis have blown down a new 3.0-litre, inline-six cylinder turbo engine dubbed the “Hurricane.” Coming standard with 400-horses and a high-output version with 100 more, the new ICE is built from a deep-skirt cast-aluminum block that Stellantis calls the “lightest weight cast block possible,” and will likely find a home within a number of Ram, Dodge, and Jeep SUVs and trucks. Similar to the power plants in performance vehicles like the Nissan GT-R and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the new engine uses a Plasma Transfer Wire Arc Spray Bore coating to improve durability, cut weight, and boost performance, but that’s far from its only performance-enhancing design feature. According to Head of Stellantis Propulsion Systems Micky Bly, “This is the best in-line engine [they] make.”

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Trudeau goverment’s climate plan wants 1-in-5 new cars to be EVs by 2026

Like many automakers, Canada has attached an ambitious environmental goal to the year 2030, vowing to meet its 40 per cent emissions-reduction target by that time. To that end, Justin Trudeau’s government has announced its desire to implement a mandate that 20 per cent of all new light duty vehicles put up for sale by 2026 be of the zero-emissions persuasion. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the fed has earmarked around $9.1 billion in funds to help Canada reach its targets, including having 100 per cent of new light-duty vehicles for sale be zero-emissions by 2035. And because all those EVs are going to need somewhere to charge, the national Infrastructure Bank plans on dropping another half billion on charging infrastructure, which will be nearly matched by another governmental infusion of $400 million to go toward building charging stations.