New Race Track

Oro Station adding race track, auto innovation hub in consultation with Goodwood experts

Oro Station will serve as a live-work-play space in Ontario.

Photo courtesy of Oro Station

North America is getting a new purpose-built motor circuit. Oro Station, located one hour north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, will also be home to an automotive innovation campus.

The track will be developed in collaboration with Kinarara Consulting, the group behind Goodwood, one of England’s premier motoring circuits and event centers.

The Oro Station Motor Circuit itakes much of its design and layout inspiration from Goodwood. It is designed to be a 4.1 kilometer road course that will be able to be run in a number of configurations. The full course layout includes 16 corners.There will also be split track formats, dynamic test areas, and skid pads.

Oro Station Ontario, Canada The development will be looking to host high-profile clients.Photo courtesy of Oro Station

Drive International is responsible fo the design of the track. The company has most recently designed the Silverstone FIA world rallycross track in the U.K. and NCM Motorsports Park In Kansas, U.S.A. along with being responsible for circuit improvements to Goodwood.

Oro Station will include 500,000 square feet of industrial space that joins an automotive business park with a motorsport road course and testing facilities. Additional facilities centered around automobile engineering, education, service, supply and manufacturing businesses will be present.

It will be the home of the Bexley Motor Club. Membership in the club will grant members access to the circuit and facilities as well as year-round white glove treatment and maintenance by Carcierge Service. Fly-in, fly-out access is available helipad or the nearby Lake Simcoe Regional Airport.

Members will also be able to access a clubhouse, autominiums (private garages available for purchase), a fitness center, and dining facilities.

Kinarara Consulting will be advising on circuit management, the organization of high-profile events, and retaining high net worth members.

"We are delighted to be able to offer Goodwood's expertise to Oro Station,” said Dan Hughes, Director of Kinrara Consulting. “There are clear synergies between Goodwood as the traditional home of speed in the UK and this incredibly exciting new facility near Toronto. Our hope is for a strong and long-lasting collaboration where each of our great circuits supports and learns from the other."

"The Duke of Richmond and his talented team have created the pinnacle of automotive events at the Goodwood Estate", said Geoffrey Campbell, Managing Partner of Oro Station. "The care and attention to detail is evident in the success of their facility and the quality of experience for customers, sponsors and manufacturers alike. We are honoured to be working with the Goodwood Group to ensure Oro Station and Bexley Motor Club learn from and follow in their pursuit of perfection."

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The GMC Hummer Edition 1 is the first Hummer EV that will be avaalibe.

Photo courtesy of GMC

The Hummer name has officially returned to the automotive world. General Motors has brought back the moniker for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, a fully electric truck that will arrive on dealership lots in 2021.

The numbers are the sexiest bits of the reveal. The Hummer EV Edition 1 delivers 1,000 horsepower, has a 350-mile all-electric range, and goes for $112,959. Yes, one hundred twelve thousand, nine hundred fifty-nine American dollars.

Built on GM's new flexible architecture, the Hummer EV fits between the traditional and extended wheelbase sizes of the 2021 GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. It's over a foot longer than the Hummer H2 and a few inches taller than the Ford F-150 Raptor.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Where a traditional hood and engine would be is instead a front trunk.Photo courtesy of GMC

At its front is an illuminated six-slot grille with the unmistakable "Hummer" lettering emblazoned across the front. Slim headlights flank the grille above a rough-and-ready bumper and skid plate. The Hummer's windshield is upright, which is reminiscent of the model's heritage.

GMC will only sell the 2022 Hummer EV in one cab style - a four-door that is paired with a short bed. Think of this as similar to the Jeep Gladiator.

Every Hummer EV will come with the company's Infinity Roof as standard equipment. That means that the Hummer EV is a t-top style convertible that blends truck and sky by removing four Sky Panels that can be stowed in the Hummer's front trunk.

Like the GMC Sierra, the Hummer EV will come with the versatile MultiPro tailgate. Rear drop glass and a power tonneau cover are available.

It's long wheelbase allows for the truck's Ultium battery pack to sit under the floor in the middle. The truck will be first to market as an Edition 1 grade with a 200-kilowatt-hour battery back. That battery is attached to two motors at the front and one at the rear producing 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. Other forthcoming Hummer variants are set to have unique powertrain setups.

2022 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV comes standard with a short bed.Photo courtesy of GMC

GMC has given each Hummer EV four-wheel drive allowing it to have CrabWalk mode, which utilizes torque vectoring technology. When activating that mode, the Hummer EV to move diagonally.

It also allows the truck to have a launch mode called “Watts to Freedom". Yes, you read that correctly. WTF mode. It allows the Hummer EV Edition 1 to travel from zero to 60 mph in three seconds.

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 will have 350 miles of range and be capable of charging via an 800-volt DC fast-charger and a 350-kilowatt charger. The Hummer is the first EV to have this capability, which allows it to gain 100 miles of range in 10 minutes.

The Hummer EV also offers adjustable ride height functionality, shock damping that can respond to input at the rate of 500 times per second, and stability control, all of which are controlled to varying degrees using the truck's drive modes. It has two differential lockers.

GMC has given the truck an Extract Mode, which raises the Hummer EV's ride height by six inches and gives the truck a 50-degree approach angle. In total, there's eight inches of height adjustability and the truck is capable of 13 inches of front-to-rear travel.

Also, it can scale 18-inch vertical walls and has 2-feet of water fording capability. GMC says that the truck has an 11.3-meter turning radius, which is tighter than what the Chevrolet Sonic is capable of.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

Photo courtesy of GMC

The Hummer EV runs on standard 18-inch wheels that are wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler All Territory MT tires. Up to 37-inch tires will fit on the truck without modification.

GMC has covered the entire underbody of the truck with steel plates and affixed two cameras and their washers that allow drivers to see obstacles ahead.

Inside, the Hummer EV is minimalistic but effectively designed. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster while a 13.4-inch infotainment screen sits in the center of the dashboard. The two screens are powered by Epic Games' Unreal Engine, the same architecture that Fortnite runs on.

GMC hasn't divulged much about the specific interior appointments but does say that they're "premium".

The automaker is putting its Super Cruise hands-free driver assist technology on every Hummer.

The Edition 1 model will be first out of the gate with deliveries slated to begin in fall 2021. Pricing for the Edition 1 starts at $112,595. That will be followed by lower-priced, less-powerful models in a cadence that won't fully roll out until spring 2024.

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The Subaru Crosstrek has been revised for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is an excellent example of what can happen when a car company stops spending its time, efforts, and marketing dollars on chasing the biggest competitors in the room and chooses instead to focus entirely on building and selling what its customers want.

The Crosstrek received a significant overhaul for the 2018 model year, but it's the updates that Subaru put in place for 2021 that have genuinely made it a complete car. Headlining the changes is a newly available engine, which at 2.5 liters is both larger and more powerful than the 2.0-liter mill that powered the Crosstrek line before. The car also got a nose job and new standard safety gear for 2021.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The Crosstrek has been given a new face.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is adequate but lacks power where it counts. With the lesser engine on board, reaching highway speeds is a real chore. There's far more noise and vibration involved than there should be, which accentuates the fact that, no matter how hard you stomp the accelerator pedal, it's not going anywhere fast.

The available 2.5-liter four-cylinder spices things up considerably, with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. It's still paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the extra power mitigates many of the transmission's annoying quirks and makes the vehicle much more engaging overall. It's more refined, has great low-end grunt, and is much quieter in everyday use.

As you'd expect, a tall ride height makes the car more useful when the pavement ends, but what you might not expect is how well Subaru has tuned the suspension and chassis to gracefully deal with the lifted body. For the most part, the ride is sublime, as the beefy suspension and tires soak up all but the worst potholes and broken pavement. Despite that, the Crosstrek, which comes standard with all-wheel drive, remains surefooted when pushed, and like many crossovers, doesn't feel floppy or soft in the corners.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The dimensions of the Crosstrek have remained basically the same for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The Crosstrek's surprisingly spacious interior is a pleasant place to spend time, but luxurious is not a word that comes to mind to describe the cabin in any of the car's trim levels. Form here follows function, but that's not a terrible thing. Headroom is generous in both rows, though the driving position can lead shorter drivers to feel like their face is uncomfortably close to the windshield. Even so, there's plenty of hip and shoulder room, both front and back, and the back seat can squeeze a full-size rear-facing car seat without breaking a sweat.

The Sport trim I tested comes with synthetic leather upholstery that Subaru calls "StarTex," which is essentially a high-tech polyurethane material made from recycled plastics. It's far from leather, but it's equally as far from feeling entry-level or cheap. It's a different thing altogether, and while I didn't get to take my dog for a ride or take the car camping, I can see several situations where a water- and dirt-resistant synthetic upholstery material could come in handy.

The optional 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen sits high on the dash, making for excellent visibility and usability from either of the front seats. The upgraded screen in the Crosstrek Sport is a 1.5-inch step up from the standard display and makes good use of the extra real estate with bright, crisp text and images. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice controls, and HD Radio. The top-level Limited trim gets the same display with navigation, but most people will be just fine with maps provided by Apple or Google in other trim levels.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The interior of the Crosstrek is perfectly functional.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

It'd be irresponsible to write this entire review without mentioning Subaru's safety efforts in the new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn't crashed the 2021 Crosstrek yet, but the organization awarded the 2020 model, which has the same core body structure, a Top Safety Pick designation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated it five stars overall.

Those successes come thanks in part to Subaru's standard EyeSight technology, which brings driver assistance features like pre-collision braking, lane departure alerts, and adaptive cruise control. The Sport trim adds high beam assist and is available with blind-spot monitors.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Dark accents and wheels make the Crosstrek Sport stand out in a crowd.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

If there's one thing that Subaru does better than anybody else, it's listening to its customers. The automaker knows that its buyers want a comfortable car but need one that won't fall apart at the first sign of abuse. It also knows that many people who walk onto a dealer's lot looking for a new Crosstrek are doing so because they believe it will be better for their active lifestyle, better at transporting their pets, and better at keeping them safe. The best part about all of that for buyers, besides the fact that their car company listens to them, is that Subaru hit the mark on all accounts.

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