Bozi Tatarevic posted the image shown above on Twitter yesterday, which he cribbed from Mopar Tech Authority, FCA’s OEM service site. Engine options beyond the two we’ve come to know in the States include a 2.2-liter diesel and a 350-hp version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas burner. Tatarevic noted that the site does show global service info, so we reached out to FCA for clarification and received the following from Alfa Romeo USA product communications manager Berj Alexanian: “No plans for any other engines for Giulia in North America for 2018 model year besides the 2.0L and 2.9L [gasoline] versions.” The Quadrifoglio, in case you weren’t aware, is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6.
After its debut in the 2016 Civic, where it’s an upgrade over the base 158-hp, naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the 1.5-liter spread to the ludicrously popular CR-V crossover as an upgrade over the standard 184-hp, naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four. In the Civic it’s rated at 174 horsepower—except in the supertasty Si, where it spins out 205 ponies. In the CR-V, it lights off at 190 horsepower.
Burns said that with the potential for high-volume production (and long-term support), lining up Tier 1 suppliers for the USPS project hasn’t been an issue. So it was a natural next step to develop a commercial-van version at the same time. Panasonic (Tesla) Batteries, BMW Range Extender The N-Gen and Workhorse’s W-15 pickup will share quite a lot, including their composite body construction. Burns told Car and Driver that they’ll use the same batteries: Panasonic 18650-format cells, a “commodity” format that is roughly AA size and essentially the same as is used in the Tesla Model S and Model X, among other vehicles. But what’s different is the range extender. While the production version of the W-15 will use a 1.5-liter three-cylinder BMW range extender, the N-Gen is going to use the 647-cc two-cylinder Kymco-built engine from the BMW i3, Burns said. That’s because, while the van would only be aimed at commercial use, with well-defined driving loops and the range extender strictly as an emergency crutch, the pickup is being designed with a wider operating range—including sustaining its peak power after the battery is depleted.
The Workhorse N-Gen sounds at first description like a Hollywood spy-movie cliché: a near silent electric powertrain within a white van with a rather frumpy, nondescript exterior—and a little drone aircraft deployed from the roof to make the final move to the target. Its reason for being is much more pragmatic, however; it’s the latest in a growing line of delivery vehicles from Workhorse of Ohio, positioned for the greening of corporate fleets while keeping ownership costs extremely low. The N-Gen is designed to replace a generation of small delivery vans powered by gasoline and diesel engines. Although final specs aren’t out yet, it’s expected to weigh hundreds of pounds less than those older vans, thanks to a lightweight composite body. Electric motors will provide about 100 miles of plug-in power, while a small onboard gasoline-fired range-extending engine will add another 75 miles of range. Workhorse claims up to 65 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) for the N-Gen. Although Workhorse has been teasing its W-15 range-extended electric pickup (pictured below), which we briefly drove earlier this year, for much longer, it’s the N-Gen that will reach the market first; production will start in the first quarter of next year. “It’s coming out first because regulatory-wise it’s just easier,” explained CEO Stephen Burns, explaining that it’s closely related to the vehicle that’s a finalist in the United States Postal Service Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) vetting process. Workhorse, in conjunction with truck outfitter VT Hackney, delivered its six prototype vehicles on time in September for evaluation. The USPS is expected to announce around March 1 what company gets the contract to build up to 180,000 vehicles over a time period of up to seven years.
"If any car deserves to be in a museum, it's this one," Blackwell says, "for the miles it's gone and the things it's done for me."
• 12-way power driver’s seat
Now, away from the bright lights and press briefings of Europe’s biggest new car event, we’re keen to find out what ordinary members of the public actually think of SEAT’s newest arrival.