The Friday Five:The Sorento First-Ever Plug-In, Durango One-Time-Only SRT Hellcat, and GM Second-Try Multifunction Tailgate Edition

Beverly Braga | Aug 28, 2020

This week was heavy with Mazda news regarding the updated 2021 CX-5 and rumored 2021 CX-30 Turbo, and we also featured teasers of upcoming models, including the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, and Volkswagen ID4

But that’s not everything that was happening in the automotive space.

The Kia Sorento Plug-In Arrives in Europe Next Year; U.S. Next?

The first-ever Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid will be available in European markets starting early next year, per an announcement from the automaker. Specification details also were released as the Sorento PHEV will feature a 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard equipment. 

2021 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid Rear View

The powertrain will be a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine paired with a single electric motor and 13.8-kWh battery back. The combined output is listed as 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which would make this the most powerful Sorento available in Europe. The U.S. market has a 3.3-liter, V-6-equipped model that produces 290 hp and 262 lb.-ft. so the PHEV would be a close second. 

Speaking of which, no word as to whether the Sorento PHEV will make its way stateside, but there wasn’t a “No” statement issued either. Also, the Sorento PHEV’s specs closely match those of the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV, which is U.S.-bound. Things that make you go, “Hmm.”

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat Price Announced

Pricing for the refreshed 2021 Dodge Durango is out and the newest addition to the lineup is the Durango SRT Hellcat. The three-row, muscle car-tuned SUV starts at $82,490 (including the $1,495 destination fee). By comparison, the Durango SXT rear-wheel-drive base model starts at $33,260, which means you can get 2-1/2 Durango SXTs or a single Durango SRT Hellcat. Of course, there is some merit to the eye-popping markup. 

For one, the Durango SRT Hellcat will be a 2021 model-year exclusive. Secondly, you’re looking at a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque that will propel you from zero-to-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Also, it does the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph. Compare this against the standard 3.6-liter V-6 with an output of up to 295 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. So, if you’ve ever wanted to drag race an SUV, the Durango SRT Hellcat should be your sled and 2021 is the model year to buy it.

Porsche Panamera Now Available in Plug-In Hybrid Form for 2021

Significantly refreshed for 2021, the Porsche Panamera offers plenty of performance upgrades. The lineup also expands to include a new plug-in hybrid model. 

The new 2021 Panamera 4S E-Hybrid pairs the standard 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 with an electric motor and a 17.9-kWh battery pack to produce a combined 552 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is rated at 185 mph and the PHEV reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds when using the launch control system. This is similar performance to the previously available Panamera Turbo…and the just-mentioned Durango SRT Hellcat.

Pricing for all 2021 Porsche Panamera models will be announced early next year when the vehicle will be available for ordering. Deliveries are expected to begin in the spring. 

All-New 2021 Buick Envision Price is Lower Than Outgoing Model

Redesigned for 2021, the Buick Envision features a new look, more power, plenty of standard safety features, and is priced less than the model it replaces. The 2021 Buick Envision Preferred will start at $32,995 (including the $1,195 destination fee), which is $1,700 below the current generation’s sticker price.

The 2021 Envision also restructures its trim offerings by dropping the Essence II to make the Avenir the most expensive model. Still, at $43,195, the Avenir will be $1,600 less than the outgoing Essence II. Buick buyers also now have a front-wheel drive option on the top-level trim for $41,395, which isn’t available on the 2020 model. The 2021 Buick Envision will arrive in dealerships later this year.

Upcoming 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Might Get Multi-Function Tailgate

Since its debut on the 2019 GMC Sierra, the MultiPro tailgate has been a GMC exclusive. But according to industry reports, that could change next year when the refreshed 2022 Chevrolet Silverado is introduced. 

To be rebadged as MultiFlex for the Chevy, the multi-function tailgate will be standard on certain Silverado trim levels, similar to the offerings on the Sierra. There could be some design updates as well. For example, one criticism of the Sierra’s current MultiPro tailgate is its lack of being trailer-friendly in some configurations. This may be addressed with the MultiFlex iteration. 

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