Mullen Technologies is taking deposits for the MX 05, which has a claimed range of 520 kilometres. PHOTO: MULLEN TECHNOLOGIES

The Auto Sleuth: Honda’s urban pickup, a custom Ferrari and more

Hot off the press news from the auto world

The revamped Honda Ridgeline has a much more aggressive front end, while these nifty bronze wheels are optional. PHOTO: HONDA

The revamped Honda Ridgeline has a much more aggressive front end, while these nifty bronze wheels are optional. PHOTO: HONDA

• Honda’s urban pickup receives more swagger for 2021:

The Sleuth sees a growing trend away from genteel grille shapes to more rugged-looking noses. This approach is exemplified by the latest Honda Ridgeline, which comes with a more dramatic front end for 2021. As well, the truck makes available 18-inch bronze wheels that appear far less benign than the standard wheels. Buyers can also order black fender flares and side graphics, but they likely won’t fool anyone into thinking the Ridgeline is ready to take on the off-road-ready Ford F-150 Raptor or new Ram 1500 TRX. Unchanged is the pickup’s 280-horsepower V-6, but a nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous six-speed.

_______

The MX-30 hybrid — instead of a battery-electric EV — is expected for 2021. PHOTO: MAZDA

The MX-30 hybrid — instead of a battery-electric EV — is expected for 2021. PHOTO: MAZDA

• Mazda creates an EV, but not for North America:

The Sleuth confirms that the Japan-based automaker will introduce its first battery-electric model to its home country plus the European continent. However there’s some confusion regarding the launch of the MX-30 in North America. It seems that the battery’s 200-kilometre range — far less than competing electrics — is insufficient for U.S. and Canadian driving needs. Instead, a gasoline-electric hybrid MX-30 is expected in Canada sometime in 2021. The system consists of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder plus an electric motor that assists the gasoline engine, but does not operate independently from it (referred to as a mild hybrid). The MX-30 is roughly the size of the Mazda CX-30 utility vehicle, but comes with two smaller rear doors for accessing the rear seat.

_______

The Jaguar XE compact sedan is being cancelled and without a replacement. PHOTO: JAGUAR

The Jaguar XE compact sedan is being cancelled and without a replacement. PHOTO: JAGUAR

• Jaguar trims its feline family:

Compared with major-league players BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and others, the British automaker is a small player in the luxury class. For 2021, Jaguar will retire the XE sedan that competed in the same segment as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class and Lexus ES. Jaguar will also stop bringing the XF Sportbrake (wagon) to our shores. The updated-for-2021 XF sedan will stay, albeit without the 380-horsepower supercharged 3.0-litre V-6. Jaguar is also cutting prices on base models that come with the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

_______

Mullen Technologies is taking deposits for the MX 05, which has a claimed range of 520 kilometres. PHOTO: MULLEN TECHNOLOGIES

Mullen Technologies is taking deposits for the MX 05, which has a claimed range of 520 kilometres. PHOTO: MULLEN TECHNOLOGIES

• Another electric-vehicle company ramps up:

The Sleuth is having a difficult time keeping track of all the EV startup (or upstart) automakers announcing their coming products. One of the latest is California-based Mullen Technologies, which recently announced it’s taking deposits for the midsize MX 05 utility-style vehicle, expected to arrive by mid-2022. The all-wheel-drive model comes with electric motors of (so far) unknown output, a claimed range of 520 kilometres, and a zero-to-60-mph (96 km/h) time of 3.2 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. No price has been announced for Canada, but the U.S. price is expected to be $55,000. Later, Mullen will launch the all-wheel-drive Dragonfly K50 sports car, which will cost well over $100,000.

_______

• Ford’s coming electric pickup might have a trick up its sleeve: The Spy Guy hears that the battery-electric version of the F-150 that’s scheduled for the 2022 model-year could offer an available gasoline internal-combustion engine generator as a backup. Supported by a small fuel tank, it would kick in when the truck’s battery pack becomes depleted. At that point, the generator would feed electricity to the batteries and would remain in operation until the vehicle is recharged through an electrical outlet. The range-extending generator would be positioned in an enclosed spot directly behind the cab and inside the pickup bed. This option would be especially ideal for rural F-150 electric owners who frequently travel long distances.

_______

UPS AND DOWNS

  • Up: Future Volvos could be both left- and right-hand-drive – A patent filed by the automaker could solve the problem (and expense) of engineering different versions of their models, according to which country they’re headed. It also means that Volvo owners in Great Britain could conceivably slide the steering wheel to the left from the right seat when crossing the English Channel by boat or train to France and onward to the rest of Europe.

_____

This Ferrari 812 Superfast Omologata is the only one in existence, specially designed for the customer. PHOTO: FERRARI

This Ferrari 812 Superfast Omologata is the only one in existence, specially designed for the customer. PHOTO: FERRARI

  • Up: A one-off Ferrari – You know you’re rich when you can commission Italy’s storied automaker to customize car just for you. A European customer is taking possession of a Ferrari 812 Superfast Omologata, replete with unique styling and interior finishes. The front-engine Superfast runs with a 6.5-litre V-12 rated at 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque.

-written by Wheelbase Media

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Automotive

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There still has been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing into the deaths of Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie on Christmas Eve, 2019. Police are asking for the public’s assistance in solving the crime. This memorial, located near Trunk Road and Canada Avenue where the crime occurred, still stands at the site of the double homicide. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Investigation continues into Duncan double murder

Police ask anyone with information on Christmas Eve, 2019, crime to contact them

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo submitted)
Mount Brenton Golf Course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year

The memorial site for double-murder victims Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie, located in Charles Hoey Park, will be allowed to stay for another two months after the City of Duncan changed its policy on temporary memorials. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan allows temporary memorials to stay longer

Policy change related to memorial for double-homicide victims in city park

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Most Read