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

Members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 gathered at the Duncan Cenotaph on April 9 to commemorate the First World War Battle of Vimy Ridge. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley veterans remember Battle of Vimy Ridge

Members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 gather at Duncan Cenotaph

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num signs installed in downtown Duncan

Project a partnership between City of Duncan, DDBIA and Cowichan Tribes

Crofton Fire Department members on the scene of Twin Gables fire in February of 2020. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Citizens’ group calls for action at Crofton’s Twin Gables Motel

Crofton waterfront site called an eyesore and a nuisance property

North Cowichan is looking for public input through a survey as it updates its Master Transportation Plan. (File photo)
North Cowichan looking for public input on transportation

Online survey to be held until April 22

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

(Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Most Read