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

Oak Bay High Grade 10 students Oliver Wakely and Alex Joiner with the new scoreboard to soon be installed on the grass turf. Fundraising from the Oak Bay Barbarians rugby alumni and Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay High alumni buy new scoreboard

Scoreboard to be installed on grass field

Steve Smith’s image of two sibling adolescent grizzly bears playfighting in the Chilko River in the B.C. Interior earned him best of show at the prestigious Lion’s Gate Celebration of Nature club competition for 2020-21. (Photo by Steve Smith)
Victoria Camera Club captures top spot in prestigious nature and wildlife competition

Saanich Peninsula photographers part of award-winning team

Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are part of a corridor that also includes much of urban Saanich that is part of the Greater Victoria 2030 District, a sustainable buildings climate initiative announced recently. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ramping up energy efficiency in Greater Victoria buildings goal of new group

Greater Victoria 2030 District part of North American network of cities working to reduce emissions

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read