There’s a makeover for the Crosstrek, yes, but also a newly optional 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine. PHOTO: SUBARU

There’s a makeover for the Crosstrek, yes, but also a newly optional 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine. PHOTO: SUBARU

The Auto Sleuth: Hot off the press!

The Subaru Crosstrek, Mustang GT350 and more

Subaru ratchets up the Crosstrek:

It’s no secret that the small-and-tall-wagons (crossovers) segment is one of the hottest. The group includes the Subaru Crosstrek that receives a makeover and a bigger slice of performance pie for 2021. There’s a new grille and a new front bumper with darkened cladding that matches the wheel arches and rear-bumper end caps. There’s also a new engine option: A 2.5-litre four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The carryover 2.0-litre base engine is rated at 152/145. A continuously variable transmission is standard with the 2.5 and optional with the 2.0, which continues to be available with a six-speed manual.

The redesigned Kia Sorento will be available as a front-wheel-drive hybrid model, but not until after the launch. PHOTO: KIA

The redesigned Kia Sorento will be available as a front-wheel-drive hybrid model, but not until after the launch. PHOTO: KIA

A new Sorento prepares to hit the road

The fourth generation of Kia’s midsize utility vehicle that arrives for 2021 has a standard 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque, and an optional turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 281/311. All-wheel-drive is offered with both powerplants. Also arriving for 2021 is an all-wheel-drive hybrid, followed later in the model year by an all-wheel-drive plug-in version with an estimated 50 kilometres of electric-only propulsion (both equipped with turbo 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines plus electric motors). There are eight-speed transmissions for all but the hybrid, which gets a six-speed automatic.

Ford’s new compact pickup will wear a decades-old nameplate

The Sleuth confirms the automaker’s new small truck (smaller than the midsize Ranger) will be called Maverick and is expected in late 2021 as a 2022 model. The name was originally applied to a compact Ford sedan and coupe that were sold from model years 1970 thru 1977. The Maverick is designed for light duty and will be built on the same unitized (frameless) platform as the 2021 Bronco Sport (and the Ford Escape). It will use the Sport’s all-wheel-drive system (as an option) and the turbocharged three-and four-cylinder engines rated at 181 and 245 horsepower, respectively.

BMW’s X-vehicle lineup has one more model waiting in the wings

The Spy Guy can confirm that a new BMW tall wagon is headed here for the 2022 model year. The all-wheel-drive X8 — numbers 1 through 7 are already assigned to other vehicles — will be slightly longer and lower than the X7, which arrived for the 2019 model year. It will also be more hatchback-like than the squared-off X7, but is also expected to have the same three-row seating capacity. The X8’s standard hybrid system, consisting of a turbocharged six-cylinder engine plus an electric motor, will generate a net 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. A twin-turbocharged V-8 making 600-plus horsepower will also be available later in the X8 M.

The GT350 is being overshadowed by the much more powerful GT500, partly because the GT500 costs a reasonable $18,000 more. PHOTO: FORD

The GT350 is being overshadowed by the much more powerful GT500, partly because the GT500 costs a reasonable $18,000 more. PHOTO: FORD

The GT350 nears the end of the line

This special Mustang — equipped with a very unique high-revving 5.2-litre V-8 — has wowed Mustang lovers with its raucous exhaust note and 529 horsepower. All good things must come to an end, however, and after the 2020 model year, buyers will only get the GT500 (with a supercharged 5.2-litre V-8), which could be considered a GT350 but with a lot more power (750). The end of the GT350 also means one less manual-transmission model on the market as the GT500 comes only with a seven paddle-shift transmission. The GT500 will set buyers back about $95,000 in Canada, or about $18,000 more than a base GT350, but roughly the same price as the track-ready GT350R.

UPS AND DOWNS

Up: NASCAR returns to the dirt

The racing league’s 2021 Cup Series calendar will include a dirt-track event for the first time in half a century. For the March 28 race in Bristol, Tenn., the half-mile asphalt oval will — amazingly — be covered with dirt. The Sleuth is certainly intrigued about the cleanup afterward.

Honda is getting out of Formula One (again), apparently to divert funds to electric-car development. PHOTO: HONDA

Honda is getting out of Formula One (again), apparently to divert funds to electric-car development. PHOTO: HONDA

Engine supplier Honda to leave Formula One

The automaker recently announced that the 2021 Grand Prix racing season will be its last as a power-system supplier to the Red Bull team. Honda got back into Formula One — partnering with McLaren — in 2015 after a five-year absence. That alliance ended after three years, with Honda continuing to supply engines to other teams. According to Red Bull, Honda is pulling out to focus financial resources on electric propulsion.

AutomotiveAutosSports CarsTrucks

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

Just Posted

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer in West Kootenay in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Brad Windsor has been an advocate for years to get sidewalks installed along Milburn Drive in Colwood, but to no avail. He wants city council to commit to making Milburn a priority lane for sidewalk construction in the future. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash caught on B.C. home security camera

Angry residents say video highlights need for sidewalks in B.C. residential neighbourhood

An independent review is underway at the Royal BC Museum after employees called out systemic, individual racism at the institution. (Twitter/RBCM)
Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Formal investigation, survey and training launched at museum

In this May 23, 2012, file photo, an approximately 2-year-old female cougar runs away from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trap after being released northeast of Arlington, Wash. A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Mulligan/The Daily Herald via AP
Cougar euthanized in B.C. after severely mauling a man north of Vancouver

Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby

Most Read