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

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

World Juniors’ referee Mike Langin makes a called during the Canada vs. Slovakia at the 2021 World Junior Championship at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)
Former Sylvan Lake man lives his dream at World Junior Championships

Mike Langin was one the 25 Canadian officials who worked during the tournament

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

(Photo submitted)
Community Futures brings back Social Media Challenge for 2021

This time the challenge is for non-profits and community groups

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.’s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

UCP revoked a policy that had protected eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb. TC Energy Corp. is planning to eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs related to its decision to halt work on its Keystone XL pipeline expansion project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
TC Energy cutting more than 1,000 Keystone XL construction jobs as Biden pulls permit

Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion

Kyla Gibson with her boyfriend Gavin Hardy. (Photo used with permission)
Sylvan Lake couple lose ‘fur babies’ to house fire

‘They were our world and nothing will ever replace them,’ Kyla Gibson said of her three pets

Most Read