New Model News

2021 Honda Pilot gets special edition, new standard features

Honda has debuted a new trim level for the 2021 model year, the Pilot Special Edition.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

As the current generation Honda Pilot begins to sunset, the automaker is offering a new Special Edition trim level for the 2021 model year. Additionally, a long fresh list of standard features and transmission come on the model.

The Pilot is facing increased competition as it ages from the redesigned-for-2020 Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Mazda CX-9. Kia's redesigned 2021 Sorento will be out later this year and Volkswagen has refreshed the Atlas for 2021 as well. The Chevrolet Traverse remains popular with buyers and will be refreshed for the 2022 model year.

In the Honda stable, the Pilot slots at the top of the SUV lineup. Below it are the Passport, CR-V, and HR-V. The company recently added a CR-V Hybrid model.

2021 Honda Pilot Elite The Pilot lineup sees a bit of a price increase for the 2021 model year. The Pilot Elite, shown here, remains at top-tier offering.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Starting today, dealerships will have 2021 Honda Pilot Special Edition (SE) models in stock. Those models build on the Pilot EX-L trim and offer, in addition to what is on the EX-L roster, leather seats, second-row sunshades, and a power-adjustable driver's seat with two-position memory. Blacked out features include 20-inch wheels, roof rails, grille, and front/rear skid garnishes. There's a foot-activated hands-free tailgate and wireless phone charger. The model is available in two- or all-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive models start at $38,960 and AWD versions have a $40,960 price tag.

Honda is also making its nine-speed automatic transmission standard across the model line adding paddle shifters to each model. Dual-zone climate control is now standard. Buyers now have the option to choose the Platinum White Pearl paint job for their Pilot Black Edition.

The price of the Pilot has gone up for the 2021 model year, but only slightly. It now starts around $600 more than the 2020 edition. The 2021 Pilot LX with two-wheel drive starts at $32,250 adding AWD to that trim level bumps the price up to $34,250.

The 2021 Honda Pilot is made at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant alongside Odyssey, Passport, and Ridgeline. Its engine is also manufactured in Alabama.

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The Lotus Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary debuted last year to celebrate the milestone birthday of the model.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Lotus is turning the page. The company, now majority-owned by Geely, the parent company of Volvo and Polestar, is moving into more exotic territory. That means that it needs to bid adieu to three models as part of a larger Vision80 strategy.

The Lotus Evora, Exige, and Elise will exit the lineup after 2021. Lotus has announced that their production will end by December 31, but an exact manufacturing timeline is publicly unknown. Replacing the models is a new series of sports cars based on the Lotus Type 131 prototype, among others.

The new cars will be manufactured at a facility in Hethel, Norfolk, England. The strategy will ultimately result in the relocation of two Lotus sub-assembly facilities into one central operation in Norwich to support higher volumes of production and sales.

Lotus Evija The Lotus Evija hypercar is the company's future. Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

That move is a £100-million-plus investment in the facilities that includes hiring of 250 employees. This is in addition to the 670 employees that the company has recruited since 2017, when Geely and Etika took ownership of the company.

The Lotus Elise debuted in 1995 showing off a body made of extruded and bonded aluminium, and lightweight composites. In May 2020, the Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions debuted, showing off unique paint jobs that are a nod to days past, and offering an enhanced exterior and interior spec over the Elise Sport 220 on which they're based.

In 2000, the Exige launched as the Lotus 'race car for the road'. In June 2020, the company debuted the Lotus Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary to mark the model's birthday.

Lotus launched the Evora in 2008, marking the company's return to the super sports car sector. In January 2020, a cheaper version of the car, designed to better fit the daily driver lifestyle, was offered.

A plug-and-play digital instrument pack was made available in mid-2020 giving drivers of the three cars in the current lineup access to lap recording ability for over 4,000 race tracks.

Lotus Lotus has released this image teasing three future cars the company plans to produce.Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Lotus

By the time production is over, Lotus will have sold 55,000 units of the Elise, Exige, and Evora combined.

Lotus recently released video of the forthcoming Evija hypercar taking to the track, unleashing its 1,973 horsepower. The company's engineering team has bragged about its capability and it's safe to say a lot is expected of the model.

Though they're looking forward, the company is also giving an approving nod to its past, delivering its first Certificate of Provenance to a 1981 Turbo Esprit that was driven by Margaret Thatcher. Further certifications are underway.

In April, Lotus celebrated the 35th anniversary of Ayrton Senna's first Formula 1 win (in a Lotus) with a special edition podcast dedicated to the late, great racer.

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The 2021 Nissan Rogue is made from recycled aluminum.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

While General Motors is busy readying its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to run strictly on solar power, Nissan is making its Rogue out of recycled metals just down the street. The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the company's first global model built using a closed-loop recycling system for aluminum parts.

Using a closed-loop recycling system has several benefits. It saves 90 percent of the energy that would normally be used to create the parts that are now made of recycled parts. This type of system also helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions compared to the process of making products out of raw materials.

2021 Nissan Rogue The rear doors, which are stamped from aluminum alloy, open wide on the 2021 Rogue. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The process starts when scrap metal is shredded and collected through a pneumatic system. Nissan then separates the different grades of aluminum in order to ensure that the high-quality scrap is collected and sent to suppliers according to which parts they supply. Different grades of material are used to make different parts of the vehicle.

The scrap is then made into sheets of aluminum, which is delivered in rolls to Nissan where it is transformed into parts for the Rogue. The hood and doors of the 2021 Rogue are stamped from the aluminum alloy.

Aluminum, which is lighter than steel, is used to reduce vehicle weight, which helps to improve fuel efficiency and power performance of the vehicle.

Nissan redesigned the Rogue for the 2021 model year. It is more powerful and spacious than its predecessor. The Rogue is also chocked full of family-friendly features and fresh technology including a new high-tech driver information screen.

Nissan builds the 2021 Rogue in Kyushu, Japan, and Smyrna, Tennessee. As part of the recycling process, Nissan has collaborated with Kobe Steel, Ltd. and UACJ Corp. in Japan, and with Arconic Corporation and Novelis Inc. in the U.S.

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