New Model News

2021 Subaru Crosstrek getting more powerful engine, additional trim level

A new report by AutomotiveNews indicates that Subaru is adding a new 2.5-liter engine option to its lineup.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

One of the biggest complaints reviewers and buyers have about the Subaru Crosstrek. is that it's underpowered. The small SUV's 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is plenty competent as a daily driver but when it comes to more exciting driving situations, the Crosstrek doesn't have the oomph to keep up.

AutomotiveNews has reported that during the annual National Automobile Dealers Association conference in Las Vegas, Subaru of America's CEO Tom Doll told dealers that Subaru's 2.5-liter engine will replace the current 2.0-liter for the 2021 model year.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Subaru sells a plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek in certain states.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

That's the same engine that is standard in the 2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, and Legacy. In those models, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine achieves 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers would be a significant upgrade for Crosstrek customers.

The power plant gets 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. That's about the same fuel efficiency as the 27 mpg/33 mpg city/highway that the Crosstrek gets from its current 2.0-liter engine.

In the Outback, Forester, and Legacy, the engine comes paired with a standard continuously variable transmission. That is likely to be the case with this engine offering.

Doll told dealers that the new engine will be available in the Limited trim level.

Subaru will also offer a new Crosstrek Sport grade. Subaru currently sells a Forester Sport model that has proven popular with buyers.

The Subaru Crosstrek saw sales decline in 2019, but still managed to claim a spot on the top 20 SUVs sold list.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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