New SUV

2022 Honda HR-V debuts as a hybrid that keeps its Magic Seats

The Honda HR-V has been redesigned for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Company, Ltd.

This third generation of Honda's Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle has arrived, and it's a hybrid. The new, 2022 Honda HR-V advances the look of Honda design as well, showing off fresh design language.

The new HR-V features a boldly designed grille area. It's integrated into the car's entire body, beginning at the face of the car and blending through the SUV's elongated hood. The classic Honda "H" logo sits in the center of the upright grille.

The 2022 HR-V is the second Honda to wear the e:HEV badge, which denotes a hybrid powertrain). The first was the Honda Jazz. In the U.S., the Jazz was called the Fit, but it was discontinued recently, before the new generation made it to the country's shores.

2022 Honda HR-V

Photo courtesy of Honda Motor Company, Ltd.

The Honda HR-V has been redesigned for the 2022 model year.

Though not detailed as part of the new model announcement, Honda is likely to give the HR-V the same powertrain as the Jazz. That's a 1.5-liter engine paired with two electric motors and a fixed gear transmission. There, the result is about 40 less horsepower than the U.S. version of the 2020 HR-V has, but 50 additional pound-feet of torque. The second-generation HR-V was often criticized for being slow off the line, so the extra torque would help there and would likely make up for any perceived horsepower shortfall.

In the Jazz, there's three drive modes: Hybrid, Electric, and Engine. Those could be carried over to the new HR-V.

A coupe-like roofline leads to a small rear window. The liftgate looks narrower in the new generation than it is in the last, especially at its bottom.

Well-designed packaging allows the HR-V to retain class-leading interior space. Honda has equipped the model with soft-touch materials to create a more modern in-cabin aesthetic. Minimalistic design helps the cabin feel large.

Honda has divulged that the HR-V will continue to have the company's Magic Seats, which are able to fold flat or flip up, allowing the crossover to delivery more flexibility than many of its competitors.

Availability in the U.K. is set to start later this year. When and if the new model is coming to the U.S. has yet to be announced. Count on the HR-V jumping across the pond. The company sold nearly 100,000 HR-Vs in the U.S. in 2019 and just over 84,000 in 2020.

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The Ford Explorer Timberline joins the 2021 Explorer King Ranch as a new model for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Following in the footsteps of the Raptor and Tremor versions of Ford trucks, the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline debuts with a host of new equipment designed to make the popular SUV a more capable off-roader. Like what Subaru is doing with its Wilderness packaging, Ford will carry over the Timberland trimmings to multiple models.

"Ford is delivering on more capable SUVs with Timberline. Consumer data has shown us that now more than ever, customers want to get outside and explore nature with friends and family," said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company. "Timberline hits a new sweet spot with these customers who want an ideal combination of passenger space, moderate off-road capability and great manners around town."

The Explorer Timberline has a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color. It has a blackout treatment on the headlights and taillamps, as well as the Ford oval. Timberline badges feature on the C-pillars and lift gate. Red Ember tow hoods are at the front and rated at 150 percent gross vehicle weight.

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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LED fog lamps, a Carbonized Gray grille, and dealer-installed Ford Performance auxiliary lights with a 160,000-candelas output come on the vehicle.

The 2021 Explorer Timberline comes standard with four-wheel drive with torque vectoring technology that works to distribute the right amount of torque to each wheel. It also has a Torsen limited slip rear differential, which helps prevent wheel spin.

Ford's Terrain Management System is also standard, allowing drivers to select between seven drive modes depending on road conditions. The Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport have a similar system. Hill Descent Control is also standard.

Steel skid plates line the front and rear underbody of the vehicle protecting the engine and transmission. Ford has given the model a 0.8-inch ride height increase and heavy-duty shocks that were originally developed for the Explorer Police Interceptor. Steering calibration, stabilizer bars and springs are specially tuned for Timberline – including an exclusive front rebound spring that helps prevent sudden jarring off-road.

The new Explorer has an approach angle of 23.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 23.7 degrees, plus minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches.

The rig rides on high-sidewall Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires with a tread pattern designed to balance off-road traction and on-road quietness. The shoes are wrapped around high-gloss painted aluminum wheels that feature a laser-etched Timberline logo.

Explorer Timberline is powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

For customers who need to tow RVs, ATVs and boats to their adventures, the standard Class III Trailer Tow Package brings 5,300 pounds of towing capability.

The interior sports a Deep Cypress color way that is matched with an Ebony headliner, overhead console, pillar trim, grab handles, visors, and moonroof shade. The instrument panel has a Stone Mesh appliqué while other colors feature elsewhere. Satin Silver Twilight is on the center stack, steering wheel bezel and door armrest trim; Deep Cypress on door trim panel inserts; Deep Tangerine stitching on the seats, steering wheel and door trim; and Timberline logos on the front seats.

Rubber floor liners are standard and ActiveX cloth seats inserts are designed to be cleaned easily and keep bottoms in place on rough terrain.

Standard Ford Co-Pilot360 and Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology features that include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Speed Sign Recognition, Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation. A 360-degree camera also comes on the model.

Buyers can choose three Outfitters packages – Outfitters SkyBox, Outfitters MegaWarrior and Outfitters FrontLoader. All three packages combine all-weather floor mats, crossbars and the selected Yakima rooftop accessories for customers to take even more equipment with them on their next adventure.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is available to order now and arrives at Ford dealers this summer joining the Explorer King Ranch and new Platinum grades in the company's lineup.

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An Infiniti Q60 drifts at Yokohama Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

A new film showcases the drifting capabilities of a heavily modified Infiniti Q60. The coupe currently competes in the domestic top-tier drift championship in Japan even though the sports coupe is not sold there.

Before reaching the docks in Japan, the car was heavily modified having started its journey in America. The car was built to show off renowned restoration specialist Tatsuhiro Shibata's passion for the Infiniti brand.

The video features Shibata and his driver, Koudai Sobagiri putting the The hand-built model to the test and showing off near Infiniti's world headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The closed course near Yokohama Harbor served as the set.

"In my eyes, the Q60 was the best looking of (the Infiniti lineup), but they didn't sell any in Japan. So we had to go to the U.S. to find one," Shibata says. "It's simple; I just wanted a good-looking racing car."

Tatsuhiro Shibata's Infiniti Q60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

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This isn't the first time that Shibata has imported an Infiniti to Japan. His passion has led him to do so for the last decade. Shibata is not directly affiliated with Infiniti.

Following the film, Infiniti plans to release an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film and the Shibata Infiniti Q60. An exclusive story about Shibata's workshop, Sobagiri's path to drifting, and more will be released along with the behind-the-scenes film.

1,000HP INFINITI Q60: Drifting at the Docks www.youtube.com

The release of the film comes as Infiniti is playing catch up with much of their business plans. Amid falling sales and the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for two new models to be introduced had to be push to 2021 including the 2022 Infiniti QX55 and the forthcoming redesigned QX60.

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