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Auto Sleuth: Ford brightens the Bronco Sport; New platform for a new Bolt, and more

The Free Wheeling option package is available with the Bronco Sport Badlands trim level. PHOTO: FORD

The automaker will introduce a retro-inspired option called Free Wheeling for the Bronco Sport, although not the larger Bronco.

The unique treatment for the hood, side panels and tailgate channels the 1970s. Back then, Broncos, Ford vans and F-Series pickups could be order with a similar red, orange, yellow and silver appearance package.

The Free Wheeling trim also has a black roof and 17-inch gloss black wheels with contrasting red accents and special interior touches. The option will be available for the premium-level all-wheel-drive Bronco Sport Badlands model.

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The Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV, pictured, aren’t exactly dead. Just the current platform they ride on. PHOTO: CHEVROLET

The Bolt will return on a new platform

General Motors confirmed that Chevrolet’s small electric vehicle and its slightly larger EUV offshoot would be retired at the end of 2023. But in a surprise move, a new generation of Bolt will be built on GM’s Ultium platform, which supports other EVs.

No timeline for the launch was given. The current Bolt platform is unique to those models. It would also appear that a small, lower cost Chevrolet EV is needed to counter Tesla’s plan of introducing a low-priced model.

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The new Subaru BRZ tS trim gets a new sport suspension, bigger brakes, but no increase in power. PHOTO: SUBARU

Subaru sharpens the BRZ

For 2024, the automaker’s sport coupe will come in a new tS trim level that includes a sport suspension with dampers (shock absorbers) supplied by Hitachi. Larger brake rotors and pads plus unique 18-inch wheels (17-inch versions are standard) and special tS trim are also included.

In addition, Subaru’s EyeSight grouping of driver-assist technologies (such as autonomous braking) is now available on BRZs equipped with six-speed manual transmissions. EyeSight was previously the domain of automatic-equipped cars.

The are no updates to BRZ’s 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

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The 5.0-litre Ford Mustang Dark Horse makes 500 horsepower. In the GT, pictured, the 5.0 makes 480. The only other engine is a 315-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. PHOTO: FORD

The new Mustang packs more punch

Ford’s iconic pony car receives some interesting updates inside and out for the 2024 model year. The base turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine receives a slight output increase to 315 horsepower from 310 horsepower, while the 5.0-litre V-8 in the Mustang GT makes 480 horsepower, up from 450 for 2023.

The V-8 in the new track-oriented Mustang Dark Horse ups the ante to 500 horsepower. For 2024, only the V-8 will be available with a six-speed manual transmission. A 10-speed automatic is standard with the 2.3 and optional with the V-8.

Interior alterations include a 12.4-inch instrument gauge cluster for the driver along with a similar-sized touch-screen for the infotainment and navigation systems. An available Remote Rev feature on the key fob lets drivers show off the V-8 while outside the Mustang.

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In the Sleuth’s estimation, the redesigned Kia Sorento looks a lot like a Cadillac. PHOTO: KIA

The Kia Sorento is updated for 2025

The brand’s seven-passenger utility vehicle, which is one size smaller than the Kia Telluride, will receive a much-needed facelift that includes a new grille, lower air intake, headlights and hood. The result gives the Sorento a more substantial appearance.

The interior also comes in for revisions, such as a larger infotainment screen and new seat and door-panel coverings. There’s no word on powertrains, but it’s expected that the two gasoline engines — a 191-horsepower 2.5-litre four-cylinder and the optional 281-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder — will carry over. Also expected to return are the Sorento’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid power systems.


Tesla’s Cybertruck. Courtesy Tesla

Trending down: Tesla’s Cybertruck is close to launching – According to company CEO Elon Musk, the much talked-about electric pickup is now in the final testing phase and should begin production in limited numbers by the end of the year, with full volume slated for 2024.

It was previously stated that the Cybertruck would have a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds (6,300 kilograms), provide a maximum range of up to 500 miles (800 kilometres) and come with a base price of US $40,000. The Sleuth hasn’t been able to track down Canadian pricing, but you can place a refundable $150 deposit to get on the list.

– written by Wheelbase Media

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