Honda’s bigger Pilot, another Aston Martin motorcycle, Niki Lauda’s Ferrari for sale
Honda’s biggest SUV grows up, gets outdoorsy
Intake: With the 2023 Pilot, Honda has fulfilled its promise to unveil four new SUVs this year (if you count the CR-V Hybrid as a distinct model). The Pilot completes the incrementally bigger progression, which began with the pint-sized HR-V, which is now Civic-based. Like the updated HR-V and CR-V, the P-LT—sorry—wears a new suit. The C-pillar is the most obvious differentiator; it’s now body-colored rather than blacked out. Inside, there are even more pixels, centered around a landscape-oriented touchscreen (7- or 9-inches, depending on trim) perched on a dash showcasing clean, horizontal lines. Honda offers five, down from six, flavors of Pilot, ditching the Special- and Black-edition models and rebadging the cheapest one as Sport, rather than LX. At the middle of the lineup now sits the Trailsport model, which aspires to outdoorsiness more than any Pilot before it. With suspension lifted one inch and tuned for off-pavement driving, this model gains steel skid plates, all-terrain tires, and Sand and Trail modes. Hill Descent control is now standard on every Pilot. You can go even further with a Honda Performance Development (HPD) package, which adds bronze wheels, fender flares, and snazzy decals. Despite its pretentious to trail-bombing, expect the fourth-gen Pilot to be even comfier on road: Honda extended the wheelbase (by 2.8 inches) and moved both front and rear wheels further apart, side to side: 1.1 inches in front, 1.4 in the rear. Bigger brakes, a bit more horsepower from its V-6, and wide-ranging improvements to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness, complement the growth spurt.
Exhaust: It’s a much more assertive, handsome look for Honda’s biggest SUV, and a fashionable dose of ruggedness, but those who truly want the most practical hauler of kids and the odd sheet of plywood will stick with the Odyssey. Sales suggest Honda’s made the right call, however: The Pilot surpassed the minivan in sales in 2017 when the veteran Odyssey first dipped below 100,000. It’s been slipping ever since. –Grace Houghton
Electric Moke Californian priced at $41,900
Intake: 45 years since the original Mini Moke Californian went on sale the British beach car is back in the U.S.A. Now powered by batteries the 44-horsepower eccentric EV has a top speed of 50 mph, making it highway-legal. Range is just 80 miles, however, so any adventures will have to be restricted to mini breaks. Charging takes four hours on a Type 1 charger, and the Moke Californian will be sold under the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, so just 325 will be imported each year. Build slots can be reserved now for a $990 deposit.
Exhaust: It’s a little over half the price of the classic Mini Recharged, but it’s also a little over half the car so we can’t imagine too many Californians braving the Pacific Coast Highway in the Moke. But for beach town hipsters looking for a guilt-free way to zip between the smoothie bar, yoga studio and surf spot, the Moke might be just the ticket. –Nik Berg
Aston Martin and Brough Superior announce another two-wheeled track tool
Intake: Following the sell-out of its AMB 001 co-lab Aston Martin and Brough Superior have once again teamed up for a run of circuit-only superbikes. The AMB 001 Pro has 25 percent more power than its predecessor at 225 horsepower, thanks to its 997cc twin-cylinder motor which has been milled from AL 5000 solid billet aluminum. This material provides extra stiffness for the structural engine, while a new cylinder design with wet liners improves cooling. Further tweaks have been made to the Aston Martin-designed bodywork to improve aerodynamics. “It’s a beautifully simple formula,” says Aston’s design boss Marek Reivhman. “Form plus technology equals performance. When you push something to the very edge of capacity, and do it seamlessly, the resulting experience can have you breathless. There is no separation between the advanced materials, design and technical capabilities of the bike. We’ve achieved this fluidity again with Brough Superior for those who desire a track superbike like none other. The rider is part of this moving sculpture and will literally feel as though they are part of the track when laying atop the AMB 001 Pro”. Only 88 AMB 001 Pros are to built, and all will be to the same specification with a Verdant Jade and carbon colorway inspired by Aston’s racing models.
Exhaust: The Aston Martin brand is certainly growing with the famous winged logo appearing on whiskey labels, apartment complexes, powerboats, personal submarines, and now bikes. It’s not, however, appearing on as many cars as it would like, with sales dropping in the first half of 2022 and China’s Geely stepping in to snap up shares and shore up its future. –NB
Niki Lauda’s Ferrari for sale
Intake: Says the post by Austrian auction house Dorotheum: “What are the chances of a young fellow at the tender age of 24 getting a brand-new Ferrari as a company car from his employer? Really, really poor, one would think, unless your employer’s name is Enzo Ferrari and you’re Niki Lauda, and you’ve just signed a contract as a Formula 1 driver with ‘il Commendatore’.” The car Lauda received, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2, chassis number 17517 and engine number 00817, was silver when he got it, and was subsequently repainted dark red by a subsequent owner, the son of a Ferrari importer.
Exhaust: The car goes up for online auction in 10 days. Starting price, but certainly not the sales price, is 30,000 euros, or about $30,700. –Steven Cole Smith
Tesla recalls 40,000 cars for power steering issue
Intake: Tesla is recalling just over 40,000 2017-2021 Model S and Model X vehicles due to the possibility of losing power assist to the steering. The company has released an over-the-air software update to recalibrate the system after it began rolling out an update last month to detect unexpected steering assist torque, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tesla said it is unaware of any injuries or deaths related to the problem.
Exhaust: It’s handy that some recalls can be handled over the air. So far in 2022, Tesla has issued 17 recalls potentially affecting 3,418,596 U.S. vehicles, according to NHTSA. –SCS
Kindred Motorworks teams with CORE for electric power
Intake: Kindred Motorworks, the San Francisco Bay-area producer of modernized vintage vehicles, announced that it has partnered with Idaho-based KORE Power, a developer of battery cell technology, to supply battery modules for the electrified models in the Kindred lineup. The first two vehicles resulting from this partnership are the Kindred VW Bus and the Kindred 3100 pickup truck, both of which will be offered exclusively as EVs. Said Rob Howard, Kindred Motorworks’ founder and CEO: “This agreement locks in our battery supply for the next several years of vehicle production and we hope to further expand this relationship as we grow.” Kindred will use KORE Power’s VDA 355 format battery modules, which are compact, standardized modules already in wide use by various OEMS. Selecting the VDA modules gives Kindred Motorworks the flexibility to build custom battery enclosures that complement the architecture and design of different classic cars and trucks.
Exhaust: Both vehicles will be available for pre-order this month. Full disclosure: Hagerty is one of Kindred’s investors. –SCS