Honda is currently developing a hybrid version of the popular Pilot model. That’s right, the largest SUV will get a hybrid configuration that will be capable enough to compete with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Might as well be a Japanese answer to the Ford Explorer, who knows.
On the other hand, the famous US company will release the PHEV variant of its mid-size SUV. So, the other carmakers must find a way to stay competitive with the Ford. According to the reports from the company, Honda is already testing the Pilot Plug-In Hybrid. However, the official release date of the 2021 Honda Pilot Hybrid is still unknown. We must wait for the official info from the Tokyo-based carmaker. Until then, let’s see what we know so far about the forthcoming model.
2021 Honda Pilot Hybrid – What We Know About the Upcoming Model?
First of all, 2021 Honda Pilot Hybrid will have to refine the current powertrain offer. At the moment, the Japanese carmaker uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine which powers the premium Acura MDX. However, a mild-hybrid system is possible with the current V6 unit.
Still, the company hiding the details very well, but we assume that the hybrid will be ready before the end of the year. Moreover, if Honda includes a new drivetrain, it will definitely be available for the upper trim levels – probably from the EX or EX-L. Therefore, the 2021 Pilot Hybrid will come up with one of these two solutions. The first one is a setup based on a 3.5-liter V6 powertrain. This mill is one of the most durable on the market, and it is capable of producing 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
Of course, these numbers are before the electrification. But with the electric push, we expect that this engine goes slightly over 300 hp. if the company decides to go with this one, the main benefit will be the fuel economy. The large Pilot Hybrid SUV will be able to return around 30 mpg in the city. But, the whole configuration will be heavier, so it will cause higher consumption.
What Will Be Under the Hood?
The second solution for the 2021 Honda Pilot Hybrid is the hybrid configuration that’s already in the family. Yes, we talking about the high-performance engine from Acura MDX. This 3.0-liter V6 drivetrain produces 320 hp/290 lb-ft of torque, in combination with an electric motor. The MDX hybrid system returns 27 mpg combined, which is a pretty decent rating for the mid-size 3-row SUV.
But, the downside of this setup is the towing capacity. Instead of the 5,000 pounds rating of a 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 3.0-liter can tow only 3,500 lbs. However, the second solution will include Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive. But, these pieces of information are mainly based on rumors and scanty reports from the company.
The release date is still unknown as well. But, we assume that the Pilot Hybrid will be ready before the Chicago Auto Show, in February 2021. One thing is certain, the refined engine room will help Honda’s largest SUV in the competition against Ford Explorer and Highlander Hybrid.
How Much Will 2021 Pilot Hybrid Cost?
The Japanese company won’t include the base LX model for the upcoming 2021 Honda Pilot Hybrid. There will be only higher trims available, probably from EX or perhaps EX-L.
But don’t worry, each upper trim will include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and navigation as standard equipment. The Pilot Hybrid comes as a 3-row SUV that can accommodate up to eight passengers.
The starting price will be around $40,000. On the other hand, the upper trim such as Elite might go over $50K, with additional leather seats, captain’s chair, and other luxurious features.