Monday, December 11, 2017

2018 Nissan Leaf quick drive

I got to spend a little time driving the 2018 Nissan Leaf while attending the Los Angeles auto show press days a while ago.
Here are some thoughts...

 As mentioned before, the "new' Leaf isn't all new. but a new design on top of the exact same structure.
(Glass is all the same as before except the rear hatch)

Which is actually fine, since it looks so different. Edgier and a bit more aggressive visually.

 Same thing inside. Where things are exactly where they used to be. Just looking a bit different.
The car is solid and well finished.
 I don't remember exactly how was the back seat of the previous version, but this one is really roomy.
And I really like the 2 tone cream/black combo. (Also refreshing to see nice cloth instead of "almost mandatory" leather everywhere!)
but I do miss a sunroof. Of any kind...
 The added power is immediately obvious. The new leaf is punchier than the old one.
And you can tell right away.

The steering feels about the same, and
 the ride is very smooth.
New for 2018 is the e-Pedal mode. Where the car slows down (and eventually stops) when you lift your food off the accelerator. So you could basically drive using only one pedal most of the time.

It actually works and is quite pleasant. (Other EVs have that feature as well.)

The new Leaf looks like a really nice upgrade.
The 150 miles EV range is much better than before.

The eGolf is still sportier. And even though it is rated at only 115 miles I got much more in my recent test drive.

I am really looking forward to spend a week with the new Leaf...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

New Bullitt Mustang coming up for 2019?

 That would be nice.
This picture does show a 2018 Mustang with a Bullitt color and black wheels. With their chrome ring.
So this really could be it.

I really liked the 2008 model. Based off the great (and still really good looking) 2006 design.

 Of course, the original. the genesis of the whole Bullitt mustang. The one that was featured in the 1968 film of the same name.
 A very nice try for 2001.
But this 2008 is really the best.

A very clean and simple design. No scoops or spoilers.
Just great proportions and simple lines.( I wonder how much these are used...)

Saturday, December 09, 2017

2019 Toyota Corolla illustration

This is of course, not the real thing.

It's actually not that easy to guess what the next Corolla will look like.
So this illustrations looks like a blend of all current Toyota design cues.
From the Camry, Yaris, Prius etc... They are all represented here. And the final result looks like quite a mess.

Let's hope Toyota finds it in its heart to give us something nice and simple...

2018/19 European VW Passat

Apparently the Euro Passat is due for a facelift pretty soon.
The white car in the illustration shows what it could look like (The other one is the current model)

Obviously, VW is on a path to put the same front end on all their cars. So the illustration shows an Artheon grille on the Passat.
(The 2019 Jetta will be similar)

I think it doesn't work. At all. There is no reason to make the grille larger.
The current model is quite tasteful.

That illustration looks like a mess. 

Friday, December 08, 2017

2019 Porsche 911 Interior

Compared to the current interior (bottom) the new one almost looks retro.
Just like current Porsche interiors, the dashboard is very flat. I guess like old Porsches.

The current one is still very nice. I guess they feel they have to change these once in a while.

More pictures HERE
Why not...

2019 Toyota Avalon teaser

This already looks overdone...

The Avalon is a large, smooth "luxury" sedan. I am not sure this kind of design fits the car. Unless they are going for something totally different (Which I doubt)

Companies who have trouble designing good looking cars usually resort to just adding lines, spoilers, fake vents, scoops. Their idea of looking"younger".
I don't think they need to make the Avalon "look younger". Let's face it, no hipsters are buying them.
People won't move up to an Avalon from a C-HR...

This teaser does look quite busy already, and it is only showing a small part of the front end.

Let's hope I am 100% wrong. And the new Avalon looks stunning.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

At least from these pictures, the next Santa Fe doesn't look like that much of an improvement when compared to the current one (bottom pic)

I mean really. the current one is pretty nice looking. Actually a bit nicer than a Pilot or Highlander.
It also looks like the new Subaru Ascent a bit. 

The next one looks like it has that weird looking huge grille. The one they probably will put on everything from now on. 
The whole front end looks like a huge Kona. 

The sold over 131 000 units of the Santa Fe last year. But that also includes the 5 seater "Sport"model.
(The prototype above looks like the longer "regular" Santa Fe (Or XL in Canada)
So who knows how many they sold of the larger one...

While Toyota sold over 191 000 Highlanders . 
I guess Hyundai figures an even more conservative design is the key to success. Which didn't really work with the Sonata...

Good luck. 

More pictures of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee prototype

We are basically seeing almost all the changes now.
Looking much more conservative, and far less imaginative.
But still modern. And, I guess, more in tune with what people like.

A few changes inside are also planned. But as previously mentioned HERE, the new 2.0 Liter Turbo should also be available.

More pictures HERE

2019 Ford Focus Sedan

Sure, it looks all new. But I am not sure it is that much more modern looking than the current one (blue car) This doesn't look like that much of an effort. 
It reminds me a bit of the Volvo S60.

This looks ready to go, with almost no camouflage. We should be able to see the whole thing at the Detroit auto show...

Head over HERE for all pictures of the prototype. 

New engine choice for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee

On top of getting an all new face, the "revised for 2019" Cherokee will be getting the all new 2.0 Liter Turbo engine from the new Wrangler as an option.
And it looks like it will be making the exact same HP in the Cherokee at 270.

In the Wrangler, this engine is paired with an 8 speed automatic.
I wonder if this will be the case for the Cherokee. I know the 9 speed auto has been criticized by almost everyone.
I guess it would be about time for Chrysler to either fix it or ditch it....

2019 Jeep Grand Commander coming up?

This shows a list of names recently patented in China by FCA.
We see the Portal concept. The Pacifica ( I guess they were not selling it over there until now??)
So grand Commander could also be a Concept name.
Or, most likely, the name for the production version of the Yuntu concept.

Here are patent drawings for the production version of the Yuntu.

I guess the name "Grand Commander" is fine. Although it makes you wonder whatever happened to the regular "Commander"...Will there be a shorter version of this car? But wouldn't that be a Cherokee?

We'll see...

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

More pictures of the Buick GL6

I keep thinking this is a pretty interesting car Buick is offering only in China right now.

The top pictures also show a really cool windshield wiper design.
Which  seems to be covering/cleaning the whole thing from each edge of the windshield. 

I remember seeing odd looking ones from Citroen and Mercedes. Mostly using only one wiper.
But this seems to be a good idea for large windshields...

The interior does look pretty nice. Actually better than most other Opel interiors.
And roomy too!

Is this the production version of the Chevrolet FNR-X SUV???

Hard to say, really.
But it could be.
It does look like a toned "way" down version of the concept GM showed in China a while ago.

We all though the production version of this concept was going to be the upcoming small Bolt based new EV. (Pictured HERE)
I guess there is room for another slightly larger model.
The concept was also a plug-in hybrid. So it would be a Volt based thing.

Why not...

2019 Cadillac XT3

 Now we can see the grille design a little bit better on these new prototypes.
Looking more and more like the Escala concept.
(The revised CT6 sedan will be the first model to get an Escala inspired front end)

This should be quite popular for Cadillac. And probably will become their best seller.
It will join the new $35 200 Volvo XC40 and $40 000 Jaguar E-Pace.
But also more established players like the $33 000 Mercedes GLA, $32 000 Audi Q3 and $34 000 BMW X1.

 Cadillac should put its ego aside and underprice everyone. (I know that's basically impossible for "huge Ego" Johan De Nysschen" to do...)
I think $29 900 would be the right price for this.

No matter what De Nysschen thinks, Cadillac is not even close to be in the same level as Mercedes, BMW and the others in buyers's minds. it just doesn't matter how good their cars really are.
Forcing super high prices has not really worked for them...

As a reminder, here is the gorgeous Escala concept.

Head over HERE for all pictures of the XT3 Prototype

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2019 Opel Mokka X/2020 Buick Encore

While this is just an illustration, it does match the pictures we have seen of prototypes for the redesigned model.

The Mokka X is supposed to be released in Europe next year. A few months before the Buick version in the US.
While a new Encore makes sense, I am not sure I see the point of a new Opel Mokka.

Opel now has the new Peugeot based Crossland X which is basically the same size.
The new Mokka seems to be based off the same GM platform as the old one. While Peugeot has mentioned that all new Opels would be based off Peugeot platforms (The even delayed the new Corsa to make sure it fits a Peugeot platform)

Maybe there will only be a Buick version of the next one? (For the US and China) Since Peugeot has a deal to provide GM with a few models past 2019...

Who knows...

(More pictures of the next Encore/Mokka HERE)

Lexus LF-1 Concept teaser

This could actually be very interesting.
Lexus is preparing an all new high end SUV. Probably the "Lexus LS of SUVs".
And why not, since this is a pretty hot market.

The interesting part is that Calty is designing it (At least the concept version)
Toyota's Calty design studio in California has been responsible for many of Toyota's best designs for decades.
So this could be quite nice...

Monday, December 04, 2017

2019 BMW 8 series.Camouflaged prototype VS.Concept

There is still a bit of clever camouflage on the prototype shown above. (And HERE)

Still, you can tell it lost a lot in the translation. Especially up front. Sure, the bumper is still covered, but you can tell the grille isn't slanted backward as much as on the concept.
Which was one of its best features.

I am sure it'll be a nice looking car. One that will be much more expensive than the outgoing 6 series (That's what they call it an 8...) A new 6 for the price on an 8.

Head over HERE for all the pix of that prototype driving around...

More pix of the Lamborghini Urus

I think they did a great job with this.
Exactly what it is supposed to be.

It does share its platform with the new Porsche Cayenne...

All new Lamborghini Urus SUV

 Of course this is overdone.
But I think in general, recent Lamborghini designs have been much nicer looking that the vulgar stuff Ferrari has been putting out.

This is a crazy car. A 641HP jacked up 4 door/4 seater hatchback with AWD.

The exterior design is of course a production version of the really good looking 2012 Urus concept.
But it is actually much more aggressive looking.

Am am really glad they avoided the "huge grille trend" also.
At least this is really slick and different.

I am very surprised, but I do like this (Especially the grey one on the top picture)
Here is the much more subdued 2012 concept version.