Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cruising Instagram...











I saw a few things I never knew existed this week on Instagram.
Like:

- A wagon version of the amasing Aston Martin Lagonda. (probably a one off model)
- A 1958 Michelotti design for a new BMW.
- Early design probosal for the amazing Toyota Sera from 1990.
- Designs for a coupe version of the Renault 30. The 30 was popular in Europe and gave birth to the cheaper 20 model. (4 cylinder instead of V6 in the 30). But a coupe was never produced.
- A fantastic looking 1963 Studebecker Sceptre, by Brooks Stevens. Which makes you wonder if it would have been able to save the brand if produced...
- And a poor old US specs Renault 12 wagon. Which has to be one of the rarest car you could find in the US these days.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2020 Kia XCeed




I have mentioned the upcoming all-new Xceed model from Kia before. 
Since they also released a teaser picture.

It looks like yet another really good looking Kia is around the corner. I have to say, while Honda and Toyota seem to release all new models "once in a while", there seems to be a never-ending parade of all new Kia/Hyundai models all the time. Which is quite amazing.

This is, of course, based on the European Ceed model. The sedan version of it is sold here as the Kia Forte.
And Canada (maybe the US too) will be begetting the cool looking Ceed GT hatchback as the 2020 Forte 5 for 2020.
So this could maybe make it over here as well.

As a "crossover Coupe". Why not. A Sportage Coupe maybe?

It also reminds me of that really good looking Mazda CX-4 we never got in the US...





Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Upcoming 2020 Kia small Crossover interior teasers





While the exterior of the all-new Kia model will be very close to the SP Concept shown in India last year.
It looks like the interior will be a bit different. (Production car in the two top photos)
Mostly due to the smaller screen on the dash. And a different console.
Still, it looks much more upscale and modern than expected. For something cheaper than the Sportage.
 And< I think, It also looks nicer than the Hyundai Kona. (the screen alone looks 100 times better...)

It will really be interesting to see how the new Kia does against the HR-V, CX-3, and CX-30...



Hyundai Kona test drive coming up...

I just got a new Hyundai Kona for a week. As usual, I will report on it soon.
Until then you can ask me anything you'd like about it.

So far, the 1.6 Liter is pretty punchy. On top of being very refined, smooth and quiet.
The interior is fine and roomy (Although not as much as the Honda HR-V)
Although the upgraded sound system (The one I have is the "Ultimate" version), is surprisingly weak.
Also lacking any bass. ( Maybe I am doing something wrong...)

Otherwise a very nice drive so far. 

2020 Opel Corsa





Like most recent Opel designs, this is OK. Nothing amazing.

The new Corsa was delayed quite a bit after Opel was bought by Peugeot from GM.
It seems that it was almost ready when Peugeot decided the new model was going to be based on one of their upcoming platforms instead of the old GM stuff.
Now the new Corsa is finally out, and is the 3rd model based on that small car platform, after the Citroen C3 and the recently introduced Peugeot 208.

The Opel version looks like the most boring one of the three. Or "classic" to be polite.
It is not as original as the Citroen and not as muscular looking like the new 208.

So now they will have 3 versions of everything they make? I am still not sure what Opel's position is in all that. 
Are they the cheap models? The more "classic" looking ones? The conservative ones??

There are still many design cues from other (GM based) Opel designs. So it still doesn't feel or look like an all-new car.

I remember years ago when Bob Lutz had mentioned that he would like to see one of the next generations Corsa in the US. 
I guess that's out for sure now since these are now made and owned by Peugeot.

Unless PSA decides to start selling these cars as Opels in the US...

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2021 "Mustang Inspired" EV

This is still just an illustration. Nothing official( I think)

But I actually like it. Sure, the idea of a four-door Mustang could be blasphemous to many.
Add the fact it will be raised up and sold as a crossover and you could have a full on revolution.

But I think this looks quite nice.
Better than other illustrations I have seen.

And it doesn't really try to be a Mustang either. Just "inspired". Which is OK.

So far we only know it will get an electric range of over 300 miles (top model only)
And it could be called the Mach-E.

If priced right, this could be quite popular.
I guess the Honda Crosstour was really just a few years ahead of its time...

Monday, May 20, 2019

2020 Ford Taurus






 The Ford Taurus is getting a new face. In China.

The current Taurus generation has been sold over there since 2016. (While Ford had decided that all we needed here in the US was the old model.)
Unlike the US version, the newer Chinese model is not being discontinued.
Instead, it is being given a new face for 2020.
Which, I think, makes it look even better than before.

The big sedan market is not dead in China. But sales are down for the Taurus with only about 25 000 units sold last year.
(While Buick was able to sell almost 70 000 units of the Lacrosse last year.)


Just as a reminder, her is the current face of the Chinese Ford Taurus.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2020/21 Chevrolet Bolt Crossover/SUV



It looks like the upcoming new "Bolt based" small SUV/Crossover will look exactly like the picture we saw last year. 
Which is a good thing. 
A nice looking little crossover based on the Bolt should prove quite popular.
I guess its only competition now would be the Hyundai Kona EV.

This is based on the Bolt, so not the all-new EV platform GM had mentioned coming up.
Therefore, specs should be very similar to the Bolt.





More pictures HERE



2020 BMW 1 series




These pictures look like they were taken from the garage where the camouflage is being applied on prototypes.
( I bet BMW is not too happy about this. Unless they authorized it somehow)

You can already tell the small 1 series hatchback will adopt the huge fake grille from the most recent BMW designs. Which looks even worse on such a small car.


And the rear side window is getting a design similar to the new 3 series. 
Why not I guess. At least there is no fake 3rd side window.

As usual, we won't be getting this. But this time, we might be getting the new sedan version.
Which will compete with the new Mercedes A-Class sedan and the Audi A3. 


Friday, May 17, 2019

8 series Gran Coupe or Stinger GT?



I am not saying the Kia Stinger GT looks the same as the upcoming BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe.
But...
It's not that far off.

I think the Kia actually looks better. That stupid side vent on the BMW just sits there in the middle of nowhere. While Kia's is part of the design.
The BMW also looks a bit lumpy... And actually already looks kind of old next to the Stinger.

And of course, it will probably cost way more than the "old" 6 series Gran Coupe. Which started at over $80 000 already for the 6 cylinder 315HP version.
The newer 8 series coupe (The 2 door version of the car above) starts at $111 000!!! ( sure, it has a more powerful V8...)
While a loaded 365HP Stinger GT with AWD tops at around $52 000. 


What do you think?

2020/21 Nissan Juke

Of course, this is not the real thing yet. Just an illustration.

But it seems pretty accurate when com[ared to the many spy shots we have seen of the real thing. (HERE)
The Juke will stay a juke.
Which is good. It has been a big hit for Nissan in Europe.

Still not sure if it will come to the US. Between the Rogue Sport and the new Kicks.
Why not...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2020 Ford Focus ST wagon




Since Ford has decided the only Ford car Americans are allowed to buy is the Mustang, we are, of course, not getting this in the US.
A wagon version of the super sporty Ford Focus ST.
Which has to be pretty phenomenal...

- 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto
- 2.3 Liter Ecoboost with 280HP

Maybe this setup will end up in an Escape ST for the US...

2020 Chevrolet Trax/Tracker







An all-new Chevrolet Trax is due in the US very soon (Just like a new Buick Encore)
And just like with its Buick Cousin, GM has just released it in China first.

The previous Tracker was basically the same car as our Trax. So it is quite logical to expect this new one to become our new Trax when it comes to the US (Although spy shots of the US Trax seem to show larger headlights)

it looks like an amalgam of pretty much every single Chevrolet truck?SUV designs from the past couple of years.
So nothing original at all.
These days, other brands like Mercedes, Mazda, and Honda are pushing for simpler designs. Especially in their profiles.
But it seems Chevrolet is doubling down on weird aggressive looking lines and creases everywhere.
Which might not age too well...


This Chinese version of the new Tracker is powered by a new 1.3 Liter engine with a 6 speed automatic. 

2020 Honda Fit/Jazz




The all-new Fit for 2020 is still under heavy camouflage.
But we do get a glimpse of its interior. As we have seen before, it looks like things will be pretty simple, with a (maybe adjustable) screen in the middle of the dash.

Outside, it seems to be going back to the previous generation look. Which was much nicer than the current mess.

At least in Europe, the new Fit (called Jazz over there) will be offered in 2 versions. The regular one we are used to and a new raised up Cross Country type model.
Which could actually be really cool and boost sales. Not sure if the new version will make it over here since Honda might be more inclined to push the popular HR-V over here.
A high riding version of the Fit might be competing too much with the small SUV.

Europe will also be getting a Hybrid version. Which is rumored to be getting the same powertrain as the Insight sold in the US.
During my week with the Insight, I never got less than 50MPG. (up to 60 in the city)
Just imagine what that set up would get in the smaller and lighter Fit.

I think Honda really needs to sell the Hybrid Fit in the US. As it would be quite an amazing addition to their line up.

2020 Mercedes E-Class



I am not sure if the top picture is the real thing or still an illustration. But it seems to match perfectly the recent spy shots we have seen of the refreshed E-Class sedan for 2020.
The changes will also be applied to the coupe and convertible versions. 

While the new front end looks fine, I think it will look even better on the coupe and convertible. Since they already have a newer and simpler profile than the sedan.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2020 VW Golf Interior


Well, that was quick.
Just after mentioning the VW teaser for their new Golf interior, we have this first picture of the actual thing.

Which looks OK... The whole thing doesn't look as well integrated as on the teaser (of course)
From the side, that screen does look a bit clunky.
And the bottom part of the dash does look a lot like recent Mazda interior designs.

What do you think??

(More pictures HERE)

2020 VW Golf Teasers




VW has just released a couple of (exaggerated) sketches of its new Golf for 2020.
While we have already seen tons of spy shots of the exterior, the interior is quite a surprise.

Simple and futuristic. One of the most modern one in a compact car.
Which should be great.
The horizontal look reminds me of the current Mazda interior designs. (Which remind me of previous Audi interiors)
But VW found a great way to integrate the screen into the dash.

There are rumors floating around about VW not sending the next Golf to the US.
Apparently, we are only scheduled to get the GTI version and not the regular, cheaper Golf.

Another dumb decision from VW in their long history of stupid moves in the US market...

2020 Audi AllRoad






The changes to the A4 for 2020 apply to the Allroad version.
Same all-new body panels with the same old interior...

I drove the regular wagon version of the A4 a couple of years ago, in Europe. For a few days.
It was fine but not remarkable in any way.

The Allroad starts at $45 000 in the US.
Which is crazy expensive.
The base Volvo V60 wagon starts at $39 000. Expensive too. But such a more modern design.
With one of the best interiors in the business. 
(The Cross Country version is expected to start at around $40 000)

And let's not forget the Buick Regal Tour-X.
Another great German AWD wagon that starts at $30 000.

I think life might become a bit harder for all versions of the A4 in the next few years...