Monday, January 21, 2019

Mystery Mercedes SUV





Another weird one. As this looks a lot like a camouflaged new Mercedes GLE Class.
But the front end lights are not the same. 
And why so much camouflage on a car everyone has already seen?

It does have the same weird flap on the rear bumper.

Again, not really sure what this is. Unless a plug-in Hybrid version of the new GLE?
Or a shorter 5 seater version of the upcoming GLS??

What do you think?

2020 Mercedes C-Class sedan ?




With the new A-Class sedan and CLA out, the next Mercedes C-Class seems to be around the corner.

The car pictured here could very well be that next A-Class.
But it does look a lot like a strange version of the new A-Class sedan as well.
(Although that rear bumper is quite different...)

The front end also looks like the A-Class. Which is inspired by the CLS. That same face will also end up on the regular E-Class for the 2020 model year.
So the next C-Class could very well have a similar front end anyway.
Since all these cars look so much alike, it is very hard to tell for sure which one it is.

The wheels are also quite strange. They do look familiar though, but I can't remember where I saw that design...

And that weirdo thing attached to the bumper, flapping in the wind. A strange cover of some kind.
(You can see exhaust pipes, so no EV here. Unless that's all fake)

What do you think this is:

- 2020 C-Class?
- 2020 E-Class refresh?
- 2020 New version of the A-Class?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Jim Rockford's car driving around...



I was in Burbank yesterday and was very lucky to see this car driving by.
Of course, I only have my phone with me (And not my good camera) and I was only able to take these two pix.

Always a really good feeling to see a car you saw so many times on TV... And the one driving by in such a beautiful and sunny day looked brand new and sounded great!

Not sure if that is the exact same car or not, but one of the Pontiac used for the show was sold at an auction that week. (Details HERE)
The auctioned car seemed in perfect condition and went for $115 000.

Now I am actually tracking Columbo's car again next week... 


2020 Audi Q4



This new illustration (top picture) of the upcoming Audi Q4 looks really close to all the various spy shots we have seen of the car. (like this one above)

This follows a new trend. After calling sleek 4 door sedans "4 door coupe", many car makers are now calling sleeker versions of their boxy SUV's "coupe" also.
Like the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC.
Which is, of course, yet another totally wrong use of the word "coupe"

( Coupe:   /ko͞op/ 1. a car with a fixed roof, two doors, and a sloping rear.)

Audi will jump into that very lucrative market (Just redesign the rear part of every SUV you already have and charge even more) in just a few months with the all-new Audi Q4.





Here is the regular new Q3.
Which is actually a very nice looking one.
(And, as you can see, this is the picture that was used for the illustration on top)

Not sure about pricing yet, but there is plenty of room for the Q4 between the $33 000 Q3 and $42 000 Q5...





A real AWD Coupe did exist. In the 80's.

AMC made AWD versions of almost all of their smaller cars (Except the Pacer)
The Eagle family had a sedan, coupe, wagon, hatchback, and this hatchback coupe. (They even had a convertible!) 
All of them were later made available with AWD and raised up design.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

GM's all new BEV3 platform for EVs



This shows what GM has planned for their all-new EV platform, called BEV3.
(click to enlarge)

It looks like a lot of SUVs. Only one model is described as "Low Roof". Which, I guess, means a sedan or a coupe.
GM is apparently already on track to offer 10 EVs in China by the end of 2020.
The new BEV platform will allow them to double that number by 2023.


The first model for the US market will be this all-new 5 seater Cadillac SUV (Probably the one labelled
"Lux Compact CUV" on the top picture)

Weird that GM just showed us a couple of pictures of the new model during the Detroit Auto Show.
But nothing else. Not even a name...

They might be a bit late to the party (Although the Volt was ahead of its time), but it looks like GM will have plenty of EVs in just a few years.
By that time, Tesla might have their "potentially super popular" Model Y out.
Which would be formidable competition to any other electric SUV out there.
But not much else new. (Except the super Expensive Roadster, and maybe the pick-up if that ever happens)

GM and VW will be pushing a lot of new electric models in all categories and price range.
And many others have similar plans.

Tesla might have a hard time to stay special and unique...

What do you think?
What would happen to Tesla once everyone is making EVs?

2020 VW Passat interior Vs. "the old one".

By now, we all know the 2020 Passat is not an all new car.
Which, I guess, is what helped VW keep it alive for another 5 or 6 years.

But at least, it does look all new outside. Which could be OK for most people. 


 It is another story inside.

Where, as you can see on these pictures, everything, except the top of the dashboard and top of the center console is the same.
Which would give most people the idea of a new interior. Although it's not.
The door panels are exactly the same as before.

 The rear seat area looks the same. (2020 On top) Except for some minute changes in the front seat stitching maybe?
And it looks like they added USB plugs to the rear of the console.

Is the 2020 VW Passat new enough?
Will it fool most potential buyers?

What do you think?


VW Jetta LWB (VW Sagitar)



Apparently, the new VW Jetta will get the "long wheelbase treatment" soon, in China. (white car)
Where extended cars with more rear legroom are "a thing".

Since this version is just a couple of inches longer, I am not sure it was worth all the effort.
At the same time, the LWB is available only as the VW Sagitar. Which is a more luxurious version of the Jetta.


The Sagitar also comes with a much larger sunroof than the regular Jetta.

Friday, January 18, 2019

2019 Ford Mondeo Wagon Hybrid


 While Ford decided to kill the Fusion in the US, it is giving its European clone, the Ford Mondeo, a new version, and a few changes.
The new model is a Hybrid version of the Wagon.
It has 187HP and a CVT transmission.

Other models are getting a new 8-speed auto.



As you can see by comparing the 2019 Mondeo to our 2018 Fusion (Above), the European model is also getting a redesigned front end.


Interiors are very similar. But the Mondeo is getting a few modifications to the console for 2019.
And it does look better than the US Fusion.

No matter what, I am pretty amazed how fresh and modern the interior still is. After 6 years!

2020 VW Golf




Again, we are seeing weird "Spy shots" of the next generation VW Golf.
We've already seen so-called "spy shots" of the car a while ago.
And they did look fake then.
Now we have these pictures taken in France of a car with almost zero camouflage, again.
Which is weird, since VW does a good job at keeping their prototypes covered up until the last minute.

When comparing these to the current model (Gold car), you can tell it is a different design. (barely)
But it also could be the kind of changes they did to the 2020 US Passat. Which does have a "new" design over the old structure. (At least the new Passat does look like a new car)




Even when comparing the car that was supposedly spied a few months ago (top) to the most recent one, they do look like different cars.
Of course, the perspective of the red car photo is different and elongated a bit.
Still, the rear view mirror is in a different location. 

This is pretty confusing.
And still looks fake to me.

What do you think???











Thursday, January 17, 2019

2020 Kia Optima

Another spy shot of the all-new 2020 Kia Optima.
They match the one I posted earlier. (HERE)

At first, I thought there was a really weird black trim around the rear window, where it meets the chrome line that runs along the roof.
But I think this is actually a strange small camouflage bit. ( I hope...)

Otherwise, it already looks really stylish. And it is really new, unlike the 2020 Passat.
It is great to see manufacturers still taking the mid-size sedan market seriously.
These cars are getting to be excellent. And a sportier alternative the SUVs.

Not sure which one will be coming out first, but the Kia Optima cousin, the Hyundai Sonata is also due for a total redesign at around the same time...

2020 Nissan Sentra



This is actually a picture of the all-new Nissan Sylphy.
Which is the name given to our Sentra in many overseas markets.
Since the current Sylphy is the same car as the current Sentra, it is safe to say this is the 2020 Sentra as well.

While I applaud the vast design improvement over the current super boring/invisible generation, I also wish Nissan could come up with something else than yet another small Altima/Maxima design.
(This one is so close to the Altima that I actually didn't think it was the new Sentra at first.)

Since the new Altima also looks like a smaller Maxima, it looks like Nissan only has the resources for just one single design for all their sedans.
This is almost a worst case of "same sausage/different sizes" than the German designers.

Well, at least it does have some style...

The new model is almost an inch longer than the current car. But almost 2 inches lower.
Power, at least in some market, comes from a 1.6 Liter engine.

The current Sentra is just an OK car. Lagging behind pretty much everything else in the segment.
With only 125HP, it is pretty underpowered. The engine is only quiet when cruising slowly.

Anything will be a welcome improvement. With compact sedans like the Civic, Mazda3 and new Corolla that keep getting better and better, a new Sentra is long overdue.
Plus, it is good to see yet another car manufacturer not giving up on new sedans...

2020 Hyundai Ioniq



The Hyundai Ioniq is getting a refresh for the 2020 model year. (top picture)

Outside, the main changes are up front. With a new grille and bumper.
The grille now matches Hyundai's newer models, but it is also busier than before.

The rear of the car also gets a new pumper and revised lights.


More changes inside.

As you can see, they redesigned the whole top part of the dash and console (2020 model on top picture)
Which almost gives it an all-new look (Like VW just did with the 2020 Passat)

The large 10-inch screen is a big tablet. But at least, they did try to integrate it into the dashboard design.
No news about other specs yet...


The Ioniq came out and immediately was labeled as the Toyota Prius's main competition.
Both being about the same size and both hatchbacks.
While Toyota sold over 87 000 units of all Prius model combined last year, Hyundai was only able to move about 15 000 Ioniqs.

Which could hardly be considered as a success...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

All new Chevrolet Tracker



Turns out the car pictured in the recent teaser (HERE) was not the next Trax. 
But the new Tracker. 
Although, the "Tracker" has been the name of the Chevrolet Trax when sold in South America for a few years.
So what we see here could still be our next Chevrolet Trax. (Or whatever they'll end up calling it)

But I also hear the next Trax and Tracker will not share platforms anymore and will not be related.
So, who knows...
Whatever it is, this new Chevrolet Tracker is mostly for the South American and Chinese markets. 

It sure doesn't look like GM is simplifying things...





More on the 2019 Chevrolet Monza





Seems like Chevrolet is rediscovering their old names lately. With the Blazer in the US. And this small generic sedan for the Chinese market called the Monza.
It does have plenty of lines but really not much style.
A generic shape with overdone details. (Almost a textbook example of how many unnecessary lines you can squeeze in the profile of a small sedan)

It is powered by a 1.0 Liter Turbo or a 1.3 Liter Turbo. So really a basic idea of transportation.






For most people in the US, including myself, the "real" Chevrolet Monza is the one above.
From the '70s.
Also quite basic transportation in its time. But one with plenty of style. And a design that still looks really good today. 
Just look at that simple, almost Italian, profile. 

Dating back to a time when cheap cars didn't have to look crappy.