Thursday, December 13, 2018

Are Lincoln suicide doors about to come back???

This is what Lincoln tweeted today.

There were rumors a few months ago about the Lincoln Continental getting suicide doors for its 2020 "facelift".
Which sounds pretty weird to me.
Since Ford isn't making sedans anymore and is just looking for any excuses they can think of to drop the last two Lincoln sedan models.
And since they only sold 12 000 Continentals last year.

A brand new design and re-engineering of the doors seem like an extravagant expense for such a poor seller.

On an SUV? Sure. Except the Aviator just came out and the Navigator is almost brand new.
And I really don't think the next compact SUV (Currently called the MKC) would get these suicide doors.
That seems more appropriate for a larger or top of the line model.

So what is going on with mentioning what they call "center opening doors" now?
Or "stay tuned".

What do you think???

2020 VW Atlas Coupe/Cross Sport

 This is the production version of last year's Cross Sport concept. Which will be a 5 seater version of the large VW Atlas.
Not sure yet if it will be called the Atlas Coupe, or Cross Sport, like the concept.

Either way, this will not really set things on fire. At least not visually.
It's hard to tell what was lost in the translation, but something did.

The production Atlas Coupe above looks rather lumpy when compared to the concept.
Although they do seem to be very similar. Except the placement of the door handles, and of course, smaller wheels.
(The front end has been totally changed in order to squeeze any drop of personality out of it)

Maybe with larger wheels and a more "off-road" option package, it will look better?
Also, that white doesn't help...
Here is the Cross Sport concept.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2020 VW Passat

As we all know by now, there is a new VW Passat on its way. In just a few weeks.
The teasers above show a nice, modern-looking sedan.
One that looks almost exactly like the new Passat for the Chinese market. 
(Maybe with a bit less chrome. Although the teasers above seem to show a sporty version.)

VW has already told us the "new" Passat won't be that new. It is basically the same car with a new design.
it will use the same platform. (Not the more current MQB platform used in almost every current VW model, including the new Jetta.)
And the same same 174HP engine. With just a bit more torque.
Which is still less than pretty much all of its competition.
(even less than the Mazda3 I am driving this week)

So yes, VW is keeping the Passat alive. But they are doing so with the smallest investment possible.

Here is the new VW Passat for the Chinese market.
Which, as you can see, is the same car pictured in the teasers above.
(Except for the sportier wheels and bumper)

The current Passat is still a fine car. I just wonder is using most of the same stuff for another 5 or 6 years will be enough.
That old platform cannot be electrified either. So no hybrid or plug-in versions are coming anytime soon.

You can see more pictures of the new 2020 VW Passat HERE, HERE, HERE and of course, HERE. (Chinese market)

2020 Toyota Supra

After all these years, we finally see the real face of the all-new Toyota Supra for 2020.

Which is not so new anymore, since it looks like a toned down version of the concept from 2014.
Yes, that's right. That will be 5 years by the time the production model comes out early next year.

The new Supra isn't bad, or a bad idea.
But since it looks like the BMW Z4 on which the Toyota is based will start at around $65 000, this new Supra won't be cheap.
Or remotely affordable.
Again, how many people will actually buy this thing?

If they want to get back into the sports car business, they need an affordable new version of the Celica.
Or at least an F86 with a decent interior...

I don't think a $60 000 Supra will be that appealing. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2020 Buick Lacrosse. The one we won't be getting...

The white car is the "regular" version of the 2020 Buck Lacrosse. While the bottom picture shows the top of the line Avenir version.

I think they did a really good job updating an already nice looking car.

But, with GM's recent announcements, it looks like the 2020 Buick Lacrosse will never make it to the US. At all.
Since GM has already mentioned that the Buick Lacrosse production will end in March.
What a shame...

(Just like the Cadillac CT6, it was a good car that was getting even better. )

Buick sold over 20 000 of these last year.
Sure, that's not such an amazing number.
But that same year, Audi sold 16 304 units of the A6 sedan.
The Toyota Avalon did sell more at over 31 000 units. 
And the Lexus ES remains the champ with over 51 000 of the sold last year.

Still, GM never really pushed the Lacrosse as much as Lexus or Toyota pushes their cars.

This is really too bad.
These pictures are from China, so of course, the Buick Lacrosse will live on over there, where the Buick brand sells about 4 or 5 times more cars than in the US...

2020 Nissan Sentra

2020 Nissan Sentra

2020 Nissan Sentra

As usual, the new Sentra will basically look like a small Nissan Altima.
(Which it has for a few generations now) 

The pictures above are of the Chinese version of the new 2020 Sentra.
There were rumors a while ago, that the Sentra would merge with the European market Pulsar
hatchback. And be offered here in both sedan and hatchback forms.
Just like the new Toyota Corolla. Or the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze and others.
Which would make sense.

I guess the Chinese market might not be getting the hatchback. So here we have pictures of the rather stylish sedan version.
I guess anything will be an improvement over the current generation.
Which already looked old the day it was introduced...

Monday, December 10, 2018

2020 Cadillac XT6 interior ?

I have to say, this would be quite a disappointment as the all-new XT6 interior.
(The real thing was shown a few weeks ago at a dealer meeting and they apparently loved it. )

I think that, even though it is labeled "XT6" in this LINK, this is actually the interior of the revised XT5 for 2020.
NOT the new XT6.

Here is the current XT5 interior. As you can see, the "supposedly XT6" picture above shows the same car. Except the spy shot shows the updated 2020 model. Where the dashboard is not all new.
Trims are different here and there. Larger screen. 
But the console seems, unfortunately, the same. Except for the added infotainment scroll wheel similar to the 2019 CT6.

Here is what the XT6 interior should look like.
Similar to last year's Escala concept.

It's about time for Cadillac interiors to be as stunning and original as this. 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

2020 Genesis GV80

Finally...    These are the first pictures of the all-new Genesis SUV, called the GV80.
This will be a full-on luxury, large SUV. 
It could be competing with the Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade and Infiniti QX80.

In the current market, this is the car Genesis needs to establish itself as a true player in the luxury market.
Their sedans are really nice, but few people are actually buying them.

The GV80 will be followed by a smaller (and probably more popular) GV70 about a year later. 

Here is the concept version from last year. Which was very well received.

We can't really see much from the spy shots above, but let's hope the final product stays close to the good-looking concept...

Saturday, December 08, 2018

New VW compact SUV ?

VW has said a while ago that the US is not getting the new T-Rock or T-Cross compact SUVs.
Instead, they will sell us something "special for the US". (And probably China)
"Special for the US" usually means "more boring".

So that thing pictured above does fit the bill. As far as "more boring" goes.

It is basically a European Seat Ateca compact SUV with a VW grille.

And here is the Ateca.
It is about 7 inches longer than the VW T-Rock sold in  Europe.
But shorter than our LWB Tiguan.

So I guess this could very well end up being what we will be getting over here as the sub-Tiguan VW SUV.
As a reminder, this will not really be all new since the Ateca went on sale in 2016...

Friday, December 07, 2018

2020 VW Golf teaser

All we see here is a slight evolution of the classic Golf shape.
Which is what was expected. Since VW never really does anything new with the Golf.

Looks like the headlights might be all thin LEDs this time.

Otherwise, we'll have to wait until next June to see more. 

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Mazda3 test drive coming up.

I just got a Mazda3 hatchback to drive for a week.

My test car is a loaded Grand Touring model. It is the current 2018 model year.
Not the all-new redesigned 2019 seen recently at the Auto Show (HERE)

Since I had not driven the current generation, I thought it would be interesting. (As I really enjoyed the previous one)

So far, the car still looks great, inside and out. Interior is really upscale.
I have not been driven it yet since it has been raining all day here. But I am going to a big party tonight, and the rain has stopped. So the driving will begin soon...

As usual, I will try to answer any questions you might have about the car.

That was quick: Honda starts production of the new Passport

 Not sure, but that top picture of a new Passport at the Alabama factory looks a lot (a lot!) like the Pilot (the red one)
Once you get a regular version without that off-road look option, it looks pretty much exactly like the Pilot. At least up front.
Otherwise, here is another version without the black wheels I saw at the auto show.
Still, nothing that could be called "new"...

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Auto Show notes: new Kia Soul

Another car that must be a headache to redesign. Since it is now so well recognized.
I think Kia did a fine job.
The rear lights looked pretty messy/weird in a spy shot I had posted earlier. But the whole thing looks just fine in person.

Inside, the dashboard isn't that original. But the part where it meets the cool door panel is really nice. (And actually, quite original)

And they integrated the much larger screen into the dashboard ( it can be done)
No tablet here...

Kia Telluride

Looks like the full-size telluride is ready to go.
(As seen in these pictures from a dealer meeting)

This is basically the same car as the new Hyundai Palisade. Except it does look a lot better in my opinion.
Sure, the overall design is more mainstream, but the garish grille is gone.
The interior seems pretty classy and upscale as well. With nice design touches here and there.
Of course, unlike the new Lincoln Aviator, I have not seen the Telluride in person. 
But this already looks like a much nicer interior to me. (Satin finish is always nicer looking and more upscale than full-on chrome everywhere.)
And yes, this still has that tablet stuck on top of the dash. But for some reason, it looks better than in the Lincoln. Maybe just because it is wider. Who knows...

This could turn out to be quite a classy ride...

(Thanks to a reader, George Werner, for sending me these pictures)

Next Land Rover Defender

Designing an all-new Defender is quite a tough job for Land Rover.
As the iconic model has tons of fans around the world. 

Back in 2011, Land Rover showed a concept of what a new Defender could look like, called the DC100.
And of course, the hardcore fans didn't like it...

Since, Land Rover has also chosen to turn the squared off Discovery, into a more modern, but also softer and more car-like design.
Receiving a lot of criticism along the way.

From the picture above (and others) you can tell they are trying to blend "retro" and "modern' for the next Defender. While retaining the blocky look of the original.
Which seems to resemble the previous Discovery generation...

I think Porsche is one of the best at keeping the original shape of their classic 911 while producing a truly modern car.

What do you think of the next defender so far?

(More pictures HERE)

Here is the DC100 concept from 2011.
Which was already trying to be both retro and modern.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

2020 Ford Explorer interior

Here is the first picture of the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer interior.

The tablet from the Aviator is still there, but its integration to the dashboard design seems to be about 12% better.
The way the fake wood on the dash meets the top of the consloe seems a bit weird.
Otherwise, it does look a bit trucky. More like a Chevrolet Tahoe than a car based Crossover.

Why not...

Head over HERE for more pictures.

Auto Show notes: Mercedes A-Class sedan

The good news is the new A-Class sedan is indeed roomier than the "old" CLA.
The back seat legroom is now "fine".
(It was pretty bad in the CLA)

Th exterior looks fine too. It does its best to look like a "real Mercedes".
But that interior is quite a mess.
It is a stew of shapes, lines, curves, textures etc... Everything they could think of seems to have been thrown in like ingredients in a blender. Nothing fits together.
The result is a very busy interior. Where none of the textures or shape remind you of what you would expect in a luxury brand.
(The Honda Accord is a much, much nicer place to be.)
It also doesn't have that super solid tank feel that you would expect (The Accord does)

Prices have not been announced yet. They only mentioned, "under $35 000".
(The C-Class starts at a staggering $41 000. So "under $35 000 could be $34 900)

Unless you are one of these people who cannot live without a Mercedes, and cannot spend $40 000, it seems that everything else at that price would be better...

Monday, December 03, 2018

Auto Show notes: Mazda 3

 I was eagerly waiting to see the all-new Mazda 3 in person.
The design does not disappoint in the flesh.
While the sedan is a super classy and modern design, the hatchback is a real stand out.

 Behind that super thick C pillar, is a pretty roomy truck. Although the hatch doesn't open all the way down to the cargo floor.
 The inside is modern, but far from futuristic.
Actually, more like an Audi A4, but more modern.

The tablet is there. But at least, its design is integrated with the rest of the dashboard pretty nicely. It has a nice shape too. Not just a rectangle sitting on top of the dash.
 The door design is modern and simple.

 That super large C pillar is the main event of the hatchback design.

And here is the result. Pretty much a small cave for the rear seat passengers.

I guess it is not a  problem if you have people in the back seat once in a while.
But for small kids, this would be pretty depressing...