Friday, November 17, 2017

2020 Tesla Roarster






As a complete surprise to everyone, Tesla introduced their new Roadster last night.
At the same even where they introduced their 500 miles range Semi Truck.

First, this is NOT a proper Roadster. Since a Roadster, by definition, is a two seater car.
(Just like the Mercedes CLS is NOT a coupe)
But I guess they wanted to cash in on the name they have used before. (?)

Here are the specs:

- Range of 620 Miles
- $200 000
- 4 seats
- 0 to 60 in 1.9 second
- All wheel drive

I don't understand why there is even a market for a car that does 0 to 60 in under 2 seconds.
While I realize this is an amazing technological feast, it just feels stupid to me.
As no one will be able to ever use that, except on a track. It seems to appeal only to young car nerds ( Who can't afford the car anyway) and journalists.

And the price. $200 000!!!  I was hoping Tesla would make "the great EV convertible"(The one I was actually waiting for...). Maybe a 2 door convertible based off the Model 3. Something that could maybe start at $50 000?
Something for most of us. Or at least, many of us.
Instead, we have yet another supercar no one, except the super rich, will be able to afford.
Basically, this is Elon Musk making the car HE wants to drive. (Him and his rich friends.)

Also, a semi truck and a $200 000 car is not what Tesla needs to concentrate on right now.
They need to figure out how to actually build the model 3. Deliver it to about 400 000 people who have been waiting for years.

I really like EVs and respect Tesla for achieving something no other manufacturer has.
Bu it is beginning to look like a weird one man show....

(And I am not even talking about the ridiculous tunnels he is building underneath Los Angeles...)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid pricing.


While I am still really not crazy about the weird, dorky styling,
and I really think the EV version with is miserable 80 miles range is basically DOA.
I do like this Plug-In version of the Clarity.

First, it gets a really good EV range of 47 miles. That is just a few miles shy of the plug-in champ, the Chevrolet Volt.
And much better than its competition like the Ford Fusion Energi with only 21 miles.
Second, the gas mileage, once the battery is empty, is also great. With 44City/40HWY.
And third, the price is right!
As it starts at $33 400. Or $36 600 for the loaded Touring model.

Where I live, incentives are up to $10 000. Which means a car about the same price the regular Accord.
Except, you could end up saving tons on gas (47 miles is a lot for a plug-in car)

I hope this works for Honda.
But I also wish the technology had ended up in a nicer looking car.
Like the Accord! 

2018 VW Virtus sedan




Virtus is just a new name for the sedan version of the new VW Polo.
This is mostly for the Brazilian market and we are not getting it. (Although VW had said the opposite a few years ago)
Engines are a 1.6 Liter and a 1.0 Liter Turbo. 

The profile is actually quite similar to the new 2019 Jetta. With a third side window.
So I guess this will end up looking a lot like a small 2019 Jetta...

So nothing too exciting here...

Toyota FT-AC Concept

 We will see this one in just a few days, since it is scheduled of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
I am sure it will be nice.

But I am getting a little tired of seeing cool concepts from Toyota. That amount to nothing.
Like these two bellow.
 I like this. The TJ Cruiser concept. We just saw this a few weeks ago.
But I really don't think this will turn into anything. At least nothing close to it.
This one is from almost a year ago. I think it looks great.
But no news since. No prototypes driving around, nothing.

So this will also probably turn into nothing.

Toyota claim to have fun designs "coming up".
It would be nice if at least one of these could turn into something you can buy...

Even more pix of the 2018 Buick Envision.



I think that new butt is what the Envision should have had from the beginning.
It has much more personality.

But I still think the Envision's main problem is that no one knows it even exists.
Some advertising would help. Unless GM can't (or won't) import more from China for some reason???

What do you think?
Will a new grille, LED lights, a 9 speed auto and a new butt save the Envision?

Lexus RX 450hL

Now we know there will be hybrid version of the new Long Wheelbase Lexus RX.
No big surprise here, since pretty much every Lexus model comes in a Hybrid version...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2019/20 Chevrolet Bolt SUV EV


I was just sent this picture of an all new GM EV. Which will be based on the Chevrolet Bolt.

The all new Bolt based SUV/Crossover is the one on top.
The other one is the FNR-X Concept that, I guess, influenced the design of the upcoming production model.
Of course, that little SUV isn't as cool looking as the concept. But still.
I think it is a very appealing and modern design. Also much cleaner than the Bolt. With much less fuzzy little details.

This could end up being really popular when it comes out. (Which I am told might be late next year)


Here is the picture GM released a few weeks ago. When they announced 20 new EVs by 2023.
The one we are talking about here is the one right above the Bolt on that picture above. (Above where the windshield meets the top)
Looks like a bunch of really cool cars under these wraps...



I also noticed how similar the upcoming Chevrolet EV is to the new Hyundai Kona. They are probably about the same size as well.
I mention the Kona because an EV version is just around the corner. 


Here is the EV version of the Kona. Which will not have the huge grille from the gas version.
basically, looking even more like the Chevrolet...
it is also rumored to get a range of up to 240 miles. Which is very similar to the Bolt, and brobably the Bolt SUV.

Let the battle of the small EV SUVs start.

(Mor eon the Kona EV HERE)


Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross coming to the L.A show



I guess we are getting this pretty soon.
Since they are showing us the US version in just a few days.

I actually kind of like it. I know, the use of the name "Eclipse"  is blasphemous to many.
But I think most young buyers have no idea of what the old Eclipse models were.

Plus, it does look better than some other tiny SUVs. Like the poor Ford Ecosport.
(The Ecosport was at the auto show a year ago and I have not seen one driving around yet. Is it even on sale???)




Here are a few pix of the Eclipse Cross.

Not sure about the US market powertrain. But overseas versions get a diesel (We obviously won't) or a 1.5 Liter Turbo and CVT.
Which probably what we'll be getting here.

All new Lexus RX350L coming up


Th top picture is the first official teaser for the new RX350L.
The bottom on is the regular, current RX.
And they are the exact same thing. (They didn't even change the light design)

That's because the main difference between the RX and RXL is the length. Not the rear lights(!!!!)
Not sure why they pick that part of the car to "tease" us with. Since the RXL is just a longer version of the RX, with 2 extra seats.

This is something US dealers have been asking for along time. And it took quite a while for Lexus to deliver.
I guess this will also be quite popular in China, where it seems everything is offered in a long wheelbase version...

So don't expect anything new. This will be nothing more than a longer RX. And it will sell very well.

More pix of the 2018 Buick Envision


Nothing we haven't seen. Since yesterday.
Still. Here are a couple more pix of the "revised for 2018" mid size Buick SUV.

New grille, LED lights etc...

2018 Mazda 6


 (The revised 2018 model is the one on top.)

Not all new of course, but you can see a new grille. Which I think is much nicer than the one with horizontal slats.
With new chrome design and headlights.
The lower bumper design seems cleaner as well.

Hard to believe, but the current Mazda 6 came out in late 2012 (early 2013 in the US) . So this is a 5 year old design already. One that still looks much nicer than most of its newer competition.
And I am glad to see Mazda upgrading it without messing things up.




The dashboard design was all new for 2016. And yet it is getting upgraded again for 2018.
It looks like the console is also new.
(Again, the new 2018 interior is the one on top.)

I really like the current interior and I am not sure that new one is much better. I also see that CarPlay seems to still be absent. And the screen is still not integrated into the dashboard...

The big news is under the hood where it gets a new Turbo option. As you can now order the Mazda 6 with the 2.5 Liter Turbo engine from the CX-9. With 250HP
Which is a great move since many were asking for more power.
(Even though the vast majority of actual/real buyers will still go for the base engine. Just like in the Camry or Accord)
The base engine is also revised an gets cylinder deactivation for even better mileage.

A great car from a great company is getting even better. Good news!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2018 Buick Envision


The revised 2018 model is the one on top.

As you can see, it will be getting the newer Buick grille. The one used on all their models now (Except the Cascada)
New bumpers and LED headlights.

Underneath all that there is a new 9 speed automatic. (3 more than the current one)



More changes in the back.
The hatch, lights and bumpers have all been redone. The lights now have a completely different shape.
Which seems like a  lot of work after less than 2 years on the market...

I have almost never see one of these around.
And I do think they are overpriced. Starting at around $35 000.

Which is pretty much what an Acura RDX costs. Or a Lexus NX.
These might be slightly smaller cars, but with a much better reputation.
There are still so many "younger" (under 70) people who would not consider a Buick no mater what.

I think the Envision should be priced more aggressively...

What do you think?

Subaru Ascent teaser

 Yep, it took Subaru a whole year to go from the boring concept version to the production model.

So we will finally see the Ascent SUV at the Los Angeles Auto show.
(Exactly a year after the concept)

 Here is the real thing. So don't expect too much.
This will be a super conservative design. Looking like it could have come out in the late 90's, at best.
And here is last year's concept.

From what we have seen so far in all the spy shots, the  production version could be an aven more boring/toned down design. Imagine that... (These semi-cool headlights are gone)

HERE are more pictures of the prototypes driving around.

2019 VW Jetta Interior




This was sent to me as "new Jetta Interior".
So I would assume this is the all new 2019 model. Due out very, very soon.

Well, I didn't expect that much from the new Jetta, so I guess there will be no disappointment...

This is different and nicer than the current one. But not that much of an improvement.
Basically very similar to the new Tiguan. Again, very expected.
All that "expected" stuff will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

If you absolutely cannot wait for these few weeks, you can find spy pictures of the 2019 Jetta over HERE

More pictures of the "not new" Infiniti QX80




Again, as you can see, this is the same car/truck as the one from last month. Or 8 years ago.
(New one on top)
Except for a new front end. After 8 years...



 This picture basically sums up what is new for 2018.
And that's it.

it doesn't look that bad really. But that's it for the "new"part.
Inside, you get a treated to healthy dose of "nothing new".
It's everywhere.

They didn't even make the screen a little bit larger than before.
And, at least from this picture, it doesn't look like the resolution has improved much.

Also, no Car Play or Android Auto. That would be too much to ask for about $65 000 in 2018.
We'll probably have to wait for the next one for that.

Years from now...


Monday, November 13, 2017

Trickle down Volvo tech: New Geely Plug-in Hybrid sedan

The pretty Geely CG9 sedan isn't an all new car.
But now they will have a plug-in hybrid version of it. (Thanks to Volvo)
So there...


The Peter Horbury design has aged very well. (It was previewed as a concept back in 2012 and the production model showed up at the end of 2014)

2019 Ford Focus







The top pic is obviously the new one. But I also posted a photo of the current Ford Focus
Just to see the differences .
General roportions are not that different. ( I think it is still based on the same platform, just like the new Fiesta)
And from that picture at least, I am not sure it looks than much better or more modern.

I think the current Focus design has aged really well.
I am not sure the next one will be a giant improvement.
But who knows. The weird wrap on the car still makes it hard to see the finish product.

Same thing happened with the Fiesta. The new (Europe only now) 2018 model isn't than much nicer than the one we still have over here.

Head over HERE for lots of great pictures of the next Focus hatchback.
And, as a reminder. All of the ones sold in the US will be imported from China.