Monday, February 28, 2005
If Lexus claims to be after perfection, Citroen can always claim to be different.
Good for them!!!
If the C6 rear looks a bit heavy, even clumbsy, well, that's OK. The old DS and CX looked pretty wierd when they came out, back in the late 50's and mid 70's...
At least it doesn't look like anything else. And it doesn't look like a Pontiac Aztek either.
The finish looks to be superb. A true top of the line sedan for the ones who are tired of the German status Quo...
Nothing more to say , really.
Except, it DOES NOT look like a BMW.
I don't know where that comes from. It looks more like a 4 door Scion Tc, if anything.
I think Lexus stopped copying the germans a while ago.
They are now copying themselves...
Another amazing looking compact car, the all new Seat Leon.
The VW owned spanish brand isn't sold in the US, so guess what!
We'll never see this...
It is based on the Golf/A3 platform, and it looks much better than the other 2.
GM and Ford could take a clue from VW about how to come up with completely different designs for each brand. Even when they use the same mechanical parts.
No Ford 500/Mercury Montego here...
Imagine smaller wheels, and replace the "clear grille" with darker plastics or chrome, and that's it!
You've got the new 2006 Civic. And the one here is a 5 door. With a clever way to hide the rear doors, similar to what Alfa has been doing, but even better!
But wait a minute. What we get in the US is mostly the boring looking 4 door sedan. As you can see, the front end and front doors are similar to the Civic SI concept shown last month in the US.
Except for the grille.
So we'll have to see how this amazing hatchback design translates with a formal trunk.
But there are rumors that the next Hybrid version of the Civic for the US might use the European 5 door body.
That would make it the perfect compact!
Sunday, February 27, 2005
This looks to be much more luxurious than the previous model.
And much, much better looking than the new BMW 3 series.
With a reliability rating that neither BMW or Mercedes can touch, this looks to be a winner, at least in the US.
Execs at BMW recently said that they "don't see Lexus as a threat".
Goes to show you how obnoxious and out of touch that company is...
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Sunday, February 27, 2005
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Friday, February 25, 2005
What a name for this little European SUV concept.
From the size, it looks like it could be based on the Polo platform. Perfect from European streets.
But I think there would also be a market for it in the US.
If VW had any guts, they would really study the possibility of importing some Skodas over here. Or turn this into a VW!
Just put a VW grille on it!
If you live in the US, you will have more chance to meet this guy face to face, that seeing an actual Skoda of the same name...
That's too bad...
The new C1 is the Citroen version of that new Peugeot/Citroen/Toyota super small car.
It is, to me, the most modern looking one of the 3. But they only basically change the front and back ends on each car.
An old American trick from Ford, GM and Chrysler.
Swedish model Bridget Stromberg demonstrates the "new" 2 piece hatch. Basically what we've had over here for decades on Wagons and SUVs.
Interior looks modern and cheap. But that is a sub-Echo model in the Toyota line up.
There was a time, a few years ago, when Citroen was considering coming back to the US. That would have ment that, by now, we would be very interested in this all new C6. It would compete with the Acura RL, Lexus GS, Infiniti M35 etc...
But that's pretty much all gone now...
The nice interior isn't as modern as the exterior. But you can tell they put their money in improving quality.
A wise choice if you're going to compete with German cars...
Thursday, February 24, 2005
The Fortwo is a slightly updated version of what they used to call the City Coupe. Back in the days...
When Smart was still a partnership between Swatch and Mercedes.
Mercedes took it over, spent tons of money in promotion, and voila! One of the best selling small cars in Europe.
That was in the last century...
Now it is on sale in Canada, and seriously considered for the US.
The Canadian market has 2 versions, the Coupe and the Cabrio.Both with a Diesel engine called TDI.
And they get well over 50mpg!!!!
The coupe is even available with a giant glass sunroof.
I saw one in an L.A freeway last month. It was going well over 80mph!
Let's hope people don't let their lives be run by "fear of giant SUV hitting my small car"!
And let's start buying these..
I say: If it's big enough for foreplay, it's big enough!!!
But anything more is not advised. After all, there are no back seats...
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Thursday, February 24, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
This is from the European Lexus site.
The next IS is supposed to do what the current one couldn't: make a name for Lexus in Europe...
Lexus is not popular over there. They think the next IS, available in 2.5Liter 215hp, 3.5Liter 315hp or a brand new diesel engine, will do the trick.
The US won't get the diesel, of course.
But the base model will be the new IS250.
From what we can see here, the shape doesn't look that original. But Lexus appeal is somewhere else, I guess..
Other models might follow later. Like a hard top convertible, and a car based SUV type thing.
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Monday, February 21, 2005
The Alfa Romeao 156 replacement turns out to be called the 159.
And it does look great. Exactly what an Alfa should look like.
It is a bit larger, and is offered with a bunch or 4 or 6 cilynder engines, as well as diesels.
And, if the Fiat/GM deal had turned out OK, we should have been getting this car in the US!!!
Everything is now up in the air.
The US Alfa come back is constantly being pushed back.
Imagine having the choice of this car, against an Audi A4, or the lower end 3 Series or C class.
At least something different, with flair and character..
This is the now"old"156.
It came out in 1997, and was slightly retouched in 2003.
It still looks amazing for a 7 1/2 year old mid-sized sedan design!
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Monday, February 21, 2005
Sunday, February 20, 2005
The Miata is all new for 2006...
And just a couple of inches longer, a bit wider etc...
The new engine for the US is a 2.0 Liter with 160hp. A 1.8 Liter will be available in Europe and japan as the base engine.
Rumors talk about more expensive versions with a folding hardtop roof.
As you can see, it still "looks like a Miata".
But it is a bit larger and more sophisticated. Especially the interior.
Remember the old Chevy Blazer from a few yeasr ago??
Well, it's still around in Mexico. And they just redesigned the front end to keep it almost current looking.
It's kind of funny...But I have to say, it's pretty well done.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Thursday, February 17, 2005
The original model came out as the Daewoo Matiz in 1998.
A cute little Korean car designed by Giugiaro in Italy. And it has been pretty successful in europe.
I am not sure if Giugiaro designed this one, but it is now sold (Like all other models from Daewoo) in europe s a Chevrolet.
That still sounds so wierd to me.
I mean, what about Opel? How many brands does GM need in europe???
Anyway, we wil never see this in the US, but I thought this cute little car desrved to be mentioned...
The latest news is that Smart owner, Mercedes, "postponed" the SUV-like project called the Formore.
The Formore's main market was supposed to be the US.
But lately, the other, smaller, Smart models have received a lot of positive feedback in the US.
So maybe they don't think they need this fake SUV anymore.
It was to be based on the recently introduced Forfour sedan. Just a jacked up version of it, really.
Seems like, now, the existing Smart models might very well make it to the US.
The smallest one, the Fortwo, is already on sale in Canada!
More on the possible Smarts for the US later...
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Monday, February 14, 2005
That's right, a Focus with a 2.5 Liter engine from the Volvo S40,good for 220 HP !!!
I bet there would be a good size market for these in the US. The Focus SVT was pretty successful.
And for 2006, Honda with the new Civic SI looks like they will be the only game in town...
Why did Ford give up? They claim they can't make the new Focus cheap enough to sell in the US as a "cheap compact".
You have to admit, the new one doesn't look at all cheap in any ways.
And with the new Fusion starting at maybe under $17 000, the focus does have to be cheap in the US.
That is just too bad...
Posted by Vince Burlapp at Monday, February 14, 2005