Saturday, October 31, 2009
Once again, the mid sized Ford sedan might end up being the same in Europe and the US.
Like it was back in the 90's when we were getting it over here as the Ford Contour.
The Fiesta and next Focus are paving the way to a "one Ford " model. Finally.
Sure, Europe as no need for a car as large as the new Taurus, and the market for the Ka in the US could be really small.
But they could really share all their other models.
Something lots of people have been saying for decades.
It looks like GM is also doing it with Buick/Opel.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Quite an interesting little car.
A super mini with minivan doors, a glass roof...
Engines will include a 1.4 Liter and 1.6 Liter.
It could have been a nice small Saturn. But this is way too small for a Buick (which now seems to be the US Opel)
You don't see much.
As a matter of fact, you almost won't see anything.
We've seen more in official pics from a few weeks ago.
Plus, the car has ben on sale in China for over a year.
So this is strictly for those who were living in a cave for the past 18 months or so....
Just an illustration. But probably close to what it'll end up looking like.
Pretty much a big Fiesta.
Which is fine.
I have seen a couple of Fiestas around Hollywood, and they look amazing.
Especially next to most of the boring looking competition offered in the US.
This new Focus will become the Cruze's nightmare when it comes out. And it will come out just about a year later, or even less.
And Ford is already talking about new Ecoboost engines with plenty of power. I hear about 180hp from a 1.6 Liter engine.
If they can match GM's claim of 40MPG for the US Cruze, they will have a winner.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
By watching some videos of the Euro Accord Tourer.
It does seem like a really nice car.
So far, the sedan version is about $5000 less than a similarly equipped Audi A4.
We'll see how they price the wagon but it could be around $32 000.
And unlike its German competition, Acuras come loaded with very few options.
The US version of the Cruze has been delayed by 3 month. It will now be out by "the 3rd quarter" or 2010.
The Cruze has been on sale in other markets for a year, so I'm not sure what could go wrong.
This is a car GM really needs. Much more than the Camaro or the Volt.
This could really compete with the Civic and Corolla. Especially the new 1.4 Liter Trurbo that is supposed to get amazing gas mileage.
Mitsubishi has just released an official "Optimistic" sketch of their all new upcoming Crossover.
It is no doubt the production version of the small cX Concept from a while ago. The one they'bve been testing for a while.
Here is the official word:
"Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announces today the forthcoming introduction of its all-new on-road Compact Crossover, to be retailed first in Japan from February 2010 onwards.
Derived from the much-acclaimed 2007 Concept-cX show car, it is the latest development of MMC's mid-size global platform ("Project Global").
This most important product will further support Mitsubishi Motors' strategic shift from being an SUV-focused nameplate to a manufacturer of environment-friendly passenger cars & crossovers*, with a presence in the "authentic off-roader" segment** – itself pre-empting structural changes in market demand.
As such – and after i-MiEV – this on-road Compact Crossover will be the Corporation's next game changer towards lower impact vehicles, in their format and/or in the innovative MMC proprietary technologies they will feature.
The European premiere is scheduled for the 2010 Geneva Motor Show."
Here is a picture of the original concept.
From what we've seen so far of the production model through various spy shots, the final design should end up being very close to the concept.
Will this be enough for Mitsubishi to survive? Especially in the US.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
VW has big plans for the sports car brand.
Most of them could end up diluting the original image.
-V6 version of the Panamera, and a Diesel for the European market
-New Cayenne in 2010
-Cayenne Hybrid in 2011
-Hybrid version of the Panamera in 2011
-New 911 (model 998) in 2012
-All new "smaller than Cayenne" SUV for 2013
-New Panamera coupe and convertible for 2013
They are also redesigning the Boxter/Cayman for next year.
An are looking at an even smaller and cheaper roadster.
Fiat will be selling the sporty Abarth model first when they bring us over the 500 model.
Will will later get the "regular" model, as well as the convertible and the upcoming wagon.
The best news is the price :under $19 000. Which is pretty good for a 133hp turbo, cute and fast little car.
Apparently, the best bid Ford was able to get for Volvo is from Chinese car maker Geely.
I guess nobody else wants it.
Which is pretty shocking in the 1st place.
So Volvo might be the 1st European manufacturer to be own by a Chinese company.
What does this mean?
Will Geely cars get safer? Will Volvo cars end up being manufactured in China for cheaper?
What do you think???
These are just illustration, but they perfectly match the official sketches we've seen from Nissan in the past few weeks.
The new Micra should be powered by a 3 cylinder engine with a CVT.
Which doesn't sound too exciting of a drive.
But at least it should get great mileage.
Plus, even thought it isn't as original as the current version, it is miles ahead of the horrendous Versa...
VW has released another official sketch.
The one from a few months ago was some sort of a computer generated (and exaggerated) illustration.
This one looks like it was done by a 4 year old on a chalkboard.
What the Hell???
And just like the other illustration, it doesn't really seem like an amazing car.
Nothing better than the current Passat or even close to the CC..
Honda will be selling it over here as a wagon version of the TSX. Finally.
A great choice for those who want, or need, a roomy but still quite compact wagon. But don't want to spend the extra cash on a BMW or Audi.
Here is the official word:
"Acura announced today the addition of a TSX sport wagon to its 2011 vehicle lineup. Arriving at Acura dealerships in the Fall of 2010, the TSX sport wagon will be based on the popular TSX sports sedan, which features balanced performance, advanced technology and bold styling. Additional information on the 2011 TSX sport wagon will be announced at a later date."
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Hard to tell it's a Buick and not the Opel Insignia.
Boy, these guys sure love starting the buzz early. Again, showing us pictures of the prototypes a while before the car is out.
The ones who won't make it:
-Chrysler PT cruiser
-Dodge Grand Caravan
That is quite a death toll
Now for the survivers:
-Chrysler Town and Country
-Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Dodge trucks will be sold under their own brands.
The Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee are redesigned for next year.
Now for the new kids in town:
-Fiat 500, sold by Chrysler
-Alfa Romeo Mito
-Alfa Romeo Milano
-Alfa Romeo unnamed new mid sized sedan
-Alfa Romeo 8C Competitione
I don't know about you, but it all sounds OK to me.
I can't wait to finally see these Alfas. And I won't miss the departed models from Chrysler.
Click on the title to see what the pros from the Journal have to say.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Not a big surprise really. All VW models will soon get the same front end. Even the Passat.
But by that time, we will be getting VW's new "for the US only" mid sized sedan. So we won't see the revised Passat over here.
The great looking CC will still be sold in the US.
I must say, I haven't seen that many Tiguans around where I live.
And they've been out for a while...
Or how to make the Rogue even uglier.
I guess the vulgar "Krom' treatment worked well enough on the Cube, so Nissan is now offering it on the Rogue.
The weird thing is that it has a new front end.
It doesn't match the rest of the car at all, or even look like a Nissan in the 1st place.
Maybe it is a preview of what all Rogue models will get later.
Not an improvement.
Bring over the Kashkai!
So far this model is for China only.
Just like the new Regal was....
And a few GM people have already been talking about yet another Buick sedan for the US, in addition to the Regal.
The new Excelle will be available as a sedan and the hatchback you see here.
And just like the Regal is pretty much an Opel Indignia with a Buick grille, this one is a Buick version of the Astra.
Who would have known that Buick would try to compete with the Mazda 3?
Let's hope for them that it works. As of now, I cannot imagine anyone considering the Mazda, or Golf, even walking into a Buick showroom.
This will take massive amounts of advertising money...
Saturday, October 24, 2009
For the new year, the "smaller than Polo and not for the US" VW gets a new front end and a revised interior.
Nothing drastic, but it keeps it in line with the new Golf front end.
Soon, I guess all VW models, except the new Beetle, will get a similar treatment...
This is how the Fox looks now...
I got to see the new Ghost in person last week.
A very impressive car and much classier than the current and larger Phantom.
The Phantom has as much class as a German tank.
The Ghost is quite the opposite.
A reader sent me this picture of the coupe.
Both a coupe and a convertible version are coming out after the sedan.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It could be. And probable will look pretty close to this illustration.
The next A and B class models will make it to the US.
So we'll see. A sedan version is also rumored, competing with the next generation sedan models of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 series.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
That could be interesting...
Since the death of the Focus wagon,there is pretty much nothing to chose from in the US if you want a small inexpensive wagon.
And this one seems to look pretty nice too.
But wait. We don't even have the regular Cruze yet!
This is another car GM has been teasing us with for years. Like the Camaro and the Volt.
The Cruze has been on sale overseas for a while now. And getting mostly so-so reviews.
So by next year, it won't be the amazing small sedan GM is claiming it to be.
We shall see....
That seems too good to be true.
Maybe in Europe, sure. But not in the US.
The current Euro Civic is one of the most modern looking car on the road, still after a few years.
even though I think our sedan version is better looking than most small sedans sold here, it is nothing compared to what they offer in the European market.
It's time we get a hatch version of the Civic back, in one form or another....
GAC showed this"VIP Lounge Concept" last year and it looks like they are already testing it.
(Unless the took the concept out for some air...)
GAC has been building cars with Honda and Toyota for the Chinese market for years.
This sedan looks better to me than any Honda or Toyota sedan out there. Even thought the front end is still a bit cartoonish .
(But look at the Crosstour...)