Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bankrupt!


Chrysler will announce they are filling for bankruptcy this morning.
This is due to broken down talks with it lenders.

(I don't really get why people would rather get a company bankrupt than getting at least some of their money...)

This doesn't mean the end for Chrysler, they will use the bankruptcy to reorganize and actually move forward with their deal with Fiat.
So I guess it's not so bad, unless Chrysler owes you money...

Stillborn: Smart ForMore


The ForMore was going to be to be an SUV based on the 4 door ForFour.
Until they canceled the whole project back in 2005. The car on which it was to be based wasn't selling (The Forfour) and was itself canceled.
The ForMore was actually going to be the first Smart sold in the US. Instead we got the redesigned version of the Fortwo a few years later.
This picture was taken in a large storage place where Mercedes keeps a bunch of cars. Many of them prototype and "things that never were"...

Interesting note: the grey car seems to be a concept that we would have seen early, while the black one next to it is the production version of the same model.

I just wonder if GM has a place like that. A place where we could see all the stuff Pontiac and Saturn were going to come up with....

Remember this? It was the original official illustration of the ForMore back in 2005.

2011 Infiniti M35?


It does look like it could be.
The next M will be the 1st Infiniti available with the new 3.0Liter V6 diesel. In Europe first.
But not in the US.
Strangely, an even smaller 2.5 Liter V6 will also be available in some markets.
While the US is getting a new Hybrid version. Which could possibly use the 2.5 Liter with an electric motor for best in class fuel economy.
The 3.7 Liter will still be the main engine choice for US, while the V8 might not even make it.

We'll see.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

BMW X1


The one series based SUV was caught filming.
And it looks exactly like the "concept" version of it they showed us a while ago.

Not sure how much this will be but it won't be cheap. Remember when many of us were expecting the 1 series coupe to start at a bit over $25 000 in the US. It is about $30 000. Around $3500 less than a 3 series.
With he X3 starting at $40 000, I don't expect this to start at less than $35 000.
Which will be again extremely overpriced for such a small SUV.

At least it is a bit better looking than the X3, but what isn't....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prius Wagon?


it could be.

There was a rumor last year about more versions of the new Prius. So why not a wagon.
If it seems weird to have a wagon version of a car that is already a hatchback, don't forget that, in Europe, the Golf is also offered as a wagon. As well as the Megane, 308, Astra etc....
So at least for these markets, it might make sense.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Buick to get the Saturn Vue???


Haven't heard of this before, but it sure makes sense.
Saturn has a good offering with the new Vue. And the new 2 mode Hybrid was due really soon.
All that technology shouldn't be going to waste.
With Pontiac gone, it could only become a small Buick. Actually a good idea.
It does look nice next to the larger Enclave.

Now if they only could the G8 into the Impala. Or something....

Would you buy a Fiat 500?




Now that there is a really good chance we might actually get the new Fiat 500 in the US, would anyone here actually buy one?

I saw these cars in Europe when I went there last year, and they look great. A quite a bit larger than they seem from the pictures.
And the convertible version just came out.

I think this would give Chrysler/Fiat a great image car in the US. The Beetle is now over 10 years old, and the Mini is too expensive.
If they price this under the Mini, they'll have a winner.
the question is: will they build it in the US? It could take quite a while to retool any US plant to manufacture this car.
They need this right now.

Chrysler is also rumored to build a US car based on the great looking Fiat Punto, but with "its own design".
Anything Chrysler comes out will not be as good looking as the current Punto, believe me. And it will take forever to design something new on the Fiat platform.
Again, they need good looking cars yesterday!

But forget all that...
Would you buy a Fiat 500 in the US ???

Pontiac's "Past Future"...


Or what it could have been.

I wonder if we'll ever see the stuff they were working on. Like the next G6.
They must have at least full size clay models of it.
When the G8 came out they were already talking about the next one. Must be some drawings laying around somewhere...

Which "future" Pontiac model would you like to see?
They have nothing to loose now. They might as well show us what we'll be missing.

The good old days


Of not so long ago...

R.I.P Pontiac...


G8 and Solstice are officially dead.

I just hope the Sky leaves on as a Chevy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Get them while you can!




There are more and more rumors everywhere about Pontiac's death coming up this monday.

A sad thing. Sure, they put out plenty of crappy cars in the past few decades and ruined the brand.
But they do have good cars now.

I was lucky enough to drive the Solstice Turbo for a whole week last year, and couldn't remember having that much fun behind the wheel.
I also spent a whole day driving both the V6 and V8 versions of the G8.
And I found it to be a great and fun to drive sedan. Just like most of the press invited to the event.

Sure, it's not a great idea to buy cars from a dead brand. Resale value will pretty much suck.
But I do think leasing one of these would be a great idea. Then you don't really care about resale.


I just wanted to put in my 10c about these 2 really good cars that might not be available for long.
They could turn the Sky into a Chevy, but I really don't think there is room for the Solstice anywhere else in the GM family.



It's just too bad....

Cool non-car videos



How about something different to start the week end...

Next Hyundai Sonata interior


This already looks great.
And keep in mind this is just a prototype.

Th production model will use better matching plastics etc...

Seems like the new Sonata will be an amazing entry in the midsize sedan market.
Although I really like the Mazda6 that I drove recently. And I still really like the Malibu.

Looks like we won't have to wait to long for the Hyundai.
And I still hear rumors about a coupe version later....

Girl from the Shanghai Auto Show

Friday, April 24, 2009

Next Hyundai Sonata



It is already looking really good. And original too.

Most of the competition, like the Accord and Camry, will look old compare to this.
It looks closer to a Passat CC. Not a bad thing.

And the chrome strip going all the way to the front of the car is a cool touch.

We'll see the whole thing in a few months.

Geely GE back seat



Throne for one.

A joke of a car.
Seems like what a super villain would be driving...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

R.I.P Pontiac????


There is a new rumor about GM making an announcement this coming Monday about officially killing the Pontiac brand.

I hope this isn't true.

I love cars. And I hate to see any brand being killed off.
Especially one that has some really good cars to offer.

The Solstice isn't for everyone, but it is one of my favorite car on the market.
It looks great and put a smile on my face every single time I got to drive it for the week Pontiac gave me one last year.
I would hate to see it disappear.

I also got to drive both versions of the G8. They are really nice cars. Well but together and fun to drive.

I even like the G6.
Sure, it could use a new interior. And the Malibu is even better...
But it is still a good looking affordable sedan that is also a very nice driver.

The death of Pontiac would be a real shame.
GM hasn't moved fast enough to turn it into a real sporty RWD only brand.

It would be just too bad...

They are thinking of making Buick an American version of Opel (Unless Fiat grabs the German brand first).
So why not make Pontiac the American Holden.
Just bring over RWD Holdens as Pontiacs. Just like the G8

(A smaller Holden sedan is around the corner, and it would make a great new G6...)


Why do they have to just kill things...

More Chrysler bad news...


Bankruptcy next week???

Read all about it by clicking on the title.

From the New York Times.

2010 Hyundai Tucson and Sonata


Looking pretty good, both of them.

We'll see in a few months...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chery A3




No matter who it is for, Pininfarina knows how to design a decent looking compact...

Chinese joke from the Shanghai auto show




The Geely GE is a joke of a car.
Something we couldn't make up in a movie. It would sound to weird...
Such an obvious and vulgar looking copy.
And it has only one giant seat in the back. Like a throne.

The perfect car for the King of Zanzibar!

The worst part is the emblem.
Some people really have no shame....

Rich M1




Rich is the new "Luxury" brand of Chinese carmaker Chery.

I guess in this case, "luxury" doesn't mean big. Or fancy. Or expensive. Or classy.
All you get for the price is a funky looking little car (that shouldn't really be part of a luxury brand) plus a horrific and vulgar copy of the Bentley logo...

Roewe 550 Crash Test


Doesn't look bad on this video.
Could it be that they are actually pretty safe, on top of being good looking???

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More pictures of the new MG 6



Chinese Auto Show medley


Brilliance FSV

Geely iG

Greatwall M3 SUV

JAC B Class

Roewe 550 R5

Here are a few of the cars and concept that were introduced this week in Shanghai.

Which one would you actually consider if it ever made it in the US

2010 Toyota Prius prices


The whole thing, including options:


.............

Prius I
To be released at a later date $21,000

Prius II $22,000
- 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle engine
- P195/65 R15 all-season tires with alloy wheels & covers
- Smart Key (driver's door) and Push Button start
- EV, Eco, and Power modes
- Multi-Informational Display with energy monitor and fuel consumption history
- AM/FM/MP3 CD player with six speakers and satellite radio capability and auxiliary audio jack
- Cruise control
- STAR Safety System and active front headrest
- Seven airbags including driver knee airbag
- Four-wheel disc brakes
- Tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and HVAC Controls with Touch Tracer Display
- Six-way adjustable driver seat
- Auto up/down on all windows
- Color-keyed foldable power heated side mirrors

Prius III In addition to Prius II features: $23,000
- JBL AM/FM/MP3 six-disc CD changer with eight speakers
- Integrated satellite radio capability
- Hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth® wireless technology

Prius IV In addition to Prius III features: $25,800
- Three-door Smart Key system
- Leather-trimmed interior
- Heated front seats with driver lumbar support
- Driver and front passenger water repellant windows
- Plasmacluster™ ionizer
- Auto dimming mirror with HomeLink®

Prius V In addition to Prius IV features: $27,270
- 17-inch alloy wheels and P215/45 R17 tires
- LED headlamps with auto leveling and washers
- Integrated foglamps



Optional Equipment MSRP Prius II Prius III Prius IV Prius V

-Navigation Package $1,800 NA Available Available Available
Voice-actived touch-screen
DVD navigation system with
JBL AM/FM/MP3 four-disc CD
changer, eight speakers, integrated
satellite radio capability, XM
NavTraffic capability, hands-free
phone capability and music
streaming via Bluetooth wireless
technology and integrated backup
camera

-Solar Roof Package $3,600 NA Available Available NA
Includes Navigation Package equipment
plus power tilt/slide moonroof with
Solar Powered Ventilation System
and Remote Air Conditioning System
Advanced Technology Package $4,500 NA NA NA Available
Includes Navigation Package equipment
plus Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
(DRCC), Pre-Collision System (PCS),
Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Intelligent
Parking Assist (IPA)

Buick Business Concept



From the Chinese auto show, where Buick is far more popular than over here.

We won't see this anytime soon, we'll see a Buick version of the Saturn Vue before this one.
Buick is now rumored to become the "Opel importer" brand for GM.

2010 Toyota Prius price


In a surprising move, Toyota has priced the all new Prius $1000 cheaper than the old one.

For $21 000 you now get a roomier, more powerful car that gets even better gas mileage.
And it is only about $1200 more than the smaller Honda Insight.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New 2010 Jaguar XJ Video


Just a small "teaser".
But it does seem pretty impressive, with more personality than anything from Germany or Japan.
But that's not really hard to do...

Roewe N1 Concept



This is pretty much a production car. It will be the new "smaller than 550" Roewe 350 when it comes out in a few months.
Another nice design from Roewe.
I could really see this in Europe and the US.

If the quality and safety standards are good, these would definitely make decent cars for Saturn....

MG6




Based on the (Former Rover) Roewe550, the new MG appears to be a good looking car.
More on this later...

2010 Jaguar KJ


That's all we get so far...

It will be available with a V8 or a V6 diesel. So I guess we'll only get the V8.
They've also mentioned earlier that a hybrid version is coming up about a year later.