Monday, October 25, 2021

2023 Ford Mustang: some news and a new illustration...

Ford did say a few years ago, that the Mustang was safe. When talking about their switch to "all SUVs and trucks, all the time".
But there has been almost no news since about the next generation.

Now we hear about a 2023 model year for the new car. Which means it would be introduced in a few months. But we haven't seen any prototypes yet. (I remember seeing spy shots of the current generation long before it was actually introduced.)
Engines are rumored to be hybrid versions of what we have today.
A hybrid 2.3 Liter and Hybrid 5.0 Liter.

And, this would be the very last generation ICE Mustang. A new all-EV model would be out about 5 years later. 

Which means the Mustang will be one of the last Ford models to make the switch to electric...

Xpeng's HT Aero: the first flying car ???

Flying car designs have always looked great in movies. And yet, the few small companies that have tried over the years just couldn't design anything cool-looking. (without even mentioning none of these could actually be called "flying cars")

The recent Xpeng presentation actually showed something pretty cool-looking. And it could actually work.
They are not the first to show something that looks like a car attached to a giant drone. But to my knowledge, they are the 1st to announce a 2024 production date. Which sounds quite amazing.

Of course, while the car might be ready in a couple of years, no one is talking about the regulation nightmare that it will create. 
Still, this is such a great idea.

Of course, this quick video looks like a science fiction movie...

For those who haven't heard of Xpeng, here is a video of their popular P7 model. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

2022 range Rover: short video...

An interesting, short video showing the all-new 2022 range Rover. Inside and out.
It is looking a bit weird. That futurist rear end doesn't really seem to match the rather conservative profile and front of the car. 
But some designs look much more modern and striking in real life. Which could very well be the case here.
From what we see inside, it still looks really close to the much cheaper Jaguar F-Pace. Why???
As I mentioned before, the range Rover is at least $30 000 more than the Jag.

We'll see...

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Audi Q5 E-Tron: another Audi EV SUV...

E-Tron, Q4 E-Tron. Regular and sport back shapes.
A much larger one coming up. And now this: a Q5 E-Tron.

So far, this is apparently for the Chinese market only. But who knows. 
It is supposedly based on VW's MEB platform and would be the Audi equivalent to the upcoming VW ID6.
Just like the new Q4 E-Tron is an Audi version of the ID.4.

EV range is predicted to be from 260 miles to 350 miles, depending on models.

Will this be replacing the regular Q5? Eventually of course. But when?


Friday, October 22, 2021

2022 Honda Civic Touring: test drive coming up...


I will be driving a new 2022 Honda Civic Touring this week. After driving the Sport model with the 2.0 Liter engine, I am really curious about the new top-of-the-line Touring model with the 1.5 Liter Turbo.

(I drove the previous generation coupe with that engine before)

 So far, the CVT drone is still a big problem. Unless you drive the car very gently. Just like the previous generation, and the current base 2.0 Liter. The tires are also similar to the sport model, so the ride isn't any smoother or quieter. Which is a bit disappointing on a more "luxurious" version.

But the 12 speaker Bose sound system is worthy of the Bose name (which is not always the case)

I will try to answer any questions you might have about the Civic Touring.

2022 GMC Sierra Denali: quite an improvement...

Just like what we just saw with the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado, this is a choking improvement.

The "still huge" grille does look much more integrated into the rest of the design. And it also looks 1000 better than the ghastly front end of the new 2022 Toyota Tundra.

Like the Chevrolet, inside is where it looks like a brand new generation (it's not). Even the door panels are new. And the whole thing looks really good. Just look how bad the current interior looks next to the new one. Great job!

On top of everything, that 3.0 Liter diesel option is just fantastic...


Buick Envision: test drive...

The second-generation Buick Envision looks much better than its predecessor. 
I think it is one of the best SUV designs out there and looks great from pretty much any angle.

It has a very nice and friendly personality. Nothing too aggressive like so many designs these days.

Same thing inside. It is a truly very modern-looking interior. With high-quality materials everywhere and nice design touches. I do like the "wood-looking" trim on the doors. (Not sure if that is real wood or not). And the satin metal trim everywhere in the car looks great.

There are a couple of things that aren't working for me though. Like the angle of the screen. It is sharply tilted towards the driver, which can be odd for the front passenger. And it is a bit flatter than usual and can catch some more sunlight than other setups.
The most annoying thing is the volume knob placement. Which is almost right behind the steering wheel, and again, much too far from the passenger. 

The Bose stereo in my top-of-the-line Avenir test car sounded very good. But, not as great as the system in the similarly priced Acura RDX. 
And, while the seats are very comfortable, the headrests only have the usual 2-way adjustments. (GM used to offer 4-way adjusting headrests in almost everything just a few years ago). 

So they are usually positioned too far back no matter what...

The Envision is very roomy. The cargo area is well finished and the real seats ford completely flat. 

The first thing I noticed when starting up the car is the small engine "4 cylinder buzz". It is always there at idle. Although it is quiet and the engine refined, older 2.0 Liter Turbos from GM used to be totally quiet when idling. I have been noticing this in the past couple of years. 

Otherwise, the engine is quiet and smooth, with plenty of power all the time.
When pushed harder, I did feel a little bit of torque steer. Very little, and very manageable.
(My test car was a FWD model)

The 2nd thing I noticed was how super smooth the ride is. Even with 20-inch wheels. The "continuous damping control" system (part of the $1995 Tech package) is fantastic.
The sports mode firms up things a little bit, but there isn't much difference.
It is just super comfortable all the time, no matter how bad the road gets.

The stop/start system is also very smooth, and I left it on most of the time. Which is unusual.

The 9-speed automatic is very smooth and willing to downshift whenever you need it to. 

The Avenir is rated at 24/31 MPG. 
Not sure on what planet it is supposed to be getting 24MPG around town, but here on earth, I was never able to get over 20. Which is still OK.
I got a bit over 32 on the freeway.

The new Buick Avenir is a fantastic choice in a crowded segment. 
I cannot compare it to the new Lexus NX, but the Lexus seems to be more expensive. And desperately wants to be "sporty"...
 I still like the Envision design better. It is quick and doesn't try to be overly sporty like almost everything else. It just wants to be comfortable and it is.

Compared to a loaded FWD Acura RDX, the Avenir version is a few thousand cheaper. (The Acura is about $49 000 but includes AWD on the Advance version.
While the RDX is very comfortable, it isn't as smooth as the Buick (Although I hear some changes were made for 2022)
But the ELS Studio sound system on the RDX is unbeatable. 

No matter what, the Envision would be a great choice. (It also starts at a bit above $32 000!
Basically competing with a RAV-4 or CR-V...)


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Tesla Cyber Truck: another spy shot...

Still pretty bad and grainy, but this is a slightly better pic than the one I posted yesterday.
Again, this is very, very close to the concept from 2 years ago.

Mandatory side mirrors seem to be the main difference. I also wonder if these lower lights units are now the main headlights. The truck will also need windshield wipers, which the newer prototype seems to show (kinda...)

I am really glad the pick-up truck design gets a bit of a shake-up. These things have been looking the same for decades. With grilles getting larger and larger with each redesign. While I am not a big fan of this design (yet), it is so refreshing to see something new and totally different. As well as the great-looking new Rivian.
From photos I have seen, I always thought the Cyber Truck was much larger than a Ford F-150.
But at 232 inches long, it isn't.

If they can really deliver a base model for around $40 000, the full-size pick-up market could expect a major shake-up. 
Although it is a bit worrisome that Tesla has just removed the "estimated price" from their official CyberTruck page. I am also not sure the truck market is ready for something with no steering wheel.

The true game-changer would be a compact version. Something that would not only attract even more buyers but could also be sold in Europe and many more countries. 

Blade Runner trucks for everyone!


2023 Chevrolet Montana: new illustrations and spy shots...

 Chevrolet is getting a 2nd generation ready for their compact Montana pickup truck.
Apparently, it will grow in size from previous versions.
Which leads some people to think it would be a good idea to bring this over to the US as a Ford maverick competitor.

Which, of course, might not be a bad idea. Just like the Maverick, the next Montana seems to have a super generic pick-up truck shape, with a more modern-looking front end added to it.
The illustrations above don't really match the spy shots. So they're probably off.

If the Maverick turns out to be a big hit for Ford, GM will have no choice but to offer something to compete in the US.
This could be it...