Thursday, September 30, 2004

Peugeot 407

About the same size as a Passat, that new Peugeot seems to have what it takes to make it over here. Even the choice of engines is similar to what we get. A 2.2Liter with 160hp, or a 3.0Liter V6 with 211hp.
But Nooooo.. Peugeot is still "thinking about re-entering the US market".
So don't hold your breath.

The best of all is the SW Wagon version of that car. That's a photo of the production car!!
The all glass roof is also part of the deal!
Imagine driving this instead of a dorky mid-sized SUV!!!


Nothing to say really...
Except, that now,the maestro also designs sneakers for kids...

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

2006 Miata Part2

Here are 2 more shots of what the next Miata might look like.

Latelly, some prototypes have been spoted in Europe, undergoing some testing.
And they seem to look like an updated version of the current design.
Which itself, was an "updated' version of the previous design!
Will fear dictate the new design direction?
Let's hope not...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Citroen C4

Another cool car we can't get.
Citroen is own by Peugeot, and these guys distroyed their good name in the US in the 80's by selling pretty crappy cars. Most of them used to only retain about 45% of their value after the 1st year of ownership.
And they gave up the US market. They just claimed they were making enough money everywhere else around the world.
I guess they're right. They are still one of the largest car maker in the world, without selling a single car in America.

But that was 20 years ago. And their cars are so much better now. Citroens are finally starting to look like what they should be. Again...
Which is very modern , original and almost weird. The C4 almost looks like a concept car.
It is about the size of a Focus. With engines ranging from 90 t0 180hp! Tha's plenty.

The coupe is even weirder looking! That's great!

2006 Hyundai Sonata. Part 2...

Well. It looks much better on these pictures. Still not very modern, still a mix of Accord/Camry/Audi.
But at least it doesn't seem to look cheap. Actually a very nice mainstream car. Not really worse than the Accord.
And miles ahead of the ugly and misguided Malibu.

Pininfarina Nido

One of the world's best designer is trying to show what can be done to make a small city car safe and attractive.
His Nido is both. The sad part is that, it is now almost 5 years after the year 2000, and we still drive boring and unatractive boxes like the Corolla or the Civic...
These great designers are always showing the world how cars should look, but nobody's listening.

Monday, September 27, 2004

2006 Mercedes B Class

Give or take a few details, this is what we'll get over here as the smallest Mercedes model.
They will by then, stop selling the cool 230 Coupe.
And they wimped out and followed JD Power's advice of NOT selling the really cool new A class in the US. Even thought they had planned it for years.
What we'll get is kind of an SUV type version of the A Class, the B Class.
They have almost the same interior. But the B isn't as cool as the A. And it also is more expensive. The US B should start at around $25 000.
The car on top, next to the small B, is the new R Class.
A much larger and expensive beast...

2006 Chevrolet S3X. Interior.

The S3X interior seems as good looking as the exterior.
And very roomy. The roof seems to come straight out of the all new Pontiac G6. Let's hope they will offer it on the production model...
The whole thing looks very nice, but it's a bit over a year away. And the US Version might not be sold as a Chevrolet, but a Suzuki...

It's coming!!!

Yes. The new Mustangs are being built as we speak.
It's only a matter of a short weeks until they show up at your local dealership!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Mazda 5

This looks to be one of the more modern minivans out there. Originaly designed for the European and Japanese market, the Mazda 5 should be making it over here by the end of 2005, in small numbers.

It seats 6 and will probably use the 2.3 Liter engine from the 6.
It doesn't replace the MPV. The 5 is smaller. And an all new MPV is just around the corner anyway...

Vince Burlapp at the Auto Show!

That's right. This is me, Vince Burlapp, movie extra, car expert and bus boy, a couple of years ago, during the "press only" day at a major Auto Show.
The girls from the 'Giugiaro stand" are always fantastic. You can't blame a guy for trying... Can you???

If you want to see and read the whole story, involving Vince, the girls and the "maestro" himself, you'll have to click here:

  • Vince at the Auto Show
  • Friday, September 24, 2004

    2005 Honda Accord Hybrid


    Was there really a need for this. The regular V6 Accord has 240hp and this has 255hp.
    Do you really need to pay an extra $2000 or $3000 for the hybrid technology?
    Even with the better mileage, it should take you at least 4 years to make that money back.
    And an Accord V6 can actually be bought way under sticker. Not the "limited production" Hybrid.
    So the real difference in price might turn up to be well over $5000!!!
    And, unlike the Toyota Prius, the Accord hybrid doesn't even look special.
    These pictures are of the Hybrid, NOT the regulat model. I just can't tell them apart.(except for the ugly "spoiler" and the red lights)
    So , you won't save money and you can't show off.
    What the point?

    2006 Miata

    Could this be the look of the all new 2006 Mazda MX5/Miata???
    Yes it could. The new model is rumored to be based on a shorter version of the RX8 platform. And yes, it just might have a folding hardtop.
    Folding hardtop are quickly replacing soft top in convertibles all over Europe. The cheapest one being the Peugeot 207CC, which sells for under $17000!!!!
    So cost is really not an excuse anymore. Do you hear that Saab, Volvo, Porsche?

    Girls !

    These ladies are professionals.
    The car makers spend A LOT of money trying to "buy" the press.
    And the most obvious way to witness this is to attend the press days of any major auto show (as I actually did).
    These "press guys"(mostly aging car geeks) are treated like royalty! Lots of them just travel around the world ( all expenses paid),looking forward to the free stuff, especially the booze and food.
    Almost each car manufacturer has a full bar by their dispays. And the best catering. That, of course, quickly disappears when the show opens to the public.
    All we, regular people, are left with, are the cars and the beautifull ladies pictured here.

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    European Ford Focus

    You are right. These are good looking cars. And we're not getting them!
    Ford thinks only Europeans deserve the all new Focus. Not us.
    What they get is an all new car based on the Mazda3/Volvo S40 platform. Both of these are already great cars.

    The US will get the old focus that dates back to the 90's for at least 4 more years.
    They claim they can't make a profit in the US by selling the new, more costly one.

    Look at the difference!!! And the US dashboard was just redesigned for 2005. No wonder they already have to give away a free computer with it! On top of a rebate!!!

    That's right! Even the wagon and the "boring" 4 door sedan look really good.
    It is just a shame that the geniuses at Ford decided to treat their US customers like 2nd class citizens...

    Ford Focus Vignale Convertible


    Just lok at this beauty. And, just like the all new European FOCUS.
    Just like the all new sedan (European model only), it is based on the Mazda 3 and the 2005 Volvo S40. What we'll get next year is the Volvo version of that car. The convertible version of the S40.
    But again, the geniuses at Ford don't think teh US deserves their best...

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Criminal: The Lincoln Mark LT

    Yes. It should be against the law to take a Ford F 150 Pick -up truck, add a really huge, obnoxious and vulgar looking grille to it, and call it a Lincoln.
    The interior is almost exactly the same as the Ford. They did it before a couple of years back. And is was a total failure.
    So they're doing it again!
    It's about time Lincoln relly on cars to make some money. Lately, they've just become the Navigator maker. That's really sad...

    Look at what they used to sell 42 years ago!
    A car! A great car!

    That's what they've been teasing us with for the past couple of years. A great looking "Continental Concept". But instead, 2 years later, we get the Lincoln LT Pick up truck!
    What the Hell is wrong with these people. Don't they sell enough F150s???
    Are a few more trucks on the road worth destroying a legendary brand???

    Let's hope the all new Town Car, due in about a year, looks half as good as that Continental Concept.