Friday, December 31, 2004

New Beetle cabrio "Dark Flint"

The last breath of new 2005 New beetles is that limited edition called Dark Flint.
Basiacally an all black car with a cool 2 tone red/black interior. And a great looking red top!
With red in the wheels too.
But again, this is only available in Europe. And there, the 2.0Liter Automatic is priced at 30 000Euros.
Which is over $35 000!!!!!
What the hell are they thinking?! No wonder the new Beetle was never a big hit in Europe...

The "revised" 2006 comes out next summer. New fenders, bumpers, headlight and a slightly revised interior. But the standard engine is now the 2.5 Liter 5 cylinder engine from the all new Jetta.

Monday, December 27, 2004

BMW 5 Touring

At the Detroit show, BMW will present the new wagon version of their 5 series sedan.
As you can see, it couldn't be less original. Just a straight wagon version of a sedan.
Nothing like what the Dodge Magnum is to the Chrysler 300. ..
Engines are the same too. But now, all wheel drive is available. (wow!!!!!)

This is the big news! A 2 piece hatch. Just what most truck based SUVs have been offering for over 30 years!
That and an oversized sunroof.
I guess, if you are in the market for a german wagon over $50 000, you don't have that many choices, and that might just be the ticket...

Ford Fairlane

This is for now, as you can see, a concept.
But it is based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr/2006 Aviator and the next Mazda 6.
So we'll see a production version sometime next year.
I guess almost every Ford brand will have sedans and SUVs based on this.
So far, it looks like a big Scion, or Element. But a bit lower.
Really, the 1st succesfull blend of SUV and Minivan.
It might just be a great idea....

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Plastics !

The Auto Show season starts soon!
Don't forget, cars aren't the only ones made out of plastics on the show floor!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Infiniti Kuraza

Well. Let's hope this one doesn't translate into a production model.

Infiniti already has a Large, clumbsy looking SUV, and I don't think they need to add another one.
Especially one that looks like a horse carriage.

But we have to give them some credit. At least they are trying something new. It doesn't look like anything else, and that is great.
That's what concepts are for.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

2006 Lincoln Zephyr.

Well.... That doesn't seem too bad, until you remember the "Zephyr concept" from last year!

The interior isn't that different, but just enough! It just isn't as nice as the concept (bottom). The nice detailing is just not there anymore! It looks really cheap. Like a horrible mistake was made.

And what happened there?!?!
Where did that nice rear end go? It now looks heavy and bloated!
The whole thing looks like what it is: a rebadged Ford Vision. Look at the profile!!!
I mean, the production model looks like a much older design than last year's concept (bottom). It has to be one of the worst translation from teaser concept to production. What were they thinking?
How can they end up with a car so different from the one from last year. It is amazing!
It is really sad that Ford decided not to make any effort into making Lincoln a true luxury brand.
At least Cadillac is trying!

2006 Mustang Convertible

On this official picture, we can see there are no surprises ...
A straight convertible. A good design looking even better.
It's too bad they put the convertible switch on the overhead console, where it's harder to reach than let's say, between the front seats.
And opening the top requires 2 latches. Like the Sebring. Unlike the more modern and convenient single latch from the new Beetle convertible.
Oh well.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Mercury Meta one

This concept shows what the Mercury version of the Ford Freestyle would look like.
And just like the Mariner, the Mercury version of the Escape, it looks much, much better than the Ford.
Even though changes are minimals. Mostly trim, front and rear end.

The Concept is powered by a hybrid diesel/electric engine.
That would be great, but good luck waiting for a production version of that!
It'a already almost impossible to get your hands on a Hybrid Escape...

The weirdest thing about this concept, is the offiial sketch they released a few weeks ago.
It looks completely different than the real thing!!
Look at the front end. And the door handles. The illustration looks like the car has either suicide or minivan style rear doors!!!

What gives...

2006 Audi A3

This is nothing new in Europe, but this is the 5 door version of the A3 we'll be getting in the US. One of the rare small European hatch we're lucky to actually get!
It actually looks more interesting than the 2 door.
Audi has mentioned they will sell these at around $25000 to start. Depending on what comes standard, it might be pretty expensive.
And it's not that much less than the larger A4...

But, the inerior seems as luxurious as the A4, and maybe roomier. And with a hatch, it might even be a better deal than the A4 wagon!
Engines are supposed to be the new 2.0Liter Turbo also used in the 2005 Jetta and 2006 Passat, and a V6.
But really, who would need more than 200hp in a car this size in the US.

One cool option, and a "must get" in the Burlapp book, is the Open sky feature. Which is actually just 2 sunroofs.
Similar to what Mercedes offers on the C Class coupe. The next best thing to a true "glass roof".
For around $1500, it is well worth it, and makes the A3 even more original.

Pontiac G6 coupe/convertible

Nothing super new here. That picture is a scan from an official Pontiac brochure.
But the big news isn't the coupe, but the convertible. It is the 1st US branded affordable hard top convertible...
That means the next Sebring will have to compete by also using a hard top convertible.

The G6 sedan is a good looking car, but somehow it suffers from the same problem the new Mustang does: It just doesn't stand out!
I have seen a few of them already, and they blend in traffic even more than a Camry!

And it seems GM is serious about going after Toyota, by offering Sedan, Coupe and Convertible versions of the same car.
Just what Toyota has been doing with the Camry.
So where is the G6 based Wagon/SUV to go against the Highlander???

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

2005 Mustang video

That's right, you are not dreaming! That is Steve McQueen driving the all new 2005 Mustang. (although he's been dead since 1980!)
They couldn't have found a better spoksman for that car!

Find out the whole story at:

2006 Explorer interior?

This is actually a shot of the Sport trac concept interior.
But the sport trac always used the same interior than the Explorer it's based on.
So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the redesigned Explorer interior could be the same as the new sport trac's...And this looks production ready to me. Except for teh colors.

But you know what, they can redesign it all they want, it's still an Explorer. One of the worst thing you can drive...

More 2006 Passat

Here are a couple extra photos of the all new Passat.
It looks a bit simpler than the previous photos which had a lot of color reflexions on the car.
But still, not really 8 years more modern than the outgoing model.
Engines for the US should be the 2.0Liter Turbo with 200hp, and a new V6 as an option.
Keep in mind that, in the US, the V6 will compete with great cars like the Acura TL, Nissan Maxima, the next Lexus IS, Infiniti G35, Cadillac CTS etc... I don't think this design, inside and out, is strong enough to do it.

We'll see...

Monday, December 20, 2004

Kia Large SUV

Kia is thinking of adding a larger truck based SUV to its lineup. So does Hyundai, owner of Kia.
This is a first look at what it could actually look like. That would make it more attractive than any of the horible looking beasts out there...
Let's hope they don't stray too much from this on the production truck.

The interior is so great, it looks like a Syd Mead illustration from the 60's!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

More 2006 Jetta/Bora

The Jetta is again, a Golf with a trunk. As you can see on these photos, it doesn't have its own interior.
Both cars are about the same inside.
But the Jetta being more expensive, adds wood and aluminum trim on some models.

Nissan Azeal

the Azeal is for now, a Concept.
It looks like it actually is based on the new generation Sentra that is scheduled for fall 2005. The small coupe will have its own design, different from the regular sedan. And maybe even its own name. Like 250ZX.
It would use the 2.5 Liter now used in the Altima and Sentra.
It is a truely modern version of what the Scion Tc was trying to be. It makes the already boring looking Tc look obsolete...

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Mustang girls

In honor of the all new Mustang, I've decided to share with you these ads for the 1971 model. I love that fastback design...
The good old guys at Ford weren't shy about using that "if you drive this, the girls will come" idea...
And yes, again, the car drove off road to the beach!!!

Or the "stripe girl will love my stripe car" idea...

Even when the ad is geared toward women with a less sporty, macho version of the Mustang (the "secretary car"), the girls still has to be almost naked...

This is the best. Look at this guy!!!
They've got to find him for the 2005 ads!!!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Mitsubishi Colt Cabrio

This is another great looking car from Mitsubishi that they won't send to the US.
You would think that a desperate brand would try everything they can to sell cars on what is their largest market!
But they keep selling their best ones overseas. And send us the boring stuff like Lancer or Galant. Or their weird and clumbsy looking SUVs...
This car was just announced in Europe, where it will be built by Pininfarina in Italy.

This is the "regular" 3 door Colt for the European market. It just went on sale over there. The 5 door version came out last year.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Acura RDX

The Acura RDX Concept will be shown at Detroit. The production version should be on sale a few months later as a 2006 model.
Don't expect the actual car to look that modern. Honda/Acura has the bad habit of showing unrealistic sketches of their cars before the actually come out. The profile on the front sketch doesn't even look like the one of the other drawing! Which is it??
It'll probably be pretty nice, and super reliable. But not too exiting.
I is supposed to use the engine from the TSX.
We'll know more later...