Saturday, April 30, 2005

Concept C = 2006 Cabrio

I was wondering what happened to this great looking VW concept!
Well, here it is: the production version will be presented in September 2005 and it will go on sale in January 2006, at least in Europe.
Engines available will include the 2.0 Liter turbo from the New Jatta GLI and Passat (also in the Audi A3 and A4).
As well as the 3.2 Liter V6.
If it is priced right, it should be a hit in the US. (it shouldn't start much above $26000).
Competition will include the Pontiac G6 convertible which starts at around $28000. But later, the all new Chrysler Sebring convertible, which is also supposed to get a folding hardtop from Karman's US branch.

Let's hope US sales don't start too long after that. We're still waiting for the Golf that came out almost 2 years ago in Europe!!!

Brilliance Zhonghua

Looks like the 1st Chinese car to reach Europe might be this one.
Engines are all 4 cylinders. Up to 2.4 Liter and 150hp.
Not that much. But for a price of around 20 000 Euros loaded, including tax.

2006 Volvo C30

That is the 1st official photo of the new Volvo.
But it is completely covered, and we can't see anything!!!

And Volvo is only saying that the car is 20 centimeters shorter than the S40.

That's it for now...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Korean response

Seems like the Koreans feel pretty threatened by the amazing success and popularity of last week's Shanghai auto show.
So they're not pulling any punches this time: they will bring out more babes than ever before !

If you don't have that many new cars to show off, just put more women. Have them sit ON the cars if you have to!

The Bizaro World!!!

Japanese independant car maker Mitsuoka specializes in turning your average, boring sedan into a Monster!
They start where Stutz and Excalibur left of, in the 1970's...

This one is pretty amazing. As you can see, it is based on a Japanese Honda Accord. Known here as the Acura TSX!
Who cares if the erzatz 1930's front end doesn't match the 21st century profile, right?

It looks like a Jaguar on drugs!

T2X Concept

Another useless concept. Just a tease.This will never be produced.
It would be nice if at least they could use that cool front end on an actual car.

The weird thing is: it is supposed to be the "Chevrolet T2X Concept". But it still wears a Daewoo badge...
I know Daewoos are sold as Chevys in Europe.. But...


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Honda Airwave

On these pictures, this new little wagon from Honda doesn't look as bad as I thought.
Or as cheap. And I love the giant glass roof!
It is small, has only a 1.5 Liter engine. But that could make it good competition to the Scion brand in the US.
It kind of feels like the ultra conservative son of a Scion xB and a Tc...
And that would make it a nice "cheaper than Civic" little Honda.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Peugeot 907

Still a concept, but a few steps closer to reality. With a V12 good for 500hp.
Some people at Peugeot are talking about a limited run of 1000 units a year at 150 000 Euros each!

That's right, 150 000 Euros. Over $200 000.
A big stretch for the French car maker.
They are facing the same problem Cadillac is: Should they build an ultra luxury, expensive car?
1000 seems a lot of cars. That's almost as much as the Bentley GT.

And for less money, the GT is.... A Bentley!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

US Audi A3

Audi has announced the price of the all new 5 door A3 for the US market.
The base car will go for $24 740.
And the Automatic will be $26 140.
Not too bad for a luxury brand. And they all come with 17inch wheels, a 10 speaker stereo and power everything.
I sat in a couple of them a few months ago and found the interior to be about as roomy as the more expensive A4.
And you can get a "glass roof" as an option. Which is not available on the A4.
The engines are the same too, the new Audi/VW 2.0 Liter turbo with 200 hp.
If you watch the option list, this could be a great car!
And a better buy than the A4.

Chery Minivan

This is another one that is pretty much a production model. And should make it to the US in 2007.
It looks like a mean version of the boring Honda minivan.
The front looks like a buldog.
It seems that they found what GM has been trying to do: give a bit of the SUV agressivity to a minivan design.
And the interior might be the best in class.
I am not sure how much this will be, but the Kia Minivan starts at around $20000. And the Chinese one is expected to be even cheaper..

Is this a case of "too good to be true"???

By the way, I have to thank all the Chinese car makers for coming out with so many models for the past few weeks.
My site would have been pretty empty without them...

Thanks again guys!

Brilliance Interior

Here is an interior shot of the Pininfarina designed Brilliance car from, where else..China!
And that interior, to me, looks much more attractive than the current BMW designs. So does the exterior.
And it looks already better than Korean designs!
No word on the engine yet, except that it is from Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi used to provide engines for Hyundai, back in the days...

So I guess a good part of their profits comes from providing engines for emerging car makers.

Brilliance is scheduled to start selling cars in Europe really soon.

Monday, April 25, 2005

2006 Mercedes S class Interior

Looks like a cross between the current S class and the BMW 7 series.
I think it sucks. I never liked the current S class interior, and this won't change my mind.
Didn't they learn anything from the horrific BMW iDrive system? They had to copy it???!!!

Once in a while, it's kind of fun to witness the lack of originality in the $80 000 car market...


Another cool looking prototype from China.
With....Another cool looking model from China!

This one (the car), reminds me of a giant "Hot Wheel"...

The interior experience looks like "driving an iMac".

Malcom Bricklin and Chery

This is probably very close to one of the cars Mr. Bricklin will import from Chinese car maker Chery in January 2007.
He claims to be able so sell 250 000 cars in the 1st year, through 250 dealers!
And a line up of 18 different models by 2010.
He also says the main problem will be "not being able to make enough cars to satisfy the demand".

He might just be right, for once. His Yugo car from the 80's didn't set the market on fire.

And this really cool original design he produced in the 70's was pretty short lived. Although truely great...
He's been looking for the next big thing ever since, and he might just get it this time.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Another one!

Besides Chery and Brilliance, I can't tell who's who in what seems to be an endless sea of Chinese car makers...

But this one looks really good. A much more modern and daring take on the Pontiac G6 theme.
And it also looks about production ready.
We'll have to see in the next year or so, if all these concept designs from China actually turn into real cars.
Or if they're just a bunch of teases...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

More Chinese Models

Something else to llok for at the Chinese auto shows...

Friday, April 22, 2005

New Chery Compact

Another concept from Chery.
A real original this time. It looks weird and futuristic, but at the same time, production ready!
Look at the door/window trim, the bumpers etc...
I am not sure how small this one is, but they did mention a compact model in their US line up...

New Brilliance Models

These are the Chinese cars Europe will get before the end of this year. So they claim...
It would seem pretty amazing for a new car maker to set up a network in such a short time..
As I mentioned before, it is a revision of a 2 year old model designed by Ital Design in Italy.
This looks to me as good as what we are getting from Hyundai or the Japanese brands.
The Interiror could very well be a Toyota .

Thsi one looks even better!
A larger model, for now a concept, said to be designed by Pininfarina!

Toyota iUnit

Looks fun.
They showed it a while ago, but they are bringing it to China this week. To show off???

So.. You can NEVER take a date with you? What's the point of a cool car?

More on the Fiat Croma

Nothing "all new" really. The Croma is already out in some countries.

But it seems to look much nicer on the street than in the press photos.
Engines are 1.8 and 2.2 Liter. And a new 2.4 Liter diesel.

But the prices!!!! The 2.2 goes for around $27000 Euros.
And the 2.4 Liter can top $40000 Euros. That's around $50 000!!!!

That puts it in Audi prices. What are these guys thinking???

Thursday, April 21, 2005

More on the Chery convertible

If that is really the car Chery intends to sell here for aroung $20 000, start buying stocks..OOOPS!
It's a Chinese brand, therefore owned by the Chinese government. No stocks there...

The design looks great. All we need to know now is: how it drives and if the quality is there. But these guys seem to be learning very fast. Much faster than the japanese ever did.

Just when the US brands finally started getting better...

Ssang Yong Rodius

This almost looks like a joke.
It is so ugly and disturbing that it almost doesn't look real...

This strange "all new" Korean SUV/Van thing is available in Europe with a Mercedes 2.7 Liter Diesel engine.
But it costs over $32000!
It is amazing to see how many lines a bad designer needs to get from point A to point B.

That same brand is actually selling another model in Europe, the Rexton. And that looks almost normal.
Someone took a wrong turn, or swallowed a lot of bad pills.
At least a few people did. This went through design, clinics, marketing, aprovals etc...

There isn't much else to say. Except it makes the Pontiac Aztec look like Marilyn Monroe...

Hongqi HQ3 Concept

Well, isn't that a mouth full.

This Chinese brand calls it a concept, but it looks like a total copy of the japanese Toyota Crown Majesta. Not sold in Europe or the States.
But look at the 2 cars. It's pretty amazing.
It almost looks like it is a Toyota manufactured in China under license...The Koreans still do that with their larger models sold in Korea only.
But I don't think this is!

That's the Toyota. Pretty amazing isn't it!