Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cadillac Villa

The Italian Bertone design house has always been one of the craziest one out there.
Some of their concepts from the 60's and 70's still look to advanced for our times.

I thought I would post some pictures of what they think a smaller Cadillac for the European market could look like in the future.
Well... You can wait 50 years and still won't see anything that cool and modern in the streets!
It's more like a modern time version of these great concepts from the 50's that made us think all cars would have bubble glass roof in the 70's...

One thing doesn't change though... The girls in these cars always look very nice...

2007 Lancia Delta

This illustration seems pretty close to what a new Delta could look like.
The Delta was replaced, kind of, by the Lybra model in 1999. But the soft and boring looking Lybra never had the personality the original Giugiaro design Delta had...
Let's hope it looks even half as good as this.

Lancia needs all the help they can get...

The "old" Delta. Still looking good.

Friday, May 27, 2005

2007 Toyota Camry

Very early pictures of the next Camry were presented to a few "lucky ones" at some banquet a few days ago.
And from what I can see, they have another super best seller on their hands.

It looks more modern than most other mid sized sedans on the US market. A really big step forward from the current model.
And it will also be available as a Hybrid. Let's just hope the Hybrid is coupled with the 2.4 Liter engine and not the V6.
A true hybrid should be about saving gas, not more power.
The Accord Hybrid has it all wrong...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Honda StepWagon

Usually, I am not too interested in these weird small square vans only sold in Japan.
But this new Honda has 2 interesting points:
First, the interior floor is made to look like an actual hardwood floor! I have never seen this in any production car before.
And that's a really new idea from "ultra conservative " Honda.
I am not sure it looks great, but it is cool and different.

Second, the front end design looks a lot like the next CRV. And we will be getting that one in 2006.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

1965 Oldsmobile

Nothing new here.
Just a cool picture of times long gone.
The car is nothing to look at, actually. But the whole picture tells a story of a time when the future looked bright.

Olsdmobile itself is not even here anymore!

Willis Subaru

That's right, the man who pretends to be an actor sells Subarus in Japan.
Nothing new, his buddy George Clooney sells Toyotas over there. It's a "lost in translation" world.
It is kind of a joke to even think this former New York bartender actually drives a sensible car like a Subaru.

He strikes me like more of an obnoxious Hummer guy. (He does speak of himself in the 3rd person, after all...)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Audi A3 Cabrio???

Rumors from Germany: Audi might be planing a convertible version of the new A3.
That would actually compete with the upcoming Volvo convertible based on the S40.
But I think, unlike these computer generated illustrations, Audi would be smart enough to offer a folding hardtop, just like Volvo, Ford, Peugeot, Renault and VW.

More on the Porsche Cayman

The more I see it, the more it looks like a Chinese copy of a Porsche to me...
It just looks way overdone. Nothing like the great looking new 911.

It makes the new $45000 Boxter look better and better every day.

Monday, May 23, 2005

2006 New Beetle!

What's weird about this, is the fact they are trying to get away from the "roundness" of the design.
But that's what a Bug is: round!
The front turn signals lost their oval style. The squared off elements (like the fenders and bumpers) don't really match the look, or personality of the car anymore..
The interior is the same, except for chrome rings around the instruments and the vents.
But the standard engine is now the 2.5 Liter from the new Jetta. And the wheels look much better.

So , a slight improvement on a great car.

Porsche Cayman

Cayman, not caveman...
This "all new" model is actually the coupe version of the Boxter convertible.
The 2 seater has more luggage room than the convertible, thanks to a hatch.
And it has a new 3.4 Liter engine with almost 300hp.
Not sure about the pricing so far. The base price in Germany is just above 50 000 Euros.
That would mean around $60 000 in the US. That would be a lot of money for the hardtop version of a $45000 convertible!

I am not really into Porsche, so I don't really care. And I think this design is almost weird. A fine line between "old fashion" and strange. The whole thing almost looks like it melted...

For 99% of us, a Nissan Z should be just fine...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

This is an amazing looking car. Just like the DB9, it really represents what the brand is about.
Sport and luxury. No one else does it better. Plus it has that James Bond magic link!

It is just too bad that, because of a weak dollar, the car will be more like $120 000 in the US. Instead of the $90 000 price point they were shooting for ...

I can't wait to see these driving around Hollywood!

Giant Scion?

No.. Just a new body kit for the VW Touareg!
It includes 22 inch wheels, and everything you see here.
Defeating the purpose of the SUV itself...

More models!

Seems like some of the readers don't like seeing pretty girls in a car site.
So.. Here's more.

( I am sorry..........)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Saturn SKY

Trying very hard to appeal to a young male audience...

I wonder if it has the same "top problems" as the Pontiac Solstice.

2006 Peugeot 307

This is the convertible CC model. But all the 307 models will have the new front end next year. (top pic)
I am not sure what is the point of this.(except to make it look like the rest of the line up...) The 307, especially the CC, is one of the best looking compact in Europe already.(bottom pic)

At least, they didn't ruin it. Like GM did with the 2006 Saturn VUE...

2006 VW Bedouin

Another easy name to pronounce for the US market...

This photo based illustration pretty much shows what the Golf based SUV will look like.
Set to come out in September in Europe. No word on when it'll get here.
You can bet the great 2.0 Liter Turbo will be at the party.

Just like the Touareg, it almost looks old before it even came out..

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mitsuoka Le Seyde!

That's right. The name sounds vaguely French, but it doesn't mean anything.
At all...
The only thing close to this is the old Clenet car from the 70's. Actually from a Frenchman (Alain Clenet) based in Santa Barbara.
That would maybe explain the weird connection.

I cannot really make out what it's based on. A production japanese car for sure, but which one. Nissan Silvia anyone???
The Clenet had a VW Bug body on a Lincoln chassis! At least the later ones.

And let's not forget the wonderfull Excalibur from the same decade...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Audi Q7

This time it's official.
The Touareg cousin from Audi is out. And looking just like... An Audi wagon!!!
Nothing special.
The usual Audi engines.. Blah blah blah...
And the great interior finish...

Who's next now.. Bentley???

Ssang Yong

Korean SUV maker Ssang Yong is coming out with a new Musso model for 2006. This pic is the Korean market model "Kyron".
It should be on sale in Europe by November and seats 7.

They have never sold a car in the US, so far.
They used to belong to Daewoo a few years ago. And Daewoo had plans to import them over here. But these plans were killed when GM bought them.
They still sell a whole line of SUVs in Europe, most of them with Mercedes engines!

This is the old version of the Musso. As you can see, it was about time for a new one.

This concept was shown a few weeks ago in Korea and is supposed to be the new Rexton model.
The Rexton has been pretty popular in some European countries for a while...

This is the current Rexton, designed in Italy.

This other concept is either an all new car for Ssang Yong, or a replacement for the aging Korando.

The old Korando was the 1s Ssang Yong (rebadged Daewoo) we were supposed to get here a few years ago.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Secret Box...

What's in the box???

That's right, a toilet seat!
Now you can turn your SUV into something usefull!
Works on 12V and costs aroung $500 in Europe.

If someone is looking for a quick way to make money in the US, importing these would be a good idea...

Suzuki Escudo

Even thought it kind of looks like it, it is not based on the Saturn Vue platform.
It should be replacing the Grand Vitara in the US line up. And it is available with the 2.7Liter V6.

It looks OK, but it is nothing special really. The steering wheel and shifter are very Mazda. So are the vents. Everyone now use this shape. And the overall design is a blend of Escape and RAV4...
It doesn't even has a hatch, but a door in the back. Which, of course, in the US will end up opening the wrong way. Just like the RAV4. (the side of moving cars, not the sidewalk)
And the spare wheel attached to the rear door is also a horrible idea. Any small hit would shatter the rear window. Great when you have kids in the back.

But SUVs aren't really about safety, are they...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mitsubishi Galant

Don't panic. Thid is the version that Mitsubishi will soon start selling in the Chines/Tawain market.
This is, again, not for us.
And that's pretty weird. It is, after all, based on the US version of the Galant. You can tell the profile is the same.
I think this would actually sell much better in the US than what they offer now. The US galant's interior looks like it was designed by Klingons.
This is much closer to what the Camry owner is looking for. The interior is almost "Lexus like".
But, I guess, it doesn't fit the "young audience" Mitsubishi is desperately looking for in the US.
With all the rebates on Outlanders, Freelanders, Galants and Lancers, it looks like they're going after the wrong crowd.
Or they don't have the right products to do so.

If the new Eclipse isn't a hit, I would stay away from getting a Mitsubishi. You might end up with an Oldsmobile...

Mitsubishi L 200

Don't you think this super modern looking compact pick-up truck would be welcome in Mitsubishi's US line up???
After all, arent' they spending hundreds of millions trying to appeal to the "young crowd"???
Well, the brains at Mitsubishi don't think so. The all new L200 will only be seen in various Asian countries..

The "old' L200 was loosely based on the same fram as the Montero Sport sold in the US until last year.

Friday, May 13, 2005

2006 Saturn Vue

What the Hell???
The Vue is, for now , the best and simplest looking Saturn. But for 2006, GM is changing all that!
That new front end looks horrible! they do what they do best: mess with a good thing...

What are these guys thinking? Looks like a bunch of designers worked on it at the same time, and never talked to each other.

The interior does seem a bit better, if you like fake plastic wood that is...
But at least, it doesn't seem to look as cheap as the current one.
Engines seem to be the same. A 2.2Liter and the great Honda 3.5 Liter V6.

Just when you thought they were getting better with the upcoming Aura...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

2007 Ford 500

Sales are picking up, but not that much.
Responding to critics and low numbers, Ford will revise their large sedan in a little over a year.
That also should include the new 3.5 Liter V6.
That engine should end up in the Mustang, Zephyr and as an option on the Fusion as well.

The current 500 is one of the least interesting looking cars on the market. And the interior seems well put together, but is also really plain. Some dealers are now offering big discounts and I have seen them for under $20 000!
At that price, the car is a really good deal. If you're looking for a large family car. The cheapest Avalon I saw was still over $23 000.
I have to admit though, the extra $3000 are worth it...