Sunday, July 31, 2005

2006 Opel Astra "Twin Top"

Just after Volvo introduced their new C70, Opel is showing us official picures of the new convertible Astra.
And it looks great. maybe even better than the Volvo.
The Volvo is now rumored to cost about $35 000 in the US. A major scam!
It is based on the $24 000 S40. And should not cost $11 000 over the sedan!
They just call it C70 so they can price it above the S60.
As I said, a scam.

For my money, give me this Astra any day. It should be about $10 000 less than the Volvo, and Opel usually have a very high reliability record. Something Volvo is still working on.
Engines will be similar to the Hatchback version.

I don"t think there is any way this car could find its way over here. Unless GM decides to make it a Saturn. Which would be a fantastic idea! Or even a Cobalt????

Thursday, July 28, 2005

2006 Mercedes S class AMG

Nothing I'm really into. Overpowered full sized sedans...
But the new AMG version of the S class will be the AMG63 ( I would guess that stands for a 6.3Liter engine...) with an amazing 510 Hp!!!!
No one needs it outside of Germany, where you can drive as fast as you can..

By the way, is the "no speed limit" still in effect in Montana???

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

2006 Honda Civic Coupe Si

Any day now we should have official pictures of the new Civic for the US.

While the Sedan is a horrible mix of the old model and the new European one, (the front doors anf hood) the US Coupe is actually pretty nice looking.
And modern too.
They are repeating the mistake they made with the Accord. The coupe was much better looking than the boring sedan. So now, for 2006, they are redesigning the sedan's rear part to look more like the coupe!
Why don't they learn something from this???
I bet in a couple of years, the Civic Sedan will be redesigned so the rear looks more like the coupe.

I am not a fan of spoilers, and I think most people actually do not need 200hp in a compact car. So I would go for the regular LX or EX model.

Monday, July 25, 2005

2006 jaguar Xk interior

A great car for sure. Maybe the best Jaguar ever.
But like the exterior, the interior isn't that special anymore.
At least, the production model (above) adds wood to the concept interior (below).
Jags do need wood...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

2006 European Honda Civic

Without a doubt, one of the most modern car on the market. And the only Japanese design able to compete with European cars like the 307 or the Megane.
The horrible thing is... We won't get it.

This is a spy shots of the US Civic. I think it is too early to tell if both cars share the great looking interior.

The US Civic will, once more, be a boring "trunk added" version of the European one.
Honda chose to stay behind the competition in the US. The Focus and Mazda 3 hatchbacks are big hits over here, but Honda just doesn't get it.
They could at least try to offer the Hybrid Civic with this design.

The US Civic looks like what some old, retired men over 80 would drive in Europe

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Rover saved! Really?

Seems like the Chinese bought the last British car maker.
The Nanjing Automobile company should be the new owner of Rover and MG if everything goes according to plans.
They bought the rights to the Rover 25 and 75. Not the 45. This model is based on an old Honda Civic and the rights are still owned by Honda.
They also own the MG ZR and ZT.
Engines will be made in China.
The cars should still be manufactured in England.

I just wonder if Nanjing will use this to flood the European market with Chinese cars under the Rover brand...

Friday, July 22, 2005

2006 Honda Pilot

Just when you thought they couldn't make that thing any uglier.
Well, it can be done. Just look at this squared off mess!

Fiat Punto

These are early photos of the all new Fiat Punto.
It is much more modern than the current version. And a very important for Fiat's future.
A huge chunk of their profits comes from that model. Kind of like the F150 for Ford.
It will be presented in September.

The current Punto. Ruined a couple of years ago with a boring new front design.

Fiat Sedici SUV

This is pretty much what the all new compact SUV from Fiat will look like when it goes on sale in Europe early next year.
It is basically a Suzuki design. The Japanese brand will also sell their own version.
We'll never get the Fiat, but let's hope Suzuki adds this little thing to their US line up.
Althought these look like the real thing, I beleive they are actually clever illustrations, done from pictures of the Suzuki prototype in testing...

2007 Toyota Camry

The next Camry has been testing in the desert for a while.
The best camouflage feature? The big Honda logo up front!!
Isn't that a riot?!?!!

It is pretty funny to see people all over the web discussing the "new" Camry photos of the camouflaged prototypes. When a few weeks ago, these pictures were available.
Showing the whole car without any cover.

So stop guessing. This is what it will look like when released next year...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

2006 Kia Sorento

The Sorento SUV will get some changes for next year.
From this picture, it is obvious we can expect a new front end and rear hatch/lights/bumper design.
And they also covered the steering wheel! Maybe that's the only news about the interior...
It might also move to a 3.8Liter V6.
Which will do no good as far as the horrible gas mileage is concerned...

The Sorento has always been a well built, attractive SUV. Let's hope they don't ruin it...

VW Bedouin

Just one more illustration of what the Golf based SUV might look like.
Let's hope this one is close.
It looks far better than the Touareg. That thing looked old even before it came out!

And let's hope also, that VW has finally learned how to make cars that don't need a monthly dealer fix!

Next Hyundai Equus

The next large RWD V8 Hyundai is already testing in Korea.
And it is heading our way!
Not sure yet if it will be sold as a Hyundai, or if they will create a other Luxury brand to distribute the car.
That would involve massive investment...

This is the current Equus. I had the change to ride in it and it really has nothing to fear from other cars like the Town Car.
It is at least as good.
It's just ugly, that's all...

This is a concept shown a few years ago.
If the production car looks even half as good as this, Hyunday could have a break through car in the luxury market.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Peugeot 407 Coupe

Another good angle for the new Coupe.
There are always talks about Peugeot coming back to the US. The latest rumors came last month.
But I wouldn't hold my breath. They are making so much money in Europe, they don't really need to spend a fortune re-establishing themselves in the US...
It's just too bad...

Chevy Montana

No, it's not the (barely) redesigned minivan we have here in the US. Actually a Pontiac.
This little thing is for Brazil, and it is based on the local version of the Opel Corsa.
So you know it is small.
But, don't you think this could make a really cool entry level truck over here?
How about under $12000?

This is after all, the truck heaven of the world, so why not try everything.

Cars, nerds, and girls...

I wasn't too crazy about this new version of the Batmobile.
I usually don't like trucks. And it looks like one.
But after seeing the movie, I think it is the Perfect Batmobile. The best one yet, and the only one that is actually explained to us.
If you can't afford the real thing, this replica will set you back $195.

This one didn't even look that funny. Just a vulgar display trying to revive a cheap looking cartoon from the 80's...

The real thing!!

A nice surprise. What was she doing there???

I thought at first this was Babs Muller. My brother's old girlfriend.
But I don't remember Babs being into comic books.
Anyway, this is a weird looking StarWars/Wonder Woman cross over...

This girl looked like she was trying very hard to make it in Hollywood.
I am not sure why she's not famous yet...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

2006 Ford Fusion

Just a quick reminder of how good looking it looks. (for an unasuming under $20 000 family sedan).
And that should spell trouble for the new Sonata...

Cars, nerds and more...

Every year, in San Diego, Geeks and nerds from all corners gather to the Comic Con.
I have to admit, I was on of them this year. I hadn't been there in over 10 years.
I was, of course, interested in seeing what kind of cars were on the floor.
This was a really nice looking full sized model of a Hot Wheel toy.
And it looks like a futuristic VW Van/Pick up thing .
I am actually pretty sure there would be a market for something like this...

Now this is the car driven by Wallace and Gromit in their upcoming stop motion film, "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit".
I am not sure if it is an actual replica of an older British model. Or something just inspired by 50's trucks.

And then.. This!
I wonder what he drives...

No Comic Book convention is complete without a sad looking Superman with a five o'clock shadow....

Thursday, July 14, 2005

2006 Pontiac Solstice

Here is proof that the Solstice might just be the best looking $20 000 out there. Whenever it actually comes out.
This looks to be the base version, without leather seats or automatic.
Unless it turns out to be 100% crap, ( it doesn't look like it) it should be very tough competition to the new Miata.

The Mazda is very nice, but has none of the inspired styling of the Pontiac.

2006 Mustang Pony

The Pony is a $1,195 option package available on the V6 coupe and convertible.
It adds all the changes you see here, new grille, 17inch wheels, stripe etc...
I think it makes the car look even more retro. Not a bad thing.
The real changes I would love to see are a sunroof available on the coupe, and a better V6.
The V6 is coming up (3.5 Liter). But I'm not too sure about that sunroof.

A glass roof, like most European cars now offer, would be perfect for the 21st century.

Volvo C70

That's right, they are using the "old" name for this all new model. Go figure.
The Old convertible was based on the larger S70 model.
This one is based on the small S40.
Let's hope they'll "pass the savings on us". Right?

Engines are the same as the sedan and wagon versions. All 2.5Liter engines. With 170 or 220hp.
We don't get the 140hp version.
No word on pricing, but if they want to sell any of these in the US, it better start well under $30 000.

The back seats looks OK. It's never great in a compact convertible anyway.And they probably pushed the front seats all the way forward for the picture...
But this head curtain airbag, coming out of the top door panel is a genius idea!