Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"not so cool" Solstice

I just found out (from the official specs) that the Solstice does not offer side airbags.

That's a big turn off in my book. Especially after watching side impact crash tests conducted a few months ago, showing a huge difference in safety between cars with and without that option...
And newer convertibles like the Mazda MX5, or even the New Beetle include oversized airbags on the side that also protect your head.
I think that is a big mistake from GM. That and the lack of Automatic for at least 5 month!

I just hope I'm wrong...

2007 Nissan Skyline GTR

This illustration from Japan shows what the next GTR might look like. (I think the actual thing might look much more agressive).
The GTR is based on what we know here as the Infiniti G35 Coupe.
The G35 will be new for 2007. And the GTR will be part of the lineup in the US for the 1st time.

They are already mentioning 450hp! (for whoever needs it over here, land of the 65mph freeways).

More 2006 US Civic photos

From the Honda site.

"Small" Rolls Royce

They have made it official, there will be a smaller model for Rolls Royce.
This is the 1st illustration I've seen of it.
Just like every luxury car maker out there, they are moving down market. In this case, they are going against the $160 000 Bentley GT.
No news on what it will be based, but a stretched BMW 7 series platform is a good bet.

By the way, Bentley is moving down even further, with an even "cheaper" sedan model priced under $100 000!

2006 Opel Frontera

It's about time for Opel to replace the old Frontera, an Isuzu based SUV...

This spy shot is clearly the next Frontera, based on the Chevrolet/Daewoo small SUV concept shown last year.
But it seems that only the front lights and grill are different from the Chevy. Both cars are supposed to be sold in Europe.

Here is the Chevy concept, which is about 99% what the production one will look like.
I guess GM has done it for years in the US. Change a front end and create a "whole new car". Just like they're doing now with the Pontiac Torrent.
So sure, an Opel could just be a Chevy/Daewoo with new lights and bumpers. I guess...

It's kind of sad though....

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

2006 US Honda Civic

As I said after seeing the car in person, it looks much better than in the crappy spy shots.
Much, much more substential and expensive looking than the previous model.
And that interior is my favorite of almost any car. Finally something designed for the 21st century!

Here are pictures of the Hybrid, now more powerful and with an even better gas mileage.

The regular coupe is even better looking . And it shares the sedan's stunning interior.

The one all the car magazines will talk about (and the least popular in sales), the new Si with great looking 18 inch wheels.

I don't have anything else to say about these until I drive one. They should show up at dealers in 2 weeks only!

Ford Iosis

In a few days, Ford will unveil the Iosis concept in Germany. It is supposed to show us their design direction for the next Mondeo. But this will need lots of changes to be produced as a mid sized 4 door family car...
The lower cut of the rear door won't work. And of course, it'll need conventional doors all around.
Some rumors are also suggesting it might be the new Capri.
One thing is sure, there is no room for this in the US, between the 500 and the Vision. So don't drool too much.
And the style, although impressive, looks a lot like the new Jaguar XK. Not a good thing for Jaguar.

If you owned both brands, wouldn't you want to make sure they look different???

Monday, August 29, 2005

2006 Toyota RAV4

It doesn't look as good as it did on the previous picture I posted a couple of days ago. Wide angle lens do miracles for boring designs.
And the interior seems as plasticky as the current one.
Looks like "all new" doesn't mean "much better"...

2006 Cadillac BLS

This is the production version of the "small" European Cadillac. It looks just like the one shown a few months ago as a concept.
Even though every mechanical part comes from Saab, the car does look like a mini CTS. And that interior looks better than the $50000 STS!
Too bad for the stupid exchange rate between the dollar and the euro. That would have made a great $25000 Cadillac in the US...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Peugeot 20 Cup

Nothing special about this concept. Car makers, every few years, show us what they can do with the idea of a 3 wheel car. Something they'll never actually build...
But this is said to have the upcoming 207 Front end. So be warned...

2006 Saab 9.5

After so many years, Saab is finally taking care of the 9.5...Well.. Kind of.
All they did is redesign the front end and the rear lights.
At least, that's what we can see from this photo, and the previous "spy shots" published over the past few weeks.
You know that's not going to be enough to compete in that expensive segment...

Where is the (real) new one?!?!?

Friday, August 26, 2005

2006 Alfa Romeo Spyder

Based on the recently released Brera, the all new Spyder is another stuning looking car from Alfa.
Let's just hope, again, they can get their act together and make a come back to the US...

2006 Toyota RAV4

At first, this looked a bit fake to me. But it is not.
This was just published in Japan as the 1st official photo of the all new RAV4.
A V6 should be a new option, at least in the US. And it doesn't look like a 3rd row seat can make it this time.
You can also expect a hybrid about a year later.
This and the next Camry really show that Toyota is becoming serious about making their mainstream cars modern and attractive.

2006 US Accord

Just a couple more official pics of the revised Accord rear end.
Just when I was getting used to the previous one. Nothing was very wrong with it really. Maybe the lights.
I think this is a bit too little too late. And even more boring than before, and not well integrated to the rest of the car...
I think this one might have a hard time next year once the all new 2007 Camrys and Altimas are out.

New Jaguar XK

Nothing you haven't seen here before. But here are the official pics.
The interior seems plush, but in some weird unoriginal way. Should I say, "kind of like an expensive Korean car"???

Sorry about the slow updates. I have been on the road for a couple of days.
One thing I noticed is how many cars GM sells to rental companies. It's kind of sad really, and doesn't predict great resale values for the new Impala, DTS, Cobalt and even the HHR...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Alfa Romeo 8C Cabrio

No firm production plans yet for this concept. A convertible version of the coupe shown last year.
But if Alfa ever returns to the US, that would make a great flagship for the brand.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

New Honda SUV?

That is actually the second time I hear about this.
A third SUV from Honda, between the CRV and the Pilot. The Pilot is too big for Japan and Europe anyway.
And it makes sense for Honda to extend the line up, at least for these markets.
So a Euro Accord/TSX based SUV could very well be in the cards.
I am not sure where this illustration comes from, but it does follow many of the current designs used on other Hondas.

Renault SUV

Renault will finally have their own SUV next year.
And from other pictures I've seen, this illustration is very close to the final design.
Nothing crazy here. By Renault's own design standards, it is actually pretty conservative.
Not sure yet what it is based on. I would think the next generation Laguna sedan, shared with Nissan.
But who knows...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Mitsubishi Concept Sportback

Another car with a "mouthfull of a name".
But it does look great!
It will be above the Colt in Europe, and a version of it will replace the Lancer in the US. Which means it might be sharing its platform with the Dodge Caliber.
Let's hope they bring this hatchback version over here. It doesn't look as futuristic as the new Euro Civic, but for most people, that might be a good thing.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New Honda Jazz/Fit

This is just an illustration from Japan.
But it looks pretty good to me. We are suposed to get the new model in the US. As a "cheaper than Civic" Honda.
Let's hope they send us the hatchback. To better compete with the Scion line.
And not a dorky "trunk added" version to go against the cheaper Korean models.

2006 Toyota Sienna

The Sienna minivan gets a new front end for the 2006 model year. (top photo)

It's not going to make it exiting. But I guess that's not what most US minivan buyers want.
Now it looks even more generic than before..
Nothing yet about engines, but the Avalon 3.5 V6 is a strong possibility. At least as an option.

More 2006 Civic

Just another shot (not mine this time) showing the very nice flowing profile of the car.
I think it looks much better than what the zoom distorted spy photos were showing us a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

2006 Honda Civic

These are exclusive "Burlapp" pictures of the all new Honda Civic.

All I can tell you is that I have to take back everything I've said about this car in the past few weeks.
It looks fantastic!
The top car is an EX sedan. With a 140hp 1,8 Liter engine.
It looks much larger in person than the current model. And much, much better. I saw a 2005 right after and it really looked like crap next to the new one. The 2006 also looks much more upscale.
The blue car is of course the new 200hp, 6 speed Si coupe. Inside, only the door design is different . Both the EX and Si can be ordered with a navigation system.

Sorry about the quality of this one, but I wasn't even supposed to take any pictures. The badges on the cars were still covered.
The interior looks great and roomy. There are nice design and quality touches everywhere. Parking break,auto shifter, steering wheel, radio controls etc...
One of the best looking interior out there.

This is a bad picture, but what the Hell.. It is the new Hybrid. As you can see, only the wheels are different from the other sedans. And a very small spoiler in the back.

Overall I was more than imperessed with how the car looks. It seems really modern from the back. And the lights, although similar, do not actually make the car look like an Audi A4.

One great design that is sure to shake things up in the compact sedan segment.
Just when GM was trying hard with the Cobalt, Honda comes up with this and pulverizes it. Ford has nothing!
And from what I saw of the cheap looking Caliber, it doesn't look like Chrysler will have a real contender anytime soon either...

2006 Audi Q7

Nothing all new here. The Q7 has been "out" for a few weeks. Although it won't be on sale until 2006.
It is just another very nice, but boring looking tall wagon. It just looks like a weird A6 wagon to me.
What is the point, really. They didn't even try to make it remotely interesting.
Why do they even cover these up so much during the years of testing?
What's the big secret???

The interior is the usual Audi: extremely well made and finished. But again, it looks like the A6.
Engines will be also similar to the Touareg, with a V6, a V8 with 350hp and a V12.
Diesels include a base TDI with 233hp, or a V10. Again, like the Touareg...

Monday, August 15, 2005

2006 US Civic detail

Just a quick picture of the undesguised Civic EX for 2006.
The rear lights look just like the new Audi A4. It doesn't look great on the A4, and it doesn't look better on the Civic.

At least the Civic is almsot half the price...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

2006 US Civic Interior.

Not as crazy looking as the European model, but still very nice and futuristic.
Thank God they didn't make it as boring as the exterior.
This looks to be the EX model with the newly available navigation system.
So the best looking one of the bunch should be the EX coupe.( without with the ugly spoiler from the Si). Which actually looks much better than the sedan but shares the great interior.

Keep in mind this seems to be a pre-productiom model. The interior colors and trims will match better in production...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

2006 New Beetle

These are from the European version.
Europeans won't get the 2.5 Liter engine. That's for the US market.
And they don't get the redesigned console with new cupholder...Why produce 2 version of that??!!

But they do get the new green on the convertible, and an unexpected chrome detail around the coupe's windows.
I don't think the US versions get any of these 2 changes.

That's not what the new Beetle needed anyway. Forget squared off fenders and bumpers. After 8 years of production, how about a new interior?!