Monday, October 31, 2005

More Vinsconti...

Someone here was asking for a profile of the concept.
Hard to find... But this is close.

It's also hard to tell how big that thing is.

Alfa Romeo 169

These pictures are actually of the Giugiaro designed Visconti Concept from last year.

Insiders are claiming the production version of the 166 replacement will be very close to this.
And it would be one of the Alfa models we could get in the US.
Imagine this car in our streets next to an Acura RL, Lexus GS or a Cadillac STS.

I can hardly wait for a truely amazing looking and original car in that boring luxury segment.

Just so you know, this is the current 166.
It came out in late 1998 and still looks pretty nice, thanks to Giugiaro's revisions on 2003.

The 169, 159 Sedan and Brera Coupe would make a great US lineup.


No new cars today....(next big thing is the new Escalade later in the week).

But GM actually showed a couple of interesting takes on their current cars at the SEMA show.
Seems like the HHR inspires a lot of aftermarket people.

The HHR by Yearone. (whoever that is...)

The HHR Tuner Panel.
Looks like all 4 doors are still there. It would work better with only two. Just like the one above.
But an interesting take on the front grille.

The Pontiac Torrent "Accessorized".
Some of these actually make the Torrent cooler than its Chevy twin. They should make it to production.

The Cobalt SS and HHR "open Air".
You guessed it, a giant glass roof. GM already offers these in some Opels.

That should definitly be on the option list!

Chrysler 300 "Royale Edition"

Don't worry.
This 1970's Excalibur inspired monstrocity is just one of the concepts shown at the Las Vegas SEMA show.

How appropriate...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

HHR Concept

This is just a prototype for the las Vegas SEMA show.
But it shows a nice new front end that would fit perfectly on the HHR.
And the 2 door wagon style looks great. With design elements from the Chevy Nomad. Both the old one, and the concpet form a couple of years ago.

I say buid it!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe

An even better picture.
That is a nice looking SUV. Toyota needs to come up with a great design for the next Highlander if they want to compete with this.

Friday, October 28, 2005

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe

Nothing new here, but these are still, from far, the best pictures of the all new Santa- Fe yet.

Based on the Sonata, it might ba available in the US in 2 sizes. The larger version will be able to seat 7 thanks to a 3rd row seat. The new 3.8 Liter V6 from the Azera is also on the menu.

As you can see, that row looks to be really close to the rear hatch. I'm not sure why anyone would want to seat there.
Is it really a good thing to squeeze an extra seat in these things?
Seems like everyone wants to "seat seven", even when it's not ment to be...

For God's sake, if you have a lot of kids, get a Minivan. Don't try to squeeze them into a mid sized SUV!

And don't forget to click on the ads, so I can keep this thing going.....

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cherry is coming!

After all these concepts they showed us a few months ago, we now start seeing pictures of the production cars.
Most of these will end up in the US starting in 2007, if all goes according to plans.

The Matrix sized cross over.

The Nissan Altima copy.

And the.."Crossover" wagon.

All these prototypes look exactly the same as the concepts. Only the name Cherry won't be used, at least in the States.
They'll have to find another name. (GM doesn't like it to be so close to "Chevy").
Kind of like when Nissan used to call its cars Datsuns ...

Would you actually consider any of these???

GMC Acadia

I guess GMS isn't dead, yet...
They will show a concept version of the Acadia this January. With a production version to follow next year.
It is a cousin to the upcoming Saturn Outlook SUV. So it is a car based SUV. That might be a first for GMC.
They will still sell the Envoy for a frew more years, with a redesigned front end.

This design seems really modern, especially for a GMC!
I saw a couple of (bad) pictures of the interior and it is also much nicer than anything else they offer right now.
Not sure yet if the Saturn version is a different design...
That platform will also be used for an upcoming Buick SUV.

2006 Lincoln Zephyr.

That's actually one of the best pictures I've seen of the small Lincoln.
Without the vulgar chrome wheels option.

A very nice car for the price. And discounts should be plenty, pretty soon.

Anyone here is actually considering this car?

Hyundai Azera price.

Hyundai will annouce soon a base price of $24 999 for the Azera SE, the base model. (pictured here is the Limited)
That includes the 3.8 Liter V6 with 263hp and a 5 speed auto, CD player with MP3. You can get a sunroof or a 10 speaker stereo as options, without moving up to the Limited. But no leather on the SE.
A loaded Limited is expected to be still under $30 000.

These are pretty good prices, if you compare it to the Lexus ES 330, which starts at $32 300.
Hyundai is comparing their car to the Lexus.

But if you check the Avalon at $26 625,, there isn't such a difference.

Some poeple might even consider the $26 265 Buick Lucerne or even the $22 230 Ford 500.
It all depends on rebates etc... The 500 can actually be a lot cheaper to buy.

The Hyundai XG used to be heavily discounted. To sometimes under $20 000! But I don't think the Azera will.
You can still find the new Sonata for $2000 under MSRP. So similar discounts would put the Azera under $23 000.

In any case, it is a good price for a really good car. I will try to drive one when they're out, in around 3 weeks...

H3 Diesel

Just a quick note.
GM will offer the Hummer H3 with a V8 Diesel option in the US for the 2007 model year.
Should it make a big difference in sales? The H3 came out just as gas prices hit $3 a gallon, and I don't think they're selling as many as they wanted.

Diesel might be a way to get a better mileage out of the beast. (and much more torque for towing).
And truck people might be more willing to go for a diesel, at least in the US.
How much better can the mileage be? A V8 Diesel against an Inline 5 ...

Is it really much better...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

2007 Lincoln Aviator

The previous picture shows both the new Aviator AND the Zephyr (front).
So we still don't know what the Aviator front looks like.

We can always hope they stayed a little closer to the concept.
One good looking SUV anyway...

Meanwhile, here is a closer view.

2007 Lincoln Aviator

The first official picture of the all new (now car based) Aviator shows one of the best looking SUVs out there.
Until you compare it with the stunning concept Ford showed us last year.
They did the same thing with the Zephyr. They show us these "production ready looking" concepts so everyone thinks the actual cars will look the same.

Even though I miss the concept design, and that great looking front end. The production model still looks great. The only problem is that is looks very close to the Ford version, the Edge.
Only the front and rear are new. they could at least have changed the C pillar to make it look a bit more like, the concept...

The new 3.5 Liter should finally make it in this car.
I recently sat in a Zephyr and liked it a lot. I think Lincoln has a pretty competitive offering with these 2 cars.
And they do look pretty good.
The Zephir starts at just under $30 000. This should be a bit more, but still less than most of the competition.

And it is a great move away from the dark ages of truck based SUVs as family cars...

2007 Dodge Nitro

As you can see, the Dodge Nitro SUV will look almost 100% the same as the so called concept they showed us last year.
That concept was actually a production model with a few tweaks.
And it will be the same with the Caliber.

The Nitro is based on a longer version of the Jeep Liberty frame. So don't expect a Lexus ride and handling...
At least it has its own design and interior.
Engines will be the same as well, and even the Diesel from the Liberty should be available in the US.

Toyota Previa/Estima

These are pictures of the prodiction version of the all new European Previa minivan.
The white cardboards finally came off...
As you can see, it looks a lot like the current model. But is also very close to the Hybrid concept from the Tokyo Auto Show.

And is is so much nicer than the Sienna we get here....

Here is the concept.

And thanks for visiting the sponsors....

Ford GTX1 Concept

Really, why this?
They will never make it, and it kind of destroys the original design anyway.

I live in Hollywood and I have never seen one GT in the streets! I used to see the prototypes testing, but since the real car went on sale, nothing! New Bentleys, Aston Martins, even a couple of the new Rolls, but no GTs...Who's buying this anyway?

Wasn't the whole point of it to bring people into the showrooms?
Dealers don't even have it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2007 Toyota Corolla Interior

Sorry about the poor quality photo of this illustration.. But this is the closest thing to seeing what the new Corolla's interior looks like.
And the European and US version should share that same dashboard.
Not as crazy as the Civic, but it does look upscale.

2007 Toyota Camry

I am just quickly reposting this for people who are looking for a mid sized car, and are not in such a hurry.
(It comes out in about 4 to 5 months, but will be shown in January) .
There are very good cars out there, but this should be worth the wait.
At least to make sure you play with a full deck.

From what I see here, it already looks like a better interior than the Sonata and Fusion.

I think this car will be a formidable choice in the segment. And the hybrid comes out in the fall.

2007 Toyota Corolla

Here are a couple more pictures of the European Corolla.

Testing outside, so it is covered with that black tape, just like the Camry...
It would be too much to hope for the hatchback in the US. But let's hope the rest of the design is similar.
The fenders seem to strech way out for a much more muscular and modern look.
Inside, the console is higher and blends better into the new dash.

2007 Scion xB details

These are pictures from the production model.
It is very much like the xB concept they are showing right now at the Tokyo auto show. Except for all the metal parts.
From what I've seen of the exterior, the body is mostly similar to the concept. But without the uge fenders and weird front end.

One more time, the concept interior. So you can see how close it is to the real thing.

The cool oversized side vents, the central dials, the navigation (at least in Japan).
It's all there...

Corolla T Sport

No, this is not the new, redeigned Corolla.

This is an all new Compressor version of the existing model, with a 225 HP engine.
As you can see, the interior is still the same, with a a slightly sportier interior.
And as you can see also, this is the European model. Not for US consumption..

Kind of strange they roll out this new engine on a model that will be redesigned in a few months...

And don't forget to visit the sponsors...