Friday, March 31, 2006

2008 Scion xB

I know, I know... I already posted this picture before.
But that's the only one I have of the test mule for the next xB, and I do have bit of info on the car.

It is scheduled for an early calendar year 2007 release. Which would make it a 2008 model.
It will be offered with 2 engines, 1.8 Liter and 2.4 Liter.

The 2.4 is the same engine used in the tC and Camry.
Not sure yet if the US wull get both engines or just the 2.4.

There you have it....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

2007 Hyundai Elantra

Just a couple of interior shots before we see the official pictures in a few days.

It looks really nice, better than the larger Sonata.
A good thing would be to drop the 2.4 Liter engine in there.

And let's hope the Sonata gets a more interesting interior soon.

Lexus IS 500 Coupe

I posted an illustration a little while ago, but this is the real thing!
Proof that Lexus is indeed planning to squeeze a 5.0 Liter V8 in a 2 door version of the new IS.

No matter what you might think of Lexus/Toyota, they are getting really to be pretty serious competition to BMW.

Saturn Sky Redline

It was bound to happen...
The Solstice Turbo cousin/ Opel GT twin is out.

Again, a great job at keeping the design tasteful.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Honda sues!

That's right.
Honda has decided to sue the Chinese for their copy of the CR-V named the SR-V.
They even copied the name, it's amazing.

We'll have to see what happens with that, but no matter what, good for Honda!

if the Chinese want to enter the world market, they have to start playing by the same rules.

2007 Acura RDX

I must say, it doesn't look futuristic or anything. But it does look upscale and very nice.
Seems like a sure hit for Acura.

We'll "know everything there is to know" about it in a week or two...

Next Lexus RX 350

I know it is very covered. So much we can't see much of the car.
I also know that the side looks pretty much like the current RX.
And that the Highlander is due for a redesign before the RX...

But I still think this is the RX and not the Highlander.
Also, it looks like they are hiding a dual glass roof similar to the one on the new ES. (A glass roof was supposed to be available in the current RX but I've never seen one)

So basically.... I'm not sure what this is...I know the next RX is supposed to have a more rounded style.
A mule for the next one, using parts of the current model? It would be too late in the life cycle for just a "facelift".

You tell me.

2007 Mitsubishi Outander

This is the 1st official picture of the US version of the new Outlander.
We will get a new 3.0 V6, and standard Bluetooth. With an optional "Hard drive Navigation system" (I guess a DVD isn't enough...)

It looks pretty nice, same as the one currently on sale in Japan.
But is it enough to turn Mitsubishi around in the US?
I don't see many new Eclipses, and I hear their new Dodge based pick up truck isn't selling well either....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Next TT crash

A few weeks ago one of the new TT prototype crashed into a truck in Germany.
Audi was on the site within 30 minutes to retrieve the expensive prototype...

Sad news.

2008 Nissan SUV

Just another shot of this upcoming X Trail replacement.
You can see the rear lights better on this one.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Camry Hybrid

Just a couple of news bits:

It will start at $25 900.
Dealers will have it in May.

So you figure about $29 000 for a loaded model with leather, navigation and sunroof.
I think it is a pretty good price. Pretty much in line with a GXE V6.

Acura MDX (Concept)

Acura will show this new Concept at the New York auto show next month.

That's a surprised.
A slightly disguised version of the redesigned 2007 MDX. (unless they push it a few month to make it a 2008).

Seems like the next MDX will now look like a big RDX...

Euro RAV4

For those who complain about the spare tire behind the RAV4.

There is no reason for it.
I guess they can get rid of it if they want to, the European version of the RAV4 doesn't have it.
It also doens't have the 3rd row or the 3.5 Liter V6.

So I guess, it's never perfect...

Lincoln MKS

I guess you all remember the MKS Concept from just a few weeks ago.
This is the production version.

I know, I know, it is completely covered. But there was another Lincoln prototype in the same lot (a MKZ),and the silhouette is very similar to the MKS Concept.
Let's hope they didn't destroy this one like they did with the Zephyr...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New Mercedes C Class

Well, the top picture is yet another illustration.
But the second one is an actual photo of the interior.
And it doesn't look that special. A bit richer looking than the current one, but not that amazing....

I guess it's enough to appeal to the faithful.
We'll have to see.

No more ForFour...

The 4 door Smart will stop being produced next year...
They were expecting sells of 210 000 in 2005. But could only move 115 000 cars...
That's almost half.
The ForFour is built in Europe in the same factory as the Mitsubishi Colt, which will still be produced there.

I am not sure what happened. The ForFour looks like a very attractive small car. But I guess most people don't think of Smart when looking for a "larger" car.
Smart will launch the next ForTwo in 2007. And by that time, it will be Smart's only model left. No more coupes, 4 door cars..

How long can they survive with only one model to sell?

New Hyundai Terracan

The Terracan is currently the largest Hyndai SUV.
But not sold overseas.

It is expected that a new larger and car based SUV will use the old name. And we will get it here as soon as next year.
About the size of an Explorer, it will use the 3.8 Liter V6 from the Azera.
If the new Santa Fe is pretty much an SUV version of the Sonata, this new Terracan could be thought as the SUV version of the Azera.
A very luxurious model.

Once again, Hyundai is on a roll, and on its way to become Toyota's worst nightmare...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

2007 Nissan Altima

Just a few bits of news on the new Altima.

-New platform with new suspension
- 3.5 Liter and 2.5 Liter engines
-CVT Standard in all models

No big deal, we'll know everything in a few days...

2007 Honda CRV

This is an actual picture of the rear body panels on the all new CRV. (top)

As you can see, it is pretty much the same as the illustraion I posted a while ago.(bottom)
The one that made some people say there was no way the CRV would ever look like that...

And I also noticed that, just like on the Euro Civic, the rear hatch seems to turn into the bumper.
I'm not sure that's a good thing. Or even something that would pass US regulations...

2008 Nissan SUV

I was wrong about the new Murano.
Most of you were right. But I got more info on this small Nissan SUV.

Compared to the current X Trail, it is one inch longer, and as tall and wide.
The base engine (at least for Europe and Japan) will be a 2.0 Liter. The US will certainly get the 2.5 Liter from the Altima.
It is scheduled for a 2007 release as a 2008 model.
From this info, it looks like the X Trail replacement, whatever they decide to call it.

Sorry about the confusion, and I will post even more pictures later.

Friday, March 24, 2006

2008 Nissan Murano

The new Murano will come out next year as a 2008 model.
Based on the same platform, the design and interior will be all new.

I know this picture is pretty bad, and the car is covered, but I don't think they can duplicate the great design they came up with for the current generation.
The current Murano still looks more modern that 99% of all cars out there.
But I guess the giant corporation steamroller can't be slowed down, and a new design will come out .

Funny business where the Murano is redesigned no matter what, and the Focus lasts for ever...

Stay tuned for more Murano pictures.

Poor slob. (part 2)

I bet this guy cannot wait for next month's New York auto show, where the 2007 Sebring will finally be shown to the public.
Then he won't have to cover, uncover the whole car every time he's on a break...

Life is tough when Vince is on the job...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

2007 US Focus

If you think adding the 3 chrome bars to the old Focus is pathetic, well...
You might be right.

But Ford is in a tough position. The Euro Focus, if sold here, would almost be the same price as the Fusion. ( The Mazda 3 can be pretty costly)
And the Fiesta could be closer in price, but is a smaller car. And the US market prefers sedans anyway.

What can they do?

EOS problems...

VW has discovered problems with the EOS roof.
It lets in too much air inside the car. The cabin therefore becomes very noisy with the top up...
The European March launch date was pushed to May. Then July.

Now it's been moved back to May. They claim the problem has been fixed.

Do you trust them?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Opel Corsa

The all new Opel Corsa will be shown at the London auto show this coming July.
From that illustration (and the spy shots), it will pretty much look like a small Astra.
And therefore, would make a really nice entry level Saturn over here.

Something to think about...

New Audi TT interior

Nothing much to say, really.
It looks like, once again, the TT interior will be a feast for the eyes...

Farewell to the SSR

Production of the Chevrolet SSR ended last week, after 24 150 units were made.

Against all business logic, GM decided to put the SSR concept into production.
It became a big, overpriced, 2 seater hardtop pick up truck convertible.
I would think the market for this kind of thing was limited at best.

It is always cool to see one in the streets, but you wonder if GM resources could have been better spent elsewhere.
Like designing a good looking Malibu, or something....

2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

In the story "Every Aston Martin model becomes a convertible", the V8 Vantage is the next chapter.

Nothing unexpected, or really original here.
Even though this is a great looking car.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

2007 BMW V5

Or whatever they decide to call it.
It will be BMW's answer to the Mercedes R class. But as you can see in this illustration, it might look much sportier than the R Class.
It will be based on the next X5, which itself is based on the 5 series.
So engines should be similar.

2007 Hyundai Elantra

The new Elantra seems very nice, even on this blurry photo.

It looks more like a small Azera than a small Sonata.
It should give the car an upscale look. We'll know everything next month.

They have new very competitive models in all segments.


Poor Slob

After pictures of the new 2007 Sebring he is driving for a living were posted on the net a couple of weeks ago, this guy now has to cover the whole car whenever he leaves it for a coffee brake...

Tough life...

Audi A2

Audi claims they are coming out with an all new A2 for 2010.
That is 4 years from now!
Why would they reveal this info 4 years early?

And that sketch looks really close to last year's Shoothing Brake concept. Nice in 2006, but what about 2010?

Monday, March 20, 2006

VW Concept R gets a green light.

We saw it over 2 years ago, but they claim it will finally make it into production.
Good news, it still looks great.

But... When the concept was presented, they told the press it would be a cheaper alternative to the Porsche Boxter.
Which means: another overpriced VW!

I think the R should be priced in the mid 20's, as a competition to the Solstice, Sky and the upcoming Chevy roadster.
And do it quick.

We don't need another $35 000 Volkswagen.

Geely CK

Geely wants to seel cars here in 2008.
So far they have been having problems passing our emission standards.

The car they want to bring over is this CK model. With a 1.6 Liter engine with 137hp, it is supposed to cost less than $9000.
They are hoping for about 20 000 sales the 1st year. Climbing up to 100 000 a few years later.

Would anyone take a chance with a Chinese car when you can get a small Kia for not much more?

Geely is actually shooting for a $7500 price in the US. That would include a CD player, air, and power windows.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bob's Big Boy

  • That's right, Bob's big boy in Burbank is one of my favorite place to spend an hour or two
    on friday nights...
    If you want to know why, click on the picture.
    Scroll down, then... Click on the picture again!

    And while you're at it, why don't you watch the other films too...

    Chery S22

    Let's hope this one isn't part of the planned US line up for next year.
    I love fun looking cars, but this looks like it came from the Roger Rabbit ride in Disneyland.

    Which begs the question: how safe is it in real streets, really?

    Mercedes MLK

    The MLK is a small SUV based on the next C Class.

    Basically to compete with the BMW X3.
    It won't have much trouble looking much better and more upscale that the cheap looking X3.

    This illustration shows a cross between the next C Class and the ML.
    Which is pretty much what it will end up looking like.

    A Benz SUV in the low $30 000 could be a big hit.

    2007 Mercedes C Class

    Yet more illustrations.
    This sedan looks really close to the spy shot of the front end I posted earlier.
    And that wagon looks amazing.

    As I said before, if the interior is up to the asking price, they could have a big winner here.

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

    2008 VW Golf

    The revised 2006 (For Europe) model isn't even out yet, that people are already guessing what the next one will look like.
    The next one being a real "all new" model due sometime in 2008 in Europe.

    That means we might get it around 2012 over here.
    If ever...

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    2007 Nissan Altima

    From that weird and distorted angle, it looks great!

    But that is just an official "teaser" picture.
    The car seems to follow the overall current design and adding a bit of muscle to it. And the rear looks more flowing in a fastback kind of way.
    I am not sure how they can really improve on their engines. The standard 4 already has more power than the competition and sounds pretty nice.
    The V6 is already one of the best engines around.
    And a Hybrid is coming as well!

    This car should be "the one to watch" in the mid sized market.

    Dodge Hornet Concept

    A good showing for the little Dodge in geneva.
    Most of the European press was very impress.

    Now they have to figure out how to make it. They claim they need a partner.
    I'm not sure why Mercedes can't figure out how to make it work on their own, but VW might get involved and the Hornet could end up being based on the next Polo...

    Let's hope they keep the design intact.
    And also, let's hope these outfits make it in the showrooms.

    2007 Mercedes C Class

    Also for the 1 st time. The front end of the new C class is showing.
    And with the big arches around the wheels, it looks like, once again, the small Mercedes will adopt the S Class design.
    A good thing.
    I think the new S Class looks great.

    And let's hope the interior also improves from the current, rather plasticky and inexpensive looking, one.