Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2010 Subaru Legacy

The all new Legacy seems to be exactly what Subaru doesn't need: another boring conservative looking sedan that will never stand out from the crowd...

Too bad. Once again, they missed an opportunity to come up with a nice design for what has always been a very good car.

Good luck...

Ford Focus X Road

For Europe only.
As you can see, this "Outback" type little wagon is based on the Euro Focus, not the one sold here.
And it's mostly a visual trick, not a real off road wagon.

Renault Megan Coupe commercial

A really cool "Time Machine" video.

And we could really use this as a small Nissan coupe.

Detroit electric to sell Proton cars in the US.

This small US company closed back in 1939. But has been revived last year by the Chinese Youngman Automotive Group.
So I guess that means that it's a Chinese company.
Pretty much like RCA TVs that are made by TCL, a Chinese company...

Detroit Electric will be using models from Proton and turn them into electric cars.
The small hatchback will be based on the Proton Gen2 and will start at $23 000.
While the sedan, based on the Persona, will start at $28 000.

That's not really cheap. $28 000 for a small Malaysian electric car....
And both designs are already 2 years old. And they're not that amazing looking.

We'll see...

Monday, March 30, 2009

2010 Toyota 4 Runner

Already testing in Japan.
As I said before, it will come in the US in limited numbers.

Brilliance BS4 crash test

This Chinese sedan got no stars in the new Euro NCAP crash test. Zero.
To be honest, I have to mention that these tests have been recently revised and are much tougher. Under the "old" test, it would have gotten 3 stars out of 5.
They are known also for their horrific results in similar tests of their larger BS6 sedan a couple of years ago.
Under the new guidelines, the revised BS6 would get 1 star out of 5.

But look at the results from the tiny new Toyota iQ. (Soon to be sold her as a Scion)
It gets 5 stars under the new test! For a much smaller car...

Macho Car

Is there anything tougher than this around Hollywood Studios???
I don't think so.

A Ford Bronco with a skull on the grille has to be the toughest thing on 4 wheels in tinseltown...

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander

I am not really sure the Outlander's failure is due to its front end design.
A new one won't change much.

The outlander is a pretty good looking small SUV. Mitsubishi's problems are much deeper than the front end design of their cars.
I guess this must make them feel they're doing something....

Jaguar XF Wagon

Could be really nice looking. At least from this illustration.

Jaguar's new owner did mention that a wagon version of the XF sedan is coming out soon. A very good idea to compete with Mercedes and BMW.
Now, how about a really good smaller Jag to compete with the 3 series and the C class...

Chinese Jac B926 sedan

What an attractive name...

But the car itself looks pretty decent.
Better than the Corolla we get over here.

Looks like Chinese cars are coming over here soon no matter what.
Either as Saturns, but I also hear maybe through Costco. Just like Visio TVs.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Honda non car/non SUV thingy...

This is basically a hatch version of the Accord on stilts.
I guess this would share the platform with the new Acura model coming out at the end of the year.

Why not just offer a hatch version of the Accord, with an AWD option?

Wagoner quits!

GM's big boss, Rick Wagoner is quitting the company.
Apparently, this move is part of the restructuring agreement with the Obama administration.

GM has been doing pretty badly for years. Losing $82 billion in the past 4 years alone.
Someone has to take the blame.

Who do you think should replace it?

My vote goes for Bob Lutz. Why not put a "car guy" in charge? For once...

Click on the title to read the whole New York Times article.

Roewe SUV coming up

Roewe is actually one of these few Chinese manufacturers that offers really nice looking cars.
They are the "Old Rover".

This is based on a version of the Ssang Yong Kyron.

This doesn't look as bad as most other SUVs from Ssang Yong.

Chinese GS1 SUV

No shame here.
I guess it would be a tough sale in Korea and Germany, but it probably never be sold outside of China.
The info also mentions a $16 000 price. I guess when converted into US dollars.

Let's assume this monster can pass all the US safety standards, do you think people over here would buy it, at $16 000?

First, let's compare this to the real Kia Sorento.
It starts at $22 165.
But guess what, with "sale prices" and "rebates", CarsDirect has the base model at $16 559!
So the Chinese copy is actually almost the same price. Unless they could already get rebates...


Kia VG Concept

This "concept" is actually the replacement for the old Amanti.
Take out some of the trims and you pretty much have the production car.

Sure, it's better looking than the Amanti, but what isn't...

I don't think the US (Or Europe for that matter) is ready for a big Kia sedan. The 1st one was a flop and I can't imagine this one being a hit. Unless if offers "Lexus at a Camry price"

We'll see....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2010 Toyota 4 Runner

remember, back years ago, when the 4 runner was popular. Even cool.

No more.

It was too late to cancel the next one, so Toyota decided to go ahead. But sales numbers have been revised to low. Very low.
That means that,when it comes out next year, it'll be a while before you actually see one in the streets...

From this illustration at least, it looks like they are going for a "baby Sequoia" look. Not really what the market is into right now.

And the cool looking FJ cruiser, based on the current 4 runner platform, will not be redesigned when it is laid to rest next year.


Tesla Model S Concept video

A short one.
But it's alive!

And quiet!

Nissan Sentra. What the "other guys" have to say...

I will be getting a Sentra to review next week.
Also trying to get more cars in the same class to compare.

Meanwhile, here is what some of "the other guys" are thinking...


TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2008 Nissan Sentra to write this comprehensive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove several different 2008 Sentra models, including the 2.0 L, SL, SE-R, and Spec V, and offer additional driving impressions and details to assist you in making the best choice in your next new car.


- Roomy, quiet interior

- Stand-out styling

- Huge glove box

- SE-R and Spec V performance models

- Fuel economy


- Only one body style: a sedan

- Continuously variable transmission (CVT)

- Inconsistent suspension performance

- Performance models outgunned

The 2008 Nissan Sentra is no longer Nissan's smallest car for sale in the U.S. market. For Nissan, 2008 is the year the company introduces the Versa into a slot below the Sentra, making the Sentra more of a compact than a subcompact.

read the full bottom line review

 Read more…

2010 Audi Q7

Another useless update. More money waisted.

I posted pictures of the current model (light grey) so you can see the difference.
I just wonder why manufacturers, like BMW, Mercedes and others, keep making these tiny changes to their cars as mid-cycle revisions.
Nobody can tell. Except owners of the current versions. Nobody cares, really.
Shouldn't they be spending money elsewhere?

I hope one good thing that comes out of the current "hard times" car makers are going through, is the death of these useless "mid-cycle facelifts"...

New car Ad

I just wish this was real....


Or the Diesel GTI.
It has a 2.0 Liter diesel engine good for 170hp.
Only slightly slower than the GTI but should return about 40MPG (US) average.

We are getting the "regular" GTI over here in the summer. With a new Golf as well. (They've decided to dump the name "Rabbit" in the US. Again...)

But there is still a good chance we might be getting this one as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More pictures of the Tesla sedan

Tesla Model S

This is the new Tesla sedan. Still called a concept.
But this is pretty much what the production version will look like.
The all electric sedan is expected to cost about $50 000 when it goes on sale.

Tesla has also said they are developing an even more affordable car.

This is already pretty much the same price as many other luxury sedans on the market. Almost none of them looking as good as this one...

All new Opel Astra

It looks pretty much like the thousands of illustrations we've seen of it in the past 2 years.
This was supposed to make it over here as a Saturn.
Now, who knows...

There will be a sedan version for some markets, so that version might still make it over here. But as what?
A small Buick???

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tata Nano test drive

One of the 1st test drives of the Indian version of the Nano.
Again, different from the one we'll get over here. With a larger engine, longer wheelbase, revised interior etc...

2010 JAC Eagle

This new Chinese SUV/Crossover thing should be coming out next year.
With yet another 2.0 Liter Turbo engine.
(Seems that almost every new car has or will have a 2.0 Liter Turbo...)

Doesn't look that bad Another mix of 5 or 6 other designs...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nano in the US???

The head of Inidan car maker Tata is saying the small Nano is heading for the US.
Maybe as soon as 2010.

Our version will be closer to the Euro-spec model pictured here than the bare bone Indian version that went on sale a few days ago for $2000.
The Euro version is expected to cost at least twice as much.

Still, the US market might be ready, by then, for a modern looking $5000 car.

What do you think?
Would you buy one?

Building the new 2010 Camaro


Kia Forte Hybrid

Supposedly getting 41 MPG.
Which could be about 10MPG better on average than the regular model.

It might be worth it if not too expensive...

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Chinese Buick Excelle

The new small Buick for China will be based on the Chevrolet Cruze.
No surprises here. the "old" one was based on the Daewoo model sold here as the Suzuki Forenza.

This small Buick will not be sold in the US.
We still might get a version of the larger Opel Insignia based Buick Regal.

The current model. Basically our Forenza with more wood trim and a bigger chrome grille...

Another Smart 4 door illustration

This one seems pretty realistic.
Just a stretched version of the current car, with smallish rear doors.
Looks cheap enough to make to be real.

Let's hope they come up with something a little more exciting...

2011 Infiniti M Hybrid

Infiniti will sell a new Hybrid version of the redesigned M in the US as soon as 2010. (As well as its Nissan clone, the Fuga, in Japan)

This will be the first time Nissan will use its own Hybrid system.
Within 2 years of the M, every Infiniti model in the US could be offered as a Hybrid.

1.8 Liter Audi TT coming up

In Europe only. So far...

The 1.8 Liter engine is good for 158hp. And it could cost as much as $5000 less than the regular 2.0 Liter engine.

I say why not.
The Miata I drove a while ago had about the same power and it was fine.
If this cuts $5000 off the TT price I'm all for it.

More pictures of the "new" VW GTI

The current model is still a very nice looking car.
I saw the new Golf in Europe a few months ago. And besides the "too big" rear lights, it looks really good.
With 210hp, it's also very similar to the current model.

We'll get to see it over here at the end of this year. With the new Rabbit and revised Jetta.