Monday, January 31, 2011

2012 VW Beetle teaser

Apparently they will be showing a full commercial this coming Sunday.

I had no idea this was coming out so soon.
Good news.

As I said before I was lucky enough to see the car in person last year.
And while it is not as great of a design as the current car, it still does look like a Bug. Even if VW has tried very hard to force straight lines into what is basically a round car.

It feels more upscale inside, even though it now uses a lot of "regular" VW parts.
And prices will be down from the current car.

2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan

A few mid cycle changes.
None of them needed, really. The Genesis is quite a conservative design, and the small changes seem mostly clumsy.

The big V8 is supposed to get better fuel economy.

As for the coupe, both engines are supposed to get more power. Especially the 2.0 Liter Turbo which could match today's V6's power.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2012 Hyundai HA???

This tiny Hyundai is mostly designed for the Indian market.
Where it will be slightly more expensive than the Tata Nano.

That means, we won't see it over here anytime soon.

1970's American cars

Sometimes, I do miss them....

2011 Kia Picanto videos

Called "Morning" in some markets.

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible prices.

The base model will start at $27 200.
Pretty much similar to what they were charging for the base Sebring convertible.


It comes with a 2.4 Liter 4 cylinder engine. And the Chrysler engine is not the smoothest around.
For about $300 more, you get over 300hp with a V6 in the Mustang.

To get the V6 in the Chrysler, you'll have to order the Limited model for $32 000. Which also comes with leather and 6 speed auto.
In line with a similar Camaro Convertible.

I just think the 200 should have the V6 standard, or a better base engine....

2012 Smart ForFour

Seems like Smart is ready to try the four door idea again.

But this time, it looks more like a Smart.
Not sure if this is based on the next Mercedes A Class or a platform from partner Renault/Nissan.

It seems to have some kind of retro futuristic look to it.

Smart is in desperate need of something new. Anything. At least in the US where sales are now just a few hundred units a month.

Seems that everyone who wanted one already has one. And with only 2 seats, it's really not for everyone.

We'll see...

Audi Q1 coming up???

The A3 based Q3 isn't out yet, and rumors are already surfacing about an even smaller Q1 crossover based on the tiny A1 hatchback.
We'll see the Q3 really soon, and now appears it will make it to the US.
Unlike the A1, and Q1. If they ever build it...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lancia Ypsilon Illustration

Probably the last illustration before we get to see the real thing.
Might end up competing with the Fiesta in the US....

Toyota FT-6=86 part 2

Toyota will show another version of last year's FT-86 in a few days.
It is said to be very close to the production model we might see later this year.

This is one Toyota many are waiting for. With a Subaru version coming as well.

Let's hope the final design stays true to the concept, as much as possible.

Here is the first version of the concept.

Lancia Ypsilon

For the first time, the little Lancia Ypsilon will be offered as a 5 door model.
And it might very well end up in the US as a small Chrysler.

They are already getting ready to show in a few days a Lancia version of the new Chrysler 200 Sedan and convertible.
Both brands need new models, fast.

I'm just not sure the US market is ready for such a small car, from Chrysler.

We'll see...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cars of the future!

From back in the 1940's.

Also cool to see Lake Hollywood and PCH. Back in the days....

2013 VW Golf

They are now saying the next Golf will be coming out in the 2nd half of 2012.
Which would be about a year after the all new Cabriolet based on the current version.
Making that model almost obsolete soon after it comes out...

We'll see...

2012 Vauxhall/Opel Astra

The new sporty 3 door version of the current Astra looks great.
The previous generation was sold here as a Saturn.

But now that Buick is getting the sedan version of he Astra, I wonder if they'll get this coupe as well.
The US Buick Verano is supposed to be getting the 2.0 Liter Turbo as an option.
This engine would be even better in a more modern body style. Like this one.

2013 Verano Coupe anyone?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Still driving the Infiniti M56

Still a blast....

2012 VW Golf Cabriolet

Just an illustration.
And there will be more before the real thing comes out.

Should be priced a bit bellow the 2012 Beetle Convertible. Itself starting at a little bit lower than the 2011 model.

New Kia Picanto Interior.

A better picture, where we now see most of it.

Not bad at all if you consider what is offered by the competition for the price.
Which will be cheaper than the $12 000 Rio.

2012 Fiat Freemont

Looking really familiar.
This is basically a rebadged Dodge Journey for the European market.

It will use more European type engines as well. Including Fiat's own 2.0 Liter Diesel.
Although our big 3.6 Liter V6 will be offered later.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Something you don't see every day...

Unless you are in Malibu...Where I actually saw 2 in one day.

The $500 000 Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Convertible.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Infiniti M56 test drive coming up.

Ask anything you need to know.

So far, quite an exhilarating drive....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

All new Kia Picanto interior photos

It doesn't look bad. Even though we don't see much , yet.

The Picanto is a smaller and cheaper car then the Rio.
Which starts in the US at about $12 000.
So if sold here, the Picanto would be starting at under $10 000 or so.

But so far, it doesn't look like we'll see the smallest Kia model over here.

What am I driving this week?

2012/13 Infiniti compact models

Infiniti has already announced a 2013 new EV model based on the Leaf.
The bottom pic is an official sketch of it.

But they recently also mentioned the possibility of competing in the luxury compact segment against cars like the Audi A1, BM1 series and the new Lexus CT200h.
That means a hatchback.

I think it is great idea. Every luxury brand is doing it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Infiniti FX 35 test drive.

The second generation FX isn't all new, but it still looks great.
The front end isn't for everyone, but I think it looks both powerful original.

This, to me, looks much better than pretty much any of the competition.
It has a sports car feel to it that others just don't have.

The great design carries on inside.
The interior of the FX is a big step up from the G37 series. Materials all seem of a better quality, and the whole thing feels much more expensive. Which, it actually is...

The Bose stereo sounds great, and the iPod interface is fast, and easy to set up. Same for the Bluetooth system.

The seats are very comfortable and roomy in the back.

The only thing I am not crazy about is Infiniti's new wood finish. Where it is darker on the edges. It just looks like a cheap airbrush job to me. And I just cant get used to it...



The ride is sporty. Which might not be for everyone. This is no Lexus ride.
But the car is as solid as a tank, and it's never uncomfortable. It fits with the sporty atittude of the FX.


The steering isn't light, there is quite an effort to it.
Which again, re-enforces the sporty nature of the car. It feels great to drive.


The big Nissan/Infiniti V6 is always a great engine.
But the amazing sound of the Infiniti version really makes it something special. Hard to describe the muted growl that comes alive when you push it.
But it does feel and sounds great, at all time.

It is rated at 16 City and 23 HWY.
I did get about 16 in the city, but managed about 27 on the FWY. Which is actually pretty good for over 300hp.
I am sure the 7 speed auto has something to do with it.

The transmission is smooth, but just like with other Infiniti models, it does need quite a quick to downshift.


The Infiniti FX 35 is pretty much the most fun you can have driving an SUV.
It's trunk isn't as roomy as others, but the sporty feel alone makes it such a pleasure to drive.

I also love the amazing view from the driver's seat.
It actually reminds me of an old British car somehow, with all these curves on the hood.

And the interior also has an old world feel to it. Especially in the dark brown color of my test car.
It kind of felt like an old British pub.
But with all the futuristic gadgets you can imagine.

The RWD FX 35 starts at about $42 600. My loaded model retails for a bit over $52 000.
Quite an expensive car.
The BMW X5 is about $5000 more, and looks like a shoe box next to the FX.

So, everything is relative....

2012 Saab 9-5 Sportwagon

Back from the dead with the 1st official picture.

I like the sedan, but I think the wagon is even better looking, and even more of a Saab.

But, so far, the sedan hasn't been getting stellar reviews.
Most people are saying it is fine, but not worth $50 000.
And this wagon would be even more...

We'll see...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mitsubishi Concept Global Small.

What a name, really...

First they teased us with a bad illustration, (bottom pic) then this rather boring concept.
It doesn't look like the "sure to be toned down" production version will be that exiting.

And I hear Mitsubishi has very high hope for this model.
By the time it comes out, the market will be full of good small hatchbacks. Even in the US.
Not sure how they will make this stand out .

Good luck....

Tesla Model S. Alpha. Video

Model S Alpha Hits the Road from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

Quite an amazing looking car on the road.

This looks better than most cars costing the same, or more.

Tesla Model S. Alpha

I guess the Alpha is a "closer to production' model.

You can compare it to the Concept they showed us last year (White car at the bottom).
The design has changed a bit, but not that much. It actually looks a little sportier, I think.

Mazda Minagi Concept = 2012 Mazda CX-5

For now a concept. But they've been testing the production model for a while already.
So we know this will become the CX-5 by next year.
And maybe the first production Mazda to use the new front end design.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2012 BMW 6 Series

The all new 6 series was just caught in the street, naked...

When compared to the current model (bottom), I'm not sure the new one looks that much better.
I always liked the 6 series, and I think the next one actually looks more conservative, and not as sporty.
And the trunk just seems too long.

Maybe it's one of these cars that "looks better in person"....

Infiniti FX 37 test drive coming up...

Be happy to answer any questions you might have have about it.

Larger than C-Max Ford minivan coming up?

Ford has been offering the Galaxy Minivan since 1995 in Europe.
The current version came out in 2006. And was never sold in the US.

But it might be a different story for the next generation.

As you can see, Ford has been using most of the Grand C-Mac (Just C-Max in the US) body as a mule to test the new minivan platform.

That would mean they will be back in the "regular sized" minivan business. If it comes over here. Even though it would still be a bit smaller than the competition.

Why not...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What am I driving this week?

How about a few more pictures of the new Mercedes SLK?

It a nice looking car, after all.

But I still think the current BMW Z4 is one of the best convertible design ever.
Modern, yet a bit retro. And it looks like one person designed it.

The new SLK does look like a bunch of people were involved, and they didn't talk to each other that much...