Friday, September 28, 2012

Honda Civic Wagon coming up

Yes. But not in the US.
As you can see, this is the Euro Civic. The hatchback we don't get over here.
Which, just like its US counterpart, doesn't look as good as the previous generation.

At least on this illustration, the wagon does look better than the awkwardly redesigned hatchback.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lexus LF-CC Concept

This is supposed to give is us an idea of what the next IS will look like.
Let's hope so. A coupe version is indeed supposed to be added to the upcoming redesign.

I am not sure how much if this concept will make it into production though...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chevrolet Trax

 The Trax is Chevrolet's version of the new Buick Encore crossover.
Europe is getting the Encore as the Opel Moka.
But we are not getting the Trax. From these pictures it looks like Canada is getting it though.

Sure, they do look very similar. But they do sell us the Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain. And these 2 are really similar. Especially inside.

Just as a reminder, here are a couple of pictures of the Encore.
It will start at at $25 000 when it goes on sale later this year.
It includes the 1.4 Liter Turbo with 138hp and a 6 speed auto.
It will top at around $31 000 completely loaded. AWD is still a $1500 choice.

This is NOT cheap for such a small car. It will be competing with larger crossovers like the all new Escape, CRV etc...

Maybe a cheaper Chevrolet version would have been a better choice after all....

More pictures of the new Kia Pro_Cee'd

Basically, the coupe version of the new Cee'd.
Which is a hatchback version of our all new Forte. With a better interior as well.

This would make a great addition to Kia's US line up.
It looks great compared to the competition. Which, over here, is mostly the Civic Coupe and the Elantra coupe.
Both much more boring looking cars than this.

Porsche Panamera Wagon Concept

A concept, so far.
Rumors of a wagon version of the 4 door Panamera have been around for a while.
And it does work. Looking better than the 4 door version.
The interior is obviously concept futuristic. Or is it?
Could the new front and interior end up in the revised version of the Panamera due out next year?

At least, this looks really good.

2014 VW Golf GTI

Not sure why VW is calling this a "Design Study".
It is pretty much what we'll see next year as the new GTI.

German sources claim power will go up just a bit with 217hp from the same 2.0 Liter Turbo.
Which is still far behind what most other manufacturers can squeeze out of a 2.0 Liter Turbo.

More pictures of the 2014 Jaguar F-Type

The interior does look great. If a bit shiny.
But it's not as bad as in the XJ.
And at least, the dials are real. They didn't use the XJ's horrible looking LCD screen.

Not much is known so far. Except engines will be a choice of 2 versions of the 3.0 V6 with 340hp or 380hp. As well as a V8.
As I mentioned, I have heard earlier that a Turbo 4 would become the base engine about a year after launch.
Which makes sense and follows what BMW and Mercedes have been doing with their Z4 and SLK

Monday, September 24, 2012

All new Jaguar F-Type

Sure, a little busy up front. But overall quite nice looking, at least on these early pictures.
A good match, it seems, for the Z4 and SLK.
So far only V6 power with 8 speed auto is offered.

A 4 turbo with manual could show up next year as the base model.
As well as a V8.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


There is a lot of info here.
This is really an interesting read.

Is anyone here actually considering an EV or Plug-in Hybrid?
I know that after driving the Leaf and Volt, I would be very interested myself.
Although I do share the concern about such limited range. 100 miles is just not enough for a main car.

Big thanks to Matthew for the tip.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Buick Lacrosse eAssist part two.

 Once thing you notice right away, is the extra power when compared to last year's 2.4 Liter base model.
Not quite as quick as the V6, but it is now just fine.
The previous base model was just too slow for the price and size.
It is still super quiet at all time. The ride and steering combo is about perfect for this car.
Everything feels really solid.

 My car had the Harman Kardon stereo option, for an extra $600.
And it is money well spent. The system sounds fantastic. Much better than most I have tested over the years.

One thing I noticed was the auto stop system is super smooth and about as invisible as can be. But it doesn't work if you are using the climate control.
I was able to replicate the 36MPG HWy claim.
But my city average varied a lot. Even though I was driving around the same streets most of the week.
It went from a low of about 20 to a high of almost 28MPG.
GM's official number is 25. Which I guess sounds about right. If a little high.

No matter what, the Buick Lacrosse, eAssist or not, is a joy to drive.
But the competition isn't resting. Especially with an all new, and quite good looking, Toyota Avalon just around the corner.
And the Hybrid version is rated and an amazing 40MPG.
But for next year, the Lacrosse gets a revised interior and redesigned front and rear.

We'll see if that is enough.

For now, it is still a very nice car.

Something you don't see every day...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All new Audi A3 Sportback

The Sportback is the 4 door hatchback version of the A3 in Europe.
Over here, as we never get the 2 door, it is just the A3...

And just like the 2 door introduced a few months ago, it is a rather boring update of the current model.
A more angular version of the same design.
Which I guess works for them. You just have to wonder for how long though...

Jaguar F-Type

1st official picture of the all new Jaguar.
And it looks great.

Competing with the Z4, SLK, Boxster crowd.

I cannot wait to see this car in person.

More, much more coming up very soon.

Volvo V40 Cross Country

Basically the same car as the great looking new V40 hatchback, on stilts.
Which is what they've been doing for yeas with most of their wagons.
And now it seems everyone does the same thing, including Audi and VW.

Volvo still says we are not getting the V40 in the US.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All new Kia Carens/Rondo

Looks like the last Kia model to get a modern redesign.
Not sure if the Rondo will actually return to the US. The Mazda 5 isn't really setting record sales numbers over here.
And the new Rondo would cover pretty much the same segment.

At least it does look quite decent now.

2013 Mazda CX-9

Looks new at first, but it basically is just a new front end.
So it will look like the new Mazda 6's big brother in the showrooms.

I hear the same 3.7 Liter V6 will be offered in the US.
And I hope they didn't redesign the interior, which is still one of the nicest in its class.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Buick Lacrosse eAssist test drive. Part1

Just got the eAssist, "mild hybrid" version of the Buick Lacrosse today. And will be keeping it for about a week.

The main point of this is the better mileage and extra power over last year's base 2.4 Liter engine.
When I drove the 2.4 Liter last year, I got 19/31 as my city/HWY gas mileage.
Which wasn't much better than the 17/27 I got earlier with the much more powerful 3.6 Liter V6.

For 2013, the eAssist is standard. And rated at 25/36 MPG. So potentially quite an improvement.
We'll see if these numbers translate in real world driving from Mr.Burlapp...

So far the basic Lacrosse qualities are still there. Solid, smooth, quiet. With now more power than last year's base engine.
But a few things seem behind the newer competition. Like the lack of a keyless start system.
And a few bits onside now seem cheap. Some of the plastic chrome seems a bit too shinny, out of place.

The Lacrosse will be getting a revised interior for next year, just like the Enclave did for 2013.
So all these little things will probably be fixed then...

Alfa Romeo 4C

This could be the production version of the Alfa-Romeo 4C, finally coming to the States in a little over a year.
It will be joined by a Dodge Dart based Giulia sedan.
I am actually not sure this picture represents the final production model.
As it looks 100% like the concept. Except for the color.

Unless they are one of these great brands who can turn our production models that actually look exactly like their concepts.
Who knows...

Here is the concept.
As you can see, even details are the same....

Lexus LF-CC Concept

Let's just hope this translate into the next IS, due out pretty soon.

While not perfect, this seem to be the best version of Lexus's new design language. Much better then the sad looking GS.