Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hyundai HND-9 Concept

 I am usually not too crazy about pure concepts. But Hyundai is saying this shows their new design language.
I think it has "next Genesis Coupe" written all over it.
Or at least, let's hope so.
Even if the next one looks half as good as this, it'll be great.

I drove the Genesis coupe a few years ago and was really impressed with the car.
Since Hyundai is getting better and better with each generation,  the next one could be fantastic.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

1970's: Cars from The Rockford Files

I must admit, I have been watching too much Netflix lately...
The fact that you can watch whole seasons of TV shows, years worth of work, in just a few days is pretty addicting.
For the past few weeks, I 've been rediscovering The Rockford Files.
So be warned of the following "Nerdfest"...

Here are a few of the cars I noticed in the show. In their original 70's ads.
 Of course, the Firebird Esprit. The main character's car. And almost a character itself.
The car used in the show always looks treat. Like if Rockford had it detailed twice a day, every day.

I just wonder if sales actually went up with the popularity of the show....
 Od course, the Ford LTD is everywhere. Both cops and bad guys are driving it.
This was one of the most popular cars back then anyway.
 Lots of gangsters and mafia types in the show (Which was also produced by Sopranos creator David Chase).
Their favorite cars seemed to be dark Lincolns.  These cars looked like they could just glide over anything...

 Very popular with the various ladies in the show was the Mercedes SL.
What surprises me is how many of these I still see today in L.A. A few every day!

Pretty amazing for a car that was really expensive back then...
One weird episode even features a car chase between Rockford's Firebird and a Renault LeCar!
Driven by visiting French cops. Who, of course, couldn't just rent a regular American car in L.A...
 Finally, I went to see where Rockford's trailer was. At least in the 1st season of the show.
The parking lot is still there, which is amazing after all these years....

All new Citroen C4 Picasso

I think this is the 3rd generation of this. LAst time I was in Europe a few months ago I saw plenty of the current one. And they do look really nice and very modern.
Not sure this new one is such an improvement.

It looks exactly like the fake and redundant "concept" they showed us at the Geneva auto show just a few weeks ago.

It is also kind of fun a refreshing to see a stick shift in this.
Something you would never see in the US in a small family crossover...

Friday, March 29, 2013

2014/15 Mini Copper

We have seen the camouflaged exterior before. So nothing really new here, until we see the real thing.
But for the 1st time, we get to se the production interior.

Looks like the moved the speedometer away from the center of the dash.
Which is weird for a Mini.
The steering wheel looks like it is from a BMW. Which could be only for this prototype.

In my opinion, the square vents dont' really belong right next to the complete circular shape on the dash.
It just looks a bit weird...

Let's just hope they don't kill all the Mini personality.

You can see what people are saying about it HERE

Friday car nights at Bob's Big Boy

If you are in the Burbank area later today, why don't you stop by the Bob's Big Boy and enjoy wonderful cars like this 1959 Mercedes and 1915 Ford.

A fun California evening for all....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Porsche Macan

Although still just an illustration, it does look kind of nice.
Again, I think for most people who want to get a Porsche for its name, this will be enough.

They won't need to spend the extra cash on the Cayenne to show off anymore.

European press is talking about a 340HP 3.0 Liter V6. And a 400HP version.
As well as a 245HP diesel.

It should also start at about $10 000 less than the Cayenne. Which could mean under $40 000 in the US for the base model.

Subaru XV Crosstrek hybrid: Worst marketing BS in years.

The regular Crosstrek is getting a combined MPG of 28. (25 City/33Hwy)

Subaru is now offering us the new Hybrid version. They expect it to get a combined rating of 31!
(28 City/34Hwy).
That is only a 3 MPG gain on average. And just 1 on the Highway!

I am all for Hybrids, like the Prius. Which actually gets at least 50MPG.
I wouldn't get one myself but I understand why other people do.

But this???? Who will pay the extra $2000 or $3000 to save 3 miles per gallon?

This is quite amazing....

Good luck with the BS Subaru.

Sad little thing: The all new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.

 Looks like one of these "emerging market" cars. Or something from China.
Except  this will be sold in the US later this year.

They claim it will get 37/44MPG. Which is really good for a non-hybrid car.
But at what cost? They don't mention any engine for the US yet.

It seems well equipped, as even the base model will come with power windows, Auto climate control and 4 speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with USP/iPod input.
Still. Shouldn't it look better than this?

Unless they sell this for $8000, I can't see the advantage this car has over a bunch of other cheap cars offered here.
Like the $12 200 Chevrolet Spark, the $13 600 Kia Rio or the $12 000 Nissan Versa. Really...

Plus, with the new Mirage, you get to put your money in a company that could be getting out of the US market any time now...

I think this 1980 model, sold in the US as the Colt by Dodge/Plymouth still looks much better, simpler and more modern than the 2014 pictured above.

But I'm also crazy....

Subaru WRX Concept

 If this is for real, it means the next WRX would have its own design, instead of being an "unglyfied Impreza" with a huge rear wing and gold wheels.

This one is a very nice design.
It should really be what the Impreza look like.

But somehow, I really don't trust Subaru with their Concepts.
 Remember this one?

It was going to be the next Impreza. And it looked really nice. Besides the big wheels and no rear mirrors or door handles, it could really have been the next Impreza.
A clean, modern design.

A few months later we got this.
Just different enough to look like it came out in 1996.

So I'm not holding my breath about the blue concept above actually becoming the next WRX...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS

 Looking good in the flesh.
Still wish the rear lights had been more aggressive. Matching the front LEDs....

Infiniti prices the all new Q50 sedan

It will start at $36 450. Or about $900 less than the G37 from last year.
And about $4000 more for the more powerful hybrid model.

The Q50 uses the 3.7 Liter V6 with 328HP
While the Hybrid gets the 3.5 Liter V6 with an electric motor for a combined 354HP.

So it looks like the Hybrid is the performance model.

You can build your own HERE

Now, how much is that ghastly Lexus IS?

2014 Kia Soul video

Inside and out.
Parked and driving around.

2014 Hyundai Equus

A few changes here and there make the exterior a bit simpler, better looking.
Big improvement inside. Where it now looks much more like the luxury car it wants to be.

But it is still expensive. It starts at about $7000 less than the Lexus LS.
Which is too much. No matter how good it is, there should be much more of a difference.

For the conservative luxury car buyer, the "Big Lexus" has such a better image than the "Big Hyundai". 

2014 Dodge Durango

I must say, I am really not a big fan of big V8 SUVs pushed as family cars.
These pictures are of the R/T version.
It looks OK I guess. I like the Dodge rear lights, which should be used on everything they design.

But the whole thing feels old fashion to me. Still very 90's.
The interior isn't that changed either. ( IPosted a pic of the current one to see, at the bottom)
No shifter, new steering wheel and center dash section.

Not much new here....

2014 VW Golf/GTI for the US

Looking exactly the same as the one currently sold in Europe. Which is good.

Engines will be the all new 1.8 L Turbo with 170hp. Replacing the old 2.5 Liter.
The TDI gets a new 2.0 Liter with 150HP.
And the GTI gets a revised version of the 2.0 Liter Turbo.
All 3 engines will make their way into the Beetle and Jetta as well.

For the 1st time, the Jetta and Golf use a different platform. With different interiors.
And it looks like we are finally get another color choice than black inside.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

 I didn't know this was coming up...
Looks like they did it right by using the 2.5 Liter engine instead of the big V6.
After all, hybrids are all about mileage, not power.
(I think Toyota made a mistake by still using the V6 for the Highlander Hybrid)

Looking very much the same as the new Pathfinder, of course.
It will cost about $3000 more than the V6 version. Which is OK by Hybrid standard.

You are still getting 250HP, thanks to a supercharged version of the 2.5 Liter, combined the electric motor.
They are estimating 25MPG City and 27 HWY.

I drove the PAthfinder's cousin, the Infiniti JX35 ( now called QX60), and I got 20/27. Which was better than the 18/23 official numbers.
So the official numbers for the Hybrid might be conservative.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro

Too bad for those who were hoping for a new interior.
The current one actually never bothered me. I find it so much better than the horrible Mustang interior.
The only thing I miss is the original steering wheel design they had a couple of years ago. Which was much more original than this corporate looking one.

Otherwise, I think the new grille works. And the new tail lights make the rear end a bit cleaner.
Nothing is really an improvement. I guess they had to change something without spending too much cash.
Since there is an all new Mustang coming out next year....