Thursday, June 30, 2016

2018 BMW 3 series???

So I was driving along with a friend, in the desert. Test driving the Buick Cascada I have for the week.
When this came along. A BMW prototype.
It was right in front of a Camry for a while and it was smaller than the Toyota.
But as you can see on these pictures, it does look like a RWD car. So it's not the upcoming 1 series sedan. Which will be FWD.
And it still has a lot of camouflage. More than the recent spy hots of the next 5 series. Which is right around the corner.
So my guess is: 3 series. 
I mean, it already looks super boring. And a lot like the current generation.
Which is what the 3 series has been for years.

What do you think???

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

More pictures of the new Citroen C3

Still looking great to me.
Actually, looking just like a small inexpensive hatchback should.

When you compare this to all the boring stuff we are surrounded with.

Like the weirdo Prius C or Versa.
This is quite amazing.

It is so wonderful to think there are still people who think things could just "look a little bit better and more fun".

I drove a Cactus last year while in Europe for a few days, and it was great.
So a smaller version of that car is good news.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

2017 Porsche Panamera

This looks great.
I posted a couple of pictures of it a few days ago. These are the official ones.
And we get to see the interior too.
Which seems to be the perfect blend of "typical Porsche" and futuristic.
A true Porsche design for the 21st Century, really.

This pretty much fixes everything that was wrong with the first generation.
Which was pretty awkward, bloated, clumsy etc... This is just great.

Panamera S is powered by a new 440 V6.
While the "Turbo" model
 gets a new V8 with 550!

The new Panamera is also slightly larger than the outgoing model.

There will be more versions, probably including a plug-in Hybrid as well a less powerful base V6 model.

But the big news will be the all new wagon version.
And that will also be coming to the US.

I can't wait for this....

New Citroen C3

I am really glad to see Citroen coming up with modern and quirky designs.
At least for Europe. And not just the super sad and boring stuff they offer in China.

The new C3 is obviously inspired by the Cactus design.  And that's great!

Of course this isn't for the US.

Although.... PSA did announce a while ago some kind of ride sharing service that will use some of their newer models. Which would be used to test our market.
So we might actually see some of these over here.
(That's 3 "some" in a short paragraph. By the way...)

And that fun interior looks fantastic!

Buick Cascada test drive coming up.

I just got a new Cascada to drive for a week.
This is a car I was really waiting for.

I really loved it when it was introduced as an Opel in Europe a couple of years ago. And I was one of these people who was hoping it would end up here as a Buick.
Well, here it is...

First thoughts:
I still love the design. It looks really great in person.
Like everyone has said before me, the interior is nice, but in a "3 to 5 year old GM" sort of way.
Lots of buttons, smallish screen weirdly angled back etc...

Otherwise so far it seems really quiet, and feels as solid as the good German car that it actually is.

I will report on it very soon. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

2017 Toyota C-HR

We have seen the production model before. But these are all new pictures.
Also showing the interior for the first time.

The all new C-HR will be competing in a growing segment in the US. Which includes the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax etc...
But I think it competes ever more with the "in your face" Nissan Juke.
The Juke is aging but still pretty popular. The new Toyota would surely steal some of that market.
Right before an all new Juke comes out.
A smart move.
While being corky, I think the Toyota looks a little bit more grown up.
Which isn't bad.

I actually kind of like it.

No word yet on engines for the US. But it will be mostly sold as a Hybrid overseas.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

2017 Honda Freed

Just another picture of that all new Freed "super mini" Minivan.
Again, based on the Fit, and not for US.

Although I do think this would make a perfect little EV for the US...

Why not...

2017 Honda Gienia

 This is yet another small Honda based on the Fit.
This time it looks like a 4 door coupe version of the regular Fit. More or less...

The car pictured above isn't look that great. With its lack of trim around the windows and small wheels.

It is based on the Concept B we saw a while ago. And again, this is not planned for the US. Or anywhere outside of China. Yet...
This is the Concept version.
Which is actually really close to the production model and does look fine.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Future Alfa Romeo Coupe???

These were sent to me by a reader from Europe.

Not sure what they are really.
It's obviously an Alfa. And it has 2 doors.

Otherwise who knows.
It's also obviously not a production model because of the lack of real side mirrors.

A few years ago the car that was going to share a platform with the Miata was going to be an Alfa.
But since Sergio had said that "no Alfa will be built outside of Italy", that couldn't work out.
So it became the Fiat 124 we have now.

I just wonder if this was a design for that still born Alfa model.
But Sergio had also said a sport coupe/convertible was still coming from Alfa. (NOT based on the Miata)
So this could be a preview of that...

What do you think??

2017 Honda Freed

Just like the HR-V, the tiny Freed Minivan is actually based on the current Honda Fit.
But unlike the HR-V, this won't be coming over here.
(Not sure if this new version will make it into Europe yet)

It looks OK. You can tell it's related to the Fit.
I guess the Mazda CX-5 proved there is no market for things like this in the US.
The Freed being even smaller could be even less popular.

Same reason why Honda has decided not to sell the sedan version of the Fit (Which has been around in other countries for a while now)
The sedan market in the US seems to be loosing a lot of grounds to SUVs/Crossovers.

But who knows, there might be a niche market for this. No more Scion, no more Nissan Cube.
Maybe this could take over ? A little bit??

Here is the current version of the Freed. 
Again, the connection with the previous Fit is quite obvious...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2017 Porsche Panamera

This is it. I'm pretty sure.
And it looks almost exactly like the spy brochure picture I posted a while ago (Except the wheels. This is a Turbo model)

I think it looks great. Much better than the current, heavy and clumsy design.
This is actually what it should have looked like in the first place.

Much more pictures coming very soon, so "stay tuned".

We will also see a wagon version later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

All new Lexus LC video

A stunning looking car.

This mostly displays the V8 sound. Which seems a bit exaggerated.
I mean, being a top of the line Lexus, I am sure this will mostly be super quiet. Except when pushing it really hard.

Still, this is a really cool video. Of a really great looking car that I can't wait to see in the streets...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2018 Nissan Leaf to get 200+ miles range.

The next Nissan Leaf EV will be available with a new 60KW battery.
Which means it should be capable of around 210 miles on a charge. At least.

So it will be the new Chevrolet Bolt's main competitor.
Of course, by that time, the new Tesla Model3 should also be out.
But probably still not really available since it might take them years to fill out about half a million pre-orders.
Which means that, in reality, it might just be impossible to get one before 2019. At best.

The Leaf currently starts at around $29 000. But that's for the smaller 24Kwh battery that only gets about 84 miles on a charge.
The newer 30Kwh model starts at $34 200 and gets about 107 miles.
That is a huge jump!
 I mean you pay over $5000 for about 20 miles extra. (Although that model also comes with a quick charge port and GPS) Still...

So that "200 miles" Leaf might also be a new top of the line model.
Nissan might keep the 30Kwh battery for the base model. So they'll be able to claim a boost in the base model too.

So basically, all these new 200 miles EVs will start at around $35 000 no matter what.
There is pretty much no real competition anymore.

I mean, after incentives, they still become pretty competitive.
Basically for a bit over $25 000 you end up getting a roomy car that gets about 200 miles of pure EV range.
Not bad. As long as we get the incentives.

By the way, the picture above is just an illustration. This is NOT the next Leaf.
(a small disclaimer that, I know, will not prevent some people to discuss it as if it were the real thing...)

Monday, June 20, 2016

 As you can see, the next Elantra GT will be, again,  the same car as the European i30. Which will basically be a hatchback version of our current 2016 Elantra sedan.
(with, maybe, a different dashboard)

That also means it will be a bit more conservative than the current model.
Which is a bit sad.
But, no matter what, the new one should prove more popular in the US. Since the market for hatchbacks seem to be expending here.

And the next one will be competing with many more models than before. Including hatchback versions of the new Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze.

Here is the current one. Still a really nice looking car.
Still fresh and modern looking...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Nissan Sentra test Drive

The current Sentra has been around for about 3 years now. So this year, Nissan gave it a fresh face. And a few small changes.

So it's basically the same car. It still looks OK. Like a small Altima.
I have to say, that design does work better on the larger sedan. The Sentra looks a bit bloated.
I remember when the previous generation looked like a small Maxima. Which wasn't the best idea either...

But it looks fine. And actually a bit upscale for its class and price.
Inside things are mostly the same. The biggest change is the new console.
It does look nicer. Most of the fake metal trim is gone. Replaced by a more convincing piano black plastic.
The steering wheel is also new.
The back seat is roomy. Especially for its class (It is technically a mid-size car)
But still not as giant as the Jetta's.
My SL model was pretty loaded, and had leather seats. Which did look very nice.

This is what they actually felt like when you sat in them. Well, mostly the driver's seat.
It always felt like there was something sticking out from the lower back portion.
And it is really, really bad.
That was with the lumbar support on its lowest position.
On top of that, the seat was way to high for me. Even in it's lowest position I felt way too close to the ceiling.
It was like a "forced SUV feel". Which I don't like. At all.

It made me feel like a giant driving a clown car...

The screen feels is very hard to use during the day. (At least here in L.A where it is sunny most of the time) As you can see on that picture.
The graphics look pretty old and low tech.
And there is no Apple Car play. So you rely on the Nissan system. (Which is fine, but looks a bit old.)
The one that kept asking me to update my music library every single time I plugged in my phone.

Otherwise, the stereo sounds good. But not really good enough for a Bose.

 The Sentra feels very solid and comfortable.
It is also quiet. But only when cruising.

Every time you want or need more power, it makes quite a bit of noise. And you keep waiting for that extra power that will eventually, never show up.
Things are a bit better in the Sport mode. The car does feel punchier. But also noisier, since all this does is keep the engine revving higher.

The Eco mode is basically useless. Since I only saw a gain of 1 or 2 MPG while using it.
But you loose almost all of the little power there is.
It actually makes it almost dangerous to drive. (Just like the Eco mode in the Leaf)
The Sentra is rated at 29/38MPG.

I did get around 38 on the freeway.
But there is no way to get 29 in city driving. It is just impossible.
I averaged about 23. And couldn't reach 25 in Eco mode.

The Sentra is a pretty invisible car. Which is fine for most people.
But the current model is against all new players, like the new Civic, Elantra, Cruze etc...

I am not sure it offers anything more than any of its competition. It's not the roomiest. It doesn't get the best mileage. It's not the best looking, or the most fun to drive.
It is for people who just "want a car". I guess.

My SL model starts at $22 170. And was loaded for $25 545.

Click on the picture above for more details about the car I had for the week.
Do it. It'll make you feel good.

You might even get a little bit of that "Burlapp Magic".

2017/18 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

This was sent to me from Europe.
It looks ok but I am not sure if it is the real thing or an illustration.
(or early press stuff etc..)

No matter what it is, it seems pretty close to other spy shots I have seen of Alfa's brand new SUV.
I think this is actually a great move for Alfa. Coming out with an SUV right after the new Giulia sedan.

We should be getting the sedan first, but you know this will be the money maker for Alfa.
Since,  for some reason, everyone wants an SUV these days.
And since SUVs hare popular no matter who makes them, the Stelvio could work better than the sedan in the US.
In a sea of Mercedes, Audi and BMW SUVS this has a chance to stand out.

The same platform will also be used for some Chrysler/Dodge cars ans SUVs.
Not sure which ones yet.
But these 2 poor brands need something new pronto.
The only bright star is the new Pacifica, which has been getting really good reviews. And looks very nice in the flesh.

Let's just hope Crazy/Money hungry Sergio doesn't turn Alfa-Romeo into an "SUV Only" brand...

All new VW Tiguan LWB on the assembly line

Well, so far it is only to test the new seemly line in Mexico.
They are not building the production models yet.

The long wheelbase version of the all new Tiguan will be over 4 inches longer than the 5 seater model.
With a longer trunk as well.
This will probably be the most popular version in the US.
And will also basically be competing with VW's own other SUV.  The one that is supposed to be a production version of the Crossblue concept from years ago.
Yes, that super boring looking one. (Which will be built in the US)

No they've had only the old Tiguan for years (And the super expensive Touareg). And now they will have two SUVs of about the same size competing with each other.

Way to go VW!

For reference, this is the new 5 seater version.