Monday, December 31, 2018

2020 VW Golf ???

Let's hope these nice illustrations are wrong.
They basically are based on the spy shots seen HERE.
Which, I think, are also wrong. They just look rather fake.
For so many reasons. VW would not leave these cars in a regular parking lot. 
They wouldn't have the big VW logo on the grille.
The prototypes of an all-new VW Golf would still wear much more camouflage. (the all-new 2020 Passat is just a few days away and still completely covered in camouflage) etc...

Sure, the next VW  Golf will not reinvent the wheel. It never does.
But really,  we deserve more than the same thing over and over...

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2019 Mazda3 parking lot

That, is a lot of Mazda3s.

Looks like the Hiroshima factory has been making them for a while. 

Not sure when the car is actually available in the US, but from the look if this, we should have too long to wait.

2020 Mercedes CLA Teaser

Actually not much to see here.

This will be a slightly sleeker version of the new A-Class sedan, with the same "super busy" interior.

For more money...

I think the "old" CLA made sense as a sub-C-Class sedan when it first came out.

Priced at $29 900 in the US.

But now that we have the sedan version of the A-Class to olay that part, I really don't see the point of this.

From the teasers and spy shots, it doesn't really look better than the A-Class sedan.

Not sure who will spend thousands more for this.

At least if it was a hatchback. (Like the Buick Regal)

Anything to make it a bit more different than the regular sedan.

Even though this whole situation is quite puzzling, I will do my best to not lose any sleep over it.

2020 Toyota Supra

Sorry, but I cannot seem to be able to get excited about this "all new" Toyota Supra.
I think many in the press were begging for an all-new Supra for years.
And Toyota made one. But I am not sure that many people will actually buy one (including the ones who were begging for it in the first place)

There is also nothing surprising about the new Toyota Supra since this is a production, toned down version of the FT-1 Concept from 5 years ago.
So this isn't striking in any way.

And, like many commented here previously, this Supra will not have Toyota's legendary reliability, since it is basically a BMW in Toyota clothing.
(I bet an older last generation model in good shape would actually be more reliable.)

This will probably not be offered with the 2.0 Liter Turbo available in the new Z4. But only the more expensive 6 cylinder Turbo.
So, not cheap...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2020 Land Rover Defender

That last picture is pretty obvious. The Land Rover Defender is officially coming back to the US in 2020.
Still square, but obviously wrapped into a more modern looking package. 
Which might not please the hardcore purist of the brand.

At least, it is coming back to the "land of SUVs" that the US has become. So unless it looks terrible, it could be quite a hit. Probably price between the Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes G Class.

Why not...

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

More pictures of the VW I.D prototype

Looks like VW let a few people drive the all-new I.D EV a few days ago. (more pictures HERE)
So now we have a few more pictures of VW's new model with a "somehow rather unhappy and very grey looking" German guy.

While the exterior seems to make an effort to stay pretty close to the original concept (At least from what we can guess under the camouflage), the interior seems to be 100% different.
You can already see a screen behind the steering wheel, and another tablet in the center of the dash.

Something the concept didn't have. 

Here is the original concept.

And by the way, a redesigned 2 door version of this would make a great Electric Beetle.
Just saying...

2020/21 Mercedes EQB

As mentioned before, Mercedes's "EQ" line of cars is basically a parallel Electric versions of their other models.
Just like the new EQC is very similar to a GLC SUV.

It looks like the EQC's little brother, the EQB, will, therefore, be based on the new B-Class.
(Although from the spy shot of its test mule above, it seems to be riding slightly higher. )

The whole line up will also include a compact EQA based on the new A-Class hatchback. As well as an EQE sedan based on the E-Class. A large EQG based on the GLS and a top of the line EQS sedan based on the next S-Class.

So there are not based on all new platforms, like the upcoming VW electric models. (Which allows the EV models to be built in the same assembly lines as their gas cousins) Or even EVs from Audi and Porsche. Which means they are all missing a front truck, like all Tesla model.

I guess it is a more economical way to get into the electric car market...

Monday, December 24, 2018

2020 Toyota Supra

That's right, all we are still getting more spy shots of the new Toyota Supra.
As the real thing is still not out yet....

As you can see, the production model (yellow car) will actually stay pretty close to the FT-1 Concept.
And thankfully, it looks a lot cleaner.

Still, that concept is now 5 years old. This is a lifetime in the car business. (5 years is actually the length of a car generation.)
So by the time the Supra comes out, it won't really look new at all.

And, as mentioned before, it'll probably start at over $50 000. 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

2021 Mercedes EQS

The EQS sedan will be the top of the line Mercedes EV when it starts production in 2020.
Just like the new EQC is still basically an EV version of the GLC, this will be related to the all-new S-Class sedan that is coming out next year.

So it looks like Mercedes will have a bunch of parallel EV models next to their regular gas cars.
(Until the EV line takes over the whole thing I guess) 

We have already seen a few spy shots of the new sedan. And it already looks very slick, and quite low to the ground.
So let's hope it looks better than the illustration above...

Saturday, December 22, 2018

What could have been: Porsche Cayenne convertible

Looks like Porsche might have been inspired by the huge success of the Nissan Murano convertible a few years ago.

Since they actually though pretty hard about a convertible, 2 door version of the Cayenne.
While the Murano convertible did look quite weird and ungainly, this beats it by a mile.
(That weirdo rear end alone  is quite a sight...)

As we all know, this was never given a green light for production.
And the world is now a better place for it...

Friday, December 21, 2018

VW I.D based Dune Buggy concept coming up

If we believe this teaser, it looks like VW is getting ready to show us another Dune Buggy concept.
This time it would be an EV based on the upcoming I.D model.
(Which also means there could be hope for an electric Beetle next)

This will not be the first time VW gives us a test of what could be an all-new Buggy.
The last time was in 2011 with this VW Up! based Buggy up.

Which looked quite nice. And still does.
But nothing ever happened with it.

A dune buggy in 2020 seems to be an extremely small market.
They just canceled de the Beetle, which would sell more than anything like a 2 seater Buggy with no doors.
So I am not too optimistic about ever seeing this in the streets any time soon...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2019 Lincoln Continental Coach Doors

Here it is. The "return" of the old fashion suicide doors on a Lincoln. Now officially called Coach Doors.

While this will officially be sold by a few Lincoln "Black label" dealers, there will only be 80 units available.
Which really beg the question: Why bother???

It is based on a longer wheelbase (6 inches) Which is probably a version planned for the Chinese market anyway. (it should be standard here too)
But these doors look expensive to design and manufacture. For 80 units?

I have heard this could cost up to $100 000. Which, if true, is rather insane.
Why would anyone pay that much for a version of the Continental? Since you get the same blah design and cheesy interior. 

This should basically be the regular Continental. (It also makes the door handle design look much better and integrated with the rest of the car)
And should start at under $50 000.
It would really make the Lincoln sedan stand out a bit. 

Otherwise, I have no idea who would ever buy this...

Sunday, December 16, 2018

2020/21 VW I.D Neo

Just a few more pictures of the all-new VW EV coming out late next year. 
(And still not approved for the US market)

It already looks pretty promising, and very close to the concept. 
Now let see if a company known for cars with electrical problems can put out a reliable EV...

Mazda3 test drive

 The current mazda3 hatchback is still, after over 5 years, a very nice looking car.
A simpler, and more grown-up visual experience than something like the Civic hatchback.

And even though I am, in general, not a fan of grey on a car, this new "machine grey metallic" (A $300 option) does look great. And pretty special.

 Same thing inside, where everything still looks good and pretty upscale (At least on my loaded Grand Touring model)
The seats have excellent support. And while they are very comfortable, I noticed the headrests are actually pretty hard.

The Bose stereo sounds very good. But Mazda's own infotainment system (My test car didn't have the newly available CarPlay installed yet) is still pretty confusing at first.
Although, you do get used to it. And the scrolling wheel control on the console works fine. After you tell your brain to get rid of the idea of a touchscreen...

Everything works and feels fine. Although the doors don't have that super solid feel you get from a VW or a Honda these days.

 The console has plenty of storage. And both are hidden compartments.

 The materials used inside the car are all of high quality. I especially liked the dark metal finish Mazda uses. It looks very classy and upscale.

 The rear seat is fine. 2 adults fit back there without a problem.
But it is not even close to the giant rear seat of the Jetta.

 I got plenty of negative comments when I posted a picture of the side view from the back seat of the all-new 2019 Mazda3. (Above)
So I took the same picture with the 2018 Mazda3 I was testing. (top picture)
Of course, it is a bit better than in the new one. But still not that great.
There is actually less of a difference than I thought...

 The trunk is also fine and roomy

 The first thing I noticed when starting up the car in the morning was how loud the engine was.
It also took a while for that indicator (telling me the engine is cold) to turn off.
Which is something you really don't see anymore.

 Once warmed up, the engine settles to a much quieter behavior. Unless you push it a bit. Where it still is louder and coarser than most. But even when quiet, it never sounds great.
(Unless idling or cruising on the freeway, where it's almost silent then.)
It is really strange since the same engine is so quiet in the CX-5. (but also not so much in the Mazda6)

With 184HP, there is always plenty of power. And the sports mode actually works.
The engine response becomes really punchy. While I didn't notice that much of a difference in the steering or ride comfort.

 The ride of the Mazda3 is a mixed bag.
I thought it was very firm around town. Almost too much so, most of the time.

But it becomes pretty smooth on the freeway.

Road noise seems to always be a bit louder than in most other cars. Especially around town.

The transmission is fine. Except it is often reluctant to downshift. Which is OK since the engine always has plenty of power available. So that's not really a big deal.

 My loaded model had a head-up display.
But instead of projecting the info on the windshield, it uses a little plastic screen on top of the dash. A rather complicated set up that requires a small electric motor that lifts the screen up and down every time you start the car.
And for me, it was also always too low. Basically not that much higher than the regular dashboard instruments.

And speaking of heigh. The whole car felt pretty low. Not as a driving position (which can be adjusted)
It just felt like a lower car than average. Even by just walking up to the car, the door handle felt low.
Which made me feel taller than I am ( I am not that tall at 5' 11")

The same thing once inside. The car felt pretty small around me.
The top of the windshield felt a bit too low. The A-pillars felt larger than usual.
It is actually hard to explain...

 The Mazda 3 with the 2.5 Liter engine is rated at 26 City and 35Hwy MPG.
I was not able to get 26 around town. More like 23.

But I had no problem getting a bit over 40MPG on the freeway.

 The Mazda3 is definitely on the sporty side of your average compact car.
it has a lot of power for a car that size, but the drive is especially sporty.
Which is fine, but not to everyone's taste (Especially back seat riders around town)

it is a fun car. the Sport mode works great and makes the car feel even quicker
But I can't help feeling a lack of refinement in the whole thing.

Compared to the Golf especially. it is much nosier and rougher. Which I understand might be its charm for many.
In sports mode, it does feel like a "less refined GTI".

I wonder how the all-new 2019 model improves on this.
To me, the main thing would be engine noise. And a more solid feel that could compare better with today's competition.

Otherwise, it is quite a nice car with a very engaging drive.
Especially for the price.
Without the 2 option packages on my test car, the "still loaded" Grand Touring is $25 000.
With pretty much everything you need or want
( I would avoid the stupid $1750 Appearance package at all cost)

And since an all-new one is on its way, I bet you can get one for a terrific price these days...