Thursday, January 31, 2019

How about another 2020 Subaru Legacy teaser

This one reveals the exterior design.
And it's not really exciting at all.

So far, it really doenbs't look as good or modern as any of the competition. Even the 6-year-old current Mazda 6 design still seems much nicer.

This is disappointing, but, to be fair, Subaru designs are always disappointing.
They present us with a constant flow of very nice Concept car designs. Only to be followed by old/clumsy/busy looking production cars.
This already looks like it came out over 10 years ago.

And their AWD advantage won't last forever.
The new Altima does offer AWD. And since the new Mazda 3 does too, you can bet it will be available on the next generation Mazda 6.

This is really too bad.
I know this is just a bad teaser photo, but from this, I can't really imagine the new Legacy to be 1% more exciting than the old looking current model...

2020 Subaru Legacy teaser

Among the many mid-sized sedans still being produced, I always forget to mention the Subaru Legacy.

It has never really been popular in the US. But Subaru is not giving up on it.
And, a new Legacy also means a new Outback is coming very soon.
While they only sold about 40 000 units of the Legacy last year, (which is still about 10 000 more than the Mazda 6!) Outback numbers were much better with almost 179 000.

What we see here is a teaser of the all-new interior. Which will also end up in the Outback.
And it does look nice and quite an improvement over the current super blocky look.

The base engine will probably be the familiar 2.5 Liter.
But that new generation could mark the end of the creamy smooth 3.6 Liter V6.
Which could be replaced by the Turbo version of the 2.5 Liter (Used in the Ascent)
That's really too bad...

More on this very soon, since it will be at the Chicago auto show in just a few days. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2020/21 Hyundai Elantra

Looks like Hyundai is already hard at work on an all-new version of the Elantra.
Which should be coming out not long after the all-new Sonata.

Looking already quite stylish. A bit reminiscent of the new 2019 Mazda 3 sedan.
But also the new Ford Focus sedan. (The one we are not getting)

The front end looks like it could be similar to what we are seeing on the Kona. With a split headlight design. 
From the cuts in the camouflage, it even looks like the rear light could be similar to what we just saw in this 2020 Sonata pic. Also a cool modern touch...

This could be really nice. Another segment where there now seem to be no bad choices. With the super popular Civic, the much improved Corolla, the already well-reviewed new Mazda3.
A much improved Nissan Sentra is also on its way.

And now, no US brand is represented in that still important segment.
Which is amazingly short-sighted. Something that could cost them dearly as soon as gas prices go up...

2020 Ford Explorer : Without the vertical screen

We've all seen the official press picture on top, of the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer.
Showcasing a super large 10.1-inch vertical screen.
But in the other picture, we see what the dashboard will look like without it.
As it seems to be a much more basic version of the new Ford Explorer. with the standard 8 inches, horizontal screen.
It is kind of weird looking, with an empty area under it. (Unless that is a part missing in this particular prototype)

This is probably what most versions of the 2020 Explorer will look like. Since that "portrait mode" screen could be part of an expensive option package. Or just available on high-end versions.

(Thanks to "Ryan from Canada" for the pic)

All new VW Electric Buggy concept

This sure looks really cool.
An all-electric Dune Buggy would be a great fun car for VW in the 21st century.

But, like the previous 2011 Concept, I think this will just stay a tease.
They are trying to bring awareness to their all-new MEB EV platform before actual cars come out.
And this new Concept is probably all this will ever be, unfortunately..

As I really don't think there is a large market for this. And since VW is just into saving money these days, there wouldn't be room for something like this.
They still sold almost 15 000 Beetles in the US last year (from a high of over 43 000 in 2013) and they canceled that. I really don't think a 2 seater electric Buggy would sell more...

What they need is a Beetle EV based on the MEV platform.
2 and 4 doors?

VW without a Beetle is just another brand...

Saab 9.3: Still not dead...

After almost 7 years, NEVS is finally ready to produce their own version of the Saab 9.3.
As promised, it is an EV.

Although they had shown pictures of much more interesting models a few years ago. 
The real thing pictured here is just the same car as ever. The one Saab starting producing back in 2002.

The specs don't seem terrible. It has a 221 miles range. 
And the price seems to start at around $25 500. 

Not sure how much NEVS paid for the Saab assets, but it doesn't look like they are using much of what they got...

"Zombie Saab" lives on... For now.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Chinese brand Zotye signs 19 US dealers.

Chinese car maker Zotye might be the first Chinese brand in the US.
After so many years of claims, teases etc from so many others...

This completely unknown name to most of us could end up being the very first one here.

They have signed 19 US dealers, and plan over 300 more eventually.
The first ones will be in California and Maryland.

What's a "Zotye"???
Here are a couple of models that could end up over here in 2020:

This one is called the T700.
And it looks fine. Nothing very special, but at least as good looking as many other SUVs.
It came out in 2016. So nothing all new. (But better than their T600 model that is 3 years older)

Not a small car, since it is about 7 inches longer than the Mazda CX-5.
It is a mid-sized SUV powered by a 2.0 Liter engine and a 6 speed automatic.

They also have this newer and slightly smaller T500.
Powered by a 1.5 Liter engine.

They also have many other models, but most of them much older. Or super boring looking sedans. (Which I am sure they will not bring over here.)

Not sure what to think of this yet. 
If they don't offer something new, it'll be really tough for them. Especially these days where more
people might have a negative view of Chinese products in the US.
(Which is ridiculous since every single electronic product we buy has a Chinese connection)

Maybe the price would be the incentive. At least at first. It was for Hyundai with the "$5000 Hyundai Excel" a long time ago.

What do you think?
Will Zotye really be the first Chinese brand sold in the US?

( I do not count the Chinese models imported by GM or Volvo)

2019 Renault Clio

I think Renault did a fantastic job with their new Clio.

It does look a lot like the current design at first, yet manages to seem much more modern.
As if the car was sculpted of one single block. Range Rover did something very similar with the new Evoque. Which does look a lot like the previous one. But again, is actually a much cleaner, more modern design and has almost a futuristic feel to it.

And of course, that interior is quite amazing for a small inexpensive car. (more pictures HERE)
Of course, this is too bad we will never get this over here.
Although the tiny hatchback market is not really setting record numbers these days.

Toyota even announced the demise of the Yaris Hatch in the US a few days ago. 
The Fiesta is gone and Ford won't sell the new model over here.
Mazda stopped selling us the Mazda 2 years ago. 
Nissan never brought the Micra over here.

I guess, for those of us traveling to Europe, we can always rent one of these over there for a few days...

Here is the current model.
An already cute little car.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

More pictures of the all new Hyundai Sonata for 2020. (also HERE and HERE)
And it still looks like a very nice design. More modern than the current model.
And ready to do battle with the Camry, Accord, Mazda6 and the 2020 VW Passat.

Hyundai and Kia are rumored really improved the driving dynamics of both cars. Which could really make these two some of the best choices today for a mid size sedan.
There seem to be no bad choices these days, really. It is mostly a matter of taste and design preference.

Glad to see that, as expected, some design cues from Le Fil Rouge Concept made it into the production car.
it is very toned down of course, but a bit of that personality is still there.
And, again, this car really begs for a hatch. With that kind of design, there is really no excuse for a regular trunk anymore...

2020 Genesis G80 Interior

The next generation G80 sedan will be the first time the model will be a true Genesis design. Since both previous generations were sold under the Hyundai brand.

And from the look of these interior shots, the interior will be truly luxurious.
With more original and upscale feel. 

I really think the Genesis brand could have a very bright future. With, finally, an SUV on the way (with 2 more coming later), this could become serious competition to Lexus.
And also to Lincoln and Cadillac.

Good for them...

2019 Renault Clio Interior

It looks like Renault is really making an effort with the all-new Clio. At least inside (Pictures of the exterior coming up soon)

This is quite an amazing step up from the current model.
I have seen the current Clio in person while traveling in Europe. It is a very cute car with a decent interior for its size and price (about the same as a Ford Fiesta)

But this is really, really nice. Of course, I realize we are probably looking at the most expensive loaded version. Still. You can load up a Fiesta or a Polo and it will never look like this. 
Sure, theere is again a huge tablet sticking out. But, just like the one inthe Explorer, it seems to bother me a little less. Somehow... Maybe it is the vertical arrangement which reminds me of the Model S?
Or a phone?

For those of us who have never seen one (which is most of us here in the US) here is the current interior of the Clio. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

2020 Lexus LX

I guess the Lexus LX and its cousinToyota LandCruiser might be up for a new design next year. So people are starting to come up with illustrations of what they could look like.

The one above shows one ugly beast. Even uglier than the current model.
Which means it could actually be pretty realistic...

I guess there is a market for such things... And will still be one by 2020.

Here is the current model.
Which I am sure is very capable off-road.

But in the US at least, it goes against trucks like the new Navigator and upcoming redesigned Escalade.
Which are really not as vulgar as this. No matter how hard they try...

New Geely FY11 Crossover "coupe"

I think this new Chinese Geely model looks quite decent. Especially inside.

Outside, it has criticized for looking too much like a BMW X4.
Sure, I can see that. But BMW's don't really look like BMWs anymore. At least to me.
So this is an OK look. 

And that interior seems very nice. Actually more interesting than a BMW. 
The car is based on the same platform as the Volvo XC40, so it is probably a pretty nice driving car as well. 

I just wonder when Geely will really start selling these cars in Europe and the US.
Where they already have an established dealer network with Volvo.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

2020 VW Passat Video in full "BurlappVision"

At least in this video, the "not-so new-all-new" VW Passat does look pretty nice.

This is quite a good looking sedan.

I also think the "even less new" interior isn't that bad and will probably seem new to most people interested in that car in the first place.

Most of the video shows the sportier looking R-Line model. But you can get a glimpse of the regular version towards the end. Which should be the most popular model anyway.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Looking for Columbo's car. Part 1

I've always been a big fan of 70's cop shows. And Columbo is no exception.
Plus,  that car was pretty iconic. An L.A cop driving a 1959 "rare" Pininfarina designed Peugeot convertible (Only 2040 of them were built)

I spotted this car on a parking lot at Universal Studio a few years ago, while attending some party on the lot.
It was, as you can see, quite a sad looking thing. Even though Columbo's car was never in great shape to begin with, this one was just rotting away, decades after the show...

Recently, I've been thinking about this car again and going back to that lot. (that and the news of the Rockford Files car selling at an auction last week) 
I did just a few days ago. And of course, the car wasn't there anymore.
Most people in the Transportation Dept didn't know where it could be (most were not even aware of the show!)

But, after talking to a few people. I got a lead. And went to another Universal owned location, where I found out the car is indeed being stored. (I have to now go through "proper channels" in order to actually see the car)

I will keep investigating. And will report soon. Hopefully with pictures of the car...

Here is the car from the top picture, on the actual show.
(Although this is from one of these 90's TV Movies and not the original 70's show.)

These original cars might just be gone by now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Volvo Polestar 2 teaser

 The new teaser for the upcoming Polestar 2 EV shows how close it will resemble the 40.2 Concept from 2016. (white car)
Which, at the time, was said to preview the next V40.

With a much larger glass area, the production car could actually end up looking more modern than the concept.

This will be one big competition to the Tesla Model 3.
The Tesla has shown there is a big market for a hatchback EV from a luxury brand.
And Volvo seems to be ahead of everyone when it comes to competing with the Model 3.

The new Polestar 2 sedan is supposed to compete with the Tesla in price too.
But who knows if it will be the "not produced yet" $35 000 version. Or the ones that currently sell for over $50 000.

It is also supposed to have 400HP and an EV range of 350 miles.

Here is the 2016 Concept.

The 40.1, unveiled at the same time, was a very accurate preview of the XC40.
So it is fair to expect this to be very close to the upcoming hatchback EV.

2020/21 Nissan Z

Another car that coudl be replaced after 10 years: the Nissan Z. (It was introduced in December 2008)
There has been rumors of a new one for years.
EV. Not EV.   Hybrid. Not hybrid.   V6. Not V6. Etc...

Now it seems that Nissan could be using their new 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo.
Which usually makes much more power than the current 3.7 Liter V6.

These are obviously just illustrations.
It seems that every time Nissan comes up with a new design language, someone does an illustration of what a new Z could look like.

The current model is still a very nice, sporty drive. The good part is you can get a used one for a super good price.

We'll have to wait and see what that all new one will be like...

2020/21 Rolls Royce Ghost

After over 10 years, the current Rolls Royce Ghost sedan will be getting an all-new design.
As you can see, in this case, "all-new" will mean "very similar".
And why not...

The current car is still really good looking. And much less obnoxious than the giant Phantom.
(And I am not even talking about the nightmarish Culligan)
And it's "only" $312 000.

This is the car that shows Rolls Royce can still build a classy, understated and well-proportioned car.

At first, I thought the car in the spy shot was a lot sleeker than the previous version. But when compared to the current one, it doesn't seem so at all. 

Bentley is also hard at work on an all-new Flying Spur sedan. And that car will be a lot sleeker than the one it will be replacing.
And cheaper than the Rolls. Since the current one is "just" around $210 000.
the price of an S Class less than the Rolls)

More pictures HERE