Saturday, March 30, 2019

Last night at Bob's...

A few things I saw last night in Burbank.
Some in better shapes than others, but all so much more interesting than most of what we see today...

2020/21 Kia Optima

A new Hyundai Sonata means there is a new Kia Optima around the corner.
And here it is.
Although still wearing tons of camouflage, inside and out.

As usual, it will share its platform and engines with the new Sonata.
So far that's pretty much all we have...

Friday, March 29, 2019

2020 Karma Revero

The 2020 model is the dark one above.

Despite what Karma describes as " new lines and curves", it doesn't seem to be more than some mid-cycle (a long cycle) facelift.
Like a new front and rear design, new mirrors and a revised interior.
The powertrain is supposed to be new. With, I guess, a longer EV range.

Not how good of a car the Karma actually is, but it is always a treat to see on the road.
And I am glad they are making more.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

New Lexus model coming up...

Lexus will show an all-new model in China on April 16th.
But what is it???

From the logo pictured above, we know it will be a hybrid. Or at least something that comes in a hybrid version.
What could it be?

A replacement for the CT?
New IS?
Something totally new???

What do you think?

2020 Ford Escape teasers

 So far this looks really good.
Not trucky at all, and very car like. Which it should be since it will basically replace not only the current Escape but also the Fusion and Focus in their US lineup.
(The trucky ones will be the Bronco and that smaller "baby Bronco" one coming out later.)
This basically looks like a sleek high riding compact wagon.
Competing more with Subaru than other SUVs. So it seems.

As I mentioned earlier, I will be seeing it in person next week and will report on it...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Just a few more pictures of the 2020 Buick lacrosse for China

This really was a case of a good car getting even better. 
Which is too bad GM decided to close down the plant where it was made for the US market.
This was probably a last minute decision to save some cash before the end of the year. 
Since this facelift was obviously planned a while ago. 

I don't see any changes in the interior. Except maybe the matte wood trim.
And the exterior just looks great...

2020 Lincoln Corsair video teaser

As we already know, the all-new MKC will be actually called the Corsair.

Which is great news. Lincoln saw the mistake of these stupid names and had the guts to change it.

Unlike Cadillac.

The Corsair will be based on the all-new Ford Escape, but with its own design.

Which, as you can see HERE, (interior shot HERE) looks a lot ( a lot!!) like a small Aviator.

Which is more good news?

I already predict a hit for Lincoln with this...

2020 Nissan Juke

These were sent to me by a reader who is wondering if they are the real thing.

While they probably look really close, I am not sure they are. In the first picture, the top of the A-Pillar looks very angular. Much more so than on the prototype pictured HERE.

But as I said, I am sure this is pretty close.

What do you think?

How about even more pictures of the new 2020 Hyundai Sonata

This looks better and better every time I look at it.
Let's just hope the materials are up to the fantastic design.

I also hope the engines (heavily revised versions of the current ones) are as refined as the car looks.
I would say this could be very bad news fo the Accord and Mazda 6.
And I will do anything I can to test drive one as soon as I can...

The only bad news so far... The small trunk opening instead of a proper hatchback, Which would have fit the design perfectly...

2020/21 Buick Envista?

 GM just trademarked the Envista name for the US.
Which, of course, sounds a lot like a Buick.
Which means, an all-new, non-Opel based, Buick model is coming up.
(They also, just a few days ago, announced a new EV model will be soon built in the US.)

It could be yet another SUV, something based on the new Chevrolet Blazer maybe.
Or a US version of the Chinese Velite 6 EV pictured above?

Or it could be a production version of last year's Envicta EV concept.
This would actually make sense since it looks pretty small and could be based on the Volt...

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

2020 Ford Escape right here next week.

Just got invited a few days ago to see the all new 2020 Ford Escape in person next week.
I will be reporting on it, with pictures and videos as well.

So far, we know it pretty much shares its interior with the European 2019 Ford Focus (not sold here anymore)
And there will be a plug-in hybrid version available.

I will try to answer any questions you might have about the 2020 Escape when I see it and get to talk to
Ford people.

Prototype pictures HERE and HERE.

Mazda CX-3 test drive coming up...

Just got this really cute Mazda CX-3 for a week, And as usual, will report on it soon.

It is a loaded Grand Touring model with Premium package.
Just drove it around town for a few miles. So far, this is a really cute and super good
looking thing.
But that engine is super loud when cold. It calms down to "almost" normal levels after a while. But why so loud at first???
And the ride quality is really hard.

More soon...

2020 Nissan Juke

Even though it will be based on a new platform, you can tell Nissan is keeping the Juke design close to The current model (the red one)
Looks like the rear door is a bit longer. And the whole thing seems more angular.

Not sure if the next Juke will make it to the US though...
Is there enough space for it between the $18 500 Kicks and the $22 500 Rogue Sport?

I guess why not. Since the market seems to be swallowing any kind of high riding crossover/SUVs these days.

 How about making it an EV with the Leaf powertrain?
And how about using the EV Leaf powertrain in anything else anyway???
Even GM is coming out with a second EV based on the Volt.
What happened to Nissan EVs????

More pictures of the 2020 Nissan Juke HERE

Monday, March 25, 2019

Chevrolet Camaro 2.0 Liter Track package test drive.

 I have always been a fan of the current Camaro design.
Sure, it does have some drawbacks in daily driving, like a major lack of visibility (more on that later), But it does look good.

I am not a fan of black wheels, spoilers etc.. But this track model I drove for a week actually looked
very nice. And not overdone for what it is.
(Which could be hard to say about a car with a black hood)

 The interior is basically the standard $27 500 2LT model.
With a $4500 track package.
So the screen is rather small. But that's OK. Everything works well and it does come with Apple CarPlay.
The stereo sounds just OK for a standard unit.

The plastics are all pretty hard. But again, expected.

 What is also expected is a tiny back seat.
( I didn't even try it...)

 Less expected is the weirdly shaped trunk opening. And super tiny trunk size.
Which is really weird, and just too bad...

This is basically a 2 seater sports car with extra emergency seats in the back.
And a small trunk "just in case".

 The track package comes with a really nice suede steering wheel and shifter.

 While, surprisingly, the 2LT model already comes with heated and cooling leather seats.

 As I mentioned earlier, the lack of visibility takes getting used to.
But I did. After a couple of days, this wasn't that much of a problem.

As I don't take cars on the track (and have no interest to do so), I was more interested to see if such a sporty version of the Camaro could actually be a decent daily driver.
The 2.0 Turbo is wonderful in the Camaro. It sounds great and refined, and produces plenty of power at all time.

The 6-speed manual is a joy to use in daily driving. The steering is of course quite heavy. And feels great.
The Track mode might be a bit much for most people as it firms up the steering even more, but somehow, the suspension actually feels a bit more comfortable.

The whole car feels like a super solid tank when you drive it.
Which is so weird to hear such a tiny, weirdly plasticky sound when you close the doors.
(It almost sounds like a kit car from the '70s...)

The 2.0 Liter Camaro 6 speed is rated at 20/30 MPG.
I was never able to reach 20MPG in the city. As far as I am concerned, it is impossible.
The best I got was 16. (driving like grandma)

But I did get 30 on the freeway. 

All I can say is that I had a blast driving it all week.
It is a wonderfully fun car to drive. 
It feels great and sounds great. Visibility IS a big problem for many people.
But I see it as part of the car's personality. (This is not a car for everyone. )

But those who like it will really have fun driving every day.

While the 2.0 with track package is a pretty good deal at $32 000, I bet the Camaro 2.0 is still a lot of fun without the package.
The 2LT coupe 6 speed for $27 500 would be an even better deal. 
( Although I would spend some cash on a better stereo)

It is really great to know there are still a few super fun cars to drive available at a reasonable price.