Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2022 Honda Civic: the sedan.


I am still a fan of the current generation. Which, to me at least, was a huge step forward compared to its predecessor.

This seems to be a step backward. Sure, it is a lot cleaner. (Especially the hatchback) But they took all the personality out of it. 

This now looks like a smaller Accord. And I am not really sure that's what Civic buyers want. I know these patent drawings are the worst way to see a new design. But right now, this doesn't look as attractive as the new Nissan Sentra. At all.

It seems everyone is trying really hard in the compact sedan segment. Even the Elantra is standing out (a bit too much for some). But designing an invisible car in 2022 might not really work anymore.

This is exactly what Honda did with the 6th and 9th generations. Which were just boring versions of their predecessors. Currently, the Civic is still a huge hit for Honda with over 325 000 sold last year alone.

 I am not sure this next generation will be as popular. From what I see here, it doesn't deserve to be.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

2021 BMW 4 series convertible: green!


This is one good looking convertible.
I know I know. That grille...
I have to admit, I have gotten used to it. Especially the chrome one. (for some reason) And I think it might be the kind of thing that actually looks much better in real life.

The design of the new 4 series lends itself perfectly to a convertible version. This is a very clean looking car. One that will probably look great for many years to come. Like older German designs used to.

The interior looks, of course, exactly like the coupe. Which is fine.

I am not sure if Audi intends to redesign the A5 convertible in a few years or not. But Mercedes will not offer a convertible (or a coupe) version of their next C-Class sedan.
So this all-new BMW Convertible will be one of a rare breed.

The soft top looks great. With a large rear window. It is available in black or a new "silver" finish.

SongSan SS Dolphin: the Chinese 1950's Corvette


The Song San SS Dolphin is an obvious replica of the 1st generation Chevrolet Corvette. 

Back in the '70s there were plenty of small US manufacturers turning out fake 1930's looking cars. Fiberglass reproductions of early Porsches. Or Cobras etc... That trend seems to have disappeared.
Not in China I guess.

I think this is actually really cool. Sure, there could be some design copyright issues. But I don't really care. I just think it would be really fun to see these driving around. The powertrain is a small 1.5 Liter Hybrid. Which makes the whole idea even crazier. 
These guys also showed their SS Summer model. (HERE) Which is that VW bus copy I was mentioning earlier. 
Both cars are probably based on the same platform and use the same Hybrid system.
(And it looks like they also share their dashboard)

These 2 would make for quite a fun, weird and oddball 21st Century garage.
In a Nissan Figaro sort of way...

I also love how they advertise the car on their official website.
Using pictures of American celebrities driving the original 1950's Chevrolet Corvette, in movies or real life. With total disregard for any copyright laws on earth. 
Just imagine any US or European brand using photos of George Clooney, Tom Cruise, or Johnny Depp without even asking (At least I don't think they did...)

It is so crazy it's actually funny...

Ford Mustang Mach E : big drop in price!


Not sure why, but the all-new Mustang Mach E EV will be cheaper than previously thought.

So far, the biggest drop in price is on the loaded Premium model.
Which is now $3000 cheaper. The Mach E does qualify for Federal and state incentives. Which means it would be $37 000 in California (and other states)
That also means it is cheaper than a basic Tesla Model 3. Not sure why it happened, but this is a great move from Ford.
I was lucky enough to see the Mach E in person. And also spend some time inside. And found the interior to be vastly superior to the Model 3. It is also a hatchback. 
You can watch my video of the Ford Mustang Mach E HERE. So basically, it is kind of in-between a Model3 and ModelY. While cheaper than both. And probably, much more reliable and better built.

Great news!

2021 Honda Civic hatchback: Vs. the current model.


While I admirer Honda for cleaning up the Civic Hatchback design, I also wished it had given the car a bit more personality.
From these patent designs, it basically looks like a cross between the current Civic and the Accord.

The hatchback version is now more like a fastback. Which is nice. But also makes me wonder why they would need the sedan version at all.

The current design for the hatchback has always been a bloated mess. With way too many lines, spoilers with fake vents and scoops. The new one is at least tasteful. 
While the current Civic is a hugely popular car for Honda (still over 325 000 of them were sold last year)
The competition has also been hard at work. The Corolla has been redesigned into a very attractive car.
There is a new Nissan Sentra and Hyundai Elantra.
I am not sure the next Civic will look "new" enough to keep the huge sale numbers going...
This could also be seen as a return to simpler designs from Honda. Which is what millions of people used to love about them.

They should also offer some kind of electrification, but Honda is, unfortunately, usually very late about that...

Monday, September 28, 2020

2022 Citroen C5: finally a production version of the Experience Concept?


The super modern-looking CXperience concept came out back in 2016.

It looks like Citroen is finally almost ready to come up with a flagship model that could resemble the 4/5-year-old design.
From the top photo, it doesn't look like they will succumb to the SUV craze. Although they might still add some plastic cladding here and there.
The second pic does shows some influences from the concept.

It will be interesting to see Citroen come up with another large fastback sedan.
Peugeot has also announced speeding up their return to the US (probably with the help of new partner FCA) Which means this upcoming model could have a small chance to end up in the US.
It would be the first Citroen in many, many decades to do so.

GreatWall Ora Futurist Concept: more pictures!


Here are many more pictures of the great-looking Oro Futurist concept from GreatWall.
It was designed by Phil Simmons, who took over as head of design for GreatWall a couple of years ago.
Simmons is mostly known for his Ford and Range Rover designs.
While the front end is actually quite modern looking, the profile is very reminiscent of 1960's European sedan designs. 
The interior isn't the simplest looking thing. But with all these cool retro details, it's actually fine. And it looks like a fun place to be! This really could be the 21st Century Nissan Figaro.

The concept sedan is indeed an electric car. Supposedly capable of over 400 miles on a charge.
The best part is that it might be coming out as a production model as soon as next year. 
At least in China. 

I really wish GreatWall could find a partner in the US to sell this over here. An affordable, super cool looking retro electric sedan would surely find buyers. Not everyone wants an SUV.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

New Honda SUV eConcept: looking great!


What a glorious way for Honda to introduce a brand new design language. This looks great. Inside and out. Displaying a simplicity that has been badly lacking in the past few years.

As mentioned earlier, the new HR-V will be the first model to use this new design language. (it might be too late fo rhe enw Civic...) From the spy shots we have already seen, it even looks very close to this. It will basically look like a toned down for production, 4 door version of what we see here.
So far, this is great news for Honda.

GreatWall: new sedan concept

This is an all-new concept from the Chinese brand Great Wall. And I think it looks fantastic. A breath of fresh air in a world invaded by SUVs and aggressive styling in general.
Not sure yet if this is an EV or not (probably)
Or it will even be produced. This has a weird obvious retro feel. Reminiscent of old European sedans.

I really think there would be a market for something like this.

Honda CR-V: All-new Plug-in version


As I mentioned a few days ago, Honda is coming out with a Plug-in Hybrid version of the good old CR-V.

So far, this will be only for the Chinese market, starting in January. No specs on the EV range mentioned yet.

This is really too bad we are not getting this. Which would be competing in the US with the Toyota RAV-4 Prime. But also plug-in versions of the Ford Escape and the upcoming Hyundai Tucson.

 So once again, Honda is late to the party... Even though they are probably 'saving' this version for the next-generation CR-V. Which means at least another full year or more.

Chevrolet Trailblazer: test drive coming up


I am driving the new Chevrolet Trailblazer for a week.

I will be writing a full review in a few days. But so far, this is actually very, very nice.

The model I have is a loaded version, with AWD, 9-speed auto and the larger 1.3 Liter engine. I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Let's drive: Mulholland Drive


I took a drive along Mulholland drive a few days ago. back when the city was still filled with smoke due to the many local fires.

It does created a strange look but also blocks the views of the city...

Still, I think the legendary Mulholland road is a wonderful drive to take when you are in L.A. I do know a couple of people living up there and I feel lucky every time I get to visit. (Which is, unfortunately, very rare these days)

You can watch the video HERE. 

2022 Honda HR-V: another picture


I know this picture is grainy, and does look pretty bad. Sorry...

But the visual link to the new SUV eConcept (posted earlier) is obvious.
This will basically look like a 4 door, toned down verion of the eConcept. And yes, an electric version of the next HR-V will be available in China (which the concept is previewing) and maybe other markets as well.

Honda is currently getting ready for the revised Accord in the US. Followed by an all-new Civic sedan and hatchback.
I would expect the new HR-V not too long after. Since being a bit larger and may be offered as a hybrid, it will be an even more popular model for Honda.

Honda SUV eConcept: preview of the next HR-V


Here is the new electric concept from Honda. Shown in China. Which means a production version isn't far.

I think it does look pretty nice. Simpler than most current Honda designs. And quite a different design direction.

As you can see, the new Concept is basically a preview of the next generation HR-V coming out next year.
(Prototype above)
(I posted these pictures earlier and got tons of negative and even insulting comments )
Under the camouflage, is basically a 4 door production version of the concept, which will be the next HR-V

Since the concept is an EV, it expected for the new HR-V to offer an electric version. As well as a hybrid model (Which might be standard in some markets, just like th new Fit)

(Thanks to a reader for the tip)