Thursday, December 31, 2020

Porsche Taycan Gran Turismo: next to the concept...

As you can see, the Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concept from 2018 was a very accurate preview of the upcoming Taycan Sport Turismo. The concept was just a slightly raised up off-road looking version of the production car (Which could still happen later)
It looked fantastic, and so does the production car.

The Lycan is not a roomy car ( I got to sit in one) but stunning looking in real life.
Too bad it is such an expensive toy. (still over $100 000 in the US) The "wagon" version will turn it into a really practical car.


2022 Lexus NX: new illustrations...


These are some ideas of what a next-generation Lexus NX could look like.
I have not heard about a new NX coming out in 2021. Although the current generation did come out in 2014, so it would make sense.
The illustration above looks a lot like the new Toyota Venza (Which does look like a Lexus anyway)
Something like this would really blur the line even more between the Venza and NX.

I've also heard Lexus's design direction will be evolving into simpler, less angular lines. (something more like THIS)
This just looks like a simple update from the current model.
I am sure they will make sure the next NX doesn't look like the Venza. At least they should...

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander: new illustration...

 This actually looks very realistic. And very close to spy shos we have already seen of the new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander.

And again, thisis not something for everyone. That design is almost disturbing. Over past decades, Japanese manufacturers have always gone into the "weird/overdone' zone" when criticized for being boring. 

This new Outlander seems to be a perfect illustration. Unless this is a fantastic car to drive, I predict trouble for the next Outlander. This needs to be a hybrid only. Or even better, a plug-in hybrid. Or super cheap. Something different. 

Something to stand out besides just being weird and overdone...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: no mirrors...

We did see it before. The all-new 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV will be offered with a "no mirrors" option. At least in Europe. Where small cameras will replace the mirrors. But not in the US where such a setup isn't legal yet.
I actually do not see the point of this. If these cameras were to be flush to the body, I would understand. But they stick out as far as regular mirrors. 
This to me is actually ridiculous. And adds even more electronics where it is really not needed.

2022 Mercedes EQS: next to the concept...

The EQS Vision concept was a pretty stunning design. When you compare it to this new pic of the 2022 Mercedes EQS, the production car is quite a letdown...

The production car actually looks like something that could have been released at least 5 years ago. I am sure it will be nice and competitive. But also, quite a disapointement...


2022 Kia Niro: a shade of Habaniro...


It looks like the new 2022 Kia Niro will be a toned-down production version of the Kia Habaniro concept from last year. The concept looked great and let's hope Kia found a way to keep a lot of that design alive.
Except, you can already tell the lower rear lights (the ones in the bumper) have become very generic. Instead of that really original design in the concept.

This is the second spy shot I see with a strange orange part on the C-pillar. Exactly where the red paint trim was on the concept. So there might be some weird orange paint/trim option for the whole C-Pillar coming up.

This could end up quite interesting...

2022 Honda HR-V: new info...

Apparently, the all-new 2022 Honda HR-V will be available with a choice of a 1.5 Liter Hybrid or a 1.5 Liter Turbo option. At least in some markets. Not sure yet what we will be getting over here in the US.
In Europe, the new Fit is only available as a hybrid. Which, I think, would be a great idea for the US HR-V as well.

The next HR-V will also be about an inch longer than the current model. Although from the multiple spy shots we have seen so far, it actually seems even larger...


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Chevrolet Blazer test drive.

I think the Chevrolet Blazer is one of the best looking mid-sized SUV out there. (and the wheels on the RS trim look great) It is much more modern looking than the Ford Edge. And a cleaner design than the Murano. It also looks downright futuristic next to the Honda Passport that came out at around the same time.
It looks pretty big in person. But at 191 inches, it is about the same size as its platform cousin, the Cadillac XT-5 and the Honda Passport.  But longer than the Edge, and shorter than the Murano.

These mid-sized SUV/Crossovers seem to be in a bit of trouble these days. Squeezed between the ever-growing "compact SUV" crowd like the CR-V or RAV-4. And the increasingly popular longer 3-row models.
It seems that, for most people, roomy compact models are large enough if you need 4 or 5 seats only.

GM only sold around 58 000 of them last year. While the Edge was much more popular with over 138 000 units sold in 2019. While the Honda Passport was kind of a disaster with only 36 085 of them sold.

The interior is kind of a mixed bag. At least in the "sporty" RS version, I was driving. I really don't like any red trim (But that's just me...) So these big plasticky red trims around the air vents are not for me. (I guess they would be metallic other on other versions)
The dashboard looks fine but nothing seems impressive here. the whole thing is just OK, and not very special.

The center vents are really low. Just like in the Camaro. Trying to draw a connection between the legendary sports car and this SUV I guess. But they just end up blowing air from under your arms mostly. Which is a bit weird.
A few of the switches are also scattered all over the place. Like the ones in between these lower vents. And a few more on each side of the screen.
The top part of the door is also covered in hard plastic, something you don't really see anymore.

Otherwise, the whole thing does feel very solid.

The front seats, while very comfortable, are also very flat. With about zero side bolstering. Which is fine. But this is supposed to be the "Sporty" trim. With plenty of "red stuff" inside to remind you.
The seats are anything but sporty...

The back seat is also comfortable. And very roomy, with a nice flat floor.

And there is really big cargo space. Even with the rear seats up.

The first thing I notice is the engine. The 3.5 Liter V6 was just not as quiet as in the XT-5, or a few other GM cars. It seems it really wants you to know you are in a sportier type of SUV. It is not noisy or rough, just not as quiet. The steering is a bit heavy at first. But gets lighter as you drive.
That drive is quite comfortable, but again, not as much as in the XT-5. It actually moves more like a truck-based SUV at times.
You also sit pretty high (A bit too high for my taste). Even in the lowest position available. 

The Blazer RS AWD V6 is rated at 19/26 MPG. A usual with a big V6, it is quite impossible to average 19 around town. More like 16/17. But you can easily get 30MPG on the FWY.

The RS version of the Chevrolet Blazer seems to have a personality problem.
Basically, the Blazer is more luxurious than sporty. No matter what. The steering, suspension, transmission behavior is geared toward relaxed driving. Which is just fine. The seats alone let you know you won't be turning fast any time soon.

I think other versions of the Chevrolet Blazer would be much more attractive. to most. It might look sporty, but it's not. The RS version is also quite expensive. At over $48 000 my RS model was pretty loaded. Bust still didn't have a sunroof. You can save a few thousand by choosing another "non RS" modeL with different options, but no matter what, a loaded Blazer will be over $45 000.

The Blazer is a nice and comfortable SUV. But, even with the RS trim, it has zero personality. 
Which is fine for most people anyway. 

The Chevrolet Blazer is a nice comfortable SUV. Worthy of consideration if you can get some incentives. 
But it is not as special as it looks...

Click on the pic above to see all the pricing details of the Blazer RS.


What could have been: Ford Mustang Mach-e...


We all know the new Ford Mustang Mach-e didn't start life as a "Mustang". The project was just an electric crossover at first.
Later on, Ford suits decided to cash in on the Mustang name. This is what they did by turning a version of the Escape into a "Bronco" Sport. 
I think it is actually a good idea. Why not use their most recognizable names. 

The top image shows us what the EV project was going to look like. Which, I think, would have been nice as well. The Mach-e isn't as modern as the early project. But it does have lots of "almost" retro Mustang touches. And I think they really did a good job of changing the proportions. 

I saw the Mach-e in person last year. And got to sit in it. I was very impressed. The interior is just so much nicer than a Tesla Model 3 or Y. And it did look really nice in the flesh. I just wish they'd offer some of the super cool colors they have for the Bronco and Bronco Sport. The choices they have now are almost as limited as Tesla.

Ford is currently hard at work on another, smaller EV crossover. I wonder it will end up being an addition to the Mustang family, or Bronco...

Monday, December 28, 2020

2022 Kia Niro: new photo...

 In this picture, we can see a bit more of the headlight design. Which is actually quite weird. Although maybe not as bad as what is shown of the ghastly illustration I posted a few days ago (HERE)

There is also a weird orange part on the top of the C-pillar. (Which could be anything.)

Between this and the next Sportage, it seems Kia will try to push the envelope. And so far it looks like might actually go too far. Let's hope both models end up looking better than all the illustrations we have seen so far...

2022 Mercedes SL: new photo...

A few years ago, there were rumors about the next generation SL replacing both the SL and the S-Class coupe. It would have been larger with roomier rear seats.
From what we have seen so far, it doesn't look that way at all. As you can see when compared to the current model, the next-generation actually looks quite a bit sportier. This is expected since the new car is being developed with AMG. 
Under all that camouflage, there are hints of a few retro design cues. The windshield also seems a bit more upright than the current car. Which would be very nice...

I wonder if an EV version is also in the cards...


Sunday, December 27, 2020

2022/23 BMW i7: new illustrations...

If these illustrations are anything close to the real thing, it looks like we'd better get ready for another super ugly BMW design next year.

So far, it seems the new i7 electric sedan will be heavily based on the upcoming 2022 7 series. Just like what Mercedes is doing with many of its new EVs. (Most of them being electric versions of their regular models with a different front end)
The illustrations above show another shocking front end design from BMW. Let's just hope these are completely wrong...


Friday, December 25, 2020

2022 Kia K8: another pic...

 This is just another photo of the upcoming Kia K8 sedan. the K8 will be replacing the Cadenza. Which was one of the worst-selling cars in the US.  

We have seen the K8 before (HERE and HERE). With such slow sales, we might never see the K8 in the US...

2022 Mercedes C-Class: new pic...

 We have seen many photos of the next-generation 2022 Mercedes C-Class already.  This one, again, shows how close it will look to the new S-Class. Which has been the usual C-Class philosophy since the beginning. Since the Mercedes 190 really. Which, at the time, also looked like a small version of the S-Class.

The interior will have a giant center screen on the console as well.

The C-Class isn't the most popular Mercedes model in the US anymore. They sold less than 50 000 of them over here last year. If you think that's bad, it is still almost twice as many as the Audi A4 (26 435 units sold in 2019) And still a few thousands more than the much newer 3 series. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

New Ford Equator: more interior pix...


I have posted photos of the new Ford Equator a few days ago (HERE

You can see a few more details on these new ones. Like the "less than convincing" wood trim on the dash.
Otherwise, this is a very clean interior. Something US Ford models could really use.
I really hope this, or most of it, finds its way into the Explorer soon. 
As well as the Escape and even the Bronco Sport. 

Although that horrible pattern on the wood trim has to go...

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee: new pix...


Just a few more pictures of the all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Which is looking better and better with every new photo.
This is shaping to be a very nice modern update on the classic Grand Cherokee look.

The base engine is rumored to be the usual 3.6 Liter V6. No 2.0 Liter turbo here.
And of course, a few V8s will still be offered.

It'll be interesting to see what kind of electrification will be available. Since FCA is pretty late on that front (Mostly due to Sergio Marchionne's lack of any kind of vision for the future brand. Except big profits at any cost..)

2023 Ford Mustang: 4 door illustrations...


These illustrations of the next-generation Ford Mustang are not all new. But they all show what a 4 door version could look like.
The next Mustang will (supposedly) use a version of the current Explorer platform. Which could, of course, be used to produce a longer 4 door version of the Mustang.

As we know, the Mustang is now the only car left in Ford's US lineup. I personally think a 4 door would not be a bad idea. At least to keep the car popular. As long as the 2 door coupe and convertibles are still available.
I also think a return to a true hatchback would be great. The current Mustang is a fastback anyway. A rear hatch wouldn't really change its looks. While making it much more convenient. With all these SUVs/Crossovers out there you would seem that people are OK with a proper hatch...

Back in 1979, Ford introduced an all- new Mustang that was available as a hatchback as well as a coupe.  I think the hatch design looked great. Slightly trying to still look a bit like a coupe.
We see cars today with a slicker fastback design (Accord and many more) that still do not offer a proper hatch.

Of course, the previous generation, called the Mustang II, was also available as a hatchback.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2022 Ford Mondeo Evos: first pix...

These are the first pictures of the new Ford Mondeo replacement. Ford did patent the name "Mondeo Evos" a while ago.
The new model is supposed to be a raised wagon competing with the Subaru Outback. But from what we can see of the profile, this looks a lot like the Mustang Mach-e. More of a fastback style than a wagon type.
The interior looks like it is some crazy evolution of the new Chinese market Ford interior designs. 
The whole dash is not filled with screens, which I think, is a horrible idea. 

Another thing is the grille that seems all filled. pretty much like an EV. 

What do you think this is??

- The new Ford Evos "wagon".
- Ford's new "smaller than Mach-e" EV.
- A Mach-e based new model.
- The Chinese market version of the Mach-e.