Sunday, October 17, 2021

2023 Mazda CX-50: new illustration...

Now we know the upcoming new Mazda CX-50 will not be the one based on the new RWD platform. (That will be the CX-70 and CX-90 in the US) But apparently, on the CX-30 platform instead. This is confusing since they had announced a partnership with Toyota a while ago that includes a new model based on the Corolla Cross.  More recently, there was also a rumor about a new hybrid-only "CX-7". Bult in Alabama with the Corolla Cross. (That might actually be the one they now call "CX-50")

It seems Mazda is coming up with a giant SUV stew. It also seems many of these models will overlap and compete with each other.

This new illustration shows a very generic design. One that will be 100% invisible everywhere. Wasn't the point of Mazda to be different? At least a little bit?



Car spotting: in Ventura...

I took a short drive to Ventura a few days ago and was surprised to see so many old classics in such a short time.

Can you guess what they are?


Saturday, October 16, 2021

2023 Kia Niro: new spy shots...

Today we finally get to see more of the next-generation Kia Niro. 

It seems like a pretty original design. Although looking a little bit more like a regular SUV than the current tall wagon shape. (Some current owners might not like that)

With all these new Ioniq models, the next Niro might be caught in a bad place, as Kia is now making a huge push for fully electric cars.
And the next Niro is not based on their new EV platform.

I think the most relevant model could be the PHEV. If they can drastically increase the electric range. 
The current model has a 26 miles electric range. But it starts at around $29 000 ($25 000 after current federal incentives). So it is really an inexpensive way to get a PHEV.

 If they double the EV range and keep the price down, the Niro might have a chance to attract people still afraid to jump into the EV world.


2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6: new illustration...

This new illustration of what the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan could look like seems pretty realistic.
It really matches the most recent spy shots we have seen of the car (middle pic)
The interior, at least from this unfinished prototype photo, seems to try hard to establish a link with the Ioniq5.
It seems to be using the same screens, steering wheels, and some controls.

I am not sure how they will position this new model. Hyundai has still not announced pricing for the Ioniq 5, but it is expected to start at around $40 000 in the US.
This means the Ioniq 6 would be more. (Since they call it "6"?) Maybe $45 000 to start?
Sorry Hyundai, but any EV sedan priced above $42 000 will be in direct competition with the Tesla Model 3. And that's bad news.
As we know, right or wrong, the vast majority of people looking for an EV will pick the Tesla every time.
The only way anyone can compete, for now, is on price and features. 
I really don't think the Ioniq 6 will offer more range than the Tesla. 
Since they will appeal to different people, they can still price it close to the Ioniq 5. 

At $42 000, the Model 3 is pretty loaded too. Even the glass roof is standard. This needs to start at under $40 000 to have a fighting chance. Which means the Ioniq 5 should be even cheaper? 


2023 Chevrolet Blazer: new spy shot...

It looks like the Chevrolet Blazer is getting a few changes next year. As you can see, they will be limited, upfront, the bumper, grille, and headlights. As the fenders and hood will stay the same.

(At least they didn't waste camouflage wrap to pretend it is an all-new car)

It looks like the grille could be a bit smaller, but it's still hard to say. I hope the dashboard is revised a bit. I was not a huge fan of it when I test drove the Blazer last year.

While looking quite extroverted, the Blazer is actually quite blah to drive. Nothing really wrong, but nothing really stands out.

I also hope they keep the V6 as an option. 

These will probably be the last changes it will be getting until an all-new electric replacement is ready in a couple of years.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

2022 Ford Ranger: new spy shot...

The new spy shot of the next-generation Ford Ranger looks very similar to what we already saw in early 2019 (bottom pic)
And yet, a bit different. The center piece in the grille doesn't seem to stretch as far to the sides as on the early photo. But that could also be that Ford will offer various grille designs, like on the Bronco.
The sharp line on top of the profile and fenders doesn't seem to be there on the new photo. 
And that could also be due to some clever camouflage.

It almost looks lie if the overseas model (top) could be a facelift version of the current generation.
While the US could be getting an all-new design for some reason?


2023 Mazda 6: new illustration...

 Let's just hope this is way off. While it is true that Mazda grilles will probably look a bit thinner in the future, this is just really bad. Generic and unrealistic.

I've actually heard rumors about the next generation being canceled already. Or at least for the US and Europe. (They might still release it in other countries).

With the recent announcement, Mazda has announced a bunch of SUVs. And only SUVs.  They've talked about the new RWD platform, the 48V Hybrid inline 6. But a new 6 was never mentioned.

Who knows...

2023 Acura Integra: 6 speed manual available!

Not really a surprise, but Acura has just confirmed the availability of a 6-speed manual on the 2023 Acura Integra, as seen on the pic above and teaser video below.
This is great news for manul transmissions fans. The bigger news would be to ditch the CVT. Since the Integra will be based on the Civic, it is rumored to get the Civic's 1.5 Liter Turbo as a base engine.
So far, that engine, in the Civic, CR-V, and Accord, only comes with a CVT as an automatic.

Even for the Integra, the vast majority will order the Automatic version. The 10 speed offered with the 2.0 Liter Turbo would be great.
And maybe, the Integra will offer the 2.0 instead of the 1.5 anyway. That would be a great way to differentiate it from the Civic...


2023 Acura Integra: new spy shots...

 This is pretty much the first photo of a 2023 Acura Integra prototype. You can already tell that under the camouflage, there is a pretty sharp and clean design.

I am really curious about the real thing. A nice 4 door hatchback would be such a refreshing choice these days. I really hope this ends up being a hit for Acura. 

For more pix, head over HERE

Mystery Ford sedan: new photos...


The top pic is a new spy shot of that mysterious Ford sedan we have seen before, with much more camouflage (the bottom photos)
It does look like it could be related to the Evos I had posted about just a few days ago. 
While the Evos is a raised-up hatchback, this is maybe the lower sedan version. 

While the Evos is a Chinese market-only model (so far...). This sedan has been spotted in China as well as Europe. (I also seem to remember spy shots taken in the US a few months ago)
Ford had announced a while ago that the US will not be getting any more car models except the next-generation Mustang. So this sedan will probably not be for us.

It could be Ford's version of the new Lincoln Zephyr for China.

What else could it be?

Next-generation Toyota Prius: new illustrations...


These are pure guesses since we haven't seen any prototype of the next Prius around. 

I wonder how Toyota will keep the Prius relevant in an ever-increasing EV world. The only way, in my opinion, is the just keep the PHEV version and make sure it gets an amazing 100 miles electric range.

Unfortunately, Toyota doesn't seem to be there yet. Their longest PHEV range so far is 42 miles.
Of course, it is larger and heavier than the Prius. But I really think 100 miles or close to it is a must to keep the Prius going.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

2022 Lexus LX600: first photos...

Here are the first pictures of the all-new Lexus LX600, which is based on the new Toyota Land Cruiser we are not be getting in the US.

The Lexus version is here to compete with other truck-based luxury SUVs like the Escalade and Navigator. Although the Lexus is also better suited for off-road driving. More like a Range Rover.

It is powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 Turbo with 410HP. (unlike the Tundra, no hybrid yet)

The current model starts at about $10 000 more than a Cadillac Escalade. Besides the better off-road performance, I just can't see anything that would make this a better choice for most luxury truck buyers.
Most of them will never go off-road anyway.

The design is OK and cleaner. The grille looks like it was designed for a planet where they don't have front license plates.
The whole front end looks a bit ridiculous. That old-timey double screen set up inside is awkward and really no match for the Escalade fantastic interior design.
The rear seats don't even fold flat and the 3rd row looks like an afterthought.

Most potential buyers will not see this as an upgrade from the Escalade at all. I am of course not at all in the market for a huge old fashion luxury truck. But the Escalade interior alone is miles ahead of this...

For some odd reason, sales jumped from 4512 units in 2020 to over 25 000 in 2021 so far. (How weird...)


2022 Ford Equator Sport: 5 seats only...

The new Equator Sport is basically a shorter 5 seater version of the 3 row Equator SUV. 
The Equator is a Chinese market Ford and is powered by the usual 2.0 Liter Ecoboost engine.

It has a pleasant, yet conservative style. And both versions look quite good. I guess, like everyone else these days, Ford just cannot stop coming up with more SUVs. Even if they overlap. (They also offer the Explorer and Edge in China...)


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

2023 Ford Explorer: a few changes...

Looks like the Ford Explorer is due for some changes. These new photos show an all-new front end. 

Which, I think, looks more generic and less integrated than the current one.

And the rear end also has new lights. And they also look more old fashion to me. (Although that LED shape would look good at night)

No news about the interior. The current dashboard could use a more integrated screen, which probably won't happen. Since Ford has been pushing huge vertical screens into almost everything lately.

I actually hope these changes are just for the Chinese market. Our version still looks quite fine.

On another note, whatever happened to that "Next Mustang" that was supposed to be based on the Explorer platform? Remember? That was a thing back in 2019 when the current generation came out. 


2022 Buick Envision: test drive coming up...

I am spending the week driving the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir.
A very good-looking SUV competing in a very busy segment.

So far so good. There is a lot to like here. As usual, I will answer any questions you might have.


Monday, October 11, 2021

2023 Mazda CX-50: a few new clues...


As mentioned last week (HERE), the 2023 Mazda CX-50 will be based on the CX-30. Not the all-new RWD platform. (the larger platform will be used for the CX-70 and CX-90 in the US)

It seems the new CX-50 will be a North American market product only and built in the US.
There is already a rumor about the new 6 cylinder engine being available in the CX-50. It is unlikely since the new engine has been engineered to be used in the new larger RWD platform. But who knows.
If Mazda can make it work, it would really help differentiate the CX-50 from the CX-5. Which will still be available after the new model comes out. (Although it could become a cheaper FWD-only model).

By then, what would be the advantage of the new RWD CX-70? Sure, RWD. Something journalists will rave about. But 99% of buyers won't even care. 
Will it be that much roomier and more luxurious than the CX-50 that will already sit above the CX-5? Or will it be a larger "coupe" design?
3 models covering one segment seems like a lot...

As many illustrations had predicted, the new CX-50 grille looks a bit wider and narrower. At least on these patent illustrations.
I am surprised to see the fake vents on the front bumper return. Since they've just been eliminated from the 2022 CX-5.
Otherwise, it seems Mazda is slowly becoming a Japanese Audi. All their SUV designs look very, very similar these days...

Saturday, October 09, 2021

2022 Ford Evos: the forbidden fruit...

We saw it before, I know. But I still kinda like it...

Ford has officially mentioned this wasn't coming to the US. Although we have seen prototypes of it testing in Michigan. We've also seen prototypes looking a bit more like a sedan driving around. Which is kind of strange.
There has been no news from Ford about a new model for the US. Although they had mentioned in the past that there would be a replacement for the Fusion.
So maybe we will be getting a version of the Evos with a new name.

Who knows...


Friday, October 08, 2021

2022 Ford Ranger: new teasers...

Apparently, there is an all-new generation Ford Ranger around the corner.

But I have a hard time believing it. The current generation has been around since 2011. Although it has only been on sale in the US for around 3 years. 
The teasers above are supposed to give us a preview of the new model for overseas. (apparently, the US will have to wait a year or two for this "new" Ranger)
But when compared to the current model, it looks almost exactly the same. 
This just looks like another facelift, with only new front and rear ends. (The fenders on the orange truck are probably specific to the US FX4 version anyway)

The current generation has had 2 "mid-cycle" refreshes, in 2015 and 2019.
From these photos at least, it looks like a 3rd one is on its way...