Sunday, January 31, 2021

Fun with configurator: Lucid Air Vs. New Tesla Model S


The Tesla Model S seemed like a good deal in the luxury EV market. Until last week... 
Since the price jumped $10 000 when the interior was finally updated.

I thought it would be fun to compare what you get from Lucid for about the same price.

I didn't price the basic Air model. Since you cannot get the glass roof or fancy stereo on that model. So I priced the "Air Touring" starting at $87 500. Added a paint option, the glass roof, and sound system upgrade for a total of $95 000 before incentives. The Air does qualify for federal incentives of $7500.
If I include local incentives, the price would drop to about $85 000.
Which is only about $2500 more than the model S long rage with optional red paint.

The EV range is about the same for both cars. And both are more powerful and faster than anyone needs. The Air is a much more modern design. And seems much more upscale inside and out. 
While I do like hatchbacks, I would gladly give up some practicality for the Air's overall quality look.

It will be quite interesting to see how the Air is doing...
Good job to Lucid. And good luck to Tesla.

Head over HERE to build your Lucid Air. And HERE to design your new Tesla Model S.

Which one would you pick?

2022 Cadillac CT-5 V Blackwings


Cadillac is finally coming up with a real replacement for the "old" CTS-V. Based on the CT-5 sedan, it is now called the CT-5 V Blackwings.
This is confusing, it doesn't use the real Cadillac Blackwing engine that was introduced (and killed) with the CT-6 sedan.
This will, again, use the 6.2 Liter engine. With even more power than before (maybe up to 650HP)

The CTS-V I test drove last year (or was it the year before???) was a wonderful car and I am glad to see a replacement based on the CT-5.
 But I really think Cadillac has too many sporty versions of its sedans. You can get the regular CT-5 with a "sport" finish/package. You can get a more powerful CT-5 V. (which is not really a "V" model) And now, the "V-Blackwings" (The real V).
All this also applies to the CT-4.

Cadillac, a brand that should be known for luxury (more than any other in the world) now offers more "sport" than "luxury" versions of their cars. 
Which is not only confusing but weird and a bit sad. Since it dilutes the image brand and basically threatens its future. Most potential Cadillac customers want luxury. Not BMW wannabes.

On another note, the V-Blackwing is a 2022 model. From the blurry interior pic, I don't see a new interior there. All Cadillacs really need an "Escalade-like" revamped interior, quick. It now seems the soonest they'll be getting one would only be for 2023...

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: new pix...


While still under camouflage, you can really see the final shape of the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV.
This is, as mentioned earlier, an homage to the early Hyundai designs (Excel) from Ital Design.
( I actually wonder what Giugiaro thinks of it).

We will see the whole thing in just a few days...

Saturday, January 30, 2021

2022 Kia EV: new illustration...


This is a new illustration of what Kia's all-new EV could look like.

The new model is due out later this year. A few months after its platform cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq 5. It will definitely be a very different looking car. This new illustration does look pretty close to the spy shots we have seen of the real thing. (HERE)

Not sure if it will be cheaper or more expensive than the Hyundai. But they will surely end up competing with each other. Genesis will offer a more expensive and luxurious version as well. Based on that same platform.

Friday, January 29, 2021

2022 Nissan Pathfinder: new teaser...

Nissan released a new teaser for the all-new 2022 Pathfinder. I couldn't help but noticing the similarities with last year's Infiniti QX60 concept.

This is expected, since the production version of the QX60 and the new pathfinder are closely related. 

The new Rogue looks really good in person. And I am sure it will be the same for this new generation Pathfinder. It will put Nissan back into the large SUV market in a big way. And with a smaller Rogue Sport coming out in just a few months, it looks like 2021 could be a really good year for Nissan.


New Tesla Model S interior: with a regular steering wheel...


This photo is officially from Tesla and was available on their site  (not anymore). Showing that at least for a while, they were considering a normal steering wheel option for the redesigned Model S interior.

Tesla got tons of press about the new interior. But mostly about the stupid new "steering wheel". Which, I guess, is a way to get huge press coverage for free. Apparently, they have a normal wheel ready if things turn south (Like the "Yoke" wheel not being legal)

On another note, that new interior is really not that great. The picture above shows the Plaid version (with carbon fiber finish). Which means it is a $120 000 car, at least. No matter what, that interior doesn't look like a $120 000 car.  I know the specs are amazing (if useless in the real world), but still...

This is a bit sad...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

2022 Honda HR-V: new teaser pic...

 The new Honda HR-V will be unveiled soon. As the Honda Vezel, in other markets. Our US version will come out a bit later.

You can see that despite the more angular design, it will keep the same type of hidden rear door handle. At, in some markets, it will be available with a giant panoramic sunroof. Which probably won't make it to the US since the HR-V is now the cheapest Honda available here.

Same thing with the hybrid powertrain. Which will be standard in many markets, but will probably not make it over here either because of its cost...

Ford Equator: new pix...


The new Ford Equator is a classic-looking SUV for the Chinese market...
Somehow, it reminds me a bit of the Cadillac XT-6. But better. The exterior has more personality, and the interior is much more modern. And actually seems more luxurious.
Although it has 3 rows of seats available, it is about 6 inches shorter than our Explorer. Power comes from Ford's 2.0 Liter Ecoboost.

I am not sure this would fit in the US lineup. Since its sizes put it right in between our Edge and Explorer.
Although the Edge will be replaced by the new Evos wagon. And a 5 seater version of this Equator would be shorter. 
So, why not...

What do you think? Should Ford offer a 5 seater Equator in the US?

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tesla Model S new steering wheel: is it real?

it seems that a few car journalists actually think the new "Yoke" steering wheel in the refreshed Tesla Model S is not real. That somehow, it is just on these computer-generated illustrations. But will not make it to production.

I unfortunately think they are wrong. The photo above was taken directly from the Tesla website, where you can already order the "new" Model S, for delivery in March. And that steering wheel is part of the official features of the car. it also seems to be standard with no regular version offered at all.

It seems the new steering wheel is universally being trashed on every site I have visited so far. What a weird move from Tesla. Trying to only appeal to rich video game bros now?

What do you think? have you read anything positive about it? 

This is not the first time Tesla showed us this type of steering wheel. Above we have the Ciber Truck and the 2nd generation Roadster. But both cars were prototypes. And who knows how close any of these were to the future production models.  


2022 Genesis EV: a look inside...


We can't see much yet. It just looks like the usual "super widescreen behind the steering wheel" set up.

Which is fine. By looking at recent Genesis interiors, I am sure this will probably be quite nice. 

And look! It has a full steering wheel! 

2022 Mini Cooper: a few changes...

Mini just revealed the Cooper and Cooper S for 2022. With quite a bit of change. 
As you can see, the front end is new. While the rear isn't that different.
the interior received small changes as well. 
And you can finally now order an adaptable suspension system. Which could make the Mini a bit more pleasant to   drive on bad roads (finally)

This is not an all-new generation. And it still doesn't really match the spy shots taken in China a few months ago (bottom pic) Which is really strange. Since a revised model now means an all-new one is at least 2 years away.
The shape of the hatch is different. So are the mirrors. (more pix HERE)
Unless the Chinese market will be getting its own version soon?

What do you think?


Tesla Model S refresh: finally...

I have always been a fan of the Tesla Model S. And, as I was mentioning just a little while ago, I think the design is still fresh. But, like most people, I always thought the interior was quite a letdown for a luxury sedan.
Lately, the Model S has become a pretty good deal as a luxury sedan. With a range of over 400 miles. The "base" model is now loaded with high-end stereo, air suspension, etc... For $69 000.

Today, we finally see an all-new interior for the Model S (Even though Elon Musk lied and denied it was coming)
And I am quite puzzled...

Sure, it's new. And its' got more wood because that's what people think is luxurious. But the whole thing still doesn't seem like a high-end car. And that steering wheel looks like a joke. A video game accessory, not something that should be in a car.

At least they finally added an armrest in the back. Cooling seats, and an even better stereo with 22 speakers. And the range is now 412 miles. But the car is also about $10 000 more than it was last week!
$10 000!!!

Outside, things are actually worse. I think the mandatory chrome delete is horrible. Especially on an $80 000 car. You should at least have a choice.
With the aero wheel covers, black handles, it really looks like a base model $25 000 sedan now...

While the interior is all-new and has tons of wood trim. I don't think it looks more upscale. And that steering wheel will probably turn many people away from getting one.

What do you think? Does it have what it takes to go against Lucid Air?


2022/23 Cadillac XT-5: first look?

 Cadillac's big news lately has been the announcement of the all-new Lyriq electric SUV. And recently, we have seen teasers for the n upcoming Celestiq sedan. Another EV.

But for years, Cadillac's best-selling model has been the XT-5. With over 49 000 of them sold in 2019. Which is still fine, but almost 20 000 less than 2 years earlier. So basically, a good seller in need of a new generation, sooner than later. (The Lexus RX still sells over twice as many units every year...)

The current one came out in 2016. And with sales dropping, a new generation will be welcome. Which should happen next year. There is a rumor that GM will not be spending tons of cash on new ICE platforms anymore. This means the next XT-5 could use an updated version of the current model. Another possibility is using a slightly longer version of the XT-4 platform. (Shared with the new 2021 Buick Envision)

This could actually be the last gas-powered XT-5. Since GM seems to be spending everything on EVs. By 2028, when this new XT-5 turns 6, most Cadillac models will be electric.

I was told by Cadillac designers, that the fantastic screen setup from the new Escalade would trickle down to the rest of their models. The new XT-5 could be the first "non-Escalade" to get it. (Unless Cadillac revises the interior of the CT-5 earlier). It would be a huge improvement over the current interior design. Which looked quite plain and already old when it came out in 2016.

The competition is not resting either. I bet the next Lexus RX will be pretty impressive as well. With an even better hybrid setup (maybe even standard). And probably a plug-in version added. GM really needs to offer some kind of a plug-in hybrid system on the next XT-5. Something else besides the good old "2.0 Liter with a V6 option"...

Monday, January 25, 2021

Hyundai Ioniq 5: more pix...


Just a few details. But so far, this could really turn out to be a designer's dream. The details we have seen so far are pretty amazing.

The only (big) mistake is the Hyundai logo. That just shouldn't be there. At all.

Otherwise, I cannot wait to see the whole thing. Next week...

Tesla Model S refresh: more blurry shots...


Even though Elon Musk said (in 2019) that a Model S and X refresh was not coming. It looks like it is after all...

Tesla has been busy testing the super sporty Plaid version of the Model S. Which is supposedly a bit wider.  (I think the photos above are of that Plaid model). With a more aggressive bumper as well. Although that bumper does look camouflaged, so who knows what's underneath.

Let's hope the refresh Model S doesn't include that "chrome delete" the Model 3 just got. It makes the Model 3 cheaper looking than before. The chrome looks great on the Model S. Deleting it should be an option. Not the new standard.
It looks like a new wheel design is also in the cards. Maybe for the Plaid model only?


I think the Tesla Model S is still one of the best looking cars around. That design just doesn't seem to age.

The interior was never amazing, especially for the price. But I think it aged well too. For some reason, I like it more now than when it came out.
And I really hope they don't redesign it to make it more similar to the Model 3 and Y. 

Better materials in general would be welcome. Some fancier bits. Cooling seats and a rear armrest. And how about more colors?
But that empty-looking interior with the wide floating screen from the Model 3 just wouldn't look right in a luxury car.

I also think the S has become quite a good deal. For $69 000, you now get a loaded car with AWD and over 400 miles of range, 11 speaker stereo, glass roof, air suspension. All that stuff is now standard. And the price keeps going down. Federal and state incentives are also probably coming back to Tesla. Which could mean about $10 000 less pretty soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale: new illustration...

This new illustration of the upcoming Alfa_Romeo Tonale looks pretty realistic. Obviously based on the 2019 Concept (bottom pic), it seems it could be really close to the production version.

Not sure why, but it seems the Tonale has been taking forever to reach production. As it is now scheduled for a late 2021 introduction. A few years ago, the new Giulia sedan was supposed to be Alfa's savior. Which didn't really happen. Then we were told the Stelvio was going to be the hit Alfa really needed. With less than 9500 sold in the US in 2019, that obviously didn't happen either.

Now it seems all hopes are in the new Tonale. Which will be smaller and cheaper. Competing with the Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA etc... Sure. Why not. It does look really good. Since the almost 3-year-old concept still looks fresh. And most of its competition is quite boring.

Let's hope they have a real brand savior in the Tonale. Otherwise, I am not sure where Alfa Romeo is going...


2022/23 Ford Escape/Kuga: new illustration...


The illustration on top shows what the upcoming mid-cycle refresh for the Ford Escape (Kuga in Europe) could look like.
I think it doesn't look as good as what we have now. The super angular grille/headlights don't match the rest of the car at all.

I think the real thing will end up looking more like the revised Focus front end we just saw for China and Europe. And even the all-new Ford Evos (HERE).
I also think Ford will soon adopt these giant super-wide screens in most of their upcoming, redesigned interiors.
Again, similar to the one in the Evos interior (HERE) or the Chinese Edge (HERE).

It will be an "all-screen, all the time" world...

2022 Mazda CX-50: new illustrations...

I think these look great. This would be a great looking update from the current CX-5.
The all-new CX-50 is due out as soon as late this year. Replacing the CX-5. 
And as we know, it will be the first model to use Mazda's new RWD platform. (followed by a new Mazda 6 sedan and a CX-9 replacement)
As well as the new 3.0 Liter Inline 6 cylinder. 

Apparently, a plug-in hybrid version would also join the lineup. Which would make the new Mazda really competitive.
Let's hope they don't move too far upmarket. We don't need more good expensive cars. We need more great affordable ones.

Not sure about the lower pic showing a bit of the interior. Where the console seems misaligned with the dash. Looking weird. Who knows...