Thursday, March 31, 2022

2023 Kia Seltos: new pix...






The Kia Seltos is getting a refresh for the next model year. As usual, most of the changes will be at both ends. As well as inside.
With all that camouflage it's pretty hard to say what the updates might look like. I just hope they make the Seltos design a bit simpler.
I remember being a bit disappointed when ai saw it in person a few years ago at the auto show. That front end is just so busy.
I also remember that I've seen only a couple of these around since that first one at the show.

Apparently, the Seltos isn't that popular. With only 51 356 units sold last year. Which is about 7 times less than the Honda CR-V!

The Seltos is probably a very nice compact SUV that deserves better...


 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Lotus Eletre: new videos...



Here are two really cool and informative videos from Europe showing the all-new Lotus Eletre electric SUV in detail.
Obviously, this is still an early prototype, and not everything is working yet.

The Eletre comes with an 800V charging system. Which means 10 to 80% charge in less than 20 minutes if you can find a 350kW charger.
The range is projected to be around 373 miles on the European cycle. Which probably means something closer to 350 or even 330 in the US EPA test.
Which is OK but not that great for an expensive luxury SUV.

Speaking of expensive, they are rumors of an "around $100 000" price.
Which sounds crazy until you realize this would actually be less than the aging Tesla Model X.
The Lotus is also a bit longer than the Tesla. And almost exactly the same length as a Rivian 1S SUV.
We're talking about a big luxury SUV that seems made for the US market in mind.

Although Lotus has not confirmed North American sales yet...

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Lotus Eletre: first photos...

 








We saw early patent pix of the new Lotus EV SUV, and they looked OK.
But the real thing seems pretty stunning so far.
This just looks great inside and out. Sure, the screen could be integrated better. And that gold trim stuff is just super cheezy.
But that's probably a trim choice or an option anyway.

Not sure about specs or pricing yet. But it does look expensive. It'll probably compete directly with the BMW iX. Ane even with the Rivian 1S.

A very nice blend of sporty and luxurious... At least visually. Something BMW completely failed to do with the overdone and lumpy-looking iX.

More on this soon...


2024 Kia EV9: new illustration...



Here is a more realistic version of the Kia EV9 we saw at the Los Angeles Auto Show late last year. The concept looked pretty wild. And something that could have a hard time being accepted as a production car.
This new illustration gives it a more production-ready look.

But I think it is still a bit too clumsy to be attractive to most. Even though it's a bit weird, there is a simplicity in the concept that is really nice. 

I hope they can keep how clean the concept is in the translation to production.

 

2023/24 Hyundai Santa Fe: new illustration...


 This new illustration shows us what a next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe crossover could look like.

It looks like a weird blend of the current Santa Fe and the next-generation Grandeur luxury sedan. Which ends up looking... just plain odd. 

The front end of the current Santa Fe is pretty scary and I would hope Hyundai could find something else to do with the next one. Something much cleaner. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

New Buick logo: here it is...




Buick had shown black and white graphics of their new logo a few days ago. And here it is already on a new model.

I think it just looks a bit weird. It doesn't really say anything at all. Not sure why the shields are now in a row. Maybe if they were closer it could work better?  This doesn't say "Buick" at all to me. It looks like a new logo from some new unknown company...

As for the new model itself, who knows. It's probably some Chinese market only EV. Or maybe the upcoming all-new Electra. That would be nice...

 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

2023 Hyundai Grandeur: new illustration...


It's been a few lonely days, or even weeks, since we have seen a new 2023 Hyundai Grandeur illustration.

This latest guess looks pretty realistic. (Except for the weirdo perspective). We've seen most of the profile in many spy shots before. But many are still hard at work to guess what the front and rear ends will actually look like. 


 

Friday, March 25, 2022

GMC Canyon AT4: back to the future...





The GMC Canyon and its clone the Chevrolet Colorado, came out back in 2014. Which isn't that long ago. Especially for a pick-up truck. It has a classic pick-up truck design that actually aged pretty well. It also knows what it is, unlike the Honda Ridgeline which has a hard time deciding.

Of course, it is not nearly as refined as the Honda, but that's want most truck buyers seem to like. 






Even though it is "only" 8 years old, the Canyon has some really odd, and really old time features. 

The first one you notice is the key. Which reminds you of some 1990's car or truck. A tiny, cheap feeling key and its separate remote module. The door locks also make this super loud sound old cars aficionados will "love"...
Then, the gauges. With their small screen and green/blue lighting. Just like many GM cars and trucks from over 20 years ago. 
Even the hand brake is the super old pedal type. Something I haven't seen in a long time.
The whole thing feels like you bought an old truck with zero mile on it. Which, is kind of charming in its own way I guess. 
The 8 year old interior design has also aged OK. In a sea of giant screens and tablets everywhere, it's almost refreshing. 



The seats look great, but they're not. They're very hard and the cool looking headrests feel like bricks.
At least the Bose sound system in my test unit sounded really good. And was a nice surprise (you never know with Bose...)




The drive is pretty much what you'd expect for a truck that came out 8 years ago. It's a bit tighter than the full size offerings. But again, not a refined ride like the Ridgeline. The steering is a bit vague on the freeway but perfectly fine around town.
I drove it on some light trails and it did really well thanks to the high clearance of the AT4 version.

The Canyon AT-4 V6 is rated at 17/24MPG.
The best I got around town was 16. And 25 on a long FWY stretch. And is again, fine for a V6 truck with the aerodynamics of a brick. 





At over $46 000, I think my loaded test truck is quite expensive. Even by today's crazy prices standards. Sure, there is no need for most people to step up to a giant full size truck. This is the right size for most. But, being an 8 yer old design, there are plenty of used ones around. For a lot less money.

For most buyers, the Honda Ridgeline is a much better choice. A very refined pick up that actually rides like a luxury car. 

The main personality trait of the 2022 Canyon is "old fashion".
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to recapture that old 1990's GM feeling, this is your truck.
But do it fast. Since an all-new Canyon, with plenty of screens everywhere, is coming very soon...




 

2023 Honda HR-V: one last spy shot...



Since we will be seeing the real thing on April 4th (and maybe even before), the top photo is probably the last camouflaged prototype we will see of the 2023 Honda HR-V for North America.
(The bottom pic is part on my post from last year)

As we already know, the US HR-V is larger than the one that came out last year in Europe and japan. And is probably more related to the Civic than the smaller Fit.
The new photo shows a bit of the screen. Which, so far, looks a lot like the one in the Civic (And Euro HR-V)

We'll see...

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

2023 Honda Civic Hybrid: official pix...





The new Honda Civic eHEV for 2023 has been unveiled. In Europe only so far...

As you can see, it looks basically the same as our Civic hatchback. the "Advance" version seems to be similar to our top of the line "Sport Touring" in the US. Same wheels, 12 speaker Bose, sunroof, leather etc...
It is powered by a hybrid powertrain with a 2.0 Liter engine for a total of 181HP.

In my opinion, this would be the best Civic to get if offered in the US. As the Honda  CVT actually works great when pared to a hybrid powertrain. Like in the Insight or Accord Hybrid.
This would be a great replacement for the slow selling Insight. And would probably not be much of a premium. In the Accord, the hybrid version is only about $1500 more than the basic 1.5 Liter model. And less than the 2.0 Liter.
Which means a hybrid Civic could be priced between the base 2.0 Liter and the more powerful 1.5 Liter Turbo. Who knows...
Even if it is a small premium over the turbo, it would be well worth if just for the much better CVT behavior with the hybrid.
The super high mileage would just be icing on the cake.

I really hope they bring this over here...

 

2023 Honda HR-V: new teaser...




Honda just released an all-new teaser of the next-generation 2023 HR-V for the US market.
While the new pic shows the final tail light. We had seen it before in the previous teaser (2nd pic) and the spy shots I posted a few months ago.
(back when we weren't sure what it was...)

The engine is rumored to be the 1.5 Liter Turbo from the Civic and larger CR-V. But from the previous spy shots, we know there will be at least 2 versions of the new HR-V. Some of the spy shots showed a prototype with a concealed exhaust. Which probably means a Hybrid or PHEV.




I personally think the new HR-V interior might end up looking like a cross between the current Civic and the European version of the HR-V (bottom pic)
Even if they just used the Euro HR-V interior it would be quite nice.

Honda has rebuilt the HR-V better than it was before. Better... Stronger...Faster....

We will know everything when Honda unveils the new HR-V on April 4th. 

 

2023 Mini Cooper: official spy shots...








Following a recent trend, Mini has decided to release some "official" spy shots of the upcoming 2023 Mini Cooper. These are basically sharper photos of the camouflaged prototypes we have seen over the past year. 

And they do match the uncovered prototype photos I posted a few months ago. These photos were taken in China. Prompting a rumor that the new Mini SE EV will be a Chinese market model only. But, as you can see from the top photos, it is the same one pictured in the new teasers. The one with the weird rear end design, and "regular" front hood opening.
Other camouflaged prototypes have been caught looking much more like the current Mini Cooper. With a clamshell hood and "normal" tail lights. 
Some have speculated that Mini would offer a revised ICE model based on the current generation alongside the all-new redesigned electric version. 



It's all weird and confusing and is giving me a headache...

 

2023 Maserati Grecale: official pix...







This is actually not as bad as previously feared.

The new Maserati Grecale looks OK. It does seem like a slightly more modern (and of course, smaller) version of the Levante. Apparently, Maserati is making a big deal about the interior. Which is fine. But nothing really amazing. At least from these photos, it doesn't really look more impressive than the recently introduced Mazda CX-60.

The base engine is a 296HP 2.0 Liter 4 cylinder. It goes all the way up to a V6 turbo with well over 550HP. Something no one will ever actually be able to use on legal roads.

And there's an intersting all electric Folgore version coming later (bottom pic)

This isn't as bad as it could have been. But at a rumored $63 000 base price in the US, it's pretty crazy. Sure, it's cheaper than the $80 000 Levane. But we're talking about a "base" $63 000 4 cylinder SUV. 

Again, for some reason, I can't help comparing it to the new Mazda CX-60. Which isn't the prettiest thing, but seems to have a much nicer interior and a 6 cylinder. And is probably loaded for a bout $20 000 less than the basic Grecale. 

I guess there are enough people who must show off some exotic brands to their neigboors to make this a moderate success for the brand...