Monday, December 19, 2005

Hyundai Minivan

---Picture removed by the Fuhrer's order---

Not sure what the name will actually be. Maybe the "Trajet".
Anyway, this is the on again, off again Hyundai version of the new Kia Sedona minivan.
It looks OK, but not really better than the Kia.
And it looks like they are each other closest competition...

Here is the Kia.
As you can see, not much difference. Just the front and the rear lights. Not sure if the interior is new.
I guess they figure if Chrysler can sell they minivans though pretty mauch all they brands, why not....

New BMW 3 series Coupe

These look real to me, but who knows.

The actual car would pretty much look like this anyway. No big surprises from BMW really. The coupe version of the 3 series always look like a 2 door version of the sedan. Never really original.
I think Honda just did a better job at making the Civic Coupe look different than the sedan.

And yes, I am again comparing a "premium" German brand with a more mundane Japanese one...

2007 Chevrolet Aveo

The new little Chevy was introduced to the European market a few months ago. But this is the US version.
And it looks much more upmarket than the previous model. Almost good enough to compete with the Cobalt.

The interior of the European version adds wood, which I'm not sure we'll get over here. That might just be too much for a "cheap" car.
With this car, GM has a great entry to compete with the new Toyota Yaris.
I just wonder if the hatchback is returning. And if so, what does it look like...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Early Holiday treat!

  • Why don't you join myself and my roommate Phil in our favorite hang out:
    The Buttbar in beautiful Van Nuys California.

    This is where we relax after a hard day of being Hollywood Extras.
    Where we always meet pretty girls.
    As you can see on this clip, they love us there.

    And be sure to "check you local listings" soon (well.. not right away...) for more on our exiting life in Hollywood, and our quest to take over the movie capital of the world.

    So go ahead, click on the picture!

    Saturday, December 17, 2005

    New Ford Mondeo

    More illustrations of what the next Mondeo could look like.
    And they seem to agree with previous guesses. If the car looks anything close to this, it might be the last nail in the Passat's coffin. And it'll be even tougher to be happy about the Fusion/Milan...
    (I still think Mercury should just be selling the European Ford line).
    That is one stunning looking sedan. A true "4 door sports car".

    Nissan should take a clue from Ford when they rethink the next Maxima...

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    Citroen C4 sedan

    I weird one, and another proff that adding a trunk to a modern hatchback design ruins it.
    Although it loos from this picture, that they changed more than the back. So maybe it's not a C4 after all. New C5?
    Who knows???
    Not the prettiest Citroen design anyway...

    This is the regular 5 door C4. A good looking, modern design.

    Kia Soul Concept

    A little bit of Land Rover, a little bit of Nissan Note.
    But it would still be nice if they could actually something close.

    I'm not holding my breath...

    New Audi A2

    So the A2 is dead... But Audi still wants to have a smaller, and cheaper car than the A3.
    This time around it might be in the form of a small 2 door coupe, instead of a tiny but roomy 4 door hatch, like the previous one was.
    Who knows, we might even get it over here. If sales of the A3 aren't doing too bad, that is...

    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Hyundai HCD-9 Concept

    Here is a better view of the new concept from Hyundai. And what a name...

    From that angle, it looks less like a 2 (or 4 ) door coupe, and more like a weird sporty crossover.

    Don't hold your breath though. So far, none of the great looking Hyundai concepts from the past have ever influenced their production designs...

    New VW Touran

    The current Touran came out in 2003. So this German illustration seems a bit early, at best. (unless it is their upcoming small SUV)
    Touran is a small van type car based on the Golf. Like the Renault Scenic is based on the Megane.
    But the VW is one of the most boring design out there.
    I hope the next one tries a bit harder to be somewhat attractive...

    If sold here, it would compete with the Mazda5.
    I am not sure about the sell figures of the small Mazda van, but I must say I have seen only one on the road since it came out...

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    2007 GTO

    This just looks like someone added after market crap on their GTO.
    But is is said to be the look of next year's Holden Monaro. So we might actually get these changes on the GTO.

    Not pretty...
    You can't really make a boring design exiting by adding spoilers, side skirts etc...
    Wasn't Pontiac supposed to stop that a couple of years ago???

    Any car called GTO should look great. Let's wait for the next one.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    2007 Mazda CX-7

    That's all we have so far, the 1st official picture.
    And it looks great, about as good as last year's concept.

    The engine for the US will be a 2.3Liter Turbo with 244hp. The combined MPG is expected to be 23.
    FWD or AWD and it seats 5.

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    2007 Toyota Corolla.

    Two new illustrations of the Euro Corolla this week. Althought the top one almost looks like an official shot...

    It matches all the spy shots of prototypes I've been posting in the past few weeks, so I believe it is really close to what we'll see.. In Europe.

    Here, well... Add a trunk for one thing. And srinkle a bit of chrome on the grille to make it look more like the new Camry.
    (although the S model might keep the Euro grille).

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Chevrolet Camaro Concept

    GM will show a concept version of the next Camaro in just a few weeks.
    It is sure to be one of the hightlights of the Detroit Auto Show.

    This is an illustration of what that concept might look like. And I think it is very close to what we'll see early next month.
    Keep in mind, this is just concept. It could go either way.
    The production model could look the same, just like the Solstice. Or not, like the Mustang concept.

    The RWD frame of the car would also be used for the next GTO, a series of Holden cars, and maybe a Buick convertible.
    So far, they are calling the production version a 09, so don't hold your breath...

    In a bad way, the Camaro concept reminds me a little bit of this 1999 GTO Concept. Without all the insane design elements, of course.
    And the Dodge Challenger concept also seems to look pretty close.

    All in all, I think these designs show the great job Ford did with the Mustang. The Ford is a true modern looking car with retro elements. These other designs just seem to copy the old ones...

    But I must add, a convertible version of this Camaro design would look amazing. Actually better than the "pretty bland" Mustang convertible.

    And that's what Darin Stevens would be driving...

    Renault Koleos

    The name might or might not stay. But this is at least the 3rd illustration I see showing mostly the same design.
    So it must be getting very close to the real thing... Either that or they're all wrong.

    This compact SUV might even replace the Nissan X-Trail in some countries, or be sold as the new X-Trails in others.
    And there is a good chance we might get it as a "smaller than Murano" Nissan SUV, with a redesigned front end.

    Good news.

    Saturday, December 10, 2005

    2007 BMW 1

    The small 1 Series hatch has been on sale in Europe for quite a while now, and still, nothing here.
    They are waiting for the sedan and coupe version to be ready. (this is an illustration of what the coupe might look like).

    And BMW has claimed they don't want to sell any more 4 cylinder cars in the US.
    But wouldn't that make the 1 pretty expensive, even too close to the "real BMW' 3 series?

    It would have to be very close to $25 000 to make any sense over here.

    Do you think they can pull it off? And would you actually buy one over, let's say, a VW GTI, Acura TSX or an Audi A3???

    2007 Kia Optima

    Just found new pictures of the next Optima ( Lotze in Korea ), and it does look better to me. A bit less like the Q45...

    Another alternative to the new Camry. With a better interior than the Sonata.
    I'm not sure if Kia is supposed to be cheaper or more expensive than Hyundai.
    This is even more good news for people looking for good, roomy and well made sedans at a normal price.

    But can they really overcome bad image and resale value???

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    2007 Camry SE

    Not sure what is it, but it sure looks better than the previous pictures.
    I don't like spoilers etc.. But, maybe it's the larger wheels.

    There is still hope that the new Camry might look very nice after all...

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    2007 Ford Edge

    Finally an Edge photo I won't be asked to take down.
    As we already know, it will introduce the new 3.5 Liter V6 and a 6 speed automatic.

    And looking good...

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    Hyundai HCD 9 Concept

    We only have this obscure illustration so far, but once Detroit opens we'll know more.
    Again, it is supposed to forsee an upcoming product. Maybe the next Tiburon. Right....

    So many times before they've shown us really cool looking concept that never trnaslated into any of their product line.
    Again, this looks really nice. It looks like one of these "4 door coupes" with suicide rear doors like the Mazda RX8.

    Let's hope they use some of it this time...

    Mercedes E Class

    Another illustration, this time the next E Class.
    This one looks really nice and expensive.

    Mercedes always works the same way, they redesign the S Class, then everything else looks the same but smaller..
    Like sausages in a factory.

    I still think it is overpriced. The current E starts at over $50 000, for a mid sized car.
    You really have to love the brand, or the logo to pay so much more than the competiton and get a less reliable car than an Infiniti M or Lexus GS. All these cars drive very nice.

    In the "old days", Mercedes was making the best cars you could buy, but now they are still more expensive than the competition, and their reliability pretty much sucks. Like so many other products, they've been rilying on their past image for a long time.

    But hey, everyone will recognize you drive a Mercedes.
    I guess for some people who need that recognition, it is worth thousands...

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    2007 Mercedes C Class

    Just a new illustration from Germany.
    Nothing great, or really new. Engines will include a 2.5 Liter V6 with 210hp and the 3.5 Liter with 270hp.

    I don't think these cars are that great to begin with. The Japanese competition is just too good for less.
    I'm not even talking of the luxury brands like Lexus or Infiniti. But even cars like the Accord, which are getting so good for much less money....
    Facture in the lack of reliability, and the Mercedes isn't something I would dream of...

    2007 Camry Info.

    No new pictures, sorry...

    But here is more "official" info on the Camry.
    I think it is pretty interesting.

    I didn't expect a 6 speed auto with the V6. And also that much power for the Hybrid...

    America's best-selling car is redesigned for 2007, getting new styling, more power and features, and, for the first time, a gas/electric hybrid model. Camry retains the same overall length as the 2002-2006 version, but adds 2.2 inches to wheelbase and cuts height by nearly an inch. Base-model curb weight is up some 175 lb. New features include standard instead of optional curtain side airbags. The line consists of a price-leader CE trim level, volume LE, sporty SE, and luxury XLE. All come with a 158-hp 2.4-liter 4-cyl engine and a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automtic. LE, SE, and XLE also offer V6 versions with a 268-hp 3.5-liter and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Camry's previous most-powerful V6 had 210 hp and used a 5-speed automatic.

    Both '07 automatics include a manual shift gate. The Hybrid teams a special 2.4-liter 4-cyl gas engine with a battery-powered electric motor for 192 net hp. It teams with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) providing near-infinite drive ratios. Like Toyota's smaller Prius hybrid, Camry's automatically drives on either or both power sources, depending on conditions, and requires no plug-in charging. Antilock 4-wheel disc brakes are standard for all models. So are front torso side airbags, head-protecting curtain side airbags, and, for the first time, a driver's knee airbag.

    The Hybrid adds antiskid/traction control that's available for other models. SEs come with 17-inch wheels, the other models with 16s. SEs also have a firmer suspension, and specific trim inside and out. The Hybrid also has unique interior and exterior trim. A split folding rear seat is standard except on SE and Hybrid, which have a fixed seat with center pass-through. Leather upholstery is included on the V6 XLE, available for the 4-cyl XLE and the SE. A navigation system with CD changer and wireless cell-phone link is optional for SE and XLE, as are heated seats. A new-to-Camry keyless-entry/starting system is included on Hybrid and available for V6 XLE.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    Daewoo Tosca

    Just a couple more pictures of the new Daewoo Tosca, with the Chevrolet version for the European market.
    The side still reminds me of the Acura TSX.

    Another nice looking Korean sedan. I still think it shouldn't become a Suzuki in the US.
    It would be wasted.

    Too bad they killed Oldsmobile...

    2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse Convertible

    A good year for good looking convertibles.

    This great looking Mitsubishi will be joined later by the Pontiac G6 and the new Sebring. Both of these will have folding hard tops.

    The Eclipse looks like it has a top similar to the Saab's. As well as other expensive models. Where the top folds flat behind the back seat.
    That back seat, by the way, is minuscule in the coupe, so don't expect much in the convertible. Unlike the Mustang or New Beetle, where humans can actually seat back there.

    2007 Toyota Camry

    I must say, this is not as nice as other pictures let me hope it would be.
    On these pictures, the wheels look too small and the whole car looks kind of lumpy, and heavy. (might be an LE)
    The current one almost looks simpler, and more modern.

    And the front does look like a bloated Mazda3. I think the new Sonata looks much better.

    But hey.. Toyota knows what they're doing. And they sell as many as they can build....

    The next surprise in the mid- size segment will be the new Altima.

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    2007 Lexus RX 350

    At least that's what I think it is.
    Unless it is a mule for the all new model due in a couple of years.

    We can't tell much from these bad pictures where all the planned changes are coverd up..
    So I guess we can expect new lights all around,with bumpers and grill changes as well. The usual "facelift".
    On top of the new 3.5 Liter V6.

    But if I remember right (maybe I don't), the RX came out a year after the Highlander. And the Highlander is new for 2007.
    Would they modify the RX for 2007 and have an all new one in 2008????

    Thursday, December 01, 2005



    But wait, this is just part of a design expo sponsored by the L.A Auto Show. So it'll never exist...
    I know...

    But this is what the 21st Century motor home should look like.
    A truely unique design inspired by both the GMC motorhomes from the 70's and conceptual designer Syd Mead's work.

    Something like this would put families back on the road discovering America, instead of watching Nemo for the 50th time in the back seat of an SUV...

    It's time to make the motorhome cool again.

    I think these 2 are inspirations for the new PAD design.
    The 1976 GMC Palm Beach motorhome. And the work of the great Syd Mead.

    Citroen C-Airplay

    It is just a concept...
    Most people say it gives us an idea of what the next Pluriel might look like. I bet that makes the current owners happy, right?

    What would make current owners happy is a boost in quality. Not showing off cool concept designs.
    A few friends of mine who live in Europe actually own Pluriels. And they're not too happy. Why? Because their Citroen dealers have pretty much seen their cars as much as they have.
    Citroen needs to improve quality first. Just like VW. As a matter of survival.
    And maybe making sure the structure of the car is strong enough before turning it into a convertible, that would help too.

    Chevrolet Epica/Daewoo Tosca

    This is the 1st official picture of the Daewoo Magnus replacement.
    And it should end up in Europe as the new Chevrolet Epica. (or still using the Evanda name)

    Here, it is not sure Suzuki will sell it as the next Verona. They might want to concentrate on the SUV market.
    Suzuki is pretty much where Isuzu was a few years ago...

    As we could tell from earlier spy pics, the new Daewoo looks a bit like the Acura TSX, and it's not a bad thing.
    Another nice looking Korean sedan.