Thursday, April 14, 2011

2012 Fiat 500 CC

The "convertible" version of the 500 has finally arrived in the US.

As you can see, it's not really a 100% convertible car. Mimicking what the old 500 convertible was.

The top can be open at speeds up to 60 MPH.

No words on which versions will be available in the US. Like Sort, or Lounge etc...
And no price yet...

Peugeot SXC Concept

Not sure if this will ever translate into anything, but it will be shown at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show.
And was designed locally.
This is Peugeot's way to show they want to make a big push into the Chinese market in the next few years.
And who doesn't...

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

First official picture.

I am not sure what to say. Except, I really liked the current model.

Stay tuned for more. Very soon...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2013 Chevrolet Malibu interior.

GM released another teaser shot of the all new Chevrolet Malibu interior.
It shows a pretty cool feature. A little convenient storage area located directly being the flat color screen.
A nice, innovative touch.

As you can see on this picture, the next Malibu took some cues from the Euro Chevrolet Orlando Crossover.
It offers a similar feature, although not directly behind the screen.

Audi Q3 Video

I think it does look quite nice in these "moving pictures".
The obvious competition will be the BMW X1 and the upcoming small Mercedes SUV based on the new A Class.
But maybe also high end versions of the RAV4/CRV types as well.

Not sure yet if this will make it in the US or not. So far the smallest Audis like the A1 or 3 door A3 have not.

We"ll see...

2012 Kia Rio sedan???

Maybe. It does look, at first, like it could be the sedan version of the all new Rio Hatchback unveiled just a few weeks ago.
But when you do take a second look at the hatchback, the sedan design doesn't match it. At all.
Even the interiors are pretty much all different. So what is it???

Here are 2 pictures of the new 2012 Rio Hatchback.
As you can see, the sedan isn't this car with a trunk.
Why would they design an all new car?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2012 BMW 3 series

Yet another illustration.
We might see a few more before the real thing comes out.

It does look very realistic. Blending the current 3 and the new 5. Which is pretty much what it'll turn out to be.
Let's hope the coupe doesn't look like a small version of the new 6 series.

2012 MG5

Looks like MG is doing quite a few things right lately.
The MG6 hatchback is starting production in England as we speak. With the smaller MG3 following in a few months.

This new MG5 model doesn't look bad either.
Seems like MG might be the first time a Chinese car maker could make it in Europe.

2012 new Audi Q3

Looking exactly like all the illustrations we've seen of it for the past 58 years.

But still nice. The q5 seems to be pretty popular, and I'm sure this smaller and cheaper version will be aven more of a hit.
Competing with the BMW X1 mostly.

it is based on the VW Tiguan, but isn't as roomy. The Q5 starts at about $35 000 in the US.
So I guess this could be at around $30 000.

We'll see...

Lexus LF-Gh Hybrid concept

Quite a mouth full..

This is supposed to be a preview of the next GS sedan.
For once, I really hope they water it down for production.

This looks like a busy mess with way too many lines going everywhere. It is not tasteful or modern.

The current car might be a bit boring, but I think it still looks good. And great compared to this.

One of these cars that looks like 28 designers worked on it without ever talking to each other.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cadillac CTS-V test drive coming up.

Few of you guessed. But I am driving the mighty 556hp Cadillac CTS-V wagon this week.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Mercedes A-Class Concept video

It really does look good.

But looking at the StarTrek interior, it's hard to tell how much of it will be kept for the production car.

Let's hope that, at least, the exterior won't be to watered down.

Chinese Mini copy coming up...

This on is from Geely.
For their "luxury" sub brand called Emgrand.

And it looks like the Mini went through a blender in Hell...

2013 Audi A3

An all new A3 is coming out next year.
We've already seen what the sedan version will look like a while ago. Now Audi is showing us an official sketch of the new hatchback.
I always liked the A3 and this next version looks even better. If not original.

Competing in a segment that is getting hotter than ever with redesigned versions of the BMW 1 series and Mercedes A class coming up.

Subaru XV Concept

From this teaser picture, it does look like a jacked up version f the upcoming Impreza hatchback.
That would mean New York gets the sedan next week, while the auto show in Shanghai gets a concept version of the hatch.

I think most people have not bee impressed with the sedan so far. The hatch could be a bit more interesting.
But so-so designs are not what Subaru needs in order to be on the shopping list of most people...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

2012 Jaguar XF

It seems like a minor "facelift" but I think it does improve things a lot.
Now it just seems to look more normal.
What it should have been in the first place. And even a bit more upscale.

There are rumors of the diesel version coming to the US. But I wouldn't hold my breath.
I think they should sell us a V6 model first.
Which would drop the price a bit.

This is the current model. With its odd headlights....

What am I driving this week?

Friday, April 08, 2011

2012 Chevrolet Malibu

Just another "teaser".

I still really like the current Malibu, so it does feel a little weird to see a new one. And I always liked the current interior as well.
The only thing it was missing is a navigation option. It looks like the days of GM trying to convince us that their "turn to turn" navigation Onstar based system is as good as a GPS are over...

And it also looks like they are really pushing the interior design in this next version. Let's hope it all works together, and doesn't end up looking like a mess.

With similar engines, it looks like one of the new Malibu's main competition will be the Buick Regal. They will basically be the same car with different designs. Using the same platform and powertrains.

We'll see how that works out for them...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

MG5 Concept

Looks like another good looking car coming up from MG/Rowe.

The MG6 is getting pretty good reviews from the European press. And the small MG3 is scheduled to make it over there later this year as well.
This looks like a small crossover/hatchback type, with plenty of style.

More very soon...

Mercedes A Class Concept

This is supposed to show us what the next A Class will look like.
Which is OK. But the interior seems pure concept to me. So, even though the exterior looks almost production ready, we might see quite a bit of changes before this hits dealers next year.

The US will finally have access to the A class with the next model. Although we might be getting the 4 door sedan version only.
Which will compete with the all new Audi A3 sedan.

Should be interesting...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

2012 Nissan Versa

Here it is.
No need to wait for the New York Auto Show.

Not sure yet about what engine it'll use, but some market will be getting the 106 Liter Turbo from the Juke.
We'll see if Nissan offers it in the US or not.

A much better looking car than the 80's looking current model.
Could be quite a nice small car.

2012 Subaru Impreza

An all new Impreza is on it way.
We will see the whole thing at the New York Auto Show in a couple of weeks.

And it looks.. like... the larger Legacy. Which I thought it was at first.
It actually looks more like a cross between the current Impreza and the Legacy.
More so than the really good concept they showed us late last year...

Here is the concept they teased us with not so long ago.
What happened to it??
It didn't look that futuristic to begin with.
They didn't need to change much, but they did. Enough to make it another boring small sedan.
Which now will compete with many less boring new cars like the Elantra and Focus etc...

Good luck...

All new Opel Astra Coupe

Obviously "ready to go".

I still think this would make a cool new Buick Verano Coupe.
The Verano sedan doesn't seem very appealing to a younger audience to me. But this could work...

Monday, April 04, 2011

Brilliance Sedan Concept

Not amazing by any means, but so much better than the production stuff they've been coming up with lately.
Which is usually some sort of a bad clone from other manufacturers.

We'll see if this makes up into an actual car in the future..

2012 VW Beetle reveal coming soon...

On April 18th to be exact.
Here is the official word from VW:

"On April 18th, Volkswagen will celebrate the global reveal of the 21st Century Beetle, marking a new chapter in the iconic vehicle's history. The Beetle will be revealed to the public in a spectacular world debut on three continents. The reveal will begin in Shanghai, China with an exclusive MTV Sound System celebration hosted by MTV VJ's, followed by MTV World Stage events in Berlin and New York City."

Truly the 21st Century way to present a car to the world audience.

Not sure when the car will actually be on sale. I hear fall, but it could be sooner.
As I mentioned before, I was lucky enough to see the real thing last year for a few hours.
So you can still ask me questions about it.

I still really like the current model, and even though I'm sure the new one is better as a car, it is not as pure of a design.
The current car is modern art on wheels. The next one isn't....

I get a similar feeling when I compare the 1st generation TT to the current model.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Mitsubishi Lancer ES test drive .

The current Lancer is a few years old, but still manages to look just fine.
Although that might change soon with recent designs like the new Focus and Elantra.
But it is still much nicer looking than a Corolla.

The interior design is OK, nothing special. It's not ugly or anything.
Just rather boring.

But everything you touch feels cheap. Panels, switches, everything has a bargain basement feel to it.
More so than the basic 2012 VW Jetta, which has been criticized a lot for "feeling cheap".

The base stereo sounds fine. Seats are OK.
Nothing is really, really bad. But nothing is more than OK...


The ride is one of the best aspect of the Lancer. It is always very comfortable and smooth.
Although not as smooth as the new Jetta. And without the solid feel of the VW.


The engine does remind me of the base 2.0 Liter in the new Jetta.
Super quiet at idle, but rough, noisy and slow when you push it.
It is rated at 148hp, but most of them are on a permanent hiatus.
And the whole thing doesn't ever feel more powerful than the 115 VW engine.

It is rated at 24 City and 33HWY which pretty much matches what I got.

My test car was equipped with the standard 5 speed manual. Which felt rather mushy and unexciting.
And not much fun to drive. The clutch was even hard to engage at times.


The Mitsubishi Lancer ES is a hard car to recommend.
It just doesn't do anything really well. Everything is just OK.

One of the worse aspect is how cheap it feels. Even the doors are the cheapest sounding I've experienced in a long time.
The whole thing reminds you of inexpensive cars from the 80's.

Pretty much every other car in the segment is a better choice.
Even smaller cars like the Mazda2.

No wonder Mitsubishi is having a hard time these days. They just need better cars.

Something you don't see every day...

Unless you're in Burbank....

Friday, April 01, 2011

All new Samsung SM7

Although they still call it a concept, this is pretty much the car that will be available in Korea later this year.
Where it will compete with the Hyundai Grandeur and Kia K7.

The new SM7 is based on the Renault Latitude. A rather boring large sedan.
The Samsung version seems much more aggressive.

Here is the new renault Latitude.

And here is the current Samsung SM7. Which has been on sale since 2004, and is based on the Nissan Teana, a cousin of our previous generation Nissan Maxima.

For a while, Penske was in talk with Renault to import Samsung models as Saturn in the US.
As we know, this never happened.
It could have been interesting...